Well, some big news just dropped in Tottenham Hotspur Land — according to multiple sources including the Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick and Football.London’s Alasdair Gold, Julian Nagelsmann is not a contender to become Tottenham Hotspur’s new head coach.
Spurs respect Nagelsmann but do not consider him for them at the moment @standardsport— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) May 12, 2023
Big news coming out of Spurs in their managerial search. Julian Nagelsmann is not being considered as a candidate for the vacant head coach post and the club insist they have not met with him and do not intend to.— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) May 12, 2023
Now, I know everyone’s first inclination is to assign blame and fly completely off the handle. I confess, I as well am considering some handle-flying myself in the immediate wake of this news. That said, it’s probably pretty important that we take a breath and wait for some further information to come out.
But it’s not great! Up until today, almost all of the background reporting suggested that Nagelsmann was Tottenham’s #1 candidate for the job, that informal talks had taken place, and that the German manager was interested in the job pending more information on the vacant Director of Football position and the internal structure of the club. So if we assume that reporting was accurate and follow that thread, it implies that Nagelsmann saw something he didn’t like about the situation and walked away. More to the point, it would suggest that this news, which is almost certainly leaked from Tottenham’s camp, is Spurs attempting to get ahead of the situation and control the narrative.
Let’s not forget that Nagelsmann also was approached by Chelsea, and he turned them down flat. We don’t know why exactly he did that, but it could be that he didn’t think the situation was a good fit there, and doesn’t think it is at Tottenham either.
Even that’s bad news. The reporting had suggested that all we had to do to attract Nagelsmann was to be a serious football club and create a good structure. And if the club can’t even do that, then it is not a serious club, and it absolutely does NOT bode well for the short, or even medium term future.
Another possibility, however, is that the above tweets should be taken at face value — Tottenham had a clear lane towards appointing one of the best young managers in world football, took a look at him, and said “Naaah.” And if that’s the case, I think I might be looking to buy some white greasepaint and green hair dye in the near future.
But we really don’t know, and while speculation is fun I have a feeling that there’s going to be a lot more information that will come out in the near future. Hopefully it’s clarifying, because there’s really not a good way to spin this into being good news at the moment.
And so now, all eyes will turn to the other names supposedly on the shortlist, including Arne Slot, Ruben Amorim, Roberto De Zerbi, Luis Enrique, Xabi Alonso, Marco Silva, and even Ryan Mason. But in the more immediate term, there’s also the matter of the new Director of Football, and if that had any impact on Nagelsmann not joining Tottenham Hotspur, it could be the most important appointment of all. (And there’s news on that too... but that’s another article.)