Tottenham have come a long way in the past 15 years or so, as they have transformed from a mid-table team to Champions League regulars.
While Pochettino deservedly gets the credit for building a team that is capable of competing with Europe’s best, Tottenham’s upward trajectory started under the stewardship of Martin Jol.
The Dutchman guided Tottenham to two back to back 5th place finishes during his time in North London, before eventually being replaced by Juande Ramos in the middle of the 07/08 season.
Jol has now opened up on his time at Tottenham and how obsessed Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was with the Champions League.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the former Spurs manager said, that Levy gave him a Porche 911 for steering Tottenham into the UEFA cup, which he then sold as he already had the same car.
Jol said, “Daniel and his vice-chairman Paul Kemsley were obsessed with the Champions League. Paul told me ‘if you play in Europe, I will give you a BMW’.
“So when we were in the UEFA Cup I was waiting for it and I think I got a watch from his driver instead. It was a nice watch, but I gave it to my nephew and I never asked about the BMW.
“Paul never turned up with the BMW, but maybe a year later when we qualified for Europe again, Daniel gave me a Porsche 911.
“That was nice, but the thing was I already had the same Porsche, so secretly I sold it a couple of months later. It didn’t come with any of the papers, so I had to make an excuse to ask for them so I could sell it!”
The 63-year-old also delved briefly into the infamous lasagna gate incident which ended Tottenham’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League in the 2005/06 season.
The Dutchman, however, refused to blame the incident for Spurs’ failure to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition.
He added, “On the morning of the game, at 4.30am, the doctor phoned me and said ‘we’ve got a problem, the players are ill’.
“It was obvious something went off. People were going to the doctor and all sorts, it was very strange, but I don’t want to blame anything like that.
“It was never easy to go to West Ham, so I don’t want to look for an excuse. I can remember Michael Carrick was ill and he still played, but it’s too long ago to worry about. We were the best of the rest at the time and that was good.”
Spurs Web’s take:
It’s certainly great listening to how passionate and committed Levy was in getting Tottenham to qualify for the Champions League, even almost 15 years back.
The Tottenham chairman also deserves massive credit in ensuring the club has finally been able to fulfill his dream of becoming Champions League regulars and delivering a stadium that is worthy of hosting one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
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