Don't worry, Spurs fans; if Harry Redknapp takes the England manager's job in the next few weeks, it won't be the end of the world. After all, he'll leave behind a team brimming with talent, confidence and ambition. Plus, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy won't have to look far for a manager who can keep the good times rolling at White Hart Lane: Paul Lambert is just up the road at Norwich.
Leading the Canaries from the basement of League One to the EPL promised land in consecutive seasons is pretty remarkable, but having Norwich more than holding its own in the top flight this season makes Lambert a rising star in the British game. Spurs would be well advised to put him at the top of their shopping list should Redknapp leave for the hot, hot seat at Lancaster Gate.
The Redknapp decision could be a few weeks away, but Spurs will have competition for Lambert's services very soon as plenty of big teams will be casting an envious eye toward East Anglia as the season winds down. Wolves already need a manager, and the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool might all be giving their management situation some thought before too long as well.
Martin O'Neill has proved again at Sunderland what an intelligent man-manager with an ability to develop talent that others don't see can do for a team with big expectations. And Lambert seems to come from the O'Neill mold: His Norwich team is built on youth, players plucked from obscurity, and hard-working veterans relishing a crack at glory.
And like O'Neill, Lambert knows what it's like to play and win at the very highest level. That will be crucial, should he be handed the managerial reins at Spurs in the coming months. Lambert could place his Champions League winning medal on the desk for all his superstars to see. And not only did he win a Champions League title in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund, he also managed to shut out Zinedine Zidane in the final against Juventus when he wasn't too busy setting up BVB's opening goal.
Of course, the biggest hurdle to Spurs' big European ambitions is not the possible departure of Redknapp, but that of Gareth Bale. He's a massive talent who gives Spurs a dimension that few teams have: big power, big speed, big engine and a big shot. Now, Spurs could use any compensation from England for Redknapp to lure Jose Mourinho back to the EPL from Real Madrid, but they'd be better served using the windfall to secure Bale for the foreseeable future.
A special case can certainly be made for enticing "The Special One" to swap the white jersey of Madrid for the white one of Spurs, but Mourinho's price tag might just be outside Spurs' range -- even with a subsidy from the FA. A triumphant return to Chelsea might be more to Mourinho's liking anyway, and in a lot of ways, it's better to have a manager on the rise rather than one looking for new horizons from his plateau.
And Lambert is certainly riding the up elevator this season. Though his side was dumped from the FA Cup by Leicester City on Saturday -- Lambert fielded a squad heavy with reserves -- the Canaries are firmly in the Prem's top half and have lost just once in their past six league games, achievements I'm sure Daniel Levy is fully aware of in North London.