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This week's appointment of Franco Baldini as Tottenham's new technical director saw the club go back to the past, as they look to the future.
In 2004, chairman Daniel Levy introduced what in England has been referred to as a "continental" structure of management. Spurs had already had a director of football for some time, but that role's influence did not extend to that of the newly installed sporting director.
The specifics of what would follow over the next four years combine for a fascinating story in their own right.
Levy ended the experiment in October 2008 when Spurs were hovering dangerously at the bottom of the table. He fired head coach Juande Ramos and sporting director Damien Comolli, and he brought in Harry Redknapp to get things fixed, as simply as possible.
To cut a long story short, in Andre Villas-Boas, Levy has found what he believes to be an ideal candidate to make the continental system work—in fact, the Portuguese encouraged the club to go further with it again, as detailed in this story in The Guardian.
Compared to a Martin Jol, Levy sees Villas-Boas as a coach capable of taking his club forward.
Unlike Ramos, the 35-year-old also has the necessary understanding of the English game and culture—from matters ranging from tradition to language—to thrive in the country.
Redknapp was more than just an old-school throwback, he was a canny operator who has adapted to changes in football remarkably well. With that said, the notion of someone having a similar level of influence on football matters was inconceivable.
Villas-Boas sees it differently. He embraces what English football has to offer, but is open-minded enough to add lessons he has learned from experiences elsewhere.
This means being able to listen to what someone else—in this case Baldini—brings to the table.
Perhaps it took some pushing from Villas-Boas, but at last Levy may have found the balance in footballing culture he strove to implement over the last decade.
In a competitive Premier League, Spurs need any advantage they can get. If Villas-Boas and Baldini can establish a good working relationship, their combined nous could be what it takes to push Tottenham even further forward.