Who should actually be named the next head coach of Tottenham Hotspur?

30 April 2021 07:45

Daniel Levy has overseen a lot of progress in his time as chairman of Tottenham Hotspur. Everything he does is meticulous, usually out of sight and behind the scenes. Spurs' business is nobody's business (unless it features in a lucrative Amazon documentary).

But his latest plans have gone awry. The club's initial commitment to the Super League was met with universal backlash among supporters, and fans are planning to protest against the chairman's leadership at Spurs' final home game this season.

And while Levy's decision to sack Jose Mourinho was largely a popular one, his lack of follow-up plan hasn't been.

There haven't been any real standout candidates to replace Mourinho, but two of the frontrunners have gotten away from them.

Erik ten Hag has signed a new contract with Ajax, while Julian Nagelsmann has agreed to join Bayern Munich.

So who the hell is going to be in the dugout in N17 next season? Let's run back through the candidates and see who would be mad enough to take on the job.


1. Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers isn't out of the running | Pool/Getty Images

Current team: Leicester City
Positives: He's so Spurs
Negatives: He's so David Brent

Why would he join Spurs: There's still a little bit of hope that Rodgers could consider leaving Leicester for Tottenham. He represents exactly the sort of profile Levy is after: He plays attractive football, improves young players and is well respected.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: Leicester are prepared to make Rodgers the second-highest paid manager in the Premier League, and it would cost a pretty penny to buy him out of his contract. With the Foxes on the verge of Champions League qualification and potentially even an FA Cup win, Rodgers is building something special at the King Power Stadium.

Verdict: Spurs will try with all their might, but things are already getting desperate.

2. Max Allegri

Now there's a suave man | LUCAS BARIOULET/Getty Images

Current team: None
Positives: Serial winner
Negatives: That worked so well last time

Why would he join Spurs: For some reason, top European clubs have stayed away from Allegri despite his success at Juventus. Arsenal decided against hiring him after Arsene Wenger left due to a notable language barrier (yet proceeded to appoint Unai Emery), and his best bet seems to be a return to the Old Lady. Spurs would at least offer him a fresh start in a new country with a squad that he could squeeze the life out of if needed. Levy would also be spared from forking out a compensation fee.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: Allegri has been on an unwilling sabbatical for so long that his stock has plummeted. Everyone has forgotten the strides Juve made in Europe and associates him with negative football, a rather harsh connotation. His English still isn't great, either.

Verdict: If Spurs strike and miss on another 'progressive' candidate and Allegri is still out of a job, then they might just bite the bullet of bringing in another Mourinho-esque figure and give him a bell.

3. Ralf Rangnick

Rangnick has inspired a number of the world's best coaches | Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Current team: None
Positives: One of the pioneers of modern gegenpressing
Negatives: Hasn't done a lot of managing this last decade

Why would he join Spurs: Rangnick is often linked with roles at clubs like Spurs, but his desire to have total control of how a club operates is usually what stops him taking up the job. He was close to joining Milan last year and has recently been touted for the Eintracht Frankfurt hot seat, but nothing has materialised.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: If Rangnick truly wants total control of a club, transfers and all, then he's unlikely to get that at Tottenham. Levy runs a tight ship and giving so much power to someone who's largely been an upstairs figurehead himself in the 2010s seems unlikely, as exciting as it would sound to fans.

Verdict: Would be fun, but don't see Levy green-lighting such an overhaul.

4. Julen Lopetegui

Is that a yes? | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Current team: Sevilla
Positives: Really f***ing good
Negatives: Too f***ing good

Why would he join Spurs: Not a clue. Sevilla are somehow alive in La Liga's title race, play nice football, and won their 28th Europa League just last season. Maybe Tottenham could offer him more money and a bigger stage, but that's about it.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: Because he's almost definitely out of their reach. Nice thinking, though.

Verdict: Fantastical.

5. Maurizio Sarri

Lovely trophy, Penfold | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Current team: None
Positives: Has done a decent enough job wherever he's been in the last few years
Negatives: Spurs won't want to expense his nicotine addiction

Why would he join Spurs: Honestly? No idea. Sarri tried his hand in England and wasn't popular among Chelsea fans, despite winning the Europa League. His grasp of the language wasn't great and he wasn't able to fully implement his ideas on the pitch like he did at Napoli.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: See above.

Verdict: Reports in Italy claim Roma are close to appointing Sarri as their next manager, so can write this one off.

