Why 4-4 isn’t good enough for Jol or Tottenham

I sit here in my university room having left the student bar at half time. It was Tottenham Hotspur 1 Aston Villa 3 when I went; I was convinced we weren’t going to come back. I have been constantly updating the score on the net, still with a flutter of hope in my heart. And to my amazement, we came back from 4-1 down to draw 4-4. All credit to the players, and if it weren’t for individual errors we would have easily won a game we thoroughly dominated.

One has to feel though, that at 4-1 down, Martin Jol was clinging on by his fingernails. A heavy defeat on this, the club’s 125th Anniversary eve, would have surely resulted in a sacking. It would have been the last straw in Daniel Levy’s mind. But with Robbie Keane and Younes Kaboul receiving cautions for their goal celebrations, one can get a sense how much it meant to the players.

Though I was not able to witness it, the comeback must have been thrilling. And once the adrenalin has stopped flowing and Martin Jol can assess the game with his players, the question he may be asking is, “how did we let it get to that stage in the first place?” It is certainly what I am asking and I’m sure what Mr. Levy is asking. I am sure many witnessed the elaborate ceremonies before the match, marking 125 years of Tottenham Hotspur FC, and though our performance may have lived up to that, the score line didn’t.

The tough world of football, as it is today means greater pressure on managers and on such a momentous occasion, Tottenham were expected to get a convincing result. A thrillingly entertaining game it was, but also not what we needed today, and though we may have been unlucky, this may not be enough to secure Jol’s job. With the next Premier League game away at Liverpool, heavy defeat there could create an even worse scenario for the Dutchman than at 4-1 down today.

I don’t know what to feel now, but after the mid-week European fixture against Anothorsis Famagusta set to be a formality — in wake of the 6-1 drubbing — I just hope that Jol and the team do enough in the Liverpool game, which is the final game before a two week International break, or we could be looking at a new Tottenham manager when we return to Premier League football on 22nd October, away at Newcastle.

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