With the official confirmation filtering through early yesterday morning morning, 3:37am to be precise, that ‘Arry Hotspur was no longer the obvious question is who’s next? Who is the man that Spurs will task with taking them past Arsenal and challenging the two Manchester clubs for the Premier League crown? What man wants to be the next through the revolving door of the Premier League?
Spurs will of course be inundated with applications and of course the usual suspects will catch the eye. Already the bookies have drawn up a who’s who of unemployed managers. Rafa Benitez, Fabio Capello and Andre Villas-Boas are near the top of the short list just as they were when Liverpool were looking for a manager. I’m sure Michael Laudrup would have been on the list to if it wasn’t for the fact that he is in negotiations to take charge of Swansea and of course Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is there as well. The man who not only managed to crack Liverpool’s wanted list but Aston Villa’s too but as yet is still at Wigan.
The problem is that these are the same names that have been banded across Europe for every opening imaginable and yet still they remain unemployed. Sure there are mitigating circumstances. Capello is happy in England which ruled him out of any mainland European position. Villas-Boas wanted to manage in Italy just like his mentor Mourinho but Lazio couldn’t afford him, Roma wanted somebody who knew the club and Inter promoted from within. Benitez having managed two of Europe’s biggest clubs in Liverpool and Inter has achieved a certain level of management so doesn’t think he should take a step down in class of club. That leaves Martinez and who knows what he is waiting for.
The two previous openings in the Premier League have both gone to young managers who don’t carry the baggage of high profile failings and also have what seems to be the desired commodity of Premier League chairman, recent success. It may not be success in the terms of trophies but in the terms of where they left their respective clubs. The jobs that Brendan Rodgers and Paul Lambert both did for Swansea and Norwich respectively was nothing short of spectacular.
Both of them taking their previous clubs through a tough Championship campaign into the promised land of the Premier League and comfortably achieving mid-table finishes wowing their fans and neutrals along the way. They both realised that they had taken their clubs as far as they could and so they both cashed in on their raise in profile (Roberto Martinez take note). Something that they had to do to achieve their own management goals. Who is to say that next season would have gone so well for them or that there wouldn’t be a new flavour of the month when new job openings came around.
All this being said though there is one candidate who stands out and unsurprisingly didn’t make Liverpool’s wanted list. He has 10 full seasons of managing in the Premier League finishing in the top half 8 times including each of the last 6 seasons. He is a 3 time LMA manager of the year, has taken his club into European competitions 4 times and finished runners up in the 2009 FA Cup final. All this and on a shoestring budget. Only twice in his 10 years has he been able to spend over £10 million on a player. Imagine if those restrictions were placed on every manager in the Premiership. What would the table look like then?
Yes David Moyes is the clear favourite, at least with the bookies anyway and why not? Despite every restriction that’s been placed on him at Everton he has always turned out well drilled and competitive teams. He has been earmarked as a potential replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson but that could be two or even three years away. With Spurs looking now, the playing staff they have and the chance finally to spend some money it might be to much to pass up on.
Whomever Daniel Levy decides upon from the raft of applications he will get the one thing that will play on all Spurs fans minds is what will happen to Bale, Modric, Sandro, Walker, Parker and Van Der Vaart because without those players they won’t have a hope of finishing in the top four let alone challenging for the title.