Is Harry Redknapp Doing More Damage Than Good To Tottenham?
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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