There are many candidates who could take the title of the worst Spurs manager of all time. Bad managers are two a penny – we have had more than our fair share at the Lane to turn the majority of us grey.
Cast your memory back to 1997 and the arrival of Christian Gross from Swiss outfit Grasshopper Club Zürich following the departure of Gerry Francis. Even his arrival was botched, he arrived late from Heathrow airport at his first Spurs press conference sat alongside chairman Alan Sugar and brandishing a London Underground ticket and claiming in limited English that “I want this to become my ticket to the dreams.”
Even before a ball was kicked, Gross was dealt a blow when his most trusted aide, the Swiss fitness coach Fritz Schmid, who had been an integral part of Gross’ training plans at Grasshopper, was denied a work permit to take up his planned role at White Hart Lane.
On November 27th 1997, Gross took charge of Tottenham for the first time. Crystal Palace were the visitors to White Hart Lane and a 1-0 defeat in front of 26,634 supporters got him off to the worst possible start .
An away win at Everton followed with goals from Ramon Vega and David Ginola, only to be brought down to earth with a bump with a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Chelsea on our own patch, followed with a 4-0 defeat at Coventry City had many of us fearing our Premier League days could be numbered.
Gross led us to the brink of relegation in his first season in charge. Was it not for the return of Jurgen Klinsman and his goals to save his from relegation, the thought of what state the club could be in now doesn’t warrant thinking about.
His nine-month spell at Spurs boss came to an end after just three games of the 1998-99 season. Although Sugar blamed the media for sullying Gross’ reputation – his results as manager didn’t exactly give him a glowing reputation among the White Hart Lane faithful. He only managed to win just nine out of 27 games while in charge.
Some may say argue that Ossie Ardiles’ points per game average was lower than that of his Swiss counterpart (1.15 vs Gross’ 1.31) but many Spurs fans were more than willing to cough up for Gross’ Underground ticket well before Sugar uttered the words “you’re fired”.
It’s nine months we’ll never forget and praise the lord that we now have a manager we can fully trust.
WHO WAS YOUR WORST SPURS MANAGER? LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW
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