18 months ago Tottenham appointed a blockbuster manager. A manager with a CV drenched in success. A manager with a colossal ego. A manager with a huge reputation. Jose Mourinho.
It didn’t work out as planned.
Daniel Levy, who is facing tidal waves of criticism following the shambles that is the European Super League, is now weighing up what managerial path to take when it comes to appointing Mourinho’s successor.
Could he make another megawatt appointment, opt for an emerging talent, give the job to someone connected with the club, or shock us all and unearth a hidden gem?
We now know that interim boss Ryan Mason will be at the helm until the end of the season. He’ll make history in the process too, tonight (Wednesday) in fact when the 29-year-old becomes the youngest manager to take charge of a Premier League match.
Mason will bid to restore pride and confidence, get the fans back onside and employ a more attacking brand of football. He’s not got long to shine, with six games to go 7th-placed Tottenham are five points adrift of the top-four, so while their Champions League hopes are slim they aren’t completely unachievable.
In his second game, when Spurs take on Man City in Sunday’s League Cup Final, Mason has the chance to win the club their first trophy since 2008.
Marcelino is a surprise contender
Mason’s a best-priced 14/1 for the permanent post. At the moment it’s probably an unlikely outcome given his lack of experience, yet he has the perfect opportunity to showcase his credentials from now until May.
If Levy is looking to make a stellar appointment, then there are a number of managers that fit the bill.
The problem is most managers in this bracket are currently employed: Bayern Munich linked Julian Nagelsmann is contracted to RB Leipzig until June 2023, Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester contract is through to 2025, and imminent Serie A winner Antonio Conte is tied to Inter Milan until 2022.
Whether Levy will be willing to splash cash on recruiting an in-work manager is questionable, especially given that he’s paid somewhere in the region of £50m in sacking Mauricio Pochettino and Mourinho.
Then there’s Max Allegri, arguably the most high-profile, successful, and experienced of the unemployed managers being linked with the job.
Should Spurs be interested in the Italian tactician - who has six Serie A titles on his resume - he will surely jump at the chance to manage in the Premier League, although The Athletic report that the 14/1 shothas not yet been contacted.
The same outlet does write that Spurs have contacted the representatives of Marcelino, who has only been in charge of Athletic Bilbao for four months. Upon his appointment the Spaniard won the Supercopa de España but has since had to settle for runners-up medals in both Spanish Cup finals.
The 55-year-old’s contract expires next year but he does have a summer clause installed in it. He’s currently way out at 40/1 with Paddy Power.
Roberto Martinez is a 25/1 shot
The Athletic also states that Belgium boss Roberto Martinez (25/1) and German icon Ralf Rangnick are possible contenders.
Former Everton manager Martinez has been managing the Belgium national team since 2016. He led the country to 3rd at the 2018 World Cup, is now bidding for success at the upcoming European Championships, and will then be targeting the rapidly approaching 2022 World Cup (his contract expires after the tournament).
However, a club of Tottenham’s size could turn his head, although an appointment before the Euros is highly unlikely.
As for managers with a connection to Spurs, the club’s former U18s coach Scott Parker is in the top cluster of names in the betting at 8/1. Fulham’s Premier League journey may soon be coming to a close, but Parker has done his own burgeoning reputation no harm this season. Given some of the other names in the frame an appointment would be a surprise, but his brand of football would be most welcome at Spurs.
Club legends Jurgen Klinsman and Ledley King are priced at 10/1 and 28/1 respectively, Chris Powell is out at 33/1, whereas Michael Carrick can be backed 50/1.
Elsewhere, Eddie Howe remains in the top echelon of the market at 10/1, alongside Wolves boss Nuno Santo. Ralph Hasenhuttl (25/1) may have been an attractive option four months ago, yet Southampton’s form has since completely gone out of the window.
Rafa Benitez and Maurizio Sarri have been tentatively linked, RB Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch suddenly came in at 4/1 earlier this week (now 20/1). 25/1 shot Steve Gerrard could attract attention following his success at Rangers, and Graham Potter (also 25/1) continues to impress at Brighton.
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