By Duncan Castles
Franco Baldini expects to be retained as Tottenham's technical director for the coming Premier League season, Goal can reveal.
Appointed last June after an extended courtship, the Italian has borne much of the criticism for the club's failure either to qualify for the Champions League or to win silverware following a €122 million summer spending spree.
|8/1||Tottenham are 8/1 with Bet365 to beat Aston Villa 2-0 in their next fixture|
Forced to sell the division's most decisive footballer to Real Madrid when Gareth Bale insisted on moving to Spain, and despite going through a mid-season change of coach, Tottenham are poised to finish this campaign just one Premier League position and a maximum of six points short of last season's total. A single point at home to Aston Villa will secure a place ahead of deposed champions Manchester United.
For Baldini that is an indicator that the overall quality of Tottenham's squad has been improved by the summer reinvestment in Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela, Paulinho, Christian Eriksen, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches and Nacer Chadli.
As all seven signings arrived from overseas leagues and all have struggled in one way or another, Baldini believes the club is certain to receive a better return from the spend as the players benefit from a year's adaptation to the English game.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has been unnerved by a campaign that was expected to deliver not only lucrative Champions League qualification but also a direct challenge for the title.
Levy felt he was forced into the mid-December dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas, with whom his working relationship was extremely poor. He has also been disappointed by some of Tim Sherwood's actions since succeeding the Portuguese.
Baldini has counselled patience, advising that Levy wait until the end of the season to review Sherwood's performance and make a final judgement on whether to allow the abrasive Englishman to continue as coach. He also proposed a strategy of avoiding talking to candidates to replace Sherwood until that decision to sack or back was taken.
It is understood that the approach for Ajax coach Frank de Boer, made public last week, actually dates back to November when Tottenham were sounding out candidates as an insurance policy should they deem it necessary to replace Villas-Boas.