Why Harry Redknapp is no longer the manager to take Spurs forward

Let me preface this by saying that this blog post is not knee-jerk, it is not based purely off the back of two heavy defeats to the best two teams the English Premier League has to offer. These concerns have lingered and grown across the course of the last year, and this blog post is born out of the frustration that the issues I will discuss are rarely reported or deliberated in mainstream media. While one North London manager is pilloried in the press, another – whose team sits bottom of the league – sees his managerial ability remain unquestioned. Arsene Wenger has been heavily criticised in the wake of Arsenal’s 8-2 loss to Manchester United, and there have been calls for the “humiliated” manager’s head. But Harry Redknapp, who has guided his side to an 8-1 aggregate loss against the Manchester clubs, has received no such treatment. And that is perhaps understandable, given that Redknapp is generally an affable, jovial soul, only too happy to regale anecdotes about Paolo Di Canio, provide the media with a year’s worth of sound bites from a single press conference and make humorous quips about Darren “Sandra” Bent, or Samassi “He don’t speak the English too good” Abou. So here begins my Redknapp roast, and where better to start than ‘Arry’s relationship with the media.

Got time for a quick chat ‘Arry?

Ah, Harry and the press. It’s perhaps this issue which has driven the greatest wedge between Redknapp and the fans. Redknapp, it is perceived, uses the media for two purposes: self-preservation and self-promotion. Since February, Spurs’ form has been nothing short of disastrous (more to come on that later), but with every loss against bottom half opposition or humbling home draw came an excuse from the manager: “Well, that’s football.” “It was just one of those days.” “It’s a funny old game.” But Spurs enjoyed “one of those days” with greater frequency than any other side with top four aspirations did last season, and there was a worrying lack of willingness from Redknapp to take responsibility for defeat or even accept that there was a problem (instead listing the sums of money spent by Spurs’ top four rivals). Every conceded goal or dropped point(s) was accompanied by a defence that deflected blame away from Redknapp, whether it be injuries, fixture congestion, a refereeing error, luck or a stroke of genius from the opposition. When questioned after Spurs’ 2-2 draw against West Brom at home (having conceded a late equaliser), Redknapp said, “Everyone has results like that […] We had the game in the bag and then the kid hit a worldy [shot]. It was unreal. He could try that every day for the next six years and he would not be able to do that again.” Redknapp opted not to mention how open the game had obviously been before West Brom equalised (a problem he could have rectified with his one remaining substitution), and failed to note that this was not the first time a lower half, relegation fighting side had matched Spurs. A manager who cannot accept that there is a problem will never find a solution, and two weeks later Spurs were held to a draw at home to Blackpool.

Another bugbear is the ease with which Redknapp puts down the club and insults the fans. He’s launched tirades against the “idiots” who phone up radio shows and dare to question Spurs’ form. “If they don’t enjoy the football being played at the lane, they don’t know football,” snarled Redknapp. Yet only one side (Birmingham) in the Premier League played more long balls than Spurs last season, and the aesthetic Redknapp promotes is far from enjoyable as a result. Last season, in the league, Spurs fans would struggle to recall more than three halves of genuinely exhilarating football. But “this is the best they’ve ever had it” is the mantra that Redknapp uses to describe the 2010/2011 season, a remark that is highly derogatory to the club’s past (particularly the attractive and silverware-winning football played under Bill Nicholson, as well as the ‘push and run’ football created by Arthur Rowe), while also failing to recognise that Redknapp won nothing last year (even Juande Ramos managed a Carling Cup) and Spurs finished in the same league position as they did under Martin Jol in both 05/06 and 06/07 (despite Jol having a far inferior squad). In fact, Redknapp went as far as to say (in a pre-match interview on ITV4 ahead of Spurs’ Europa League clash with Hearts) that Spurs “won’t have a better season [than last year] for the next 20 years.” Comments such as this underline both Redknapp’s lack of ambition, and his frustrating tendency to lower the success that should be expected of Spurs in order to exaggerate the job he has done at the club. He constantly puts down the club (to whom he is employed) which elevates the relative success he has had: “The fans had nothing before I got here.” “I brought Champions League football to a club that had never had it.” “Two points from eight games.” Harry’s use of the media always has an element of self-interest. Whereas a manager such as Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson will use the media to assist their team (for example, putting extra emphasis on a particular dimension of the game – Wenger highlights the roughness of the opposition, “Fergie time” etc.), Redknapp uses media to make himself look better. While Redknapp is happy to pat himself on the back, a lone voice in the Tottenham squad offered a different appraisal of Spurs’ season (a view that mirrors that of many fans): “Even if people say ‘you had a great season’, I don’t think so,” says William Gallas. “To get to the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the first attempt was amazing for Tottenham but everyone is upset because we got nothing at the end. When we play against the small teams, maybe – I say maybe – we thought we had won before we played, so perhaps that’s the mistake we made.”

The Modric situation

Redknapp’s methods of deflection were plain to see in his post-match press conference after Spurs’ most recent defeat against Man City (Spurs’ biggest home defeat for eight years). Many people would concede that Spurs’ central midfield duo of Niko Kranjcar and Luka Modric were totally incapable of dealing with City’s attack, and offered no protection to an often exposed back four. Rather than address the obvious shortcomings of his team selection, Redknapp called upon his ace in the hole: Luka Modric. “Luka’s head wasn’t right again. He came to see me at 12pm and he told me he didn’t feel his head was right.” And with that, all post-match discussion was deflected onto Modric’s shoulders. Redknapp went on to explain how difficult pre-season had been, with the implication being that the Modric ordeal had unsettled Spurs’ preseason preparations. Redknapp’s stance throughout the ongoing Modric saga has been inconsistent to say the least. Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, made it plainly and explicitly clear that Modric was not for sale, but it is not a sentiment that has been echoed by Redknapp: “When a player wants to be somewhere else, sometimes it’s better to sell them. Maybe you would get three or four players in to make you a better team. If Luka really had his mind made up and he wasn’t going to be happy and get on with it, then sometimes you’re better off letting him go, there’s no doubt about that.” Redknapp has fanned the flames regarding the Modric situation by not toeing the line set by the chairman and has sent mixed message to the diminutive Croatian. It could have been perceived that Redknapp’s friendly, sympathetic approach to Modric’s plight was designed to keep Modric on side and provide an empathetic figure within the club’s hierarchy. But now Redknapp has betrayed Modric’s trust and risked destabilising him further. It’s also worth noting that Redknapp has been highly critical of the dark forces that have turned Modric’s head, yet he has used the media to essentially tap up Scott Parker who is widely expected to sign for Tottenham within the next 24 hours. Many of the concerns up until now might be dismissed as largely superficial or overly sensitive, but Redknapp’s flaws extend beyond this use of the media.

Form from February 2011 onwards

Spurs’ league form since February has been terrible. Between February 22nd and the end of last season, Spurs have won just three times, drawing against Wolves, West Ham, Wigan, Arsenal, West Brom and Blackpool – four of those teams were involved in a relegation fight. In all competitions, from February 15th until now, Spurs have played 18 games, won four, drawn seven and lost seven. Is that really the best Spurs have ever had it, as Redknapp insists? Spurs picked up just four points from a possible 24 in eight games against Blackpool, Wigan, West Ham and West Brom, and only managed to keep as many clean sheets as Blackburn, who finished just four points above the drop. Juande Ramos was in charge of 54 games at Spurs in all competitions. He won 21, drew 16 and lost 17. In Redknapp’s last 54 games, he has won 22, drawn 17 and lost 15. That’s 83 points for Redknapp and 79 points for Ramos – a difference of just four points over 54 games. Ramos was ridiculed, Redknapp is applauded.

Tactics

Ask Redknapp about tactics and he’s more likely to describe the green and orange mints. The low estimation with which Redknapp holds tactics is well known, but it’s worth reiterating. “You can argue about formations, tactics and systems forever, but to me football is fundamentally about the players,” says Redknapp. “Whether it is 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, the numbers game is not the beautiful game in my opinion. It’s 10 per cent about the formation and 90 per cent about the players. If you have the best ones and they do their job, then they can pretty much play any way you want them to.” Redknapp’s disregard of tactics is further backed up by Rafael van der Vaart, who described life at Tottenham as such, “It feels like I’m back on the street. There are no long and boring speeches about tactics, like I was used to at Real Madrid. There is a clipboard in our dressing room but Harry doesn’t write anything on it! It’s very relaxed. The gaffer gives us the line-up 20 minutes before we go out to do our warm-up. And the only words he speaks to me are ‘You play left or right, work hard, have fun and show the fans your best’.” Anders Svensson, who played under Redknapp at Southampton, has echoed van der Vaart’s comments, saying that Redknapp lacked any kind of tactical knowledge and the team did zero tactical training.

Jonathan Wilson has argued that it may be the case that “Redknapp is better at intuitively understanding a game and feeling what needs changing than he is at envisioning a match beforehand.” Spurs’ fabled slow starts last season – such as against Fulham (4-0 down inside the first 45 minutes), Inter Milan (4-0 down inside 35 minutes) and Young Boys (3-0 down inside 28 minutes) – would certainly indicate a pre-match failing with regard to how the team should initially be set up. But the substitute-fuelled comebacks that lend weight to Wilson’s theory have dried up in 2011, and Redknapp’s changes (or lack of) have begun to cost Spurs.

In the latter half of last season, Spurs found themselves unable to see out games (with Redknapp often reacting too slowly to try and close out a game). Against Birmingham away, Spurs spent 62 minutes in the lead and though the tide had visibly turned in Birmingham’s favour, Redknapp did not act. Birmingham equalised. Against Wolves away, Spurs were leading for 39 minutes. Redknapp made three attacking substitutions in that period of time, bringing on Kranjcar, Bale and Lennon. The game opened up and with minutes remaining, Wolves equalised. Against West Brom at home, Spurs were in the lead for 15 minutes. With the match far too open, the tempo far too quick and the midfield far too high, Redknapp again refused to make a defensive change. West Brom equalised. Just three times in the 10/11 season did Redknapp make a defensive change before the 80th minute. Redknapp appears reticent to making negative changes that have the potential to backfire on him. So with regard to Wilson’s earlier comment, Redknapp is specifically a manager who reacts instinctively when behind, when there’s nothing to lose, when he can afford to throw caution to the wind. However, this season has seen Redknapp’s attacking changes only ensure the capitulation of his side. Against Manchester United, Spurs had coped relatively well with Man Utd for 60 minutes. After conceding, Redknapp brought Huddlestone and Pavlyuchenko on in place of Livermore and Kranjcar. Pavlyuchenko and Defoe have never worked well together as a strike partnership, but Redknapp’s switch to a 4-4-2 with the barely fit Huddlestone and van der Vaart in central midfield eliminated any chance Spurs had of getting something from the match. The game opened up and Man Utd cut through Spurs with ease.

Along with Redknapp’s mistrust of “the numbers game” and his frequently awkward use of substitutions, there is a plethora of other tactical issues that Redknapp has failed to grasp (though I won’t bore you by dissecting each individual point): Spurs set-pieces offensively and defensively are poor (despite possessing gifted set-piece takers), Redknapp’s integration of youth last season was almost non-existent (on several occasions, Redknapp listed two goalkeepers on his substitutes bench rather than giving youth a chance), the overreliance on the long ball (three of the Premier League’s top five exponents of the long ball last season were Spurs players: Dawson, Assou-Ekotto and Huddlestone), inability to breakdown deep defences, mismanagement of strikers (Pavlyuchenko’s goals to games ratio was one goal every 159 minutes – that strike rate, over 38 games, would have produced 21.5 goals), Redknapp’s failure to effectively accommodate van der Vaart in 2011, the ineffective use of Bale on the right of midfield and many more.

Injuries

Another criticism of Redknapp’s management that is worth extrapolation is the vast number of injuries we have endured under his leadership. According to Four Four Two, Spurs suffered more injuries than any other side last season – a massive 61 individual injuries. That resulted in an accumulative total of 1528 days lost through injury (the 4th highest in the Premier League), and no one Spurs player was available for every league game across the whole season. In the 2011/12 season already, Gallas, King, Huddlestone, van der Vaart, Pienaar, Modric, Palacios, Sandro and Jenas have all picked up injuries (some more serious than others, such as van der Vaart’s groin tear which will keep him out for several months). Though we’re not privy to the goings on behind-the-scenes, it is believed to be the case that each player follows a standardised, generic training regime, unlike at other clubs where each player is given a tailored, individual training plan to suit their particular needs. Fitness coach Raymond Verheije used Spurs’ preseason injury troubles to highlight the inefficiency of coaching: “As long as football coaches do the wrong football exercises at the wrong time or in the wrong sequence these injury crises keep happening […] Clubs like Spurs have staff to avoid injuries but Modric, Pienaar, Jenas, Huddlestone, Sandro Gallas and King injured before start of season […] But as long as people keep looking for excuses for these ridiculous injury crises the problem will never be solved. Players deserve better!”

The situation at Spurs is exacerbated by Redknapp’s reluctance to rotate his squad, and his insistence on playing players too soon (and for too long) after injury, and even fielding players unfit to play. Kyle Walker had picked up a bug prior to playing Man Utd last week, but Redknapp selected him regardless. Walker came off after 45 minutes having vomited at half-time, but not before being given the run around by Ashley Young. Similarly, Aaron Lennon was ill prior to Spurs’ trip to the Bernabeu. Despite his insistence that he could not play, Redknapp selected him in his starting XI. Lennon pulled out of the team at the last minute. Redknapp, typically, was quick to criticise Lennon, who in return wrote on Twitter: “Saying I fell ill be4 the game is bull***. I fell ill on Sunday morning where the med team put me on anti botics [sic], but only got worse b4 tues […] Believe me this is 1 game I did no wnt to miss and still devo now!!!! But will not be made a scapegoat saying they only knew jus b4 KO.” Players are regularly thrust into first team action too quickly after a long lay-off – for example, after a few weeks on the sidelines, Jermaine Jenas started against Werder Bremen at home in the Champions League. He lasted just 19 minutes before limping off. Jonathan Woodgate, a player who made just four appearances in two years at Spurs, has already made four appearances for new club Stoke City in the space of a couple of weeks – with Spurs still seeking for a new centre-back, did Redknapp’s poor injury management result in Spurs losing a quality central defender who could have contributed this season?

