Having watched Tottenham suffer a damaging defeat to rivals West Ham on Sunday, Daniel Levy surely started to think of a way to wake up from from his increasingly deep Jose Mourinho nightmare. Within a few hours, the Spurs chairman was presented with a splash of cold water to the face. Leicester claimed an impressive 2-1 away win over Aston Villa, with Brendan Rodgers’ side solidifying their place in the top four. The Foxes are punching above their weight but their success is no fluke. Brendan Rodgers has built a team capable of competing at the top of the Premier League and should be at the forefront of Levy’s mind as a candidate to become the next manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
All the way through his career, Mourinho has struggled to escape the downward spiral that tends to engulf him after two or three seasons at a club. He is in that spiral now and Tottenham Hotspur must make sure Mourinho doesn’t drag them down with him.
RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann is reportedly Spurs’ top target to replace Mourinho and there’s good reason to believe the young German coach would succeed in North London. Nagelsmann is at the vanguard of the sport’s next managerial generation and Tottenham would underline their ambition as a club by moving for him.
In almost every way, though, Brendan Rodgers would be a better fit for Tottenham. He is the project manager who could pick up where Mauricio Pochettino left off in North London, building on the principles and values left behind by the Argentine. The appointment of the Northern Irishman would help Tottenham move on from the Mourinho tenure that should never have happened.
At Spurs, Rodgers would inherit a squad capable of so much better than they have shown of late. The 48-year-old has shown at each of the clubs he has managed that he is a maximiser of talent, seeing things in players that others have overlooked. Tottenham’s squad is better equipped than Leicester City, yet see the difference in where the two teams are in the Premier League table right now.
A Brendan Rodgers Tottenham team would impose their own game rather than react to the tactics of the opposition, as Mourinho’s Spurs side frequently does. A certain degree of dynamism would be restored to their play. Harry Kane and Heung Min-son wouldn’t be required to conjure up some attacking magic out of nothing in almost every match they play and Dele Alli might be brought back from the cold. There would be a structure to Tottenham’s final third approach.
Under Pochettino, Spurs were a club that harnessed youth. This pathway between the academy and the first team has largely been blocked with Mourinho at the helm, but Rodgers’ track record suggests he would help re-establish it. Just look at how he brought through Raheem Sterling and turned him into a key figure for Liverpool.
If Rodgers has a weakness, it is in the results he has achieved in Europe as a coach. He struggled to make much of an impression in the Champions League at both Celtic and Liverpool and so this could be an area where Nagelsmann has the edge in any recruitment process having taken RB Leipzig to the competition’s semi finals last season.
Brendan Rodgers, however, feels like a Tottenham Hotspur manager in a way that can’t be totally articulated. The Northern Irishman has earned himself another shot at a traditional ‘Big Six’ club and that opportunity could present itself in North London. At Chelsea, Rodgers got his first job in coaching learning from Mourinho. His next job could be cleaning up his former mentor’s mess.