Tottenham are now “desperate” in their manager hunt and will struggle to attract a “top” boss, according to Danny Mills.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Leeds United and England defender claimed football is “very ego-based” and therefore a top manager will not want the job if they are not Spurs’ first-choice.
Tottenham have been managerless since Jose Mourinho was sacked at the end of April.
Football Insider reported on June 3 that the club were increasingly confident that Antonio Conte would be their new manager after holding key talks.
However, BBC Sport reported the day after Spurs had pulled the plug on further discussions amid doubts over the transfer budget.
Chairman Daniel Levy wrote an open letter to the fans claiming the new manager will play entertaining football while developing young players.
Asked what Tottenham can do now Conte will not be joining the club, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “Football is still very, very ego-based, a lot of it.
“If you’re fifth or sixth on the list and there are people in front of you it’s very difficult to get passionate about the job. You’re thinking ‘You didn’t really want me, did you? You’re now doing it out of necessity.’
“If you’re a top manager and you don’t have to go there out of necessity you’re thinking ‘Suddenly you’re desperate and you want me.’
“Tottenham have got it wrong in this scenario. With Mourinho they had it spot on. They did all their work and bang, it was job done. Simple as that. Rightly or wrongly, they got it all done.
“Now you look at it and you think ‘Where do Tottenham go next?’”