Redknapp’s transfer record

Redknapp has been hit and miss with regard to player acquisitions to say the least. His initial signings in January 2009 were designed to stop the rot and propel Spurs out of the relegation zone, and in that respect they were successful. However, Redknapp now finds himself in the predicament of having to replace signings he had originally made. Spurs are open to offers for their entire (misfiring) strike force, which includes Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe (bought for a combined total of approximately £25m by Redknapp), while Robbie Keane (purchased for £12m) has left White Hart Lane for boyhood club LA Galaxy in a deal worth £3.5m – Redknapp has had three windows to rectify Spurs’ blunt strike force, though as yet his only signing is Emmanuel Adebayor on loan. In fact, much of the so-called “deadwood” in Redknapp’s bloated squad were signed by him, like Sebastien Bassong, Niko Kranjcar and Wilson Palacios, who is on the verge of signing for Stoke. Additionally, Redknapp has made several very odd signings that have made little to no contribution, such as Pascal Chimbonda and Jimmy Walker. Interestingly, Spurs’ best performers were at the club before Redknapp joined. Luka Modric, Michael Dawson, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon were bought in previous managerial reigns, while Redknapp ousted a number of players who went on to excel at other clubs. Last year Darren Bent scored 17 league goals – almost twice the number of league goals scored by Keane, Crouch and Defoe combined – while Adel Taarabt and Kevin-Prince Boateng have shone at QPR and AC Milan respectively. Redknapp would like to have you believe that he inherited a relegation scrapping side that he has overachieved with, when in fact the quality of the Spurs squad prior to Redknapp’s messianic arrival was extremely high. Spurs’ best signings during Redknapp’s years at the club have been Sandro and Rafael van der Vaart – the former was scouted and brought to the club by chief scout Ian Broomfield (and not given much game time until 2011 when injury necessitated his inclusion in the team), and the latter was a deadline day present from chairman Levy. Redknapp’s summer 2011 transfer targets have been worryingly short-sighted, targeting players well into their 30s, like Brad Friedel and Scott Parker. Redknapp’s most recent quotes on Joe Cole (“I like Joe, and I am not going to say I don’t want to sign him because I would be lying”), a player who has flattered to deceive for the past few years, hardly endear him to the Tottenham faithful. There is also a question mark over Redknapp’s ability to spot talent. He opted out of a move for Luis Suarez, unsure of his suitability to lead the line on his own (though after his impressive start to life in the Premier League with Liverpool, Redknapp – in typical Redknapp fashion – quickly pointed his finger at Spurs’ scouts, “people thought he couldn’t play up as a striker […] They said he’s like Rafa [van der Vaart] and you can’t have him and Rafa”). It’s never ‘Arry’s fault.

Longevity

I’m coming to the end of my Redknapp rant now (*breaths sigh of relief*), but there’s time for one last point regarding the stability argument put forward by defenders of Redknapp. One way or another, Redknapp will not be in charge of Tottenham Hotspur FC on the opening day of the 2012/13 season. Whether it be because of the soon-to-be-vacant England job, poor results this season or an imminent court date with HMRC, the last thing Redknapp offers now is long term stability. He won’t be around long enough to build a legacy. Every Spurs fan is grateful to Redknapp for the job he has done, but he’s no longer the right man to take Tottenham forward in the long term. Hiring Redknapp – who put an arm around the players’ shoulders, created a relaxed atmosphere and didn’t make the players work particularly hard in training – was the necessary antidote to the authoritarian rule of Juande Ramos – who worked the players incredibly hard (employing gruelling fitness schedules), had no relationship with the players and overemphasised and over taught tactics. Redknapp was so effective because his methods were the polar opposite of those that had left the players so disillusioned, unhappy and alienated under Ramos. But now it is evident that a once happy camp under Redknapp is fractured. Redknapp has proven to be tactically inept, fairly impotent in the transfer market and Spurs’ current form in 2011 threatens to undo the excellent work Redknapp had done in bringing Champions League football to White Hart Lane. If Redknapp does not recognise these flaws he can never correct them, and that will cost Spurs a very attainable spot in the top four this season.

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204 Responses to Why Harry Redknapp is no longer the manager to take Spurs forward

  1. Hello – I agree with your article entirely. I’m a Celtic fan with no axe to grind against Spurs but the lack of criticism Redknapp gets is incredible. If he wasn’t ‘Lovable, Jovial ‘Arry’ the press would slaughter him – particularly for the cack-handed way he’s dealt with the Modric situation. An interesting read.

  2. CJ says:

    Spot on. Brilliant article mate, agree with everything put.

  3. thelibduck says:

    If you really want to fall out of love with Redknapp, look into those delas for Jimmy Walker and Chimbonda again.

    A keeper released from west ham, and refused by serveral league 1 teams in trials for their 2nd GK position. And yet Spurs sign him. I wonder who on earth his agent was *cough*? I wonder how much this agent netted even though it was a free transfer *couch*.

    Likewise Chimbonda re-signed. Didn’t play. Sold to BBurn. Nobody benefitted from that did they? Except perhaps Willie McKay – the guy criminally implicated with redknapp in previous bungs, who famously bought him a racehorse?

    Interesting to see we’ve shot up in the ‘Club by Club Agent Fees’ league table since he came. I wonder how much of that went to Crouch’s agent Bartlet (also has long history with harry). Cough *1.25 million*

    • Menace says:

      Your not saying Harry is Bent……oops Harry had Bent and sold him for a song.

    • Sam says:

      Last year I was seeing a physio who worked under Redknapp whilst he was manager of West Ham, and let’s just say that he was less than complementary of Redknapp’s “tactics” with regards to transfers, and that the dispute which lead to Redknapp leaving West Ham was basically when the owner discovered that Redknapp had been taking a large chunk of the transfer fee himself, which meant he had to walk out the next day so that it did not look like he had been sacked for any wrong-doing.

      Also this is a brilliant article!

    • Eoghan Donnelly says:

      look at thelibduck’s last word in the second paragrah… couch…. fail

  4. bobbychuffer says:

    A lot of good points.

    But I don’t see how a place in the top 4 is very attainable when you look at the spending of other clubs (MU,MC,L,C), and I don’t trust Levy to get a replacement manager, particularly if he has to pay compensation.

    Basically Redknapp and Levy are two halves of the problem.

    • eastanglianspur says:

      Spot on. The sooner he builds that new stadium and f***s off the better it will be for club. Hopefully he’ll have sacked Redknapp before that.

    • jgrady12345 says:

      If it wasn’t for Andy Carroll, Liverpool would be in net profit with regard to spending since Dalglish arrived. Manchester United are in net transfer profit since the end of Season 09-10 (OK mostly funded by Ronaldo), so it’s not all about spending. Ask any Portsmouth fan what they think about Jamies’s Dad (most can’t even bear to say his name)

  5. kernowboy71 says:

    Brilliant

  6. ben norris says:

    Mate, awesome job, Redknapp reminds me of Venables, doesnt matter what he does he is bulletproof.

    • eastanglianspur says:

      He’s well in with Sir Bacon Chops + a horse owner to boot so now moving in the ‘right’ circles – add fire proof to bullet proof. LOL

  7. Ciaran says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

  8. Tom Davies says:

    Meh. I can take him or leave him. What worries me more right now is Levy and his transfer window methods and where the CL money has gone. Because its not on signings.

  9. This is a ridiculous article, we’ve had little or no success for decades, he’s the first manager to get us into the Champs league, he got us out of being relegated, we’ve been consistently a good team since he arrived. What are people expecting? You aren’t going to win the premiership unless you spend BIG, Wenger will testify to that, Harry and Levy have been very shrewd in the transfer market since the debacle of Bentley and co. Sure we lost Carrick and Berbs, but did it make any difference to the team, no! Harry isn’t perfect but how many better managers are there??

    • Mike says:

      Try Coyle, Moyes, Martinez, Biallis, even Hodgson, although failing at liverpool isn’t the best advertisement. Plenty of better managers than ‘Arry’ who understand the game tactically and don’t speak utter rubbish and blame all but themselves when things go wrong.

    • sswsw says:

      YOU ARE DELUDED. ”Sure we lost Carrick and Berbs, but did it make any difference to the team, no!” I suggest you start supporting another team because you dont have a clue.

    • Paddy says:

      But you have spent big. Tottenham have spent millions under Redknapp, but he seems more interested in signing impact players than actually building a squad. Every year there are new signings to replace an out-of-form player instead of working hard to get the already existing team sorted as a unit. It’s exactly what the OP said, Redknapp lacks tactical and training knowledge.

  10. Romeoindiakiloindia says:

    As a spurs fan I have had mixed feelings about Harry for a while now, A few of my mates are exactly of the same viewpoint as yourself and were calling it back in Oct/ Nov time 2010…

    The pressure is certainly on Harry now to prove the fans wrong, because a large base of us are starting to get very critical of his media appearances not to mention his relationship with Levy which looks rather shaky at the minute in light a complete lack of transfer ambition, which is just screaming disharmony behind the scenes…

    Hopefully, we’re all wrong and he can start pulling it together, either that or we seriously need a new manager sooner rather than later. Sorry Harry we all know it was “2 points 8 games” but unless something miraculous happens (I dare say it’s too late to even start taking back responsibility for mishaps!), we need someone new to take us to the next level!

    Great article by the way, gives amazing perspective on his leadership.

  11. lb says:

    bang on mate top writeing..

  12. Joe says:

    Excellent article mate. Good to see that more and more Spurs fans are starting to look past the media hype.

    • Tom Davies says:

      Forget the media hype then, how about the league table? It mugs you lot right off.

      If the author of this blog was walking down the street and came to a sudden halt, people like you would end up sneezing shit you got your heads so far up his arse.

      • Ewan Roberts says:

        FWIW, we could have gone third last season had we beaten Blackpool. We lost 3-1. We’ve been in this position before and cocked it up, we’re only 11 games into a 38 game season. From your perspective, if we were to lose the next few games, would that suddenly “prove” my points accurate in your view? Probably not. I stand by all the points I made, I believe they are as relevant now as they were in August. I will happily admit that Redknapp is without doubt the best Spurs manager in my lifetime. By a mile. But that’s not to say that just because we’ve had worse doesn’t mean we can’t have better, or that he isn’t without faults. We use the mediocrity we endured for years as a barometer for everything. Any criticism of Redknapp is often met with “Where were you during Sugar’s reign?” or something similar. Why use such a low point in the history of Spurs to measure our relative success? I personally see Redknapp like I saw Wilson Palacios: Palacios was exactly what we needed at the time, he sparked us to life, he was arguably the best defensive midfielder we’d had for a very long time. But we outgrew him, the team evolved beyond him – and I believe the same is true of Redknapp (for the reasons outlined in the article). Undoubtedly Redknapp is a good manager, he’s got us purring, but can I ever see us winning anything with him? No – because at the highest level of football, the game almost becomes a chess match between opposing managers (Ferguson v Wenger, Mourinho v Benitez, Mourinho v Guardiola) and Redknapp often loses out in high level tactical battles. We plays one expansive, entertaining way, no matter the opposition. We can be out-thought, we can be overawed by a specific, premeditated game plan because we are so predictable, so easy to read. As much as it may not seem like it, I’d love for Redknapp to win something with us. But I just can’t ever see us lasting the distance in the league over 38 games (and winning the league has to be a long term objective – sometimes we get so caught up in the race for Champions League football and Sky’s “Big Four” that we lose sight of the fact that you win nothing for finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th), nor do I believe Redknapp can engineer a gameplan to beat the better teams in knockout competitions. But the crux of my initial post was focusing on the long term, and us taking the next step from top four contenders to title contenders. Can Redknapp make that step? I’m not convinced (even if we are flavour of the month right now). And, one way or another (England job, health, tax case), I think it’s entirely probable that Redknapp won’t be here come the start of the next season.

      • Dan T says:

        Hindsight is funny. How about the league table now? Good job the season is nearly over. Only Wolves have taken less points over the last 9 games. Relegation in 2012-13 if the FA come to their senses and don’t appoint ‘Arry.

  13. Spang says:

    It’s hard to disagree with any of the points here, which makes me sad ;(

    Given the spending of the top 2-3 teams, no way we can compete. I’m resigned to fighting for 4-6th spot, which is still better than most of the teams in the league, so can’t complain. If this is the case, then lets play good attacking football but with a solid defence (as opposed to our current attack at all costs and win or lose big), get the kids into the team (slowly, without ruining them), and build a squad we can be proud of.

    And in the meantime, get that new stadium.

  14. Excellent read. Someone send this to Levy. He needs to see these points.

  15. Great post. Send it to Levy if you can. I’ve always thought Harry was a crap manager. The rest of the country will figure it out of he does get the England job. Hoping Levy gets something done before the deadline closes. (Seeing the Hargreaves story doesn’t help)

  16. stevengray06e says:

    Great stuff. Last spring and this summer were so disappointing for the club, given how close it was to breaking the top 4 barrier on a regular basis.

  17. steve h says:

    triffic read, first class, agreed with all the above for a long time now. very interesting what thelibduck put in the comments underneath & may explain someway to why our transfer dealings seem shot to pieces at the moment!

  18. Frank says:

    Fantastic Ewan, right on the money and indeed, what many of us have been trying to articulate for months.

  19. Pete says:

    Loved the article, a fascinating read as a Spurs fan, however you have failed to mention that it was under Harry that we managed to finish 4th and get into the C.L. or that we came from behind to win more games than anybody else last season. Also, I’m not totally sure that you would have published this article if we had even won a point from our first two league games this season.

  20. StopTheRot says:

    Very much agree with everything you have said. Harry has been his own merchant of spinning bullshit to the media to protect his own back and in the media eyes he cant do no wrong as he is always providing them with a quip. He is fast being found out by many Spurs fans and going by the amount that agree with your article it seems to be gathering pace. He is not the messiah he seems to think he is but passes the blame with excuses onto other things. It is never his fault. Lame manager at best.

  21. How dare you criticise the main who last season gave us the greatest season ever ! Better than the double season, better than the seasons we won the FA Cup two years in a row, better than the seasons we won the UEFA Cup, the Cup Winner’s Cup and the seasons we won the League Cup. In fact better than all the seasons when we actually won something.

    • Dave Darby says:

      Sorry Paul. I totally disagree with you there mate. The Burkinshaw era was fantastic mate. Excluding Sir Bill, Burky has brought more trophies to the lane than any other manager in such a short space of time.
      Can you also say that the Champions league season was better than the 1986/87 season when we have Pleaty at the helm? I can’t Paul. That was a fantastic season albeit we didnt win bugger all….3rd in league, Fa cup runners up and semi finalists in the mickey mouse cup.

