HomeNewsTottenham: What is going on at club after 6-1 thrashing by Newcastle?

Tottenham: What is going on at club after 6-1 thrashing by Newcastle?

Tottenham’s worst Premier League defeat since 2013 has triggered more anger among fans about the state of their club.

Chairman Daniel Levy is getting the brunt of the blame; the humiliation of Tottenham being 5-0 down against Newcastle after just 21 minutes being seen as the culmination of a string of disastrous decisions dating back to the decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino in November 2019 – less than six months after Spurs had played in the Champions League final.

There is a demand from some for interim boss Cristian Stellini – left in charge following Antonio Conte’s departure last month – to leave, which would potentially put Ryan Mason back in charge for the final six games of the season.

This is a big call. Theoretically, Tottenham still have a chance of finishing in a Champions League place, although realistically, after the shambles at St James’ Park, few expect that to become a reality.

However, while they remain fifth, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Brighton are all snapping at their heels in the battle for European qualification.

After this weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals, seventh place will earn a Europa Conference League place, while fifth and sixth will go into the Europa League. The last time Tottenham fans had no European football to look forward to was 2009-10.

So, what happens now?

What are the many issues?

The major issue is who now provides Levy with football expertise to assist in the decision-making process.

Remarkably, Tottenham now find themselves without a manager for either their men’s or women’s team. Their managing director of football, Fabio Paratici, resigned last week after he lost his appeal against his worldwide football ban, imposed after Juventus, where he was sporting director and managing director, were found guilty of false accounting.

Paritici’s 30-month ban was initially imposed by the Italian authorities in January. It was not extended worldwide by Fifa until March, although it was always likely to happen.

Yet Tottenham claimed Paritici’s change of status came completely out of the blue and they had no knowledge it was going to happen.

It was made worse by the fact that 24 hours previously, the Italian had been put forward as the public face of the club, speaking extensively to the club’s own website about Conte’s exit in which he declared Tottenham were “focused and looking forward” to the remainder of the campaign.

Who replaces Conte?

It is understood there has been no contact from Tottenham with Pochettino, who would be welcomed back with open arms by the majority of supporters.

Levy’s best managerial appointments – Martin Jol, Harry Redknapp and Pochettino – have been somewhat under the radar. The stellar names, Jose Mourinho and Conte being the two most recent examples, have not gone well.

In the aftermath of Mourinho’s dismissal, less than a week before Tottenham lost to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final, Levy spoke about returning to the club’s “DNA”.

That, presumably, centres around free-flowing, attacking football that delivers excitement. The two managerial appointments since then are Conte and, before that, Nuno Espirito Santo, the former Wolves boss who was chosen after a protracted search when candidates were considered and discarded, in Gennaro Gattuso’s case, after not enough due diligence had been done on his background.

The names being mentioned now include Julian Nagelsmann, recently sacked by Bayern Munich and who has pulled out of the running to replace Graham Potter at Chelsea, and Luis Enrique, who left the Spain job after last year’s World Cup and has not managed at club level since 2017.

There is also Brendan Rodgers, who left Leicester earlier this month after an awful season, and Potter, who some think was out of his depth at Chelsea, while others view the former Brighton boss as failing at an impossible job. Potter’s replacement at the Amex, Roberto de Zerbi, also has his admirers.

What about the squad?

Eleven months ago, Tottenham’s owners agreed a £150m “capital increase” for the club.

This was viewed as a pot of money that Conte could use to turn a squad that had just sneaked into the Champions League into contenders.

Money was spent, yes, but few would argue it has been spent wisely. Brazilian forward Richarlison was signed for £60m but has failed to consistently perform at the highest level, while £25m midfielder Yves Bissouma impressed at Brighton but has been inconsistent for Spurs. Argentina defender Cristian Romero has been better but his impetuosity is a liability at times.

There are numerous players in the Tottenham squad that are not up to the standard the club demands but how many could attract the transfer fee to fund a squad rebuilding programme?

Son Heung-min’s contract runs to 2025 but the South Korean’s form this season has been very poor by his usual high standards. He even said he felt “responsible” for Conte’s departure “because I haven’t helped the club all that much”.

And that, inevitably, brings us to Harry Kane.

The England skipper is about to enter the final year of his present deal. Numerous clubs, including Manchester United, would be interested if Levy finally relented and let the 29-year-old leave.

But, given the negativity that already exists around the club, is that something Levy could even contemplate?

The problems at Tottenham are easy to identify. Finding solutions is far more difficult.

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