Martin Jol……Jollity surely?
Martin Jol has emerged as a shock contender to take over at West Ham this summer.
The former Tottenham boss, now in charge of Ajax, is believed to be open to the idea of a return to the Premier League. And West Ham, close to the home Jol still owns in Essex, could prove a viable option, if co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan can stabilise the club by securing more investment.
Current boss Gianfranco Zola is certain to leave Upton Park at the end of the season, despite an upturn in results in recent weeks.
Relations between the Italian and the board have broken down irretrievably.
Zola says he has not spoken to Sullivan since his e-mail apology to fans for a ‘pathetic’ home defeat by Wolves last month.
Both sides have, though, agreed to wait until the close season before they part ways.
Zola said: “It’s a long time since I have spoken to David Sullivan and I have not spoken to David Gold about anything beyond the end of this season.”
And Jol, who guided Spurs to back-to-back fifth-place Premier League finishes, is a man the Hammers board would consider an approach for.
Jol was sacked by Spurs in 2007 after a successful near three-year stint at White Hart Lane, where he became one of the most popular figures in the English game.
He bossed Hamburg before taking the Ajax job last summer but has always been keen on a return to England.
Ironically, Jol’s keenest rival for the Hammers job could be former England boss Steve McClaren – currently at Twente Enschede, Ajax’s biggest rivals for the Dutch title.
Portsmouth boss Avram Grant and Zola’s current No.2 Steve Clarke are also options for Sullivan and Gold.
Their initial targets, Mark Hughes and Slaven Bilic, have not indicated they are willing to take the West Ham job.