The Buck Stops… Over There Somewhere

By @davidpuckridge

Having drawn the short straw, I am contractually obliged to tackle the elephant in the room. Yes, that’s right: Andy Rogers, Spurs’ Head of Global Football Development.

Okay, not really. And frankly all I can find of Andy Rogers is his comments accompanying the announcement that Rehanne Skinner had been sacked. No, I am going to talk about the other guy: Daniel Levy.

This week, Daniel Levy made his first comments on the women’s game beyond the empty platitudes about increased investment in Spurs Women. And his comments were utterly depressing. 

Levy argued that investment in players and infrastructure would increase if club hierarchies were not concerned by the threat of relegation. Which, if I am not mistaken was a key part of the disastrous, discredited European Super League plan.

The Game Is About Glory as the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium bellows at us, but without the inherent danger of relegation – or the hope for promotion – the glory doesn’t mean as much and would only further embed the hegemony of the top four. 

I can’t say I’m particularly enjoying Spurs Women’s relegation battle but by God it means something. That point against a strong Aston Villa side was the sweetest point I have ever experienced. If there was no danger of the drop, this weekend’s game would be meaningless. 

The goals really matter – to fans and players – when you’re in a relegation fight. Celebrating England’s goal against Aston Villa. Image: Spurs Women

The timing of Levy’s intervention is… interesting. Was it after we got pulled into a relegation battle? Nope. Was it after the sacking of Rehanne Skinner after 9 straight defeats? Nope. After the humiliating home thrashing to Arsenal? Nope. 

It was after he had sacked the men’s team’s caretaker coach following a humiliating thrashing.

Which adds an interesting wrinkle: Spurs parted ways with a coach then announced that that coach’s well-liked assistant would lead the team for the remainder of the season – an assistant coach absolutely entwined with the football philosophy of the departed coach.

No, I’m not talking about Conte/Stellini, I’m talking about the Rehanne Skinner/Vicky Jepson. As Mark Twain once said, “History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.”

It seems sadly clear that Spurs Women have been the ‘canary in the coal mine’ for the malaise that has affected the leadership and direction of the club. When Conte was appointed, many commentators claimed it was Levy’s last roll of the dice, and now with the flaming out of yet another ‘Hollywood’ manager with a winning pedigree, who has discovered that Spurs is the only club at which he cannot win any silverware, that prediction appears to be true. Levy has run out of road and ideas. He is just the only one that won’t admit it. 

There appears to be no plan for the men’s team and absolutely no plan for the women’s team. The club is drifting. And so, he returns to his last desperate idea: being entitled to a place in the top-flight and removing the jeopardy.

In his statement announcing Stellini’s defenestration, the newly casual ‘Daniel’ stated uncharacteristically that “ultimately the responsibility is mine” before deeply characteristically sacking someone else.

One of the few times Levy has visibly engaged with the women’s team. In 2021 he presented Captain, Shelina Zadorsky with a gift to celebrate her Olympic gold with Canada. Image: Spurs Women

As a Spurs Women fan, it is not even that I’m demanding lots more, I’m just demanding something. Anything. A sign that there is actually a plan for this side other than being a novelty spin off from the men’s team. Because right now we’re left to enviously glance at other teams to see how modest but smart and well thought through investment has made them more competitive. 

Or we could just campaign to remove the jeopardy. Your move, Daniel. 

Dave Puckridge is on twitter @DavidPuckridge

18 Replies to “The Buck Stops… Over There Somewhere”

  1. Another good article David – well done
    The state of the Spurs brand is imploding in front of our eyes. The men’s team is walking a knife edge as to whether we get Euro football investment next season or not … the U21 face relegation into the obscurity league … the Women’s team have been in freefall since RS brought in so many under inspiring players to replace the last deadwood stage that left last summer. So many poor signings during her stay have seen this team fall from any grace. It is as she has only built a holiday camp side – not a competing WSL side. This deadwood stage already is full from others who are needing to be moved on this summer. BUT will he invest in the team with more statement players remains to be seen – it seems not after his last comments about the WSL. So the conclusion … He ENIC and Lewis need to move on – they have ruined the brand whilst they fill their pockets


    1. Thanks Delboy. I have a lot of sympathy with Rehanne Skinner as I suspect she had very little influence on the scattershot recruitment last summer; the N17 podcast has a terrific interview with Jenna Schillaci in which they ask her about scouting for the women’s first team and she doesn’t know how it works or who’s doing it, which I found deeply concerning as she’s someone working for the club! It feels like Levy tried to force the square peg of Conte into the round hole of how he works then when the reality of Conte not working out hit, Levy has just frozen: with no contingency planning.

