25 hours

the clocks go back and redknapp comes in as levy executes a managerial clear-out






Well, that was a shock wasn't it ?

A change had to be made, as when Woodgate and Bentley coming out with their comments last week it forced the club's hand a bit.  I am a bit concerned about the amount of power the players have in deciding that the manager has lost the dressing room, as it only takes a player to become a bit disgruntled and if they are influential in the dressing room, it can soon lead to the manager being on his way out. 

From the outside, it appeared that Ramos had not worked out the best way to play in the Premier League.  Playing with one forward is fine, if you have the structure and players behind him to support that lone front man.  It is not a way that English players are familiar with and if he intended to play that way, why didn't he start after the Carling Cup win, so that the players had time to get accustomed to it ??

Whether his lack of English was a problem, I don't know.  His decision making was probably what cost him his job.  His look at the end of the Stoke game spoke more to the Spurs supporters than any of the words he came out with.  "Rabbit in the headlights" is how some described it and the stories that followed his sacking perhaps back that up, with late changes to the line-up despite having trained with one eleven all week.  Perhaps he wasn't getting too worked up about Tottenham's position, as he had a poor start with Seville in his last season there and moved them up the table before he left.  But that was Spain and here things are a little different.

Levy was forced to take action with rumours of protests against him and the AGM coming up ... not to mention the poorest start in the club's history.  The constant chopping and changing of management is quite unsettling, as they bring in their own back-room staff and want their own players and then there is the added expense of paying them off and paying their "transfer fee" to bring them in.

Consistency is what the club need and as this will probably be "Hangdog" Harry Redknapp's last job in management (although you can't pout anything past Tottenham Hotspur), it might be a few years of stability.  If he can get Spurs out of this current predicament, then he can help the club go forward.

However, some sections of the media have been bigging him up a little too much, saying he has a great record.  Well, that might be in relation to the clubs he has managed, but his FA Cup win with Portsmouth last season was his first major trophy.  He has kept teams up when it looked like they were heading down a division, which is where we are at the moment, but he has not been able to challenge at the top.  Therefore, it remains to be seen what he can do with a "top club".  It is something he has been calling Spurs for a few years now.  Even this season he was saying we were too good to go down and had quality players who would get us out of the situation we found ourselves in.  Well, now is his chance to prove it.

It should not be forgotten that Redknapp has had some issues in his past.  The police action where they raided his house and their subsequent apology, when there were lots of police raids over corruption in football.  Through the years there have been rumours about transfer dealings his clubs have been involved in, but they have only been rumours.  There is no doubt that Harry is good at getting the best out of some players.  Some he hasn't had so much success with, but he has a record of brining talented youngsters through at West Ham and has introduced quite a few at Portsmouth.  Some of his transfers have been hits and some have been misses, but they do come and go in great numbers.

Let's not forget that he was slagging Spurs fans two weeks ago over the Sol Campbell abuse.  Does he still want those fans banned now ?  Probably, as he is quite a moral man.  However, he has already acknowledged that Tony Adams would not be following him to White Hart Lane as he is an Arsenal man and wouldn't come to Tottenham, so he must understand why the Spurs fans are so upset about Campbell's departure ... however many years ago it was.  It is just the boundaries of that criticism that need to be looked at.  And Harry has said that he was a Spurs fan as a kid, although stories have circulated previously that he regularly went to Arsenal when his Dad took him to football.  Who do you believe ??

As for the others who have made way, I feel a little sorry for Gus Poyet.  I think he is a good coach and one day will make a very good manager.  Perhaps he will be tarred with Ramos lack of success, but I hope not and the fact that Manchester United and Newcastle United were courting him show what esteem he is held in.  One of my worries is that another former Spurs midfielder Tim Sherwood (and mate of Jamie) is being linked with a place in Harry's coaching set-up.  An outspoken pundit on Setanta and one who was not very fan-friendly (claiming they knew nothing about football), he was one of the players who was rumoured to have lost Glenn Hoddle the dressing room in his time as manager and lead to the sacking of the Spurs legend.  Hopefully, if he is now poacher turned gamekeeper, he will take a different tack.

Damien Comolli will go down in Spurs history as the man who took the Director of Football role into the shadows.  Was it his lack of a good enough scouting network or that he was not a great judge of players ?  It has emerged since his departure that the only player he discovered while at Arsenal was Gael Clichy.  None of the other young stars who have broken through.  Big money was spent on a lot of players it has been reported he was responsible for bringing in and they have not broken into the team or have moved on.  Some players appear to have been panic buys (Rasiak, Rocha, GIlberto) who all seem to be players not of the quality required.  It was interesting that our former Head Scout Ronnie Boyce who was sacked some months ago is an ex-West Ham United team-mate of Redknapp's.  Will he be back and has he got a representative in each country of the world to find out who the up and coming players are ?  That is what is needed in this time of all the top clubs in the world trying to find the next big superstar.

