Juande Ramos Slams Time at Tottenham, Claims Players Ate McDonald's, Drank Coke

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterFebruary 14, 2014

KRAKOW, POLAND - OCTOBER 02:  Juande Ramos of Tottenham Hotspur walks from the pitch prior to the UEFA Cup First Round, Second Leg match between Wisla Krakow and Tottenham Hotspur at the Wisla stadium on October 2, 2008 in Krakow, Poland.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Former Tottenham manager Juande Ramos has hit out at his time at Spurs, boss Daniel Levy and the attitude of his players to food in an explosive interview in the Daily Mail.

Ramos, who managed Spurs from 2007 to 2008, discussed the culture of the club and was particularly critical of the diets of the players:

It was incredible. It was like a wedding buffet. In a sportsman the physical condition has to be perfect because you live off your body. Your food is your fuel. If I eat a cake, I’m putting in diesel; an athlete needs to be putting in super fuel. There was some resistance of course — a lad who is 22, 23 years old, with cash in his pocket thinking, “And this guy’s coming here telling me what to eat”, we could see that.

We trained out in Chigwell and there is a McDonald’s and we would see them there, eating hamburgers and drinking Coca-Cola.

I couldn’t go to their houses to see what they were eating but if they were not at their ideal weight then I could keep them out of the side. And we recovered in the league, we beat Arsenal for the first time in (nine) years and we won the Carling Cup, all in four months. Everyone’s as happy as hell.

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

Soon after the 2008 League Cup triumph, the team began to unravel. According to the interview, the summer was the time the momentum changed.

Ramos wanted to bring in the likes of Samuel Eto'o and David Villa to strengthen the forward line. Instead, he was saddled with Roman Pavlyuchenko, of whom he said: "Russian — he didn’t understand anything. He was here for six months and he hardly played. Damien Comolli signed him."

Another striker to come in for criticism was Darren Bent. Again, Ramos was scathing, suggesting that Bent's excellent pre-season form in the summer of 2008 was in fact terrible news that enticed Levy to sell Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United on deadline day.

We won every game and he [Bent] scores 11 or 12 goals and so the chairman thinks, “This guy Berbatov out, this guy Robbie Keane out!”

And then what happens? In December they spent £51m to rectify the mistakes. They say, “It’s the manager who doesn’t understand. He doesn’t know anything. The stupid Spaniard hasn’t got a clue. We’ll blame him”.

The guy that sold Keane and Berbatov wasn’t to blame and yet they had to spend £51m to sort it out!

Ramos lost his job after a nightmare start to the 2008-09 season. Harry Redknapp was installed as his replacement, led a Tottenham revival, and Ramos' brief reign was consigned to history.

The former Sevilla manager then went on to have brief spells at Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow before settling at Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk since 2010.

His brief time in England clearly still rankles. Some would argue that the treatment of former manager Andre Villas-Boas, who lost his best player in Gareth Bale and was then sacked during the rebuilding process, suggests that Spurs have not learnt a great deal from the episode.