Is Redknapp Losing The Dressing Room & Are Spurs Fans Racist?
What I’m about to write isn’t designed to gain more views or to offend anyone. It’s not been written to be controversial as nothing I write is meant in that way. I simply write what I believe and do so from the heart. What I sometimes say is often not what the majority might believe but then the majority spend their time on facebook and think the Spurs customer service is fantastic.
In the last 24 hours a couple of things have annoyed me so in the style of Victor Meldrew I’m going to exorcise those demons here. That’s what a blog is all about after all.
Lennon / Redknapp
Is Redknapp loved as much as many believe? I don’t think so. Of course there’s the fall-out of the result at Real Madrid as any 4-0 defeat will bring. The majority of it focused on Peter Crouch and Aaron Lennon for obvious reasons and some linked it back to Redknapp. I’ve never made me feelings towards a man who stated all Spurs fans were racist scum while in charge of Portsmouth a secret or the fact I believe he’s taken us as far as he can. I’ve always been honest to say what he’s achieved in a short period of time has been fantastic but by the same token if it was down to him we got into the top 4 last season it’s surely down to him if we don’t this?
Anyway, it seems more and more people are starting to feel a similar way. On Saturday as I stand in the Bell & Hare garden, beer in my hand and discussing all things Spurs, this conversation will no doubt come up and I can guarantee the split between love him and hate him will be very close to 50/50.
As the story goes, a pheasant was standing in a field chatting to a bull.
“I would love to be able to get to the top of yonder tree”, sighed the pheasant, “but I haven’t got the energy”.
Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients”.
The pheasant pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch and so on.
Finally, after a fortnight, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree, whereupon he was spotted by a farmer who dashed into the farmhouse, emerged with a shotgun, and shot the pheasant right out of the tree.
Moral of the Story: Bullsh*t might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there. Is it time up Harry?
The above was posted on my sites forum by Kevin Jones so I thought I’d steal it for the purposes on this update. The one thing he’s got going for him is the supposed fantastic man management skill of his. His ability to put an arm around a players shoulder to make them play better, but is this actually true? Of course players like Frank Lampard are going to say what a great manager he was at West Ham, after all they’re family. Why wouldn’t Defoe say he loves working with him when he gets selected even when he’s clearly been terrible this season?
Then onto yesterday’s comments on twitter from Aaron Lennon after Redknapp had said this in his post match interview:
“We lost Aaron Lennon a minute before kick-off. As we were walking to the pitch he didn’t feel very well and he said he had no energy. I had to make a change as we were leaving the dressing room.”
It gave the impression Azza hadn’t informed the club he was ill and had “bottled it” as some suggested. His reply to these suggestions was:
“saying i fell ill before the game is bullsh*t. I fell ill on sunday morning where the medical team put me on antibiotics, but only got worse before Tuesday. Believe me this is one game I didn’t want to miss and still devastated now!!!! but will not be made a scapegoat saying they only knew just before kick off”
It’s something I’m sure you’ve read or heard about by now. The bit I’m interested about is how Lennon uses the term “they” with obvious reference to Redknapp and his team and the fact he felt so disappointed with his managers public dealing with the situation as he passed the buck he felt he had to go public himself. Now I’m all for players on social networks because it gives us fans something to talk about and a little insight into their lives (although with the majority it’s only a let down), but this throws up the question of communication within the club and between players and the manager they’re all meant to love so dearly doesn’t it? Another example of this was when van der Vaart disappeared down the tunnel after being substituted and when asked if it had been discussed with his manager he said no because he hadn’t even seen the manager between then and leaving for International duty. Seems a little strange to me half way through a game.
There are whispers of a meeting between Redknapp and the board recently where they discussed their surprise at not being in the top 4. Before this becomes another debate on whether we should be there or not, the board clearly feel we should (if this meeting happened of course). Redknapp has made slight reference to it himself about if he’s not appreciated at board level he should be when you consider top 4 last season, 2 points from 8 games, champions league quarter finals etc etc. Their point being was similar to mine that when you look at the quality of our team, the transfer finds that HAVE been made available and the teams above us we should be in the top 4 at the moment and not looking to go on an amazing run to get there.
Comments of his activity in the market were brought up, or lack of and more importantly the type of players he’s been looking at. It’s no secret it was Redknapp who decided to walk away from any potential deal for Suarez because he felt the Uruguayan was no better than our current forward. The best signings in his tenure have arguably been Sandro and vdV, neither he had a hand in. Gallas on a free would probably be his best signing to this point.
