Who Cares For The Caretakers?

David Puckridge @davidpuckridge wants Spurs to repay Interim Manager, Vicky Jepson, for her work in keeping the club up.

Bear with me, there is a point to the following autobiography.

Between 2005 & 2007 I worked in Hamleys Toy Store on Regent Street. I would help out the manager of the Lego department because Lego is brilliant and I had an enthusiasm for selling the product. When that manager moved roles, I stepped in to run the department (and did damned well). But after a couple of months the store’s management decided “a change of direction” was desirable and they officially replaced me with an actual magician.

So I have tremendous sympathy for Spurs’ current caretaker managers. 

Being a caretaker manager is the ultimate poisoned chalice – all the responsibility and stress of being the permanent manager with none of the job security or remuneration/compensation, plus the added pressure that if a caretaker is required it usually indicates that the team is in danger and you’re going to have no additional help or resources to fix the problems. And then on top of that even if you save the club from danger, unless you achieve something miraculous, you’re going to be out of the job before the next season starts.

Vicky Jepson has carried out her unenviable task with tremendous patience, good humour and dignity. And she has succeeded, Spurs Women are safe from relegation and we did it in some style at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. All without any indication of support or direction from those above her.

Jepson celebrates in the centre of a circle of players and staff assuring safety. Image: Vicky Jepson twitter

At the pre-match press conference for the Reading match, VJ talked passionately about putting her squad first, going into training with positivity, a smile on her face to keep pushing them forward and give them belief. That’s the true measure of a leader and it saddened me that when later asked about players reaching the end of their contracts she admitted she knew nothing about that. The club isn’t consulting her on the pressing issue of the future of the squad – either the club doesn’t know itself or they don’t consider her part of the team’s future plans. 

It would be depressingly ungracious for the club to not involve VJ next season. But not unsurprising given how things have gone down. It seems likely the club will go for a new head coach, but unless she wants to leave to further her career as a head coach, she deserves to retain her place on the staff. Some acknowledgement at least from a hugely wealthy club to someone they’ve put in an invidious position that they appreciate what’s she’s accomplished with some form of support and job security. 

After the full time whistle against Reading, VJ worked her way along the fans and I was able to take the opportunity to thank her. It was the very least she deserves. 

David Puckridge is on twitter @DavidPuckridge

6 Replies to “Who Cares For The Caretakers?”

  1. Well done again David but I think you may be taken over by emotion through your close contact as a journalist. Do not get me wrong but yes, VJ looks like a decent nice person (so was Reanne Skinner) but in today’s game that is simply not good enough to front a team that wants ambition and success (or are we saying that is not there on the agenda anymore) … if that is the case then sure keep her and bring on fighting relegation again next season but if we want to turn a corner then we definately need a management team and for sure a Manager with a winning mentality and not another mother hen / come playground assistant (in your words a “magician”). She can if offered go back to being an assistant if that works for her. Her CV is not that good anyhow like Skinner. She will be of coarse the cheaper option for Levy but is she good enough? – sorry not for me. I am shocked that she does not know about player contracts as I would have thought at least 10 would have been knocking on her door when Kit Graham was offered an extension all those weeks ago…. but then maybe she has’nt got a door nor an office just a dark cupboard filled with mushrooms (as we are told very little about anything Spurs women) … wouldnt surprise me anymore with Levy at the helm. I feel for the sake of the club she needs to move on along with at least 8 players and to allow a stronger footballing person to come in and start finding better players – this is a must. Our club only has 6-7 decent players out of 27 and that is why we are where we are after 4 WSL seasons. We are never going to develop this team, fanbase and brand in the women’s game without real investment and that starts with a decent manager.


  2. If the players or coaches aren’t good to compete, then that’s down to the club, I’m not going to criticise players and staff who earn in a year what Eric Dier earns by Wednesday lunchtime. These aren’t over pampered by underachievers.

    Contrast us with Utd: they gone from not existing to challenging for the title in 5 years because the club set out a vision of what they wanted to achieve. Our club has been content to simply be there.

    And you can see how that attitude has affected the mens team – we can’t even convince the coach of Feyenoord to join us. Afterall, if Mourinho and Conte can’t win anything at Spurs then it’s clear the problem is the club…


  3. Well same ol Spurs … poor as usual. We take the lead against the run of play thanks to Beth and a well taken header and we go all out and then throw the towell in with zero midfield control … zero defending from the likes of Ayanne Spence and James and then the usual panic play from the back – cant pass – cant clear the ball when it matters and we now find ourselves 2-1 down especially with Spencer in goal who has no clue about her angles. Very poor …. team doesnt even look balanced.
    Ale is also poor with her chance start and therefore Celin being asked to play far too deep and why she caused the first goal.
    Where is our hard press – there is none. VJ gets it wrong yet again.


  4. 2nd half much better with the subs … but boy do we make it hard for ourselves with so much sloppy passing and panic play. Choosing Spencer in goal was a big mistake but the goals came from our own players yet again … what is happening in defence.
    Ive said so many times Naz and Ayanne have no end product and it showed big time today and Spence is rarely fit .. we def need to find better wingers this Summer

    Time for VJ Cho Ayanne Harrop Ubogagu Simon Morgan and even Ale to go and go find better (probably have to lose Shelina as well – maybe even Korps if we can source a top top Goalkeeper to stop Spencer being chosen)


  5. Well I’m not going to call for anyone to leave because I fundamentally have no belief in Daniel Levy to replace them with equal or better quality. We’re a club that thanks to him have sacrificed ambition for pragmatism.

    I have a lot more sympathy for Vicky Jepson after she explained after the Reading game why she sets up as she has done. It’s purely to provide Beth England with chances. She’s looked at the resources available and clearly feels this is the best she can do with what’s available.


  6. Well she got it wrong in the first half David but get your point. I guess I am lucky as an unimpressed fan I can call players out and they need to be called out – they are afterall in the public eye calling themselves professional footballers but when they show little skill on or off the ball then there is a fine line about being a footballer and they are only professional as we have given them a contract. No point fooling ourselves we have a busload of poor players now not just the odd few.
    If Levy does nothing then we will be in the same situation next season (maybe even worse) and I think u are so right – he will not invest unless Scott Munns makes a case for them when he starts.
    I look forward to the next overview .just a shame not many fans add to the comment section to fuel debate but at least you interact … maybe do one on “how did this season fair” or “who should we go out and get” but then we are not lucky enough to see who is available on the transfer list that is faxed around and have to wait for someone “in the know” to spill the beans but then if VJ is asked to stay on she aint likely to see it neither – such is Spurs. Onwards and upwards is my hope.


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