Is Harry Redknapp Doing More Damage Than Good To Tottenham?

By on November 17, 2011

Guest post by Spurs fan Rob:

Five months ago I asked this blog site if I could do an article on Harry Redknapp. The season had ended in dismal failure (in terms of we didn’t achieve a Champions League position) and it seemed like every Spurs fan was talking about the managerial status of Harry. Yet I still asked!

As I was writing my Jerry Maguire type mission statement while getting my little boy back to sleep late one June evening I tried to see the discussion from both sides and put the case for and against Mr Redknapp staying in the job or leaving. Obviously I had my own opinion, which I did express at the end of the piece, but I tried not to make that the object of the piece. As it was the hot potato topic at the time it got a lot of feedback and as expected some were agreeing with my own views, some vehemently disagreeing and a few just saying I know nothing and shouldn’t have had the audacity to even write the piece in the first place! With the third international break in full flow and Spurs flying high, I thought what better time to revisit the subject and reflect on my own article and how things might have changed.

Now, if you think this is now going to become a Harry Redknapp love in, stop reading right here. Let me tell you it isn’t. We are currently on a fantastic run but I don’t get swayed with such things or fair weather public opinion, my views are my views no matter how we are doing at the current time. Don’t get me wrong if I think I am wrong or have been proved incorrect I am more than happy to admit that too. I also respect what Harry has done for the club, no question about it and always have, but certain underlying factors that haven’t changed make me feel he still should have gone in the summer.

Since my article was published certain issues have been resolved, for the time being anyway. Luka Modric and the summer transfer window being two of them. Whether Redknapp had anything to do with either is questionable with Daniel Levy being key to both. Being the brilliant business man that he is, he wasn’t prepared to let Chelsea prove him a mug over Modric and quite rightly dug his heels in and proved that a player signing a contract actually means something. This may not necessarily be the case next summer but that will depend on what Levy told Luka and where we finish in the league. Harry whilst not getting ‘involved’ as such was still very vocal and tried to disrupt the process with some ill-advised interviews on the subject but Modric could have handled it better as well.

The summer transfer window was typical Spurs, with everything being done at the last minute as per usual, even though deals had been mooted long before. To be fair to Harry who he got in, Friedel, Adebayor and especially Parker, have all proved their worth, what we needed and have made us a much better team. The interesting thing for me was the fact hardly any money has been spent at all. This to me could mean one of three things. We didn’t have the money and/or ENIC have stopped investing. It was tied up in other areas, NDP being the principle suspect here or Levy doesn’t want to give it to Harry to spend as the future is, let’s say unclear. My suspicions would actually be a bit of all three.

ENIC certainly haven’t been pouring money in for the last few transfer windows, a certain amount of finance has been seemingly put towards the ground issue and the on-going situation with Harry either going to England or getting into legal hot water, the latter taking an uncomfortable turn and very real possibility with him facing a trial in January of next year, make giving him free rein an impractical thing for Levy to do. In truth I think Harry has lost the boardroom support he once had. The trial could obviously make all discussions, debates and arguments null and void if Redknapp were found guilty of tax evasion. Surely he would be sacked.

Has Levy already thought of this possibility and drawn up a shortlist of potential suitors or will he let Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond steer the ship until the summer? If Harry does get found guilty then he will never be England manager for sure so would we regret not acting this summer to avoid this mess. The fact of the matter was how could Levy act in the summer? Harry had just led us to the quarter-finals of the champions league at the first attempt and fifth in the league, slightly harsh to get rid of him but Chelsea finished second and still did it to their manager!

Another point in my first article was the fact that Redkanpp can’t help but talk to the media on any given subject and was disrespecting fans that dared to voice their own opinion on the end of season run. This hasn’t changed until recently, as all summer and the early part of the season, especially when we were getting trounced by the Manchester clubs, he was all over Sky Sports. Maybe he should have concentrated on his actual club rather than his Sky Sports fantasy team!

