the martin jol interview 
- on being named head coach


Thanks to the Director of Communications - Donna Cullen - and the Press Office, MEHSTG was invited to attend the Press Conference after the AGM on 8th November.  We were granted a short interview with new Head Coach Martin Jol after he had undergone a whirl of Press men and women pushing microphones at him. 

We put the hardest question first, asking if the newspaper stories of the weekend that there was a clause in his contract saying he had to take over if Jacques Santini left the club ?  “No, that’s not true,” Martin answered.   

Having interviewed the Dutchman just three weeks ago, I asked him whether he had foreseen the current situation arising at some time in the future.  “I knew something was happening.  But I had left a manager’s post in Holland to come as assistant coach to Jacques and was happy to do that.  Louis van Gaal wanted me too.  But I have ambition and I am happy that the Board have confidence in me.  I do not believe that the club would have been better off with an English manager, as I am used to the structure in place here.  I am not the important one, it could be anyone, but the important thing is about Frank Arnesen, the players and the supporters.” 

Having been made up to Head Coach, would it be more difficult for Martin than being an assistant ?  “It is easier to be an assistant coach.  There is less pressure, you have more time to talk to the players.  I know all the players already and know how they play.  If there had been a change with a new coach coming in, it would not have been a good thing for them.” 

So with him being elevated to the Head Coach role, would Martin be looking to fill his old assistant coach’s role ?

“I am happy with Chris Hughton and Dominique Cuperley, who are both important parts of my technical team, so no.”

Finally, we asked Martin Jol what he had to say to the Spurs fans.

“Nothing different to the message that I give to the players.  That I want to improve the football and the results.

And would that be “sexy” football ?

“It is realistic football, but we are aiming to play winning football.  It is always in my style to score goals, because without that you cannot win games.  The players must have the right mentality to win games.  And they are happy.  You can’t leave Robbie Keane out and I asked him to do a job for me in midfield, which Robbie was happy to do for me, as he has done it before.  In the second half of the Charlton match, I had to change things, bringing on Ziegler and Carrick and push the full backs on to overlap to make a difference.”

Talking to him, he has a great passion for the game and has an understanding of the history and tradition at the club, which he realises means a lot and wants to add to the roll of honour.

A man who has his own ideas about how football should be played and is also acutely aware that the important thing is to get results and this is how he will approach the two and a half years he has remaining on his contract, which he will now see out as Head Coach. 

The club needed to get this appointment right after everything that has gone before, but the idea of some continuity eases the stress for the players and the fans.

Here’s hoping Martin Jol is the man who can take Spurs forward to success.

(The responses are not direct quotes, but the replies I managed to scribble down !!)  


For an interview with Daniel Levy after the AGM, visit Paul Smith's Spurs Odyssey site by clicking here.

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