Martin Jol: “Spurs, to me, and I always felt it, is a special club”
Sun 17 May 2020, 13:13|Tottenham Hotspur
It's lockdown, Martin Jol is back home in Holland and reflecting on his time at Spurs.
Initially part of Jacques Santini’s coaching team, then appointed manager in November, 2004, Martin was a win away from taking us into the Champions League in 2005/06, but nevertheless led us back into Europe and onto the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in 2006/07. We also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup that season and finished fifth again in the Premier League.
“We had a great team, a young team. six or seven young internationals,” said Martin, currently back in an advisory role at his home club, ADO Den Haag. “Aaron Lennon, we took him from Leeds for £1million, Michael Carrick was a snip from West Ham, Jermaine Jenas from Newcastle.
“We had different (types of) players, nice players, good professionals. We were in the top four for seven months (in 2005/06) and then we had that awful last game at West Ham, but we still had 65 points.
“Of course, Spurs did better after that, and I was so happy for them. They were a bit unlucky and it was so disappointing that they couldn’t win a prize, and hopefully Jose can change that. The fans deserve it.”
Martin, who recently shared his memories of that night against another of his former clubs, Ajax, was last here for the Lane’s Finale in May, 2017.
“Spurs, to me, and I always felt it, is a special club,” he said. “I was a Spurs fan from the start. If you see a story about me, you will see, for example, I went to Spurs as manager, but I tell people when I was younger, I was always a Spurs fan.
“I didn’t make that up - it’s true. I was a big fan of Jimmy Greaves and we were all very disappointed when he didn’t play in the 1966 World Cup Final. I scored my first goal in England for West Brom at White Hart Lane and I only have unbelievable memories of White Hart Lane and the fans.
“I’m very happy. I’m a part of Spurs history, and that is a nice feeling. Of course, I was with Ajax and RKC (in Holland) and in Germany (Hamburg) and Al-Ahly (Egypt), that is probably the biggest club in the world, they’ve got 17 million fans! But Spurs... that was my favourite club and it will always play a part in my life. I always watch the games and hopefully I can soon come to a game at the new stadium.”