Former Spurs striker Sheringham is urging them to go all out for Brendan Rodgers
- Credit: PA
With such a fast-moving news cycle, it’s hard to believe that a little over a week ago Jose Mourinho was fired from Tottenham Hotspur, who now find themselves in the hunt for a new manager after a Carabao Cup Final loss to Manchester City on Sunday.
In an exclusive interview with Gambling.com Spurs Legend, Teddy Sheringham, said the chairman's decision to terminate the Portuguese’s contract was not a shock and suggested that the timing may well have been driven by the clubs finances in mind.
Sheringham, who scored 98 goals in 197 games during his time at White Hart Lane, and urged the Club to sign Brendan Rodgers who he believes is capable of bringing entertaining football and trophies to Tottenham Hotspur, insisting that Spurs would be a bigger club for the Northern Irishman to manage than The Foxes, regardless of Champions League Football next season.
“I wasn’t surprised by the decision, especially when you hear the little murmurs from behind the scenes suggesting it was more about money, that if they got into Europe they would find it harder to sack him because it would cost them even more money.
“But ultimately they’ve made the decision because they’ve felt he’s not the man to take Spurs forward. I’m not surprised by the situation, there’s been a lot of grumblings from the Tottenham fans.”
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Looking back at Jose’s time in North London, Sheringham was not shocked that the three-time Premier League winning manager’s tenure was short-lived, after Mourinho wasn’t made to feel particularly special from the very start of his time at the club.
“For a manager who has won so much, you would have thought he’d have gotten applauded into the club when he first came, but that was never the case. It just never felt like the right fit.
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“There was a little spell where Jose’s light was shining again but it soon dimmed out and the Spurs fans were quite understanding that it wasn’t working.”
With a severe lack of silverware at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, opposition fans often accuse Spurs supporters of being deluded when managing their expectations of the club and as Daniel Levy seeks Jose Mourinho’s long-term successor, Sheringham highlighted a dilemma faced by the board whose fans demand both entertainment and results; and as the former front-man explains, a manager who can provide both might be hard to come by.
“It’s a tricky situation, because the Tottenham fans have a good idea of how they want their team to play,” he said.
“They’ve always had fantastic players on show, they’ve never been the type of club to grind out matches and win games 1-0, that’s not the Tottenham way.
“Maybe they’ll have to change that if they want to win something – everyone laughs at ‘The Tottenham Way’ which hasn’t won anything in however many years – but you’ve got to find a way of performing, exciting the fans, taking the game to the opposition and hopefully winning trophies in that mould.
“It’s very hard to get that whole package. Many managers have tried along the way. Pochettino was very close but it wasn’t enough. It’s all well and good having flair but you’ve got to win games and trophies as well.”
Sheringham told Gambling.com that there is one man out there who can guide the club to glory whilst entertaining the fans and if he were in charge, Sheringham would do whatever it takes to bring Leicester City Manager, Brendan Rodgers, to North London.
“If I had the pick of the bunch and Tottenham were ready to go out and spend big money, which I presume they will, then I would go and break the bank for Brendan Rodgers,” said Sheringham, who scored 98 goals in 197 appearances for Spurs.
“I think he’s done an outstanding job at the different clubs he’s been at. He knows the Premier League very well, he knows his system and how he wants the game to be played. He takes the game to the opposition, he doesn’t wait to capitalise on other peoples’ mistakes and he likes to control the game a bit like how Pep Guardiola does.
“Given the funds that were available for Jose Mourinho, if Rodgers was backed with the same sort of money then I think he would do a fantastic job.”
One hurdle Spurs may face in pursuit of Rodgers though is the opportunity to manage in the Champions League next season; and with Leicester’s place in the competition almost nailed on, many would argue Rodgers would be taking a step down by moving to Spurs, but there are no doubts in Sheringham’s mind that Rodgers would be moving to a bigger club with greater potential in the future.
“In football, you like to think that people are ambitious and want to get to that next level,” said Sheringham. “You never know how far you’ll get in football until you take that leap when someone gives you a chance.
“If Rodgers was looking at both clubs and thought about which one he’d rather be at – Leicester or Tottenham – you never know, he might love the opportunity and might feel the love from the Spurs board.
“Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener, but if he looks at both clubs side-by-side and asks himself which club is the bigger, what would he tell himself?
“Leicester have moved up over the past number of years, they’ve done better than Tottenham in recent seasons – they’re becoming a big club – but maybe Tottenham is still a bigger club. I would say it’s a bigger club and that Rodgers could go on and do bigger and better things but we don’t know what he thinks.”
Although Spurs are five points off fourth position and a minor miracle would arguably be required, Sheringham told Gambling.com it is still possible for Spurs to qualify for next season’s Champions League, which would of course make a decision for Brendan Rodgers much easier:
“Getting over the line is getting the team back into the Champions League, but with five games left they really need to grind out some results,” he said.
“If Mason shows some resilience, picks the right team and feeds the right information into the players to gain their respect then maybe – it’s a big moment of the season for Tottenham now.
“The players have to dig deep and the manager has to find something. He’s a young manager, what a position to be put in, I really can’t understand what’s gone on for Spurs to put a 29-year-old in charge but they must think an awful lot of him. So let’s see if he can respond to that.”
In Ryan Mason’s post-match interview following the 1-0 defeat to Man City at Wembley, the interim Tottenham Manager claimed they were years away from competing for trophies at the same rate as City, who have now won the League Cup four times in a row.
Sheringham – who had managerial spells at Stevenage and Indian side ATK – believes the volatile nature of football management these days makes it difficult for any boss to implement a plan and stick around long enough to see it bear fruit.
“I understand what Ryan Mason is saying but you have to earn the right to have a managerial position for longer than two years,” he told Gambling.com.
“You’ve got to be very fortunate. First of all, you’ve got to get players in that will fit in straight away and then your way of thinking has to be engrained on the players and the new players that come in after that.
“It’s very difficult, you’ve got to have a real run of luck with injuries when you first come into that managerial period.
“Pep didn’t hit the ground running when he came to Man City – it takes a while to implement your structure and get everybody at the club to conform to it, it’s tough going, and I take my hat off to Pep because he stuck at it and he’s done a fantastic job, he’s raised the bar for everyone else in England and he is what everyone else is aspiring to.”
To read the original Gambling.com article, featuring analysis from Teddy Sheringham, on who will be the next Spurs manager, click here: https://www.gambling.com/news/who-will-be-the-next-permanent-manager-of-tottenham-2515500