According to reports, former England and Tottenham manager could return to take charge of Spurs as speculation over the future of Andre Villas-Boas continues.
Following their disastrous 6-0 defeat at Manchester City, Tottenham are suffering something of a confidence crisis in their leadership by Portuguese boss Andre Villas-Boas. The former Chelsea coach and assistant to Jose Mourinho has come under fire from all direction after an underwhelming start to the season following the £103 million spending spree at White Hart Lane this summer.
Meanwhile, Tottenham legend and former boss Glenn Hoddle has entered the frame as a possible candidate to replace Villas-Boas as coach along with the likes of Michael Laudrup, former boss Harry Redknapp, even David Ginola and now, it seems, the 56-year-old could be a frontrunner.
The odds on Hoddle replacing Villas-Boas have plummeted in the past 48 hours from 66/1 to as low as 7/2. Hoddle played as a midfielder for Tottenham in for 12 years from 1975 to 1987 making 377 appearances for Spurs and scoring 88 goals before moving to France.
As a manager, Hoddle’s credentials include Chelsea, Southampton, Wolves, England and, of course, Tottenham where he was in charge for two years between 2001 and 2003.
As a player Hoddle won the UEFA in 1984 with Spurs, as well as two FA Cups, the Ligue 1 title and French Cup with Monaco and as a coach he took Chelsea to the 1994 FA Cup final, Tottenham to the 2002 League Cup final and England to the finals of the 1998 World Cup in France which the host nation won. England made it out of their group only to lose to Argentina on penalties in the now infamous game in which David Beckham was sent off for kicking out at Diego Simeone.
He was, of course, axed by the FA for his comments on reincarnation which were offensive to disabled people but, overall, Glenn Hoddle was a very good manager. He has the relevant experience of top-level football – both as a player and manager – and he has plenty of Premier League experience as well as some continental experience.
He has been out of the managerial merry-go-round for a number of years now, since 2006 when he parted ways with the club and has since been a pundit and commentator but could Hoddle do a better job with the current Spurs squad than AVB?
Back in the 2002/03 season, Spurs had the likes of Neil Sullivan, Stephen Carr, Steffen Freund, Darren Anderton, Teddy Sherringham, Serhiy Rebrov, Gus Poyet, Jamie Redknapp, Steffen Iversen, Robbie Keane, Christian Ziege, a very young Ledley King, and Matthew Etherington yet they finished 10th that season. Overall, their first team had a number of players of exceptional quality but they didn’t really hit their top gear and Robbie Keane was their top scorer with just 13 goals. Sherringham scored 10.
I would say Tottenham’s current squad has a significantly higher quality level overall and more potential, especially with the seven new arrivals this summer – at present, if not AVB, I would think someone like Laudrup or perhaps even Roberto Di Matteo would be better appointments than Hoddle. I don’t believe that Harry Redknapp would be a step forward but rather a step sideways or even back. I think Hoddle would represent a step back as well.
The quality of the Tottenham squad and their ambitions of Champions League football and Premier League titles in seasons to come is going to require a manager with top-level experience but also with time to implement his ideas.
I think probably, given that time, Andre Villas-Boas may well be the man for the job. If Spurs want to do better via hiring a 'better' coach, they will need to think perhaps about Jupp Heynckes, Roberto Mancini, or the man Pep Guardiola described as 'the world's greatest manager' Marcelo Bielsa, or former Netherlands, Bayern Munich and Barcelona coach Louis Van Gaal. The 'options' being suggested at present are not ones I personally would consider 'better' options than Andre Villas-Boas.
image: © TottenhamFan