Harry Redknapp has been unusually quiet in recent weeks hasn’t he? Speculation across the blogosphere suggest it is because he is set to leave White Hart Lane later this week. Others claim all is well at Tottenham Hotspur between himself and chairman Daniel Levy and that a new deal is set to be signed.
Naturally, the fine folk on social networking sites have picked up on the news that Redknapp may be out and the rumours of a Friday sacked began to spread like wildfire. Yet, The Sun is today reporting that the Spurs boss has been offered a new contract that will see him remain at N17 for the foreseeable future.
Yet, what would happen if the rumours were right? What would happen to Spurs if he were sacked? Who would be brought in to replace Redknapp at Spurs? Naturally, everyone is entitled to their opinion, some going for one manager, others going for a different choice. Continue reading to see the three men that could replace Redknapp should Levy opt to remove the veteran tactician from his position.
The Portuguese tactician arrived at Chelsea last summer with high hopes placed upon his young shoulders. Tasked with revolutionising the style of football at Stamford Bridge having enjoyed a highly successful season with FC Porto the year before, many of the fans were excited about the appointment of Villas-Boas, dubbed the Special One MK: II.
Off to a slow but steady start with the Blues, the expectations for him to succeed were always going to be high, especially with the season he had with the Portuguese champions the year before. Owner Roman Abramovich believed the 34-year-old was the man to bring about a new era at the West London side, and can you blame him? Young, clearly talented and brought in for the long-term benefits of the club.
Yet, not all went to plan. Slowly, Villas-Boas began to lose the backing of the dressing room and with the board becoming tetchy; it wasn’t long before the young manager found himself out of work a little under three months ago. Coming into Chelsea, having only proven himself on the continent for one season, not including spells with the British Virgin Islands and Académica, was never going to be the easiest of tasks.
Attempting to rid the ‘old guard’, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba from their imperious positions too soon and too swiftly after arriving proved to be his downfall. Abramovich wanted the new man to rid the more senior players from the squad, but unfortunately for Villas-Boas, he went the wrong way about it, opting to axe the trio and cause disharmony in the Blues camp rather than slowly ease them out of the squad.
This isn’t to say his time in England, as brief as it was, was a total waste. The experience will stand him in good stead and having been recommended by Jose Mourinho for the role, he must, evidently, be doing something right. At such a young age, taking over a team of Chelsea’s stature with the personalities in the dressing room, it was never going to be an easy feat.
At Spurs, the level of pressure placed upon him would be nowhere near as high. Yes, there will undoubtedly be pressure to succeed, as with any manager at any job, but that will be significantly lessened at White Hart Lane compared to their West London rivals. Should he arrive, the backing of the board will imperative to his success in North London and having received the blessing of Mourinho, the higher-ups would be wise to through their weight behind Villas-Boas, if he is, as rumoured, set to be announced as Redknapp’s replacement.
The style of football he wants to instil is exactly what the fans want to see at White Hart Lane, whilst the chance to build a team from the bottom is exactly the vision that Levy and Enic want to see come to life with the club. If Redknapp is indeed set to be sacked, Villas-Boas is the man that should be brought succeed him.
The man who threw Spurs’ season into jeopardy when he resigned from his role as England manager following the John Terry scandal back in February, Capello has been out of work since his decision to step down from his role. Many questioned his capabilities to manage at a national level and, to an extent, they aren’t far wrong.
The Italian was never going to excel in a position where he doesn’t have regular contact with his playing staff. What makes the 65-year-old such a successful manager is his disciplinary approach to his previous roles in club football. The credentials don’t lie either; 16 trophies across Serie A and La Liga, two of which were revoked during his two-years with Juventus as a result of the Calciopoli scandal back in 2006, during his 20 years of management.
As mentioned, the reason he failed to manage England was his lack of face-to-face time with the players. Whereas he had the ability to stamp his authority and get his tactical ideas across to the playing staff in the long run, these were wasted on the international stage when players would be forced to quickly adjust from one approach to another in relatively quick succession.
A major flaw of Spurs is their inept inability to defend even the simplest of set pieces begins to show from time-to-time. Capello has previously built teams in the past with a solid defence, something that the North London side have lacked at various points in recent seasons. However, his arrival could see the wage budget shifted slightly, with the FA reported to have been paying the Italian £6m a year during his four years as England manager.
Nevertheless, Capello possesses a sterling club record and his arrival, if it comes down to it, could be an astute one by Spurs. The football on offer may not be the most eye catching, but it certainly reaps the rewards. If Capello was, ironically, brought in to succeed Redknapp at Spurs, he would bring with him a winning mentality, something the club desperately lack if they are to move to the next level, and a scintillating CV having managed AC Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid in the past.
The one critique could be his age, with the Italian almost a year older than Redknapp. If Levy wants to build a team for the future with a long-term manager, Capello wouldn’t be the way to go, unless he feels he can continue over the next five or so years, ala 73-year-old Giovanni Trappattoni. Nevertheless, a born winner, a strict disciplinarian, a man that loves London and is accustomed to England football, Capello could be exactly what Spurs need.
The youngest manager on the list and, surprisingly, the one with the most Premier League experience, Bobby Martinez has regularly been linked with a move away from Wigan Athletic on a yearly basis it now appears. Last summer it was Aston Villa, before he opted to stay at the DW Stadium, whereas just the past week it was with the vacant Liverpool role before he decided to remain with the Latics.
Martinez is one manager that will, one day, be destined for big things. He plays the right brand of football, but just needs the right team to really showcase his managerial credentials. Yes, Wigan have regularly come perilously close to relegation year after year, but credit must go to the 38-year-old for keeping them up each and every time.
The football he has his team playing is exactly how many fans want to see Spurs play and it is no surprise some have called for him to be appointed once Redknapp eventually calls time on his career at White Hart Lane. The only problem is some still don’t believe he is ready to make the step from Wigan to a club that is hoping to be challenging for a top four spot and, hopefully one day, the title.
His age, 38, would be perfect for Levy’s ideal long-term planning and, as mentioned, the style of football would certainly appease the fans. His loyalty to Wigan could also be perceived as a positive sign to some, with Martinez often turning down the overtures of the bigger club’s to remain with the Latics.
If he were to be brought in with a senior director of football, Jupp Heynckes or Louis Van Gaal, for example, it may help to bring him on as a manager and would indeed favour Levy’s continental model that he appears to prefer. This would further enhance Spurs’ chances of bringing in the major talent, with the bigger name ex-manager working on the transfers, and will be able to consult with Martinez over a possible managerial conundrum that would unquestionably arise.