Tottenham and Swansea City will hope their managers’ words aren’t hollow

FC Barcelona

As Barcelona seek a new coach, two of the favourites for the job may be wondering what the short- and long-term future will bring.

Saying nothing does not, in itself, rule out any possibility.

In the aftermath of Tito Vilanova’s resignation as Barcelona coach, both Andre Villas-Boas and Michael Laudrup were asked about the possibility of succeeding him; and as you would expect in such circumstances, both wished the Spaniard well and refused to comment further.

If he has to resign over illness,” Villas-Boas said, “it’s not the time to speak about speculation.”

And on the same evening, Laudrup said, “You are asking me something I know nothing about. It’s pure speculation.”

Focused as both men were on their club’s latest pre-season matches, it is no surprise that such a question caught them unaware.

But in light of the revelation, did either or both have a few extra thoughts in their head as they drifted off to sleep last night?

That they both used the word “speculation” says much about what football has become. It is as much about the what-if as the end result, as much about possibilities as certainties.

That the Spurs and Swansea managers will remain next season is a certainty. At least it was until last night’s hastily-convened press conference in Barcelona.

From that moment on, the commitment Villas-Boas has given to Tottenham and Laudrup to the Swans is conveniently forgotten.

The Dane may have only days ago said, “A promise is a promise – that’s why I’m here.” But some clubs are harder to turn down than others; and the media knows that.

The fact that neither Villas-Boas nor Laudrup actually reiterated their stance in their most recent interviews will only lead to further speculation. We may not agree with it, but such is the game we follow.

Luis Enrique is the favourite to take over at the Nou Camp. And the speed with which the change has been necessitated suggests that is the most likely move, short-term or otherwise.

But there is no doubt Tottenham and Swansea have two of the most talented and sought-after managers in Europe.

And if Barcelona do opt for a temporary fix before seeking a permanent boss next summer, expect the speculation to start all over again.

Do you think the pull of the Nou Camp could ultimately lead either Villas-Boas or Laudrup away from their current club?

image: © mariosp

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