Five managers who could replace Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham
Trevor Murray casts his eye over five managers who could find themselves at the helm at White Hart Lane in the near future
Some Tottenham Hotspur fans may not remember Fabio Capello’s time as head England coach too fondly, but there can be little denying the many titles he’s garnered throughout his time in the managerial sphere. The 67-year-old has already taken home the Serie A crown five times, has won La Liga twice and has triumphed on the biggest stage in European club football – the Champions League. He would likely relish the opportunity to successfully subvert the Premier League hierarchy in time and it would certainly be interesting to see what he could do with the talented squad he would have at his disposal. Should Capello sign on the dotted line for Spurs, he probably wouldn’t take control of the reigns until after the World Cup due to Russia’s involvement having topped their group in qualification ahead of Portugal. So, while becoming the main man at White Hart Lane might seem a long way off, it may well be worth their while playing the waiting game. Having such an experienced and proven manager dictating the tactics and gameplan would certainly put Spurs back on track following a few disastrous results. Capello has a winning mentality; it’s time Spurs got one too.
Springing into managerial success so unexpectedly, Mauricio Pochettino has already impressed greatly as Southampton’s current boss. Having beaten Liverpool and drawn against Manchester United, the Saints currently sit in ninth position – an excellent start to life in one of the toughest league’s in the world. Make no mistake, as good as his players have been, it’s Pochettino himself who has lifted the Saints to new heights and has allowed the former Championship side to grow and develop into a flourishing outfit with a bright future. Southampton play a nice brand of football and Pochettino’s would surely find a nice fit at Tottenham with fellow South Americans Sandro, Paulinho and Erik Lamela all playing in the white of Spurs. At the same time, it would be a shame to see the Argentine depart for a more high-flying outfit leaving behind what he’s built, but it could well turn out to be an excellent career move for him. Attempting to pry Pochettino away from St Mary’s might take some work as well as an excellent deal, but bringing in one of the best young managers in the game might well be the move Spurs need to make to get the best out of their bright stars.
Clearly lacking the nous and experience of the rest of the candidates on our list, Tim Sherwood could yet work his way into the spot on a permanent basis. With Sherwood only recently being appointed as interim manager at one of England’s biggest clubs, he has already received an early Christmas present – although he’ll be keen to ensure it doesn’t turn out to be a sour experience for him and the fans. Reminiscing Blackburn Rovers followers will recall Sherwood captained the side to their only Premier League title in 1995, and while it might unnerve some fans that such an inexperienced manager will guide them through the remainder of one of the busiest periods in domestic football, it might be worth remembering that Sherwood possesses an innate ability to lead and has been at the club for several years as part of the coaching staff. Clearly, the former England international has a soft spot for Spurs and the fans can rest easy that he will at least
A star playmaker for the Lilywhites in his heyday, Glenn Hoddle had a glistening career winning the FA Cup twice and is now among the main contenders to replace Andre Villas-Boas. Having already publicly declared his interest in filling the void and guiding his old club to more success yet again, the ball is in Tottenham’s court for now. An accomplished creative midfield force at his peak, Hoddle would certainly be a great choice with regard to all of the offensive midfielders Spurs currently have on their books – getting the best out of them could prove vital to turning their season around. With the January transfer window just around the corner, it would be ideal if a successor was elected in time to make some essential buys to suit their tactical persuasions but much will depend on how Sherwood performs in his new role. Of course, Hoddle has been out of management for six years and would be returning very much out of practice and out of synch with the new Premier League landscape and would surely be a risky move – are Spurs really willing to take the gamble?
Currently the head coach for the United States and preparing for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, Jurgen Klinsmann is yet another name that has had previous ties with Tottenham. Somewhat of a journeyman in his playing days, the former German international did enjoy a season there in the mid nineties as well as going on loan a few years afterwards, and he would certainly receive a warm welcome if he choose to return. However, the 49-year-old doesn’t have the best, or longest, track record in managing a domestic club and might find it difficult to replicate Lawrie Sanchez and Guus Hiddink in managing domestically and internationally simultaneously. Undoubtedly, Klinsmann would need to fine-tune and re-style his approach to management – he would have to become quickly acclimatised to the day-to-day ongoings as well as figuring out how to best adapt tactics and personel on a weekly basis. In short, the former Bayern Munich supremo would need to learn the ropes fast and might not be able to do so speedily enough for the very immediate, results-driven atmosphere that exits in the Premier League. Unless he can prove himself by churning out a surprising run in the World Cup, it’s likely his lack of domestic managerial experience will count against him.