      Anyway, let’s get behind the team tonight! COYS!


  2. Totally agree .. 1 more win should see us safe and lets hope that is this evening at the Lane. As for RS – yes she maybe was dealt a bad set cards but her pedigree was limited at best as she had not managed a team since her first appointment way back when…. she was always an assistant.
    We really needed a winning mentality manager at the helm like the other skinner and one who would demand top players … not cast offs.
    I hope we survive and we can find a really good manager and start afresh but we still need to move on so many uninspiring players from the squad.


  3. Well we lost this game even though we bagged 1 point… and why do i say that because VJ keeps playing the same underperforming players in Harrop Ayanne James and Spencer when we have better on the bench. Also why take off your best 2 players in England and Bizet when we had a chance to win this game and then bring on 2 more uninspiring players in Naz and Percival to weaken it even further …. why? Kamikaze play at best.


    1. Given our complete dependence on Beth England I can understand trying to wrap her in cotton wool!

      Right now, we have too many players whose best position I do not know – but it seems that neither do the coaching staff. Too many square pegs in round holes or a reluctance to change the system towards their best positions.

      The sucker punch was seeing a team whose owners have tried things – not always successfully – to turn things around whereas we have just slid downwards clinging to the hope others would do worse.


  4. I just cannot understand the recruitment policy at all especially when Jenna (who was Captain) did’nt know either .. was she not even asked? – clearly not. Just look at the last 2-3 summers where contracts have been extended to players who are just not good enough maybe because they were pets of Skinner from her ex England days. Better keep those you like around you eh! Only 1 I agree with and that was Nev … the others namely Naz Spencer Percival and even Graham are past their best or was there ever a best – that is another question. The only positive is a 2 year contract .. so maybe the likes of Petzelberger Brazil James Turner and Karczewska can be moved on at the end of next season if we survive. Only Celin Beth and Iwa (if she wants to join from Arsenal) have been good solid WSL signings but we have at least 12 players who are just not of WSL standard or have past their prime and it shows .. no matter what peg they carry – the holes dont fit anymore. It is really annoying that the likes of Man Utd have created a table top winning side in the same 4 years whilst we have created a sunday league holiday camp side. In the year we were promoted only 1 side beat us or should I say thrashed us twice and that was Utd – the writing was on the wall even then.


  5. anyhow I have to thank this site for allowing one to vent one’s frustration at what is happening in front of our supporting eyes and get it printed although it is a shame hardly anyone else posts (real shame as you all write good articles on our team)
    I just wish more pressing questions were asked by the media of VJ – many if not all circumnavigating the real questions .. of why why why?
    In RS reign all I heard was we will learn from this and that and she/they never did … the last VJ interview with Chris Cowlin on youtube proves she was at another game and in cookoo land but then maybe the PR people told her what to say. She is clearly out of her depth with this mismatch squad


    1. Thank YOU for engaging!

      I have huge sympathy for Vicky Jepson and Rehanne Skinner as I know only too well what it’s like to have to present a professional image when those above you in the food chain aren’t providing support or direction.

      And I definitely think that the level of journalism at the WSL press conference is distinctly surface level which is why the N17 podcasts interviews are so good and get really in depth – I was delighted that they asked Jenna about the coaching set up! That’s the level of nerd I am!


  6. Keep it up David and Rachel – I need your report just to get my fix
    This summer the contracts are up for Korpella Zadorsky Harrop Ayanne Simon Ubogagu Morgan Cho maybe even Ale … extns already handed out to Graham Percival and Bartrip (Molly and Kit I totally agree but Percival ??? come on) .. same as last year with extns to Spencer Naz and Nev (only Nev was worth keeping) …. this is still going on. Handing out contracts so early .. what does that achieve but discontent within the rest of the ranks? and if they all know already that they are not being offered a new one then why put in the effort? like this last game when only 4 earned their Spurs … just look at Ayanne … she ghosts around and just does not get involved in much bar standing and watching. She really needs to go but she is the partner of Shelina so guess she will have to leave as well to pastures new and then maybe the armband handed to Molly. We cannot even build a team around our best players as we are weak about severing contracts early on underperforming uninspiring players. So maybe a 2 year contract with an option is the way forward but only if only the best players are then kept to build a stronger one not the poor ones as well just because they have become pets.


  7. Thks for the heads up on the N17 women podcast … didnt know about it and now I do … will check this out every week especially as Abbie and Rachel are on there.


