Category: george graham

The appointment of serial winner Jose Mourinho has deeply divided the Spurs faithful. On one side, fans point to his excellent track record and hope he will bring his winning ways to the club. On the other, fans will highlight the manner in which Mourinho wrecks dressing rooms, even if initially he delivers the goods. There is historical precedent for such a divisive appointment. 

When the legendary Bill Nicholson retired in the 70s, the Spurs board appointed ex-Arsenal captain Terry Neill to the post. Obviously that did not go down well and Neill only lasted two average seasons before heading off to his spiritual home – Highbury. 

Incredibly, Spurs appointed yet another ex-Arsenal player (and manager) George Graham in the late 90s and despite winning the League Cup in 1999 (Spurs’ first trophy in 8 seasons) he was sacked in 2001 by the new incoming Spurs chairman – one Daniel Levy! 

Spurs fans never ever liked Graham and refused to sing his name – even though he won a trophy. His Arsenal roots were too big an obstacle for fans to overcome. 

So perhaps Mourinho is in a better position than Neill and Graham to win over the doubtful fans. Football is a results industry and even though many may not like his abrasive personality or the playing style of his teams, if he turns around Spurs’ fortunes, it is unlikely that these fans will remain reticent. 

Wait and see.