- Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
- Previous Clubs: RKC Waalwijk (amateurs), ADO Den Haag, Scheveningen, Roda JC, Tottenham, Hamburg, Ajax
- Honours: Dutch Cup: 2009, 1997; Dutch non-league Champions: 1996
2012/13 Barclays Premier League Record
Martin Jol's rise from managing a small Dutch club to the English Premier League was as meteoric as it was unexpected.
Jol began his playing career in 1973 with hometown club Den Haag, before going on to play for Bayern Munich, FC Twente, West Brom, Coventry and Den Haag. In 1980 he made his debut for the national team in a 1-1 draw against West Germany, the first of three caps. His coaching career began in 1991, leading amateur outfit ADO Den Haag to two promotions in three years. In 1995 he moved to Scheveningen, who would be crowned as the Dutch non-league champions. But his performances with semi-professional clubs had caught the eye of a number of league sides and, in 1996, he was given a chance at Roda JC. In his first season at the helm he led them to their first trophy in 30 years, the Dutch Cup. In 1998 he took over at RKC Waalwijk and transformed the struggling relegation candidates into challengers for European football on a shoestring budget. Jol was named the Dutch Football Writers' Coach of the year in 2001, and the following season picked up the Dutch Players' and Coaches' Coach of the Year award. A man with a growing reputation, Jol joined Spurs in the summer of 2004 as assistant coach to Jacques Santini, after the Dutchman's close friend Frank Arnesen was appointed sporting director. Santini left in November, though, and Jol was hired on a permanent basis three days later. Jol transformed Tottenham's playing style from conservative under Santini to attacking, much to the appreciation of fans who had revelled in seeing flair players like Ossie Ardilles and Glenn Hoddle at White Hart Lane. Though the club failed to qualify for Europe in 2004-05, finishing ninth in the Premier League, Jol continued to sign exciting young players to create a fresh and vibrant squad. A strong start to the 2005-06 season was maintained and Spurs pushed hard for Champions League qualification, missing out on the final day after Jol's side were decimated by a stomach bug and Arsenal pipped them to the post. His second full season saw more high profiles additions, but the side fell short of delivering Champions League qualification and Spurs had to settle for fifth. A poor start to the 2007-08 campaign saw Jol - whose last major contribution was signing Gareth Bale - unceremoniously dumped in October and replaced by Juande Ramos. The Dutchman left with the best win percentage (42%) of any Spurs manager in the Premier League era, though Harry Redknapp has since trumped him. Jol was out of work for the remainder of the season but took charge of Bundesliga side Hamburg for 2008-09. They were top of the table in February, but faded to his third successive fifth-place finish. Hamburg also reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and German Cup, in what was viewed as an excellent season despite it ending trophyless. Previously overlooked by any of the big clubs in his native Netherlands, Jol was finally given the opportunity to coach at the highest level when Ajax came knocking in the summer of 2009. With Luis Suarez and Marko Pantelic leading his line (the former scoring an incredible 45 goals), Jol's Ajax emerged as one of Europe's most attractive teams. They won the Dutch Cup but Jol suffered final-day agony again as the Dutch giants finished second in the Eredivisie to FC Twente by a single point. Jol was the subject of overtures from Fulham in the summer of 2010 and he stated that he wanted to return to the Premier League with the Cottagers. But Ajax refused to let him go and he was forced to continue into the 2010-11 season, before eventually resigning in December. But, when Mark Hughes left Fulham in June 2011, Jol was clear favourite for the job and he was subsequently appointed less than a week after the Welshman's departure - giving him the opportunity to take care of what he has described as "unfinished business" in English football. Strengths: His cheerful demeanour, positive outlook and natural charisma tend to make him an instant hit with both fans and the media, while he has consistently shown a great eye for signing an nurturing young talent. He has a reputation for creating well-organised teams capable of playing attractive football. Weaknesses: Was criticised for training methods when some Spurs players put on weight and is also considered to be naive in his approach to defence. Moreover, he is considered by many to be money-driven and was caught during his Tottenham days entertaining the advances of Newcastle, which ended up earning him a more lucrative contract at White Hart Lane. Career high: In his first season as a top-flight manager in the Netherlands, in 1996-97, Jol delivered unfashionable Eredivisie outfit Roda JC their first piece of silverware in 30 years, the Dutch Cup. Career low: Missing out on the Eredivisie title with Ajax in 2009-10 despite his side boasting the strongest defence and deadliest attack in the league. Tactics: Jol places a big influence on attack but evolved from favouring 4-4-2 with natural wingers when at Spurs to a 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation - with two defence-minded central midfielders by the end of his time at Ajax. Quotes: "Whether he's been understated, I don't know, but his achievements over the last couple of years and the development we've shown and the progress we've made is testament to his qualities as a coach and a manager," former Spurs assistant Chris Hughton praises Jol in 2006. Trivia: Martin Jol's brother, Dick, is a FIFA-accredited international referee and took charge of the 2001 Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Valencia. He also has another brother, Cock, who worked as a scout at Tottenham.
Jol: Successor to Mark Hughes
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