As Tottenham Hotspur’s managerial situation rumbles on, another name has emerged in the running…
What’s the word?
According to Italian news outlet Il Messaggero, Lazio are becoming increasingly concerned that former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is holding out for the vacant Spurs job.
It’s thought that the 62-year-old is close to replacing Simone Inzaghi at the Stadio Olimpico but there are worries that he is stalling in case Daniel Levy approaches him with an offer to return to the Premier League.
Spurs have now gone seven weeks without a manager and at the end of last week, the North Londoners suffered yet another blow with Antonio Conte seemingly ruled out of the running, as per the Telegraph.
An unmitigated disaster
Whilst Sarri could be considered a high-calibre candidate, having won a Serie A title and a Europa League, he is far from what the Lilywhites chairman is apparently looking for.
Many in N17 will remember Sarri from his time at Chelsea. He may have delivered success on the European stage but he failed to win over fans and certainly struggled to progress several of their key prospects.
The supporters frequently turned against their manager, with chants of “we want Sarri out” and “you don’t know what you’re doing” being heard during a victory over Cardiff City.
He was hardly a popular figure in the dressing room, either. It reached such a boiling point that third-choice goalkeeper Rob Green had to confront him in front of the entire squad, as he revealed to The Athletic.
“I just spelled it out. I told him, ‘You have no plan B. You’re a transactional kind of manager. The players in the group are not the kind to speak to you like this — they care very much but are scared to say something to you like I am. I don’t care because what are you going to do — drop me!?’”
Similarly, there was a saga over Callum Hudson-Odoi, who had impressed in pre-season and in the Europa League under the Italian aged just 18, yet he wasn’t given much of a chance in the top-flight.
That would certainly go against Levy’s desire to develop players like Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon who are both set to return from their respective loan spells this summer.
Furthermore, following Jose Mourinho’s sacking, there were claims suggesting that the Portuguese had “sucked the culture out of the club” and that isn’t something that’ll be fixed by Sarri as he’s so set in his ways.
Ex-Blues defender Mario Melchiot once dubbed him “very stubborn” to talkSPORT after an FA Cup defeat to Manchester United, whilst AS (via Football Italia) sensationally reported that the 62-year-old had lost the dressing room and his relationship with many big stars was ‘irreconcilable.’
This was also something Noel Whelan alluded to when speaking about links to the Italian. He claimed to Football Insider:
“No, I don’t think that’s the right appointment. I really don’t. No. That’s not the way Tottenham need to go. He’s another personality who would clash with the players. You need to look at the man-management side of things now.”
Again, that’s another reason behind Mourinho’s departure.
All in all, a move for Sarri would surely be an unmitigated disaster for Spurs. There’s nothing to suggest that he’s the right man for the club, especially if they had doubts over the trophy-laden Conte, who arguably was the best candidate out there.
Levy must avoid the Chelsea flop at all costs – maybe he should try and find someone that’s not taken the helm at Stamford Bridge this time?