They also pointed out his lack of faith in Gareth Bale only 2 years ago. Looking back 16 months he was close to allowing Bale to move from the club until an injury to Ekotto curtailed that deal being done. Other loan deals were discussed in particular deals that have resulted in a lack of depth to cover injuries. When you consider we had no right midfielder to replace Lennon on Tuesday night and we might be without a proper right back on Saturday you can see where they’re coming from.
I have it on pretty good authority that this meeting did take place and these were the points discussed. Given certain comments from members of the press and especially Redknapp in post match interviews I have no doubt in my mind.
Whether he should feel unappreciated is another matter of course. Personally, I appreciate what he’s done at the club. I do appreciate the turn around in the clubs fortune since he arrived and I do appreciate playing in the Bernabéu even if we did get a thumping. It’s clear to see though that not all is well at White Hart Lane, whether that’s in the stands, dressing room or at board level. I wonder if Mr Redknapp wasn’t such a media darling and the odds on favourite for the England job whether we’d see more of this kind of thing surface in the red tops?
Spurs Fans Racist
Let’s get one thing straight shall we? I’m not racist. Never have been and never will be. Is there racism in football? Yes, and loads of it. However, I’ve only ever heard one genuinely racist comments at a football match which immediately after it was said myself and those around me put the gentleman in question straight with his remarks.
In today’s papers we once again have the subject of a song sung by Spurs fans as being racist. This is something that infuriates me because I don’t believe it is. It’s not a nice song as anything which says someone else’s mum is a whore isn’t going to be meant in a friendly way. This isn’t the line that’s caused the issue though, it’s the fact the line preceding that makes reference to his dad washing elephants. This is the racist part, or at least in some people’s eyes.
I don’t and have never sang this song. Not because I find it offensive or believe it’s not politically correct but because I never sing any non Spurs song unless we’re playing that team. For example, stand up if you hate Arsenal only comes out of my mouth during north London derbies. Having not been present at a NLD in a decade I’ve never seen Adebayor play but I’m sure if I had I would’ve sung that song, after all the b*stard has a knack of scoring against us so he will have our attention.
My point on why I believe it not to be racist is because similar racial stereotypes are sung about players throughout the country. What isn’t acceptable is monkey noises etc. In fact, let me rephrase that, what everyone agrees that isn’t acceptable is monkey noises etc. The reason the song is a problem to some is because Adebayor is black. It’s as simple as that which in itself is very racist. Sticking with Spurs fans we sing an anti Berbatov song too which follows similar lines and yet because he’s white and from an eastern European country no-one mentions that.
Maybe if Berba made a statement and complained about it the papers would write a story but I doubt it. The only reason it’s been picked up and spurs fans are being tarnished in a poor light by some members of the press is because Adebayor mentioned it. A black sportsman mentions racism and it’s a big story. The song is without doubt playing on a racial stereotype which of course is wrong but the same can be said about the same song with differing lyrics sung by fans who like him that mentions Ade’s rather larger gentlemans area. Another racial stereotype that doesn’t seem to bother him. Why not?
I come from the West Country for my sins and while my accent isn’t even close to the Wurzels thanks to time spent in London and my mum slapping me every time I said something like “gert lush” when I was kid, when I’m back in Tottenham it’s been known for friends of mine to call me farmer boy. That’s a massive racial stereotype but I don’t consider it racist. Depending on who said it and in what tone they used I would most definitely consider it offensive but that’s two very different things.
I’m not even going to mention the songs that make reference to spurs fans not having foreskin or chelsea fans making hissing noises at every game because what’s the point? It’s not big and it’s not clever, we all know that but it’s also not a story because it’s directed towards mostly white Englishman who can never suffer from racism. Double standards? You’re damn right it is.
Make all racial stereotypes racist and punishable by all means. That isn’t the argument and I don’t think anyone with half a brain would argue if authorities did that. Thankfully, UEFA and the Crown Prosecution Service realise the song has no racist connotations and will therefore not be fining the club and confirming Adebayor and certain members of the presses beliefs. It’s just a pity comments and column inches are forced to be revoked and apologies issued because with many things people believe what they read in the press and I for one don’t want my football club to become synonymous with racism.
PS. I haven’t had time to proof read this so I hope there’s not too many typos or just plain old spelling mistakes.
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