We haven’t even begun to see what the full fallout is from Sunday’s Tottenham Hotspur disasterclass, but there could be a significant change. According to Dan Kilpatrick in the Evening Standard, in the wake of Newcastle United’s 6-1 dismantling of Spurs at St. James, Daniel Levy is considering dumping interim head coach Cristian Stellini in favor of Ryan Mason to the end of the season.
There is a feeling at Spurs that Stellini has already lost the confidence of the players after four matches in temporary charge, and they trailed 5-0 to Newcastle inside 21 minutes yesterday — the second-worst start ever by a Premier League side.
— Evening Standard
Ya think? I’ve been around the block a few times since becoming a Spurs fan and that’s one of, if not the, worst performances I’ve ever seen from a Tottenham. In hindsight it appears obvious, but the decision to sack Antonio Conte and leave everything in place that wasn’t working except for the proven manager doesn’t look especially great now. That said, Stellini actually did make a significant tactical change against Newcastle that backfired spectacularly, so maybe change for the sake of change isn’t what’s needed either.
At least Stellini (mostly) took the brunt of the criticism in his post-match depress conference, implying that the switch to a back four was his decision, and thus his mistake.
“There’s no words to explain a performance like this. The first 25 minutes were the worst I have ever seen. I hope that the system we changed to give us energy was the wrong decision. If it was that, it’s my responsibility. We played with four at the back and if this is the mistake, it’s my mistake.”
I can’t recall a situation where any team, much less Tottenham, has sacked a manager and then sacked his interim replacement within the same season, but that’s where we are at the moment, unless Levy decides to climb back down from the ledge and decides to just play out the rest of the string. Spurs have another big match this week this Thursday at home against Manchester United. The one thing you can probably bet is that the atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be at minimum poisonous, and at worst riotous.
And meanwhile, an old friend just volunteered for the job — Harry Redknapp told TalkSport that if the club came calling that he’d quite obviously take the job. While that was obviously tongue-in-cheek, Spurs fans are already walking down Nostalgia Boulevard vis a vis the pining for Mauricio Pochettino’s return. Why not run it all the way back, turn the players loose, and FRAAB for the last six games?
Tottenham have pretty much squandered away any chance of Champions League qualification next season, and there’s a very real possibility they may not finish in a European place at all, even Conference League. The ramifications of that are significant and may be the catalyst for some significant change — but that’s an entirely different article.