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Monday, 9 November 2015

Brentford consider ex-Spurs left-back as new boss

Brentford consider ex-Spurs left-back as new boss

Former Tottenham left-back Justin Edinburgh (1990-2000) is doing a decent job at Gillingham at a club where there is little money to spend and you have to rebuild a side every season from players at clubs around you. Life in League One and League Two is hard, loans are prevalent as are one season contracts so building sustained success is no easy task.

Gillingham are typical, they yo-yo between divisions, once even making it the play-off final back in 1999 to get into the Premier League. Gillingham had the game won, they went ahead with 9 minutes left and extended it to 2-0. City scored and the referee for reasons only known to him kept playing more injury time, City scored in the 95th minute and won the penalty shoot-out. How things could have been different.

Back to today though and Gillingham sit third in the table on 31 points after 16 games. Walsall are top on 32 points, Burton Albion second on 32 points and Coventry City fourth on 31 points. At home Gillingham have won 6 and drawn 2 losing 0 while scoring 20 goals and conceding 7. On home form they are top of the league, on away form they are 8th having won 3 drawn 2 and lost 3 while scoring and conceding 11 goals.

Justin Edinburgh is building a reputation for himself and that has caught the attention of Brentford who have short-listed him for the permanent job there. His assistant at Gillingham is David Kerslake, another with a Tottenham link (1993-97), his goalkeeping coach is Jimmy Walker who we signed as a third choice goalkeeper for a season in 2009. It's a club in Kent I'm surprised we don't work more closely with, being the only League club in Kent. Chris Smalling is from this neck of the woods and Steve Bruce used to be a Gillingham player before his career at Manchester United.

Prior to Gillingham, Edinburgh was at Newport County from October 2011 until he left to join Gillingham in February 2015 with Newport 6th in League Two. Newport rejected advances from Portsmouth for him in 2013 and Northampton Town approached him in 2014. He took over at Newport when they were 23rd in the Conference and finished 19th taking them to the FA Trophy Final, losing to York City 2-0.

The following season he finished 3rd and they went on to win the Conference Play-off Final at Wembley beating Wrexham 2-0. It has been a 25-year wait to return to League football for Newport and Edinburgh was named Conference National Manager of the Season. Their first season back in League football (2013-14) saw them finish 14th and he left in February of the following season when they were 6th.

There are not enough English managers in the game so it is good to see a former Spurs player making a name for himself. Will Gillingham be able to keep hold of him if the Championship side do come calling? Would we then see more Spurs youngsters being loaned to Brentford?

Gillingham have played 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, 4-3-1-2, 4-4-2 diamond, 3-5-2 and 4-1-3-2 so players have to be adaptable which encourages young players to think about the game, it gives them new situations and new roles, which would surely help their mental development as well as technique.

being from Kent I want Gillingham to do well, but I'd also like to see Edinburgh progress. Who knows how far he can go, a Spurs manager of the future, who knows.

Further Tottenham Stories
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The youth project rumbles on
Former captain Graham Roberts impressed by Spurs and particularly Dele Alli
8 Spurs players reaction to the game on Twitter


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