Gus Poyet, speaking to the Times about the circumstances that led to Ramos’ exit:
“Lots of things went wrong and we all have to accept responsibility, starting from the chairman to the groundsman. There were all sorts of problems, but the main one was that we lost 50 guaranteed goals from Berbatov and [Robbie] Keane. Levy has decided to blame Berbatov, but I won’t. From the middle of May everyone knew he was leaving, so why blame him?
I respect Levy’s opinion, but disagree completely. Even before the start of preseason he told us Berbatov was leaving, but he chose to wait. The difference between selling Berbatov on July 1 or August 31 was £6 million, maximum. I know football depends a lot on money, but sometimes you have to ask, ‘How much is six points worth?’ With one more striker I’m sure we’d have got more points and would still be at the club. Levy dealt with the problem his way and it was difficult for us to accept.”
Spot on, couldn’t agree more. However, Poyet hasn’t accounted for the lack of morale and the problems Ramos had in motivating his players to play up to their potential.[On the players:]
“It’s very sad to see players talking in the press about Juande. They should be embarrassed, as they had the chance to talk on the pitch and didn’t do that.
Juande trusted the players and expected that, as they’re playing in the Premier League, they would be very professional and know everything about football, but unfortunately they don’t. There are a few that do, but I would say that half the team don’t know much about football and you have to tell them everything.
When I played at Chelsea we spoke about football all the time, but it was different at Tottenham. Some of the players have things too easy. They have the best cars by the age of 21, whereas when I was playing we had to wait until we were 28 or 30. One of the players who is not even 20 recently bought a Ferrari. I couldn’t believe it.”
So they’re a bunch of spoiled kids who needed a soft hand, not professionals who would done well under a stern taskmaster like Juande Ramos. Again, seeing as how Martin Jol before Ramos and Harry Redknapp after Ramos take a different, more personal approach with the players and how this has worked really well for Tottenham in terms of league performances, shouldn’t Levy have seen this and known that because of this, Ramos was a marquee appointment and not necessarily one that suited the squad?
Ramos and Berbatov and Comolli have been blamed for a lot, but maybe the players and most of all, Daniel Levy should hold themselves accountable for Tottenham going backwards in the last couple of seasons.
Some perspective for our readers – right after Ramos came in, a lot of the players, including Huddlestone (who’s recently been heard saying that he thought of leaving WHL under Ramos) absolutely loved the new manager and his approach, and went so far as to blame the old manager for their problems.
This culture of blame has to stop – Poyet’s case may be one of sour grapes but he’s right when he says that the players have a job to do and if they don’t do what the manager asks them to do, then it’s as much the fault of the players as it is of the manager.
Levy – well, enough has been said on his mismanagement of the club, how he dealt with Jol, how he snared Ramos, how he dealt with Berbatov and how he’s made Berbatov, Ramos and Comolli scapegoats and tried to come out smelling like roses.
Tottenham’s real test will come when they travel away to Stoke or Bolton or Sunderland – low-profile away games where Tottenham’s stars have historically been unable to motivate themselves. Will they, in 2 years time, blame Harry for not being a good enough manager?