The case for Frank de Boer

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

If the reports from all the major media outlets are to be believed, it seems like Spurs are set to appoint Mauricio Pochettino for the job. But I think Frank De Boer is the more suitable candidate.

Pochettino has Premier League experience and also employs an exciting brand of football at Southampton. But he has done it only for one season. Two seasons ago when Levy sacked Redknapp, wasn’t Alan Pardew doing the same at Newcastle? Playing exciting football, bringing out the best of unproven players like Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, guiding them to a fifth place finish and missing out on top four by a very narrow margin. What I’m trying to say is that Pochettino, although undoubtedly talented, needs more time before he can be judged. If one is giving the examples of small club managers like Roberto Martinez or Brendon Rodgers to help Pochettino’s case, both Martinez and Rodgers spent a lot of time with their previous clubs before taking the big step.

Frank De Boer has all the credentials to become a THFC manager except one, he is untested in Premier League. But Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Pellegrini were all untested at the time of their arrival yet they were successful in their first job in England. If you are a winner, then wherever you play or coach, it doesn’t matter because you carry that winning mentality with you. And FDB is a proven winner both as a coach and as a player. He played Champions League football with Ajax and Barcelona in a very illustrious career, and he has coached Ajax in the Champions League as well as winning the domestic title four times in his first four attempts. Also when he arrived, Ajax hadn’t won the league for eight years.

FDB will probably need a season to get accustomed to Premier League, but Pochettino will also need time to get used to manage a club of Spurs’ stature. Both FDB’s and Pochettino’s teams play exciting football and focuses on youth players. But unlike FDB, Pochettino hasn’t lost any of his star players yet. Each season Ajax lost their most influential players, FDB promotes someone from the academy and build the team again. They struggle till Christmas, they gel as a team by then and win the league.

Also FDB made a comment about Ajax that when he arrived, Ajax used to have plenty of possession but were not able to score and win, he said he just fixed that. Isn’t this the same problem Spurs suffering under AVB? Surely the same solutions can be tried here too!

Both Pochettino and FDB employ an exciting brand of football. But is that enough to be successful? Sometimes when things don’t go your way you have to find a way to win, exciting or ugly, doesn’t really matter. Managers like Brendon Rodgers, Pochettino, Martinez plays exciting football. But all of them fell short of their targets. Managers like Jose Mourinho are specialist in winning ugly and winning titles. While managers like Ferguson, Wenger, Pellegrini are a blend of both. FDB also falls in last category. He employs an exciting brand of football at Ajax, but also know how to win ugly to win titles. And in Spurs’ case the title will be a top four finish. We have fell short many times with so little margins that an ugly win or draw here and there would have sufficed. De Boer may be the man to get those extra 3-4 points.

If Levy appoints Pochettino, it won’t be a bad appointment but knowing that we could have had better, I will be a little disappointed.

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  1. Levy is an idiot and is incapable of making a decent managerial appointment. We should be going for De Boer, not an inexperienced one from Southampton. What joke our club is!

    • Spot on. Levy is a great chairman for the money side but is terrible at picking a manager. Worst candidate of the lot. What will levy do when we finish 8th nxt year???

  2. stop dreaming that spudds are a big club, lets be honest they are already probably lining up pochettino's replacement. Get real and accept that they are not going to win anything

  3. Not sure you're following your own logic there mate.

    Pochettino has 1 year Premier League experience, you don't think that's enough.

    De Boer has 0 years Premier League experience but "But Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Pellegrini were all untested…" so it doesn't matter.

    Sounds like you think zero years experience is better than one.

    • What I wanted to say is that experience is never an issue if you have quality, a winning mentality, a vision and the ability to communicate with players. A good manager will need at most one season to become enough experienced. Also United hired a manager with vast Premier League experience last year, but didn’t exactly worked out for them.

      • I find that argument flawed in the sense that the value of "having won stuff" is only relevant when comparing the relative strength of a manager's squad in its respective league. That is IMO what shows what the manager actually adds, ie making the sum greater than its parts. Otherwise you could argue that a successful manager of a pub team would be a certainty to succeed – because he has that "winning mentality". That is also why it was plain to see why Martinez was an excellent manager, despite getting relegated with Wigan.

