Gennaro Gattuso has claimed that he does not believe his problematic past comments regarding women in football and same-sex marriage were the reason behind why Spurs fans did not want him to be the club’s next head coach.
Tottenham abruptly ended talks with Paulo Fonseca last month and entered into discussions with Gattuso, who had parted ways with Fiorentina after just 23 days in charge of the club.
However, some Spurs fans made their opposition to the Italian’s appointment clear, with the ‘#NoToGattuso’ trending in the UK at the time.
It was reported that the negative reaction from the fans was the main reason behind why the North London club pulled out of talks with the former AC Milan midfielder.
However, the 43-year-old has now defended himself against accusations of sexism and homophobia, insisting that it might have been his scuffle with former Tottenham first-team assistant coach Joe Jordan back in 2011 that ruffled Spurs fans.
Gattuso told Gianluca Di Marzio: “I find it hard to think that this was the reason for my failure to move to Tottenham.
“At the limit, their fans may have been left with the image of my fight with Jordan in 2011, who was their assistant manager at the time.
“Me racist, sexist and homophobic? That’s not true, ask my former teammates. Only some of my statements have been misrepresented.
“My story teaches that keyboard hatred is something dangerous and underestimated.
“I am a public figure and I have the strength to react, but there are many other people who may not succeed and maybe throw themselves out of the window out of weakness.”
Spurs Web Opinion
What Gattuso had with Jordan in 20199 certainly was not a ‘fight’. The Italian had a shocker of a game in the middle of the park as Milan lost 1-0 at home and he was taking his frustrations out by picking fights all night.
He went over to Jordan completely unprovoked and shoved him by his neck was extremely lucky to escape a red card. However, Spurs got their revenge the very next week by knocking Milan out and that incident clearly was not the main reason why Tottenham fans were against Gattuso’s appointment.
Whether the allegations made about the Italian are true or not, the optics surrounding his appointment would have been terrible for Spurs at a time when the club is already split after Mourinho’s spell. So, the club clearly made the right decision by calling off talks with the 43-year-old as we desperately needed a head coach who can bring people together.
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