Glenn Hoddle on the brink of being sacked by Spurs | September 21, 2003


GLENN HODDLE was once sacked for claiming that bad karma would haunt you in later life. A 3-1 defeat at home to his former club Southampton yesterday left the heavily criticised Tottenham manager "hurt" and perhaps feeling that he had been right all along, writes Jim Munro, football editor.

Amid angry jeers from the White Hart Lane crowd, Spurs recorded their worst start to a Premiership season after two goals from Southampton's James Beattie helped set up a victory for the club Hoddle had abandoned to take up office in north London, 2½ years ago.

Hoddle has masterminded just one win in Tottenham's first six games of the season and only three in the past 17 Premiership matches.

Despite spending more than £11m on new players over the summer, there has been no visible sign of improvement in the team's performances, and the Tottenham fans had no hesitation in making their feelings known. "I'm feeling the hurt more than the pressure," said Hoddle, whose team remain 17th in the Premiership.

"I had to deal with pressure in the England job. I'm hurt inside, that's where the pressure comes. It''s very hurtful to see that we're not getting the results we can achieve and I know that we can achieve."

Hoddle, the darling of the Tottenham crowd during his playing days, is certain the club's fortunes will improve. "We're better than what we're showing at the moment," he said. "We've got to make sure we work hard enough to turn it round and I believe we can. We're in a sticky situation. The last two performances at the Lane have not been good enough and the players know that. We've got to dig deep and try to turn the corner."

Will he be given the time by his employers to do that? "That??s a question I really can't answer," said Hoddle, now odds on with the bookmakers to become the first Premiership manager of the season to lose his job. "It has to be aimed at someone other than the manager."

On August 31 last year, a 2-1 win over Southampton pushed Spurs to the top of the Premiership, but the Saints claimed their first victory in nine visits to Tottenham with Beattie's double in front of England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Hernan Crespo scored his first two goals for Chelsea, who moved to the top of the table with a 5-0 win at beleaguered Wolves. England strikers Michael Owen and Emile Heskey scored in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Leicester at Anfield.

See original article on The Sunday Times