Julian Nagelsmann, Massimiliano Allegri, Ralph Hasenhuttl – Who fits the bill as next Tottenham manager?

Who fits the bill as the next Tottenham manager and how much influence does Harry Kane’s future have over the decision? Both are discussed on the latest Pitch to Post Review podcast…

It was another final defeat for Spurs on Sunday as they were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, having dismissed Jose Mourinho just days before the Wembley showpiece.

Ryan Mason took interim charge of Tottenham, but was unable to find a way past an impressive Man City side. The hunt for the next permanent boss is now on, with a number of names thrown into the ring.

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The future of star striker Kane also hangs in the balance, with European football next season by no means guaranteed and Spurs remaining without a trophy.

On the Pitch to Post Review podcast, Sky Sports journalists Gerard Brand and Charlotte Marsh and Sky Sports News reporter Ben Ransom analyse the issues facing Spurs in their managerial search…


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Brand: A managerial enigma could suit Spurs

“I’m quite worried for Spurs. I’m looking through the list of the eight favourites for the job and the only name that stands out is Julian Nagelsmann. But Bayern Munich are no doubt going to snap him up as soon as they can and there was a report on Sunday night that they had already started proceedings.

“The rest – (Maurizio) Sarri, who was despised by Chelsea fans after a year. Nuno (Espirito Santo), who some Wolves fans want out. Then Ryan Mason, Graham Potter, who has a lot of positivity around him [at Brighton] but no experience of a big club. Then it’s Rafa (Benitez), surely not a long-term option, and lastly, Brendan Rodgers. But why would he leave Leicester?

“In terms of managerial markets, it’s not the best time to be looking, particularly if you’re Tottenham. And, let’s be frank, they really need someone to return to the (Mauricio) Pochettino way of thinking, which was to coach players, make them better and to be part of a long-term project that influences a culture. They went away from that in appointing Jose and now they need to revert.

“I wonder if, like Pochettino was at the time, their next manager might be a bit of an enigma who we don’t know much about and hasn’t been near the English game. Maybe Erik ten Hag at Ajax is up at the top of that list as well, but with that mystery comes a lot of patience from fans. You’re afforded more time to go a step back and two forward or even two steps back and three forward.

“It’s such a big time for Daniel Levy and there’s massive pressure on him.”

Ransom: How about Allegri?

“I’ve come up with a name that no one else has yet, and I’m not sure why – Massimiliano Allegri. He is perfect for Tottenham. He’s been out of work for a couple of years, he was brilliant at Juventus, he left after winning their fifth Serie A in a row, he plays the right sort of football and he is looking to get back into football now, the suggestion is.

“I spoke to some of our colleagues at Sky in Italy about 18 months ago now and they were talking about him then as someone who wants to get into the Premier League. He’s been learning English for a long time and to me, is the absolute perfect fit.

“The favourite list, you can ignore. Bayern are likely to snap up Nagelsmann, Scott Parker has done well with Fulham and I’ve been really impressed with the way he’s been able to get his methods across and get the players onside when they looked completely gone in October, he really did work wonders. But Tottenham is a different kettle of fish entirely.

“And with Rodgers, it’s a big task to get him out of Leicester given where they are and especially if they get into the Champions League so Allegri is the only one for me who seems to fit the bill.”

Marsh: Levy needs to walk a fine line

“I think it’s a really difficult situation for Tottenham because there’s going to be an expectation that they should bring in the big name like Nagelsmann or maybe even Sarri if we’re talking about managers who have had success.

“But is anyone going to want to go to Tottenham? I don’t mean that in a horrible way, but there’s a really big project that has to be done there – almost like when Jurgen Klopp went to Liverpool – and there’s a rebuilding that needs to be done with that team.

“There’s not really anyone you think would probably leave wherever they are and go to Tottenham to take on that project. Also, I think the fans want success, they want trophies and maybe that enigmatic manager Gerard mentioned may get time, but will a bigger name get time? Will they be afforded the same grace period maybe others would?

“You don’t know so it’s a really fine line that Daniel Levy has to walk and it’s going to be a particularly interesting one to see what he comes up with.

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“Another name off the top of my head – Joachim Low is leaving Germany. I don’t know if he’s going to want to go into club football, maybe he wants another challenge and Tottenham would most certainly be a challenge. And if you want somebody who has won stuff, look at somebody who has won the World Cup and the Euros. It’s another option and he’ll be leaving after the Euros, so another one to keep your eye on.”

Will the decision be influenced by Kane’s future?

Brand: “So much of it depends on Kane. A Spurs without Kane, it’s not just one outfield player they’re losing, it’s almost like you’re losing half of your team – he’s that special. He brings (Heung-Min) Son in, he brings everyone together, he’s the captain and by far their best player so I think it does depend on Kane.

“That’s why Spurs are in this weird situation where Kane might leave and they don’t have a manager.”

Marsh: “A lot of Kane’s future rests on who the manager is going to be. Kane is going to want to work under a manager who is going to bring Spurs some creative freedom, who is going to unite the fans, who is going to give them excitement and they’re going to want to win trophies.

“It’s going to be a project, Michael Dawson mentioned that yesterday too, but Kane doesn’t need to be part of a project, unless that project is going to be a year, maybe two. He’s in the best years of his career in terms of age, we all know football careers don’t last that long, so he’s going to have to capitalise while he can if he wants to win anything.

“So the time is now for him to make a massive decision.”

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Ransom: “I think the challenge will be for any manager going in – do you have Harry Kane? Is he still there? Gareth Bale by all accounts is going, that didn’t quite work and the suggestion is Kane may be available this summer if anyone has got the money.

“If you are a big-name manager, like an Allegri or a Nagelsmann, then you’re going to want to come in with guarantees that Harry Kane will be the man you will build a team around. If there’s any chance Spurs are going to lose him, that is a massive job.

“Kane has been their talisman for so long now, to lose him, they’re in a really difficult situation. There’s so many areas that need strengthening, which is why I think you need a big name to convince Kane, if nothing else, to stay, they can get back into the Champions League and there is still a project for him going forward.”

Is Ralph Hasenhuttl a contender?

Ransom: “Maybe Hasenhuttl if you’re going off the start of the season. Southampton had a couple of defeats, but they soon got into their stride and we’re talking about Hasenhuttl. But they’ve barely won a game for the last three or four months and you can’t then go into Tottenham in the situation they’re in.”

Brand: “I think it’s a bit soon. He’s a better shout than Parker and Potter, but you’ve got to be careful. Saints are towards the bottom of the table now and we really like Hasenhuttl, but you’ve got to be careful to separate a likeable manager to someone who is going to win Spurs their first trophy since yesteryear.

“No doubt in the future, Hasenhuttl might be a great manager but Allegri, he’s 53 – the same age as Klopp. For some reason, I thought he was a lot older than that and he’s not. It’s a good age, he’s still a relatively young manager and I think Ben’s cracked it!”

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