A surprising new name has emerged in Tottenham Hotspur’s manager search this week…
According to Rai Sport journalist Ciro Venerato, Daniel Levy has put Gennaro Gattuso on his list of potential candidates, as it’s widely expected that the 43-year-old will leave Napoli this season.
Speaking on Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli (via CalcioNapoli24), he said: “Gattuso will not be the Napoli coach from Monday, the Napoli players have known for months that Rino will no longer be the Napoli coach. Lazio and Juventus are on Gattuso, but the news of the day is that Tottenham have put Gattuso on the list of candidates for the next coach.
“The English club have been dealing with [Antonio] Conte for a month but now also like Gattuso. Tottenham president Daniel Levy has seen many Napoli matches and has watched Gattuso closely. He was impressed by the quality of the game and the quality of the ideas, seeing the matches against Milan and Roma.”
Spurs have been linked with plenty of candidates since the sacking of Jose Mourinho just over a month ago and this one certainly comes out of left-field.
Most recently, The Athletic suggested that there were four names on the shortlist – Graham Potter (Brighton), Erik ten Hag (Ajax), Roberto Martinez (Belgium), and Ralf Rangnick (unemployed) – whilst the reliable Alasdair Gold has suggested that strong new names are emerging all the time.
Could Gattuso be one of those?
Many in North London will know all about the former AC Milan midfielder, as he was involved in a controversial incident during a Champions League tie in 2011. The skipper headbutted Harry Redknapp’s assistant Joe Jordan on the sidelines following a 1-0 win for Spurs at the San Siro.
“Gattuso had a flare-up with Joe Jordan. I don’t know why,” claimed the former Spurs manager, via The Guardian. “He obviously hadn’t done his homework. He could’ve picked a fight with somebody else. Putting his head into Joe’s face, it was crazy. He lost his head.”
This sort of attitude has hardly changed as he’s transitioned into a coaching career. Back in November, Corriere dello Sport (via Daily Mail) reported that the Italian had clashed with his Gli Azzurri squad.
“I’ve been talking about this for months now. I see an attitude I don’t like and it hurts me. We need to sort this aspect out as soon as possible,” Gattuso fumed.
It was thought that this remark left the players furious and that’s hardly a surprise given his previous comments on the ‘modern-day footballer,’ once claiming: “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration. Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the Internet. They make me sick.”
In fact, former Milan superstar Kaka described him as “a phenomenon”, as he demands the best from his teams in training and tries to motivate them with the same sort of energy his displayed on the pitch, as per Football Italia.
What is clear, though, is that his potential appointment could certainly fire a rocket right through this Spurs squad – players like Dele Alli, who was dubbed “lazy” by Jose Mourinho, and Erik Lamela, who has done very little in the eight years he’s been here, should be worried if Gattuso gets the gig.
The same players who let Mauricio Pochettino down in those fateful few months after their Champions League heartbreak in 2019 are pretty much the ones which saw Jose Mourinho face a premature departure from north London.
If there isn’t much of a squad overhaul in the coming months, then Gattuso could be the man to get Spurs back on the straight and narrow.