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Tottenham: Noel Whelan questions Ernesto Valverde

Tottenham: Noel Whelan questions Ernesto Valverde - Tottenham Hotspur News

Many Tottenham Hotspur fans may be ‘scratching their heads’ after learning of the club’s contact with Ernesto Valverde, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider.

The lowdown

Spurs are still chasing a new manager, having dismissed Jose Mourinho prior to the Carabao Cup final in April.

Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca was expecting to be appointed imminently, only for Spurs to pull the plug. The club then briefly pursued Gennaro Gattuso before ending their interest amid a backlash from numerous supporters.

Fabrizio Romano tweeted last Friday that ‘a new name’ had been approached in former Barcelona manager Valverde.

The Spaniard led the Catalan giants to consecutive La Liga titles and they were top of the table when he was sacked in January 2020. He won 97 of 145 matches during his tenure, a win rate of 67%.

However, his failures in the Champions League, most notably the dramatic 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in the 2019 semi-finals, contributed to the decision to sack him in January 2020.

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Whelan says it doesn’t reflect well on Valverde that he is still out of the game since getting the chop from Barcelona and believes that while¬†he represents a ‘big step up’ from candidates considered previously, his appointment would apparently fail to excite Spurs supporters.

“You question why he has been out of work for so long,” the former Leeds striker told Football Insider.

“Usually managers are not out work for longer than a few months. 18 months is a long time for a manager to be away from the game.

“But Valverde would be a big step up from what Spurs have been looking at recently, though, the likes of Fonseca and Gattuso.

“I’m not licking my lips at the thought though and that will likely be the case with a lot of Tottenham fans.

“I imagine a lot of them will be scratching their heads a bit and thinking, ‘What? Why?'”

The verdict

Although his Barcelona tenure was perhaps defined by the collapses at Roma and Liverpool, Valverde still left with four trophies under his belt. His impressive CV also boasts a run to the UEFA Cup final with Espanyol, a Supercopa with Athletic Bilbao and a La Liga Coach of the Year award.

He may not have been the most attractive candidate at the start of the managerial search, but a couple of months into this farcical process, you might think that Tottenham could do an awful lot worse despite Whelan’s misgivings.

In other news, Alasdair Gold names a candidate to replace Serge Aurier.

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