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Πέμπτη, 28 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2023

Tottenham manager search: Are Graham Potter, Brendan Rodgers, Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui on radar?

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Spurs sit eighth in the Premier League and have taken 12 points from the last 12 games

It is now more than eight weeks since Tottenham sacked Antonio Conte in an effort to save their season.

It is fair to say the move did not have the desired effect.

Champions League qualification hopes evaporated a while back and Spurs now go into their final Premier League game of the season at Leeds with only an outside chance of making the Europa Conference League qualifiers.

They need to get a better result than Aston Villa, who are at home to Brighton, or else they will miss out on European football for the first time since 2009-10.

Conte’s departure did not halt the slide. The Italian’s assistant Cristian Stellini lasted just four games, axed after an atrocious 6-1 defeat at Newcastle, which chairman Daniel Levy described as “wholly unacceptable”.

Ryan Mason was put in charge for the rest of the season but Tottenham have taken 12 points from 12 games since they beat Chelsea on 26 February.

They have no director of football following Fabio Paratici’s exit because of his 30 month ban for false accounting while sporting director and managing director of Juventus.

And now Arne Slot has decided he wants to remain in the Netherlands after guiding Feyenoord to their first Eredivisie title since 2017.

So, what happens now?

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Slot’s decision to remain at Feyenoord is a worrying development for Tottenham fans, some of whom are starting to fear the kind of protracted search for a manager that ended with Nuno Espirito Santo’s ill-fated appointment in 2021.

The Portuguese lasted four months, losing five of his last seven Premier League matches.

That summer, Tottenham went through a list of potential candidates, with Conte, Gennaro Gattuso and Paulo Fonseca all considered.

Beloved former boss Mauricio Pochettino was too, and at least on that occasion Tottenham did make an inquiry before discovering how expensive it would be to prise the Argentine out of Paris St-Germain.

This time around, they did not even try. Pochettino looks set to be in the opposition dug-out when Tottenham next play Chelsea.

Former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann was heavily linked with the Tottenham job following Conte’s exit but the club made it known they would not be approaching the German – and have doubled down on that stance in the aftermath of fresh claims of contact last weekend.

As for Slot, while it would be easy to feel Tottenham’s finances alone should have been enough to encourage the 44-year-old to move to London, Feyenoord have the attraction of a guaranteed a place in the Champions League group stage.

Who else is there?

Well placed sources have suggested Tottenham retain an interest in former Spain and Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, who is without a job since standing down after the World Cup.

But there are other options.

Another former Spain coach, Julen Lopetegui, is in an uncertain situation at Wolves after discovering Financial Fair Play restrictions will be a major impediment to his summer squad building plans.

Like Slot, former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has done an impressive job in the Netherlands. The 46-year-old is now on the market after leaving PSV Eindhoven over a failure to agree a forward path.

Graham Potter built his reputation at Brighton and is still highly regarded despite lasting a matter of months at Chelsea amid an admittedly chaotic owner-inspired recruitment campaign.

At one point, Brendan Rodgers was linked strongly with Tottenham. He didn’t seem to be enjoying himself at Leicester long before his dismissal and does have the FA Cup on his CV from his time at the King Power.

Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou has won back-to-back Scottish titles and is on the brink of a domestic treble. Given his progressive tactical approach he must also come into consideration.

Levy in the spotlightKane’s 28 league goals this season haven’t been enough to mask a miserable campaign for Spurs

Levy and Tottenham’s ultimate owners ENIC have been the subject of more adverse reaction than ever before this season.

Their home campaign ended in defeat against Brentford last week and few fans will travel to Leeds with any hope of victory even though the home side are fighting for their Premier League lives.

And then there is Harry Kane.

The England skipper has one year left on his contract and is again attracting attention from all Europe’s leading clubs, including Manchester United.

Levy is faced with the balance of either cashing in on the forward or risk losing him for nothing in 12 months’ time in the hope something positive can emerge to persuade him to commit the remaining years of his career to Spurs.

Finding an alternative to Slot won’t be hard for Spurs. Finding the right alternative is another question entirely.



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