Well, we’re off to Dnipropetrovsk for yet another pre-Group Stage Europa League encounter. But rather than this be some random trip to the heart of The Ukraine against a side with a really cool badge, there’s actually some levels of familiarity amongst the two sides.
First, the coaches.
Just about four years ago, after a few months of flirtation, Ramos was plucked from Sevilla to succeed Jol as manager of Spurs. Four months later Ramos would go on to lead Spurs to the Carling Cup Final, and win it, only to be fired within the year. I don’t have the audio handy, but I recall Pat Dolan of Setanta saying that the players got Ramos fired — the same that got Jol fired too?
Since leaving Spurs, Jol has managed at HSV, Ajax, and now Fulham. Ramos went to Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow, and is now at Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. This is the first time the two will face another since their respective stints at Spurs.
Second, this fella.
Remember Jan Laštůvka? I wrote about him last year when compiling “Fulham’s Worst”:
Jan Lastuvka. In his 12 appearances with Fulham, the on-loan goalkeeper kept just two clean sheets: an FA Cup win over Stoke City [Ed. Then just a mid-table Championship side], and when he played about 30mins after Antti Niemi almost broke his neck.
Perhaps I was being a bit harsh to Jan but his overall record stands as: 15 goals against in 8 league games; 24 goals against in 12 total appearances. Perhaps it was the porous defense, perhaps it was him, perhaps it was both. But still, yikes.
Since going back to Shakhtar Donetsk after his loan with us expired, Jan went on loan to Karlsruhe and West Ham United before ending up as Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk’s #1 keeper. In the five years that have passed, only Matthew Briggs, Simon Davies, and Clint Dempsey remain from the side(s) that once lined up in front (or with?) Jan.
Am I missing any other reunions?