Gennaro Gattuso opens up on failed Tottenham appointment

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Gennaro Gattuso SSC Napoli coach during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Juventus at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on February 13, 2021 in Naples, Italy
Photo: Francesco Pecoraro/GETTY IMAGES

Gennaro Gattuso has revealed that he still hasn't gotten over missing out on the Tottenham Hotspur job due to fan backlash on social media.

The former Italy and AC Milan midfielder became the shock favourite to become the new Spurs boss following the dismissal of José Mourinho last season.

However, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy decided against appointing Gattuso amid a backlash from supporters over the proposed appointment of the Italian.

The hashtag #NoToGattuso was trending on Twitter in the UK as Spurs fans rallied in opposition to reports that the club were discussing a two-year deal with the former Napoli boss.

The club's supporters made it clear that Gattuso wasn't welcome at North London after controversial historic comments made by the 43-year-old on women in football, same-sex marriage and racism were brought to light on social media.

Gattuso also had a famous touchline nose-to-nose bust-up with then Spurs assistant manager Joe Jordan during a Champions League clash in 2011.

Tottenham Hotspur First Team Coach Joe Jordan and Gennaro Gattuso of AC Milan clash at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 15, 2011 in Milan, Italy
Photo: Alex Livesey/GETTY IMAGES

Speaking to Il Messaggero, Gattuso claimed his failed appointment as Tottenham boss "hurts more than any defeat" as he could not defend himself against accusation on social media.

It was a huge disappointment, but I wasn't described for the way I am and there was nothing I could do. I am sorry I could not defend myself and explain that I am not the person they were talking about in England.

I had to accept a story that hurts more than any defeat or dismissal, in a moment when we don't want to understand how dangerous the web can be.

Gattuso felt he was the victim in an online campaign where he had no platform to respond to the claims - though he had no desire to create a social media account.

Certain malice comes from Facebook or Twitter, where it is possible to give strength to any falsehood.

I don't have social media profiles and I don't want them, neither [my wife] Monica has.

Why should I let them insult me for anything? I don't even have Instagram. I don't understand, if I drink a bottle of wine, what's the point of taking a picture to let others know. It's my business, my children Gabriela and Francesco know it.

After weeks of failed moved for managers including the likes of Antonio Conte, Paulo Foncesca and Erik ten Hag, Spurs finally named ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Nuno Espírito Santo as new manager last month.

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