A Tribute to Martin Jol

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It is another sad day to be a spurs fan. As if our underachieving start to the season wasn’t good enough with only one league win in ten, last nights manor in which Martin Jol was axed as head coach and then left in charge for one final UEFA cup match was nothing short of embarrassing.

Now as an avid Spurs fan I am not saying that Jol should not have been sacked, but more the manor in which things have unfolded over the last couple of months that have concerned me. The ways in which the club have acted recently and the dignified way in which Jol has continually reacted, has meant that regardless of the lacklustre performances this season Jol can leave with his head held high and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club looking rather sheepish.

It was as far back as August that that the club were spotted meeting Seville coach Juande Ramos, and with the club touting his position in such ways his position at the club has always been in jeopardy. This can only serve to undermine his authority in the dressing room which has only been seen in public bust ups with several key players.

Whilst publicly backing Jol at the same time this grooming another of Europe’s most promising coaches, the club maintained that Jol would be given time. In my opinion the damage had already been done, and although the club had been caught with their pants down should then have made the replacement as Jol was a dead man walking from this point.

I must however question the ethics of a club I have loved for years, investing £40 million pounds in Jol’s team over the summer to be phased out in August. I personally think that although he was a fans favourite after steering the club to consecutive fifth place premier league finishes (a club first) Jol was due for the boot a long time before August. The Tottenham board clearly had an agenda to fill and the believed that Jol wasn’t the man to deliver which was reflected in some big money summer signings that Jol didn’t agree with Damien Comolli (Director of football) over.

I look back to matches against Seville and Chelsea away last season where the board could have seen tactical weaknesses in Jol’s managerial style begin to appear, but I am not disputing his floors, yes he had them, but it is the events which culminated in the news of Jol’s departure being leaked during an important European game that I am most upset about.

The fans reacted in the only way they could with a standing ovation for the man for the man who has the highest league win ratio of any previous manager over his three years at the club, delivered two fifth place finishes, and put Spurs back on the European map. What was clearly meant to be a match where Jol could go out in a blaze of glory in front of the home fans who adore him clearly backfired as we lost miserably 2-1 to Getafe.

In my view Jol’s departure was a result of the boards need for quick returns on the money spent this summer, and with a top four finish looking bleaker by the week they became ever more impatient. Jol should have been given time to turn the season around, but this was impossible due to the clubs own sabotage through the meeting of Ramos and his role at the club became untenable. As a result man whose record should have bought him more time to turn things around was axed.

I look forward to Blackburn with Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe at the helm, although it would not surprise me if Ramos was in place soon after.


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