Antonio Conte has been the manager of Tottenham Hotspur since November 2021, but with his contract set to expire in less than four months, his future with the club remains uncertain. The recent spell of illness that kept him away from the team has only added to the questions surrounding his tenure.
After a brief upturn in results, Tottenham suffered two disappointing defeats last week, and if they failed to progress past AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, Conte will only have 12 more games in charge. It seems likely that his time at Tottenham is coming to an end, but the club must now decide how to move forward.
The situation is far from ideal for a top club, as stability and a clear direction of travel are crucial for success. Tottenham signed Conte with the hope of agreeing on a longer-term deal, but talks have gone nowhere, and the only focus now is getting through the rest of the season.
There is an option in the contract for another year, but Tottenham has no intention of keeping Conte against his will. Some players believe that he will leave at the end of the season, and there is a sense of urgency within the club to take control of the situation and prepare for the future.
The longest-serving players at Tottenham may remember the Tim Sherwood interregnum, where the club drifted without direction between the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas and the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino. The club cannot afford to repeat this mistake and must begin succession planning to avoid finding themselves without a manager at the end of the season.
As Conte returns to media duties, the questions surrounding his future and the future of the club will undoubtedly be unavoidable. Tottenham must make a decision about their next steps and move forward with clarity and direction.
Tottenham Hotspur is going through a time of great uncertainty, with many unknowns about the post-Conte era. Spurs fans are looking for the comforting certainty of a familiar face, and Mauricio Pochettino, the former manager from 2014 to 2019, is at the top of their wishlist. Pochettino was the man who built a thrilling young team and took Spurs to the brink of success. In this article, we will discuss why Tottenham should bring back Pochettino as their manager.
Who are the top managers available to coach Spurs for next season?
Bring Back Pochettino
Despite his remote image, chairman Daniel Levy cares deeply about what the fans want and even what gets written on social media. Bringing back Pochettino would be one of the most unambiguously popular moves he could make at Spurs. Pochettino's football philosophy and the coaching methodology underpinning it were more modern than anything we have seen at Spurs since. The team has never been as fit, brave, proactive or dominant as they were under Pochettino. Spurs have been playing reactive football for years, and it's only because they have been in the peak years of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min that results have not been worse. The idea of getting back to high-energy, high-pressing football is hugely attractive.
The prospect of an emotional reunion appeals to Pochettino as well as the club. It was less than two years ago that Tottenham tried to bring Pochettino back for the first time, just six months into his role at Paris Saint-Germain. He was not enjoying his time in Paris and was starting to realize that he had more power at Tottenham than he knew at the time. The idea of returning to Tottenham as the hero tugged at Pochettino’s heartstrings. PSG could not stomach the idea of losing their head coach, so they extended his contract by another year. However, that would not be a barrier this time. Pochettino still spends a lot of time at his home in north London, and many Spurs fans would like Levy to drive around there next week, contract offer in hand.
Tottenham may have some competition to bring back Pochettino. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has tried twice in the past to appoint Pochettino, and this time, Pochettino would not be under a contract managing anyone else. Even though there were difficult moments when Pochettino managed PSG, that does not mean he is no longer interested in working at one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
The other factor is Fabio Paratici, Spurs’ managing director of football, who was brought in to run the football side of the club. Paratici's arrival means that Tottenham is organized differently from when Pochettino was there. The thinking at Spurs that summer was that they would either go for Pochettino or Paratici, who would then choose a new head coach. The idea of having Pochettino and Paratici working together simultaneously was never on the cards.
Bringing back Pochettino as Tottenham's manager would be a popular move for the club and the fans. Pochettino's coaching philosophy and methodology were more modern than anything seen at Spurs since his departure. The team would benefit from getting back to high-energy, high-pressing football, and the prospect of an emotional reunion appeals to both Pochettino and the club.
Thomas Tuchel? Other Top Managers?
With Tottenham Hotspur still searching for a new manager, the rumour mill is in overdrive about who will be the next person to take charge at the North London club. While Antonio Conte was heavily linked with the job before talks broke down, several other names have emerged in recent weeks. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the other potential candidates and their chances of getting the job.
One name that has been mentioned frequently is Thomas Tuchel. The former Chelsea boss has been out of work since being sacked by the Blues six months ago, despite leading them to Champions League and Club World Cup glory. Before that, he won two Ligue 1 titles with Paris Saint-Germain and took them to the Champions League final. Tuchel has a reputation for coaching big-name players, and his more proactive playing style would be a welcome change from Spurs' last three managers. He also has experience in the Premier League and speaks perfect English, making him a prime candidate for the job.
However, there are doubts over whether Tuchel would be willing to take on the challenge at Tottenham. With his impressive CV, he may feel that he has better options available, especially if he believes that Spurs' ceiling is fourth place in the Premier League. Tuchel could be a target for Bayern Munich if they decide to replace Julian Nagelsmann, and he would also be under consideration at Real Madrid if Carlo Ancelotti leaves at the end of the season.
Another factor that could count against Tuchel is that he would be the fifth former Chelsea manager to take over at Spurs under Daniel Levy, and the fourth in the last 11 years. While Glenn Hoddle can be seen as a separate case due to his status as a Spurs legend, the other three managers were all synonymous with Chelsea, starting their careers in England there. Many Spurs fans are wary of the club appointing yet another former Chelsea boss, and Tuchel could be tarred with the same brush.
If Tuchel decides against taking the job, Tottenham will have to look elsewhere. Ryan Mason, who took interim charge at the end of the 2020-21 season, is one name that has been mentioned. He has been a valued part of Conte's coaching staff, and the players have been hugely impressed with him. However, at just 32 years old, some may argue that he is not experienced enough for the job.
Other Top Managers Available
Other potential candidates include Roberto De Zerbi, who has impressed at Brighton & Hove Albion, Marco Silva, who is on track to deliver Fulham's best Premier League season, and Thomas Frank, who has done excellent work at Brentford. Perhaps the most intriguing name is Steve Cooper, who took Nottingham Forest into the Premier League before guiding them away from the relegation places. While it would be a big step up for him, he has plenty of admirers and could be a surprise choice.
Whoever ends up getting the job, it could represent a significant pivot for Levy and Spurs. In recent years, the club has tried to run like Chelsea on a budget, appointing high-profile short-term managers in the hope of winning silverware. However, this approach has not worked, and Spurs have only a League Cup final defeat and a fourth-place finish to show for it. Perhaps it is time for the club to return to their old approach of patiently rebuilding over the longer term, regardless of who the next head coach may be.
In conclusion, Tottenham Hotspur faces an uncertain future as they search for a new manager. While Tuchel would be a popular choice, there are doubts over whether he would be willing to take on the challenge at Spurs. With several other potential candidates in the mix, it will be interesting to see who ends in the dugout at Spurs next season of 2023/2024?
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