Sixty two days have passed since Daniel Levy ended Jose Mourinho’s tenure in charge at Tottenham and the Spurs chairman remains as far from appointing a new manager than he had been on that balmy April morning.
Levy penned an open letter to supporters last month in which he accepted that the club had ‘lost its DNA’.
If the events of the last 62 days are anything to go by, the 59-year-old must be under the impression that incompetence, disarray and chaos are at the heart of the North London club’s values.
Daniel Levy has overseen a nightmare search for Tottenham’s new manager this summer
Levy’s nightmare hunt for Mourinho’s successor has served as a rude awakening for a chairman widely regarded as one of the most ruthless operators in the business.
This disastrous managerial search, in which seven coaches have been linked with the club but have failed to sign on the dotted line, can be divided in two parts.
The first encapsulates Levy’s lofty views of where his club sits in the pecking order of the European elite. The second demonstrates the incompetence at the heart of the Spurs operation.
62 days after sacking Jose Mourinho, the club is no closer to bringing in a replacement
MANAGERS SPURS HAVE FAILED TO LAND
Erik ten Hag
There is no doubt that Levy has been swept away by his club’s transformation from plucky outsiders to a ‘Big Six’ side worthy of inclusion in the disastrous European Super League.
Spurs fans caught a glimpse of Levy’s hubristic view of his club in that ‘All or Nothing’ Amazon documentary, in which he gloated that they had hired ‘one of the two best managers in world football’ after appointing Mourinho.
However, no fewer than four managers shared the same vision of the club that the chairman holds, indicating the depths the club have fallen since their appearance in the Champions League final two years ago.
Julian Nagelsmann snubbed Spurs for Bayern Munich, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers deemed that the grass was not greener in North London, Erik ten Hag committed his future to Ajax while Antonio Conte got cold feet after prolonged talks with the club.
‘I look for the projects instead and I am ready to stay at home if something is not convincing me. It has to do with vision, honesty and principles,’ Antonio Conte said of his decision to walk away from Spurs as Levy furiously briefed that he had done the dumping.
‘Tottenham is a great club, one of the biggest clubs in Britain but for me I’m just in a really, really happy place in my life,’ Rodgers said in football’s equivalent to ‘it’s not you, it’s me’.
Julian Nagelsmann (R) opted for Bayern Munich while Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers (L) decided the grass is not greener in North London
With their tail between their legs, Spurs gave the strongest possible indication that there was simply no coherent thinking behind their managerial search as they trudged back to Mauricio Pochettino.
Levy dumped the Argentine after lusting for Mourinho, and despite the humiliation of that failed partnership, the 59-year-old backed himself to rekindle things with Pochettino and woo him back from PSG.
Pochettino, it seemed, was keen on a reunion but then PSG slammed the door shut by triggering an automatic extension in his contract. Spurs’ search had to go on.
Antonio Conte got cold feet and said the offer was not ‘convincing’ him to take over
Levy moved for PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino, who he had sacked only two years earlier
However, he learnt that he cannot outmanoeuvre Paris Saint-Germain’s ruthless operators
Five other managers were approached, none captured. With supporters restless and questioning Levy’s ability to get a deal done, the 59-year-old handed over the reins to a person well equipped to lead the football operation.
On paper, Fabio Paratici has all the credentials to get Spurs back up the Premier League table. The Italian worked wonders with Juventus, with his work behind the scenes instrumental to their dominance of Italian football.
Yet Paratici’s No 1 candidate initially failed to win sway with Spurs supporters. Compared to the names previously linked with the gig, Paulo Fonseca was uninspiring to say the least.
After all, the Portuguese has just been replaced at Roma by Jose Mourinho, the man who spectacularly failed to get the club anywhere near Champions League football. News of the Jorge Mendes client making six substitutes in one game failed to inspire confidence among supporters.
Levy turned to Fabio Paratici to lead the search after failing to land the targets he wanted
Paulo Fonseca became the leading candidate but the agreement inexplicably fell through
However, over time Spurs fans had come around to the prospect of Fonseca taking over, with the 48-year-old’s attractive style of football and willingness to promote youth players attractive qualities.
Fans on board? Yes. Fonseca interested? Absolutely. The deal appeared simple enough to finalise, so it came as a shock when, once again, Spurs failed to land their leading candidate.
Inexplicably, talks had broken down with Fonseca and the club was reeling after a sixth candidate fell by the wayside.
Spurs’ search began with arrogance, turned to incompetence and after the Fonseca shock, desperation kicked in. Paratici picked up the phone and dialled Gennaro Gattuso, who had just left Fiorentina after 22 days in charge.
Incompetence turned to desperation as Gennaro Gattuso became linked with the hot seat
However, talks were abandoned after vociferous opposition from the Tottenham fanbase
The fiery Italian has made a positive start to his managerial career, enjoying decent spells with AC Milan and Napoli, and would certainly inject the intensity in the dressing room that has been lacking for some time.
But Gattuso’s historic sexist, homophobic and racist remarks, coupled with his bitter history with Spurs as a player, saw fans unite in howling for the club to abandon talks with the Italian, as #NoToGattuso trended overnight in Britain.
Spurs promptly scrapped their pursuit of the 43-year-old, an episode that further highlighted the club’s disconnect with the fans.
62 days, seven managers approached and nothing to show for it. In 57 days Spurs host Manchester City in their opening game of a 2021-22 campaign that threatens to be a disaster for the North Londoners.
They can have no one to blame but themselves.
The Spurs chairman finds himself back at square one and needs to make an appointment soon