By the time you read this Spurs will have finished their game with Swansea. After Arsenals loss at QPR it’s a chance for Spurs to close the gap for third. It’s also a chance for Spurs to start a strong finishing run, and it’s a chance for ‘Arry to finally crack a smile that has been missing from that bulldog face for the last 2 months.
The game against Swansea is/was important for all those reasons, but it is also an audition of sorts for Swansea Manager Brendan Rodgers, as he finds himself increasingly linked to the Spurs seat (of course, all of this based on the far from certain assumption that Harry leaves, but lets go with it for a while).
At first it seemed to me, and I expect many other Spurs fans, a slight disappointment. I have previously lobbied for Moyes, and the club have also been offered to exciting names such as Mourinho, O’Neill, and Klinsmann. However, Kilnsmann brushed off such rumours saying “It’s just a wonderful club, but I am extremely proud and privileged to be US national team coach”.
O’Neill has reaffirmed his commitment to his Sunderland revolution, and Mourinho has been typically nonplussed. Overall rumours have gone quiet on most of the names on the list.
But one name is still echoing loudly around the dingy walls of the sports press – Brendan Rodgers. The Mirror have reported ‘Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is believed to have earmarked Rodgers as a possible replacement if Redknapp leaves White Hart Lane next month to became England’s new manager’. The same paper also told us that Spurs will have to pay £4 million to Swansea for the manager.
Rodgers has taken a mid-table Championship team to the middle of the Prem, but so have many other managers. But what sets Rodgers apart in the mind of many, including Chairman Levy, is the style that Swansea play under Rodgers. Spurs have been one of the most attractive, attacking sides for most of this season, and this Levy feels this would be his best bet for a continuation of this.
However, Spurs might not have things go all their own way, as Rodgers has moved quickly to cool talk of him leaving Swansea. Rodgers told the BBC “I would tell anyone who asked that I’m happy at Swansea….I love being here, I’m at a top club. I want to finish as high as we can.”
But this kind of talk was balanced by Rodgers admitting
“Every manager will tell you they want to get to the top of the mountain and challenge for trophies…….”If I ever feel I’ve taken the club as far as I can then I’ll sit down with the chairman and we’ll go our separate ways”.
It is a time like this I realise what a hypocrite I am. I praise young British managers, I bemoan the lack of opportunities for them at the top teams. I claim I want a manager with solid Prem credentials. And yet when Rodgers strolls up to White Hart Lane, meeting all these criteria, my natural reaction is ‘we could do better’.
Rodgers is perhaps a risk for a top 4 team, but maybe a risk worth taking. Moyes still has my vote, but if Rodgers were to be in the hotseat next season I’d bite my tongue and give him time.
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