Glenn Hoddle has revealed his biggest regret during his time as Tottenham manager was not being able to build a squad capable of winning the league title, and singled out owner Joe Lewis for not providing him with the funds to do so.
Hoddle, who made 490 appearances in total for Spurs, took charge of the club in March 2001 after George Graham was relieved of his duties following the ENIC takeover.
In his first full season in charge, Spurs finished ninth in the Premier League as well as reaching the League Cup final in February 2002, where they ultimately fell to Blackburn Rovers despite being favourites for the trophy.
Hoddle led Spurs to a fine start in the 2002/03 campaign where they became the early league leaders, which earned him the Manager of the Month award for August. However, the club’s form took a large dip which it struggled to come out of, eventually ending the campaign in tenth.
With the pressure still evident from the previous season, Spurs began the following campaign in wretched form, which saw the former England international sacked in September 2003 and the side languishing with just four points from its opening six games.
Although Hoddle’s stint in the Spurs dugout was short, it brought a hint of renewed optimism for the fans having a figure at the helm who cared so deeply about the club.
However, Hoddle’s managerial stint did come with some elements of frustration, with the 64-year-old now admitting he wasn’t given all the means necessary by majority owner Lewis, to make Spurs a contender for the Premier League title.
At the time, Lewis and the English National Investment Company (ENIC) had recently bought a controlling stake at the club while Daniel Levy entered the frame as the chairman.
Speaking to The Guardian, Hoddle said: “I’ve never met Joe Lewis. Never even had a phone call. Never had a conversation with him and Spurs were always my club.
“That was the happiest I should have been but it was probably the most disgruntled I felt – at Tottenham. It was such a shame because I wanted it so much. I wanted to build a side to win the league like we did at Monaco. That was one of my big regrets but the money wasn’t there.”
Hoddle also admitted that he wanted to sign forwards Fernando Morientes from Real Madrid and Mallorca’s Samuel Eto’o for a combined £12 million fee in 2003, but laments the fact that Lewis and Levy didn’t act quick enough to secure either of the deals.
He added: “That [not receiving the backing] hurt me big time.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Hoddle clearly wanted to make Tottenham a successful club that could challenge for league titles consistently going forward, but now it seems evident that those above didn’t have the same ambition, which is a great shame.
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