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Spurs looked jaded but Redknapp still in England pole

When Tottenham were thrashing Newcastle United in February White Hart Lane - and it seemed most of the country - was awash with love for Harry Redknapp.

Fabio Capello had quit as England coach, Redknapp had emerged as "The People's Choice" and Spurs fans were beside themselves with affection for their manager as they pleaded with him to keep out of the Football Association's clutches during a 5-0 win that was a riot of dazzling, attacking football.

How times change. Fast forward to Saturday evening and a 1-0 defeat at QPR and Redknapp was wrestling with the prospect of a season in meltdown as well as listening to Spurs supporters loudly questioning his tactical know-how.

And, to add an extra layer of irony, the manager in the opposite dug-out to Redknapp that night in February was applying his own pressure as Alan Pardew's Newcastle removed Spurs from the Premier League's top four for the first time since November with a 3-0 win against Stoke City.

Harry Redknapp

Redknapp has won just two of 10 Premier League games since Capello left the England role. Photo: AP

If, as has been suggested, the Football Association is holding back an official approach to make Redknapp the next England manager for fear of disrupting Tottenham's season, then it need delay no longer.

Their season is now well and truly disrupted to the point where a top three finish and automatic qualification for next season's Champions League is in danger of being watered down to a place in the Europa League.

If, as most of us reasonably assume, Redknapp is the FA's chosen one a call from Wembley to White Hart Lane as early as this week is highly unlikely to throw Spurs' season any more off course than it already is.

Since Capello quit as England coach Spurs have won only two of 10 Premier League games, the latest being a jaded effort in defeat against a fiercely-resilient and organised QPR.

In reality, this is nothing more than pure coincidence rather than as a result of Redknapp's name being attached to England's vacancy. The mind of the modern footballer can move from one manager to another in a matter of minutes so it is unlikely the Spurs squad have become so distracted by speculation that their season is in danger of ending in serious anti-climax.

Redknapp himself dismisses the notion as fanciful - and for all the recent poor form he is still in pole position to take over from Capello on the basis of a long-term body of work rather than two bad months.

He has shown the capacity to work with, and get the best out of, high-profile personalities through skilful man-management honed over an entire career as well as displaying a commitment to attractive football.

Gareth Bale

Spurs fans chanted against Redknapp's tactics after Gareth Bale was switched to the right wing. Photo: PA

What is beyond dispute, however, is that Spurs have taken a nasty turn for the worse since the very moment their stock, and that of their manager, was at its highest as Newcastle were dismantled.

And Redknapp may even have heard doubts about his own approach being vociferously aired by the travelling Spurs support as he made adjustments in search of an equaliser in the second half.

As Gareth Bale and substitute Aaron Lennon switched positions, those supporters made their discontent clear with the alternate chanting of "Gareth Bale - He Plays On The Left" followed by "Aaron Lennon - He Plays On The Right."

Redknapp has enough credit in the bank with his work at White Hart Lane to ride out that piece of tactical analysis and advice, but there is little doubt those supporters felt they were making a serious point about some of the reasons behind Spurs' recent slide.

To make matters worse, the loss at QPR was the result of a moment of creation from the former Spurs maverick Adel Taarabt, the player once described as "a bit of a fruitcake" by Redknapp - a theory borne out by the manner in which this gifted midfield man mixes a cocktail of magic and madness in his game.

He won the game for QPR with a curved first-half free-kick then left them to battle with 10 men for the last 12 minutes after earning a second yellow card from referee Mark Clattenburg for kicking the ball away.

Redknapp was in relatively relaxed mood in his post-match briefing, talking up Spurs' performance and expressing confidence that the Champions League goal can be achieved.

This was, however, a display lacking the rhythm, balance, zip and threat that made Spurs such a joy to watch earlier in the season.

England is a smokescreen that neither Redknapp or his players have hidden behind. The reasons for their troubles appear to be more basic. Spurs have run out of steam and now have only four games to regain their momentum.

For all the possession Spurs had, and there was lots of it, there was a lack of purpose and pace when they had the ball. This was a team that, for now at least, looks slow and tired and the polar opposite of the exciting spectacle they presented a few months ago.

Luka Modric was on the margins, Gareth Bale did his best - even showing the urgency to leap into the QPR fans to retrieve the ball at one stage - but the fire has been extinguished for Spurs. And it has been snuffed out at the worst possible time. Redknapp must hope this is a temporary state of affairs.

True, they did not enjoy the bounce of the ball. For all his fine saves, QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny did not hold much and little or nothing fell for Spurs in the way of rebounds.
Redknapp bemoaned a lack of cover in central defence and in attack. Emmanuel Adebayor was ruled out with a hamstring injury and the gifted but fragile Louis Saha failed a fitness test on a groin injury - always the risk when signing him on a free transfer from Everton.

