After Liverpool's demolition of Spurs on Sunday, manager Andre Villas-Boas looked to be on borrowed time. In the aftermath of the match, reports emerged from Spain that Daniel Levy had begun negotiations with both Fabio Capello and Frank de Boer to take over.
According to Spanish paper AS:
Tottenham ya negocia con dos técnicos para sustituir al portugués en cuanto se haga oficial su destitución. Los dos, sin embargo, tienen trabajo. Uno de ellos es Fabio Capello, actual seleccionador de Rusia, que también dirigió al combinado inglés pero que nunca ha entrenado en la Premier. El otro es Frank De Boer, que está haciendo un trabajo respetable en el Ajax.
With AVB being duly sacked earlier today, these rumors are gaining traction. It would certainly be reassuring to know that the club were close to lining up a replacement to steer the team forward before pulling the trigger on AVB. The biggest hiccup in securing either of these appointments is that they both already have other jobs that they're doing rather well in.
Don Fabio has steered Russia through a difficult World Cup qualifying group and finished ahead of Portugal to book their place in Brazil 2014. A relatively easy group awaits, and it would be odd for Capello to go through all the hard work of getting them there only to bail before the big show.
Frank de Boer has been in charged of Ajax since 2010, and since his appointment he has steered the capital club to three successive Eredivisie titles. Being a big fish in a small pond while regularly winning titles and competing in the Champions League is nice and comfortable, but now that de Boer has cut his teeth he may be eager to try his hand on a bigger stage.
With Ajax stumbling into the Europa League after finishing behind Barcelona and Milan in their Champions League group, now might be the perfect opportunity for him to seek greener pastures. A move to Spurs has the added bonus of the chance to link up with former charges Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen,
Both managers represent fairly opposite ends of the coaching spectrum. His time with England aside, the veteran Capello has been an excellent, practical manager, winning seven titles at three different clubs and picking up a Champions League trophy and a slew of other cups along the way. His no-nonsense, results-oriented approach could be just the thing to steady the ship at Tottenham Hotspur. De Boer, on the other hand, is a promising young up and comer doing phenomenally well in a second-tier league. Spurs would be in great hands with either of these bosses, but their appointments would mean very different things for the club.
Look out for more in-depth reports on each of them to follow later in the day as part of our managerial shortlist series.