Tottenham: Top 5 Candidates to Replace Harry Redknapp as Manager
Tottenham Hotspur decided to part ways with former manager Harry Redknapp two weeks ago; the Spurs have yet to decide who will be the man to replace him, having deemed progress in recent seasons—and a fourth place finish this season—not good enough.
With Spurs desperate to secure a regular berth in the Champions League spots—something they won't have next season thanks to Chelsea's European Cup win—it is an all-important decision for chairman Daniel Levy.
Here we take a look at five candidates for the job at White Hart Lane, including the current bookies' favourite.
Almost since the day Harry Redknapp vacated the Tottenham hot-seat, former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has been one of the most often-mentioned names for who might take over.
Indeed, some outlets have gone so far as to say that the Portuguese man is all but a done deal after he rejected the chance to move to South America and manage Brazilian side Sao Paolo.
"AVB," as he became known, had a terrific spell in charge of FC Porto which put him in the eye of chairmen all over Europe, but it was Roman Abramovich who forked out an eight-figure sum to release him from his contract—only to fire him around seven months later.
As a free agent, Villas-Boas would not cost Spurs anything to attain, though some have speculated that a clause in his release contract from Chelsea mentions that he cannot take over another team in England until July 2012, a possible reason for the delay in announcement so far.
The current France manager, Laurent Blanc, may be looking for a new job following his nation's tame Euro 2012 exit at the hands of Spain.
Having made some tough decisions and done some good work to regroup the national side following the appalling performances at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Blanc might have thought that he could restore some national pride, but the poor attitude and negativity of the players ultimately sent them home at a relatively early stage.
Having won admirers for his work at Bordeaux where he spent three seasons, Blanc was immediately installed as a front runner for the Spurs job after the French exit from the Euros.
Bert Van Marwijk
Another Euro 2012 manager, Bert van Marwijk's Holland-side suffered even more disappointing results than Laurent Blanc's France as they crashed out in the group stages having suffered three defeats in three games.
In fairness, Holland qualified for the tournament easily and were one of the favourites to win it with a host of attacking talent at their disposal.
A 1-0 loss to Denmark, despite the side playing well and creating bags of chances, set the tone for the Dutch to play catch-up, and they lost successive games to Germany and Portugal.
Soon after their exit from Euro 2012, van Marwijk tendered his resignation from his post and is available as a free agent.
Prior to the international stage, van Marwijk managed Feyenoord in his home country and also Borussia Dortmund, showing he has plenty of experience and might be a good name for Spurs to look at if they decide against going for the bigger reputation, but lesser proof of ability over the long term, of Villas-Boas.
One of the first names said to be interesting Spurs after Redknapp's departure, David Moyes has spent a decade at Everton, only his second job in management, following an impressive start to his coaching life at Preston North End.
Seen by some as a successor to big-club managers such as Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Moyes is revered by some sections of the media for "overachieving on a minimal budget".
The same minimal budget, presumably, which allowed the signings of the likes of James Beattie (£8 million), Marouane Fellaini (£15 million), Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (£9 million), Yakubu (£11 million), Per Kroldrup (£5 million), Andrew Johnson (£8.5 million) and most recently Nikica Jelavic (£7 million).
While certain traits are certainly admirable attributes of Moyes'—team organisation, work ethic building, grinding out results and bringing through youngsters from the academy system—perhaps the most important one, namely winning trophies, is not among them.
In his 10 years at Everton, Moyes is yet to win a single trophy.
Having been linked with a move away from Wigan Athletic to the likes of Aston Villa, Liverpool and of course now to Tottenham for the past two seasons, it seems unlikely that Roberto Martinez will remain at the Lancashire club for too much longer—but it might be another season, after the two former clubs looked elsewhere again this summer and Spurs look set to do the same.
Martinez has progressed from Swansea City to Wigan Athletic and won plaudits for the way his team continued their passing game in the face of relegation and ultimately survived, but Spurs fans may be slightly less impressed at the memory of Martinez guiding Wigan to a 9-1 defeat against them.
By the way, notice all the source links for the "favourite" for the Spurs' manager job came from the same media outlet? Presumably not quite all of them are accurate....