New Spurs boss Jacques Santini has completed his elite support staff who will provide the perfect backbone to the club's challenge this season.
Santini, with Sporting Director Frank Arnesen, has seen a complete overhaul of the coaching and medical staff at Spurs Lodge and the recent arrival of experienced French coach Dominique Cuperly has completed the restructure.
Cuperly, already into the training groove at Chigwell, provides great technical back-up to fellow coaches Martin Jol and Chris Hughton while Hans Segers’ input will be as invaluable to new young goalkeepers Paul Robinson and Marton Fulop as it has been to Kasey Keller.
Frank’s designated role is to be responsible for all matters relating to the footballing side of the club and the recruitment of key personnel, with responsibility for developing and implementing youth, scouting, medical and international policy.
In other words, to allow Santini to concentrate solely on all matters relating to the first team playing and coaching side of the club. Arnesen will also oversee the trading of players in consultation with Jacques.
Arnesen has a wealth of knowledge and experience of the game having started his long career as a player in 1975. Born in Copenhagen, his professional journey through the game began in Holland with Ajax where he enjoyed a successful six years before spells with Valencia, Anderlecht and PSV Eindhoven. He also won 52 full international caps and scored 14 goals.
He later joined the PSV coaching staff as assistant manager to Sir Bobby Robson before taking on the role of technical director in 1994, his last job before joining Spurs.
During his 10 years in that role with PSV the club qualified for the Champions League every season and won 12 major domestic honours.
He was highly successful at discovering and developing a host of players who went on to perform at the highest level. Speaking five languages, including English, he brought players to the club of the calibre of Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam, Philip Cocu, Arjen Robben, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Boudewijn Zenden.
As chairman Daniel Levy said: “Frank’s knowledge of the international transfer market is excellent and no club can operate without that in today’s market place. He has a proven track record of working successfully alongside some of the world’s top managers.”
While Arnesen organises the Spurs scouting dragnet, Santini’s the man at the helm on the training field where his new coaching approach is already paying fitness dividends. Tactics come later.
With the squad currently in a training camp in Sweden, he is taking the opportunity to assess the quality already here before sitting down with Arnesen again to plan their next move.
Having spent the previous two years in charge of the French national side, Santini obviously possesses a great insight himself into the emerging young talent in that country but it is his acknowledged skill as a tactician and coach that will be a major key to all our aspirations.
He too enjoyed a successful playing career, mainly with the famous St Etienne team of the Seventies and later with Montpellier. He coached with Lisieux, Toulouse, Lille, St Etienne and Sochaux and was technical director with Lyon. Later, as coach, he steered Lyon to a highly successful period.
As well as his coaching reputation, he is also renowned for developing young players and had a two-year spell at the famous French Football Academy.
“Jacques was the outstanding candidate because of his experience, coaching ability and track record at all levels. We now have a coaching set up in place that has experience in several different countries and an extensive knowledge of players across the world,” added Daniel Levy.
Backing up Santini is the giant figure of Martin Jol whose man-management skills are immense. Many clubs sought his talents due to his renown not just for coaching excellence and technical skills but also for using very modern methods.
He also knows the English scene having played for West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City as well as Bayern Munich and Den Haag. He is a former Dutch international and while head coach at RKC Waalwijk established his own reputation for developing young players.
Indeed he worked wonders with RKC, despite operating on one of the smallest budgets in the league. He saved them from relegation in 1999 and then led the club to midtable safety the following year. Each year thereafter the team challenged for European qualification.
It’s all a superb balance of scouting, the ability to groom young players and the technical expertise to put it all together successfully. But there’s more.
Chris Hughton is obviously a better-known face and a well-known Spur. He too has a massive part to play on the coaching front.
After 15 years as a player at White Hart Lane he returned in 1993 to join the backroom staff. He was a key part of our successful teams of the Eighties and a regular Republic of Ireland international who continues to serve his adopted country in a part-time role assisting current international boss Brian Kerr.
Having worked at the club at all levels, his knowledge and good rapport with the players forges an important link that Arnesen and Santini were keen to preserve.
Cuperly brings diverse but interlocking talents. He spent last season coaching FC Grenoble after three successful seasons with Olympique Lyonnais as assistant to Santini. Together they steered the club to two French championships and success in the French League Cup.
Prior to Lyon he spent 15 years coaching Auxerre where he had played for 10 years, having started his professional career with Metz.
Dominique is well versed in so many aspects of coaching, fitness and rehabilitation work that Santini described him as “the perfect assistant” and provides a solid platform on which everything else can be based.
Goalkeeping coach Hans Segers has been with the club since 1998 after playing mainly for PSV, Nottingham Forest, and Wimbledon — and twice for Spurs in his first campaign with the club.
He too has a respected reputation for his craft and provides specialised training that is invaluable in the modern game.
However, as we’ve found all too often in the past, it’s all right having the right players and a coaching set-up second to none. But if the players are unavailable through injury then what is the point ?!
With that in mind our Head of Medical Facilities Dr Charlotte Cowie has instigated an in depth restructure and caused a major stir in sporting circles when she brought in Dean Kenneally, the current head physiotherapist of the Great Britain Olympic athletics team as our new first team physio.
Australian Dean, who will join us after the Athens Games, worked at the renowned Australian Institute for Sport in a number of sporting disciplines at the highest levels for many years. He has worked at three Olympic Games.
Geoff Scott, our new reserve team physio, is also immensely qualified with a proven track record. He is a New Zealander who has been working with Fulham.
It’s a brand new team behind the team and will be responsible for providing the best environment in which the playing side can flourish.