Tottenham Hotspur’s manager search has boiled down to just four names, one of which is of huge concern…
According to Jack Pitt-Brooke at The Athletic, former Everton manager Roberto Martinez is in the running for the vacant Spurs job, alongside Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, out-of-work Ralf Rangnick and Brighton boss Graham Potter.
The 47-year-old is currently in charge of Belgium, where he will attempt to guide the world’s highest-ranked national team to glory in this summer’s European Championships.
It’s thought that the Spaniard could be the ‘safer bet’ of the quartet of options, although he is not universally popular with the fanbase, according to the reliable journalist.
Indeed, Levy risks a substantial backlash if he looks to Martinez at the end of the season.
The north London outfit are a mess right now. Harry Kane, their best player and leading talisman, wants out. They are facing the prospect of no European football whatsoever next year if they fail to beat Leicester City on Sunday, and the fans continue to protest against the board.
Amidst all the turmoil, Levy is trying to find the right man to guide the Lilywhites into the future – to rebuild the team, get the players fit and firing and lead Spurs to silverware for the first time since 2008.
Martinez just isn’t that man. He may be in charge of the world’s best-ranked national side but he’s not the one developing these players into top-quality superstars.
For example, it’s Pep Guardiola who is going to take credit for Kevin De Bruyne becoming one of the best in the world right now, not Martinez. Similarly, Romelu Lukaku’s goal-laden form at Inter Milan has to be down to Antonio Conte, not Martinez.
Aside from a fortuitous FA Cup-winning run at Wigan Athletic eight years ago, the former midfielder has an appalling record in the Premier League, winning only 30.5% of matches across seven seasons in charge of the Latics and the Toffees.
His time in Merseyside ended on quite a sour note too, as they regressed greatly under his tenure.
As explained by Eurosport, his side went backwards each year – fewer points, a worse home record – and Jonathan Wilson believes this was down to “systemic” problems. In short, what went wrong at Wigan, went wrong at Everton, and Wilson further suggested that there was “no evidence” that Martinez could fix it, either.
It’s a worrying sign, that’s for sure.
Lyndon Lloyd, editor of popular Everton fansite ToffeeWeb, lambasted the 47-year-old’s “stubborn mentality” to IBTimes UK at the time and added: “Over the past two seasons Martinez’s tactics, formations, substitution policy and the fitness of his players have all come into question and, ultimately, undermined his position.”
It led to many a demonstration in the stands against him, and given that sort of reaction is happening right now to a managerless Spurs, Levy will only pile on the misery if he looks to hire Martinez.
He could also set the Lilywhites back even further as they will have to wait for the Euros to finish, meaning the current squad – and any new additions – won’t be able to benefit from him implementing his tactics for a while, with other teams likely getting a head start.
No Kane, no Europe and a late appointment – there could be an absolutely catastrophic storm brewing in N17.
Levy absolutely has to steer clear of the Spaniard at all costs.