Before this article moves on to the fantasy subject at its heart, let’s deal with something on the basis of cold, hard reality.
If Ange Postecoglou is approached by Spurs he might well decide to go, and they can free him from his Celtic contract cheaply. If Spurs keep on getting knocked back by managers they will, eventually, arrive at ours.
When this process started, they had a long list of top European coaches.
But as that list has gradually been whittled down, as people have flatly rejected their club, Ange’s name – which I’m sure was on there somewhere – has steadily inched its way up.
Does this present a moment of danger? Only if you believe that Ange’s name will ever reach the summit of that list, and only if you believe that the reasons why so many managers have turned their club down won’t apply in his case.
If you think this man will be tempted by money and the lure of the big league down south, and no other consideration will matter, then lie awake at night and live in dread about that possibility.
Some of us are going to sleep just fine. Because I don’t think the offer will ever come and I don’t think he’d accept it if it did. Whatever is putting people off at Spurs – and there’s a lot to be put off by – will be enough to give him real doubts about it.
Today, as for months, we’ve got hysterical headlines about this.
I’ve done my homework. They all trace back to a single piece from earlier, from The Independent. Every other media outlet has taken its cue from there, and so have the bookies.
But the Independent report doesn’t say that Ange is the favourite.
It doesn’t say that there will be an approach.
This is all vague and wishy washy “in the event no-one else wants it” stuff.
There’s nothing of substance in the piece at all.
In fact, instead of something more than rumour there’s a bizarre contention in there that because the “relationship” between the two clubs is good that we would be perfectly fine with them unsettling, and then taking our manager on the cheap.
That’s plainly absurd. What relationship is this? And if one does exist and you wanted to ruin it, this would be a good way to bring in the wrecking ball and start the demolition job.
Based on this single report, and this baffling claim, every outlet in Scotland is breathlessly firing out copy. On the basis of nothing at all. On the basis of one guy in England and the news that the manager of Feynoord isn’t convinced by the club’s pitch and has decided to commit his future to staying in Holland for the time being.
The manager of Feynoord. Has turned down Spurs. Think on that for a moment. Think on what that means. Think on the level of doubt that exists in relation to whatever plan they are following as a club down there. Out of work bosses have turned it down, and now they can’t attract a coach from the Dutch league. There are obviously big problems there.
“They have become accustomed to adjusting their style to the manager, rather than selecting a manager to fit the ethos that underlies everything at the club from academy to recruitment,” Jonathon Wilson wrote of them in The Guardian earlier this year.
Later on, a Guardian writer mocked their initial managerial shortlist for including one manager who prefers all-out attack and other who prefers to pack the defence; a clear-cut sign of a club which has no clear plan for what it wants to be.
No manager is safe in a job like that, something that’s been borne out in the bloodshed that frequently overwhelms them. They’ve had eleven permanent managers and a half dozen temporary bosses in the last two decades alone. What’s worse is that they’ve sacked three in the last four years; Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espírito Santo and Antonio Conte.
Worse even than that, they’ve recently sacked their interim manager, Cristian Stellini, after he’d been in charge for just four games … that club is a toxic soup from which no manager could realistically make a success story.
At the helm of it all is Daniel Levy; long time readers might remember him. He was one of the last people in the UK to think that Rangers was a decent investment. He gave Murray a huge chunk of change in exchange for a seat on the board at Ibrox, which he held until 2004. His £40 million “investment” was bought out by Murray for £8 million.
This is the man whose “judgement” has brought their club a solitary honour – a League Cup in 2008 – since he bought them over in 2001.
So yeah, there’s a lot of media smoke but not much fire here.
Every single candidate they have approached so far has turned them down.
The club is not seen as a pleasant place to be.
Nobody is going to get time to put their mark on the squad before the most intense pressure is being brought to bear on them. A club without a strategy … or one where Ange is the man who sets the strategy and decides the direction of travel?
I know which one most sensible managers would choose.
That’s why today’s stories don’t worry me.
There’s no journalistic graft at the centre of them, just one guy’s work being lazily copied by everybody else. It’s hard to take seriously a corporate culture which behaves with so little regard for the principles of hard work.
Not one bit of effort has gone in to finding out if this story is true or not.
They follow each other now like sheep. It is a pathetic indictment of the industry.