    • James147 says:

      Actually Paul, you’re funnier than you think you are! And I agree completely. Harry doesn’t half talk a lot of arse sometimes.

  22. ChicagoBill says:

    Harry has his strengths but they do not suit a club looking to be a permanent top 4 club. This is demonstrated by (1) Harry’s attitude towards transfers (Harry only wants proven PL players) and (2) his inability to instill a footballing philosophy that flows throughout the club (eg Barcelona, Spurs under Bill N, Man U under Mr red face or the scum under AW).

    Under Bill N, Tottenham went out and bought untested players that fitted his needs (Cliff Jones, Dave Mackay,John White, Maurice Norman, Jimmy G, etc). Now Sir Alex goes out and buys two young stars (Stephen Jones and Ashley Young) that will serve Man U for years. We just bought Stephen Pienaar who looks like a downgrade from Jamie O’Hara or Steed Malbranque, a 40+ goalkeeper and soon a 31 year old midfielder who has 2 or 3 years left at best. Where are the 20 year old budding stars? If Diamio is the right striker, don’t hedge just go out, pay a premium and get him NOW

  23. sammo10 says:

    Could not agree any more with this. It sums up all my feelings about him, but all I hear is ‘Harry got us top four !’.
    Like you said harry is not here more more than a year longer. that shows in his signings. He has no interest in our future, only next season. That is why we have two loans, a forty year old and a thirty year old coming in. He is very arrogant, and needs to stop talking for the players benefit.

    Great Post.

    • SPURSINCE82 says:

      try vulgar and entirely insular in his (outlook towards our club fans). cannot wait to see the back of this epicself serving twat !!! we got ourselves top four he got us out of it simples and if you disagree and hav the time look at the results to prove it. he talks the team down not up when he wants to clear himself of responsibility and vice versa when he wants to gloat.. classless – trophyless – cluessless chancer pikee (in his values). He has served us and now we need to shit him back out … before he doe us.

      coyyffss

  24. Ben says:

    Fantastic article, hit the nail on the head of every point there is to be made.

  25. Jonathan Lines says:

    great read! can’t fathom how Harry never ever gets criticised in the media. the Redknapp vs Ramos overall record very interesting!

    a few things i’d like to add: 1) the moaning he does to detract from how bad his team plays at times. whingeing they can’t be expected to play thursday and sunday! everyone else copes just fine!! spanish internationals don’t seem to mind playing 60 games a season.

    2) his ‘top man-management skills’. ask darren bent if he agrees with that!! chucked off harry’s boat and he’s banged the goals in ever since

    3) his complete hypocrisy and disregard for fans which you touched on. October 2010: “there’s no reason why we can’t win the league”. his team can’t live up to it, so when fans are a bit upset after some bad results by the new year Harry then comes out with fans have unrealistic expectations we can’t win every game. quote: “I just find it hard how everyone seems to expect so much” – this after draws with west ham, wigan, baggies, blackpool, 3 of them at home. makes me angry thinking about it and i’m not even a spurs fan!

    and one more thing: Giovani Dos Santos

    great read though glad to see some people see through Arry

    • DUBCAT 85 says:

      Fantastic article not much more i can add that hasn’t already been said. Dos Santos is never mentioned i thought i was the only one who saw that one. He’s a decent 5 a-side lad other than that useless. The one big worry i had when ‘arry took over was his shocking financial state of every club he’d ever put his foot through the door of, Southhamton,PORTSMOUTH,West Ham, Bournmouth, SPURS? The fear of becoming another Leeds was always my fear. Harry for England anybody??????

      • Dan says:

        Let England have him because the sooner he fucks the national side up people will realise he’s a corrupt blagger and the games better off without him amen.

    • Mdri says:

      thats right…gio dos santos….freakin redknapp just dont let him play nor sell him…..he’s just destroying his career…not even 2 games in a row….we cant judge gio for playing 1 game every 3 months…..if u are not using him, let him go!¡!¡!¡! just look what he did on Racing when they let them play…..great lad, stupid manager

  26. Spoondog says:

    Really really good article. Excellently written & spot on in all respects.

    Nice to see someone is paying attention & not simply hiding behind the fact we can’t compete financially with the bigger spenders. We managed to progress from perennial mid table plodders to being consistently in the top 5 without existing beyond our means, and given the players at our disposal should be there or thereabouts again this season.

    Now we have added a decent striker the only thing I can see that is likely to hold us back is the shortcomings of the manager, and worryingly it is looking more and more likely that Harry will ultimately cost us. If this does prove to be the case we could end up losing most of the quality players that got us moving in the right direction, so whilst I obviously hope he’ll prove he’s got what it takes to turn things around – it increasingly seems that everything he says and does screams that he’s totally lost the plot.

  27. D.Mo says:

    You should write for publications bigger than this. Excellent read.

  28. Les says:

    Spot on article. Looks like some of the players have lost their respect and patience with their chatty manager as well as many of the fans. Lennon running straight in the dressing room after being taken off on Sunday and van der Vaart didn’t look too happy either (not the first time). If football is like Harry says 10% about tactics and 90% about the players then what benefit does he contribute for the team when players stop having faith in him? If Harry’s best skill is to motivate then perhaps he should have an other role in the club and leave the football managing to someone who knows how to bring their ideas into how the team is playing.

  29. Hugh says:

    Spot on. Another issue that I have wondered about is the fact that Bale had been healthy and training all season before he got his chance becuase of injury. Did he never show anything in training. Same with Sandro. I would think that they would impress some in training yet they were only given a chance due to injuries.
    Also, we finally get a striker and I can see the headlines now if Adebayor starts banging in the goals. “Harry gets the best out of inconsistent Adebayor.” He seems to only want transfers that either A) he already knows or B) will make him look good. I still cannot believe he did not want to sign Suarez but has signed Crouch and Defoe multiple times.

  30. peterballb says:

    Article is what many have been saying since December 2009 when all of this was so obvious. Yes, we qualified for CL with the best talent I have seen in a Spurs club for over 3 decades while the so called top 4 in the EPL have been weaker than ever before. We also threw away 21 points in games we dominated while finishing 4th. Just taking max points from the relegated lot from last season and we’d have finished 2nd. That’s right folks, this team has under-achieved. Harry gets a pass. Pienaar – 2nd worst signing under Harry (Chimbonda was worse). Harry has learned nothing. He is a hack as a manager. Jol, with far inferior talent just missed 4th against a much tougher top 4 and got 2 – 5th place finishes. Ramos, with far inferior talent won the Carling Cup. Tactically brilliant. I’d have never fired him. He was on the right track. He just had a new keeper, new backs,new MF’ers and the strikers (Berba and Keane) that were probably the best duo in the PL, have still not been replaced. 8 games to get it all right. Hardly adequate. The team was never going to get relegated. We had managed rto get in the group stages of Europe and had advanced in the CC. How’d we do in the CC last season? What about the disgusting FA Cup loss to Pompey? The disgrace in Madrid? Sorry, tactically inept, beyond belief. This team was on the verge of a dynasty. One or two players needed. WE did nothing. All Harry’s fault? No. But he is responsible for everything on the pitch. How much did Modric seem to want to go through the wall for him? Or VDV? How much did the red cards of Defoe and Crouch cost us? These are his favourites. These are the guys who he plays regardless. One thing I will say, Harry is Harry. Was the same at West Ham, Southampton and Pompey. Where are they all now? History is a tough master if you refuse to learn from it. Has Harry? Don’t really care. His feelings for the fans are clear. He may well be a great person, but as a manager, he is a loud mouthed hack. Rodney Dangerfield comes to mind. COYS

  31. Great read. Redknapp is the most over-rated manager in the PL. His ineptness and stupidity have been cleverly covered by his “good ‘ole boy” persona and his masterly manipulation of the media for the purpose of self preservation. Eventually, however, the cover will be removed and Redknapp will be revealed for what he really is–a poor leader and an atrocious con man! We can only hope that the imminent damage to our beloved team is minimal before Levy sees through Redknapp’s shenanigans.

  32. garageman_mike says:

    Great read. Can’t wait for the guy to be replaced. Thinking Levy has a long term plan though, hence Harry’s lack of involvement in transfers this year. Season of transition, anyone?

  33. Siv says:

    Despite harry’s achievements, this article is, im afraid, spot on. No true Spur’s fan will ever forget what harry has done the seasons prior. He gave us a life-line, we enjoyed the rush and now hungover, we are banging at harry to scrape another life giving line. The present counts in football and what happens over the next few games will be a gauge on whether harry has the qualities to take the team to the next level, consistent top 4. Only then can we think of challenging for the title. He missed a great change last season; liverpool was in transition, arsenal was in wane, and man u was the only team interested in winning the league. Not building on that amazing season was his first mistake. Harry is now looking increasingly at odds with the club, the fans and the players. His constant media whoring acts is not helping his cause either.

    2points from 8 games with owen coyle in next? Anyone?… I wait with bated breath.

  34. Ronnie says:

    What a great piece of writing. The research for this article must have been intensive.

    I just want to say I agree with everything that you say! Thanks for exposing what is obvious to anyone that allows his intelligence to see beyond Redknapp’s self promotion. Over to you Daniel Levy…please don’t hesitate to take action until its too late.

  35. I think you’re right about Harry being exceptional at bringing a club forward from the brink but he is now out of his depth. He may be great for England (let’s hope so) but there have been too many months of nothing at Tottenham. He still plays the same unsuccessful team and tactics – we all want forwards to run in the 6-yard box instead of booting long high balls … I could go on but you’ve said it all. So, who should lead Tottenham to glory?

  36. CJA says:

    Good points, well made. A shame it has to come to this, before the blinkers fall.

    I have no idea whether there is a problem between Redknapp & Levy – Levy is someone who doesn’t strike me as having a personality one can easily warm to, if at all – but no one is bigger than the club, no player, no Manager, no Chairman, yet here we are again, looking to stack all the pieces up, once more.

    Players & Managers are only as good as their last game, which would be a useful thing for both sides to remember.

    Thanks for the anecdotes, if not a lot else, ‘arry, now be a good chap & jog on over to Sky or the FA – whether it’s via Pentonville, doesn’t really matter – it’s the points on the board that show you up.

  37. DaveK says:

    A very well written and researched article.
    However, I think there is a certain lack of focus over Levy’s role in all this, particularly at the time of CL qualification. Failure to invest in the obvious deficiences of the team, and his ridiculous tactics in the transfer window, including failure to move on/give frees to the deadwood,, have made a big contribution to where we are today.

    You refer to the Bill Nicholson era (I was there and saw it) but fail to make the connection with one of the attributes that Harry and Bill have in common. Bill didn’t give great tactical talks, he just bought players who knew how to play the game, and signed a captain, controversial at the time, who was a leader on the pitch and had a great football brain. I think, because unlike so many who know, I haven’t discussed it with Harry, that he sees football the same way. However if the Chairman constantly does the shopping for you, or says you can sign who you like but they can’t earn more than (say) £30,000 a week (obscene I know) then transfer targets become limited.

    Of course, people point to Suarez and a collection of foreign bargains available, but being the football expert that I am, along with all the others on here, I agree with Harry re: Suarez and don’t think he’s that good. As for all the other bargains out there, I wait to be impressed when this tide of rejection eventually gets Harry out.

    The other side to this coin is a Chairman who has consistently screwed the club in terms of having no idea how to turn a vision into a reality leaving us without the revenue streams to compete for top class players. However, he really is lucky, because as this article demonstrates he will always have someone else to blame. Maybe Harry, having seen Levy’s teflon approach to disasters has been getting his retaliation in first before he is treated the same way as Jol.

    In conclusion I feel sure that you will all get what you want, sooner rather than later, but as to whether any serious football manager would want to work with a Chairman like Levy who has serially brought our great club into disrepute, is another matter.

  38. adampowley says:

    Excellent piece. Don’t agree with some of it (or more specifically the focus on Redknapp as the one who holds responsibility), but that’s not the point. Well argued reasoned and a very good contribution to the debate.

    For another viewpoint, I recommend the Top Spurs editorial

  39. S.O.S. says:

    excellent article. Basically sums up what most realistic people think. As backed up by the many many comments which agree with your article.

  40. Phischy says:

    Very good article. One I wish I’d written myself (I can offer no greater praise than that!!)

  41. Mark1961 says:

    Agree with everything you’ve said. Great article, I wish I could rant so coherently. I would add that Redknapp has a great deal of influence with the Press, players and Agents. He is at the apex of an unparalleled patronage culture within the game. It is not in anyone’s interests to point out the Emperor is naked.

  42. James Dunne says:

    Bet you all cant wait for ‘Arrys last minute ‘Wheelin ‘n’ Dealin’ tmora!

  43. Adam says:

    Please, not all the blame on harry, as far as i recall, it was almost the same squad that got us into the Champions league, since then we have got Sandro, VDV, Gallas. I blame the players..

  44. Rob says:

    Excellent article mate

  45. shivamlm says:

    Fantastic article.

  46. Mike Hall says:

    As a Pompey fan, I can only say that you could go through this piece with a find/replace, change Tottenham for Portsmouth and some (not all!) of the players name and it would equally apply.

    I commented many times when Spurs got Redknapp in that he was a good manager, could take a team from a to b quickly, lift everything on a wave of confidence and new signings and so on but that there would come a time…

    Shortly before Redknapp left us a second time we lost 6-0 to Man City.
    His answer to everything is to sign more players, but the problem is that when you get to a certain level, as Spurs had and we were getting towards, the only way a £10m player is going to be replaced by someone massively better is to sign one that costs £30m by and large.

    Even then, the improvement will be marginal unless you concentrate properly on a pattern of play, tactics and fitness. Pompey were left with an albatross round our necks in the shape of Utaka, (who ended up costing us about £15m in fees and wages) and Nugent. He couldn’t work out how to play Utaka or get the best out of him so made him a winger, despite the fact we scouted him twice as a n inside forward and he scored hat-tricks each time. Nugent was simply a total waste of money, and not helped by Harry reportedly saying in an overly loud voice “I’ve signed a right dud here” in about his third training session.

    Defoe and Crouch was an interesting one. The stats when they played together were truly amazing, something like a goal every 70 minutes from one of them. So he began to regularly refuse to pair them up front.

    We used to routinely concede the same sort of goals, (oppositions best header of ball left unmarked in six yard box from corners) etc. We often had early collapses away to the better sides and were well out of the game before we started playing.

