Arguably as or even more important than who is going to be more important that Tottenham Hotspur’s new manager is who is going to be Tottenham’s new Director of Football. The club can’t come up with a coherent recruitment or organizational strategy without one, and shouldn’t be hiring a manager if a DoF isn’t in place.
It’s been a month since Fabio Paratici was fired for doing crimey things in Italy and you’d think Spurs would have had their act together already with a plan to get someone new in their place, but guess what? They haven’t. But there have been a few names circulating around over the past week or so, and the newest to get a bump is Tim Steidten, who served as Bayer Leverkusen’s Director of Football until this past March.
Understand former Bayer Leverkusen director Tim Steidten is one of the three top candidates to become Tottenham new sporting director. ⚪️ #THFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 15, 2023
Brentford’s Lee Dykes, high on list but would take important bid as the club considers him a top director.
No decision mate yet. pic.twitter.com/49o7YawFAL
Brentford’s Lee Dykes, who Fabrizio mentions in the tweet above, is one of the other names listed, as is German executive Johannes Spors, Benfica’s DoF Pedro Braz, and Roma’s current director Tiago Pinto.
I know you are all waiting for me to have DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL TAEKS but the truth is — I don’t. Not really. I’m not especially familiar with any of these guys and there’s a lot we don’t know yet about what the Director of Football position actually involves, and how new Chief Football Officer Scott Munn fits into the mix.
Steidten was apparently of interest to Chelsea in the wake of Todd Boehly’s takeover and the appointment of Graham Potter as manager. He is apparently data-driven and well thought of, but he only joined Bayer in the summer of 2001 and it might take a significant offer to pry him out of Germany. That said, he also eventually turned down Chelsea which makes me instantly like him a little bit better than I would otherwise. Plus he’s German, and German backroom staffers are the new hotness right now, replacing Italians.
Essentially, I’m living in hope the same way that everyone else is that Spurs are able to find a Director of Football that a) can implement a clear vision and direction for the club, b) can use data and analytics to modernize and smarten up Spurs’ backroom staff, and c) doesn’t do crimes. Is that Steidten? Maybe! I hope so! Get the DoF appointment right — and it’s a big “if” that they can do that based on recent history — and everything else falls into place. Screw that up and we could be in for a long period of relative mediocrity.