Opinion: Levy didn’t ‘blow it’, Tottenham were better without controversial figure

Controversial veteran coach Louis van Gaal has admitted Tottenham Hotspur could have appointed him in 2014 – but took too long to make an offer.

Spurs were in the process of relieving Tim Sherwood of his duties at the club and were yet to hire Mauricio Pochettino from Southampton.

Van Gaal has admitted he met with Tottenham chairman Dniel Levy in Holland, but despite the pair getting on well, Manchester United acted first and secured a deal for his services.

“Daniel Levy flew into Holland with a private jet and came to my house, where we spoke for several hours,” Van Gaal told FourFourTwo.

“He even stayed on to watch the Southampton-Spurs match later that afternoon [which Spurs won 3-2]. He asked for my thoughts about that game, so that was a kind of test as well.

“It took Spurs a long time to make a firm offer, and United approached me in the meantime. They acted far quicker.

“I also liked the idea of going there, to coach the number one club in England – just like I had done before in Holland, Spain and Germany. If Spurs had come with a concrete offer earlier on, I’d have signed for them.

“Spurs were actually a club I liked when I was younger, as I was a big fan of Jimmy Greaves. I told Levy that as well, but he blew the chance by waiting so long.”


Van Gaal’s time at Manchester United is viewed as lukewarm and the Dutchman won only one FA Cup during his time at Old Trafford.

While the manager may feel Levy ‘blew it’ by not making a move for him, Tottenham went on to have one of the most exciting and successful spells in the club’s recent history under Pochettino.

The Argentine’s inspiration leadership led to Spurs fighting for the Premier League title over a number of seasons and making the Champions League final.

It is hard to imagine Tottenham playing the same pulsating football under Van Gaal, who has always been a pragmatic coach.

As such, rather than missing an opportunity, Levy’s choice to opt for Pochettino rather than Van Gaal now looks like a masterstoke.