Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham

March 27, 2023

The search for Tottenham’s next manager is in full swing after the North London club parted ways with controversial boss Antonio Conte on Sunday. 

There had been suspicion that Spurs and Conte would go their separate ways after a fractious few weeks that saw the fiery Italian lash out at his players and the club. His last game for the club was a 3-3 draw with bottom-of-the-table Southampton just before the international break.

“We can announce that head coach Antonio Conte has left the club by mutual agreement,” Tottenham said in a statement to confirm his exit.

Conte’s assistant Cristian Stellini, who stood in for several games while the former Inter Milan was recovering from surgery, has been tasked with managing the first team. According to the club, he will be supported by former Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason until the end of the season.

But the search for his long-term replacement begins immediately, with Spurs now looking for their 25th permanent manager since their 1991 FA Cup triumph.

But who would be the best fit for the job which has proved too difficult for Conte and Mourinho, two coaches who are proven title winners but failed to deliver in North London?

Here we consider the merits of eight front-line candidates

Mauricio Pochettino

Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham - Poch e1679938222478

Pochettino is arguably the most successful Spurs manager in the last two decades despite not winning a trophy at the club. The Argentine is the man who came closest to transforming Tottenham with a run to the Champions League final in 2019, one of the biggest nights in the club’s recent history.

Spurs sacked Pochettino after a difficult period in which the club hovered around the relegation zone. But he was not out of work for long after his exit, as he went on to manage PSG, with who he won the Ligue 1 title. But he was sacked last summer after another failed Champions League campaign.

He is free and is linked with a sensational return to north London. 

Having gathered experience managing the likes of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, Daniel Levy might be tempted to give him a second chance.

Luis Enrique

Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham - Luis enriquee scaled e1679938311163

Another high-profile tactician who will excite Spurs fans. The former Barcelona coach is free and available after Spain axed him following their disappointing performance at the 2022 World Cup, where they were knocked out on penalties by Morocco at the last-16 stage.

The 52-year-old has a rich CV, having enjoyed great success at Barcelona, with whom he won two Liga titles and the Champions League, winning six other trophies along the way, during a hugely successful stint between 2014 and 2017.

However, like Conte, the Spaniard is perceived in some quarters as being harsh and brutal. Nevertheless, should the club’s Sporting director Fabio Paratici desire a serial winner who only operates on his own terms, Enrique could be the best fit for the job. 

Julian Nagelsmann

Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham - Nagelsmann

The recently sacked Bayern Munich boss looks like the obvious choice, with his name on most people’s lips. 

But what does he offer?

The 35-year-old established himself as one of the most exciting young coaches in the world at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig with his brand of football and innovative way of training. He was offered the Bayern job after relative success at Red Bull Arena and won the league title in his first and only full season at the club. 

But things didn’t go on well this season, and he was harshly sacked despite leading Bayern to the Champions League quarter-finals with eight straight wins. 

Should Tottenham want a brilliant innovative coach, they could look at Nagelsmann. The German was a fan of Pochettino’s Spurs, and his progressive tactics could be precisely what is needed to freshen things up at Tottenham after another dour campaign.

Oliver Glasner

Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham - Glasner scaled e1679938436532

Another possible export from the German league is Eintracht Frankfurt’s Oliver Glasner.

The Swiss tactician has also been earmarked as a possible replacement for Conte, with his name being discussed in the corridors of Tottenham Hotspur stadium since January.

The 48-year-old is well on his way to becoming one of the top coaches on the continent after guiding Frankfurt to the Europa League title in his maiden campaign last season. 

His side are currently pushing for a top-four finish in the Bundesliga, and his intelligent pressing system is thought to have caught the eye of Tottenham’s chiefs.

With his contract expiring in 2024, Spurs feel his arrival will make financial sense given that they wouldn’t need to pay a considerable compensation fee to secure his services.

Massimiliano Allegri

Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham - Allegri

Hiring Massimiliano Allegri might be a long shot, but the Italian will undoubtedly interest Daniel Levy and the Spurs board. 

Like Conte, the Italian knows someone in the Tottenham board, with Spurs’ current director of football a close friend of the Italian tactician after the pair worked together at Juventus. 

Allegri is easily one of the most successful coaches in the last two decades. He won eleven trophies during his first spell at the helm of Juventus, including five successive Serie A titles, and took them to two Champions League finals.

Although his second stint at the Allianz Stadium has been far from successful due to Juve’s ongoing financial crisis, he remains one of the top coaches. His CV speaks for itself, and a move to North London could be in his best interests, having reportedly grown tired in Turin. 

And then, the Premier League Three–Thomas Frank, Steve Cooper and De Zerbi

Thomas Frank

Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham - thomas frank

Brentford coach Thomas Frank is another exciting option for Tottenham. The Danish tactician is performing wonders with the West London club, which only recently played in the Championship. 

Frank led Brentford to a 13-placed finish in his first season in the top flight. Despite operating on a limited budget, he has taken the  Bees even further this season.

His young side are looking to finish in the top six and currently sitting in eighth position, nine points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, having played a game less. They have already claimed major scalps against Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City, with Frank’s attack-minded 4-3-3 formation reaping rich rewards.

Roberto De De Zerbi 

Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham - de zerbi

Like Thomas Frank, Roberto De  Zerbi is also exceeding expectations in the Premier League this season. When Chelsea stole Graham Potter from Brighton at the start of the season, it was feared that all of his excellent work at the Amex Stadium would be undone.

However, not only have the Seagulls survived, they have even improved under De Zerbi. After a rocky start to his tenure, the former Shakhtar Donetsk boss has steadied the ship at the Amex and is playing one of the best football brands in the Premier League. 

The Italian tactician has moved Brighton to eighth place in the table after 23 matches – seven points behind fourth-placed Spurs with three games in hand. However, he is seen as a maverick of some sort and will certainly be drawing the attention of Tottenham bosses.

Steve Cooper

Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham - Steve Cooper

Another largely unknown quantity making the waves at the top is Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper. 

But unlike the other two EPL coaches, Cooper’s success will be judged if he successfully keeps Forest in the top flight. The highly-rated Englishman led The Tricky Tees to their first PL appearance this century and has done well so far, keeping them just above the relegation zone.

His side could still be relegated this season. Still, Copper has proven that he possesses a strong tactical acumen, especially at home, where Forest has won points off Liverpool and Manchester City.

However, no matter how successful these Premier League trio might be, Spurs might be slightly wary of appointing them, having seen Nuno Espirito Santo fail spectacularly after making a similar step up from Wolves in the summer of 2021.

Cristian Stellini 

Eight coaches that can replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham - Cristian Stellini

Another option could be the current interim boss Cristian Stellini. 

The 48-year-old has already taken charge in several games this season while Conte was recovering from surgery to remove his gallbladder.

Given he already knows the squad and is reportedly well-liked in the dressing room, he could be an ideal candidate to keep things ticking in North London. But that could depend on how he performs at an interim level. Should he salvage a fourth-place finish for Tottenham, he could emerge as the favourite to take the job outright.

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