    The list goes on. You’ve had everything you are going to get from Redknapp, now you are into squandering time and money. Every other club he has left has been bankrupt/relegated within a year or two. Legacy? Legacy of players who can’t be afforded and all want to leave/

  47. Meh says:

    Well, I don’t think you Spurs fans need to worry about Harry for much longer. Looks like he’ll be going down very soon, now that the CPS have got the US Department of Justice involved.

    http://harry-hotspur.com/2011/08/the-cps-harry-redknapp-295000-in-a-monaco-bank-account/

    I wonder which media outlet his only phone call in prison will be to

  48. pieman63 says:

    An excellent read. As a Pompey fan much of what you say – tactics, blame deflection, transfer dealings, media ‘love-in’, insulting the fans – were the same criticisms we were aiming at him a few years ago. He also gave us the “you’ve never had it so good” line despite the club winning back-to-back league titles in 48/49 and 49/50. An insult to the memory of a great team and some great players including Mr Pompey himself, Jimmy Dickinson.
    We were grateful, obviously, for the 2008 FA Cup win but it fell in our laps somewhat. Thanks for that Harry but you’re still an unpleasant individual and an overrated manager.

  49. jabbatheyid says:

    a totally cutting and accurate article which backs up my own thoughts on redknapp!!!

  50. ZeeZoo says:

    Brilliant article *doffs cap*

  51. Nav says:

    I’m a LIverpool fan that came across this via a Twitter RT. I have family that are season ticket holders at the Lane and the blog pretty much sums up how they have felt/feel. Harry reminds me of Hodgson at Liverpool in the way he always looks to lower expectation and look to blame everyone and and anyone when things start to go wrong. Hodgson’s view was that “my managerial methods over the last 20 years has been successful so why should I change them now…” Massively missing the point that yes, they were successful but for Fulham and the like.. This is the first time Harry has had to deal with expectation at a big club and he’s failing miserably.

    • TonyK says:

      Nav, totally agree with you. I, too am a Liverpool fan and I Redknapp has the same relationship with the media as Hodgson has. Woy got no grief from most of his media buddies for his disastrous time at LFC and then gets all the plaudits when he goes to West Brom (where he is doing a good job). I just don’t understand why the press has an issue with some foreign managers (eg Benitez) but our good old English guys can do no wrong.

    • Sean says:

      “This is the first time Harry has had to deal with expectation at a big club and he’s failing miserably.”

      I wouldn’t go as far as saying that… In a time when the top 3 in the Premiership (before arab billions came to man city) picked itself, he did very well to take Tottenham to top 4. Liverpool have spent £100m since January and have the messiah King Kenny in charge and Spurs absolutely embarrassed Liverpool Sunday. Liverpool were awful. Its not always down to the manager…. But I don’t think Harry has done that bad at Tottenham really. 4th and then 5th in his only 2 full seasons there… Think you Spuds fans are getting a bit beyond yourselves….

  52. rjmcculloch says:

    Absolutely brilliant article, lots of great points in here. ‘Arry has been a running joke between myself and several friends for the past year or so (supporters of various clubs). The frequency of his appearances on Sky Sports News over the summer, when he could and should have been busy arranging transfers, is absolutely baffling. As a Liverpool fan I know all too well from last season what it’s like to have a manager who never accepts responsibility for his mistakes, is lauded by the media in spite of all evidence, cannot handle the players and constantly lowers expectations to make himself look better. For a long time I had a bit of a soft spot for Spurs, but that has completely changed since Redknapp came in. Really feel sorry for the fans.

  53. Nav says:

    I should have added that I think Spurs have missed a trick in replacing him this summer. He desperately wants the England job and if he’s offered it next summer he’ll be off. Why wait for that to happen. Levy should have replaced him with a new manager this season and started the rebuilding process rather than waste another season under Redknapp only for him to leave next summer for England.

    • Jim Smith says:

      If, after avoiding a spell at HMP, he is offerred and takes the England job next year, what future does England have? The article and the comments above suggest that he has minimal tactical or formation awareness, and will choose the most expensive players on the transfer market. They’ll be sent on the pitch with a hearty “have fun, play your usual game, enjoy yourself” and we’ll lose to Cameroon or Nigeria or whoever. The press will have a field day at the post-match interview and ‘Arry will blame the players, goal post, pitch, weather, overlong season or whatever. One thing he won’t be able to do is to drip about being down to ‘the bare bones’ with about 200 players to chose from, and England won’t be bankrupt like Bournemouth, West Ham, Portsmouth and Southampton were when he left. Be careful, Spurs, you could be the fifth !

  54. frank mersland says:

    Nice. Especially the part about the injuries. I’ve stressed this a couple of times on various spurs-boards myself. Some inujuries are coincidents, but when it becomes a consistant worry within a team, it must be adressed.

    Excellent writing. You should be picked up by the guardian or the telegraph :)

    Frank, Norway

  55. Andrew Appleby says:

    Great read. Doesnt matter whether I agree with you or not. It was a damn fine piece, well structured and easy to read.

    Nicely done.

  56. James147 says:

    For me, Harry’s inconsistency can be summed up with his statements about our title chances. One week there’s no reason we can’t win the league. The next, 5th is as good as it gets and anyone who thinks differently is an idiot.

    Take that kind of inconsistent thinking and apply to all areas of being a manager and you’ve got a problem. As the article points out, we see it with the Modric. One day he’s not for sale at any price and that’s that. The next, there’s no point keeping an unhappy player. Aaaaaaaaaaaaarghh!!

  57. Matt Adkins says:

    A great article and very well argued. As a Liverpool fan we had to suffer the same media manipulation and BS about Roy Hodgson as you do about ‘Arry. Even now we get told that the disaster Hodgson was at Liverpool wasn’t his fault, despite him taking us to our worst start in a season for over 50 years. Instead we got the usual lies and falsehoods about Benitez, a double La Liga and Champs League winning manager. Whether it’s xenophobia or just because they provide better biscuits at their press conferences the free ride from criticism that Hodgson and Redknapp get is laughable. Well it’s laughable unless they are dragging your club backwards at a fast rate of knots.

    And don’t you just hate the way ‘Arry is always on Sky Sports in the run up to the transfer deadline doing an ‘impromptu’ interview through his car window? As somebody wrote on Twitter the other day -Only in England could Wenger, Benitez and Mancini be derided while Redknapp, Hodgson and Allardyce are lauded. Ridiculous.

  58. thursday is spurs day says:

    I’m a gooner but I do feel for you spuds. Top article. HMRC ‘Arry aka ol’ twitchy really is the footballing equivalent of the emperor’s new clothes. I’d never want to see you lot go down (otherwise where’s the rivalry) so I do hope you get rid quick.

    As for him being England manager, if one of Europe’s most decorated club managers ever can’t get the best out of that bunch of overpaid ***** then what would happen if ol’ twitchy took them over.

  59. Mike Hall says:

    There is no way the FA will give Redknapp the England job. Its far too big a risk. Look back over history of the England managers job. What you will see is;

    1 Nice and polite
    2 popular
    3 runner up with a mixed record at middling clubs
    4 gives a good interview, never says anything controversial
    5 looks good in a blazer
    6 not going to blame his employer (FA) when all goes wrong
    7 not going to talk down (ie reveal the truth) about English players being largely second rate and top class ones very few in number

    All of which adds up to Roy Hodgson every day of the week. If Brian Clough couldn’t get the England managers job and Martin O’Neill couldn’t get it does anyone honestly think they would risk Redknapp being utterly exposed by foreign coaches and blaming it all on the FA, the clubs, the players…..

    • Mat Snow says:

      Alf Ramsey:

      1 Nice and polite? Through gritted teeth. No media whore, he.
      2 Popular? When appointed, there was (correct me if I’m wrong) very little media debate on the subject.
      3 Runner up with a mixed record at middling clubs? Actually, he managed newly promoted Ipswich to the League Championship.
      4 Gives a good interview, never says anything controversial? Generally speaking, regarded media questioning as impertinent, and the subtext to every straight-bat answer was ‘mind your own business.’
      5 Looks good in a blazer? Meaning that he was a company man? Not exactly. But not quite a maverick either.
      6 Not going to blame his employer (FA) when all goes wrong? My recollection is that he went quietly, if bitterly, when sacked.
      7 Not going to talk down (ie reveal the truth) about English players being largely second rate and top class ones very few in number? Back in ’66 we had Banks, Bobby Charlton, Ball, Styles, Greaves, Hurst (on his day), Cohen and Wilson — clearly among the very best players in the world in their positions at the time, more than matching the W Germans and Portuguese; the Brazilians were kicked up in the air that summer, but were clearly in transition from the awesome ’62 side to the even better ’70.

  60. I’m not a Spurs fan but I agree 100% with what was written, Redknapp is a lucky manager NOT a good manager. Mike Hall the Pompey fan has hit the nail on the head when he says Redknapp needs to spend money continually to keep his squad fresh (before they realise that he’s tactically inept) and his pockets full! He gets an easy run off the press because everyone knows he feeds them snippets of information about goings on at other clubs so they leave him alone. If he does get the England job people will realise how poor he is, one thing you need in International football is tactical knowhow.

  61. Mr Minty says:

    As a general fan of all things football but an MCFC regular I couldn’t agree more with the whole article and find it extraordinary that this hasn’t been picked up on sooner. Then again as pointed out ‘Arry’ is the darling of Fleet Street with his cheeky cockernee charm and honesty (ahem!) The trouble is his lame excuses are now being exposed and I’m sure wont be tolerated for much longer by the fans and board alike. He started pre season by telling everyone how City were going to blow peoples minds with new signings and how impossible it is to compete with , fair enough that is the case and already we have moved up a level on last year but surely our place in the top 3/4 is at the expense of the declining Gooners !? That has to be the Spurs target, to compete with Liverpool and Arsenal for 4th not City who with the amount being invested were always going to leave Spurs in their slipstream sooner rather than later. Move on FFS ! The writing was on the wall. Being pre occupied with what others are spending and not addressing your own teams shortfalls is a cardinal sin and something we at City had perfected over 35 barren years chasing the scums shadow, our fortunes have changed thankfully. Arsenal are now vunerable, Liverpool are still in transition but quickly improving so if you dont act now your potential to make the CL could be a very distant memory.

  62. Rob FGox says:

    As someone who has long since been bewildered by the adulation of ‘Arry, it is gratifying to read a Spurs fan nail the myths so accurately. When questioning his transfer dealings, you stopped short of accusing him of dodgy deals but let’s just say some of his transfer dealings are dubious to say the least. His recent hypocritical stance on Modric being tapped up is a case of the biter bit.

    You are lucky at Spurs that you seem to be financially stable as pretty much every club he is at indulge his spending and count the cost later.

  63. TV says:

    Superb article, brilliantly written and well thought out. I’ve believed ‘ arry to be something of a conman for a long time and his brazen flirting with the fa for the england job is an affront to spurs fans.
    Tv, a liverpool fan and general football fan.

  64. Laeotaekhun says:

    “The imminent court date with HMRC” will, I feel, ensure that Spurs fans will not have to worry about ‘Appy ‘Arry much longer,

    The article failed to mention his renowned ability to use the media to “tap up” other club’s players whilst attempting to appear incredulous that another club might employ the same tactics with a Spurs player (Modric).

    The longer that he spends at Her Majesty’s Pleasure the better the English game will be!

  65. Glen says:

    Very astute. The ratio of points vs games speaks volumes. I get the feeling that spurs want to be like Real Madrid but they’re more Real Betis. With the talent on the pitch, there must be something wrong on the training ground to explain the injuries, the lack of confidence and the inability of players to last 70 mins.

  66. Dave Mitchell from Tottenham says:

    I agree with all that, harry has to go now.
    we should get martin oneill.

  67. Absolutely superb article – agree with everything said. I’ve been saying the same things to my mates for a year now and being laughed at. – it all started for me with the phrase ‘we’re down to the bare bones’. You built the bloody squad so maybe you should have thought ahead about that eh?!

  68. Boz says:

    He is known as Teflon at Pompey. The man somehow avoids all criticism. He once described himself as “the greatest manager in Pompey’s history (the fella who won back to back league titles just couldn’t compare with an FA Cup and a wage bill of IMF proportions) and the greatest manager in the history of football, I mean the Premier League.” He has a wonderful network of scouts/agents but if given a free run with this crew Spurs will end up paying through the nose. He lives for his own future and the club’s current results. If Levy gives in to him Spurs will end up with dozens of signings, some who will never ever play and others who will be brillliant but their agents will want to move them on.

  69. Great article. We have had some decent success under Redknapp, and can’t begrudge reaching the Champions League quarter final. However, we’d be there again this year were it not for Redknapp’s inability to solve the problem of underperformance against teams towards the bottom of the table. I also think he’s handled the Modric saga appallingly – he’s in the press practically every day moaning about how he wishes the furore would die down, when in reality most of the time he’s the only one fuelling it.

    Sadly I think a lot of the reason that Levy isn’t really backing Redknapp in the transfer market is *because* he knows that he’s likely to hot foot it the second he’s offered the England job next summer (if that indeed occurs). Plus, as your article points out, Harry’s previous signings have hardly set the league on fire, and links to Scott Parker and Craig Bellamy hardly fill me with confidence either – none of the players Harry seems to be eyeing up would appear to be able to do any better a job than the deadwood we’re currently shipping out.

    Here’s hoping for another deadline day present from Levy…

  70. Midi says:

    I’d rather be mid-table under a manager that I had respect for than be in fourth place under Redknapp. He is a despicable character who shows no respect for the traditions and supporters of THFC.

  71. Mike M says:

    Are you listening Mr Chairman?

    One flash-in-the-pan season does not a great team make. Yes 2010/11 was exhilirating, if not sometimes plain scary, but our start to this season – capitulation on the park, inertia in the boardroom and lack of tactical nouse from the manager – is one of the most embarrassing I can remember in 55 years of supporting my beloved Spurs.

    Someone – anyone – please sort it out. Quickly!

  72. Olly says:

    One of the best – and best-written – football articles I’ve ever read.

    Spurs fan, and completely agree with everything said.

    Interestingly, in addition to the injury points you note, he also has a habit of keeping players on the pitch when they should be well off it after injury – several times Gomes barely standing and yet left on, Gallas every other game.

    It would therefore seem logical to conclude that a similar attitude holds in training, in which case it could well be management that is causing us all these injuries.

    And the Suarez point – we should have been busting a gut to sign him. And I also agree on Bent – his game-goal ratio was top notch but he never got a solid run in the team.

    Then the fact Kranjcar was ommited despite his two winners in a team that could not buy a goal at the time.