The Van der Vaart spat didn’t help and as usual got played out in the media rather then it being a private affair and him talking up every team and manager we played against drove me mad. He has actually quietened down since we have been on this brilliant run and as much as I wouldn’t wish him ill and I hope he is fit and ready to return soon, maybe his recent treatment will keep him out of the spotlight even more.

He also won’t be able to talk about certain subjects for legal reasons and therefore might not be so inclined to pop in and say hello to a microphone. The fans that were so scathing of him at the end of last season have been silent recently in the main but they are still there I am sure waiting for any slip, any mistake that they can jump on. This can’t be good for the community and harmony of the club as we all want a successful team and it would be better to show the support for the manager as well as the team if we could.

For me, as much as Harry might be one of the best man managers around, his tactical nous and decision making are poor. Most of this season, late or wrong substitutions have been taking place and there have been questionable tactics and team selections (mostly the first few games when his hands were slightly tied). With an Ancelotti (my preferred choice) in charge we could certainly improve on this. Once again though to be fair to Redkanpp, he has worked out our best team and way of playing and utilising players in their correct position is paying dividends.

I don’t want anyone reading this article to think that I am making a personal attack on Harry Redknapp as all I am really thinking about is my beloved Spurs. The club comes before any player or manager. I actually don’t mind him in general and I love how he has transformed the club, albeit from the false position when he took over, to knocking on the door of Champions League football every year.

He is a happy go lucky kind of guy and I hope his heart problem is not a serious one, but as much as what he brings to the club on the pitch, the things he brings off it aren’t what I want my club to represent and are affecting matters within it that will eventually get down to pitch level. Whatever the next few months bring and I am confident it will be good times rather then bad, I will stand behind Redknapp until his era draws to a close as he is the general of our ship. Love him or hate him, and I know whatever views you have won’t change, for the time being he is here to stay.

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22 Comments

  1. Topfan

    November 17, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Exceptionally poor article.

    Writer displays a complete lack of understanding of where we’ve come from, what we’ve faced and how we’ve methodically seen the club transformed. It’s a bile piece with little to recommend it other than the writer purports to be writing it for the love of Spurs.

    With support like this, who needs an opposition?!

  2. Horny Helen

    November 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I agree in the main. Either harry or the coaching staff are getting many things very wrong. We are winning games becasue of individual brilliance not beacsue of a great team display. We need to wise up in midfield and be able to control games form there, especially when we are winng games.Yes we should bring someone like Ancellotti or Klinsman in while we have some momentum. To me harrys biggest error is not playing Sandro, this could be a whole knew topic. Sandro is a world class DM and he is still young and learning where as Scotty has a 2 or 3 seasons at the most left at the top. If Sandro does not get time on the pitch, not only will he loose form he will be snapped up by one of the Spanish clubs becasue he is that good, realsie it Harry.

  3. ants

    November 17, 2011 at 9:36 am

    i find it amazing that we find ourselves level on points with Chelsea, and if we win our game in hand only 1 point away from Utd… Yet, some so called fans, still have the time on to criticise the way things are!!

    sorry, but i have to say that you are an idiot!! How can you complain?? Morale and confidence seems to be an all time high, we are playing some lovely football at times and getting the results… what more do you want??

  4. ants

    November 17, 2011 at 9:41 am

    @Horney Helen… i disagree!!
    how can you say that our results are due to individuals and not as a team effort?
    firstly the whole defence as well as the GK are easily putting in a shift… Goals are coming from all over the pitch, and when asked, we are grinding out results, which requires a whole team to do!!

  5. required

    November 17, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Harrys doing a great job no doubt. i just worried that when he dumps us for England, which players will quit.

    i think most of them

    • Ali

      November 17, 2011 at 10:50 am

      Don’t agree…there are so many brilliant managers out there desperate to manage a good PL side..we might well be in a position to attract even better players..

