When you do the exam, they give you marks. For example, personal ability: top marks, 10 points. For everything personal: 10. But for coaching: moderate. I barely got an “okay”.
I was the first overseas manager in the Premier League. From then on, a lot more foreign coaches started arriving. If you look nowadays, basically all the top managers are from abroad.
At Tottenham, we had a very good team. But the ‘Famous Five’ attackers who people talked about at the time – Teddy Sheringham, Jurgen Klinsmann (below), Darren Anderton, Nicky Barmby and Ilie Dumitrescu – were not as it was said. It was really just a newspaper conjuring up stories.
As a footballer, I was never all about attack without bothering with defence. As a coach, when it was called for, I was really defensive. But my ideas were exactly the same: to play with the ball, continuously. To have players who could do just that.
This is exactly what Barcelona did many years later. Was Xavi a defender? Was Andres Iniesta a defender?
“To have a good team you must have harmony within the club, with the chairman, the players, the fans”
Tottenham was my trial by fire as a manager. And, of course, after playing so many years there for me it was like coming home. Sadly, there was an incredibly toxic atmosphere when I got there. And it went bad.
I never gave up on my ideas. A lot of people told me to take one attacker off and put in a defender. But playing with five was not really how it was.
Klinsmann: yes, he was a forward. Sheringham was never a pure striker – he was always a little deeper. Barmby, the same. Anderton: a right midfielder, just like he played for England.
As I said, things didn’t work out. Like with anything, there is a very fine line between victory and defeat.