One of Redknapp's strengths, one that will presumably appeal to the FA when they finally make their move, is his power of positive thinking and he will need it all if a season of so much promise is not to end in bitter disappointment.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    There are far better candidates than Redknapp: Hodgson and Pardew if they want PL English managers. My personal choice? Bobby Houghton if it is only for a short term basis.

  • Comment number 2.

    As you say Phil, this can't be explained simply by the vacancy of the England job. Form is an elusive thing, wheb it goes you need a slice of luck to get the rhythm back.

    I heard one person say Harry was doing it deliberately so the fans would be glad to see the back of him. Bit of a tin hat idea.

  • Comment number 3.

    Any Spurs fans seriously complaining about Redknapp, all I can say is belt up.

    The real reason for the slump is clear. The club currently doesnt have the resources/wage structure to enable it to build a deep enough squad to see the season out. Tottenhams first eleven can take on anyone, the trouble is that their reserves lack a certain something. If Modric and Bale both fail to fire on the same day then the team struggles.

    The other teams at the top end of the table have usually been able to rotate and rest their key players from time to time. I believe I am right in saying that Modric has only ever missed league games due to genuine injury, and its beginning to show in his performances.

    The last 3 months have been painful to watch as a Spurs fan, but if the club carries on with the current strategy and fends off the inevitable transfer vultures over the summer, big things are ahead.

  • Comment number 4.

    Harry looks tactically inept at the moment, not a good sign for any England fan. He bemoaned his lack of options on the bench, which must be good for all those who occupied it yesterday, talk about a vote of no confidence in their ability. Redknapp chose to allow Pienaar, Corluka, Bassong, Pav & others leave during the season and brought in a centre half who hadn't featured for over one year at Blackburn and then a perennially injured centre forward in Louis Saha-both of them being well over 30.

    It wasn't long ago Harry was talking about challenging the two Manchester clubs for the title and now he is bemoaning his squads depth and stating they will be lucky to hang on to forth. His side have bottled it, not two ways about it.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    I really dont think Redknapp is the right man for the job, but the idea of Rpy Hodgson as an alternative is absolutely laughable. Hodgson has won next to nothing and underachieved when given his chance at bigger clubs. Given the lack of talented English candidates I would be tempted to look abroad again. If the die is cast and the England manager has to be an Englishman then Redkknapp will likely offerd the position as there are no other more credible candidates.

  • Comment number 7.

    I will re-type my previous comment but with a little more appropriate language. What is Rednapp playing at? Bale is completely inaffective through the middle, so is Lennon. Why was Walker at RW and Gallas at RB. If spurs don't want to end up like the previous clubs he has managed the solution is simple. Rednapp out.

  • Comment number 8.

    The England situation is largely coincidence, the reason for Spurs' collapse is that Arsenal match, probably the biggest momentum-changer the Premier League has ever seen. From being 2 goals up and potentially 13 points clear of their rivals, to a freak 20 minute meltdown which led to a heavy defeat against their biggest rivals taking them into a run of extremely tough games. They've simply been unable to recover from that, perhaps their strength in depth isn't quite what it could be and key players have run out of steam and lost confidence.

    This run doesn't make Harry a bad manager any more than their form up to February made him a great one. Form comes and goes over a season, when they were talked about as title contenders I was reminded of a few years ago when Martin O'Neill's Villa were within touching distance of the top at the same stage. They fell away and finished 6th, as Spurs look like doing now... the owners need to look at what happened to them in the following years, if they allow the team to break up and don't keep investing they will quickly end up mid table or worse. If they'd picked up someone like Papiss Cisse instead of a couple of injury-prone has-beens in January things might have been a lot different.

  • Comment number 9.

    I remember when S.A.F. announced he was to retire at the end of the season, United started getting strange results, with players putting less effort in matches.
    Alan Shearer said last night that it's just a co-incidence that Spurs are on a bad run and it isn't connected with the speculation wanting Harry Redknap moving to the England job. Is it though?

    Two wins in the last 10 Premiership matches is relegation form. To be precise, Spurs - where form is concerned - compete with Blackburn and Bolton.

  • Comment number 10.

    It's a shame, I was so looking forward to seeing the Champions' League back at White Hart Lane, but now I suspect we may have to settle for the Europa League again, which I fear will mean players like Bale, Modric and van der Vaart will be looking for the exits. Our only hope for next year will be to get in a real top-class manager who can build on what Harry's put in place.

