Jurgen Klinsmann is a club icon but there are a multitude of managers ahead of him in the Tottenham pecking order

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 23 April 2021, 10:58

“I tell you, anything is possible in life,” Jurgen Klinsmann told ESPN when questioned about the Tottenham vacancy.

“I never thought in the first place I would coach Germany at a World Cup. I never thought I would coach the USA for six years or Bayern Munich. So we’ll see in a couple of months who will be the Spurs manager.”

Klinsmann may be an icon at Spurs, and always will be, but it would be a flabbergasting decision if he was appointed manager, especially given that he’s only managed 10 club games in the last 12 years; winning just three times. 

Maybe his comments were meant to be more tongue-in-cheek, but whatever the motive, there are a multitude of managers far better suited to the position.

Ex-Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is the new favourite, Marcelino has reportedly been contacted, while we have put forward the credentials of Ajax boss Erik ten Hag; now a 6/1 shot having previously been out at 33/1.

Max Allegri is still available for hire, Antonio Conte has been touted, as have Roberto Martinez and Graham Potter.

The Premier League is full of examples of club icons returning as managers.

In the last few years we’ve seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer take charge of Man Utd, Frank Lampard oversee Chelsea, and to a lesser extent Mikel Arteta at Arsenal

Further afield, there was Alan Shearer’s ill-fated eight-game spell at Newcastle, contrasted with Roberto Di Matteo’s miraculous Champions League and FA Cup double at Chelsea.

As for Tottenham. In the last 30 years the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Tim Sherwood, and Osvaldo Ardiles have each stepped into the dugout having previously sported the Spurs shirt. Ryan Mason then joined the party this week, albeit in an interim capacity.

Mason has temporarily replaced Jose Mourinho, who was sacked on Monday. It would be a huge shock if the 29-year-old was to be elevated into the position on a permanent basis, but you never know, he’s currently available at a best-priced 12/1 (Paddy Power).

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Jurgen Klinsmann (16/1) has made some interesting comments on the Tottenham vacancy

Scroll a bit further down the betting and you may be surprised to see Klinsmann nestled in the mix at 16/1.

In fact, for one brief moment on Monday the German was actually the favourite at 7/2.

World Cup winner Klinsmann, one of the Premier League’s early foreign success stories, won the hearts and minds of Tottenham fans in the 1990s, when he signed from Monaco for £2m. 

The striker’s memorable ‘diving’ celebration after his booming match-winning header on his debut has gone down in Premier League history - see below.

He scored 30 goals in that debut season, which saw him win the FA Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award and secure a place in the PFA Team of the Year. He even ended 1995 as runner-up in the Ballon d’Or. He later returned on loan to help save the club from relegation, and was even inducted into Madame Tussauds.

Klinsmann entered into management in 2004 with Germany, who lost to Italy in extra-time of the semi-finals in their home World Cup. He would go on to manage Bayern Munich, unsuccessfully, then spent five years in charge of the US, followed by a brief stint at Hertha Berlin last season.

The managerial section of his CV pales in comparison to his playing days. His Bayern spell is best remembered for the infamous Buddhas he put on the roof of the training centre. They were taken down after three weeks. He failed to see out a season which ultimately ended trophyless.

He won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the US in 2013, then steered the country to the last-16 of the 2014 World Cup, before enduring a difficult end to his tenure in which he oversaw defeats to Jamaica and Guatemala, and had frequent spats with players, fans and the media.

More recently, Klinsmann managed Hertha Berlin for 76 days last season. "We were very surprised by what happened this morning," Hertha general manager Michael Preetz said following Klinsmann’s resignation. "There were no previous indications of this decision, especially after the support shown throughout a busy winter transfer market in regards to signings.”

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