Jol yearns to be 'left alone' to do Spurs job

August 26, 2007

Beleaguered Martin Jol has pleaded to be 'left alone' to drive Tottenham towards their stated aim of a Champions League berth.

Spurs' hopes of hitting the top four suffered another blow at Old Trafford as they slipped to a controversial 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Jol was furious that a penalty claim for handball against Wes Brown did not go his side's way when the scores were still level, the second time Spurs have suffered a perceived injustice following the failure of a linesman to spot Pedro Mendes' shot had bounced over the line at the same end three years ago.

The result, Tottenham's third defeat in four games, leaves them on the edge of the relegation zone, hardly what chairman Daniel Levy had in mind when he summoned Jol to crisis talks amid speculation he had offered Seville coach Juande Ramos his job.

But Jol is sure he has enough ability to drive Tottenham up the table and is now just looking for some stability.

'The close watchers know where we have come from, in terms of last year, the year before and the year before that,' he said.

'We have finished fifth twice. When you look at the Evertons and the Newcastles of this world I felt we were fine.

'Of course, there is always a next step. Other clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea will have a say in that.

'All the people who have seen me over the last three years know me. They can make a judgement. Let me get on with the job and we will be fine.'

Not even confirmation Levy attended the now infamous meeting in Spain involving Ramos, Tottenham vice-chairman Paul Kemsley and club secretary John Alexander, can derail Jol from his desire to complete the job he started two seasons ago.

Levy has attempted to pass the meeting off as an investigation into the structures at Seville rather than negotiations over a job offer.

And Jol could only offer a sarcastic response.

'Yes and no,' replied the Dutchman when asked whether he knew of Levy's involvement.

'It is always handy that everyone is there if you want to see a club structure and how a club works.'

TV replays indicated Berbatov's second-half shot had rattled Brown's chest as the England man dived into block.

Ferguson certainly felt so, saying the pictures were 'clear' and revealing that Brown had confirmed it was not a penalty.

Jol, perhaps unsurprisingly, took a different view. 'He is not a goalkeeper, he is not entitled to block a shot in any way he can,' he argued.

'You can look at it from all the angles. If you use a bit of your arm it is a penalty kick.'

Jol suggested United 'were there for the taking' and Tottenham were unlucky losers.

Robbie Keane's early effort clipped the bar and Rio Ferdinand booted another Berbatov shot off the line before Nani's 30-yard blockbuster flicked off Carlos Tevez and flew in.

Nani celebrated in trademark style, although Ferguson suggested the goal should belong to Tevez.

'It was probably going in anyway but the touch off Tevez was decisive,' he said. ``I would give it to him.'

Having ruled out any move for a striker before the August 31 transfer deadline, Ferguson must now hope his side can maintain their winning momentum against Roy Keane's Sunderland next week.

'It was our least effective performance so far but in the end we got a win,' said the United boss.

'This is not an easy league and there are a lot of games you have to battle through.

'Tottenham are the best team we have played, so this win will give us confidence.

'If there is one club in the country capable of going on a long run it is us. And that is what we are looking for.'