Tottenham must follow their rivals when choosing their next manager
Daniel Levy and Spurs are now engaged in their third search for a manager since sacking Mauricio Pochettino in November 2019. Before his dismissal, the Argentine coach had taken Tottenham as close as it had been to anything like the glory, glory nights in decades.
Since sacking Poch, Levy has twice attempted the quick fix of bringing in a manager who has won everywhere else, so ‘must win’ at Spurs. Neither has managed to bring silverware to the club. Both have brought a pragmatic, defensive style of play that does nothing to excite fans or fully utilise the attacking options at the club’s disposal.
In between the two was the bizarre recruiting of Nuno Espirito Santo, a man who spent the entire preseason talking about intensity and opted to let the opposition have the ball once the game kicked off.
So, what is next in the Tottenham manager search?
The Spurs hierarchy might want to consider the fortunes of Manchester United and Newcastle, two teams they hope to be battling for a place in the top four come the end of the season. Both clubs began the new Premier League season with (relatively) new managers who were taking on their biggest challenge yet. While Erik ten Hag enjoyed success at Ajax, the Premier League is a considerable step up. Likewise for Howe, the expectation at Newcastle – particularly in light of the Saudi takeover – far outweighs any pressure he may have felt at Bournemouth.
Neither board could guarantee success. But both knew exactly what they wanted from their respective appointments.
Old Trafford had recently seen similar attempts to Daniel Levy’s to bring in big-name managers and expected success to follow. What Newcastle and Manchester United have done with their most recent managerial appointments, however, is take a long-term view and formulate a plan.
And, unlike at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, fans of both expect rather than dream of a place in next year’s Champions League, a possible tilt at the title, and an addition to the trophy cabinet.
The owners of both clubs selected their ideal managers and trusted that results would follow with the right man in place. So far, they have both been proved right.
And it’s not as though this is a concept foreign to the Tottenham board. It’s what they also did in 2014 when they brought Mauricio Pochettino and heralded their best period since the 1980s.
If they want to compete with those around them, Spurs must follow the same path. Another attempt at a quick fix will surely result in us all being back in the same position again in a year or two – all except Newcastle and Manchester United.