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banner Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 16:54 GMT
Hoddle fulfils destiny
Tottenham manager Glenn Hoddle
BBC Sport Online's Simon Austin profiles Tottenham manager Glenn Hoddle.

Destiny seemed to dictate that Glenn Hoddle would return to manage the club that he had represented with such panache as a player.

Hoddle describes Tottenham as his spiritual home and the club's fans still idolise him.

The timing was perfect when Hoddle took over at White Hart Lane in March 2001.

Hoddle was trying to rebuild a managerial career that had hit the rocks when he was sacked as England coach and recovered during a spell at Southampton.

Glenn Hoddle in his playing days for Tottenham
Tottenham were still searching for the right leader after a string of managers - Christian Gross, Gerry Francis and George Graham spring to mind - who had failed to fit the White Hart Lane mould.

So far the marriage is working well. Hoddle has taken Tottenham to mid-table security and a place in the Worthington Cup final.

Summer signings Gus Poyet, Teddy Sheringham and Christian Ziege have been big sucesses and players like Darren Anderton and Ledley King have stepped up a level under Hoddle's tutilage.

Perhaps most importantly of all, Tottenham are playing with a flair and brio that was lacking under Graham.

Perhaps this should be no surprise, because Hoddle's coaching credentials are impeccable.

England coach

Tony Adams recently said that Hoddle is still the best man for the job of England coach.

Hoddle led unfancied Swindon Town into the Premiership in his first managerial post and began the transformation of Chelsea in his next.

He also looked at home as England coach before he was suddenly sacked following innapropriate comments about disabled people.

  Hoddle factfile
Oct 1958: Born Hayes, Middlesex
1974: Signs a contract with Tottenham
1979: Makes his England debut against Bulgaria and scores.
1991: Becomes player-manager of Swindon
1993: Wins Division One play-off final with Swindon in May but leaves to join Chelsea just weeks later
1996: Leaves Chelsea to become England boss
1999: Sacked by England after comments about the disabled
2000: Takes over at Southampton
2001: Moves to Spurs
He nurtured the young talents of Michael Owen, Paul Scholes and David Beckham on the international scene and the team evolved under his guidance.

Under Hoddle, England won the Le Tournoi tournament, against Brazil, Italy and France, in 1997.

They also negotiated a tricky World Cup qualifying group including Italy and came desperately close to beating Argentina in the finals despite having David Beckham sent off.

Hoddle also did a good job at Southampton after he was fired by England and left the Saints eighth in the league when he moved to Spurs.

Hoddle the coach may be beyond reproach but Hoddle the man has often been a controversial figure.

His man-management skills and judgement have sometimes been questionable.

He insisted on using faith healer Eileen Drewery even though many of them were sceptical.

Hoddle also published a World Cup diary shortly after the competition had finished in which he criticised some of his players.

And then came those infamous comments that disabled people were paying for sins they had committed in their previous lives.

Hoddle will insist all that is in the past and he is now looking to continue the rejuvenation of his beloved club.

Links to more Worthington Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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