It is now more than eight weeks since Tottenham sacked Antonio Conte in an attempt to save their season.
It is fair to say that the move did not have the desired effect.
Hopes of Champions League qualification have been lost for a while and Spurs now go into their last Premier League game of the season at Leeds with an outside chance of making the Europa Conference League qualifications.
They need to get a better result than Aston Villa, who are at home to Brighton, or they will miss out on European football for the first time since 2009-10.
Conte’s departure did not stop the slide. Italian assistant Cristian Stellini just four games, was cut after a brutal 6-1 defeat at Newcastle, which chairman Daniel Levy described as “unacceptable”.
Ryan Mason is in charge for the rest of the season but Tottenham have picked up 12 points from 12 games since they beat Chelsea on February 26.
They don’t have a director of football following The exit of Fabio Paratici because of his 30-month ban for false accounting while sporting director and managing director of Juventus.
And now they have been snubbed by Arne Slot, who decided to stay in the Netherlands after guiding Feyenoord to their first Eredivisie title since 2017.
So, what happens now?
Is it 2021 already?
Slot’s decision to stay at Feyenoord is a worrying development for Tottenham fans, some of whom are beginning to fear the kind of protracted search for a manager that culminated in the ill-fated appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo last year. 2021.
The Portuguese lasted four months, has lost five of his last seven Premier League games.
That summer, Tottenham went through a list of potential candidates, considering Conte, Gennaro Gattuso and Paulo Fonseca.
Beloved former boss Mauricio Pochettino is the same, and at least on this occasion Tottenham made an inquiry before finding out how expensive the Argentine’s prize from Paris St-Germain would be.
This time, they didn’t even try. Pochettino seems to be in opposition dug in Tottenham’s next game against Chelsea.
Former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann has been heavily linked with the Tottenham job following Conte’s exit but the club have announced they will not approach the German – and doubled down on this stance following fresh claims of contact last week weekend.
As for Slot, although it’s easy to feel Tottenham’s finances are enough to encourage the 44-year-old to move to London, Feyenoord have the attraction of a guaranteed place in the Champions League group stage.
Who else was there?
Well-placed sources suggest Tottenham will continue an interest in former Spain and Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, who has been out of work since quitting after the World Cup.
But there are other options.
Another former Spain coach, Julen Lopetegui, is in an uncertain situation at Wolves after learning that Financial Fair Play restrictions could be a major obstacle to his summer squad-building plans.
Like Slot, former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has done an impressive job in the Netherlands. The 46-year-old is now on the market after leaving PSV Eindhoven after failing to agree a way forward.
Graham Potter built his reputation at Brighton and is still highly regarded despite spending a few months at Chelsea amid an admittedly chaotic recruitment campaign inspired by the owner.
At one point, Brendan Rodgers was heavily linked with Tottenham. He didn’t seem to enjoy himself at Leicester before his sacking and has an FA Cup on his CV from his time at the King Power.
Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou has won back-to-back Scottish titles and is on the brink of a domestic treble. Due to his progressive tactical approach he should also be considered.
Levy in the spotlight
Levy and Tottenham’s last owner ENIC have been the subject of more negative reactions than ever this season.
Their home campaign ended with defeat against Brentford last week and few fans will travel to Leeds with any hope of victory even though the home side are fighting for their lives in the Premier League.
And then there’s Harry Kane.
The England skipper has a year left on his contract and is once again attracting attention from all of Europe’s top clubs, including Manchester United.
Levy is faced with the balance of the forward’s money or the risk of losing him without pay for 12 months in the hope that something positive will emerge to persuade him to commit the remaining years of his career to Spurs.
Finding an alternative to Slot will not be difficult for the Spurs. Finding the right alternative is another question entirely.