Erik ten Hag is one of several names to attract the interest of Tottenham Hotspur since the sacking of Jose Mourinho earlier this week…
That’s according to reliable football.london correspondent Alasdair Gold, who claimed that Spurs are targeting a ‘progressive, attack-minded’ coach who favours ‘possession-based football’ and ‘fits into the club’s culture.’
Ten Hag has interested the north Londoners after his success of progressing a number of young stars, whilst also seeing Ajax mount a solid challenge in Europe. The 51-year-old is on the verge of winning back the Eredivisie title after no team was awarded the trophy last season.
If Levy and the Tottenham hierarchy want to go back to their roots, then finding someone in a similar vein to Mauricio Pochettino makes a ton of sense, especially given the drab and negative football on offer under Mourinho.
It has been claimed that the squad were becoming bored and untested by his training sessions, whilst one source told The Athletic that he had “sucked the culture out of the club.”
Back in January, several of the Hotspur faithful brandished him a “dinosaur” and “washed-up,” so it’s hardly a surprise that attacking football is a key attribute to have in their hunt for a new manager.
Ten Hag, who favours an expansive but flexible 4-3-3, has racked up an impressive 72.8% win rate in Amsterdam since taking charge in December 2017. This includes their famous run into the Champions League semi-finals, when Lucas Moura’s come-from-behind hat-trick sealed a historic win for Spurs over them just two years ago.
The Dutch manager is hugely reminiscent of Pep Guardiola and his philosophy, which should be expected given the impact Johan Cruyff has had on football.
Frankie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek, Hakim Ziyech are just four names to have emerged from Ajax’s academy system to make the club several millions in profit (over £225m, to be a little more precise), all because of how they developed under Ten Hag.
He learned a lot under the current Manchester City boss when the pair were at Barcelona, too, only further reinforcing that he could well be the ‘next Guardiola’.
Spurs themselves have witnessed the high-tempo, fast-paced brand of football offered by both City and Ajax, so there can’t be too many better candidates out there to meet Levy’s desires than ten Hag.
Appointing the 51-year-old could be exactly what’s needed to revive the club, both on the pitch and in the stands.
AND in other news, Levy could fix major Spurs problem in move for talent-spotting “professor”…