An Arsenal Fan's Guide To The Last 10 Tottenham Managers

On derby day, here's a guide to the pre-Sherwood managerial era at White Hart Lane, from the perspective of an Arsenal fan. There's certainly a pattern developing....
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An Arsenal Fan's Guide To The Last 10 Tottenham Managers

Gerry Francis

The Sell: The captain of QPR’s 75/76 glorious League runners up promises free flowing football at the Lane.

The Reality:  Turned N17 into a place where 0-0 and ridiculously bad mullets were celebrated with a disturbing vigour

Win percentage: 38.7%

Arsenal verdict: Largely responsible for turning Darren Anderton into ‘sicknote’. Incredibly hasn’t cut his hair for 16 years but still looks exactly the same. As a badger.

Christian Gross

The Sell: Mysterious and unheralded continental brought in to North London (where have we heard that before) to reinvent Spurs.

The Reality: Gross envisaged an opening press conference where his superb oraratorial skills set the tone for a majestic leadership. In the event he bought a One Day Travelcard and talked about jealousy for ages. He was in fact talking about Chelsea. To whom he lost in his first game at White Hart Lane. 6-1.

Win percentage: 34.62%

Arsenal verdict: Even fell out with Spurs idol Klinsman. Say no more. Laughable. Pathetic. P*ss poor. Memo to Spurs – Christian Gross is not, and never will be Arsene Wenger.

George Graham

The Sell: Embittered Arsenal man forced to leave N5 in disgrace takes charge of near neighbours and leads them to glory through defensive discipline.

The Reality: Turned Spurs into a second rate Arsenal...without the flair… of 1993.

Win percentage: 39.68%

Arsenal verdict: Agent Graham your job is done, see Kaiserslautern away, Spurs fans singing ‘Georgie Graham’s blue and white’ Army at Wembley.

Glen Hoddle

The Sell: The King of White Hart Lane returns to his kingdom where minions throw rose petals at his feet in supplication.

The Reality: 9th and 10th in the table doesn’t suggest the return of the Lord, or even the rapture. See Tony Cascarino’s quote on him. (If he was an ice cream he’d lick himself)

Win percentage: 39.42%

Arsenal verdict: Gunners fans singing at the 2001 FA Cup semi final at Old Trafford v Spurs after we went 1-0 down: ‘You’re sh*t and you know you are,’ before winning effortlessly 2-1.  Five words: Gary Doherty at centre forward.

Jacques Santini

The Sell: Mysterious and unheralded continental manager brought into North London (where have we heard that before) to reinvent Spurs.

The Reality: Lasted 13 games before falling out with half the team and the board.

Win percentage: 38.46%

Arsenal verdict: Spurs scored the fewest number of goals in their opening 13 games in their history. Hasn’t managed a top class club since 2006. Take your pick as to how much his contract cost to pay off.

Martin Jol:

The Sell: Assistant coach promoted to the top job. Spurs fans insisted he looked like Tony Soprano. Arsene thought he looked more like Carmella.

The Reality: 9th place, 5th and 5th. Close but no cigar, son. Lasagne-gate.

Win percentage: 45.27

Arsenal verdict: Claimed he’d rather die than sell Berbatov. Had the dubious honour of a whole ground and literally, er, thousands on Channel Five (well it was a Thursday), knowing he’d been sacked before he did against Getafe.

Juande Ramos:

The Sell: Mysterious and unheralded continental manager brought into North London (where have we heard that before).

The reality: The big question - 4th place or the League Cup? Lost the squad after they spent the last four months of the 2007/08 season wildly celebrating their fourth triumph in England’s third major trophy.

Win percentage: 38.89

Arsenal verdict: Currently managing Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. That’s easy for you to say…

Harry Redknapp

The Sell: Cockney wheeler-dealer takes over at a club that needed stabilising.

The Reality: Did a club that had just won the League Cup and finished 5th and 5th need stabilising that badly? As ever with our loveable rogue truth and fiction blurred into one. Acquitted in a court case after it was shown he flew to Monaco to open a bank account in the name of his dog Rosie and deposit £189k into it.

Win percentage: 49.49

Arsenal verdict: Quoted as saying: ‘Gareth Bale will be a world class left back mark my words’. Always someone else’s fault, always happy to claim credit for other's work. Daniel Levy sacked him. ‘I didn’t see it coming’, he wailed. We did Harry, we did.


The Sell: Ex-Chelsea failure is given a second chance in London. Despite the fact it appears he sounds like Google translate when he talks.

The Reality: Humiliated Adebayor by making him stand on a box and apologise to the whole squad. (well, when you put it like that…) Lost the team, managed to alienate all his supporters at the Lane by slagging them off, and then blamed Baldini for his signings.

Win percentage: 55%

Arsenal verdict: Loved the way he described a 5-0 shellacking as an ‘expressive defeat’. Used far too many adjectives. Had a gravelly voice that grated. Far too hairy for a successful manager. Far too thin skinned for a man.

Tim Sherwood

The Sell: A British manager purporting British values like running about lots and trying really hard.

Jose Mourinho - in imperious fashion designed to intimidate all rivals grandly - pronounced himself to be the Special One. Tim Sherwood described himself as, er, a 'supply teacher'.

Way to go, Mr Sherwood. Bet that had his managerial rivals and his own players quaking in their boots - especially as he could always throw a whiteboard marker pen at them if they couldn't grasp his tactics.

To be fair not many people many did understand his tactics - not because they were too revolutionary or demanding but simply because there didn't appear to be any semblance of them. To say Mr S's preparation was lacking would be an understatement - for at times when examined under pressure it appeared he made things up as he went along.

Numerous newspaper reports labelled the way his teams lined up as 'confused', 'naive' and in one damning article, 'hapless'. Hands up who remembers a particularly dire performance in a miserable defeat on a trip to East Anglia against a set of pupils destined for the lower band at the end of term?

But as Mr Sherwood always reminded us he wore his 'heart on his sleeve' - which unfortunately didn't refer to endearing Kevin Keegan style outbursts fuelled with fan-fuelled passion - but more in an aggressive 'see you after school' fashion. (Hands up who remembers his embarrassing spat with a senior Portuguese exchange teacher in London which he then continued on a class trip to Lisbon?)

In the end Mr Sherwood's failure to qualify for the Champions League saw his services not required for this term, with his final report card reading: "Misplaced passion and mixed messages left his class confused. Mr Sherwood has not been retained for the Autumn semester.'

Win Percentage: 59%

Arsenal verdict: Yeah.


Layth Yousif is the author of Arsene Wenger: 50 Defining Fixtures . Click here to buy the book.