Martin Jol

Martin Jol was most recently the manager of Fulham.

Jol's initial arrival into front line English management was a surprise to most people, but one look at his record and experiences would show that he is an inspired and good choice for the role at Spurs. He does have experience of the English game, having played for West Bromwich Albion and Coventry in the 1980s.

He began his footballing career in 1973 with hometown club Den Haag, picking up his first silverware - the Dutch Cup 3 years later. He was soon noticed, and was transferred for big money to Bayern Munich in 1977. By 1979 he had returned to his native Holland playing for FC Twente Enschedem winning the first of his 3 caps a year later, ironically against West Germany.

A bustling, hard-tackling midfielder would inevitably end up in England, and that was the case when in 1981, he was signed as Bryan Robson's replacement at West Bromwich Albion, following the latter's move to Manchester United. Moderate success came as he reached the semi-final of an FA Cup and the League Cup semi – this time against future club Tottenham. He spent the 1984/85 season with Coventry City before returning to Den Haag to finish his playing days.

Jol's coaching career began in 1991, leading amateur outfit ADO Den Haag to two promotions in three years. In 1995 he moved to Scheveningen, who he took to Non-league Champions.

It was not long before he was given a professional chance, and that came in 1996 with Roda JC – he was an instant success leading them to their first trophy in 30 years, the Dutch Cup. He was also 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 – you could say that he has earned his spurs.

His reputation was spreading far, and even attracted the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson who was looking for a number two. He didn't take the opportunity preferring to wait for his own opportunity, which came when he joined Tottenham Hotspur with close friend Frank Arnesen (who had been appointed Sporting Director) in the summer of 2004.

After becoming manager, Jol had led Tottenham to their highest league finish since 1990, in 2006 and he went onto secure European qualification for the club in successive seasons.

After managing Spurs, he began coaching in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV. He enjoyed success in Germany as he guided the club to the top of the league for the first time since the 1999–2000 season. Hamburg eventually finished 5th qualifying for the Europa League the following season. During his time in charge, Hamburg also reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and the German Cup.

Jol then became the new head coach of AFC Ajax, replacing Marco van Basten. Remarkably Ajax won every home game that season bar a draw with Sparta Rotterdam. This was the only game in which they dropped points at home all season.

They ended the Eredivisie season with the best defence record. It was the fewest league goals conceded by any Dutch team in 5 years. Another astonishing stat was that only 4 goals were conceded at home all season.

Ajax also scored 106 league goals (an average of more than 3 per game). It was the most any Dutch side has scored since the 1997–98 season. Their goal difference of +86 compared to PSV, who had the next best goal difference in the league with +43 showed how much success Jol brought to the club.

Jol and Ajax also won their final 14 games of the season. A 85 point finish was a 17 point improvement on the previous season. However, they were pipped to the title by one point, by Steve McClaren's FC Twente, who won their first ever Eredivisie title.

Success was also enjoyed in the Dutch Cup, his first trophy since winning the same competition 13 years earlier with Roda JC. Ajax beat Feyenoord 6-1 on aggregate in the first two-leg final since 1983.

Jol and Ajax then parted company on December 6, 2010.

He enjoyed an excellent first season at Craven Cottage, as Fulham finished in 9th place in the Barclays Premier League and were just on point short of equalling their record points haul. He then followed this up with a 12th place finish in the following campaign.

Honours (3)
  • domestic-trophies
    • Ajax:
      • Dutch Cup Winners, (2010-05-06)
    • Roda JC:
      • Dutch Cup Winners, (1997-05-08)
  • personal-awards
    • Tottenham Hotspur:
      • Manager of the Month, Premier League, (2004-12-01)
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