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Martin on Baggies return

Posted on 29 January 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Martin Jol accepted the mission of replacing Bryan Robson at West Brom back in 1981 - now the pair go head to head as coaches in the FA Cup 4th round at the Hawthorns.


You would imagine it must have been tricky times for the Baggies back then, Ron Atkinson had not long left for Manchester United - taking Robson and Remi Moses with him. Martin reflects that the mood of the club remained upbeat despite the departures and he quickly settled into the swing of English football.


"I have to admit it was easy, we had a very good team and I think we didn't lose for 16 or 17 games," he looked back. "Everybody said we did well and that made it easier for me as well.


"The manager, the late Ronnie Allen was very good to me - he was a very good man and a legend in the midlands - and I had a very good time.


"Bryan Robson was quite a player, he did very well, I respected him very much and he was a great for Manchester United. We had terrific players as well, like Gary Owen, Stevie McKenzie, Andy King, Romeo Zondervan - we had a pretty good team.


"The supporters were very good to me, the first game we won against Southampton and from then on fans are always good to you. When you work hard and do well it is easy, but it is not all about when you are doing well, it is about when you are not doing well. They have a good support and are a great club."


"It will be a nice feeling to go back as Head Coach. I played for West Brom, but I would like to beat them - it is the FA Cup and I want us to get through to the next round.


"It won't be easy looking at their last two matches. Against Fulham they should have had a result and they got a very good one against Manchester City. It is not the best place to go to at the moment, when the draw was made they were not doing well, but I think they have a good chance to turn the corner and stay in the Premiership."


So what about Martin Jol the player? The programme for our Premiership encounter back in August penned the following description...


"Jol was a bulldozer of a player renowned for his, shall we say, robust tackling. He used to tear up the midfield, churning up the turf as he went from box to box - single minded in pursuit of the ball."


Fair assessment or not, Martin?


"I think it is fair because I had to do a job. The manager said he wanted me to win balls and you have to live up to expectations. In Holland I was a playmaker so I could play as well and I always wanted to go to a club like Tottenham.


"I played at West Brom for three years while Tottenham had the likes of Ardiles and Villa - it was a different story. I was happy there and had a good five years in England before going back to Holland and playing as a sweeper.


"I can appreciate what they say, I was winning the balls and doing a lot in midfield. To be honest, I came here as a defender, but the manager said he wanted me to play in midfield.


"As I said before, it was a terrific time."