Why the Tottenham board must replace Martin Jol

Being an Arsenal fan, there is no better time to stick the boot in Spurs as now. During the summer, Tottenham Hotspur spent around £40 million while Arsenal actually made a profit on transfer dealings after selling mercurial captain Thierry Henry.

Many tipped Tottenham to finally break into the top four while Arsenal faded into the UEFA Cup places; the opposite has been true as the Gunners have soared to the top of the table while Spurs sit in the relegation zone.

As much as I love taking the piss out of my Tottenham supporting father (who must have had a troubled childhood to pick such a team), I will not use the widely viewed stage that is SoccerLens to bash the Lilywhites (I have Arsenal forums for that ;)). Rather, I would like to issue a friendly, neigbourly warning:

Tottenham Hotspur must get rid of Martin Jol if they want any chance of challenging for the Champions League places.

After Martin Jol was appointed head coach after the departure of Jacques Santini, he completely revamped the Tottenham lineup. His first act was to promote Michael Carrick (a player who was ignored by Santini) to the first team; this move soon reaped rewards. In the years Jol has been at the club, Tottenham have seen two top five finishes, far better than those before the Dutchman. So why am I, a person who takes pleasure in the misfortune of Tottenham, calling for his head?

Tottenham have been in a bit of a decline ever since they lost out on fourth place to Arsenal on the last day of the season two years ago. Spurs were in pole position to secure that lucrative Champions League place; however a combination of them slipping up against West Ham and Arsenal beating Wigan saw them fail. Although they challenged sporadically last year it was not enough of a collective effort by the full team, and they never seriously competed with Arsenal for fourth place (despite the Gunners’ relatively poor season).

This year, they have done even worse. A last gasp winner conceded to promoted Sunderland was seen as a blip at the beginning; the games that have followed have proved the opposite. Tottenham Hotspur’s record this season reads played 8, won 1, drawn 3 and lost 4. This gives them just six points leaving them at a lowly 18th; far below their achievements of even last year. Although there is not way that Tottenham will be relegated, I put their failures this year down to one man- and that man is Martin Jol.

ENIC spent big this summer hoping to propel the team to a top four place; Jol wasted quite a bit of the money. Whilst the signings of Gareth Bale and Younes Kaboul were definitely decent ones, the signing of Darren Bent for £16.5 million was puzzling considering the availability of Berbatov, Keane and Defoe up front. Kevin Prince Boateng was brought in to try and give Spurs some much needed creativity in midfield- why has he not played till now? Tottenham would have been much better off had they used the Bent money (no jokes, please ;)) on a creative midfielder like Guti and/or a left winger like Mancini.

These failings in the transfer market have seen Tottenham play with a lack of cohesion on the football pitch, and as Jol seems unable to mold his players into a team that plays anything resembling the decent football of two years ago he must go. As for his possible replacement, many names have been linked. Mourinho is one of those that crops up most, but apparently there is was a clause agreed that he couldn’t manage a Premiership team for a year.

For me, there is one man that can take Spurs forward- Juande Ramos. Why? Ramos has experience of molding young players to play attacking football, and he does not need to spend like the best to compete with them. Ramos would transform Tottenham Hotspur both on and off the pitch- which is why this Gunner desperately hopes that he does not join the club.

Respect for Referees
US Mens National Team Squad, World Cup 2010


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