Marcelo Bielsa has been picked by Tottenham-supporting pundits Jamie O’Hara and Tim Sherwood as the man to replace Jose Mourinho at the North London club – following the Special One’s sacking. But Nigel Martyn has reacted to both O’Hara and Sherwood’s comments during an interview with LeedsUnited.News – claiming the Argentine would struggle to get the same level out of the Spurs players, as he does with the Leeds squad.
Bielsa, 65, has come in for enormous praise in his first season in the Premier League – guiding newly-promoted Leeds to a lofty ninth place. Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United saw the Whites go six Premier League games unbeaten and a point above Arsenal – a run that also includes a historic win over Manchester City thanks to a brace from Stuart Dallas, as well as wins over Fulham and Sheffield United.
The Argentine has enjoyed a successful three seasons at Leeds in which he has taken a mid-table Championship side to ninth in the Premier League. But the way in which the ex-Marseille, Lille and Bilbao manager works is that he likes to sign a further 12 months at the end of every season, in order not to allow him to be tied down. He has already stated he will sign a new contract if Andrea Radrizzani needs him to, and sees his future at Leeds.
O’Hara and Sherwoood have both touted Bielsa as a potential candidate. O’Hara told TalkSPORT: “I would say Bielsa. I think he’d be absolutely brilliant and the fans would love him,” while Sherwoold told Optus Sport: “I would pick Bielsa,” – but Martyn has taken Bielsa being suggested as Tottenham manager as a compliment. He also understands why the Leeds boss has been suggested as a possible replacement for Mourinho.
“Spurs have sacked their manager and [Ryan] Mason is clearly an interim manager, even if they won the Carabao Cup,” Bielsa said. “The guy is young, he is probably better going out and getting a Championship club, gaining experience and then come back. He’s not Tottenham’s solution right now. They’ve obviously got their eye on someone and the stand-out manager of the Premier League season is probably Bielsa. It reflects well on him that people want him and that is because of his style and how Leeds play.”
Tottenham have been linked with numerous managers, including Julian Nagelsmann who has since been confirmed as the new Bayern Munich manager. Brendan Rodgers has refuted interest in his services, while an international manager might be a no go – given the likes of Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez are hardly going to consider leaving their countries on the eve of a tournament.
Right now, Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag and out-of-work boss Maurizio Sarri are favourites to take over at Spurs – with the latter still being paid by Juventus until he finds a new job, after being replaced by Andrea Pirlo last summer. Bielsa is expected to sign a new deal at the end of the season, and Martyn questioned whether Bielsa could get the Spurs players to buy into his way of playing – given the calibre and stature of Harry Kane and co.
Martyn also underlined how important it is for Leeds to tie down their £115k-a-week (Star) manager – claiming it is the most-important bit of business for years to come, finally telling Tottenham to “get lost”.
“Would an experienced Spurs side buy into it? A fully-established Premier League team is a different proposition. As much as everyone would love to see Bielsa at Tottenham, I don’t think he could get the same response from the Spurs players as he did at Leeds. They would need an overhaul at Spurs, but he doesn’t have the time for that. I hope that’s not the case and it is the most-important signature to get for next season,” Martyn continued.
“If the manager is lost, you aren’t going to get the same impact. He’s different to the rest. He’s special in the way he gets his players to play and the team before self ethos, personally I love how they play – that sort of philosophy. It is the most-important signing Leeds are going to make – let’s be happy – five years. But it would be catastrophic if Leeds lost him this summer. Having him for next year is vital. We’ll take what O’Hara and Sherwood say as a compliment, but they can get lost.”