    Oh, and the Pienaar signing – last player we need.

    What tottenham need is a £25-35m CENTRE-BACK, and that’s been the case for 2 years.

    We’ve just conceded 8 in 2 games for god sake.

  73. JP says:

    You’ve articulated exactly what I think.

  74. bare_bones says:

    Pompey fan here.

    Mike Hall stole my thunder somewhat when he said replace Spurs with Pompey etc.

    No one has mentioned his over-the-top praise of the opposition on away games. That used to bug the hell out of me – he’d basically concede the game before kick off!! “Just look at their squad/bench/funds” etc etc etc.

    HR is only loyal to his wallet e.g. he had a % sell on fee on Pompey players!! Might explain why so many tend to follow him around.

    His post match comments about Modric made me laugh. So someone got in his ear on Saturday night and suddenly the whole pre-season has been ruined?! Maybe Harry would like to recall his comments to the press about Defoe when he became Spurs manager. Defoe immediately stopped playing, fell ill prior to a cup game (yet appeared on WHL pitch shortly after in fine health) and then moved in January TW. Harry loves to “praise” players via the media but is oh too quick to criticise other clubs/managers for tapping up.

    Spurs fans, welcome to the Harry Redknapp non-appreciation society. Some of you thought it was just bitterness on our part when he left but I hope you now understand where we were coming from. Short term the man will perform minor miracles but he never has a long term plan. You really should be thankful that Levy and co have the deep pockets to cover HR’s tranfer policy. Unfortunately Pompey didn’t have a Levy (or anyone for that matter).

    Does he still go on about standing on the raised drain cover on the Clock End with his old man, whenever you play Arsenal? Or is he Spurs til he dies?

  75. Adam says:

    In the relatively short term, Redknapp can come across as a breath of fresh air for any languishing club.

    Any club which finds itself in the doldrums, can only be lifted by Harry’s ‘cheeky chappie/one of the lads/everyone’s mate’ persona. He’ll get that famous arm out and throw it round the closest proven, but currently low on confidence player and work his magic. Heck, he’ll even speak to the dinner ladies/kitman get them involved and then the inevitable phone call to Kevin Bond and away he goes.

    He revels in that scenario, he can openly criticise the previous regime (…they’re used to playing Grimsby every year/2 points from 8 games etc etc) get the chequebook out (which the previous manager probably couldn’t) and do his thing.

    And in the short term he is effective, he wouldn’t have been in the game as long as he has if he wasn’t. When he came back to Pompey in ’06 which was a controversial switch considering he went to Southampton and made light of the rivalry between the two clubs. We did somehow managed to survive from a very difficult position, but he was given money the previous manager wasn’t, although his brand of management was probably refreshing compared to his predecessor of that time, Alain Perrin.

    Anyhow he kept us up, but that was essentially the start of our problems. We signed players way out of our league financially, in Harry’s quest to keep the team successful. When we still lost heavily away as mentioned above the fans were reminded what we had been used to the previous 20 years (Grimsby etc)and that was that. I’d cringe with every post match interview that he did.

    It was also amazing how much more negative the media were towards us after he left. He’s best mates with most journo’s, most notably Oliver Holt from the Mirror. Their allegiance to him is embarrassing frankly.

    When he went to Spurs I expected him to do well initially, as your squad was still decent and he had that chequebook out again. At the time us Pompey fans knew it would be a matter of time before he came unstuck, but his media protection was such that rival fans thought it was just sour grapes at losing ‘the best manager we ever had’.

  76. Ryan says:

    Excellent piece of writing! Great job everyone!

    Another point I’d like to add is how he freezes out players! Bentley and Kranjcar last year. We could have used them in some sort of rotation but yet they either didn’t make the bench or were late subs!

    I have faith in our squad, just not our manager!

  77. scott says:

    Brilliant article finally other spurs fans are starting to realise that he’s an idiot. I’d just like to add that his man managment is quite poor. Look at some of the players that came to out team bentley who was set to become a great winger, bent , gio tarrabt boeting all these players are good but then suddenly turn crap? Dosent make sense. c

  78. SPURSINCE82 says:

    I often wondered whether my life was in desperate need of something other than football over the last year ( reletively speaking ) as every time I identified with what i considered to be : futile – kamakasi – naive -inexplicable acts at spurs (but left alone as we were having europes elite over for tea) that i expected too much and that rednap brought us all this fools gold, that I ought to appreciate and adoration should not be comprimised for ‘ better judgement ‘ all this mostly from my own spurs mates and bloggers on these sites especially..- reocurring errors- poorly shaped teams all the time- late ineffectuive substitutions blah blah.. Harry exemplifies all the characteristics of a loser: zero leadership qualities (never takes one for the team) would you respect a manager who hung you out to dry every time the toaster set alight- vacant blank cv – awful credit rating ( Pompey / southampton west hamand worst of all, called our fans scum and wanted us nicjked for putting his little sol campbell in his place and here we stand asking questions over this fiasco. the start of the season is no real reason ( just because ) to start slating a manager, but his inability to use his apparent ‘main quality ‘ which we aer told (falsely) is top man management..bollocks. He possesses the most toxic personality that I have seen througout the entire prem management collective. Even a five year old is taught to accept blame when necessary in order to show parity with others, to show that you have learned from your mistakes, he acts as though he has a seat at the top table ffs…since when???? he has never thanked us for giving him his swansong in football and putting his name up ….somewhere where he is noted as being more than a ‘RELEGATION MAN’ ALSO TRANSLATED AS GARBAGE MAN’

    BALE does not even know what to do when he does not have the ball, Lernnon has stopped playing and defpe will follow rednapp to his new club because they are both a pair of free loading bill dodging prick*. PS – loved the article *just saying

  79. BDSpur says:

    This is a well written article with a lot of truths in it. What’s interesting is that I regularly visit several Spurs blogs/sites on the net, and even beginning of last season he was seen as the saviour, but now the fans seem split down the middle. There is a lot more dissent growing about Harry, and the very important points you have raised.

    Tactically naive at times, a lack of focus on training, injuries (and yes, I’ve been going on and on about how on earth did Woodgate start 4 consecutive game for Stoke!!), and suspect transfer record. He’s comfortable surrounding himself with the “old crew” i.e. ex-Hammers and Portsmouth players, rather than proper scouting of up and coming talent. Let me add that some of the targets chosen like Rossi, Aguero, Cavani etc. were also ridiculous because their wages are way above what Harry already knows we can pay; 50-60K a week.

    We have a good squad that qualified for the CL. I thinks its mixed credit, going to both Harry and the problems with other teams. Since then, three transfer windows have gone by, and we have actually done nothing substantial whereas every one of our competitors for the top four have changed and strengthened. Okay, maybe we can’t spend in the same league as City or Man U, but our weaknesses were plain to see and there was ample time to scout and plan for the players we needed.

    I have concluded that Harry, to be honest, is out of his depth in the current premier league environment, and has nothing new to offer the fans or the team. He has reached the limit of his capabilities as a manager, and I think it will be in our best interests if we can shake hands and call it a day.

  80. karen hackett says:

    I part agree with article. What team finishes in top 8 in europe & realistically blvs they can only get 4th-6th place? Harry already confirmed this when he said top 3 r taken. Fact is, u earn money by getting 2 quarter finals in cl, 2 stregthen your squad by at least 2-3 star players. We released more players on loan and bought in the 2nd least out of pl. Liven up harry. Where’s cl & 4th place money gone? We need young players not 1s with 1-2 seasons left at best.

  81. Anthony says:

    A great article. I have no real axe to grind with Redknapp. Lets be honest if he being interviewed compared to Gary Megson then you would prefer to listen to Harry redknapp. However, would i want my team to be managed by him? Not a chance. Aside of all the additional baggage that he carries (except the panorama documentary i hasten to add!) i believe there is another crucial issue that highlights Redknapps managerial ability over a sustined period. Harry is from a different era when managers worked their way up the ladder of management and achieved top jobs by the process of their work. Did he achieve this? No, in fact it took till the age of 60 before he got to a ‘top’ job. Firstly, Bournemouth, west ham assistant and then a disloyal coup to become manager. From there is was to championship portsmouth, relagated southamption and then a financially doped FA cup win. You still have to win it though so credit where credit is due. However the aftermath is something he has always denied he had prior knowledge of and was just lucky to leave at that time. a suspect statement considering his track record. Then a ‘top’ job arrived. However this could be argued that this was achieved due to contacts (Kelmsey) rather than a great track record. My friends and brothers has long been angered by redknapp for reasons beyond football, the money issues, the lack of critical mass that comes his way and other cheeky cockney mannerisims. In fact they have often highlighted Reknapp’s hypocrisy. His man management style is governed by how it affects himself and not how it affects the team. also, his attitudes to food and drink have often been given mixed messages. Personally it does not bother me if he is a flawed human being with hyprocritcal tendencies as that would be…well, hypocritical. however, it is pleasing to see a more focused view of his work like this article. I was interested to see the stats regarding hte long ball game as he prides himself on ‘playing football the right way’. the comments regarding tactics are fantastic although Redknapp is not alone for not considering tactics currently in the PL. Personally, i believe since the absense of Mourinho, Benitez the PL is currently devoid of any coahces who are trying to do anything tactical. love or hate Mourinho and Benitez but their records (and performances) are very decent against this and past Barcelona sides. This should not be confused with defensive. they set challenges that barca has not always met although in the last 12 months this is changing. He gets a good deal from the media but in the end its not him who taps the keyboard. its natural to be more favourable to those who assist your work. It says more about the media overall. My final point is this. Tottenham overachieved by one place in a changing financial landscape when they finished 4th. Previously they had finished 5th twice after large investment yet still could not quite get top four under Jol (by the way as a juvenile aside i read the other day that his brother is called Cck). In a season when Liverpool was imploding on and off the pitch and David Brents (“How are you brother”) manchester city where labouring under the false impression that a £90,000 a week Wayne Bridge would bring Champions League football totteham crept in and stole a champions league place with a players like Crouch, Huddelstone, lennon all playing at the very top of their game. in addition a fit King was more often than not available. As described in the article the players pre Redknapp responsed to him also. However, the landscape was changing. Manchester City now look genuine contenders for everything whilst paying most players triple wages, Liverpool are spending on a more considered but similar spending plan and Arsenal are still there in a casualty of war capacity. Redknapp does lower expectations to suit his own agenda (remember his league ambition only last November) but right now he has some justification in being moderate with his Champion League ambitions. I hope this balanced as i believe that he is overall average and has a track record that reflects that.

  82. byronchenko says:

    Yeah, that’s a great and accurate read, cheers.

    Leave him alone though, he’s a facking football manager!

  83. DUBCAT 85 says:

    Whose this JImmy Walker guy? Never heard of him. Why oh why with only a few hours left to go in the window are we still trying to look for bargains. We should have done the business 2 months ago like fergie and Liverpool. Another VDV isn’t guaranteed, so frustrating watching other clubs doing deals and we can only bring in Adebayour who will know doubt be more hassle than he is worth and god help us if he signs for us after the loan spell.

    • Ian page says:

      You would rather spend 35 million on Andy Carroll than get a world class, proven striker on loan????

      Brad friedel on a free, Scott Parker… Not to mention sending walker out on loan and effectively getting a new signing!

      Liverpool have signed (other than Suarez) some very average players.

  84. yourfootballcoach says:

    Spot on.

  85. Ian says:

    Mashie1964 Got to say that Harry got us to 4th in the Premier league, then fifth, losing out to a team that is spending money like a labour government. Seems that many have a very short memory.

  86. VintageCowboy says:

    Top article fella!

  87. THFCPete says:

    When you’re done complaining can you remind me again how many times we’ve finished higher in the Premier League than we did last season.

    • eastanglianspur says:

      Ever heard of the term ‘flash in the pan’? He’s had one good season, the season before last. If we remove the highs of the CL games, the last season was a failure compared to the season before. Especially the loss to Fulham and all the draws and losses to relegation fodder teams.

      With none from two, a repeat of two from eight is not impossible this season.

  88. kleftikozunvlagya says:

    I’m not sure what everyone expects from Redknapp? We knew that we were going to get battered by Man Utd and City because in both games we only had one fit centre mid, plus like King said, the whole Modric saga has had an effect just like Berbatov did a few years ago. People who’s expectations are for us to be right up there challenging are delusional. Our stadium is too small for us to rake in the income that other clubs do, and we can’t compete for top players. People calling for him to spend money, you must have your head in the sand to not realise that all the financial side of the club is run by Levy. Levy negotiates fees with clubs, has the last say on who comes in/out, not Harry. People want us to spend top dollar on a striker, does everyone think it is that easy to spend £18m on a striker and then he’s just going to be an instant success? Getting Adebayor in for a year, no fee, a proven premiership goalscorer, that is an absolute masterstroke of business. Plus if it was up to Harry, I’m sure that we would have slashed plenty of cash already by now. It’s not up to him so I don’t get the moaning about him in the transfer market. A different manager isn’t going to persuade Levy to spend more cash than he is right now. I’m sure Harry is trying to get every penny out of Levy that he possibly can!

    With regards to the tactics, the Fulham game you mentioned, we went down to 10 men after about 10 minutes. Against Young Boys we were playing on astroturf, and so some players were unable to play e.g. King and Huddlestone. And even then Harry made a couple changes and we came away 3-2! And we battered them in the home leg too. I’m guessing everyone knows too that this is the same manager who masterminded a 3-1 win against that same Inter side that beat us in the San Siro?

    And some of the injuries our players have had, I think you are absolutely out of your mind to blame Harry for. You really think he personally deals with the fitness side of the players? That we don’t have fitness coaches or physios to take care of that? Are u going to blame Harry for the broken leg Luka got a couple seasons ago? Or blame Harry for Sandro getting injured on international duty?

    And with regards to the media, Harry is completely correct to say that we’ve had two of the best seasons we’re likely to see for years. We simply can’t compete until we get a bigger stadium. And we can’t kid ourselves. We’ve haven’t had it this good for 20 years!! I personally think everyone here calling for Harry’s head has been playing a little too much Football Manager and thinks that it’s easy to try and compete with Man U, City, Chelsea etc.

    Disappointed in this article which has neglected the many plus points Harry has brought to the club. We all remember the form of Luka before Harry came. Under Redknapp, Modric has shined. Bale too. Ekotto is another name to mention. Dawson. People can say “Harry didn’t buy these players”, but he’s been the man who’s certainly got the best out of them. And with regards to some of the players who were signed under him, Crouch scored a bag full of goals in the Champions League last year. Defoe had a bad year last year, although he was out for 3 months and took time to get match fit after that, but scored 18 league goals the year before. Sandro looks like a real top player (for only around £8m I should add). Gallas on a free from Arsenal.

