1. First new Tottenham manager in over a decade
Tottenham had joint managers Karen Hills and Juan Amoros as long-term coaches prior to Skinner’s arrival in December 2020. Amoros had been in place since 2011, while Hills had been at the club since 2009, and the two had overseen Spurs’ rise from the fourth tier and amateur level to promotion to the Barclays FA Women's Super League in 2019.
2. Former assistant to Phil Neville at England
Skinner had spent three years at The FA prior to joining Tottenham, being head coach for the U18-U20 women’s levels, before becoming assistant to first-team Lionesses coach Phil Neville in September 2020.
3. Possession-based tactical style
Straight off the training ground! @KitGraham · @spurswomen · #BarclaysFAWSL pic.twitter.com/7AROpW5N0PSeptember 4, 2021
Skinner has implemented a front-foot, possession-based philosophy at Tottenham. While it may have taken a while to bed in – the latter half of the 2020/21 season after she took over was unexceptional, as the Lilywhites finished eighth – it has paid off in a big way in the early part of 2021/22.
Spurs won all of their first four games in the Barclays FA Women's Super League this season, including an away win at Manchester City, making them a surprise package to disrupt the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, City and Manchester United at the top.
4. Late goal specialists
Attacking with pace 🏃♀️ 💨@Angelaaddison_ finishes a well worked team move for @SpursWomen!Watch the #BarclaysFAWSL live on the FA Player 📺 pic.twitter.com/13B0zzhFWaOctober 3, 2021
Skinner emphasises a hard-work philosophy to her team, and it seems to be working wonders on the field.
Five of Tottenham's eight league goals this season have come in the last 10 minutes of matches – indicating a level of fitness under Skinner that could be partly attributed to the team's full-time move to the club's state-of-the-art training ground when she took over in 2020.
Prior to that, the women's team had only had access to the training ground twice a week, spending the rest of the time training at The Hive in Barnet, where they play their home games.
5. Gooner past
Gasp! Skinner spent three years as assistant manager at north London rivals Arsenal between 2010 and 2013.
It was a successful period for the Gunners though, winning two Barclays FA Women's Super League titles, two FA Continental Tyres League Cups and a Vitality Women’s FA Cup in that time, as well as reaching two Champions league semi-finals.
That success, as well the seven-year gap between leaving Arsenal and joining Tottenham, might have helped with her welcome at Spurs.
6. Dog lover
Getting on board with #NationalPuppyDay2020 #bbcfootballdogs @BBCMOTD the silver lining of being at home, dressing up these beauties ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZHEP2A1Lm4March 24, 2020
Anyone who has followed Skinner on social media will know she’s a dog lover, with regular photos of her numerous hounds over the years, including this rather handsome football shirt framing from early 2020. Just don’t mention the shirt on the left...
7. Degree in Business Economics
Before joining Leicester, where she worked up to spend four years as manager from 2006, Skinner completed an undergraduate course at the University of Leicester, receiving a degree in Business Economics in 2002.
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