Reports emerged last week that Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal is ‘waiting in the wings’ to take charge at White Hart Lane after the World Cup in Brazil.
Current coach Tim Sherwood has done well since taking over the reigns from Andre Villas-Boas but reports suggest chairman Daniel Levy could look to Van Gaal as the man to take the North Londoners forward.
Meanwhile, this week current Ajax manager Frank de Boer has expressed his interest in taking over Spurs one day and the younger of the two Netherlands legends could be exactly the kind of character and practitioner to take charge of the young and supremely gifted squad at White Hart Lane.
43-year-old De Boer has been head coach at the Dutch champions for the last four years after a two-year spell as Netherlands national team assistant manager and Ajax youth development head. He has a superb track record of developing some of the best young players in the continent, including Spurs’ own Christian Eriksen who arrived from Holland last summer.
As a player De Boer the Dutch title five times with Ajax, the La Liga title with Barcelona as well as gaining experience in Britain with Rangers in the Scottish Premier League and an abundance of international experience with over 100 caps for the Netherlands.
As a coach, De Boer has won three domestic titles in Holland with Ajax, one each season since he took charge in 2010 as well as being part of the coaching team that took the Netherlands to the final of the World Cup in 2010.
However, 62-year-old Van Gaal has also won three Dutch titles with Ajax in the 1990s as well as the Champions League with them in 1994/95, the UEFA Cup in 1991/92 and the UEFA Super Cup in 1995.
He lead Barcelona to two back-to-back La Liga titles between 1997 and 1999 and won the UEFA Super Cup in 1997 with the Catalans as well before winning the Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich in 2009/10 in the same season he was awarded the honour of German Football Manager of the Year and Dutch Sports Coach of the Year.
Whilst Van Gaal would obviously provide the greater experience in terms of age, competition for medals and European glory, De Boer has a higher percentage of wins as a manger so far with his 62.7% win ratio to Van Gaal’s 61.2% win ratio.
De Boer would be more of a similar style coach to Villas-Boas in terms of his man-management approach and his philosophy based around youth development and progressive style. Van Gaal is more of a grandfather type figure in the dressing room with far more gravitas and fear-factor in the template of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Overall, I think if Levy appointed Van Gaal it would be more of a short-term signing to get Tottenham disciplined and challenging for titles at the top level but, personally, I would see De Boer as more of a long-term ideal to build and develop Tottenham for years to come.
I would therefore think the younger of the two Dutch legends would be the man most ideally suited to the job and would provide more stability which the North Londoners undoubtedly need.