clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Gold: Tottenham Hotspur have narrowed the manager list

New, comments

The list isn’t going to surprise you.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur’s manager search continues as the end of the season rapidly approaches.

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve gone through a series of managers we feel would either be a good fit for Spurs or have been linked in some way to the job while we wait for smoke signals to come out of Hotspur Way. Today, Alasdair Gold has confirmed that Spurs have narrowed the list and it’s time to hold some serious talks.

Let’s start with the names that have been eliminated from consideration:

Some of those touted in the latest odds, such as Italian quintet Simone Inzaghi, Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri, Gian Piero Gasperini and Massimiliano Allegri, are not believed to be among those in consideration for the Spurs job.

I don’t think any of these names are a surprise to be eliminated. I’m a little disappointed that Gasperini of Atalanta is off the table but given he has that project rolling downhill at full speed, it’s to be expected. I don’t think Allegri, Conte or Sarri were ever in serious consideration and Allegri’s been out of a job for two years.

We also know that Erik ten Hag was in the running but reports of a disappointing initial contact followed by Ajax extending his contract all but ended that.

So who’s left?

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is certainly someone who has admirers at Tottenham, and has done for a long time, but whether he would want to leave the Foxes, particularly if they qualify for Champions League football, remains to be seen.

football.london understands that a number of the Tottenham players have been repeatedly impressed by Graham Potter’s Brighton side when they have come up against them and would be open to the 45-year-old being pursued by the club.

[...] Belgium boss Roberto Martinez also has his admirers at Tottenham for his style of play, although his last club job - at Everton - was not a success.

The club have been keeping close tabs on former U18s manager Scott Parker after he left the club to manage Fulham.

If I had to take a guess, this shortlist is in order of preference.

We all know Brendan Rodgers well. The 48-year-old Northern Ireland manager’s resume includes three different English clubs, but his profile was boosted by a very successful stint at Swansea City. This caught the eye of Liverpool, who brought him on as manager in 2012. If it weren’t for a Steven Gerrard slip, Liverpool may very well have won the Premier League back in 2014. He eventually moved onto Celtic, collecting seven trophies there before coming back to England for his current job at Leicester City, who currently sit fourth on the table and are trying to hang onto a Champions League spot. If there’s any concern, it’s that Rodgers’ teams fade down the stretch. Leicester have made it clear that any attempt to pry Rodgers away would require significant compensation.

Graham Potter has been linked to top spot for almost as long as Rodgers has. The 45-year-old might have Brighton in the midtable if any of his strikers could finish on a regular basis. Our own Joel Wertheimer believes he would be a great fit with his style of play and notes that Brighton’s xG differential tells the tale of a great system with bad finishers. Potter also feels a bit similar to hiring Mauricio Pochettino. He was not the first choice for the club, but with EPL experience and a system that looks good, Pochettino fit like a glove. Potter might very well be the same.

Roberto Martinez still being on this list is concerning to me. His stint at Everton was not great and prior to that, the big feather in his cap was winning the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic over powerful Manchester City. While that’s an accomplishment, Wigan were also relegated to the Championship that season. He’s done fine for Belgium but hiring him means settling for a mid-level EPL manager and having to wait until Belgium are finished at the Euros to bring him on board. That’s not ideal and I don’t want it.

Then there’s Scott Parker. I think it’s fair to say that somewhere down the road, Scott Parker could find his way back to the club as a manager. That time is not now, though, as Fulham could be relegated to the Championship as soon as tonight. Their six-pointer against Burnley is a must win later today and that would pull them within six points of the Clarets with three matches to play. The deck is stacked against them, especially with Manchester United still on their schedule. Parker isn’t a bad manager, but he’s not ready for a job as big as Spurs.

At this point, it seems like it’s a two horse race between Rodgers and Potter. Multiple reports have said Rodgers is the top target, but he has to want to leave Leicester and Levy will have to pony up a big chunk of money not just for wages but for compensation. While Spurs have avoided a huge buyout thanks to AS Roma hiring Jose Mourinho, they are still on the hook for a few million. If I had to put my money on one choice today, it’s Potter. Brighton will want compensation as well, but it’s not going to be nearly as much as Leicester.