Jermaine Jenas sheds light on the bizarre methods of former Tottenham manager Juande Ramos

Jermaine Jenas

The ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has given the players' take on the Spaniard's reign.

Former Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas has lifted the lid on the bizarre methods employed by Juande Ramos during his ill-fated spell at White Hart Lane.

The Spaniard joined from Sevilla in 2007 and would oversee the capture of the club’s first silverware in nine years before being replaced by Harry Redknapp eight games into the following season.

Ramos was a renowned disciplinarian and his exit has long been attributed to the playing staff rebelling against his strange demands.

Writing in his regular column for Yahoo Sport, Jenas revealed that despite most of the squad being ill at ease with the Spaniard’s ways, he himself found the methods effective.

“I played some of my best football (under Ramos). I really took to his methods and regimes, but I was very much in the minority,” said the former England international.

“The food he had us on was disgusting. Everything was dry and completely flavourless. If you had pasta, you were not allowed any sauce on it whatsoever.

“At half-time they cut out our Lucozade drinks… because it wasn't 'natural'. Instead a fitness coach would concoct his own 'juice. It was a cold mixture of potatoes, water and pasta - blended to a pulp. It looked like wallpaper paste - same colour, same consistency - the lot. It was absolutely disgusting.”

Despite the unusual approach to diet control, Jenas claims he felt fitter than ever under Ramos but noted that several of the naturally ‘heavier’ players at the club were struggling to meet the manager’s fitness requirements.

“… it was different for naturally heavy players like Paul Robinson or Tom Huddlestone. He was asking Tom to get down to a weight he had never been. I was with Tom at Forest at Under-14 level, and he was exactly the same size as he is now - Ramos wanted him to weigh less than when he was a kid,” said Jenas.

“All these things built up and eventually we had a team meeting and the players said, “We can't do it anymore. I can't live my life like this.” It was borderline depression.”

Jenas recalls the breaking point as being the morning after a Europa League win against Besiktas, where Ramos forced the first-team to train because he felt they hadn't 'worked hard enough' in the previous night's game.

"They had a player sent off after about 25 minutes, but even then we played so well that their fans clapped us off the pitch... the next day Ramos organised a training session," he said.

"We all assumed it would be just for the ones who hadn't played, but he made the starting XI do it as well. We couldn’t believe it. “They went down to 10 men so you didn't have to work. Today we're going to work," 

Jenas claims Ramos lost the group after this point and the results reflected that. The season following the League Cup triumph proved to be Tottenham’s worst start to a league campaign, with just two points gained from their opening eight fixtures, and Ramos was ultimately shown the door.

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