by Noel Draper
It would be very easy for me to knock up another piece belittling dear old Harry Redknapp and my first thought was to do so. But then I stopped and had another think. As much as I detest the man, and believe me I do detest him, a lot, he has provided the world of football with some much needed pathos from his quite frankly bizarre tactical selections to his cheeky chappy press conferences. So here is a Redknapp tribute to his Tottenham days. A thank you if you will.
When you replaced Juande Ramos back in 2008 the side you inherited were languishing near the bottom of the table and devoid of any team spirit. Players like Jonathan Woodgate had already voiced their concerns over the style of play on offer at White Hart Lane but that was going to change, wasn’t it. You had already stated that Tottenham were a “big, big club” when asked about the move at the press conference and that “Tottenham have come in and offered £5million, which is good for the club”. It seems that money is never far from your thoughts, is it Harry?
Good job the chairman gave you loads more of your favourite thing to buy some players with then wasn’t it? Back came the experience of Robbie Keane, some fire power in the shape of Defoe and Palacios to shore up the midfield. Look what happened. Tottenham started to shoot up the table and finished the season in 8th position. You must have been very proud. Especially for your old club Portsmouth seeing as you gave them nearly £16 million for Jermain. A profit of £10 million pounds for the south coast team who you used to manage. In just over a year.
Still, Spurs fans looked forward to the start of the new season, especially as you had given your old club, Portsmouth, some more of the chairman’s lovely money by signing Crouch for £9 million, Kaboul for £5 million and Niko Kranjcar for around 2. It went well, didn’t it Harry. The new players gelled as though they had played together for years and you finished the season in a very fantastic 4th place. Well done. Champion’s league. You also won the Premier league Manager of the Year award. Very impressive.
You then had the Champion’s League to prepare for and it was no good raiding your former club for players was it? Probably because they had no good ones left to spunk some of the chairman’s money on. Still, you did manage to capture some more midfielders in the shape of Steven Pienaar and Raphael Van Der Vaart. The latter has been an astute piece of business. The 2010/2011 season proved to be one of highs and lows with fantastic wins against Inter Milan at home and AC Milan away meaning you ended up in the Champions League quarter final against Real Madrid. Sure it ended with an overall defeat but you stuck to your principals didn’t you Harry. 4-4-2 all the way. Shame you finished in 5th in the league though.
The next season proved to be your downfall didn’t it. For a start it seemed that the money from your lovely chairman had dried up. No more big signings apart from Scott Parker for £5 million. What did you do? Well, you went down the free route capturing a youthful Brad Friedel from Villa and an injury free striker from Everton in the shape of Louis Saha. Still, your league form was imperious and just after Christmas you were in 3rd place in the Premier league, a whopping 10 points clear of 4th placed Arsenal. Nothing could go wrong. You were invincible. Right up until the media decided, against anything the public actually wanted, that you were going to be the next England manager.
It all collapsed then Harry didn’t it? Instead of just saying “Yes I want the job” you dithered. The team you did actually manage dithered with you and your 10 point gap disappeared meaning another 4th place finish. Still Champion’s League for the second time in 3 years. Oh wait, sorry, the Liverpool rule struck. So it’s Europa League again then which seems a pity considering the standard of football that sometimes appeared when Tottenham were on song. Some people said it was the best in the league and at times it was but as the team stumbled it would appear that your lack of tactical knowledge came to the fore. When things were going wrong, what did you do Harry? What did you do? You told the wingers to switch wings. You let Bale, your most potent weapon, to wander where he liked, that’s what you did. In short, you messed it up. Big time.
And now this. Were you sacked? Were you pushed? Did you resign? With only a year left on your contract were you being greedy? Do you know what? It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. A few Spurs fans may care but I don’t and the reason why is very simple. I have never liked you. Ever. You have ruined every club you have ever worked at with your false promises and failure to get them to the next level. If I was a Tottenham Hotspur fan I would be very happy this morning. I’d be ecstatic.
One last thing Harry. Dear old shifty looking Harry. When you joined Tottenham Harry, do you remember what you said at the press conference? Come on Harry, it was only four years ago. No? I’ll remind you then.
“If we’re all being honest it was a deal which is good for the club and a chance for me to manage a big club before I retire.”
There you go mate. You said you would retire. Off you go now. Bye.