Tottenham Hotspur have established themselves as one of the top-six elite clubs in the Premier League in recent years and, if it wasn’t for a financially crippling move into the new stadium, they may well be competing for the Premier League title this season.
That is not to say that Spurs are incapable of challenging for the top prize in English football this season, but their failure to bring in a single new player during the summer window is likely to leave them short of the resources they need to usurp the imperious Manchester City at the top of the table.
But Tottenham have not always been a side associated with the Champions League places and their rise to this position has taken years of meticulous development both on and off the field.
Pochettino has turned dreams into reality by cementing Tottenham’s status as a side who begin the season with genuine ambitions of competing for silverware, but the foundations for success were laid long before the Argentine arrived at the club, according to Chris Hughton.
Indeed, the Brighton boss recently opened up about the key figureheads who influenced his career in management, and he cited Martin Jol as the man who set him up for his managerial career, as per Sky Sports.
Jol joined an elite club of Tottenham legends in Ossie Ardiles and Glenn Hoddle who were also cited by Hughton as huge inspirations, and the Brighton boss took the opportunity to emphasise how influential the Dutch manager was in north London.
‘If you look at Tottenham going from a good cup team in the 1980s to one with an inconsistent league position and their turnaround into a team who now achieve consistent good finishes in the league, Martin was probably the catalyst for that.
‘He had two fifth-place finishes in his time there but I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for what he did at Tottenham. Unfortunately, I think that’s the game – when time passes, it’s generally about the present as opposed to the past.’
Hughton, presents an incredibly sound argument concerning Jol’s success. In his first full season in charge of Spurs he managed to take the club to their highest ever Premier League finish and points tally with 65, as they narrowly fell short of a place in the top-four with Arsenal occupying 4th place with 67 points.
In the twelve seasons which have followed Jol’s unprecedented achievement, Spurs have only failed to finish inside the top-five in just three separate campaigns whilst, in the twelve seasons which preceded the 2005/06 campaign, they finished inside the top-ten just four times.
What these statistics point towards is a clear watershed season in which Tottenham’s ambitions and status in English football underwent a major shift, so Jol deserves great credit for an achievement which has slipped under the radar.
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