sport news OLIVER HOLT: Nuno Espirito Santo's Tottenham are now a team of forgotten men

sport news OLIVER HOLT: Nuno Espirito Santo's Tottenham are now a team of forgotten men
sport news OLIVER HOLT: Nuno Espirito Santo's Tottenham are now a team of forgotten men

Amid the pageantry and rejoicing at St James' Park on Sunday, somewhere in the first energetic episode in the sportswashing of a murderous regime, a team of forgotten men will walk out on to the pitch. And, no, I'm not talking about whoever cleaned up after Mike Ashley when he puked in the fireplace after a drinking game with a Polish analyst called Pawel.

Tottenham will have a cameo role in the North-east on Sunday afternoon but that's OK. Their stars are getting used to that. Even Harry Kane doesn't get a full 90 for England these days. 

They were once main players but, as the Premier League gets used to the idea there is another superpower among them, Spurs fans sense their own chances of winning the major trophies in the game are receding all the time.

Tottenham head north to Newcastle's takeover party on Sunday as a team of forgotten men

Tottenham head north to Newcastle's takeover party on Sunday as a team of forgotten men 

Newcastle fans of dreaming of a brighter future but Tottenham supporters are growing weary

Newcastle fans of dreaming of a brighter future but Tottenham supporters are growing weary

That is one of the reasons why the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust released a list of 13 questions about the finance and future of the club that they had asked to put to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and the board. Their attempts to secure a meeting with Levy over the past few weeks have been rebuffed, although the board's stance, apparently, may be changing.

There are many reasons for Levy to be proud of the things he has achieved at Spurs in the past two years. The only problem is that none of them have happened on the pitch. 

Tottenham have the best stadium in the Premier League; a majestic arena that Levy will be able to point to as a fine and lasting legacy. But the best performance in it so far was Oleksandr Usyk's dismantling of Anthony Joshua last month. Nothing Spurs have done runs it close.

And that is Levy's problem. He has built a stunning stage but there is no one to strut and fret upon it any more. 

There was a time when Spurs looked destined for the summit of English football or, at the very least, looked as if they had established themselves among the top-flight elite, but those days are nothing more than a memory now. Spurs were vibrant once. Now they have faded to grey.

The THST have sold themselves short with their 13 questions. They have enough material to be asking 1,300. Levy, fawned over by many as a gunslinger-businessman; the man who never blinks first; the man who always gets the best of the deal, has made one bad decision after another in the past two years. Getting rid of Mauricio Pochettino in November 2019 was one, hiring Jose Mourinho was another and not selling Harry Kane to Manchester City in the summer was another.

Forcing Kane to stay was one more fillip for Levy's ego. Once again, he was painted rather breathlessly as the guy you better not mess with when he swatted away City's attempts to prise Kane away with an opening bid that was only just north of £100million. Nobody gets one over on Daniel, you see.

Except, well, City seem to have got one over on him. Inadvertently, maybe, but even so they must be giving thanks at the moment that Kane stayed put. It is looking like they dodged a £120m bullet. Kane hasn't looked like the same player since he spoke rather too confidently last May of how he would decide whether he left Spurs, not Levy. The intakes of breath all around football suggested that was far from the smartest move.

Ditching Mauricio Pochettino (right) has proven a disastrous decision from Daniel Levy

Ditching Mauricio Pochettino (right) has proven a disastrous decision

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