A couple of seasons ago Spurs missed out on a top four position, and Champions League football, on the final game of the season. Then Martin Jol, who had guided them to 5th place for two successive seasons, made a poor start to last season and was sacked. Juande Ramos was brought in after some impressive achievements at Sevilla in Spain. Yet now we find Spurs bottom of the table, win-less after six games, and off to their worst start in 53 years.
There was much optimism for Spurs fans after last seasons Carling Cup win, beating Chelsea in the final, and the big spending that followed this pre season. Spurs were forced to sell their two star players, Robbie Keane and Berbatov, forced by the players want to leave, but managed to bring in Gomes, David Bentley, Giovani Dos Santos, Luka Modrik, Roman Pavlyuchenko as well as Manchester United’s young forward Frazier Campbell, on loan. Spurs fans believed that this season could launch them onto the big stage. After six games they have yet to win, yet to look like winning, and are bottom of the table, bellow crisis club Newcastle.
There is little wrong with the playing staff at the disposal of Ramos. Spurs have one of the best squads in the league. They have a good young nucleus, made up of talented English players, such as King, Jenas, Lennon, Dawson, Bentley and Bent, and in Modrik and Dos Santos they have two potential world stars. Yet it has all gone so drastically wrong. There is an argument against buying to many new players at the same time, with the players, both new and old, needing to learn to play with each other, and foreign players needing to get used to English conditions and the pace and physical nature of the game. This argument would see a side show inconstancy’s such as are being seen at Manchester CIty, who are untouchable one weekend, beating Portsmouth 6-0, and then going out of the League Cup to League One Brighten, and losing to Wigan the next weekend. Spurs have not looked like winning a game.
While there is a trend in English football to sack managers too soon, managers need time to build a team, Spurs must be stuck between a rock and a hard place as to what is to become of Ramos. If things aren’t turned around soon he will find himself out of a job. His work at Sevilla showed that he is a capable manager, and the players at his club are quality, yet something is going wrong. A lot of the blame has been put on the Berbatov situation. Yet this can not be an excuse. It was clear for a while that Berbatov was on his way out of Spurs, the situation should have been addressed by club and players and more confidence should have been shown on the players on the field. A bigger loss was that of Keane. Spurs are missing the Irish forward and the readiness of their ex vice captain to jump ship to Liverpool suggests more than just his boyhood support for the Anfield club. Clearly things aren’t right at Spurs.
There are rumours that Ramos has shown an unwillingness to learn English. If this is the case it not only conveys the wrong impression on his staff and players, but makes it difficult for his vision to be translated. Gus Poyet has shown that he is a good young coach, and was said to be wanted by Manchester United and Newcastle, and is being wasted as a translator at Spurs. They demeanour and attitude of the players suggests that they are unmotivated and even clueless on the pitch. It is often far to easy and simplistic to blame the coach for most of the problems facing a club. But Spurs are a club in crisis and Ramos seems to be the main cause of this.
Ramos may have come as the man who would deliver Champions League football to Tottenham, but he is rapidly running out of games to save his job. For many Spurs fans that day can’t come soon enough.