Redknapp: if only he’d tried to be Spurs
I didn’t think I needed to vent; I thought I’d said it all in this letter back in April. Turns out I hadn’t, so here goes.
If he’d toed the party line, he’d still be manager.
If he hadn’t flirted with the England job, and if he hadn’t tried to conduct contract negotiations in public, he’d still be manager.
But that is Harry – if he thinks he can improve his own position by talking to his friends in the press, he’ll do it – without caring about whether it brings the club into disrepute, or makes the chairman look daft.
At the end of March, when Redknapp was being asked about the England job (on a weekly basis) he said:
“They [the players] don’t care whether I’m the manager next year. They wouldn’t lose any sleep over that. That’s football.
Footballers play the game, they come in every day and train. Someone else walks in here tomorrow – the king is dead long live the king! They don’t worry. They don’t think ‘Harry is going to England’ or ‘he is going to go somewhere else’.
Fast-forward to June, and he seemed to have had a total turn-around:
“If they [the club] don’t extend it [his contract] and I go into my last year, it is not an easy one when players know you have only got a year left.
It is not a case of me looking for security. What it is about is players knowing you have only got year left on your contract and knowing that it doesn’t work, basically. I think it’s a situation of, ‘well, he might not be here next year’.”
This just about sums the man up; he’s hinting at his own players leaving – weakening our bargaining position, putting thoughts in players mind – in order to push the board into offering him a longer contract.
And it is because of these sorts of comments, I’m almost sure, that he is no longer manager.
His record largely speaks for itself – two top four finishes, Champions League football; we’ve “never had it so good” (“…and if you know your history…“) – but his short-term approach to achieve these finishes does leave a somewhat sour taste.
Bringing in the likes of Friedel, Gallas, Parker, Nelsen, Saha – all ageing players – plus Adebayor only on loan, means that we have another summer of rebuilding ahead of us and would have done even if he’d still been there. He has marginalised a large section of the squad, leaving them ready to quit the club (or already having quit in Kranjcar’s case), and meaning that we have a core of 12-15 players who will realistically be considered for selection next season.
Congratulations to Redknapp for some wonderful football during his tenure. Congratulations for the run of league finishes. Congratulations on bringing Champions League football to the Lane – it was great.
But you never really had me feeling involved – I never felt like you were one of us, or even wanted to be. I don’t know whether it was the fact that you commuted all that way because you couldn’t leave Sandbanks. I don’t know whether it was the fact that you referred to us (the lifeblood of the club) as “them”, whether it was calling fans who phoned TalkSport “idiots”, or whether it was the “they’ve never had it so good” line. Some will miss you because of the relative success that you brought, but to me supporting a club is about a lot more than achieving 4th place finishes, and for that reason I’m not crying.
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I know a lot of fans want success at any costs - probably the same fans who wouldn't complain if we were bought out by an oligarch - but it seems like you're somewhere in the middle.
Personally I'd rather feel a part of the club that's all pulling together in the same direction but finishes 5th or 6th than one with a manager who couldn't care less about the traditions and history or the fans but will deliver decent league finishes.
Thanks for the good times Harry, but I won't miss your media-whore personality. If only you'd been intelligent enough to keep your head down and your mouth shut.
I agree with you about him never feeling like one of us and having been a supporter for over 50 years now, I half resented his references to 'them'. Love your work mate and particularly enjoy your bits on the loanees. Cheers for all.
there are too many examples to name and that is not just this season but last season as well!
I'm happy that Arry has gone I just hope Levy gives the new man (Pep) a war chest so we can build on what we have got
that someone comes in who has an idea what to do when things go wrong on the football pitch. He was very lucky to have managed our fabulous football club. Come on you Spurs.
Inglethorpe, Ebleton and Mcdermott for example have given us a system of developement and integration that should rival our competitors, I would hope this remained intact. How long is it since we had a kid that came into the first team and looked like staying? We've had kids with the quality, but always lacking that extra little bit, when was the last one? king? carr? Lennon was an in at the deep end test and thats before we exclude players we didnt develop pre16. I may be missing someone obvious, but more to the point we now have something that looks like a sustainable production line
I don't think we need to worry about JM or AI leaving, though...
Like I say in the article, supporting a football club isn't just about success/failure - it's so much more.
Of course he blew it when we were at 3rd spot but it's not his fault that Chelsea won the CL is it?
Some Spurs fans have no patience and want short-term solutions to everything. And that could be our downfall.
Good luck to our new manager, because if he doesn't get at least a top four spot or silverware next season, another witch hunt from impatient, deluded and unrealistic fans will begin!
Thanks for the many great memories Harry. Some of us will miss you.
I would be happy to appoint a long-term manager and would take a couple of years of finishing lower whilst he gets to grips with the task at hand.
I appreciate all that Harry has done for us,but as someone has highlighted in a previous post,Redknapp is a media whore who doesn't know when to keep quiet. This has only added to his downfall in my opinion.
I was there, singing "Harry Redknapp - we want you to stay" with the rest at the Newcastle-game in february. I wasn't sure then, but thought it be better if he stayed untill the end of the season, than to have the whole upheaval midseason, with no transfer window to support the new manager for the first 6 months.
If only I had known then what I do now... Our abysmal run from the mentioned Newcastle-game untill the end of the season could not have been worse either way. We could have had a donkey at the helm, and still manage the same points tally.