As for Marcos Alvarez, I don't think that there is any doubt that he made the players fitter, but was it at the expense of making the players more tired ??  The fitness regime in pre-season seemed to work a treat, but when it came to the real thing it all went wrong.  Why ??  Who knows.  Did the players feel the need to eat more heartily and thus decide to have an English manager in after a number of years ??

While Levy had probably decided enough was enough with the Sporting Director role, one of the things that crossed my mind was that Redknapp wouldn't have come with someone in that role.  He raged against Avram Grant doing that job at Pompey when he was there. This new structure might improve things, but there has not been an on-going commitment to running the club without a Director of Football again in the future, as he has said he will not return to it as long as Harry is manager at Tottenham.  Levy had to return to a system that suited an English manager, as Redknapp knows the clubs involved, having put teams up against them over the years and knows the game in this country, so could hit the ground running, which appear to be two aspects of the Head Coach's job that Ramos were unable to adapt quickly to. 

Ironically, it makes you wonder whether he was more successful at Seville because he had a better Director of Football ??

benny the ball

27.10. 2008


After reading our Chairman's letter, I thought that he omitted a few 'key points' that he has overseen during his tenure at the club.

1) Wasn't it Levy that scoured the cream of Europe's finest clubs to see for himself how a Director of Football worked  ?

2) Wasn't it Levy who said that Tottenham would adopt this system as it was the 'way forward', and that Tottenham would implement it to be successful, and that any managerial casualties wouldn't affect the way the club operated ?

3) Wasn't it this system that caused Hoddle to be sacked as he couldn't work with Pleat ?

4) Wasn't it this system that caused Levy to sack one of our most successful managers in recent years (Jol) because he couldn't work with Comolli's signings ?

So Mr. Levy, the DoF doesn't work in British Football, and we are now back to 'square one'.
We've wasted years with your 'master plan', only for you to say we will now go back to one man in charge of ALL signings, namely the manager.

Perhaps an apology should be forthcoming Mr Levy, after all it was you, wasn't It ?

mark (formerly known as 'paxton mark')



I don't think many of us thought that Comolli would last the week, but I think most Spurs fans would have thought Ramos would get another week or two, but to lose all of them, plus Poyet and get Harry in ? 

I don't think anyone predicted that.  

I personally feel sorry for Ramos, although I think he was out of his depth and also underestimated the Premiership.   4-4-2 is the only way to play when you are struggling and asking a bunch of players who have never played together to play in various formations and pitch positions is fine if you have a team that has played together for years, but Spurs is a team which has had the guts ripped out of it and a bunch of strangers who have absolutely no idea how to play together combined with a manager who can't make up his mind what system he wants.  

I feel sorry for Ramos because I doubt he would have wanted to lose Keane and Berbatov, but now it looks like the board have finally woken up and realised the continental system of management doesn't work here, then if he had complete control he might  have done better.  In truth, since the Carling Cup, Spurs have been poor.  Selling all the players who aren't quite right is not good management.  Getting the best out of non-perfect players is.  Who would you want to get the best out of not-perfect players ?  Redknapp !

As for Redknapp, well I've always liked his no-nonsense style and the fact he can get the best out of players by building confidence.  I've always thought he hated Spurs and over the years it seems he has done well against us.  I remember a story about how one of the Spurs coaching staff went to West Ham and was appalled that at the end of the West Ham training session, they players had piggy back fights.  The ex-Spurs physio apparently said to Harry 'boss you can't do this, at Spurs we'd have a warm-down', to which Harry replied (allegedly) 'Spurs ? Spurs ? We have been doing the warm-down piggy back fight here since Bobby Moore invented it.   Spurs ? Bunch of bl**dy po*fs.'

What Spurs need is some bite.  I can't think of a decent player with bite in the midfield since Terry Yorath.   Compare today's midfield/defence with players like Paul Miller, Graham Roberts, Terry Yorath and you'll see that the team needs a strong spine, and Harry is exactly right, that is exactly what they lack.  The defence looks poor because the midfield doesn't protect them.   If you were Woodgate and you had Jenas, Zokora, Huddlestone, Modric in front of you, you would know you were up for a hard day at the office wouldn't you.

Personally I'm really optimistic about this.  We might still go down, but with Harry at the helm, we definitely won't go down without a fight.  I also think there are some teams (WHU is one of them) who will be in a very different position in January.


ray hockley


Well the board has acted and sacked the lot !!

Redknapp ?  I didn't see that one coming, but he can't be no worse can he ?  When I heard the news it cheered me up a little - then I read Levy's open letter.  As long as he sticks to his word and lets Tottenham go back to being a football club, then fine.  I take my hat off to him.  Let the manager do the deals, the talks, the motivation.

Players ?  It's now up to you.  Roll your sleeves up and play for your life.

With a bit of luck we may beat Bolton today and start to amass points - but with our forward line, I still think Harry has his work cut out.

But, please, prove me wrong.  This has to be the worse time I have felt as a Spurs fan - oh how I would love to stick two fingers up at all the so called Scum supporters who are mocking us now !!  Turn it round Harry - if we survive this season and the scum win f all again, then I settle for that.

But a lot of work needs to be done so jury still out at moment.


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