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Daniel Levy’s Imaginary (Managerial) Shortlist: Gareth Southgate

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A special guest analyst takes us through an outside-the-box potential managerial appointment.

England v Czech Republic - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

To: daniel.levy@tottenhamhotspur.com
From: cartilagefree@gmail.com

Subject: Let us help you! (Manager search)

Hello, Mr. Levy.

I’m sorry to bother you at what must be a very busy time, what with you making an extremely unpopular decision about the future of the club. And also hiring a new manager. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is... Kerry. Yes. Kerry... uh Hane. That is my name.

I feel like in all of this discussion over new managers you may be overlooking one very important candidate, one who might be right under your nose. I’ll give you a hint: He’s over at St. George’s Park and he’s a favorite manager of one of your best players who is also good at football and, coincidentally, also plays for England! Brilliant, right?

Did you figure it out? Yeah, it’s Gareth Southgate. Well, the manager is. I think you might be able to guess who the player is too. Obviously I didn’t want to make this too hard. I think Southgate would make an excellent manager at Tottenham Hotspur and I am going to tell you exactly why you should kick on and hire him. And you should believe me because I am a very smart pla... I mean football analyst.

With all due COYS,

Kerry Hane
Cartilage Free Captain

The Basics

Name: Gareth Southgate
Age: 50
Team: England National Team
Nationality: English
Cumulative ELO: n/a

Gareth Southgate has had a somewhat different path to management than probably some of your other candidates. Obviously he’s only managed one club ever, and that was Middlesbrough for three years, taking over for Steve McClaren. Who — get this — left Boro to manage England! Isn’t that weird? It must be fate, right? Anyway, that didn’t go well because he got Boro relegated in 2008 before getting fired, but that wouldn’t happen at Tottenham, Gareth would never! I mean, I know the guy and...

Anyway, he got a job coaching the England U21 squad, one which eventually included the current England captain, isn’t that cool and a total coincidence? I thought so too. Then when Big Sam got in trouble for doing some Big Sam things and got sacked from England, Southgate stepped up (this isn’t well known but he got a big pep talk and encouragement from the future England captain, it was very nice) and the rest is history. Did you know he got England to the World Cup semifinals in 2018? I know, right?

The Specifics

Trophies

Does the 2022 World Cup and all the trophies he’s going to win at Spurs count? Because they should.

Strengths

I know a lot of stuff has been written about Southgate’s tactics with England. Some pundits and people who don’t really understand what players actually have to do on the pitch might suggest that the 3-4-3 formation Gareth put in place for the 2018 World Cup backfired against Croatia and haven’t really been the best for England in this cycle even though he’s been consistent with his methods.

But don’t worry about that. The biggest reason you should hire Gareth Southgate is that all of these tactics make it so that the England captain scores a lot of goals. I think this is a good thing, and that he would also let him score a lot of goals at Tottenham Hotspur. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Tottenham tend to do better when the England captain scores goals, and the best way to win football matches is for strikers to score a lot of goals. Just my opinion, but I think you should lean into this.

Also, I bet that England captain might be more willing to think about signing a new long term contract if you brought in a manager that really believed in him. Food for thought.

I mean, look: Tom Brady moved south to Tampa Bay this year and won the Super Bowl. It works. Also: Gareth SOUTHgate. Brady also proved this past season that it’s possible to win a trophy at age 37, imagine what the England captain could do under Southgate at age 40. Something else to think about.

It’s also really interesting to me that both Southgate and the England captain are about the same height, have aquiline noses, beards and are staggeringly handsome. I think all of these are important things to keep in mind as part of any manager search. There ARE differences, though — Southgate wears a tie and a vest to games. The England captain only wears football kits.

Weaknesses

The England captain only earned an MBE after winning the Golden Boot at the 2016 World Cup, while Southgate got an OBE. How is THAT fair? He didn’t even kick a ball in to the net!

That’s all I got. He’s the best, really. So’s Southgate.

The Verdict

Likeliness of being hired

Mr. Levy, only you can answer this question. I’ve tried and I think it’s a little tough to wrap my brain around because I’m not the one making these kinds of decisions, I’m just a footballe... blogger and totally normal person. I think if you WANT to hire him then the odds are very good that he’ll accept. And you should want to hire him. But only after England win the EUROS this summer.

Grade if Hired: A++++++++

Gareth Southgate will make Tottenham win football games and score lots of goals and I, for one, think this would be a good thing. Personally, if you hired Gareth I would be absolutely buzzing and I think you should crack on and just do it. Like Nike. Who sponsors Tottenham’s kits (fun fact!).

See you tomorrow, Mr. Levy. I mean, sometime! I’ll hopefully... see you... sometime, and definitely not at Hotspur Way. Obviously. Because that’d be weird. OK bye!