Tottenham continue their search for a new manager, with Daniel Levy expected to make a new appointment following the end of this season, with a narrowing list to choose from
Tottenham’s search for a new manager has been dealt a blow in recent days, with Xabi Alonso withdrawing his name from the race to take over from Antonio Conte.
The Bayer Leverkusen manager has joined Julian Nagelsmann in taking his name out of the running to take over in North London. Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino is expected to be named as Chelsea’s manager, leaving Daniel Levy having to make a choice with three leading candidates having left the race.
Any manager who arrives will face some tough problems to resolve immediately, with the departure of club captain Hugo Lloris and extensive reports linking Harry Kane with a move away. Meanwhile, there is another key appointment in the offing, with the director of football position vacant following Fabio Paratici’s departure.
Such is the managerial market at present, Spurs may be left with a decision to appoint a less notable name in their quest to finally deliver silverware and retain their star players. However, having failed with their appointments of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, a change of approach could be needed to replicate the kind of success Pochettino brought to the club between 2014 and 2019.
Pochettino was hired with a reputation for playing exciting football, turning Southampton from relegation candidates into a top-half outfit, while simultaneously promoting youth. Spurs could seek to replicate this in their current search, with some notable candidates who could provide a similar approach, to work harmoniously with the famously austere Levy.
The leading contender in this regard would be Graham Potter, with the former Brighton boss having transformed the Seagulls during his three years on the South Coast. His experience with Chelsea is one drawback, but the 47-year-old was presented with a near-impossible situation at Stamford Bridge due to the exorbitant spending of Todd Boehly and the bloated squad he was working with as a result.
One manager who also lost his job this season and is one of the favourites to take over in North London is Brendan Rodgers. Despite his sacking at Leicester, his achievements in the East Midlands were unquestionable, with European qualification and an FA Cup to show for his four years in charge.
It is Rodgers’ record of winning silverware which could tip the balance in his favour, with two domestic trebles in his time with Celtic before his cup win with the Foxes. Winning silverware in any form is a big priority for Spurs, with their 15-year wait for a major honour set to continue for another season following this season’s disappointments.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, there are quality candidates who could be considered for the job, with Marco Silva perhaps the standout of the current Premier League cohort. His extensive Premier League experience with clubs such as Everton, Watford and now Fulham could stand the former Sporting manager in good stead following his overachievement with Fulham this season.
There are also strong arguments for both Steve Cooper and Thomas Frank, but both may be harder to prize away from their respective clubs than Silva. Another current Premier League boss is Roberto De Zerbi, but with just under a year in charge of Brighton, he may be inclined to keep them on their current trajectory with an exciting squad.
From further afield, Arne Slot has become one of the favourites for his work with Feyenoord, winning the league title this season, but he may wait for a more exciting job given his enhanced reputation after beating Ajax to win the Eredivisie. In a similar mould, Sporting manager Ruben Amorim has often been linked to big clubs in the Premier League and could finally take the step up this summer.
However, with the prospect of yet another overhaul a potentially unappealing one, a new manager may be best hired from within. This could work in the favour of Ryan Mason, who has taken charge at Spurs for the latter part of the season, albeit mixed results could see the Spurs hierarchy looking elsewhere.
Any manager who is in the running will be fully aware of the challenges of managing Spurs, with the cautious approach adopted by Levy well documented at this point. However, with a world-class stadium at their disposal and some world-class players on the books, it could be a very appealing proposition to any potential suitors.