Tim Sherwood, as widely expected, will not continue on as Tottenham Hotspur manager next season.
The ambitious Levy was never going to show long-term faith in a home-bred promotion from the coaching staff – and the bookmakers are supremely confident the next boss at White Hart Lane will indeed be a more established name and very likely non-British, too.
We’re going to run through the top runners and riders and why they would or wouldn’t make for a good appointment.
Mauricio Pochettino – 11/10 FAVOURITE
Pros: The Southampton manager was an instant fit in the ever-demanding world of Premier League football and has the Saints up among the contenders, playing attractive football and brimming with England call-ups in the process. The way he calmly and swiftly brought improvements when fans were disgruntled by the sacking of Nigel Adkins could be vital after Levy’s managerial turnover in the last 12 months.
Cons: Southampton had nowhere near the expectation or egos Tottenham did when Pochettino took over – and the South Coast side were far more removed from their own loss of Gareth Bale than Spurs were. It would be a completely different environment for a boss who boasts a reputation for galvanising teams lower down on the food chain.
Frank de Boer – 6/4
Pros: Has turned Ajax from fallen giants suffering a long title drought to a successful side which has collected four consecutive Eredivisie titles with an ethos which respects the club’s rich history of producing young talent and playing enterprising football. Considered a more likeable, harder-working version of Ajax predecessor Martin Jol, who did rather well at Spurs for a short period of time.
Cons: Has absolutely zero experience as a manager with the exception of moving up the ranks at the club he has been pretty much brought up by. Should he fail to hit the ground running with the Tottenham squad and fans, could turn out to be just an overseas version of Sherwood.
Rafael Benitez – 5/1
Pros: Has a large resume of experience in high-pressure environments, winning domestic league and cup honours as well as the Champions League and UEFA Cup/Europa League. Is no stranger to thriving in England nor to hostile environments – he won the Europa League with Chelsea despite not being wanted by the fans and had his detractors at Liverpool before he pulled off the miracle of Istanbul in his first season.
Cons: It’s debatable whether he is willing to commit to a project for the long haul anymore. If he does, then surely he wouldn’t consider leaving Napoli so soon after guiding them to third place in Serie A and lifting the Coppa Italia. Will have an even bigger media spotlight on him than many of the other candidates listed.
David Moyes – 16/1
Pros: Will surely have a point to prove after the Old Trafford appointment ended in a one-season disaster. Is well acquainted with British football.
Cons: Oh, boy. Where to start? Tottenham is likely to be very similar to the United experience for Moyes, with big ambitions, fast turnover and plenty of different personalities to handle. We all saw how well that went in Manchester. Andre Villas-Boas came into the job off the back of a higher-profile sacking at Chelsea and that didn’t work either. Lastly, Moyes will surely need time to lick his wounds after having his reputation splattered by the air of entitlement at the Theatre of Dreams.
Roberto Mancini – 20/1
Pros: Also has a strong CV for a job at a club who seem unhappy with anything but becoming serious contenders and silverware collectors. Managed the money at Manchester City well enough to finally get them over the line as Premier League title material.
Cons: Some ex-players have been disparaging about Mancini as a boss and are Tottenham's stars really going to take Mancini’s quirks in their stride if a few results go against them?
Roberto Martinez – 20/1
Pros: Has established himself as a top manager in English football after guiding unfancied Wigan to the FA Cup in 2013 before making Everton glad that David Moyes left. His style of football and ability to blend homegrown with continental talent makes Spurs appear a logical step up in wages, funds, and potential.
Cons: Rich as they may be, Tottenham are currently beneath Everton in the pecking order. Would another quick change of clubs do Martinez any good? And would Levy be able to support him the same way Dave Whelan and Bill Kenwright have? Like with Pochettino, could be an unnecessary risk for limited reward.
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