You may have heard the sad news that Tottenham’s attempt to lure Antonio Conte as their new head coach has failed.
Quite inexplicably, the Italian came to the conclusion that the North London club (who have not won the league for 60 years nor any trophy at all for 13 years) are not ambitious enough. Can’t think where he got that idea.
It’s back to the drawing board for the Lilywhites so, in a genuine attempt at neighbourly solidarity, I thought it would be helpful to offer up some names for them to consider.
I’m not going to list the more obvious candidates at whom I’m sure they will now be looking: Harry Redknapp, Glenn Hoddle, Christian Gross, Tim Sherwood, Juande Ramos and the like – I shall leave that to the professional sports writers and, instead, offer some more “left field” suggestions.
- Mackenzie Crook
For a club that has really struggled to locate silverware (or any other precious metals) it would be a stroke of genius to recruit the star and writer of the hit TV series “Detectorists.” As well as being an expert at finding lost treasure with his metal detecting device, Crook is a popular and instantly recognisable figure and his experience of starring in The Office alongside Ricky Gervais will give him a head start with the tortured internal politics at Spurs.
2. Lucinda Lambton
Not at the top of many people’s shortlists and undoubtedly lacking in experience of coaching players at the highest level, but the writer Lady Lucinda Worsthorne (to give her her full name) would be a terrific leader for the club and its infrastructure as a whole. As the author of “Temples of Convenience & Chambers of Delight: the Loo Bible,” she is an expert on Britain’s public toilets and would surely relish the chance to make the most of the Armitage Shanks Arena, the largest public karzi in Britain.
3. Pickles the Wonder Dog
If Mackenzie Crook is not available (there are rumours that Barcelona have their eye on him) then Pickles the Wonder Dog would be a great fallback option for Tottenham. He, too, has a track record of finding missing silverware – in his case no less a trophy than the World Cup. The Jules Rimet trophy was stolen in 1966 (when the World Cup was being held on these shores). It was shaping up to be a massive national embarrassment until Pickles, a black and white collie, retrieved the trophy in Upper Norwood while out for a walk. Good boy! (You might reasonably point out that Pickles was called to the great lamppost in the sky some 54 years ago, but that should not be a problem for Tottenham: after all, they appointed Jose Mourinho and he’s been one of the Undead for at least 200 years).
4. Colonel Sanders
If you’re looking for someone to take a sad, skinny chicken and turn it into a world-beating brand, the Colonel is your man. And “finger lickin’ good” would be a popular new motto among fans who struggle with the concept of cutlery.
5. Alan Titchmarsh
Gardeners will be familiar with the problem: you have a dark, shady area in an unloved part of your plot where things just won’t grow. It takes a lot of skill and nurturing to get plants to thrive in such circumstances and only a horticulturist of Titchmarsh’s expertise would have a chance of getting it right. Tottenham have always struggled to prosper because of the huge, dark shadow cast over them by The Mighty Arsenal, but give Titchmarsh the job and you never know: those sad little lilywhites might just bloom again.
At the extreme end of the options is the ancient Greek hero and demigod Hercules (aka Heracles). He’s a long shot, but if Tottenham’s owner Joe Lewis – frustrated with years of failure – is in the mood to blow it all up and start from scratch then Hercules is the man for the job. The hero was once famously challenged to clean the Augean stables. These stables held a thousand divine cattle and had not been cleared for 30 years, so the task was considered to be impossible. However, Hercules used his great strength to re-route two rivers to wash out the decades of filth. In N17 he would probably opt for diverting the course of the Moselle Brook (which flows into the River Lea) in order to clean out 138 years of sh*t.
7. Dr Jordan B. Peterson
The Canadian psychologist famous for helping to put thousands of young people on the straight-and-narrow by telling them to “first clean your room” would be just the man to help Tottenham deal with the deep psychoses which have built up at the club over many generations: delusions of grandeur; imposter syndrome; sibling rivalry; inferiority complex… Dr Peterson would have his work cut out.
8. Saint Jude
Jude was one of the Apostles of Jesus (not to be confused with Jesus’s betrayer, Judas Iscariot). He preached for many years after the crucifixion before himself being martyred in 65 AD. So why could he be the man for Tottenham? Well, Saint Jude is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.
Have a pleasant weekend.