Spurs: If Man United Get Van Gaal, Who Should Replace Tim?
Spurs need Louis van Gaal in charge of the side next season, simple as that. Seeing as managerial change has as much of a chance as Kyle Naughton making the England World Cup squad, it’s best for Daniel Levy to look elsewhere. Two names spring to mind: Ajax’s Frank de Boer and Napoli’s Rafa Benitez.
Before Spurs fans shout in disgust in direction at ex-Liverpool and Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez arriving at White Hart Lane, let me make a case for the Spanish manager. The fat waiter. The geezer from Toy Story 2.
Now the criticism for Rafa Benitez is over and done with, let’s look at what he’s achieved in Europe over the last twelve years.
Benitez won three trophies in three years at Valencia; four trophies in six years at Liverpool; a Supercoppa and FIFA World Club Cup with Inter Milan and the Europa League with Chelsea last season.
Rafa Benitez is a controversial character, especially in the Premier League, having come head-to-head with Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson in Benitez’s six years at Liverpool.
His management style has had its critics also. Many Liverpool players never felt Benitez commended them after a good performance. Benitez’s choice to use zonal marking at set pieces startled football pundits, despite Benitez standing by using this particular tactic, stating that teams that man-mark concede just as many goals from set pieces. If Spurs appoint Benitez as manager, fans will look forward to Benitez’s ability to change a game with tactics, his teams tend to play decent football, he’s a winner, but most of all he has Premier League managerial experience.
If Spurs fans can get past his confrontational manner, he could be perfectly suited for the Spurs job. He was under immense pressure last season, from both the boardroom and fans at Chelsea last season, but steered the West London side to a top 3 finish and capped their season off with a 2-1 win over Benfica in the Europa League.
It’s safe to say there will be considerable pressure on Rafa Benitez from Spurs chairman Daniel Levy in their quest to break into the top four while also juggling Europe.
However, if Rafa Benitez doesn’t get the nod to become Spurs manager, there is one man in Europe who is making records at a club in Holland. Ajax and Frank de Boer.
Despite critics saying Eredivisie isn’t the competition it used to be, and while that may be true, de Boer became the first Ajax manager in their history to win four consecutive Eredivisie titles on Sunday, despite the club continually selling their best players and having to start again each summer. Sounds familiar, eh Daniel?
One particular concern in appointing Frank de Boer as Spurs manager, is Daniel Levy and Spurs fans will need to give the Dutch boss time to implement his tactics and philosophy on the club. He will need more time than Andre Villas-Boas was given. He will need to be given the role that Brendan Rodgers currently has at Liverpool. He will need to bring in the players he wants to bring in, not the players dictated to him by Levy and Baldini.
One positive for the club is two of de Boer’s favourite players from Ajax currently play for Tottenham Hotspur: Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen.
Eriksen backed Frank de Boer to succeed as a manager in the Premier League, if the ex-Ajax and Barcelona player were to manage in the Premier League. The Danish playmaker states their relationship is good, claiming he has a lot to thank Frank de Boer for in his career.
If Spurs are to keep this sensational talent at their club for the foreseeable future, Spurs may have no choice but to appoint Frank de Boer. Not a bad hand to be forced.
It can be argued that Frank de Boer has achieved all he can achieve in Amsterdam, and if de Boer’s quote of saying "I would like to manage Tottenham or Liverpool" is to be believed, and Brendan Rodgers does not seem to be leaving Liverpool anytime soon, then Spurs fans may have a summer to look forward to.