  6. Vic

    November 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

    It seems you start with the premise of an anti Redknapp stance then seek to justify it by meandering round the facts. I think you fail to make the point. The heading asks “Is Harry … Tottenham?”
    Well no. Since he became manager we have consistently finished top 6 and have played in the top European competition for the first time in 50 years. We are currently joined in 3 rd place and are considered one of the most exciting teams in the Premiership.
    Under Redknapp the board are embarking on a stadium plan that could see us firmly entrenched in the upper echelons of world club football. So on field you’re querying his tactical nous are you? On the basis of what?
    Off the field he talks too much apparently. Most of the comments you hear quoted are selected clips from longer interviews which are normally level headed and sensible. So what’s the big problem? And then there’s the tax trial. He is not accused of stealing money from some innocent. It’s a question of interpretation of very complicated tax laws. His advice was clearly that tax wasn’t due and the Revenue disagree. The trial will decide who was right. That doesn’t make him Harold Shipman.
    On all counts I’m happy with ‘Arry.

    • marvin

      January 24, 2012 at 8:25 am

      absolutely true !!! everything you said is spot on.

  7. will

    November 17, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Helen you can’t seriously be slating Harry for playing Scotty Parker ahead of Sandro, can you?!?! This is the same Scotty Parker that is the hottest player in english football at the moment, right? The same player that wins MOTM in every game he plays not to mention two consecutive spurs player of the month awards. Correct me if I am wrong?

    I for one would love Harry to stay for years and build a dynasty. However I realise that he will probably jump ship and become england manager at the end of the season. When/if he does decide to leave I would want a manager of similar ilk as opposed to Ancelotti. Redknapp is a man motivator and our squad responds to that. If he goes what we need is a Martin Oneill or Owen Coyle type, wouldn’t say no to Mourinho either. What we don’t need is a cold steely tactician like Ancelotti.

  8. simianspur

    November 17, 2011 at 10:14 am

    gave up reading.

    • Vic

      November 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

      Yeah not very good are they. Who do you support now?
      😉

  9. WTF

    November 17, 2011 at 10:25 am

    No manager is always going to doing everything the way you want him to, but all that matters is what he has done for the club, and harry has achieved great things for us. Harry Redknapp deserves much more respect than this, and its a shame there are some supporters who get on his back. Maybe the issue lies in the fact we all know he will leave for England so we try not to attach ourselves to him out of fear of getting hurt. I will be sad to see him leave because it could lead to problems unearthing at tottenham, players seem to love him! COYS

  10. Jeremy

    November 17, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Helen – As Ants said we have been winning games with good team performances. Our midfield is working as a unit and the link up between defence and midfield has been outstanding. The style of football we have been playing is due to Redknapp, he has kept it solid and not changed things too much. Scott Parker has bossed every game he has played in aside from the Fulham game perhaps. Sandro is very good but having an experienced head in there has certainly paid dividends (pun not intended). Sandro’s time will come and you should stop hating so much. It’s ‘supporters’ like you I feel like punching in the back of the head. I had three idiots sitting behind me last season that did nothing but moan. Their thoughts on Bale were ‘He’ll be the next one to go’

    In regards to the writer of this article, the team spirit (which filters down from the top) is the best it has been for a long time at our beloved club and this is coming through on the pitch. He is getting the best out of his players and you can’t ask a Manager for much more than that. If he wins football games while playing flowing, great to watch football, I’ll stand behind him regardless of whether he pays all his tax or not, and I think the club will too. We are winning games, playing well, level on points with third (with a game in hand) and averaging over 2 points a game. Stop your fucking moaning, stop chasing your golden egg and appreciated what you’ve got.

  11. spid

    November 17, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Harry is God at the moment we play with flair,guile and passion and we have proved you don’t have to be in the fed to mix it in the top six.Loosing Harry would be a travesty.COYS

  12. Nikolay Bollukov

    November 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

    He won’t be sacked if found guilty – Levy stated months ago that the alleged offence occurred well before he joined Spurs, so has nothing to with his employment there.

