2091: Tottenham face up to crucial d
by : Alex Wolstenholme
With Frank Arnesen looking set to leave Tottenham, whether for a spot of gardening leave or a job at Chelsea, Martin Jol has indicated through the media that he is keen to become more of a British-style manager with responsibility for transfers as well as team selection.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy though has set his stall out to adopt a ‘continental’ style blueprint for the management structure at the club and may want to continue that despite Arnesen’s impending departure.
However, Frank Arnesen is regarded as one of the best, if not the best at the role of football director in the whole of Europe.
Not a manager turned director of football like Ron Atkinson, David Pleat or Dave Bassett who have attempted the role in the past, Arnesen is a natural in the role, combining a distinguished playing career with the kind of contacts and nous necessary to do the job.
To try and find someone else to fit the role and work alongside Jol is fraught with difficulties and dare Tottenham risk the future of the man who has done so much to restore the club’s pride?
Jol and Arnesen came to the club together at the same time, as people who knew each other from football in Holland and who knew exactly how the coach/director of football roles worked. That dynamic would be altered if a new man came in above the head coach.
Jol has achieved so much in his first season (not even a whole season of course and ahead of schedule after taking over from Jacques Santini) that he should be given the chance to become the man in charge at White Hart Lane.
From the outside it looks as though Jol did have an active say in the players that were being brought in to the club and that it was not an Italian style set-up whereby the coach simply works with the squad he has been given.
Giving him the role of ‘manager’ would be a continuation of that role and of course it doesn’t mean that another person cannot come in to deal with wages and contracts.
It needn’t be the end of Tottenham’s improvement. For the first time in a long time the club has a clear recruitment policy and long-term plan.
Jol must take a lot of the credit for that and as someone who was well-regarded but not one of the major players in the Dutch football scene he knows that his work at Tottenham is catapulting him into the big-time (witness the link with the Ajax job when it came up).
Giving him the role of ‘manager’ would be the acid test of his capabilities.