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Harry’s Tactics & Naive Performances Lead To Stevenage Draw

Tottenham put in a disappointing performance during a 0-0 draw with Stevenage because of poor tactics from the manager and poor performances from the players.

For all the credit that Stevenage are due and will get, Spurs put in a disappointing performance at Stevenage and will now have an unwelcome replay at The Lane.

From the minute Harry Redknapp picked his team it was never going to go well. The England manager-elect decided to pick a team and formation to combat the strengths of Stevenage. If Spurs were the League One side we’d all accept that as good management. As it is, Spurs are the technically superior side and should have played to their own strengths not played down to their opponents level.

On the pitch the team compounded the managers failings with a sloppy performance full of naïveté. From Michael Dawson’s first long ball aimed at strikers who were physically outmatched by Stevenage’s centre backs it was clear that Spurs fans were in for a long afternoon.

With manager and captain setting the tone the whole team was poor in possession, constantly misplacing passes. To Redknapp’s credit he obviously realized this and through the first half bellowed at his team to keep hold of the ball.

However keeping the ball was only half the battle. Without the ill Modric and injured van der Vaart, Gareth Bale was allowed the free role he hankers for. Despite his dynamism and forceful running with the ball he’s nowhere near the creator that Modric or Rafa are and Spurs lacked a cutting edge.

With Niko Kranjcar warming up at half time it was to be hoped that Redknapp had realized the folly of his 3-5-2. Alas it wasn’t to be. At least until 15 or so minutes into the second half. When Kranjcar was introduced it meant Bale being forced into a wing role with Niko starting from the opposite flank. The Croat instantly showed more incisive passing than had been seen for the previous hour and a bit but even so there was to be no breakthrough.

Spurs truly only looked like themselves when Redknapp was forced to take Danny Rose off – once again effective going forward against lower opposition but clearly not good enough to make it as a Premier League left back – and bring Lennon on. Lennon instantly threatened and created a couple of openings in the few minutes he had on the pitch.

Yes Spurs had the ball in the net from Saha but the referee and linesman were unfortunately competent and correct for once in ruling Parker offside.

Spurs attention will now turn to next weeks North London Derby. That is a game where Spurs must play to their own strengths rather than lowering themselves to match weaker opponents.


Thanks to Stuart Watts from THFC1882 for submitting this guest post



  1. Bre

    February 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    A very naive report

  2. bill

    February 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    at white hart lane with our smooth pitch….. 4 or 5 -0 to spurs with stevenage chasing shadows…..EPL teams…..dont play on old school pitches

  3. Ian Godfrey

    February 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Totally agree with Bre and also some of the other comments (not the aggressive argumentative ones) where this article was originally posted (THFC1882).

    Personally this is tiresome, … – err, yes, I too was disappointed to draw this game, we all want to win. However frankly what does the man – Harry – have to do to convince some people? The fact is that in previous years this is precisely the kind of game we would not just have been miserable about drawing – because we would have lost. As it is, we did not lose, are still in the FA Cup with as much chance as anybody of winning it AND we remain 10 points ahead of the goons in third place in the league while only 5 away from ManUre in 2nd! Let’s enjoy the ride and cut out the ridiculous anti-Redknap theme.

  4. Ricky

    February 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    A pretty brainless piece of writing. He picked the fit players at his disposal and organised them to suit (Krancjar was ill before the match). Stevenage played to their strengths in difficult conditions and without our creative midfielders we struggled to break them down or get any fluency into our passing. But we kept a clean sheet and live to fight on.

  5. David

    February 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    This game was not unlike the game v Stoke except a good referee did his upmost to make a game of soccer out of what could well have passed for a Hull Kingston Rovers rugby practice. Not even Barca could have been fluent under these circumstances.

  6. kols

    February 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    i have never liked harry, did not want him. and dont always agree with his desicions. BUT he has done well and is doing well. i dont blame harry for this draw, it is just things that happends. it will end well. and harry is doing great. so stop blaming him before things go bad, it is one game, and we will beat stevenage at WHL. thats a fact. coys.

  7. spursguv

    February 22, 2012 at 7:09 am

    It just shows how fragile a team is and how difficult it is to build one. The opening statement about dawsons longball is enough for me. He’s the only guy who keeps doing it although 85% of em miss their targets and the ball comes straight back at an open defence. The sooner Harry gets rid of this idiot the better it will be. He’s the only player who hasn’t caught on yet that giving the ball away is a bad thing. Still he’s only been here for 6 years (guess) or sommat. In another 6 years he might get it. I’m sick of hearing him praising this n that as he aint got a clue. Taxi for doherty,,er I mean dawson..blimey are they twins? I also agree with the guy above..tho I can’t stand rednapp tbh..but as a manager he’ll cop the crap he should also get the praise. but thank god we have levy or we’d have a team of old farts and dills like dawson.

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