It appears Martin Jol’s days at Spurs are numbered. A lot of money spent in the off season, two losses to open the season, an influx of betting on him being the first manager to lose his job this season, and photo’s of Spurs directors meeting other managers all seem to point to Jol being jobless in the not to distant future.
It seems the real reason for the imminent sacking of Jol would be a strained relationship between the manager and sporting director Damien Comolli, who has, in chairman Daniel Levy, a close ally. With Comolli being almost fire proof it seems the axe will fall on Jol’s head.
Spurs are believed to have drawn up a short list of potential new managers, a list that includes Mark Hughes, Harry Redknapp, Italian World Cup Winning manager Marcelo Lippi, and Sevilla’s Juande Ramos. Romas is believed to be at the top of the wish list and it is he who was photographed with John Alexander, Spurs club secretary, at a Spanish hotel last week. Both parties have denied any sinister reasons for the meeting and maintain it was just coincidence.
Ramos is believed to want more power and respect at Sevilla and could be tempted to join Spurs, given that he will surely be allowed some money to spend, and he has always suggested that he would love to manage in England. However have guided Sevilla to the UEFA Cup, the Spanish Kings Cup, 3rd place in La Liga and with it Sevilla’s first appearance in the Champions League, and recently a very convincing victory over Real Madrid in the two legged Spanish Super Cup, he could be tempted to stay and make history with Sevilla. The imminent sale of Dani Alves could bring in the money he craves for a new forward to partner Freddie Kanoute. Another good season as Sevilla would give him bargaining powers over his next contract, the present one running out at the end of the season, or put him in a position to move to a bigger club than Spurs, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan or Chelsea could prove tempting.
If Jol does go, and no clear explanations of why come out, it could be seen that the Spurs boards’ eyes are too big for their plates. Terry Venables guided Spurs to third place in 1990. Since then, in the Premiership years Spurs have failed to finish above 7th, until Martin Jol took charge. Under Jol they have finished 5th in both his seasons, narrowly, and unluckily, missing out on 4th place, and Champions League football. Jol has also brought some of the best young talent to White Hart Lane, and bought British too. He is the core of a very good team, one that is perhaps a defender or two shy of breaking into the top four. Like Sir Alex needed when he came to Manchester United, Jol needs time, time to get his players playing together, time to allow them to grow and fill their undoubted potential, time to achieve the miracle of breaking into the monopolised top four.
Spurs it seems see things differently. Jol will have until the international break at the beginning of September before he starts looking for a new job. And the new Spurs managers first game in charge? Arsenal.