Add to that, both the "young and exciting" replacement managers have now been snapped up by Liverpool and Villa. Unless Levy's got Pep Guardiola in his sleeve, that probably mean we're left with a choice between Moyes or Martinez. How would Bale, Modric, VdV and our other high-profile players take that?
We're do or die now. Levy MUST get this next appointment right. More than anything, Redknapps replacement will be a statement to our players that we're serious, we mean business. I'm afraid that if we go for Martinez (or even Moyes), we'll be signaling to our current squad (let alone transfer targets) that we're content to be a "second tier" club in the Premier League. That would certainly mean a farewell to Modric and Bale, and possibly also VdV.
Now, if Levy does have a world class replacement lined up (a certain Mr. Capello, a certain Mr. Guardiola, or a certain mr. Mourinho) we could very well retain the services of all our high profiles, and to build on what we did achieve last season, which was at times stunning football, brilliant attacking and flowing, and perhaps in time challenge for honours.
Get it wrong, and we're back in mid-table obscurity before you can say balaclavasareveryhotinthedesert!
Does Bale, Modric and Adebayor make you feel they are one of us? That they've got Spurs running through their blood and that their love for the club far outweighs the disappointment of not reaching the CL or the relative paucity of EPL wages paid by the club compared with the new money in the game? Of course not.
We need to wake up and stop deluding ourselves:
1. Harry was brought in at a time of crisis and he succeeded. Since then, he did what he's always done, and bought tried and tested (ageing) players who helped us climb up the table while Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea all wobbled at the same time. Arsenal and Chelsea recovered, and Spurs - deluded by the press and by us fans running away with ourselves - declined. And embarrassingly so.
2. Then England (never came) calling. And Arry (I ain't no f*****g wheeler-dealer, I can't read or write) Redknapp made everything worse. He has since admitted he would have left Spurs at the end of the season for England, and listening to his tactical analysis again and his punditry over the Euros, thank f**k for England he wasn't offered the job.
3. What is 'the Spurs' way'? What is 'I never felt he was one of us'? Every club up and down the country wants loyalty from players and a set of family-like principles to which their fans can aspire?
If we want to seriously take the club to the next level, let's get a decent stadium to generate the revenue to buy a better squad and increase our commercial advantage abroad by taking B teams littered with a couple of stars to Asia, Africa, the Far East. Let's pay for better transport links, because TFL ain't gonna do it. And let's start building from first principles: a long-term manager that nourishes academy youth into Spurs men.
Whoever comes in next season. Expect more of the same, if you're lucky. But we're 10 years behind the true Top 4 and the Arse, and with Levy and Lewis (rather than a pluralistic board) holding the purse-strings, it will be more pacifying and soul-searching next year, while we struggle to maintain a campaign for an entire season.
You're right Windy that Harry had to go, but the reasons why are far deeper than your blog suggests.
All the best,
Re point 1 - don't disagree with any of that until you get to "deluded by the press and by us fans running away with ourselves" - you think that was the reason we failed to get 3rd? For me, it's all on Redknapp - be it court case, England, tactical errors, lack of rotation or otherwise.
Re point 2: agree.
Re: point 3: 'I never felt he was one of us' - he made little effort to get to know the traditions of the club or to empathise with our fans, which was a real shame.
- Isn't it just, and how depressing.
Agree that Redknapp has achieved some good things, but his lack of respect for the club, the fans, and his boss has been unpleasant to say the least.
Arry's hype will get him another job, but he'll never manage a bigger club then Spurs.
Unfortunately getting CL football backfired, which may have kiboshed any pre-arranged agreements with his planned next man in. But I really think Levey is very shrewd and will have a plan up his sleeve, hes not a gambeler and I can see him not having the next man sorted before outing Redknapp.
Trust Levey, right now I think hes is more important to us than Redknapp or Modric for that matter. @darrenjackson75
Don't hate Harry he is a product of modern football.
The only people at the club which are spurs are the supporters, not the players( bar ledly) manager or chairmen.
To them it is buissiness not a passion.
The only interests that were considered during this decision were that of David and his faceless men.
Aside from the fact that I do genuinely think that a better tactician could take us further than Redknapp over the next 5 years (although probably not over the next 2), there are so many "off-pitch" downsides to Redknapp, as I tried to outline.
The bottom line is this; if we don't get a top 4 finish next season, we will once again under Levy be going backwards. It's been the pattern of ENIC's ownership since day 1. What amuses me is how few Spurs fans can see through the facade and understand how his financial control over the last two seasons has shaped the position we are now in.
A lessor manager would have failed far sooner under those financial conditions.
Personally think you have to focus on medium to long term rather than short term (something Redknapp failed to do). AVB will have more chance of taking Spurs to "the next level" than Redknapp IMO, but that's pretty much missing the point of my article.
So much more to being a Spurs fan than 4th plae finishes IMO.
As for failing to focus on the medium to long term, the reality is completely the opposite, just witness Harry Kanes commments in respect of how much redknap helped him. It's a shame that once again a throw away line such as that isn't properly examined in light of our complete lack of spending for the past two seasons and more importantly the failure by our Chairmen to do the deals for new players that he told Redknapp were within in his reach, which he subsequently failed to conclude a single one of.