  8. Just listened to Jenny’s input and the latest podcast about the Brighton game – really interesting but it is so hard sitting there listening and not being able to have an input as in some instances I see it so different to the ladies .. even a comments section would help greatly to post an input comment and why I like this forum. I was somewhat shocked that Jenny didnt really know what is going on and it seems she is kept at arm’s length like all things in this club at the moment. The point about the set piece coach and the fact the men do not interact bar media is a real shame. Why they cannot have a coaching afternoon every week … Beth learning from Arry and Celin learning from Sonny .etc etc .. even Korps from Lloris or Forster. Why not use the values we have to help but the fact she has knowledge about the other leagues has to be an advantage and used to scout better players. Let her travel Euro and help scout from the top teams. She also hit it on the nail with Clemaron – we badly miss her tenaciousness for sure and we have weakened our midfield with our current signings. Sorry – but this team needs a total overhaul and I stick to that – trouble is many will still be there next season doing much the same.


  9. I expected a loss today but come on where was the preparation for this game that VJ said she had done … totally embarrasing but of coarse ok to swop shirts and sign autographs as usual. May as well stayed at home
    This team of misfits has had its day and the same for Jepson.


    1. I have enormous sympathy for VJ – & all caretaker coaches. These are their jobs and they’re being elevated to these positions of enormous responsibility with zero job security and zero support and direction from above.

      But right now I’m really frustrated at the level of sports journalism! We’ll get bland, generic questioning when what we really need are answers to questions that arise week in week out: why play a CB at RB when you have a RB on the bench and the CB you’re using never looks comfortable there? If you’re going to go with that why not play wingers that can drop back and give them some over? Who is supposed to be operating in central midfield to protect the back 4? Why not use the back 3 with wing backs which worked ok?


  10. the trouble I see with pre and post match journalism is that they come from media sources (newspapers etc) and they personally are probably not that interested in Spurs at all and probably personally support other teams (maybe not even in the women’s game). It is lazy journalism at best just to get what they need to write a short report. We fans are mushrooms – kept in the dark on everything until someone like you and Rachel spill the beans…. and why we need more.
    One cannot even hear the questions as Spurs have a billion pound stadium and a £1 poundshop audio mic system – shame on them.
    I accept the sympathy for RS and VJ that you have as you actually see them personally but why should they hide behind the curtains when things are not so good. Like not even saying why players are missing .. it is some top secret project. Why was Petzelberger missing for 12 months … what a waste of a signing she has been but then so have 5 out of the 7 summer intake. Business as usual for us. The top teams never stop searching but we seem to wait for the Aldi/Lidl sales or just sign up the check out girl when they cannot find any. Spurs with LEVY has become a bigger problem and now the cracks are showing. The U21 now relegated !!! and in 3 weeks maybe the Women will be as well – who knows what can happen. Bad year for Spurs – but the we fans have had 50 bad years with minimal progress – just wasted money.


  11. Well Levy will now have to do something for the brand as the women’s team missed the drop thankfully – but will he now go out and find a winning mentality Manager or stick with another mother hen type who really has no clue like RS was. What a waste of 4 development years whilst all those above have become far stronger and now even harder to beat .. yet we still hand out extended contracts to those who are not worth keeping … Why? it really makes no sense in extending the likes of Spencer Naz and Percival – they are just not good enough for this new level of football. Graham Neville and Bartrip I can agree with … I guess now all the others whose contracts are now up come Sunday will be let go including Korps and Shelina (shame but just goes to show we do not try and keep our best players – seems we still want the holiday camp atmosphere and not build a table top team. What are we doing about gettin in someone who can go/find top players in the women’s game and make us viable for consideration rather than just the top 4? .. that is as important as getting in real manager not a play ground manager. Time will tell


  12. I see an article from Abbie on Cartiledge forum stating that she has heard that Harrop Morgan and Mana will be let go … so what about the other poor players Ayanne Ubogagu Simon Cho Ale – they are just as bad.
    Morgan came from the acadamy and was really never given the chance under Skinner so hopefully the likes of Leicester might snap her up. As for Harrop I think she may retire as she is well past her best and why I couldnt understand why we kept using her (maybe just to get a record WSL appearance and forgo the loss). Her and Ayanne partnership made out left wing wide open all the time.
    Mana – another Red loanee not staying I can live with that as she is not a winger but a creative midfielder that would displace the likes of Graham who obviously is well liked at the club (but even her time is numbered as she is really not improving but happy to try her for another season)
    The other 2 contracts up are Korps and Zadorsky who will also probably leave but could we get Hannah Hampton from Villa before the big guns snap her up and we leave Spencer on the bench until she leaves next season end with the next busload of deadwood that we have collected over the 4 WSL seasons. Our recruitment policy is really bad and this has to change with some serious investment. COME ON LEVY do something


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