Jol: Spurs need a Robben
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Martin Jol says Tottenham need a special player to elevate the club to a higher level.Tottenham Hotspur boss Martin Jol says the London side are still a top player short of competing at the highest level, citing reputed target Arjen Robben and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo as perfect examples.
Spurs have made an impressive start to the season and are currently sitting pretty in fifth place in The Premiership after Saturday's 2-1 victory over Wigan.
Their success has been built on a foundation of precocious young domestic talent, and the summer addition of experienced Dutch star Edgar Davids significantly enhanced the quality available at White Hart Lane.
However, Jol insists that Spurs are still lacking a true special talent in the mould of Chelsea's Robben or United's Ronaldo.
Spurs had been linked with the Blues man after he reputedly experienced problems with Jose Mourinho and, although Jol has ruled out a move for Robben specifically, he acknowledged that the winger was the calibre of player Spurs may need if they are to challenge at a higher level.
"We are trying to build something here. I understand about hope and the fans' dreams," Jol told The Observer.
"We have some good young players, Michael Dawson, Jermaine Jenas, Jermain Defoe, but what we don't have right now is the sort of player like Arjen Robben or Ronaldo at United, the player who can make a big difference.
"We need that if we are to compete at the top level."
Jol also warned against rising expectations in North London, highlighting previous false dawns that have left Spurs fans frustrated throughout their Premiership history.
The White Hart Lane outfit have never finished in the top six since the inception of the Premier League and Jol was quick to emphasise the depth of quality at the top of England's top tier.
"It is hard for the fans because there were times over the past decade when they expected too much of the club. But that's understandable," Jol continued.
"Before this season had even started people were saying we were going to do this or that and it's hard for the players because they want to be successful, they want to give the fans something back and then they find themselves saying, 'Oh, we can reach the Champions League', and it's all over the press.
"But there's Chelsea and Arsenal and Manchester United and Liverpool, that's four clubs already you'd expect to finish high up. Then there are clubs like Bolton, who are very experienced and difficult to beat, or Middlesbrough."
Spurs relied on Davids to seal their victory over Wigan on Saturday, and Jol has revealed that the Dutch star is working hard behind the scenes at White Hart Lane to ensure that the next generation have the benefit of his substantial experience.
"Of course there are times when it's important to entertain my lads, but I don't spend my time looking after them.
"Edgar Davids is 32, I can't put him on my knee and feed him milk from a bottle.
"We are a young team, but there are older players here as well - Davids, [Noureddine] Naybet - and they have their part to play.
"Davids, for example, he has been working with [Aaron] Lennon and [Wayne] Routledge after training. He is giving them the benefit of his experience.
"Maybe they found it odd at first that he was giving up his time but this is the Dutch way.
"In Holland it is very common for the older players to pass down their knowledge and experience to the younger ones."