that I’m going well against the grain here especially with the two guys
I sit with, but I don’t like Harry, never have done, never will do and
don’t want him anywhere near our club.
that he is a symptom of how badly Tottenham is run in some areas rather
than a cause. After Newcastle and their abject shambles of a
structure and personnel selection policy, we surely qualify certainly in
football terms as the worst run club in the league. Events of the
past fourteen months or longer surely bear this out. With the most
successful manager in the recent league history of the club shamefully
undermined by the club’s transfer policy over the course of the year
before he was virtually subjected to a public execution by the
hierarchy, we replaced him with the man who beat us in a cup. His
sole qualification appearing to be, that he outthought our manager in
that Cup. No mention of our dependence in that game on a central
defender with a crocked knee and the unavailability of the central
defender purchased to cover for that position being cup-tied.
Let’s come back to transfers later.
Jol was flawed in some areas and appeared to struggle to take a step
onwards and take points and pots away from the “big four”. He was
fired not because of the slow start of that season, but because his side
lost leads to Chelsea in the FA Cup and the Gooners in the Carling Cup.
Enter the incomprehensible Ramos who basically did well in three big
games with somebody else’s team and then along with our former sporting
director off loaded and dismantled the best league team we have had,
certainly in Premier League history if not longer. Much has been
made of the club structure and how it doesn’t work. It is
criticised openly by Harry Redknapp among others as it goes against
their policy of total ownership of the playing structure and their final
say on any player purchased. An old school manager who actually
hasn’t achieved much of a return for all his years in management, Harry
pushes against modern elements of the game that he doesn’t seem to
understand any more, if he ever did.
of a short term motivator I have no doubt that he has lifted our
unbalanced squad of highly paid players, but where is the astute
tactical nous needed over the course of the season ? Where was the
tactical change in the home loss to an Everton side lacking ambition ?
Where was the realisation that the two central midfielders where side by
side and neither getting forward to the isolated attackers ? Using
every cliché and stock phrase in the book, “Old ‘Arry” the eminent self
publicist would have us believe that he will lead Tottenham onto better
and bigger things. Unless his “buy ‘em in and shake up” plan suddenly
becomes foolproof, how else will he do it ?
do it by continually playing the shocking out of form Bentley in his
favoured right sided position despite his inability to deliver a ball
from open play or a set piece? Will he do it by playing the most
influential player to date this season Lennon, out of position on the
left to accommodate Bentley, another eminent self publicist, on the
right? Will he do it by allowing Bale to slowly degenerate from a multi
million pound “next best thing” into a potential make weight in a deal
to banish him to the North East? Where is the coaching for Bale? Where
is the development? It’s not coming from Harry because he doesn’t know
how to. Having surrounded himself with his own selected coaches, we can
take now the time to remember Harry’s term at the SCBC who were in dire
straights when he joined. They were however fourth from bottom. After a
few wins and points gained, “we did well, we fought well” and when they
went down, “they were doomed when I got here”. Listen out for the
selected use of “we”, “I”, “they” and “us”. When it’s going well, its
“we” when not, “them”. While with coaches, has anybody else noticed that
since that legend Les Ferdinand was appointed to work with the strikers,
none of them has scored a league goal ?
structure with Arnesen and Jol was working. When Santini left, it
was an easy transition for Jol. While there were mistakes, Atouba for
example, there were well planned and needed transfers such as Naybet,
who solved two problems in one hit. Stability and cover, and as a
side benefit we saw King develop with a stable solid partner. How
this policy degenerated once our man Frank left for the Roubles is shown
on the mix up around the Murphy/Medes in and out, as well as the
Davenport/Rocha swap. Here is where Jol is not without blame (Lee
and Ghaly anybody ?), but he was undermined by the club. While we
needed another Naybet, we got Kaboul and don’t get me started on
Boateng. A wise head with a full knowledge of the game can work
with a good coach, it’s about the people and not the structure.
Harry won’t work with it, because he has full faith in himself and his
own abilities. These abilities don’t go far beyond a good sound
bite and short term impact. This man would not talk to the BBC
ever again don’t forget, but like big Sam, never sued and when it suited
him, was happy to pop up in front of the microphones once again.
the league table now. All “big four” clubs are misfiring, and
where are we ? We are looking downwards not upwards, doing mental
points calculations at every fixture to see where we can slip to or
climb to. How would Jol and his team do in this season ? If
correctly supported, they would have done very well indeed for sure.
shambles of a summer policy especially around the centre back/centre
forward slots is causing us considerable pain. More evidence of
how badly the club is run, but I don’t see how Harry will correct this
other than with a mish-mash of players and a huge squad. He can
then mix it up, talk sound bites and fall back on the “they were bottom
when I got here and the squad was bare bones.” His appointment has
pushed us back to the dinosaur days of football. We’ll see an
influx of journeymen and never quite was players while Harry rakes in
the coin, with luck he’ll be gone next summer. He will have a public row
with Levy over money and go, probably sowing the seeds of his departure
to get his retaliation in first. Remember not long before he left
Portsmouth, he was talking about “as far as I can ?” etc, the money was
running out and curiously, West Ham had a vacancy.
fired after the two best league seasons in recent history. Harry’s
targets are much lower, survival will bring about a big bonus for him
and the rest of the club hierarchy no doubt. So, because of
immense mismanagement, our ambitions slip from one end of the table to
the other in little more than fourteen months. It’s a testament to
the shambles of a club that while admittedly on solid financial footing
it seems, in what my Dad would have called it, a "total buggers muddle"
in all other areas. Harry didn’t cause it, and short term he is a
necessary evil, but not one to “Take us on” to use another well worn
again, I think it just maybe too late for that and our influx of
Lithuanian left backs that we’ve never heard of, will keep us firmly
ensconced in a nice, safe 12th place or so.