Finally, after two months and traversing through approximately 10 candidates, Tottenham Hotspur's search for a manager is over and the fans can finally take a breath in peace. Former Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has signed a contract with Tottenham through 2023 after leaving Wolverhampton with a 13th-place finish in Premier League,ending his tenure of four years at Wolves as person in charge. Spurs were not initially interested in hiring Nuno owing to his conservative style of play and his desire to gain complete control over functioning of the club which might not go down well with Daniel Levy.
Nuno led Wolves to obtain promotion to play in the Premier League as champions of the EFL Championship in the 2017-18 season. Wolves secured a seventh-place finish in the 2018-19 Premier League, being their first season post promotion leading to club's first qualification for the Europa League since 1981. In 2019-20 Wolves again finished seventh in the league and reached the Europa League quarterfinals.
Spurs Chairman has been constantly under pressure from the fans owing to his failure of fulfilling the promise of hiring a new head coach who would play “free-flowing, attacking and entertaining” football. Spurs fans oversaw their star manager Jose Mourinho being sacked mid-season and Hansi Flick turning them down, ultimately failing to secure a place in Europa League 21/22. The club started their 2021/22 by quickly cruising to reach at top which didn’t last long and they collapsed leading to ousting of Mourinho before losing the Carabao Cup final while ending up finally at the seventh place under Ryan Mason in Premier League.
In the past six weeks, Spurs tried and failed to bring back Mauricio Pochettino, followed by failure to appoint their primary managerial target Antonio Conte, restructured the club with the arrival of managing director/football Fabio Paratici, managed to secure appointment of Paulo Fonseca which didn’t materialise owing to certain tax issues and Gennaro Gattuso being turned down to avoid facing fans ire.
However, the first name which got unanimous support among the Board members was the 33-year-old RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann. Levy sounded out Nagelsmann as the perfect choice to lead Tottenham but he already agreed to join Bayern Munich as their new manager before Mourinho got sacked. Levy met Nagelsmann once to influence him to change his decision but his desire to continue his stint in Bundesliga ended Levy’s dream.
Brendan Rodgers was another attractive option who previously came very close to securing the Spurs job in 2012 before he decided to leave Swansea City for joining Liverpool instead. He recently shown interest in joining Spurs but the intervention of Leicester City chairman influenced him to stay back and continue his career at Leicester City
Daniel Levy, then focused on appointing a young English coach who could play a major role in rebuilding Tottenham over the next decade through a new generation of young players. He considered Fulham’s Scott Parker and Graham Potter but their lack of a long-term managerial experience (Only two years) made Levy to discard the idea of these coaches helming the reign of Tottenham Hotspurs. Levy even spoke to Ralf Ragnick as a head coach who could even step in as director of football after ending his managerial career, but nothing came out of it. They also looked at current Belgium manager Roberto Martinez but they knew things had gone sour for him at Everton, and he won’t probably fancy returning back to managing a Premier League club.
With many unsuccessful attempts in hiring a long-term manager, club’s technical performance director Steve Hitchin recommended Ajax’s Coach Erik Ten Haag to Levy as a perfect Mourinho replacement to take over as Spurs new manager. Tottenham sounded out Ten Hag and knew that he was interested. Ajax extended his contract on April 30, but that did not fundamentally change the dynamic. If Spurs moved for him at the right time, they would be able to get him, and the Dutch giants would not stand in his way. But as many boxes as Ten Hag ticked, he was never the leading candidate in this process, only ever an attractive alternative.
Spurs was basically looking for a newer and improved version of Mauricio Pochettino and even made an attempt to hire him back, but he found his ground at Paris Saint Germain and refused to return. Now, after all these names being interviewed but couldn’t manage to hire any one of them, they finally managed to secure Nuno Espirito Santo’s appointment as the new head coach, ushering a new era at the Tottenham Hotspurs stadium.