        Whilst you can only beat whats infront of you – not winning the Dutch league with Ajax would definitely be considered a failure. Moreover, its not like Ajax under FDB has set the world alight in the CL either. AVB won the Portuguese league (which is of at least similar stature of the Dutch league), and had much better results in Europe by winning the Europa League. Yet he was utterly clueless, and a complete failure with Chavs as well as Spurs. A more convincing argument for FDB, would IMO instead be based on to which extent his managing/tactical style would represent a better fit for Spurs, rather than his alleged "winning mentality".

  4. I'm a die hard Spurs fan. I support Spurs and not managers or owners. I've supported Spurs ALL MY LIFE, will continue supporting SPURS whatever dude is in charge.

  5. Completely agree. While I'll back Pochettino if he gets appointed I'll a little dissapointed that we didn't get FdB

  6. I read this article and thought I must have submitted this without realising. … have echoed my views…..

  7. AVB had also won a lot in a smaller league… Didn't make him a Premier League success!

    But, given time I believe both FdB and Pochettino can be successful with us… I am happy with either!

  8. I can't believe it,we wanted AVB fired,we wanted Sherwood fired we are complaining about the potential manager and he is not even appointed,then we blame Levy because there is no stability,if we had the combined Real Madrid and Barca squad managed jointly by Angelloti and Guardiola there would still be Spurs fans wanting something else .Bring back Arry or Venables or Hoddle would that make some happy?.We have a decent squad with minor tweaks and a new manager who I hope Will get at least two years for Pete's sake give him a chance and support the team.

  9. I think there are some things to be considered with Pochettino.

    First, his playing style will definitely be accepted b all the fans if it yields results. It was highly effective for southampton for most of the year and in the early portion of the season they had an absolute top defence. This is all very impressive considering most of the squad was inherited. The problem was the depth of the squad at his disposal, its a very young team with not alot of players stepping in and contributing should any of the big players be out with injury. Spurs do not have this issue and squad of their size could really compliment Poch’s style while not burning out and lose their legs by the end of the year.

    Second, his ability to work with youth, I totally acknowledge that is something De Boer does too, but Poch has worked and succeeded with english youth. Tottenham currently have a very strong class of young english footballers as well as others, some starters already while others are looking to break into the side on a bigger level. Kane, Fryers, Walker, Rose(hopefully not), Carroll, Bentaleb, and potentially though unlikely Pritchard, could gain huge benefits from working under Pochettino. So too could established players such as Eriksen, Chadli, Paulinho and Lamela.

    Third and finally is the money Spurs can provide him in the transfer market. Last year saw Pochettino and Southampton execute some shrewd business with Wanyama and Lovren two prime examples. Clearly Pochettino can work within a budget in identifying and acquiring quality players that compliment his style of play but Spurs would offer Pochettino a much larger amount to work with.

    This coupled with his ability to incorporate youth within club and operate with a predominantly inherited squad has so many benefits to spurs and levy, who will know doubt not want to spend a huge amount this summer.

    • Poch succeeded with English youth ? don't you think it has been nurtured along long before Poch took over at Southampton, all he done was picked it, or are you going to credit Rodgers for the amazing player that is Sterling ? jesus christ some of our fans are clueless !

  10. really its a no brainer , FDB , “proven track record , player /coach and not to mention the influence that he brings with him , its not even a debate that the canditates mentioned other than FDB will be the next sir alex .. or close to ?!?!?!

  11. FDB Please. Can't we be boring and conservative, if only for a season and give him the leeway to the thing we are all waiting for.
    A Spurs team that is respected and not the laughing stock of the PL.

  12. Ha Ha Levy has gone for the cheap option yet again, this tit from Southampton has less experience than AVB.. but will our fans ever call for Levy to quit ? not a hope in hell they all think he is quality and haven't worked out yet that he is ripping them all off.

  13. Why does this feel like déjà vu from 2012? We appoint AVB instead of Martinez. Now it's Pochettino instead of FdB. I only hope he turns out to be a class manager, and you can never know until a few years down the line. But FdB looks so much better on paper, it should have been a no-brained. COYS


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