Juande Ramos picked up the scorched reigns at Tottenham Hotspur last autumn and managed the team for fifteen Premier League games before the 2008 Carling Cup Final.
Not content with taking the foot off the pedal after their victorious final, the Tottenham squad turned off the engine and sent granny out to push the car by the middle of May. Spurs were more likely to begin building a new stadium than to rise a couple of places in the league – especially with next season’s UEFA Cup passport sat secure in the glove compartment.
But those first 15 games should prove inspirational to our summer friend, the Lilywhite optimist. On the back of a horrendous display at St James’ Park, and subsequent defeat to a little-known Getafe outfit, Ramos inspired confidence in his downtrodden troops to achieve 28 points before reaching Wembley.
During this initial Premier League assault, Ramos took clinical steps to develop his side in the January transfer window, immediately improving a bewildered defence. Summer signings have stregthened the midfield, supporting Berbatov with team-mates who are star names in themselves. Even Berbatov’s expected departure, without replacement, would still leave space for a rejuvenated Bent, supported by Dos Santos filling Keane’s role. This partnership would create room for Jenas in midfield alongside Lennon, Bentley and Modric.
The average number of points for a fourth-placed team since the inception of the Premier League is 66. Ramos took over a stuttering outfit and gained twenty-eight points in fifteen matches – averaged over a season, that would be a points total of 71.
And if Spurs have in any way improved over the summer, and if more signings are to come, could the operatic choir of the Champions League anthem finally be heard in N17?