This article is devil’s advocate really on behalf of the Tottenham board. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that MARTIN JOL NEEDED TO BE SACKED — or jump before he was pushed, depending on the newspaper you read.
Let’s look at the start to the league season. 7 points in total, from a possible 33. From a top-4 contender? Shocking. Shall we see were it all went wrong?
Only one top quality signing was made this summer, Gareth Bale. Other than that, no-one. Darren Bent is the biggest waste of money I have ever seen, he’s player who is extremely overhyped and overrated (rather like Jermaine Jenas, who is right up there with Fun-Time Fat-Frankie as my pet-hate). Younes Kaboul has a lot of potential mind you, but still with Spurs’ chronic lack of centre-halves someone more experienced should’ve been brought in.
But the point being made is this, Jol threw money around, was given 10 league games and ended up in the bottom 3. When you see it written in black and white, the shock and awe of the sacking disintegrates. But the reality is this simple equation:
£30m + 7pts. = P45
If a manager plays the same 4-4-2 with the same team for 3 years, the team will become slightly predictable. His only wildcard was Dimitar Berbatov, with whom Jol had a bust-up with (allegedly) which caused him to become disillusioned and his performances suffered consequently. The only EPL game they have played were they deserved more is against Manchester United, where Tottenham gave them some real problems at times, with Gareth Bale giving Wes Brown the run-around.
Other than that, arguably Liverpool they could have sealed the game, but at the end of the day performances haven’t been good enough, and their ability of holding onto leads is atrocious (the 3-3 at Fulham — any team who loses a two-goal lead deserves nothing out of a game), and they are often second-guessed by the bogey-teams who play them, such as Aston Villa for example (the 4-4 was Aston Villa snatching a draw from the jaws of victory, not the greatest comeback since Lazarus from Spurs).
Defence (or lack of)
The defence has been split right open countless times this season. Is that how top-4 contenders play football (insert Liverpool jibe here)? As I said before, Jol knew he had only 2 centre-halves fit. He risked going into the season and waiting for Ledley King and Michael Dawson to be fit once again. Instead, Antony Gardner gets injured and leaves him with only one central defender in Younes Kaboul. Very smart Martin…
It annoys me this about Jol though. Manchester City bought in a host of defenders over the summer at around £3m a piece. Not just crappy, bog-standard work-horses mind you, decent talented defenders like Vedran Corluka, like Jabier Garrido. Even Newcastle managed to sign some defenders! Why didn’t Jol? I think this was one of the factors which triggered the board to argue about how Jol spent his money.
Too Reliant on Individual Players
This is shown all too well by the nadir of Dimitar Berbatov’s form and the injury of Aaron Lennon. Without Lennon, no spark in midfield, without Berbatov, well, need I say more?
Let’s have it right, Dimitar Berbatov rivals Didier Drogba as top front man in the league. He is just shear poetry to watch when he’s on form and a real Action-Man. He scores, he creates, he’s got two great feet, he can head the ball, he can pass the ball, he’s strong, and he’s every penny of the £10.9m that Tottenham paid Bayer 04 Leverkusen for him. But with him playing badly, and with no Lennon, who has been giving the service to Robbie Keane up front? (All together now…) NOBODY.
These are problems which come direct from the top — the manager. Undoubtedly the Spurs fans will disagree with me here, but these were the problems that Jol faced, and he failed to address them. Therefore, Martin gets sent on his Jollies by me.
This is not to say however that the Spurs’ board were right of course. The ultimate result was right, but how they went about it wasn’t. They started hunting for a new manager two games into a season, that’s ridiculous. They even tried to tap up their new manager, that’s ridiculous. Then to top it off, the chairman, Daniel Levy, doesn’t turn up to say hello to the press and welcome his new boss, that’s incomprehensible…and also ridiculous.
(Expect a blitz on Juande Ramos soon as well; he is a manager I will be watching like a hawk over the next few weeks.)