After the interview; the screen test. Spurs may have stopped short of formally offering Juande Ramos the job as their next manager, but that's not to say they will not do so in the coming weeks. One thing's for certain. Among the interested on-lookers last night, although clearly not one present at the Emirates Stadium, would have been the Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. Despite his protestations of support for Martin Jol, he surely couldn't have helped but watch the efforts of the man he wanted to replace him with.
For Ramos this was a debut too. And in more ways than one. Defeating the England manager-in-waiting, as he did so comprehensively in dismantling Steve McClaren's Middlesbrough in the Uefa Cup final two years ago is one thing, and getting the better of Spurs last season another; but coming to the home of Arsenal, and taking on Arsène Wenger is, something very different.
Especially as this was the first game Ramos had taken charge of in the Champions League group stages while Wenger was embarking on a 10th campaign. There was extra piquancy for Levy, and Spurs' fans, in that the contest came just five days after Arsenal had ran out such accomplished winners in the north London derby at White Hart Lane – while Wenger had also picked out Freddie Kanouté as Seville's key man. The striker is a former Spurs player, of course, having left following a bust-up with Jol.
Ramos, however, has certainly got the best out of him, to the extent that Wenger hailed Kanouté as a "top, top European player". It helps that he features in a side so committed to attack. No visiting team will have sent in so many crosses, and with so many players forward, as Ramos did last night. Certainly that front-foot commitment has paid rich dividends with five trophies earned in the past 15 months to raise Ramos' star even further.
The Spaniard, 53 next week, knows his currency is high. He has refused to sign a new deal at Seville and with a contract that runs out at the end of the season knows he will be a wanted man. It's almost certain that Spurs will come back in for him and despite his public utterances they are confident they can get him. Ramos has also been told, by friends and through the grapevine, that he may be considered by Chelsea should Jose Mourinho go, while a link to Barcelona, a job he apparently covets, is also believed to be there.
But there was a familiar failing. Just as Emmanuel Adebayor had terrorised the Spurs central defenders at the weekend so he utterly dominated the hapless Federico Fazio.
Attacking Arsenal is also what Wenger prays teams will do. It plays into his hands although the woefulness of Seville's defending for Arsenal's second goal did that also. Maybe even Jol could have allowed himself a snigger over that one. It didn't help the audition.Reuse content