A few weeks ago, there was some talk of Rafa Benitez being interested in the Tottenham Hotspur managerial job. We mostly laughed it off at the time, but it does make a certain sense.
Now, the Telegraph newspaper in England is again reporting that Rafa is interested in taking the reins at the London-based club, with writer Jason Burt going so far as to say "he wants [the job]." There's also a strong suggestion that, in the wake of them not longer considering Ajax's Frank de Boer for the job, that Tottenham and their President, Daniel Levy, are considering their interest in Rafa as well. Obviously, early reports like this can only be trusted so much, but the Telegraph tends to be much more well-balanced and not prone to bouts of sensationalist rumors as some of their English contemporaries.
We know that Rafa wants to manage in England again. He's said in interviews a number of times since the end of his tenure at Liverpool that he feels he has unfinished business in England, and it's doubtful that his time at Chelsea slaked that thirst. Aside from Manchester United, who would never hire him after his time at Liverpool, Tottenham is the best manager job that will likely be open in England for some time.
There's also the consideration that Tottenham's roster is actually quite well-suited to Rafa's tactics. There's a couple of needs, but money has frequently been available to spend at Tottenham in recent years, and with their existing roster they were expected to compete with the best of England before everything fell apart this season.
Even some of their signings from last summer that have largely disappointed this past season seem like they'd work well under Rafa. Roberto Soldado is almost the perfect striker to work under the Spaniard, and both Paulinho and Erik Lamela could see resurgences under a manager who knows how to utilize their type of player properly, which Tim Sherwood could never seem to do and even Andre Villas-Boas, heralded as he was, rarely seemed to have an idea of.
At the same time, though, why would Rafa want to leave Napoli right now? This squad is also almost perfectly suited to his needs, and he'll have a lot more money to spend this summer than he would at Tottenham. He'll also have Champions League football next season and a a chance to compete for the Scudetto, and a title chase is far from likely with Spurs next year. He also won't have nearly so meddlesome a boss with Aurelio de Laurentiis as he would with Levy, and we all know from his time at Liverpool how poorly Rafa deals with that kind of "oversight".
While obviously this story is in its early stages at best and could easily still be rubbish, I get the feeling that this is far from the last we'll be hearing of it. It's starting to feel more and more like the period between the end of the season and the start of the World Cup is going to be a very tumultuous one for Napoli fans.
Programming note: Apologies for the lack of match coverage over the weekend. I was incredibly sick and Kirsten had other commitments that kept her from covering for me. We'll have a match recap of sorts up as soon as possible.