    This is just a bitter article from a fan who doesn’t know a good thing when he’s got it. Name a club in whose position you would rather we were. Chelsea, Man City? Bought success from nowhere. Man United – of anyone, Ferguson comes out with some of the stupidest things in interviews I’ve ever heard.

    I for one take great satisfaction from the fact that, in Redknapp, Spurs have possibly the only manager in the country who never blames the referee for a bad result.

    If he chooses to go to England (and if they choose him) then good luck to him, but that, aside from health issues or retirement, should be the only reason he is ever allowed to leave White Hart Lane. I’d sooner see Van Der Vaart go if their “spats” continue that Redknapp. Get him on a long-term contract so we at least get some compensation from the FA and then let him get on with the fantastic job he is doing.

    You loon

  13. Devonshirespur

    November 17, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Is this a joke? You choose our best run of form in years to make a feeble case for Harry being sacked, on the basis of what? An unproven charge? His chatting to the media? His awful tactics and substititions which have bagged us 22 out of the last 24 points. You don’t fluke that sort of run of form.

    Sure some of our performances have not been great but its a results game. Last season we dominated a lot of teams and dropped points….I prefer it this way….you obviously demand perfection.

  14. Simon

    November 17, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I agree with everything you are saying. don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and happy with what has occurred regarding how we play and our results since Harry took over, but there are so many things that is blatantly obvious to annoy anyone and smacks of fans literally kissing the a@se of Harry and are being extremely ignorant. Would it be acceptable for example, if Alex ferguson openly gave interviews undermining his own bosses, the Glazers? He has too much class for such things! Do you think Alex or Arsene Wenger would suppress the progress of young, up and coming player for the sake of an oldie, regardless of how good he is? (relating to Sandro and Parker) – ferguson didn’t even put in a bid for Parker. I an happy that we signed him, but I hope that Harry alternates him with Sandro, rather than wait for him to get injured before using Sandro.

    There are allot of fans on this site who have commented slating the author, just because what Harry has done, no other manager has since the Prem era. Those same fans will turn on him when other teams work us out and make things difficult – the only reason we have won many games is due to poor finishing on the other teams part, luck and us all working as a team, but there will be other occassions when the luck is no longer on our side and we get a beating that IS avoidable if we were more solid and did things properly like a top team should.

    We have always had issues keeping leads and clean sheets. The usual top four teams know how to keep the ball in order to preserve a lead, we seem to lack this, although we are renowned for pretty possession football but seem incapable at times of keeping the ball.

    It is so annoying hearing Harry voluntairly giving interviews where is letting everyone to do with Spurs down and is does smack of naivety – the same naivety that many of the fans on who have commented on this piece seem to have.

    I personally think martin Jol would have eventually got us int he Top 4 had he stayed and comes back to the simple fact that it is the players who is responsible. If they choose to stop working for a boss there is nthing he can do if he ain’t backed.

    Regarding Football decisions and what Harry has done for spurs, it is basic ‘common sense’ that has got him where he is now when it comes to players we have needed etc. Yeah, he can do better with substitutions and how he uses VDV and defoe. What I don’t like about the guy is his obsession with oldie players! he is like a kid in a sweet shop who was deprived when all his classier mates were having long ago and now he has access to the same things, buys what his mates used to have, whilst they have moved on to better things, he still thinks their left overs are top notch, when they are on the verge of waning! rant over!

  15. Spurs 67

    November 17, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Completely agree with the article.

    You can’t deny that the players respond to Redknapp much better than they did to, say, Ramos, but Tottenham aren’t likely to win anything with this tactical chump in charge.

    You don’t get a medal for being knocked out of the Champions League 5-0 on aggregate. It’s not really an achievement, is it?

    The team qualified for the CL when competing against the poorest Arsenal and Liverpool sides that the PL has seen for some time, and a City side that changed its manager half way through.

