Interesting piece by BBC Sports Editor Mihir Bose on Tottenham yesterday, with some ideas that I strongly disagree with.
You should read the piece yourself, but in essence what MB is saying is that:
a) Tottenham’s ‘goal’ of Champions League qualification is modest at best, and not something that clubs publicly admit to. He gives a political analogy to this, which makes for interesting reading (if you’re bored) but has no relevance to Tottenham’s current state.
b) He talks about Martin Jol’s achievements at Tottenham and what he’s brought to the club (far more than previous managers in the last 10-20 years).
c) Jol’s possible tactical deficiencies but more importantly, Tottenham’s history of replacing managers soon after backing them to the hilt.
d) Speculation on the problems Jol faces with his squad and with the Tottenham board.
As far as ambitions are concerned, realistically speaking no one outside the top four thinks of winning the league – they think of breaking into the top four first and then building on that to move on to the league. Earlier, when it was the ‘top two’, it was easier to get in and Chelsea showed the way. Now, especially with the money involved in the Premier League and the fact that so many clubs have a good shot at Europe this season, getting into the Champions League will be a big achievement in itself. Tottenham’s goal of getting into the Champions League is quite ambitious in itself – they know they have, at best, an outside chance and that they’ve blown their best chance two seasons ago and it’s much harder now.
It’s true that Jol has done great at Tottenham, and ideally he should stay on this season and consolidate by bringing European football again to Tottenham – it’s consistent success that will entice the top managers. However, his success doesn’t take away from his tactical deficiencies or the fact that Tottenham have a history of ditching managers because Levy changes his mind so often.
I don’t think Jol will have many problems with the players – he’s well-respected and most of this stuff has been conjured up from baseless rumours to destablise Tottenham (I wrote about this yesterday on how Tottenham have shot themselves in the foot by going after Ramos like this).
Overall, nice article but somewhat off-base and filled with speculation that MB should know better than to discuss given his status as Sports Editor.