Jol vows to see out ‘mis­sion’ at Spurs af­ter week of tur­moil

The Herald - Herald Sport - - Football - STEVE NAILOR

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.”

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