It has been over a month since the world paid tribute to Tottenham’s Under-23 Manager, Ugo Ehiogu who passed away aged 44 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The former centre back collapsed at Tottenham’s training centre, Hotspur Way on Thursday 20th April before being pronounced dead on Friday (21st April) morning.
Head coach Mauricio Pochettino paid tribute to Ehigou saying: “Ugo was a lovely man and we had a very good relationship from the first day we arrived at the club.
“He was a person who always helped us a lot and we will miss him greatly. We are all in shock, it happened so quickly.
“I send all my love to his family and friends at such a difficult time. It’s a huge loss both personally and for all the Tottenham Hotspur family.”
One tough task Spurs now have on their hands is the appointment of a new development squad manager. John McDermott currently overlooks the Academy setup at White Hart Lane with the official title of Academy Manager and Head of Coaching.
Two other individuals who have key roles are Matt Wells, Assistant and Paul Bush who has been Youth Coordinator since 2012.
Amongst the academy coaching staff former players such as goalkeeper Rob Burch and former Grimsby Town striker, Bradley Allen feature.
With the U23 Manager’s role vacant following the tragic passing of Ehiogu, here is a selection of individuals who are suitable for the role.
Steffen Freund was appointed assistant head coach at White Hart Lane in July 2012. Also, appearing as a player for Spurs with 102 league appearances to his name making the German a popular figure with the Tottenham following.
Freund is currently International Technical Coordinator, a position he has held since August 2014. This is an unlikely appointment for the vacant Under 23’s manager position as he hasn’t shown any interest in returning to coaching.
However, the former defensive midfielder has previously held managerial roles within the German national team’s youth setup at Under 16 and Under 17 level.
A captain and a leader, Ledley King is Tottenham through and through. The former centre back who made 241 League appearances is involved with the club as an ambassador but a coaching role could be another option within the club.
Having suffered injuries to his knee and groin throughout his career, King may not be the fittest to get involved with training but his experience and footballing brain may counter this and prove to be a great asset for young talent coming through at Hotspur Way.
Therefore, the fact that King came through the club’s youth ranks is an important fact which would allow the former defender to give personal experiences and to connect with youth players in the same way he did as an apprentice.
Although still a pro with Burnley, the former England number one has only made three league appearances for the club and at the age of 37 Robinson could take retirement from his playing career to move into a coaching role.
Robinson commonly known as “Robbo” during his career, he joined Spurs in 2004 for a fee of £1.5million from Leeds United and instantly became a fan’s favourite with 137 Premier League appearances and even a goal to his name for Tottenham.
Returning to the lane would be a hit with Spurs fans and with the wealth of goalkeepers Spurs have had on their books over the years Robinson would be welcomed back home with open arms.
RAFAEL VAN DER VAART
Although Rafa was only with Spurs for two years he is still a player who many Spurs supporters feel was a vital part of Tottenham’s 2010/11 Champions League campaign scoring a total of 15 goals in all competitions, making him the club’s top scorer for that season.
Van Der Vaart has since played for Hamburg, Betis and now currently with Danish side, FC Midtjylland.
At the age of 34, the midfielders career will continue to slow down and retirement from the professional game will soon come. In a similar situation to Robbo, VDV has little coaching experience and a role as head coach may be a big step however, it would be great to see Rafa back in a Spurs training shirt.