Capello among early fancies to replace AVB

Fabio Capello, Glenn Hoddle and Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino have emerged as contenders for the vacant Tottenham manager’s position after Spurs sacked Andre Villas-Boas yesterday.

The 36-year-old’s spell as manager at White Hart Lane came to an abrupt end after the club announced he had been sacked, a day after their 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

Tim Sherwood, who is already on the coaching staff at the club, will be in charge for the Capital One Cup quarter-final at home against West Ham tomorrow night.

The humiliation by Liverpool, which followed a 6-0 drubbing by Manchester City last month, appears to have been the final straw for the Spurs chairman Daniel Levy who delivered the coup de grace in person at the club’s training ground in Enfield yesterday.

Tottenham said in a statement: “The club can announce that agreement has been reached with head coach, Andre Villas-Boas, for the termination of his services.

“The decision was by mutual consent and in the interests of all parties.”

Villas-Boas, who was able to say farewell to the players before his departure, leaves after 18 months in the post and bookmakers have installed Capello as one of the early favourites to replace him.

Although he is currently Russia’s head coach and due to take them to the World Cup finals, Franco Baldini, his former assistant at England, is Spurs’ technical director, and Capello was at White Hart Lane on Sunday commentating for Italian television.

Other names linked with the post include Glenn Hoddle and former Tottenham striker Jurgen Klinsmann, currently coach of the USA.

The former was in charge at Spurs between 2001 and 2003 but has not been in club management since Wolves in 2006, but Gary Lineker was among those backing the former England boss. Lineker said: “Would love to see Glenn Hoddle given another chance at this level. Has a brilliant football mind.”

There are also whispers that Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino, who has been hugely impressive at St Mary’s, has attracted Levy’s admiration though he is known to be fiercely loyal to Saints chairman Nicola Cortese.

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup’s agent has also insisted the Dane is committed to staying at his club until the end of the season.

Spurs are currently seventh in the table, two points ahead of Manchester United, while they won their Europa League group with a 100% record, scoring 15 goals and conceding just two in six games.

Villas-Boas also had a good record overall as Tottenham manager, averaging 1.83 points per league match, and a win ratio of more than 53%, the highest of all Spurs bosses in the Premier League era.

Although the Portuguese manager spent heavily over the summer with seven new players coming in following Gareth Bale’s departure, some of the signings were made over his head and that led to a breakdown in the relationship with the club’s hierarchy.

Former Tottenham owner Lord Sugar claimed hiring Villas-Boas was “the wrong move” and accused him of being “unprofessional” and showing “immaturity”.

Sugar said: “With the greatest respect to the chairman I think it was the wrong move to appoint him. I think the guy showed he was unprofessional in spending that amount of money.”

He added: “The writing was on the wall as far as I was concerned when he went out and spent like a kid in a sweet shop. I mean you just can’t do that. It showed immaturity.”

Paddy Power odds on next Tottenham boss: 3/1 Tim Sherwood, 9/2 Fabio Capello, 9/2 Michael Laudrup, 8/1 Glenn Hoddle, 8/1 Gianfranco Zola, 16/1 Frank de Boer, 18/1 Guus Hiddink, 20/1 Mauricio Pochettino, 20/1 Roberto Di Matteo, 22/1 Jurgen Klinsmann, 33/1 bar.

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