    Everyone should stop being so ungrateful for what we have, the quality of players that we have now at Spurs, the past couple of seasons, it’s like this season is a write off because of the first two games we played the best two teams in the league with a depleted squad!! Give Harry a rest, stop crying and complaining and have some faith. He’s hardly led us to having a bad season yet?!

    And with regards to taking us forward as a club, I think you might find that there isn’t a manager out there to do that for us. The only way we will be moving forward as a club is with a new stadium, so we can get more income, so we can raise our wage ceiling and compete with other clubs financially. That’s the only way we are going to bring in top players to push us forward. The only man who can take us forward as a club right now is Daniel Levy.

    • Mat Snow says:

      Re: ‘the many plus points Harry has brought to the club. We all remember the form of Luka before Harry came. Under Redknapp, Modric has shined. Bale too. Ekotto is another name to mention. Dawson. People can say “Harry didn’t buy these players”, but he’s been the man who’s certainly got the best out of them. And with regards to some of the players who were signed under him, Crouch scored a bag full of goals in the Champions League last year. Defoe had a bad year last year, although he was out for 3 months and took time to get match fit after that, but scored 18 league goals the year before. Sandro looks like a real top player (for only around £8m I should add). Gallas on a free from Arsenal.’

      I’m glad you said it.

      Also, there has been some daft comparison between Spurs and Birmingham last season based on our liking of the long ball. Agreed, our lump forward for the Crouch knock-down to VDV was found out after a while. But mostly our long balls are 35-yard diagonal passes from Thud to Bale or Lennon bombing down the flanks — devastatingly effective and exhilarating play, not Brummie hoof and hope. There is a difference.

  89. Kwan says:

    Excellent article. Couldn’t agree more.
    It mentioned many things that we would like to point out but never seen in the media.

  90. chris says:

    For harry redknap and his “tactical knowhow” just read kevin keagan.

  91. Andrew says:

    Great article, I have never been convinced by HR and this really does highlight the failings of our ‘media favourite’ manager. When you see the flak Wenger got for his greatly understrength team being thrashed at OT, (and not forgetting the success he has brought Arsenal), against the media view of HR after we were thrashed at home with 7/8 of his 1st choice players in the team, it does make you wonder. Wenger talks about his humiliation and hurt, HR blames Modric et al but no sign of accepting responsibility or pain for the humiliation inflicted upon us by his inept team selection.

    We have a very big but under used squad, we underperformed at the end of last season due to a lack of rotation leading to key players being over used and not rested when they clearly needed the rest. HR has reached his limit, for us to go forward Levy needs to replace him before he creates a culture of failure and disruption that will take years to repair. Spurs need to take a long term view of our future and build a team for that future. Until we have a new stadium we will never be able to match the wages of the top sides and will always lose our best players to the MU, MC and Chelsea’s. Therefore, we need a scouting system that finds young talent, a coaching team that will develop them and a manager that can make us punch above our weight through astute management, tactical awareness and blooding of youngsters. (If anyone knows the whereabouts of a young SAF please let D Levy know pronto!).

    One last point about our ‘messiah’ HR, other than Spurs the other professional English Clubs he has managed are Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Southampton and WHU – all of which have had major financial problems after he left them. Although you cannot attribute their failings specifically to HR there is a worrying thread running through there!

  92. detjo says:

    Very good.
    Interesting, too, that HR has only managed smaller clubs before Spurs. One would think he’d have been snapped up by a big club, if he was really any good.

    I’ve forwarded this article on to Levy

  93. Dan Wright says:

    As you know I agree entirely with your article.

    The “2 points from 8 games” argument that he brought us to the Champions League simply won’t do. Martin Jol was one game away from doing that with a smaller budget and a smaller squad.

    What worries me most is the disrespect with which he comments about the Spurs fans and the disregard with which he holds the Spurs traditions. Always ready to put his friends in the press first, can you imagine Kenny Dalglish or Alex Ferguson calling his fans “idiots” and trotting out the “they’ve never had it so good” excuses? Bill Nicholson constantly reminded the players to put the fans first, as they are the most important part of the club. Does Harry say that – or does he just rant about how little we know or whether we take part in phone-ins like Barry Fry on the wrong medication? I haven’t checked this but I’m told that Bill Nicholson rejected him as a 15 year old trainee in his playing career. There was no better judge of charicter than Bill Nick.

    Like all Spurs fans I hope for the best and fear the worst, I await the transfer deadline with tranquilisers near to hand.

  94. Paul says:

    No different to his time at Portsmouth. Pompey fans will recognise ‘arry’s comments. Let’s hope the FA see through the bull although I doubt it.

  95. kampala gun says:

    Simple harrygambler is an English man and arsene, hmmmm is a fuckin foreigner.

  96. Aaron Conlan says:

    I 100% agree with everything. I have been saying it and getting laughed at for years!

  97. Leah Tomlin says:

    Thank you so much for the fabulous piece on Harry Redknapp!! You have articulated clearly many of my own thoughts about our manager over the last year, and clarified some of those burning doubts that I have had. I have been a Spurs fan for twenty odd years, but never would I have considered myself a Redknapp fan. His comments frequently leave me cringing, as well as the sight of our tactic-barren play against smooth opposition from Manchester. For a long time now, I have been listening to praises about Redknapp from people telling me how much I must love the man for what he has done for the club. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the dalliance that was champions league football, but I have wondered if I am the only person on the planet questioning his tactics, people management, respect for the club and his constant quotes in the press. Thank you for making me feel less lonely as a Spurs supporter!
    Leah Tomlin
    P.S. More please…

  98. MookieB says:

    Get Martinez in.

  99. Ian Page says:

    Whilst I am not saying I disagree with all of your points, it does seem very fashionable to bash ‘Arry at the moment and I do think a little perspective has to be taken. Yes, we struggled last season against the ‘lesser’ teams but haven’t we always? Over the last couple of seasons the Premier League has been extremely open, there are no whipping boys anymore. We were not the only team to faulter against the likes of Blackpool and when was the last time a Spurs manager led us to victories over Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal – Arsenal have not beaten us in the last 3 league games with Spurs winning 2.

    I also disagree with your view that we should switch to a more defensive formation after getting ourselves in front in a game. Do we have short memories? How many times did Spurs employ that tactic in the past only to throw away a game that should have been in the bag? How many times did we as fans watch on nervously as Spurs tried to defend a lead that we knew enevitably we would squander?

    It is easy in hindsight to suggest we should have been more defensive as it is to suggest Dazzlin’ Darren Bent should never have been sold. Is it the same fans now suggesting this that were booing him every time he set foot on the pitch (and often before he had even kicked a ball in that particular match!). He was woeful towards the end of his spell at Spurs but under the pressure and given the stick received from his own fans is it surprising?

    Yes, we played too many long balls but look at the players you quoted as playing these – Dawson, Huddlestone, Assou-Ekotto – they are all experts at distributing long balls. And, look at who we have/had up front – Peter Crouch, sometimes you have to play to your strengths whether it is pleasing to the eye or not (Just ask Stoke).

    Also, are we really saying Brad Friedel on a free transfer is a bad signing? We desperately needed a good keeper. Ipersonally would have liked to see Given at the Lane thinking to the future, but, I also think Friedel is superior to Given and many other keepers in the Premier League. World class keepers are hard to come by, look at Arsenal and now seemingly Man Utd.

    I do agree with many of you points,but in terms of perspective, how many times have we gone in at half time with our heads down and come out in the second half all guns blazing? Arsenal at the Emirates and Inter Milan at the San Siro are the obvious stand outs.

    • Leah Tomlin says:

      Some fair points, Ian. I, for one have been known to give Harry Redknapp due credit for his half time team talks and substitutions, that have allowed us to steal wins in the second half. However, wouldn’t it be great to have a manager that was more strategic before the game than reactive half way through?

      • Ian page says:

        Hi Leah, do you really believe Harry is tactically inept? Do you really believe he goes in to a game without identifying the other teams strengths, weaknesses and how best to exploit them? What more does a player on 30,000 per week, who knows the game inside out need to know?

        Get out there and play your game, if you want to be a top four team you have to play your football, that is the best tactic you can employ.

        All the people on here patting themselves on the back and feeling proud that they were calling Harry’s failings before anyone else… when exactly was this? When he took us to the top four? Or when we finished 5th just behind deep pocketed man city… Whilst at the same time reaching the last 8 of the champs league….get real and get behind the team, and the best manager we have had in an age!

  100. Henry Cowen says:

    Absolutely spot on. A great read.

  101. THE WONDER OF YOU says:

    Let’s hope he gets plenty of bird .

  102. eastanglianspur says:

    Interesting points about the ever growing numbers of injuries. My lads played Judo when they were young and they would warm up for an hour at least before they ever got near a mat. They never suffered a single muscle tear, groin strain etc all the time they competed including all competitions with other clubs.

    The only possible excuse they may have these days is the modern surfaces they play on.

  103. Sean Scott says:

    Brilliant article. I never realised I thought those exact points until I read them, and I don’t care about any London club.

  104. Gareth, Carrickfergus says:

    Great article, Harry’s a complete charlatan but he can’t fool all of the people all of the time

  105. Kurtspur says:

    Great article. I don’t particularly dislike ‘Arry but you do have to question if he is getting the best out of a talented squad.

  106. Jason Dozzell says:

    Morning all

    A compelling and challenging article mate…. Although I can’t say I agree with everything – I understand the comparison between the form of Juande Ramos and the current form of Redknapp but I think the applause & ridicule have been based on league position rather than form. The test will of course be our league position at the end of the season…

    We have been guilty of long-ball tactics I totally agree, but putting Huddlestone in the same bracket as Dawson in this respect seems a bit harsh – there is rarely a finer moment in a game than a 40 yard ball ‘to feet’ – Far different to a Dawson swinger! I don’t look back at the Hoddle days and barrack the ‘long-ball’…. though fully accept that we’ve resorted to that on too many occasions and by players that don’t have this ability. (Ian page – some great counter-arguments there Hotspur but Dawson an ‘expert at distributing long balls’??)

    I would also challenge a few of the comments that refer to ‘Arry’ as a conman – I think he’s far from it; I would argue he is worryingly proud of his lack of tactical knowledge and believes in the ‘good ol fashioned way’. I agree that this is fundamentally flawed and will only achieve so much in the modern game but I personally don’t feel that Redknapp has tried to pull the wool over our eyes about this… (cue the aggressive typing in disagreement lads…)

    Anyway, I’m rambling – he WAS the right man to take over from Ramos, he is tactically inept, he is too short-termist, he does play the blame game, he is condescending to the fans and we do need someone else to take us to the next level.

    All in all – a well articulated and evidence based piece of writing (yours not mine).

  107. Lilywhite says:

    Rubbish, fickle article. Bet when we brought in Jol and Ramos you said they would bring us CL football, and when they didn’t you wrote pretty much the same thing about them as you’ve written about Redknapp.
    The reason Redknapp hasn’t (yet) been treated the way Jol and Ramos were (whether by the media, by Spurs or by the fans), is because we need to learn (or are learning) from our mistakes. You’re almost completely dismissing arguably our biggest achievement this decade, which was to finish in the top 4 and play CL football. There are no guarantees, we did it once, we can do it again, it doesn’t mean if we don’t get it every season there’s no hope for us.
    As for the long ball, I’m also not a fan of it when overused, however Dawson’s diagonal passes releasing Bale have terrorised teams no end.
    There’s enough talk about Tottenham as it is without the fans joining in as well and unsettling things. Can we all please just shut up, get behind the team and manager, let them get on with it and see how we do. And frankly I couldn’t concentrate on our 1st 2 games either with all the uncertainty so I don’t know how the players are expected to.

    • Leah Tomlin says:

      There is indeed enough negative talk about tottenham in the media, and much of it comes from Harry himself! Considering he’s meant to be a great people manager, I have been stunned by some of his talk about our team being under par. Having said that, I agree, let’s just get behind them. I will be at Molineux next Saturday, and although I might well be sneering at the very sight of Luka Modric, he shall know nothing about that. He shall hear my applause and think that I still love him as much as last season… Come on you Spurs!

  108. WHU JP says:

    I’m a West Ham fan but one who feels no particular animosity towards Tottenham.

    Excellent piece. Incredibly I felt much the same at the tail end of Harry’s reign in E13 which was a frightening ten years ago.

    It has driven me insane seeing this man’s reputation soar and soar in the intervening period. It’s pleasing to see that there are still those out there about to sift through both Harry’s spin and the media fawning and identify the lack of substance which lies underneath and articulate it so eloquently. Replenished my faith in football fans!

  109. Paul Palmer says:

    An excellent piece well written,and I agree with a lot of what you say.

    The summer of 2004 was the dawning of a new era for Spurs, the triumvirate of Frank Arnessen, Jacques Santini and Martin Jol was installed followed by host of new signings, (who can forget madcap Timothee Atouba) and there was a definite air that positive steps were being taken in the right direction a short time after Santini left and the Jol took the managerial reigns, and he is still viewed with great fondness. Levy felt as some of us fans did that Big Martin had taken us as far as he could but lets not forget that had it not been for a dodgy slab of lasagne and an even dodgier result against West ham we would have finished 4th, although looking back I think we had fair few 1-0 wins and we wasn’t particularly brilliant.

    Martin was unceremoniously sacked to make way for Juande Ramos and Gustavo Poyet, and at that time we had the studious Damian Commoli as head of recruitment, now this is where I hold my hands up and admit that I was wrong on 2 counts.
    1. I believed all the crap I had read on the net of how Commoli was holding us back and what a liability he was. But if you analyse the signings we made under his tenure: Bale, Modric, Berbatov, Carrick, Ekotto, Lennon, Dawson, ETC now if you just take those players mentioned they all made a difference, how many of Redknapps players can we say the Same, Palicios when he came was a revelation,but sadly it didn’t last, and look at who Liverpool are signing now.
    2. I welcomed Ramos’s sacking and Honest A’rry’s appointment , but in hindsight I think we were building a magnificent team fit for a TOP 4 challenge any way with or without Redknapp, and feel that we have missed a real opportunity to push on further and Redknaps failure to either sign the right players or insistence to Levy to make the right signings will consign us to look back on this period and think how did we mess that up

  110. manutdfan says:

    Good points..would like to add one more i am startled to see some really good talent at Spurs which is never put to any use by him. I am talking specially about players like dos Santos, Kranjcar, Walker (maybe some more) They are really good technical players, dos Santos specially is a brilliant player does so well for Mexico everytime he plays but he never ever plays for Spurs and doesn’t even get sold for that matter. And then they talk about funds and all. How can you keep so much dead weight in team who you are not willing to play!!

