Manager search at Spurs devolving into farce

Posted by Dan Fitch

Tottenham may have got back to winning ways with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Southampton, but the real drama was unfurling in the television studio.

For those of you who were at the match, live outside of the UK, or just really don't like having to watch Jamie Redknapp wear trousers that are a size too small, you missed a sensational piece of television.

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The studio pundits were Redknapp and Glenn Hoddle, and the subject for most of the afternoon was who should be the next manager of Tottenham.

Both men clearly had a vested interest in this subject. Redknapp is still bitter that his father was sacked by the club and is desperate for former teammate Tim Sherwood to get the job. Hoddle, meanwhile, is merely desperate on his own behalf.

It felt more like the final of "The Apprentice" than an analysis of a football match. Hoddle was asked outright if he wanted the job, and he confirmed that he was indeed interested. In fact, he's so interested that he's willing to take it on a short-term basis until the summer. This flexibility may prove crucial if team chairman Daniel Levy has plans to eventually appoint someone who has both a track record in management and who hasn't been out of work for eight years.

Sherwood is playing a different game, stating that he doesn't want to carry on as a caretaker manager indefinitely. In doing so, he's no doubt trying to force Levy to make a quick decision, which is probably the only circumstance in which the chairman could end up thinking that Sherwood is the best man for the role.

Redknapp acted as chief cheerleader for Sherwood. He described Sherwood as "someone he knows from his Tottenham days," leaving out the fact that Sherwood also is his best friend and business partner, and was given a job at Spurs by his dad.

He spoke passionately about Sherwood's credentials for the job, while Hoddle bristled. Unlike a real episode of "The Apprentice," Hoddle was unable to state why he'd be the best man for the position, so he had to do it subtly.

When Redknapp was praising Sherwood's decision to switch to a 4-4-2, Hoddle pointed out that playing with three at the back would allow the side to have five men in midfield and still field two strikers. Redknapp briefly sneered before remembering himself, while Hoddle continued with his tactical argument that very much sounded as if it had been practiced at home.

The unspoken subplot is the fact that Hoddle and Sherwood can't stand each other. They had a falling-out as player and manager at Spurs some years ago: After he had been released by the club, Sherwood was quick to put the knife in when Hoddle was sacked.

This would certainly make for an interesting dynamic if Sherwood returns to his day job -- as he has stated he's ready to -- and Hoddle takes the reins.

While it made for a fascinating television spectacle, it's actually a sad reflection of the current state of the club. There are no realistic candidates available, so we are left with two bald men fighting over a comb.

I was going to describe the events of the past couple of weeks as being like a soap opera, but on reflection, it feels far more like a farce.


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