Martin Jol last night indirectly placed the blame for his demise at Tottenham at the feet of the club's director of football, Damien Comolli. Jol, who was sacked as coach last week after Spurs' pitiful start to the season and replaced by Juande Ramos at the weekend, said he felt undermined over the summer as players were brought in who were not his choice.
"I felt the squad would be unbalanced with these signings," Jol said, "and it proved to be the case." During the off-season Tottenham spent £30m on Darren Bent, Younes Kaboul, Adel Taarabt and Kevin Boateng, none of whom have had any significant impact at White Hart Lane so far.
"The new manager will probably come to the same conclusion and the club will go out in January and buy the two players I felt we needed," Jol added. "When Frank Arnesen [who was Comolli's predecessor before moving to Chelsea] was director of football we spoke together about the players to bring to the club. But I did not have the same relationship with the next man.
"I think the club wanted to invest in younger players because they wanted to make money on them in the future. The decisions were not being made for football reasons. I knew that in the summer and I realised my position was becoming very difficult."
Paul Robinson's position has also come under scrutiny of late and although he fell on his backside taking a goal-kick during the Carling Cup win over Blackpool on Wednesday, a clean sheet in Ramos' first game in charge will do him no harm in his stated aim of keeping the No 1 spot and silencing talk of Seville's Andres Palop being brought in. "We'll see what happens," the England goalkeeper said. "I am confident I am No 1 and that it will stay that way.
"Juande has communicated very well, a lot better than people think he can. He has an aura and confidence about him and hopefully that will breed through the team. We have worked very hard the last few days on the training ground and even on the morning of the game. We saw some of the benefits against Blackpool, but there's more to come."
On Tottenham's website yesterday Ramos was referred to as "Head Coach". The significance of the title is not lost on the Spurs hierarchy who were lobbied by Jol to change his title from head coach to manager.