After much speculation, Tottenham decided to sack manager Mauricio Pochettino’s after five-and-a-half years in charge of the Premier League club after a disappointing start to the campaign, currently lying 14th in the table.
The Argentinian transformed Tottenham from a club with their face pressed against the glass of Europe’s elite into Champions League regulars, and led the club to their first ever final last season, where they lost to Liverpool in Madrid.
However, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy decided to reluctantly pull the trigger, leaving Spurs beginning their search for a new head coach for the first time since 2014.
Here, I take a look at some of the contenders who could be ready to fill the role at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Jose MourinhoEmbed from Getty Images
The Portuguese has been very positive about Tottenham since recently taking up a role as a Sky Sports pundit and the Portuguese will be eager to show he can still cut it in England after a disappointing end to his Manchester United tenure.
He has won trophies wherever he has been, something that would certainly peak the interest of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy given their eleven year trophy drought. However, many have criticised the former Real Madrid, Chelsea and United boss’ more pragmatic, defensive tactics feeling they are outdated within the Premier League today with teams looking to play a more possession based, expansive brand of football while the financial constraints placed on a man who became the first manager to rack up £1bn on transfers may deter Mourinho.
Eddie HoweEmbed from Getty Images
If Spurs did not want to go for tried-and-tested winners and instead look for promise and potential – then Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe could prove to be an excellent appointment.
Bournemouth’s style of play has always caught the eye, with Howe committed to playing out from the back, mixing this possession-based approach with fast counter-attacking, highlighting Howe’s tactical astuteness and flexibility. It would be fascinating to see what the former Burnley manager could achieve with significantly greater transfer funds at his disposal.
Howe is now enjoying his fifth consecutive season as a Premier League manager having led the Cherries to the Premier League in 2015, impressively finishing ninth, 12th and 14th in the past three years. One thing going against the Bournemouth boss is the lack of managerial experience at the top level, with some fans unsure whether he would be ready to take over at a club of Spurs’ calibre.
It would be fascinating to see whether he would be tempted be make the step up to a side challenging for honours. Howe is certainly an interesting option for Tottenham, especially as the 41-year-old encourages attacking football, something which would delight Spurs fans.
Julien NagelsmannEmbed from Getty Images
Hailed as a potential genius since he began his Bundesliga coaching career at 28, Julien Nagelsmann has been strongly linked with the Spurs job recently.
Joining Red Bull Leipzig this summer, they are currently second in Bundesliga and top of their Champions League Group G with wins over Benfica and Zenit.
Tottenham had success with Pochettino by appointing a young manager on the up, and Nagelsmann would be in the same mould. One of the most coveted young managers in the European game, Nagelsman would be a promising and astute signing for Spurs and if given the funds, the German could build an exciting project under Daniel Levy.
Erik Ten HagEmbed from Getty Images
Former Holland international Ten Hag has been earning plenty of plaudits for the excellent job he is doing at Ajax.
Leading Utrecht to fifth and fourth in the Eredivisie during his first two seasons as a manager, Ten Hag led a Ajax to the semi-finals of the Champions League last season only to have their hearts broken by Pochettino’s Tottenham – although he did collect the domestic league and cup double last season.
He promotes an attractive style and has a proven track record of working with – and improving – young players, with Spurs’a academy full of an array of exciting talent ready to become first-team regulars and could certainly be a interesting option for Spurs, although it may be difficult to prise him away from the Dutch champions mid-season.
Gareth SouthgateEmbed from Getty Images
Another man who believes fully in the ability of youth – England manager Southgate would surely be a strong candidate on any shortlist drawn up by Levy
He would be willing to give plenty of opportunities to exciting talent within the squad in the Spurs squad and as shown with England, would be able to create a real team ethos within the spurs squad, something missing towards the end of Pochettino’s reign at the the helm.
He has also worked with key members of the current Spurs squad – Harry Winks, Dele Alli, Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Three Lions skipper Harry Kane all having played international football under Southgate in recent times.
The one issue would be whether Southgate has the credentials in club management having been sacked as Middlesbrough boss with the club in the Championship in 2009 – his only club job to date.