Jol vows to see out ‘mission’ at Spurs after week of turmoil
MARTIN JOL emerged defiant from the chaos at Tottenham this week, insisting he could work for other clubs but is totally committed to his White Hart Lane “mission”.
The Dutchman even made light of the events that sparked a turbulent seven days.
After reports that Tottenham officials had met with Sevilla manager Juande Ramos, club chairman Daniel Levy held talks with Jol on Tuesday and issued a statement giving him his “100%” backing.
Despite taking only three points from the club’s first three matches of the Premier League campaign,Jol yesterday claimed the consequences of finishing outside of the Champions League placeswere hypothetical.
“The only thing that is not hypothetical is the two fifthplaced finishes we had,” he added. “That is what they wanted. If I said to the chairman ‘I’ll give you two top-fives in two years’, he would have laughed at me. We did that.
“If we do well, everything will be forgotten. I could walk out and go to a Champions League club but I want to stay here because I believe in those boys, and as long as they believe in me there is no issue. I can work anywhere in the world but this is my mission. This is what I love.”
Jol admitted there had been arguments over players brought in to the club, hinting at his relationship with sporting director Damien Comolli, which described as “professional”.
He added that there were no lingering problems from the fall-out over the meeting. “It’s a big gamble to go for someone else at this time because I felt I gave them a lot of continuity and stability, and he [Levy] feels that as well,” said Jol.
“As long as my players are developing, as long as the people watching them are happy, there is no problems for me.”
Jol also he had turned down an approached for Dimitar Berbatov. “Berbatov loves me,” he Jol. “If he is playing well he gets all the praise and if he is not doing well I have to tell him. I had one approach and I said ‘I’d rather die than sell him’.”
The player’s agent, Emil
he Danchev, however, yesterday claimed Manchester United were interested in signing the striker. “We had a 90-minute meeting [with Levy and Comolli] over Dimitar’s future,” Danchev said. “They informed us that there’s a query from Manchester United about the Berbatov joining them.”
While the timing of that approach is suspicious with the sides set to meet tomorrow, Sir Alex Ferguson expressed sympathy for Jol after the speculation over his future.
The United manager said: “I don’t think it’s the right time [to fire him]. You need quite a time with a massive club like that to change it all around to win a championship. Tottenham haven’t won the league for 46 years. It’s a club with a fantastic football history of producing fantastic players.
“He doesn’t need me to trumpet his abilities, I think everyone is aware of them. It’s just sad that there’s such a kneejerk reaction in football today."
Jol also revealed yesterday that he has urged Jermain Defoe to sign a new deal following concerns over the striker eventually departing for the club on a free transfer. Jol wants 24-year-old Defoe to stay but is looking for the England internationalist to prove his commitment to Spurs, with an offer likely to put the club in a situation where they might sell.
Jol said: “He tells everyone he loves the club but he hasn’t signed a contract.”