Should the Tottenham Manager Resign?

Neither the Titanic nor Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed an auspicious start in 1912. Unfortunately for fans of Tottenham, however, that sinking feeling has returned with their worst start to a season in 92 years. Indeed, if Spurs are marching on at all, it is, many fear, to relegation. At such times the finger is invariably pointed at the manager. The question, nonetheless, is can the beleaguered team afford to lose Ramos?

Should the Tottenham Manager Resign?

Yes because... No because...

The team has become a laughing stock

There is little getting away from the fact that the team has become the laughing stock of the Premier League. From the Hull fan’s jeering ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’, to David Bentley, Tottenham player, noting that ‘people are having a laugh at the fact we are bottom of the league’, none of the positive spin of put out by players or directors can hide the fact that morale is at a low ebb. Removing Ramos who, after all, has enjoyed his position despite the pressure of mounting failures than for longer than Martin Jol, may give the team the morale boost and leadership that it needs to turn the situation around.

When only 18% of games have been played, and there are 311 games of the league left (1), being at the bottom of the league is not all that worrying. Only 7 games have been played by Tottenham and so plenty of things can happen.

Fans will always taunt the opposition team, which is no reason for management decisions. Perhaps not paying so much heed these taunts will boost moral instead of sacking some one over it.

(1) as of 13th October 2008.

Should the Tottenham Manager Resign?

Yes because... No because...

There have been complaints about his managerial style

Ramos’ style too has been the subject of considerable comment. Martin Jol, for example, believes that a core of English players is missing from the squad, which is fatally undermining its identity. On a more personal level, Younes Kaboul has recently stated that Ramos does not communicate well with the players. ‘Martin was a character’, he stated, ‘for us he was a father figure, whereas Ramos, it is just tactics and nothing else’. Whether or not one believes that the strength of Kaboul’s allegations have been amplified by his bitterness at being sold, there is no doubt that there is an often-reported disconnection between manager and players which Spurs cannot afford to ignore.

Should the Tottenham Manager Resign?

Yes because... No because...

He has not made the most of his team

As Bentley observed in his recent defence of Ramos, Spurs have ‘more than enough good players’ to do better. This, of course, begs the question: ‘how then, have they managed to lose so consistently? Part of the blame for this must lie with Ramos. Ostensibly one of Ramos’ strengths is his ability to make changes during matches. However, during Tottenham’s 2-0 defeat by Portsmouth, Jermaine Jenas appeared entirely disoriented when Bentley and Aaron Lennon swapped wings. ‘Our greatest wish’, said Levy before the firing of Martin Jol, ‘was to see results turn in our favour and for there to be no need for change’. If need is defined by results, there can be little doubt that Ramos must go.

It must be borne in mind that most of the players are adapting to English football. Whilst the players maybe accomplished in their home country leagues, in English football they have to adapt their skill set. This cannot be done overnight, and so it is not Ramos’ fault that these players are not playing to their best qualities. Perhaps Juande Ramos is looking to the future and seeing how excellent these players will be when they have settled into English football. Perhaps the critics of Ramos should stop being so short-sighted.

Should the Tottenham Manager Resign?

Yes because... No because...

Consistency is vital to success

Perhaps surprisingly for a club which has little valued managerial stability, there is a strong argument put forward by, for instance, Ray Clemence the former Tottenham goalkeeper, that firing Ramos would be counter-productive. ‘If you look back’, he argues, ‘the sides that are most successful are the ones that have continuity and consistency’. A new manager with fresh ideas would undoubtedly wish to implement changes which would take time both to accomplish and for the players to acclimatise to. Indeed, given that, as Bentley put it, many of the summer arrivals are ‘still getting used to one another’, further changes may destabilise the situation further.

Should the Tottenham Manager Resign?

Yes because... No because...

It’s not him; it’s the board

Arguably, fault lies not with Ramos but with the directors of the club. Despite Ramos’ claim that ‘we are all responsible’ for the summer sales of key scorers Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane, it has been claimed that the sporting director, Damien Comolli, failed to play the transfer market with adequate skill. Despite having spent around seventy million on new players (albeit selling others for an equal amout), it has been argued that current team is poorly balanced. Nor does the new addition, Roman Pavlyuchenko, particularly complement Bent on the pitch. Moreover, the very existence of the director of football has been condemned. Kevin Keegan and Alan Curbishley, notably, have resigned over the lack of control they held over transfers in this season alone. Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea, too, launched a thinly veiled attack on Comolli, stating that Chelsea did not ‘support the model where the director of football buys all the players and dumps them in the lap of the first-team manager’. He may have a point.

Should the Tottenham Manager Resign?

Yes because... No because...

It would be too expensive to get rid of him

Spurs shares have slumped to a third of their post-Carling Cup value, now standing at 124p. Given that the Tottenham owner Joe Lewis was also a significant investor in the failed US investment bank Bear Stearns, the club may wish to consider saving the fifteen million they would stand to lose should they fire Ramos before his contract ends. Moreover, it would be an expensive loss to the club’s reputation as its fifth managerial casualty in only seven years. If to lose one manager may be regarded a misfortune, to lose five certainly does look like carelessness.

Should the Tottenham Manager Resign?

Yes because... No because...

He is experienced and has had previous success.

OUYOIOIUOIO

There can be little doubt that Ramos does indeed have an excellent CV in the European game. In addition to his success with Spurs in the Carling Cup, he has enjoyed UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup success with Sevilla. Given his previous success with Spurs, and in particular, the impressive victory over Manchester City in the Carling Cup quarter finals, this setback should be seen in its proper context.

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