There are some moments in football where you can sense that the ground beneath your feet has shifted and left the landscape transformed. We had one of those moment yesterday when the full time whistle blew at Villa Park.
Their team had just completed the incredible comeback from the disastrous Gerrard tenure where they were on the brink of the drop to qualify for Europe. That was enormous for them … and may be important for us.
Because that results consigned Spurs to eighth spot.
That means there will be no European football for them next season.
That does two things.
It makes an approach for Ange more likely – who in God’s name will take that job now? – but it also makes it less likely that it will hold any interest for a boss who has already qualified for the Champions League Groups.
The impact on Spurs will be momentous. Harry Kane was already said to be swithering about committing his future. He won’t stay now, he can’t. He will have offers from top clubs, Champions League clubs … and Spurs will not only probably struggle to keep him but they will definitely struggle to replace him with anyone of similar quality.
The very best players will not want to miss out on European football, even if it’s for one year.
In prestige terms alone, this is a catastrophic outcome for them … and it changes everything as far as their pursuit of a top class manager goes. They are literally tearing up the shortlist and starting again. Ange, because he’d be cheap and because their board arrogantly presumes he would not be able to turn it down, will clearly be a candidate.
Which is to say he’ll be amongst the names discussed.
On balance, I still don’t believe that the offer will come our way.
I have never believed that Spurs will approach a club in the SPFL about a manager no matter how well he’s doing here. But it’s important not to completely ignore these stories, especially when the volume continues to go up.
Spurs failure to even make the lowest tier of European football next season means that their board has to pull a major rabbit out of the hat to appease a fan-base which is going to be increasingly angry at them.
To hire an SPFL boss now … I think that might trigger a season ticket sales melt-down.
The irony, of course, is that they sacked Conte with him still in a Champions League spot … that should be a signal to anyone who takes the job that they are a club with a grossly unrealistic view of where they stand in the global game.
They haven’t won a major honour for fifteen years, and that was the League Cup.
So I don’t know where this idea that they are some European force comes from, except for one appearance in a Champions League final … and they sacked the guy who got them there a matter of months later, which shows you what a schizophrenic club they are.
Yesterday’s was a devastating blow to their pride and self image. Levy needs to rectify that.
So Ange will considered … but I expect them to move on for someone like Potter, who has his own reputation to rebuild.
Rodgers too will be in the frame, although he would be mad to take this job on.
But the list of managers who will be interested just got shorter.
The next guy has to hit the ground running, or have a reputation which is sufficient to soothe the fans and convince them to give him time. So Ange will automatically move up the list because names will drop off it … but the job itself has become a little less attractive, the position of any new boss a little less secure, the lure of the club a little less glamorous and appealing.
And I think that’s very good news for us.
If reports which suggest we’re preparing to make Ange the highest paid manager in our history are true then we might get the announcement that we all want most after the cup final next weekend.
I cannot wait for it.
We’re in special times here and I think we’ve got much, much more to look forward to. Once this Spurs issue is settled – and it very soon will be – we can enjoy the summer and start looking forward to the next campaign.
But the cup final first!
And we should all be counting the minutes down.