In the week since Daniel Levy sacked Jose Mourinho, calls for Marcelo Bielsa to take the reins at Tottenham Hotspur have ramped up tenfold.
The ‘Special One’ was axed after a tumultuous 17 months at the helm following a dismal run of form which put their chances of making the top four in serious jeopardy.
A number of names have been linked with the vacant role, with former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason in temporary charge, but several well-respected pundits across the country have been calling for Spurs to appoint the current Leeds United manager.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, former Hull City talisman Dean Windass claimed that the 65-year-old “would be the one on the lips of Daniel Levy.”
Former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara echoed such a sentiment to talkSPORT as he said: “I think he’d be absolutely brilliant and the fans would love him. If you can try and prise him away from there it’d be unbelievable.”
There’s no denying that someone of Bielsa’s calibre would fire a rocket right through this squad, the same squad which let Mauricio Pochettino and then Mourinho down.
You’d imagine that there would be plenty of casualties – you only have to look at what he’s done at Elland Road with largely a Championship-standard squad.
They have gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Manchester City, who they defeated, and most recently Manchester United, with whom they drew on Sunday. Currently, the Yorkshire giants sit in ninth place, above Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wolves and only six points behind Spurs.
Bielsa is renowned for his relentless pressing style and it all starts on the training pitch, where players are regularly put through their paces and are meticulously checked daily for body fat and nutrition.
It can be a brutal regime. Leeds striker Patrick Bamford claims that Bielsa’s ‘murderball’ training sessions are “about ten times harder than a [Premier League] game,” for example.
Dele Alli is one man who is facing a dubious future as it is. He has played just 232 minutes in the league and, even under Mason, he has only made a brief six-minute cameo across two matches, as per Transfermarkt.
During Amazon’s All or Nothing docuseries last season, we saw Mourinho slam the 25-year-old as “lazy” but in far more colourful language, so it’s no surprise to see that his game-time dropped dramatically as the Portuguese’s tenure rumbled on.
Evidently, Mason has not seen enough from Alli for him to warrant a start or even a proper appearance from the bench, either. The 25-year-old very nearly left the club in January, with Pochettino wanting to bring him to Paris Saint-Germain, and that could well be revisited in the summer.
Given Bielsa’s intense training regime and how he demands so much from his players, the £26m-rated attacking midfielder would surely be pushed closer to the exit door if the Argentine were appointed.
If Levy were to hire the 65-year-old, who Pochettino once dubbed a “genius” and “special,” then it could well be the final nail in Alli’s regressing Spurs career.