Our squad under Redknapp – a constant work in progress
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I have been clear in my support of Redknapp’s on-pitch achievements thus far, and I do think that until January of this year, he was doing a great job – delivering over-par achievements.
The majority of my criticism of Redknapp has been based on his off-pitch activity. I will not go into the detail of what I see as his short-comings, as they were covered more succinctly than I could ever have managed in Ewan Roberts‘ superb article – One In The Hole blog.
The issue I would like to touch on is the constant “work in progress” state of our squad. Our signings this summer have been hailed by some, and I take the point that we have addressed key areas, and that the players that we have signed should be good signings for this season. However, Friedel at 40, and on a two-year contract, Adebayor on a one-year loan, and Parker (31 in October, albeit on a four-year contract) are not long-term signings; they are signings that will leave us in transition again in the near future.
We now have similar issues in almost every area of our team – players will need replacing in the next one/two/three years, and that is ignoring the fact that our manager is unlikely to be in his post this time next year.
Gomes, linked with a late move away, and seemingly not trusted anymore by Redknapp.
Brad Friedel, 40 years old with two years left on his contract.
Carlo Cudicini, 37 years old with one year left on his contract.
William Gallas, 34 years old with two years left on his contract.
Ledley King, 30 years old with one year left on his contract and well-known injury problems.
Scott Parker, 31 in October and with a history of injuries.
Luka Modric, almost certain to leave in a year unless we challenge for the title.
Emmanuel Adebayor, on a one-year loan and on wages that we could not match on a permanent basis.
Jermain Defoe, 28 years old and seemingly declining at a rapid rate.
Roman Pavlyuchenko, 29 years old and losing value at a similarly rapid rate.
We have also failed to permanently ship out some of the fringe players that Redknapp clearly doesn’t have faith in. Jenas and Bentley have moved, but only on loan. Bassong’s agent confirmed that a deal to QPR was all but tied up, and would presumably have gone ahead had we signed Cahill. Alnwick has managed to cling on to his Spurs career and was given a one year contract in the summer. Giovani Dos Santos failed to secure a move away. None of these players are likely to play more than 5 or 10 games this season.
Redknapp has admitted to interest in Phil Neville and Joe Cole, and has also been linked to Craig Bellamy and Owen Hargreaves. The constant links with ageing players who have question marks over either their fitness, ability, or mental state is worrying.
I have gone into the last few windows thinking what a large amount of work we have had to do – not just in terms of signing top-class players, but also in clearing the decks. The list above highlights the amount of work that Redknapp’s replacement will have, and in my opinion could tempt Levy into another “Director of Football” structure once Redknapp departs.