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Last Updated: Monday, 22 September, 2003, 03:45 GMT 04:45 UK
Hoddle's unfulfilled destiny
By Sophie Brown

Glenn Hoddle
Hoddle won 53 caps as an England player

Glenn Hoddle's feelings on fate have been well-documented but his sacking by Tottenham smacks of a destiny thwarted.

Hoddle is Spurs through and through, having joined the club as a 12-year-old schoolboy, and was revered by the White Hart Lane faithful during his playing career there.

When he went back to North London as manager in 2001, he was hailed as the messiah who would restore Tottenham to their glory years.

His return was greeted with delight by fans who still wore his name on their shirts even though it had been almost 15 years since he had last played for Spurs.

As a player, his flair, vision and elegance were the embodiment of what Tottenham fans felt the club stood for.

His pinpoint passes and ability to turn a game with a moment of skill made him a folk hero on the terraces and also earned him 53 England caps.

But the hope and anticipation that greeted his arrival at what he acknowledged was his "dream job" have now vanished.

GLENN HODDLE FACTFILE
Glenn Hoddle
1958: Born in Middlesex
1976: Scores on Spurs debut
1979: Scores on England debut
1987: Transferred to Monaco
1991: Becomes player-manager at Swindon
1993: Appointed player-manager at Chelsea
1996: Becomes England manager
1999: Sacked by England
2000: Becomes Southampton manager
2001: Quits to become manager at Tottenham
2003: Sacked by Tottenham

With a proud history to live up to, Tottenham expect success and despite a few false dawns, Hoddle has been unable to deliver.

The Spurs board finally lost patience with his talk of the side being "in transition" and his stubborn yet unfulfilled belief that better results were just around the corner.

Success at Tottenham could have rehabilitated the image of Hoddle, tarnished for many after his spell as England manager.

His results record in the national job was respectable but the revelation of his reliance on faith healers, the ill-advised publication of his 1998 World Cup diary and his comments on reincarnation and disabled people all contributed to his downfall.

And throughout his career, it has been matters off the pitch that have been Hoddle's Achilles' heel.

His coaching credentials are widely considered to be impeccable and his record as a manager at all his clubs is by no means poor.

He took his first club Swindon into the Premiership, took Chelsea to the FA Cup final, led England into the second round at the World Cup, did well in his short spell at Southampton and took Tottenham to the Worthington Cup final.

But his man-management technique has left much to be desired.

Former players who have put the boot in include David Beckham, Teddy Sheringham, Tim Sherwood, Steffen Freund and Tony Cascarino and he has been accused of aloofness and arrogance.

Having been sacked from what were the two most desirable manager's jobs available to him - England and Tottenham - it is hard to see where Hoddle goes from here.

If there is a consolation for him at being forced out of the club he loves, it is that he will still be an idol to Tottenham fans and it was not them who were clamouring for his dismissal.

For them, Hoddle the player will remain a legend undimmed but as a manager, he will simply go down as yet another man who failed to bring back the good times to White Hart Lane.




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