By this point in this current season, two things have become pretty clear: Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho’s days are numbered barring a miracle turnaround, and his preferred successor has already been identified.
Numerous outlets both in Germany and in the United Kingdom have reported that current RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann is the preferred manager to replace Mourinho should he be let go at or before the end of the current season. Nagelsmann is said to want the chance to manage in the Premier League as he continues his upward trajectory into becoming one of the most coveted managers in world football. It’s also implied that he’s not interested in making that move until the end of this current season.
However, one of the bedrock-solid truisms about being a Tottenham Hotspur supporter is that quite often we simply can’t have nice things. There’s been a development in football that doesn’t involve Tottenham or RB Leipzig that could nonetheless have a major impact over whether or not we could see Nagelsmann on the sidelines of the Tottenham Hotspur stadium next season. That development is the current vacancy in the German national team.
Longtime Germany manager Joachim Löw announced that he will step down from the position at the conclusion of this summer’s EURO 2020 competition. The Germany job is a plum position for any manager, but it’s assumed that a German coach will probably get the position. According to pundit and journalist Jan Aage Fjortoft on Twitter today, it looks likely that Löw’s successor will be current Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick.
All signs from Munich tell me that Hans Flick will be the next German National Coach.— Jan Aage Fjortoft ️ (@JanAageFjortoft) April 8, 2021
I have been wrong a couple times in my life....., but I don’t think I will be wrong here
Bayern got to find a new coach
Why is this important? Because if this is true, Bayern will probably be able to target just about any manager they want to replace Flick, which raises the possibility that they’ll go after and poach Nagelsmann from right under Daniel Levy’s nose. If there’s a job that Nagelsmann, a German himself, probably wouldn’t turn down, it’s the managerial position at the best club in Germany.
If this situation currently feels like a lot of hypothetical dominoes set up to hypothetically topple in a certain hypothetical way, you’d be correct. There are a lot of moving parts to this story, and a lot of supposition about what might happen as opposed to what will happen. It presupposes, for example, that Tottenham actually fire Jose Mourinho. It also presupposes that Fjortoft is correct about Germany targeting Flick, and that Flick would take the job. Continuing on this chain, it presupposes that Bayern would offer Nagelsmann and not someone like, say, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, and that Julian would accept over any standing offer from Spurs. (Klopp to Bayern would in turn open the possibility that Nagelsmann could head to Liverpool instead, which is an even scarier proposition.)
All of these things are possible. Many, if not most, you could even say are likely. It does NOT mean that everything will play out exactly as described above. You could easily make the argument that the above sequence of events is overly fatalistic and for God’s sake we should probably save our angst at least until Mourinho is canned.
Quite honestly, having Julian Nagelsmann fall into Tottenham’s lap would require a perfect storm of positive circumstances on its own, but we’ve seen circumstances like that happen in the past to make us optimistic that something like this could happen again. That sort of confluence of events is how Spurs landed Hugo Lloris nine years ago. You can argue it’s how Mauricio Pochettino ended up in North London, or Rafael van der Vaart. Sometimes, good things happen.
But if Fjortoft is correct, this could be the first domino in a chain that leads to Spurs missing out on a potentially transformative manager and instead hiring someone significantly different. Who that second choice manager might be is a question for another article.