Saying that Martin Jol was a popular figure among the vast majority Spurs faithful would be an understatement.
You would only have to cast your mind back to the response from the fans at White Hart Lane during the second half against Getafe in 2007 after news spread at half-time that the Dutchman was about to be sacked.
Despite how things ended for the 64-year-old in North London, he still holds extremely fond memories of his time at the club and the team he had at his disposal.
The former Spurs boss insisted that his team could have achieved more than they did.
As quoted by Ham & High, he said: “We had a great team, a young team. six or seven young internationals.
“Aaron Lennon, we took him from Leeds for £1 million, 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.”
Jol, who is now back in an advisory role at his home club, ADO Den Haag, hoped the Lilywhites could soon win some silverware.
“Of course, Spurs did better after that (after his time at the club, and I was so happy for them”, he added.
“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.”
The Dutch manager went on to have stints with the likes of Ajax, Hamburg and Fulham after leaving White Hart Lane but it is clear that Tottenham still holds a special place in his heart.
He added: “Spurs, to me, and I always felt it, is a special club. 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 a 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.”
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While we have certainly had better managers than Jol recently, I doubt we have had many who were as universally loved by the fan base as the Dutchman was. Perhaps, only Pochettino comes close to the kind of kinship Spurs fans fell towards him. It is good to see that he too looks back on his time at the club fondly.
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