Tottenham: Pressure mounts on Daniel Levy after fresh twist in Spurs manager search
On the eve of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Aston Villa, Spurs announced that despite their respect for the unemployed German, who was sacked by Bayern Munich in March, they have not spoken to Nagelsmann and have no intention of doing so.
The club’s position raises a big question: why wouldn’t he want to interview one of the most exciting young managers in the business, especially given the hints from Germany that Nagelsmann is open for the job pending the identity of Spurs’ new director of football?
Spurs have considered Nagelsmann twice in the past – following the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino in 2019 and then again during their chaotic search for Jose Mourinho’s successor in 2021 – so another question for the club is: what’s up changed significantly since then?
There are reasonable doubts as to whether the 35-year-old is the right person in personality or has the profile to bring about the bottom-up cultural change the club so desperately needs, while it is perhaps telling that Nagelsmann was not considered by Chelsea. after the job interview. Regardless, surely Spurs would at least want to speak to him to find out more about his vision and approach?
Nagelsmann’s own take on the situation could become clear in the coming days but it was understood he had concerns about Spurs’ current lack of a sporting director and one possibility is that the club simply knew he was likely to take the job would not accept.
Be that as it may, the decision to give up what is perhaps the most exciting candidate yet for the job – especially with Pochettino set to join Chelsea this week – will only increase the pressure on chairman Daniel Levy to get that appointment right.
Had Spurs signed Nagelsmann, it would certainly be much easier to explain the decision to let fan-favorite Pochettino move unchallenged to one of their biggest rivals on the grounds that they had brought in a younger, arguably more innovative, alternative.
And perhaps Levy does indeed have a plan for success up his sleeve that will soon become clear and will well justify disregarding Pochettino and Nagelsmann. It would be logical for the chairman to wait for a director of football to be appointed before speeding up the search for a new manager.
But there is concern that Spurs’ search for a manager, already 50 days old, will bear awkward parallels to 2021, when it took them 72 days to replace Mourinho, only to eventually be replaced by Nuno Espirito Santo.
Had Spurs signed Nagelsmann, it would be much easier to explain the decision to let fan-favorite Pochettino join one of their biggest rivals effectively unchallenged
Clearly Spurs are keen to prevent a repeat, but there’s already a familiar feeling that the longer this process takes, the less control the club has. Thomas Tuchel, who was admired by Spurs, has moved to Bayern, Pochettino has been ignored and now Nagelsmann is out of the running.
Can Spurs afford to keep missing such quality candidates? The difference this time around is that there are still a number of potentially exciting contenders in the running. Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi looks to be the closest thing to Pochettino in 2014; a good tactician, on the way up and with the power of his personality to change the culture at Spurs.
Arne Slot, who just guided Feyenoord to the Dutch title, Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso, Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou and Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim are all interesting candidates on paper too, although none have the experience of Nagelsmann or Pochettino.
Luis Enrique is more seasoned and a free agent but less obviously fits the club’s desired profile as a younger, up-and-coming project manager. Caretaker manager Ryan Mason, who reaffirmed his desire for a permanent job after the defeat at Villa Park, despite winning his first four games as manager, sees himself increasingly as an option, albeit under very difficult circumstances.
When Spurs sacked Antonio Conte in March, they held an advantage over Chelsea and all the other top European clubs planning a summer move. With the season now down to two weeks, there is a risk Spurs could lose their lead as there is a growing sense Levy still doesn’t know what he really wants.
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/tottenham-manager-nagelsmann-levy-pochettino-b1081164.html Tottenham: Pressure mounts on Daniel Levy after fresh twist in Spurs manager search