MJ: No hard feelings for Spurs

22 June 2011 05:51
Martin Jol insists he has no axe to grind with his former employers at Tottenham after being formally presented as Fulham manager.

The 55-year-old knows full well expectations will be a little different at Craven Cottage than those lofty ambitions which ultimately cut short his tenure at White Hart Lane following three years at the helm in 2007.

There have been numerous career developments since for Jol, who first resumed top-level management at Hamburg and then returned to Holland with Ajax, who demanded instant success with Champions League football and blocked his attempted switch to Fulham 12 months ago.

However, for the likeable Dutchman - who has a fondness for England dating back to his days as a player with West Brom and Coventry in the mid-1980s - it is now very much about what can be achieved in the future rather than disappointments of the past, as relationships soured with Spurs over their approach for Juande Ramos as his successor.

"I won't lie - I didn't feel great at that moment," Jol recalled.

"But later on, you go to another club. I was in Germany and Hamburg had 55,000 season ticket holders, not 30,000, so that was a big club.

"After a few weeks you go on and you play in the semi-finals in Europe, and I played in the quarter-final with Spurs so it was even better (than that). There was no looking back, or hard feelings."

Jol continued: "I am still in contact with a couple of people from Spurs, with the directors or with the fans.

"I have still got my house here so that was a nice thing to have. As I said, Daniel looked after me. Why not, because I did well for him."

Jol also insisted "there was never a problem" with the former Spurs sporting director Comolli, who is now at Liverpool.

"He was responsible for most of the football things, and after he didn't do badly. Maybe with Ramos they had probably an indifferent spell you could say, but after that with Harry [Redknapp] it was great again," the Fulham manager said.

"If you're lucky you do well, if you're unlucky you don't do well.

"I said to Daniel when I came to England, 'If you leave me, if you let me work for you, they will push you around the streets of London like a king.' They never did, but he knew what I meant."

Jol insists he is happy to have made his return at a club with the right values.

"It is about relationships. They (Fulham) were very good to me last year, this year again," he said.

"I can say Fulham is like Arsenal, but it is isn't. Fulham are Fulham. It's the oldest club in London, that appeals to me, but it is as not as big as Arsenal or Spurs.

"However, Fulham is a great club. That is why I came here."

Jol feels the Premier League is much as he left it.

"Every game is difficult now, that is probably the only change," he said.

"The other teams outside Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and now Manchester City have to try to get into the top six, but I am not sure if Fulham is one of them.

"I always want the best, so I hope that we can do something like this in the next couple of years.

"Seventh was our best position ever, so hopefully we can achieve that sort of thing, to be top 10, and then maybe a bit more."

Jol feels bringing on youngsters like Belgian striker Mousa Dembele will be key.

"If you can find, develop something in a different way, you need time," said Jol, whose first game in charge will be a Europa League qualifier against NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands on June 30.

"The players who can make a difference will tell you how strong you are, if you can have them on board, you can achieve a lot."

Jol added: "It is about the quality to make a difference - Bobby Zamora can do that. Hopefully we can develop something that we can get one or two players in, with extra quality.

"I will always try to do something on the flanks and try to play attacking, nice football for the crowd as well because you play for the supporters."

Source: Team_Talk