TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR – Soccer Club or Sicko Club?

Tottenham Hotspur or popularly known as Spurs may not have a huge following in Malaysia compared to the likes of Manchester United or Chelsea. But I do know that Spurs have well known Malaysian supporters in the form of Shebby Singh and the Raja of Perlis.

I am not particularly fond of Spurs but the recent report in a foreign paper down south that Spurs has sacked Juande Ramos and his assistants sums up the saying: “It is by wanting to reach the top in a single leap that so much misery is caused in [Spurs]“.

The top brass at Spurs are like the investment bankers who caused the current financial crisis …… never satisfied …. always wanting growth at exponential rates. So lessons to be learnt are not only confined to companies but also football clubs in the English Premier League. A bubble with the potential to burst!

Spurs decline is a result of a legacy that goes back to the mid 1980s when their second most successful manager, Keith Burkinshaw resigned in 1984 (after winning his third trophy in 4 years) with the parting words, “There used to be a football club there”.

Fast forward to 2007 and the sacking of Martin Jol reflected Spurs’ top brass mantra of “Performance with no regard to purpose or consequence” ……. quite similar to that of Wall Street’s investment bankers!

So, if you want to look at the source of all of Spurs’ troubles – look at their top brass – it started with the arrival of Irving Scholar in 1984, then Alan Sugar and currently Daniel Levy.

Honestly, what logic is there to sell your top three hitmen (Berbatov, Keane and Defoe) within a short period of time and rely on your fourth choice (Bent) to deliver the goods? The Pavyluchenko and Modric replacements were scant compensation. They didn’t win the Euro 2008 for their respective countries. Zaki of Wigan did for Egypt in the 2008 African Nations Cup and top scored at the same time!

In addition, notice how Sunderland manager Roy Keane welcomed with open arms the likes of Malbranque, Chimbonda and Reid from Spurs. These are class players in addition to the likes of Robinson, Mendes and Pamarot who also left.  Ramos may be a good coach but he’s not a Messiah, not even Mourinho. Managers need teams with a good foundation to deliver the results. That is why Mourinho picked Inter Milan and Scolari Chelsea.

Spurs on the hand, decided to work from “Ground Zero” and it’s plain to see that it was so naive.

So Ramos leaves with a reported fifteen million quid compensation and I’m sure there’ll be a reasonably long line of clubs seeking his services.

Lesson: Stick to the fundamentals ……. be it for companies or football clubs!


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