I hate a man who always says "yes" to me. When I say "no" I like a man who also says no
Have Daniel Levy and Sam Goldwyn ever been seen together? Exactly. They are one and the same.
'Don't pay any attention to the critics - don't even ignore them.' ( Sam Goldwyn)
And that is exactly what I am going to do after being taken to task last time for banging on about L**a M****c. But there are lessons to be learned and inferences to be drawn beyond the everyday story of a Croatian in London.
And anyway it's the only story in N17 at the moment. So, spoiler alert , this column contains flash photography, strobe lighting and references to a footballer who seems to be rapidly getting on every Spurs fans nerves.
' A verbal agreement is not worth the paper it's written on' (Sam Goldwyn)
This has to be our starting point in this seemingly endless saga. But in the Modric, Levy showdown there is a further complication because it has been described as a 'gentleman's agreement. For this to work you need a handshake between two gentlemen.
When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you. (Sam Goldwyn)
Levy's whole schtick is in being known as a hard nosed, tough negotiator. He makes no claims and has no pretensions to being a 'gentleman'. So the agreement falls at the first hurdle. We will never know exactly what was said but until this point Modric has come across as a decent, modest individual. His claims though naive and somewhat pathetic have the ring of truth.
I read part of it all the way through. (Sam Goldwyn)
This is where Luka's and his agent went off the rails when they signed his new 6yr contract last year. The virulent attacks on Luka for his about face in some ways reflect the high esteem in which he was held. Many, including me, thought that Modric, with his background in war torn Croatia and his apparent humility, was different. Shockingly to some of us he is exactly the same money grabbing mercenary las all the rest.
I'll take fifty percent efficiency to get one hundred percent loyalty'. (Sam Goldwyn)
We are dicing with death on the high wire of football and there is apparently no loyalty at the top. This is not the first example and there will be more of this to come.
Some are reflecting that this finally shows that football has gone beyond the pale. That it is dominated by obscene amounts of money and egos bigger than the size of a new stadium.
Hello. Where have you guys been for the past 20 years?. The business model of professional football is unsustainable and leagues throughout Europe are dominated in each country by a three or four very rich clubs who use their economic power to dominate the market. This is not new, it may be getting worse but it is not new.
For your information, I would like to ask a question (Sam Goldwyn)
. What does it tell us about Tottenham if Luka goes? Firstly I still believe that he will when the price reaches £35 million or above. Clearly it would demonstrate that our progress under Enic, Jol and Harry has run out of steam if we can't hang on to our key players. The line on the sandy beach will be obliterated by the falling coconuts of high finance. Hold onto that image if you can.
I can only give you definite perhaps on this' (Sam Goldwyn)
Is this a strategic pause whilst the new financial regime kicks in, or until the Harry legal situation is resolved? Nobody knows not even the most prestigious of ITK's. Although the words 'prestigious' and 'ITK' do not fit easily into the same sentence.
The idea that Levy will let Modric 'rot on the bench' is laughable. That particular train left the station with Dimitar Berbatov aboard. I am not cynical enough to believe that this is a put up job by Luka, his agent and Daniel but I do believe that this move will be facilitated in the 'best interests of all concerned' when the threshold is reached, whatever it is.
Am I obsessed by our little Croatian? If I am I'm in good company as it dominates the Tottenham scene at the moment especially in the absence of signings that help to advance our situation. But it clearly has a significance beyond the individual player. It tells us more exactly where Tottenham under Levy are at this moment.
If Bill Nicholson were alive today, he'd turn over in his grave. (Sam Goldwyn about Roosevelt)
In these terms Modric cannot be sold. Unfortunately he doesn't come out of this too well and a bond of trust has undoubtedly been broken whatever happens. But Levy in particular backed up by Harry have declared that Modric will not be sold. In other words we are no longer a 'selling' club. Getting into the Champions' League was not a blip, but a logical result of several years of progress with a stable squad and more stable managership.
It was failing to get there this season that is the blip and incidentally the root of our current problems. Blame who you like for that failure but Modric was certainly part of it and this intensifies the hostile reaction to his expressed desire to move to Chelsea, not for the money, but because he wants to go to a 'bigger' club.
We're overpaying him, but he's worth it. ( Sam Goldwyn)
Now Chelsea are Johnny Come Latelies to the 'bigger' club scene and owe most of it to the whim of a Russian oligarch of dubious provenance. But this century they are more successful than us and are offering to more than double Luka's pay from £45.000 a week to £120.000. Try explaining to your new wife why you are turning your back on that.
Harry has distanced himself nicely from events by siding with the disappointed and confused player and Levy will get all the back wash if Modric is sold. Good cop, bad cop? Perhaps but Levy runs the risk of finally losing all credibility if this plays out how I think it will.
'You've got to learn to take the bitter with the sour' (Sam Goldwyn)
Of course it's only one player and we have done well without him at times; Van Der Vaart could play his role and we have plenty of talented midfielders on the books even now. A couple of strikers and we are good to go.Although if Kranjcar, Palacios, and Jenas move on we will be looking a little threadbare especially with Sandro out for a couple of months.
'I'm willing to admit that I'm not always right: but I'm never wrong'. (Sam Goldwyn)
The highlighted quotes are attributed to Sam Goldwyn the Movie Mogul. I'm not certain that he said them all but as he might have said himself:
'Even if he didn't say any of them, it's still a remarkable achievement. (JimmyG2)
I've said how I think it will pan out but with proviso.
Never make forecasts, especially about the future ( Sam Goldwyn)