Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking - Guest Blog by 'The East Stander'

On Sky’s Sunday Supplement, various journalists (and I use that word loosely) debated the current state of Tottenham Hotspur. You can watch the video here:,19528,11096_2665571,00.html .

It’s Damien Comolli you idiots, not Daniel. And Martin Jol wasn’t brought to the club originally as a Director of Football either. Superb researching on display by England’s finest reporters. I’m not going to dispute any longer that Jol’s position at the club is on thin ice. Even though the journos from the above link were making assumptions based on rumours, the fact that people are discussing any of this means that it’s in the heads of Levy and Jol and pressure is then created from a situation where it might not have existed in the first place.

Jol gave his speech last season and gave credit to Levy. After the opening two defeats, people claiming to know people at the club began to spread rumours. Jol’s job was no longer safe. He and Levy did not see eye to eye. Comolli and Jol do not get on. Jol has not approved of several signings made (i.e. Zokora, Bent). Suddenly, it’s being suggested that the past two years have been achieved through a divided management team that do not get on.

Bookies stopped taking bets on Jol being sacked.

This (prior to the Derby game) appeared on a Spurs forum:

Right dont shoot the messenger but I’m just passing on what I’ve been told this morning by my friend...
He is helping out a lad today whose dad is very good mates with Chris Hughton...
He has said Jol and him are gone after the Derby game whatever happens..
Jol has said to the players he wants a win against derby, a wave goodbye to the crowd before being forced out, he wants to leave with his head held high...
It fits in with what is being said...
Id be gutted if he goes as I love him as a character and a personality, but I’ve been having doubts for a while now whether he has what it takes it get us challenging for the next level...
And was echoed across other forums that suggested that Jol was a dead man walking.

Of course, Spurs won 4-0. And the people who suggested Jol was gone backtracked, saying that Levy had not been able to draft in a replacement and that apparently he will get rid of the manager once we ‘the fans’ turn against him. The Favourite being Ramos of Seville who was apparently spotted with chief executive John Alexander and director Paul Kemsley. The Sunday Mirror had pictures (too low quality to print). Ramos denied the stories, but people would simply suggest ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’.

There’s been no official word from Spurs. Of course any official word would probably constitute a ‘vote of confidence’ so they can’t win on that front.

But even though I would want to dismiss all stories as mis-truths, Jol appears to be fighting his corner:

“I always think of David Moyes and Everton,” Martin Jol, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, said. “He had a very good year, then the next year was horrendous, but nobody said anything. And now they have a good team and are challenging for the top six. So I just think, leave me be.”

“The board has never personally told me I have to break into the top four,” Jol said, “and betting on me to get the sack, I don’t think so – but you never know. I thought there were whispers last year, but there are whispers at every club. I’m the same as maybe seven people in every ten – I can’t take f***ing criticism.

“As a manager, you want time to build a team. Look at Arsenal and Liverpool, how many of my players would get in for them? If it is six or seven, then we must be fourth. If it is one or two, then we are overachieving. In 25 years, no Tottenham manager has had the number of points we have won over two seasons. None of them.”

Unless he is fighting the media rather than Levy with his words.

On another Spurs forum, a member was asked to post the following – which is apparently from a Spurs board member. Not exactly official club policy to go through a message board rather than the official club site:

As I know you are always in the chatroom, can I provide you with the current position please.

Re Ramos, Klinsmann etc - We are not negotiating with any managers about the replacement of Martin Jol at this time. We are an ambitious club and it is a realistic ambition that we should look to CL qualification, so anything that looks like we may not make it is bound to lead to speculation and we fully expect that. No manager's future is decided on one or two games and it is insulting to suggest that this board would do that.

Re Martin and Damien - they have a good working relationship - the football management board works - no player comes into this club that Martin doesnt agree to - it would be ludicrous to suggest that money would be spent on players Martin did not favour and whom he would not then play, Damien has brought talent to the club with Martin's approval - and we would not have players like Berbatov and Bale without him to mention but two (there are obviously many more).

Re left position - always difficult as evidenced by the fact that the majority of prem teams (Liverpool a notable exception) play a right footer on the left. We have Lennon, Malbranque (who played a blinder on the left yesterday) Bale and Keane. So we have many options and yet we will still look as depth is a key factor of the squad.

Please let me know if any rumours running amok that I have not answered here - will be happy to! best regards,

Too confusing, isn’t it? No real way of knowing whether Mido’s dig at Tottenham’s ‘politics’ is true or just a bitter parting word at the fact that he was shifted out of the club having dropped to 5th in the pecking order.

And are forums really this powerful tool of mass hysteria where a few words posted suddenly appear in the next days edition of The Sun or Mirror?

Is Levy to blame for failing to buck a trend and behave in the manner that has become synonymous with the past - bad management. Why do we have to persistently rock the boat? Or is modern day football to blame, breeding impatience in the terraces and on the board.

Maybe its not all rumours. Maybe there is truth in it. Maybe I'm blinded by the fact that Jol has achieved great success compared to the past set of managers who have failed miserably - but I fail to see that he might not be capable of taking us further.

I said that I no longer dispute the fact that Jol's days maybe numbered. And as you can tell from this article I am unable to settle down into one school of thought on this.

If Jol wasn't in trouble he is now. And its more to do with the hype surrounding it than the actual logical process that should be considered (i.e. give Jol the time he needs).

Maybe sacking him isn't too bad an idea if Ramos replaces him. But I just can't find myself liking that idea at this moment. That must make me pro-Jol and anti-Levy. Spooky will be pleased with that. Though he's anti-everything at the best of times.