    A ManUtd fan.

  111. Martin says:

    I think Redknapp is an ok manager but the mud never sticks to him. He’s quick to tell us where we were when he took over but not quite so quick to point our current (worse) position! It concerns me a lot that players like O’Hara and Kranjcar have not improved under HR and Lennon still cannot cross a ball. Some of Redknapp’s team selections last season, were at best, odd. Defoe who couldn’t score got 2 at Wolves and was promptly dropped. Pav rarely played and yet he’s still at the club and Crouch has gone..why? I agree too that levy is part of the problem. A great negotiator he is; a football man he is NOT. He has made a catalogue of poorly timed decisions throughout his tenure and I am alone at being at the AGM at the end of 2005 when Levy said there were no other sites available in London on which to build? Am I alone in thinking how strange that the existing site plan was released with a number of superlatives and then when the Olympic stadium came up the orginal plan was deemed unworkable!! Amongst all this, us the fans are treated like idiots and told to be nice..as HR draws his 2m per year and Levy continues only because his mate owns the club. Is it really only 8 months gao that Redkanpp said there was no reason we couldn’t win the league??!!!!

    • Leah Tomlin says:

      In fairness to Lennon:
      a) his final ball accuracy has significantly improved,
      b) there is never anyone in the box for him to cross to!

  112. jono says:

    Enjoyed some of the good footy displayed at times under the twitcher, he’s at the end of his cycle now. No more taking advantage of a poor Liverpool side, we will ease into 4th this year. Rafa would be a better option, but sadly his stock has been ruined at the disgraceful treatment he received from some of our fans/players, the bank appointed board and by the media. Look at me talkin about Liverpool don’t get angry, get a proper manager

  113. Mike says:

    Sorry, but that article is full of shit. I saw a reply to it on a Spurs forum and thought it was worth a paste.

    Why Harry Redknapp is no longer the manager to take Spurs forward
    Guy labels this paragraph as a roast and uses an 8-1 aggregate score against two of the strongest squads in the league and league favourites on early form, with one new addition in goal for us, a massive injury list and our best player refusing to play/try.

    Got time for a quick chat ‘Arry?
    Oh brilliant, media quotes. Harry talks to the media does he? Fuck I never expected that when he joined (was poached/tapped-up from Portsmouth by DL). The way I see it is, the guy calls it like he sees it, gives an honest opinion and knows how to use the press to make a few points. People jump on every word, speculate and snipe. I find his openness refreshing, fair enough he does make the odd gaffe, but he’s just a fucking man, he puts his trousers on one leg at a time just like the rest of us.

    The Modric situation
    This is too big a can of worms to label HR as a can opener. There’s a lot more to this Modric situation than I think any of us know, remember how Berbatov was promised a move? This is between Modric, his agent and Daniel Levy. We’re going to try and hang Harry now because he doesn’t want to have a player that doesn’t want to play for us? Shocking, almost as shocking as Luka’s performance on Sunday, where he just couldn’t be bothered. Head not right? Heart not right.

    Form from February 2011 onwards
    Where was the striker to finish teams off we were all expecting from that Summer at least to strengthen our hand in the best club competition in the world, which we were in until April?

    As for this February 22nd date, seemed to pick that date as we’d only lost 1 in 15 (Everton away) before that (with no new wonder striker), we also picked up a few injuries to key players, but let’s brush that off in a squad lacking notable investment during that time. As for the form, we didn’t kill teams off as the strikers couldn’t hit the g-spot on a 10 stone fanny…we murdered West Brom, Blackpool (twice), Wolves, West Ham and they were some of the many performances where we didn’t get the results we deserved (due to a lack of finishing power….which we knew he lacked and still fucked about in the market)…not to mention great results against the likes of the Milans, Arsenal, Liverpool away etc.

    Tactics
    So instead of poor tactics, there’s no tactics? Then we’re going to list 2 games in which we went down to 10 men early doors and got well beaten and a first ever match in Europe on a plastic pitch as good examples? Fuck off.

    Could go into more detail about the tactics thing, but the fact this bit has a part in it about mismanaging Pav and talks about goals per minute makes me think Ashcroft or one of his cronies wrote it. And failure to accomodate Van der Vaart? Err what? We’ve changed the system to fit him in and he’s done very well.

    Injuries
    Blame the manager for injuries? OK.

    Redknapp’s transfer record
    Really not getting into this, signed the players to turn us round, signed the players to get us into the CL and now with no chance to further develop the squad we stalled and lost our place to a club that spent over £400m and can blow wages out of the water with any player in the world. Maybe if we’d spent one eighth of that on a couple of strikers, they wouldn’t even have overtaken us.

    Longevity
    Get the crystal ball out, tarot cards, tea leaves. England want him to replace a manager who’s got a 64% win ratio? I’m surprised by that.

    He’s our manager now, back him you fucking twits.

    • eastanglianspur says:

      “He’s our manager now, back him you fucking twits.”

      I only back winners, not losers and bull shitters, I also have no time for numpties who make no argument and just make subjective useless comments.

    • dave says:

      typical rednapp lover resorting to swearing when people don’t agree with them.redknapp is a bad manager,no track record and should be managing at no higher level than the conference.

  114. RedMegleeker says:

    Outstanding piece, ive been saying this for years. This guy is a walking characature of what is wrong in the game. Thanks for backing up my ideas.

    Give him the England job and watch the vultures tear him to pieces, id like the News Of The World back for that one too.

  115. mytupence says:

    Where just too soft and sentimental, club and fans alike. The moment the writing was on the wall for Ancelotti at chelsea Levy should’ve made him an offer he couldn’t refuse (paying off any gardening leave if necessary). Multiple League (Serie A and Prem) and Champions League (2x) winning manager is availabled and we’re not slightly interested?

  116. Johnny H says:

    Like all southern cockney managers he’d sell his granny for a quid. Better off selling cars.

  117. a_flew says:

    brilliant article.

    I’ve always questioned the Spurs medical team due to the frequency of injuries (Woodgate and King being key examples), but it appears that it is the coaching staff that are the problem. Would be interesting to compare the injury rate during the Ramos era, Jol era and Redknapp era.

  118. Dave says:

    Blimey, I’m a proud Hammer and that is is superb read. I recognise so much from ‘Arry Boy’s tenure at the Boleyn Ground. I said much of this at the time but many fellow supporters were fooled by the affable facade, but he really has now gone from hero to zero as people have realised his narcissistic side and the rest of his ‘teflon’ personality. And we’re a bit fed up of his oft repeated ‘stories’…..Javier Margas jumping out of a second floor window anyone ??, Dani ?, Di Canio ?…etc
    He constantly bleated about only having ‘kids’ on the bench, I wonder how that made them feel ? As soon as the kids did well it was Harry’s masterstroke, his faith in the youngsters that was propounded. Nothing to do with ‘The Academy’, it was all good old ‘Arry.
    Note also at the moment when interviewed he constantly refers to transfer dealings as something he knows nothing about – “Daniel deals with all that” – and how he underlines that he doesn’t choose the agents. No but he certainly picks the players…..
    Allegations have always followed Harry, none have proved to have any substance. Innocent until proven guilty.
    In my opinion he is guilty of one thing however, he left my club in a much worse state than he found it – although he would argue differently I’m sure. We have at least been able to remove the revolving door at the entrance to the Boleyn as it no longer needs to accomodate 147 players in 7 years – some even made it to the pitch…

  119. steve Q says:

    Quality article,

    It is unbelievable how Arry get treated by the press. The amount of stick Benitez and Wenger get compared with Arry and they have won some important trophies over they years Harry has won one cup and that’s it for a career.

  120. gary price says:

    The myth of Harry as the great wheeler dealer in the transfer market.At West Ham about 1 in 4 proved a success. Cant argue with the quality of Di Canio,Berkovic,Sinclair,Bilic,Hartson etc, but these were far outweighed by the likes of Dumitrescu, Gary Charles,Minto and Titi Camara. The latter who managed to make Benni McCarthy look sylph like cost the Irons £1.5 m when Liverpool were hawking him around Europe for a third of that…..strange one that. But Harry always had an excuse when one of his punts proved unsuccessful.His mantra at West Ham was “what do you expect when I have to deal at the bottom end of the market”.

  121. spur1950 says:

    cheers dave/gary more ammunition to use against that useless twitchy c**T
    excellent piece all the things a mate and i have been saying over 3yrs only one thing mate
    u forgot the PORTSMOUTH game away and he called us SCUM thats the reason i hated him
    and his love of JUDAS still remember him kicking the goalpost at our end winding the supporters up big time!!!
    for that geezer who luvs F*********g arsewipe arry tatics he doesnt have any playing 1 useless prat upfront on his own at home most of the season really sums his tatics up and that includes WHU 1pt, BLACKPOOL 1PT,WIGAN 1PT and WBA 2pts

  122. Mark_Yid says:

    Wow. I have been sticking up for Harry but this article really made me realise that he has to go!

  123. I-spurs says:

    Great stuff.
    For those defending harry, please read the various comments from ex-clubs. These fans are worried for us, theyve seen all this before and now its like watching bill murray in groundhog day (only not funny).
    Please don’t blame levy. He is protecting the club he is unwilling to spend big money on a short term solution. There are very few chairmen as good as him. He might be a moneyman but his running of the club is excellent (no offence to everton, but look at them and be thankfull).
    I am amazed that so many people have seen through harry.
    He will be gone soon enough.
    Thanks for getting cl with the team that others built and you added to with ex players (what skill that must have taken).
    Klinsmann for me.

  124. Andy Eden says:

    A brilliant summary of why we need to get shot of him before real damage gets done.
    Time now to push on and achieve more without this self aggrandising showman.

  125. Michael of Helsinki says:

    All excellent points. However, it is all too easy for the players to blame the manager while taking no responsibility whatsoever for their performances. A critical component of the Double side was Danny Blanchflower who ran things on the field while Billy Nicholson sat in the stands. The team didn’t need to be spoon fed to know what they should be doing, they were intelligent and self aware enough to work it out for themselves. I started going to The Lane in September 1960; the players of today have not the skill, wit nor individuality to make the modern game anything more than an exercise in tribal identification.

  126. Richard says:

    I enjoyed reading your article, it makes a number of good points. I wonder wether Redknapp’s inabilities as a tactian have been highlighted as a consequence of Levy purchasing V-d-V and refusing to sell Modric. Redknapp feels the need to play his best players, but his best players are not suited all suited to his preferred set-up. Bale, Lennon, Defoe are suited to a 4-4-2, while V-d-V and Modric (and we could add Huddlestone to that list) are not (that is it does not get the best out of their talents). This means we (Spurs) are left to open in the middle and therefore too vulnerable defensively. It also meant the strikers scored too few goals last year. The solution would be to change the personnel or change the system. Instead they have got Parker and Adebayor, the latter gain who is not best in a 4-4-2 shape. If they had sold Modric they may have had more chance to change the shape by playing Sandro and developing into a 4-2-3-1. Redknapp characteristics, his desire to shoe-horn the best players into the same side, combined with his lack of tactical planning (ignoring the fact that the opposition gain an advantage from having done some), are exactly those that the FA has historically liked in a coach making him perfect for the job

  127. colin123 says:

    Harry always brings out the best in players he will turn it around the youngsters that are coming through show a lot of promise now that crouchy gone we can get back to playing football instead of missing the midfield out with the long ball game.

  128. SG says:

    Knee Jerk is your Knee Jerk response to a 4-0 victory.

  129. purple shag says:

    I, for one, rate ‘Arry’s musings. Sure they deflect a lot of flack from sub par performances, but would you be any different in his position. Occasionally, he can be very on the money. Long live the straight shooters…
    Have a look at this for more on the subject

    http://therestijustsquandered.com/2011/09/22/%e2%80%98arry-the-sage/

  130. Mike says:

    Three league wins on the bounce now with a game in hand and 4th spot wide open, this article was knee-jerky as fuck and as already explained is full of holes, a bit like half the responders brains.

    Parker and Adebayor in, Modric now playing more like himself, players coming back from injury and yes, our 2 defeats against the Manchester sides (Joint top of the table as it stands) were with players injured and a lack of transfers in and out at that stage.

    Is Pav still mismanaged after a string of unbeleiveably shit performances? Barring Everton and Blackpool last season we’ve only lost to United, City and Chelsea in 2011…all of whom can dwarf our spending.

    Have some fucking respect for the man that has turned the football club around and has transformed the squad into one capable of competing without having spent that much money in comparison to far better off clubs that ours…and by playing great football.

    Now watch us climb the table and reclaim a Top 4 spot this season, mark my words, this particular blog will be shown up as the massive kneejerk it is.

    Some supporters you are.

  131. martinspurs says:

    How clever you are…didn’t hear anything from you after the calamitous defeats. I hope you’re right and we finish top 4. We should have last season but HR talked too much and delivered too little. Anything less than a top 4 finish this season and the players coming in will make Pav look class

  132. Mike says:

    Wrong Martin, I posted after the ‘calamitous defeats’ (with an understrength squad/multiple injury problems to two of the strongest squads in European football right now), it was a copy and paste from another Spurs forum, but one that echoed my sentiments.

    If by talked too much and delivered too little you meant ended up in the quarter finals of the Champions’ League in our debut season and still finishing 5th in the league and playing great stuff then yeah, what a nightmare.

    Where were you lot when we were completely shit?

    The players coming in will make Pav look class? Who’s this then?

    If clever is being able to see what’s right in front of your face then yes, I’m clever. Harry is a good manager, Pav is a shit footballer and the majority of comments on this blog are from short-sighted idiots of fans.

  133. Mike says:

    Derby win with the next 9 games very winnable.

    Harry out eh Ewan?

    • Ewan Roberts says:

      Mike,

      Are the points I make any less relevant now than they were before our last five games?

      Point one: Media – Harry is still far too talkative. If we start losing, I’m sure he’ll revert to his “2 points from 8 games…they don’t know how good they’ve got it” mantra. His media spat with van der Vaart was terrible man management (supposedly his greatest asset).

      Point two: Modric – How exactly does winning four games detract from his terrible handling of the Modric situation?

