Jose mistakenly gets a sex-text from Terry meant for Christine Bleakley.

by Jack Howes

The question of who will manage Spurs after Harry Redknapp’s probable summer departure to become King Harry I of England, knighted by Lord Bernstein and Viscount Brooking is one of deep intrigue. This could well be a summer of managerial upheaval with Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea and possibly Liverpool also needing new managers and Jose Mourinho rumoured to have had enough of Madrid. He’s only able to sprinkle his successful if destructive magic dust on one club, so there’s going to be enough speculation, rumour and innuendo to satisfy even the chattiest and gossipy of people (in other words my Mum’s friend Kath).

Well as a Spurs fan I don’t really care about who manages the other clubs unless it affects my beloved Lilywhites. So in order of betting (favourite first) here’s a look at the candidates to replace ‘wheeler-dealer’ (*Bad language alert) ‘Arry Redknapp.

Jurgen Klinsmann – 10/3  

A surprising favourite for the job that shows there is no clear favourite for the post. Klinsmann is of course remembered fondly at Spurs, with 28 goals in 56 starts, him along with Teddy Sheringham taking us to the 1995 FA Cup semi-final and returning in 1998 to save us from relegation by scoring four in a 6-2 win against Wimbledon. Not to mention the great chant of ‘chim chim-en-nee chim chim-en-nee chim chim cher-roo, Jurgen’s a German but now he’s a Jew’. The Klinsmann dive celebration was pretty damn good as well.

If only his managerial career was as convincing as his 108 caps for Germany and goal scoring feats all across Europe. His career in management consists of taking Germany to the World Cup semi-finals, getting sacked by Bayern Munich and being the current manager of the USA. Now he did well in leading Germany to the World Cup semi’s and an extra time loss to Italy, and he was praised for bringing through younger players and an attacking system of play. The years since his departure from that position however has seen his reputation nosedive. Philipp Lahm last year said that Klinsmann, when coach of Germany, ‘wasn’t interested in strategy’ and that the German players virtually ignored their manager and decided the tactics themselves. He was criticised for living in America and commuting to Germany to watch people play. The success of his then assistant Jogi Low since he became Coach after the 2006 World Cup would suggest as German coach he wasn’t up to much.

He got sacked from Bayern Munich shortly afterwards, infamously bringing four statues of the Buddha and placing them on the roof of their training headquarters to bring ‘positive energy’ and promptly being sacked when a combination of player criticism and poor performance hounded him out. He has since been hired as coach of the USA, with five wins from the ten friendlies he’s been in charge of. Now for me this simply isn’t good enough for a prospective manager of Tottenham. He’s not been very successful, doesn’t have much experience and is only the bookies favourite because of his playing prowess and the lack of a consensus name to replace Harry.

David Moyes – 7/2  

Now we’re talking. Moyes is one of those British footballing mainstays, a successful Scottish manager whose stare could break through concrete. Whatever it is about the Scottish psyche, Scottish managers do often hint at having Begbie-style tendencies within them and as a result are often frightening creatures whose teams don’t dare enter dressing rooms behind on the scoreboard for fear of the sort of b******ing that shakes brick walls and makes you think a lifetime of tinnitus awaits.

Moyes is well spoken in interviews but certainly on looks he’s the hardest manager in the Premiership, and his Everton teams have always been hard-working, battling sides, though with a sprinkling of panache in recent years after the years of Lee Carsley and Thomas Gravesen necking Red Bull and shuttling up and down the Goodison Park turf like supercharged Duracell bunnies. Everton under his stead have finished 4th once and 5th twice, on the odd occasion finishing ahead of Liverpool despite a ten year net spend of only £15m and money not going towards the team but being put towards a new ground project that’s longer to get off the ground than Heather Trott’s corpse.

There are doubts though over whether he’s really good enough. Everton’s forays into Europe have been unsuccessful while Everton have developed a habit of being worse starters than Basil Fawlty’s Austin 1100. They do tend to recover but for a team to be so consistently poor at the start of seasons is worrying. The style of football at Everton is not always the most aesthetically pleasing and some of his purchases, such as Per Kroldrup and Yakubu have been questionable. However I would say that his teams, especially the Pienaar-Cahill-Arteta-Osman midfield of a few years ago was excellent to watch, and at Preston his team played “slick, attractive and – crucially – winning football”. Also to have three top five finishes in ten years at Everton with comparatively transfer funds is a wonderful achievement. Managing Spurs could be his big break.

Jose Mourinho – 8/1

The most famous manager in the world is Jose. His face adorns adverts here in the UK even though he hasn’t managed in England in four and a half years. He’s the biggest name in the business, provides glitz, glamour and juicier quotes in one press conference than many managers provide in their whole careers. He’s won the Champions League with Porto and Inter, led Chelsea to domestic domination and is set to lead Real Madrid to a dominant league victory over Barcelona.