6. Graham Potter

This list of candidates fell off a cliff real quick | ANDREW COULDRIDGE/Getty Images

Current team: Brighton & Hove Albion
Positives: Name can be used for several Harry Potter puns
Negatives: Name is Graham

Why would he join Spurs: Potter may not be getting amazing results at Brighton, but he's (just about) kept them afloat and (sometimes) has them playing nice football. A lack of a clinical striker has held them back, but their defence is solid. Tottenham would represent a huge step up, one Potter would jump at no doubt.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: It's all well and good doing decent jobs with Ostersund, Swansea and Brighton, but appointing Potter doesn't exactly scream 'ambition' for a club that was in the Champions League final two years ago.

Verdict: Levy would have to be totally committed to the 'attractive football' shtick to seriously consider it.

7. Scott Parker

Is that a gilet? | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Current team: Fulham
Positives: Knows the club
Negatives: The club is Tottenham Hotspur

Why would he join Spurs: Fulham's promotion was dismissed by Premier League and Championship fans alike as one reflecting the quality of the squad and not of the manager, but Parker has proven this season to at least be a capable coach of the future. The Cottagers are almost certainly heading for relegation, though there have been enough good signs this season to suggest Parker will remain in the top flight in the long-term.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: Like with Potter, appointing a manager who's been relegated isn't a great look for Tottenham.

Verdict: Maybe in the future, but not after two years in management where he was relegated in one of them.

8. Nuno Espirito Santo

Unbelievable beard | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Current team: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Positives: Does well with the tools provided to him
Negatives: It ain't pretty

Why would he join Spurs: Wolves' season has been severely disrupted by injury to Raul Jimenez and a lack of a real pre-season after playing one million games last year. Nuno might think he's in need of a new challenge and Spurs is a tier up from where he is, while he has proven his worth domestically and in Europe.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: Alright, Jimenez's absence hasn't helped, but Wolves play some torrid football. Nuno is a disciple of Mourinho, after all.

Verdict: Stacks the shortlist, but unlikely to be a serious contender.

9. Steven Gerrard

'Yeeeeeee, of course' | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Current team: Rangers
Positives: Actually seems good at his job
Negatives: Spurs fans enjoy 'Gerrard slip' jokes

Why would he join Spurs: Gerrard has successfully broken Celtic's stranglehold on the Scottish Premiership and made Rangers a team to be feared in Europe again. Moving to Tottenham would provide a great litmus test of how good a manager he can be at the top level.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: Isn't it obvious? The bloke would jump ship for Liverpool the second the spot becomes available. If they aren't in for him, then he won't have done that good a job anyway. Spurs don't need that hanging over them.

Verdict: Would be cool, but there's a great big elephant in the room.

10. Roberto Martinez

Alexa, play 'In My Head' by Jason Derulo | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Current team: Belgium
Positives: Errrrrr
Negatives: I prefer not to speak

Why would he join Spurs: After a promising start at Everton ended so poorly, Martinez has done a good job with Belgium, leading them to third place at the 2018 World Cup and their first ever number one spot in the FIFA world rankings. Heading to Tottenham would be a good step back into the club game, one he certainly would have taken post-Toffees.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: Martinez extended his Belgium deal until after the 2022 World Cup last year. Unless he does a piss-poor job this summer, he won't be available anytime soon. Bullet dodged.

Verdict: Unlikely to be a goer on either end, thankfully.

11. Gareth Southgate

Southgate's not the one | Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images

Current team: England
Positives: Might get Harry Kane to stay
Negatives: Waistcoats are just fancier gilets

Why would he join Spurs: Southgate's crack at club management saw Middlesbrough relegated from the Premier League, and that was bloody ages ago. If Tottenham came calling post-England job, Southgate should be so lucky. While he has the respect of England internationals, he's still not totally proven.

Why Spurs would look elsewhere: Same reasons as Martinez. It would be hard to get Southgate out of his current job and Tottenham should be thankful.

Verdict: Not for me, Clive.


So who should Spurs pursue?

If Rodgers, Allegri or even Lopetegui are attainable, then they should be the ones Levy is pushing to sign. They have the most pedigree of any remaining candidates and would get a good crack out of a squad pre or post-rebuild.

Rangnick would promise a revolution | Boris Streubel/Getty Images

But if Spurs are feeling rambunctious and want to blow it all up and start over, then giving Rangnick the keys to the club is the way to go. With a lack of a Mauricio Pochettino-like figure out there, starting from scratch may be Tottenham's best bet in order to return to the top.


For more from Sean Walsh, follow him on Twitter!

Source: 90min