It’s been over 10 years since Glenn Hoddle managed at Tottenham, but in the wake of André Villas-Boas’s departure, the 56-year-old Spurs icon wants another shot. At least, that’s what we can infer after a website founded by the former Chelsea, Southampton, and England boss claimed the man who scored 110 times as a Spurs midfielder is “certainly willing to help if the club makes an approach.”
Hoddle has not managed since his time at Wolverhampton Wanderers ended in 2006. In two-plus seasons with Tottenham from 2001 to 2003, the 53-time England international guided his former club of ninth and 10th place finishes. After a slow start to the 2003-04 campaign, however, Hoddle was fired while his team sat in the relegation zone.
After a 20-year playing career that featured stops at Tottenham, Monaco, Swindon and Chelsea (the last two as player-managers), Hoddle embarked on a coaching career that saw him leave Stamford Bridge for the Three Lions in 1996. With England coming off the failure to qualify for U.S.A. 1994, Hoddle steered his country to France 1998, where they were eliminated on penalty kicks to Argentina. When he was dismissed amid a media controversy a year later, Hoddle had the second-highest winning percentage among England coaches, surpassed by only Alf Ramsey.
Now, having stepped forward via a post on Zapsportz.com (the site Hoddle co-founded), Hoddle is making a play for his former job, with other respected names backing his efforts to take over at White Hart Lane.
A story on a website co-founded by Hoddle suggested he is awaiting a call from White Hart Lane and read: “Zapsportz.com understands that Hoddle will certainly help if the club makes an approach.”
The former Tottenham owner Sir Alan Sugar, the ex-Spurs striker Gary Lineker and Hoddle’s former Spurs team-mate Ossie Ardiles are all backing the 56-year-old’s appointment.
“For me, the man for the job is Glenn Hoddle,” Ardiles, the Spurs manager from 1993 to 1994, told TalkSport. “I think he is a wonderful manager and he is a lot more mature, so I think he will be a wonderful choice. He knows everything about the Premier League and Spurs especially.”
Beyond the obvious links to Spurs, part of what makes Hoddle an attractive candidate is his preferred style. As both a player and a coach, Hoddle has been associated with a more technical, creative approach than has typically be used in the English leagues, and while the influx of talent (both playing and coaching) from Europe has changed how the game is played in the Premier League, Hoddle’s preferred approach still distinguishes him from some of the other candidates being linked with Spurs’ job. With a philosophy that suits the more continental squad he’d inherit, Hoddle does seem like a good fit, if only superficially so.
Is he the best fit, out of the names being mentioned? Perhaps not. A club like Spurs can go out and get most coaches in the world, especially if they’re willing to compensate a team that’s locked up their target. Hoddle may be more available than, say, a Mauricio Pochettino, but does that make him a better choice?
Regardless, Tottenham could do a lot worse than giving Glenn Hoddle a chance through May. If they concluded André Villas-Boas needed to go, an iconic player with historic ties to the club would be a decent change of course.