Opinion: The four candidates who could be considered if Spurs sack Jose Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

The disputed appointment of Jose Mourinho as Spurs’ head coach in 2019 has swiftly evolved into a scene of change and adjustment at the club.

A considerable number of fans will undoubtedly have had concerns about the style of play Mourinho would bring to Spurs. Although, they may not have considered his credentials.

Mourinho had a previous 2-year stint at Manchester United, in the end, seeing them bring home an EFL Cup and Europa League trophy in 2017.

We knew that Mourinho would bring this winning mentality to Spurs and the majority were also aware that his defensive approach to football would be part of the package.

Since his arrival, Spurs have picked up 36 wins from 70 games in all competitions. From the remaining games, 17 have been defeats, and 17 draws (Wikipedia).

Mourinho has a 47% win percentage with Spurs in the league which conquers that of Harry Redknapp but falls short of our previous 3 managers (Pochettino, Sherwood, Villas-Boas). All of them have a better record (myfootballfacts).

It is clear that Spurs still have unfinished business with Mourinho, however, it is never too early to look to the future.

Therefore, it may be likely that Daniel Levy already has a list of candidates drawn up to replace the 58-year-old. The question is, who is on that list, or more significantly, who SHOULD be on it?

One of the first names that springs to mind is Julien Nagelsmann. Currently managing RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, Nagelsmann is unquestionably on multiple clubs’ radars (90Min).

At only 33, Nagelsmann is the perfect person to oversee a major project at the club. By looking at the current Tottenham squad, it is evident that some activity is needed in the upcoming transfer windows.

What better opportunity to do so than with a manager that has only lost 12 of his 75 matches with Leipzig? (TransferMarkt).

Furthermore, Nagelsmann successfully guided Leipzig to a third-place finish last season. Alongside this, he managed to fight his way to a Champions League semi-final.

This is an impressive feat from the young coach. He may remind people of Pochettino when he coached Southampton. His fluid attacking football helped Southampton finish 8th in the 2013/14 season (TransferMarkt).

Alternatively, Spurs may wish to consider the benefit of experience on the side-line. If this is the case, Brendan Rodgers would suffice. He has already proven himself at both Liverpool and Leicester.

We can all recall that sensational season in which Liverpool conceded a 5-point lead at the top. With only 3 games to go, Liverpool handed Manchester City the title. However, this should not damage the respectable reputation Rodgers has built himself in the last decade.

More recently, Leicester have found themselves flourishing under the approach Rodgers has adopted up in the Midlands. They have incorporated more of a free role for the likes of James Maddison to exploit the pace of Jamie Vardy in behind.

A similar setup could work at Spurs. Rodgers could help provide the likes of Ndombele with space to feed the channels in behind for Son to manoeuvre.

He could administer a balance between attacking prowess and defensive stability. This could potentially see us thrive under his management.

More interestingly, Spurs could send a feeling of déjà vu through the club and look to the south coast. Ralph Hassenhuttl could be another avenue for Tottenham to explore.

The Southampton boss has turned the heads of many this season. Some have even gone as far as to suggest he has ‘revolutionised’ Southampton (BBC SPORT), barring that 9-0 defeat to Man United.

Whilst the Austrian may not be at the top of Levy’s list, he is worth considering. Hassenhuttl has established a philosophy within the Southampton camp that relies on constant pressing.

By forcing the opposition into mistakes, Southampton have managed to score 28 goals in the league this season (TransferMarkt).

We all remember the humiliating 9-0 defeat the Saints suffered in 2019. Since then, the 53-year-old has transformed them into a difficult side to face. But can he do it again after the more recent United thrashing?

He is another that may flourish under the pressure of running a club like Spurs.

Finally, it would be wrong to not mention Ledley King. Despite not having any previous experience, there seems to be a trend of appointing ex-players.

This would be a huge risk, although we have seen Solskjaer prosper at United, we have also witnessed Chelsea dispatch Lampard.

It may be the case that Ledley should be considered a few years down the line. Succeeding Mourinho would be no easy job for someone with so little experience.

The four candidates mentioned are not an exhaustive list of replacements for Mourinho. However, each has qualities that would be of value at Spurs.

It will be interesting to see who does come in for Mourinho. Levy could splash the cash on another high-profile face. Contrastingly, he could establish a project with a developing coach.

Perhaps Mourinho might stay. If anyone is going to win us trophies, it will be that man. Regardless, the decision will be an important one and may shape the club for the years to come.

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