      Point three: Form from February to May – We were awful. Fact. Winning four games this season doesn’t change that.

      Point four: Tactics – It’s still plain to see that Redknapp has problems tactically. Against Newcastle we stuck arguably the best central midfielder in the league on the flank (imagine Barcelona putting Xavi on the right of midfield in a flat midfield four!). He also put Bale on the right of midfield to little effect (a far different role to that of a right wing forward in a 4-3-3 which he plays with Wales). Still failing to accommodate van der Vaart. Completely sacrificed the midfield against Arsenal by playing Defoe and not starting Sandro. Arsenal had 63% possession according to Opta. Our midfield, our greatest weapon, was controlled by Arteta, Ramsey and Coquelin. The late equaliser against Newcastle shows that Harry simply does not learn from previous mistakes. Birmingham, Wolves, West Brom – against all three we led 2-1, against all three we did not make a defensive change when leading, against all three we conceded a late equaliser. Low and behold, it happened again against Newcastle.

      Point five: Injuries – Does any team in the league have as many injuries as us? Injuries are not unlucky, they are preventable. Our consistently poor injury record under Harry suggests our coaching team are doing something wrong.

      Point six: Redknapp’s transfer record – Can’t knock the signings of Parker, Ade and Friedel. They’ve been excellent. It’s just a shame we couldn’t have signed Parker/Ade (or a striker eligible to play against Man City) in time to play the Manchesters. We are criminally reliant on Adebayor now, while we will struggle having not brought in a centre-back if Ledley’s injury picked up against Newcastle is serious.

      Point seven: Longevity – I just can’t see Harry being here next season, and that’s mainly why I was motivated to write the blog, to show that there is life after Redknapp, that he is not the Messiah, that his flaws are great and for all his media talk of having saved the club, we actually weren’t in a bad state to begin with. There was quality at the club before Redknapp, and there will be quality after him.

  134. Barry Bernstein says:

    Its funny a friend just sent me this.These comments remind me of the song” Hello Mother, Hello Father” by American comedian Shelly Berman from many years ago.Its pouring with rain and the little boy hates his summer holiday camp.BUT now the sun has come out and he does not want to go home now.
    Most of these comments were written after Spurs defeats against United+City,but I wonder if all these Spurs supporters feel the same way now, because like the little boy in Berman’s comedy song,the sun has begun to come out.
    Harry Boy is a “yackner”(talks too much) never more than when WE played Barcelona.The tactics for this game was absolutely hopeless and all Harry wanted to do before the game was to go on TV and talk a load of crap.
    What Harry Redknapp has got and it is pretty useful in football is like Alan Sugar he is “street wise” and this can cover up a lot of deficiencies. He just about saw in time that Van der Vaart had done his “bit” against Arsenal and as a completely one dimensial old fashioned inside forward it was paramount to get him off the field.
    Actualy I think Harry Reknapp is learning and the old addage of “You cant teach an old dog new tricks” has really become an anochronism so far as Harry is concerned.If somebody from the Lane can keep him away from Sky for 5 minutes and maybe watch “Revista La Liga” or even watch how Manchester United play, there is still hope for us. And yes if the fitness staff at WHL can learn the latest methods with our squad keeping reasonably healthy we can finish in the top 4 this season.

  135. Mike says:

    3rd in the league. Best start since forever. 71% Possession without getting out of 3rd gear.

    Where’d you go Ewan?

  136. Sean says:

    Wow I must say Ewan, and the rest who agreed, you must all look and feel pretty stupid about now… I just re-read this and stopped at, “Redknapp has proven to be tactically inept, fairly impotent in the transfer market and Spurs’ current form in 2011 threatens to undo the excellent work Redknapp had done in bringing Champions League football to White Hart Lane. If Redknapp does not recognise these flaws he can never correct them, and that will cost Spurs a very attainable spot in the top four this season.”…

    Fairly impotent in the transfer market? the money he made on his signings at Portsmouth was ridiculous…. Yes he had the odd flop… but Diarra bought for 5m and sold 20m, Glen Johnson, Defoe, Muntari etc etc….

    This whole blog looks utterly ridiculous now though…

    • Mike Hall says:

      Think that Ewen’s point was made in your financial results. Wage bill up by £35m, all of the record champs league money spent. This season, no champs league revenue, still got the £35m extra wages though. Even with record revenues you made a pre-tax profit of £400k, ie after tax a substantial loss?
      This season, you will naturally make a big loss I would guess. If you don’t make the champs league for next season, this will potentially be a very big issue, along the lines of Leeds, although Spurs are backed by some very wealthy people so may be able to absorb it. And that is fine, redknapp is fine, as long as you continue to have money to spend.
      The problem is with how efficiently it is spent. Look at forward signings since his arrival at Spurs. Keane – £12m, Crouch £9m, Defoe, £10m. Bent sold for £11m then resold by Sunderland for £24m a year later. Pavyluchencko ignored.

      Again, this is fine as long as you can afford to continually sign big money strikers and discard them at a similar rate.
      If I went through a list of midfielders discarded by Redknapp at Spurs; Palacios, Jenas, O’Hara, Prince-Boateng, Bentley, Dos Santos…The key point is this; someone like David Moyes would be happy to knit those players into a really good unit in midfield over time, although as individuals most aren’t as good as Modric or VDV. Redknapp simply discards them and signs new players because, (frankly I’ve observed this after watching him manage Pompey during our two most successful spells), he doesn’t know how to knit odd players into a pattern, he signs whole new teams.
      Redknapp is a great manager to have all the time you can keep spending money on new players. When you can’t, he walks. That is the lesson of his history with other clubs, and what you aren’t seeing is the iceberg of the legacy of what it took to get players in and what it took to shift them again in some cases, because that is what did for us at Pompey, the massive sell on clauses and payments to people that meant that the club got nothing from most of the transfer fees we received.
      Finally, for every player we made a big profit on at Pompey, there was another who made a massive loss. Utaka and Nugent between them cost us about £22m over the life of their contracts
      .
      Redknapp is fine, all the time you’ve got plenty of money to spend you’ll do well. Let’s just hope you have always got money to add to the wage bill (which has something like doubled since his arrival I am told?) and money to spend on fees and to write off to move players back out again.

      • Sean says:

        Hahahahahahahahha….. “Think that Ewen’s point was made in your financial results. Wage bill up by £35m,” £35m? A year? Please please please… Tell me where our wage bill has gained £35m this year?

        Comparing to Leeds is an obvious sign you have no idea at all what you’re talking about, their revenue and wage bill were so far disjointed its unreal…. Our chairman actually has a clue, hence us missing out on signing Downing, Suarez, Rossi and all the other 100k a week wanters… We can’t afford those wages so don’t pay them….

        “Let’s just hope you have always got money to add to the wage bill (which has something like doubled since his arrival I am told?)” – Come on Einstein, who “told” you that….. Your mate Daniel Levy or some keyboard warrior on a useless Pompey fans forum…. Please embellish us.

      • SG says:

        Mike says: Too much

      • Mike Hall says:

        Spurs results for last season, wage bill up to £97m pa – £35m up on the previous year.
        Enjoy the football results guys, I hope you do.

      • Sean says:

        Thats for up to June 2011, the year we played in the Champions league and got that back and more in revenue from that?

        So now we’re not in it… We’ve sold or loaned out (getting off the wage bill)
        Crouch, Palacios, O’Hara, Bentley, Jenas, Hutton amongst others….£30m in transfer / loan fees and wages off the bill, and spent only £5m on transfer fees…

        So you make changes year on year depending on the situation…. And yes, I think most of us are enjoying the results recently, thanks Mike.

  137. Mike says:

    Almost forgot game in hand too.

  138. Mike says:

    You’re talking rubbish and all.

    Record revenue, wage bill would include players now no longer at the club. Turnover up. The fact you mention Spurs in the same breath as Leeds when talking about wages shows you don’t have much of a clue either though to be honest.

    Keane sold for £20m before he was signed for £12m (when the club was in crisis), Crouch £9m and sold for £10m, Defoe £10m (from your lot who owed Spurs money…probably all because of Redknapp and nothing to do with a couple of dodgy chairman and a failure to get a good grasp of SAGE or MS Excel from the accountants) and still playing and scoring, Bent sold for £10m (which rose to £16.5m) then resold by Sunderland for £18m (rising to £24m) a year later, which the club also got a sell on % of.

    Pavyluchenko was ignored because he’s completely fucking shite.

    If I went through a list of midfielders discarded by Redknapp at Spurs; Palacios, Jenas, O’Hara, Prince-Boateng, Bentley, Dos Santos (IS STILL AT THE CLUB and still not very good)…The key point is this; they’re not good enough to live with a midfield that includes Bale, Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Pienaar, Parker, Huddlestone and Kranjcar.

    You talk a load of old bollocks.

  139. SG says:

    Mike says: blah blah bluuergh

  140. Mike says:

    Quite the wordsmith. SG = Super Gimp?

  141. Tom Davies says:

    Bullshit at the time of writing and bullshit now. All the haters are now just waiting for a bad patch so they can crawl out from under their stones and start banging the drum again.

    Pathetic.

    • Ewan Roberts says:

      FWIW, we could have gone third last season had we beaten Blackpool. We lost 3-1. We’ve been in this position before and cocked it up, we’re only 11 games into a 38 game season. From your perspective, if we were to lose the next few games, would that suddenly “prove” my points accurate in your view? Probably not. I stand by all the points I made, I believe they are as relevant now as they were in August. I will happily admit that Redknapp is without doubt the best Spurs manager in my lifetime. By a mile. But that’s not to say that just because we’ve had worse doesn’t mean we can’t have better, or that he isn’t without faults. We use the mediocrity we endured for years as a barometer for everything. Any criticism of Redknapp is often met with “Where were you during Sugar’s reign?” or something similar. Why use such a low point in the history of Spurs to measure our relative success? I personally see Redknapp like I saw Wilson Palacios: Palacios was exactly what we needed at the time, he sparked us to life, he was arguably the best defensive midfielder we’d had for a very long time. But we outgrew him, the team evolved beyond him – and I believe the same is true of Redknapp (for the reasons outlined in the article). Undoubtedly Redknapp is a good manager, he’s got us purring, but can I ever see us winning anything with him? No – because at the highest level of football, the game almost becomes a chess match between opposing managers (Ferguson v Wenger, Mourinho v Benitez, Mourinho v Guardiola) and Redknapp often loses out in high level tactical battles. We plays one expansive, entertaining way, no matter the opposition. We can be out-thought, we can be overawed by a specific, premeditated game plan because we are so predictable, so easy to read. As much as it may not seem like it, I’d love for Redknapp to win something with us. But I just can’t ever see us lasting the distance in the league over 38 games (and winning the league has to be a long term objective – sometimes we get so caught up in the race for Champions League football and Sky’s “Big Four” that we lose sight of the fact that you win nothing for finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th), nor do I believe Redknapp can engineer a gameplan to beat the better teams in knockout competitions. But the crux of my initial post was focusing on the long term, and us taking the next step from top four contenders to title contenders. Can Redknapp make that step? I’m not convinced (even if we are flavour of the month right now). And, one way or another (England job, health, tax case), I think it’s entirely probable that Redknapp won’t be here come the start of the next season. (Worth noting that Avram Grant reached a Champions League final and finished 2nd in the league with a Chelsea squad not dissimilarly talented to the one at Redknapp’s disposal)

      • SG says:

        I’m not even a Spurs fan, but the author has clearly sat and and thought about what he feels is going on at his club. He’s trying to see the big picture rather than short term solutions.

        Comments like “look at the table” are just short sighted and frothing at the mouth responses.

      • Sean says:

        I wouldn’t say its down to Harry we don’t win the league… We have a very good side, but we don’t have a good enough squad by far… The difference in Redknapp to your comparisons with Wenger, Ferguson, Mourinho and Guardiola is they’ve won things whilst spending mega money…. Wenger won major titles with spending plenty and paying huge wages… Mourinho bought the title and Ferguson can spend 40-50m+ every summer and pay Rooney 200k a week… Something Spurs simply cannot do. Guardiola has a wonderful way of getting Barcelona to play brilliant football, but its hardly difficult with the side he’s been blessed with. And even with that, he’s spent 20-30m on Sanchez, Alves and others so its a bit harsh to compare old ‘Arry to any of that lot.

        I think if we do get a new stadium bringing in 60k to every home game, then we’ll look to spend the big wages and maybe have the money to go and buy the 30m superstars…. Until that day comes I think we need to just enjoy what we have and stop moaning… We’ve not had it this good for years.

        Love the fact all the people who agreed with this post after 2 losses have gone very very quiet now….

        And SG – “Comments like “look at the table” are just short sighted and frothing at the mouth responses.” – The same as all the “look where West Ham, Portsmouth and Southampton went after Harry left….” drivel we hear about ALL the time.

  142. Sean says:

    And I forgot to ask, to all the haters… Who could we attract to manage us who is better than Harry and not after 100k a week wages….

    I think Moyes, Coyle and Hughes have been mentioned… Hardly set the world alight have they?

  143. Schwein says:

    Really appreciate the writer dared to write this article at the beginning of the season considering he would be slating by most of the Spurs fan when things were still alright at that time, but now?!

    And note this article is not talking about Redknapp’s fault and anything he did wrong . But just focus on he “is no longer the manager to take Spurs forward” which is totally spot on IMO.

    If Redknapp is that good he would have sorted the problems out and the bad run won’t last that long which it could still continue.
    Form is temporary, class is permanent. Apparently Redknapp is the former .

  144. Martin, Sydney Spurs says:

    We have 4 games against opposition we should walk over…yet I doubt we will. I can see QPR beating us..and Bolton too.

  145. Dan T says:

    Wow. I didn’t realise so many Spurs fans felt this way about ‘arry. I’m an Arsenal fan(but come in relative peace) and like most Arsenal fans we love the fact that ‘arry is in charge of Spurs. I’m praying the FA come to their senses and don’t appoint him as England manager so he can keep up this remarkable run with Spurs. I really think if he had got the England job 2-3 months ago then Arsenal wouldn’t have had a hope in hell of catching you lot but as it is, 1 win in 9 now and can’t even see them beating Blackburn at the Lane this weekend. The crowd reaction will be very interesting if you don’t get 3 points in this one. I genuinely thought all Spurs fans were deluded and would jump off cliffs for ‘arry. Guess your not all as mad as I thought.
    Great article. A very interesting read. Brave to write it at the time that you did aswell.

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