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Ramos loses his spurs

Juande Ramos

By Jonathan Stevenson
BBC Sport in Seville

He might well receive 10m for his troubles, but no amount of compensation will ease the pain felt by Juande Ramos after his sacking by Tottenham.

Having his four-and-a-half year contract terminated so abruptly less than 12 months in will have been a humiliating experience for the 54-year-old.

And as if to rub salt into a gaping wound, just hours after his ill-fated spell in England was cut short, the team he walked away from for the riches of the Premier League played for the right to go top of La Liga in Spain.

No-one here is surprised by what happened to Ramos at Spurs, it was always coming

El Mundo journalist Antonio Felix

Sevilla may well have suffered a rare home reverse at the hands of Malaga, but they have proved over the past 12 months that their success in recent years is not based around the qualities of one coach.

In October 2007, they were a club in turmoil.

The city was in mourning after the death of idolised left-back Antonio Puerta during a game at the start of the season, superstar right-back Daniel Alves was continually asking to leave and then Ramos, who had presided over the most successful spell in the club's history, left for White Hart Lane.

It was a potentially knockout blow for the Andalusians.

But Sevilla are built on strong foundations and a year on the club is once more in rude health, lying fifth in La Liga and impressing in the Uefa Cup under new coach Manuel Jimenez, who was promoted from reserve-team duties following Ramos's exit.

Expecting a certain amount of glee when I spoke to Sevilla fans outside the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Sunday just hours after their old manager's dismissal, I was surprised to find they had mixed emotions.

"Ramos was a Judas for leaving the way he did," said one fan.

"But it is sad what has happened to him since. He's paid a lot for the betrayal."

Junade Ramos with the Uefa Cup
Happier times - Ramos celebrates Sevilla's 2007 Uefa Cup win

Another added: "He spoiled an amazing couple of years after winning the Uefa Cup twice, it was such a shame."

In fact, there was no gloating at all but Antonio Felix, who writes for El Mundo newspaper, told me there was very little shock either as the news of Ramos's exit filtered through to Spain.

"No-one here is surprised by what happened to Ramos at Spurs, it was always coming," said Felix.

"I know a lot of Sevilla fans wanted to get revenge on Ramos when he left because of the way he walked off, but there is sympathy for him right now because it was never really going to work for him at Tottenham."

Sevilla obviously knew something Spurs chairman Daniel Levy didn't - that much of their success was based around the extensive scouting network put in place by director of football Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, who is known as 'Monchi'.

His brief to 700-plus scouts is to find the world's top footballers before the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid see them and sign them for a fraction of the price they would otherwise cost.

It is a policy which has brought the likes of Alves, Renato and Luis Fabiano to the club in the past.

The question has been asked just what prompted Spurs to place such faith and expense in Ramos to begin with.

"At the time he went to Spurs, just after he said he had rejected a 'dizzying offer', people here thought Levy was crazy, 'loco'," added Felix.

"To offer him such an amount of money and for so long too, it was the move of a desperate man.


"What you have to ask yourself is this: What is the success story, Juande Ramos or Sevilla Futbol Club?

"Ramos isn't a great coach and neither is Jimenez, that much is clear. But it's a well-run club and sometimes that may be even more important than the coach."

So where does Ramos go from here?

A year ago, he was one of the hottest managerial properties around, but his reputation is now tarnished.

News of his dismissal has registered in Spain, but Ramos is no longer big news - the story is not mentioned on the Sevilla FC website and the local newspaper, Diario de Sevilla, has only one small column tucked away inside its sports pages.

He has been linked with an early return to management in La Liga, but it is unlikely to be at his old club.

"He would not be welcome back, not a single fan would disagree with that," said Felix.

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see also
Tottenham 2-0 Bolton
26 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
26 Oct 08 |  Football
Tottenham sack Ramos for Redknapp
26 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Levy explains decisions to fans
26 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Redknapp and Ramos in photos
26 Oct 08 |  Football

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