    With the most talented Spurs side since 87 (mostly inherited), last season should have been a mere formality to re-qualify for the CL, but fizzled out into a disappointment after taking a pitiful amount of points from the bottom six clubs, which was, in the main, due to poor tactics.

    Rather than be disappointed with this, Redknapp came out with some bullshit about it being the best we’ve ever had it, and that it was as good as it’s going to get.

    He’s done a good job, but I wish people would stop believing his own hype.

  16. danspurs

    November 17, 2011 at 11:47 am

    what a poorly written article with no real structured arguments. Just a regergitation of what has been said since harry took over.

    No mention of the fact that city who are tyhis season premier league title contenders were the ones that beat us to fourth, no mention that the CL took its toll on our players last season, just blatant blaming of Harry. PATHETIC, utterly pathetic.

    Under ahrry we play amazin football, we are a joy to watch. I do agree Sandro should be in the team, but Helen who are you going ot leave out? not RAFA, not Bale not Modders, not Parker the way he’s playing and also not Lennon the way he ahs started playing. SO why don’t we leave Adebayor out and make the average height of the 5ft 4!!

    Wise up you knee jerking depression monkeys and wind your necks in. Keep your comments to yourselves. And studub if you are a dad i bet you are one of those idiot dads who no matter what is children do it is never good enough (you’re on a different planet pal)

  17. shannon

    November 17, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Harry got us into the Champions League, and then into fifth (a disappointment, sure, but it could have been worse). We are also on a great run. There is a mind-boggling tendency among some Spurs supporters to give credit for any of our achievements to others and blame for all our failures to Harry. And though you are at pains to point out that you have nothing personal against Harry, it is clear that you do since you have no real reasons for wanting him out. A manager basically stands and fall on the side’s results, and Harry has done well in that regard. He has brought professional focus to the team, the way they go into a huddle before matches and their single-minded concentration on getting three points. He was lucky to keep his job because he took us to the CL quarterfinals? What nonsense! I also like the way he has discouraged partying and drinking among our players, and he himself has been a fine example in this regard. It is true that he talks a lot, but that’s just Harry. I am convinced, for example, that the way he played the Modric game off of Daniel Levy’s shoulder is what kept our star midfielder at the club. In Levy and Harry we have a top partnership at the helm of our club. I just wish some of our supporters could come to the party and appreciate this!

  18. Ray

    November 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I have to admit that I didnt like Redknapp but he stedied the ship when we were crying out for someone to do so after the Ramos debacle. The guy always has far too much to say about everything but that is his nature, we have to accept it and get on with it. Harry has become the darling to the low class media and there is a reason for that, he is easy to get a quote from and journalists dont have to work too hard decause of it where Spurs are concerned. What I cant stand are the prats who castigate the man when it is clear that he is doing a very good job at Spurs. Sure, his tactical nous is a bit suspect at times but he has got the team singing from the same hymn sheet and they are WINNING games irrespective of how they play which is the sign of a top top team. There have been many many times down the years far too many to mention when various Spurs sides would buckle at the mearest hint of pressure. To date (barring the first too games of this season), we have shown a new resilliance that is heart warming and leads me to believe that we are on the verge of a new dawn in the history of THFC. Dan Levy has much to do with this of course and maybe he and Redknapp are playing good cop bad cop in order to get what they want. Dont let us become like Arse fans who are currently crucifying their manager who brought them such success not so long ago. Believe me, they are scared shitless of what Spurs can achieve right here right now and long may it continue.

  19. Jake

    December 5, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Harry has a horrible team selection. Parker is what Jenas was suppose to be for Spurs. The truth is Sandro or Huddlestone can both fill that role very well. VDV can only play AMC and is hurting Spurs. He never backtracks. The truth is Spurs need another AMC so that whomever is partnered with Modric can move back into a DMC and the AMC to a MC. 4-2-3-1 to a 4-1-4-1/4-1-2-2-1 on the fly.

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