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Tottenham's managerial revolving doors go spinning again

The departure of Martin Jol from Light Weight Lane means the Spuds will now be set to pass the managerial baton to their 11th manager since Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal 11 years ago.

When “Arsene who?” took the reins for the Gunners, Gerry Francis was still in charge for the Spuds. Since then, the management not-so-merry-go-round has been: 1997 Chris Hughton (caretaker); 1997 Christian Gross; 1998 David Pleat (caretaker); 1998 George Graham; 2001 David Pleat (caretaker); 2001 Glen Hoddle; 2003 David Pleat (caretaker); 2004 Jacques Santini; 2004 Martin Jol.

The last manager to lead the Spuds to victory over Arsenal was George Graham in November 1999, meaning that if you include the caretaker bosses, Arsene Wenger has since seen off four North London derby managers without losing a game to them (make that five if you want to include both of Pleat’s caretaker spells).

In fact, since Arsene arrived at Arsenal, he has taken charge of 26 games against Tottenham Hopeless, winning 13 of them, drawing 12 and losing just that one, eight years ago.

In his 23 Premier League North London derbies, Le Prof’s chalkboard has helped guide the Gunners to 11 wins, 11 draws and one defeat, meaning that while the Spuds have picked up just 14 points from those games, Arsenal have accumulated 44 points.

The big question now is, can the next Spuds boss succeed where so many of his predecessors have failed, by guiding his team to victory over his club’s biggest rivals? If Erik Estrada lookalike Juande Ramos (pictured) is indeed the next manager in the Tottenham hot seat, then I for one doubt it...

Is it just me, or does it show a surprising lack of ambition when a manager whose current team look set to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions League, considers leaving to go to a club that is struggling in the UEFA Cup? The money must be good, I suppose.

The Sevilla team are back-to-back UEFA Cup Champions, but Arsenal took them apart 3-0 in London last month and if Ramos does agree to switch his career to the Premier League, I reckon that match was good training for him, as he better get used to being on the losing side when he faces the Gunners.

And Sevilla haven’t exactly set La Liga on fire with their early performances this season. They lie in the bottom half of the table with just nine points from seven games. Still, I suppose that’s better than Tottenham’s seven points from 10 games.

But the deal is far from done. Ramos has a contract until the end of the season, so a compensation deal would have to be thrashed out before he could make the journey from Sevilla, where 45,500 fans regularly gather under the Spanish sun to cheer on their heroes, to Tottenham where, on occasion, 36,000 frustrated souls turn up to watch the Lilywhites live up to that nickname.

In the meantime, Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe (who?) have been appointed caretaker managers of the Spuds, so that’s another two to add to Wenger’s list. Mind you, the one advantage that former Gooner Allen will have is that he can at least converse with his players. Ramos doesn’t speak English, so the opportunity for even greater Spuds cock-ups remains a tantalising prospect.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 26, 2007 11:14 AM in News
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