He’s incredibly successful, no doubt about that. But he’s destructive. He starts more fires than a convicted arsonist and isn’t afraid of starting controversies over just about anything. He called Arsene Wenger a “Voyeur”, so vociferously criticised referee Anders Frisk after one of the Chelsea-Barcelona battles that Frisk got death threats and retired immediately from football, accused opponents of playing weakened teams against Barca and not Madrid, and in a bizarre incident was accused of gouging out the eyeballs of a Barcelona coach after the Spanish Super Cup. He also continues to text Chelsea players long after he left the club and is said to have been influential in the departure of a few of the litany of sacked Chelsea coaches.

Also his teams tend to have terrific short-term success but are then jiggered in the long term. Chelsea have never regained the form and ferocity they had under Mourinho. Inter Milan less than two seasons after a Jose-led treble are 7th in Serie A and set to be trophy-less. The style of football has never been great, relying on good defence and pace on the counter-attack. All this is probably not even relevant, as Spurs are currently 4th in England, have a maximum capacity of 36,000 and will spend at most about £50m this summer. Though the prospect of sticking it to Chelsea could appeal, Spurs are almost certainly not big enough nor moneyed enough to attract Jose and his incredibly successful is destructive management style. It’s unlikely to be him, though I expect the Spurs board to offer him the salary of a senior banker at Barclays and carte blanche over all Spurs related matters. And be turned down.

With the help of some very good scouts Pardew has bought wisely.

Alan Pardew – 10/1

Before he became manager at Newcastle Alan Pardew wasn’t particularly successful. He’d been sacked by three of the four clubs he’d managed, shown lots of promise by getting Reading from a mid-table third tier team to the brink of the Premiership and leading West Ham to the FA Cup final, but ultimately had only two promotions and a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy to show for it, along with three sackings and internet rumours of off-field philandering.

So he decided to tour Germany, study how German clubs train and provide the conveyor belt of young, quick, freakishly comfortable on the ball young players that are currently doing so well on the international stage. Then after getting some luck in replacing Chris Hughton after he was very harshly sacked, he hasn’t looked back. Newcastle are currently 6th, tied on points with Chelsea and just five points off the Champions League spots, and playing some sparkling football exemplified by the superb counter-attack goal finished by Demba Cisse against West Brom.

Pardew with the help of some very good scouts has bought very wisely, with Yohan Cabaye, the two Dembas Cisse and Ba arriving and adding to other great purchases in Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa before Pardew’s arrival. Tim Krul has become an excellent keeper, Fabrizio Collocini one of the best defenders in the league and Pardew showed bravery in turfing out the likes of Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton, who’ve flattered to deceive for West Ham and QPR. Newcastle are a vibrant club when two seasons ago they were in the Championship, and Pardew deserves a lot of credit. Nonetheless he’s made great starts at clubs before and seen it fade. The Spurs job has probably arrived too early for him though another two seasons of progress, maybe even Champions League football with the Toon and Pardew could really hit the big time.

Brendan Rodgers – 14/1

Rodgers is the archetypal young modern manager. He wears a fetching suit, sounds as much like a salesman as a football manager when talking to the press, and preaches the short passing, high pressing game that Barcelona have revolutionised football with and that is en vogue for young managers. This approach had mixed results with his previous clubs Watford and Reading, with a decent if unremarkable spell in charge at Watford leading to his sacking at Reading when they were in 21st place in the Championship midway through the season.

However at Swansea he’s been a big hit. Taking a side that had finished the previous two seasons on the brink of the play-offs, he led them to 3rd place and then victory at Wembley to earn the Swans promotion. In the top flight they’ve been in many respects the team of the season, currently sitting in the top half of the table, having had victories over Arsenal and Manchester City whilst playing superb flowing football with one of the lowest wage bills in the division.

At Swansea he’s undoubtedly done a great job. But like Pardew I suspect this job has come too early for him. He’s still young and comparatively inexperienced, and though he’s done well at Swansea the framework was already in place. Predecessors Roberto Martinez and Paulo Sousa both preached similar style of football, and Rodgers was maybe fortunate to take over a side built perfectly for his approach to football. Also his miserable time at Reading may be a consideration. A very talented coach, but too inexperienced and perhaps not a big enough name for Spurs right now.

Other names

Andre Villas-Boas – Talented guy but has too much baggage from Chelsea, where he wasn’t very successful and poorly dealt with press and players. Nice jacket though

Rafael Benitez – He’s a ubiquitous presence right now, appearing on TV and radio a surprising amount, especially for someone who’s distant with players and as a manager distant with the press. He’s a supreme tactician and great track record of two league titles with Valencia and a Champions League victory with Djimi Traore at left back. Not a great man-manager and not highly touted by fans. A dark horse (not literally).

Paul Lambert – Along with Rodgers has taken a promoted side to supreme heights. Norwich may not be as good to watch as Swansea but watching Grant Holt bludgeon defences with sheer power is a great sight, and Lambert has taken Norwich to two consecutive promotions and mid-table in the Premiership. Tactically more flexible than most, the job may just be too early for him.

Prediction – David Moyes