The worst Tottenham Hotspur manager ever?


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.


Have something to tell us about this article?


  1. Jaques Santini, at least Gross wanted to give it a go to succeed, Santini just ran away. Gutless, Levy's worse mistake.

  2. Ardiles, definitely. Watching Spurs under him was like watching a primary school match, with everyone madly charging upfield when we had the ball, and no one having a clue what to do when the opposition had it. I reckon Gross would eventually have sorted it out at WHL, and he was successful again back in Switzerland.

  3. For me it was George Graham. I know we won more with him in charge but the football was ugly. Much longer and Arse fans would have been chanting "boring, boring Spurs". A real Spurs manager has to follow Danny Blanchflower's dictum that the game is about glory, not boring the other team to death.

    • ….and what glory are you talking about since the 60's?
      That's the trouble with todays fans – they hide behind playing good football when the truth is, the football has been average for most of the last 50 years – including relegation! – and we haven't got a single title to show for it. That League Cup was our best day out in a decade. Name a better day with the 'good football' played by Redknapp or Gerry Francis or Hoddle or Ardiles… you can't, so don't talk rubbish!

  4. Martin Jol could've been great if given time and money.
    Ramos was awful.
    Not convinced by AVB despite everyone having a hard on for him.
    It's a piss-poor prem this season and we're hanging on by our fingertips and could easily finish 6th by the end of it. Next season will show where we really are, because the likes of Liverpool, Arse, and Chelsea won't be this poor again and may well leave us miles behind if AVB makes the same mistakes, and Levy will wield his axe again and get a sacked Mancini as his penchant for sacked managers continues.

  5. same mistakes what planet u on arry luver 9 away wins ARRY 1 WITH MODRIC,LEDDERS,RAFA,SANDRO.KABOUL AND THE REST ,SHOULD HAVE GOT 2ND WITH THAT SQUAD
    u lot should give it a rest ,and thank god he has gone

  6. Gross and Ardiles were dreadful managers, but this misses the big picture. Far too players that were recruited in the 1990’s came into the category of journeymen players, bargain basement players and players who were bought without any proper background research as to their true abilities. The result was that by 2001, Spurs has lost its status as a big club since they had settled for mid table mediocrity.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.