Gennaro Gattuso has admitted that he was hurt when Tottenham Hotspur decided not to appoint him last summer following accusations of sexism and homophobia levelled against him.
Tottenham held talks with a whole host of candidates last summer before eventually deciding to appoint Nuno Espirito Santo as Jose Mourinho’s replacement (Evening Standard).
As it happened, the Nuno experiment lasted only four months before the Portuguese coach was replaced at the helm by Antonio Conte.
Gattuso was one of the candidates who the North London club reportedly talked to before giving the job to the former Wolves man.
However, some Spurs fans on social made their opposition to the Italian’s appointment clear, with the ‘#NoToGattuso’ trending in the UK at the time, citing the former AC Milan midfielder’s alleged past sexist and homophobic comments (Metro).
Gattuso has now completed a return to management, replacing Jose Bordalas at the helm of Valencia this summer.
The former Italy international admitted that he is thankful the Valencia chiefs did not get swayed by the accusations levelled at him on social media, like the Spurs hierarchy were.
“I would be hypocritical though if I said I didn’t suffer for the things they said about me, but I did it in silence. Been targeted for things that are not part of me: I am another person.
“Things have come out that are not true. If we go and take things I said 15 years ago and put them in a certain context, the controversy can be but I’m different from how they described me.
“Last year I chattered my teeth: I had left Fiorentina and everyone was convinced that I had Tottenham. And it wasn’t true. I didn’t go to work at Tottenham on false accusations.
“And think about it. If it had happened here too, if the president had fallen for it in the same way that the Tottenham managers did. Difficult to defend oneself.
“Fortunately, the management here supported me. Unfortunately, social networks can also destroy a person. I have my back wide and I resisted: little girls or boys often do not have such broad shoulders.
“When you have a family that supports you and real friends it passes you by, but if you don’t have it it’s hard.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The reason for Spurs to pull the plug on the Gattuso appointment might have not been that they believed the accusations against him.
However, given what the 44-year-old was being accused of, it would have been a PR disaster for the club to have ended up with the Italian, particularly after their protracted and messy managerial search.
While Nuno’s appointment was quite underwhelming, it all turned out well in the end, with Conte arriving not soon after.
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