    @#1: I wouldn't mind seeing Hodgson as England manager, but not Pardew. For all that he's done incredible things at Newcastle, he hasn't managed anything great before this. I have no intention of belittling his achievements, but I suspect what he has at Newcastle is a perfect storm, just the right man in the right job at the right time. Take away any element of that and he goes back to being ordinary.

  • Comment number 11.

    It's amazing how fans and the media can make Harry and Spurs heroes to zeroes. It is clear that the squad is tired and there is not much that Harry can do about it. It s just unfortunate that their season might no end as it began. But with Chelsea playing Newcastle, Spurs still have ever chance of being 4th.
    http://playwithflair.com/

  • Comment number 12.

    However you call the last few months, the fact is that mid January we were level on points with Man Utd, and 3 behind City after 20 games. The next 14 games have yielded 14 points which is relegation form. How much cover to Wigan have? Blackburn?? Bolton?? because those sides have all picked up more points than Spurs since this run started.

    Redknapp is bemoaning lack of cover, but who therefore sanctioned Caulker's season long move to Swansea? who shot Pienaar's confidence to pieces, only for David Moyes to have him playing like a world beater within 3 games? Where was the Robbie Keane who lit up Villa's season for a couple of months hiding during Redknapp's era?

    The next 4 games are probably the biggest in Redknapp's career. I can't see him surviving the summer at Spurs having squandered such a strong position, and i'm not sure if England will come calling either. Football is a business and as such thee is no room for sentiment; Redknapp along with King should be warmly thanked for their contribution to the club and moved on in the summer, so Spurs can move forward.

  • Comment number 13.

    I think Harry missed a trick by not strengthening enough in the last transfer window. Ryan Nelson is never going to be pushing for a regular position, and Louis Saha has always been injury prone, as is the case now. They let a few go in January and don't seem to have replaced them with players to push the rest of the squad. It's looking like all the hard work done earlier in the season could mean nothing if they lose the Champions League place we all thought was theirs for the taking.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sorry, George (#11), but I would be very surprised if a tired and unappealing Chelsea team could get one over on the Premier League's form team.

    Anyway, point I forgot to make in the previous post: I know that Spurs didn't play very well and probably didn't deserve a victory, but there was no way that the free kick Taarabt scored should have been given. Sandro put in an excellent tackle, won the ball cleanly and the referee got it wrong, and once again a poor refereeing decision decided the outcome of an important game. Somebody please tell me I'm not the only one who thought that wasn't a free kick, because nobody else seems to have mentioned it.

  • Comment number 15.

    @northernsuperspur I'm sorry, but are you joking about Spurs not having a deep enough squad/ wage structure to challenge the top four places with some consistency? Let me just remind you that Spurs only have THIRTY EIGHT players under contract plus Adebayor, and another 17 on loan. You also don't fend off the likes of Chelsea without offering players like Modric a large pay packet.

    The reason I'm stunned by your comments is that I'm a Newcastle supporter and we have a well publicised wage structure policy and have such a thin squad with several first team players with long injury layoffs (to the extent where we've had several players play out of position). So let me ask you, with that in mind and by your logic, how on earth are we anywhere near the top 4? The answer is shrewd signings, unity from the pitch to the board room and good tactics.

    I've really admired Spurs' game for the majority of the season and am at a loss to explain what has happened. The defence looks lost and there's almost a defeatist attitude from very early on in your recent games. Bale on the right also obviously doesn't work.

    Please don't see this as a personal attack on your team, but please don't say you have a thin squad and can't afford to pay big wages... Utter, utter nonsense.

  • Comment number 16.

    Why is a man who's won virtually nothing and left a trail of financial disaster behind, considered to be 'the' Man to take England forward?

    Seems to me the London based/supporting journo's have all been charmed by Arry's cockney patter.

    Time to start a North England team!

  • Comment number 17.

    I think it is fair to question Harry during this time. If anyone thinks he is not to blame then needs to look at other teams who have the same sized squads if not even smaller and who are finishing the season strongly - Newcastle's run has been great and look how they responded to the 5 nil hammering at the lane, now why didn't spurs respond in a similar way after the Arsenal game?

    I think the question is not whether the Spurs players have been distracted by the England speculation - but has Harry?

    Telling players they're great and bigging them up all the time can only get you so far, and ultimately all the hard work done earlier in the season is going to be all for nothing unless these players can pull together and win the last four games. I think Harry has bottled 'squeaky bum time' by messing about with arguably the best 4-4-2 team in the country, the sunderland game using a 4-3-3 which he lauded afterwards ignoring the fact Spurs only had 1 shot on target against a team camped in their own half for the 90 mins.

    It was interesting to hear Mark Hughes say that letting Spurs have possession was what they planned to do anyway, bringing back memories of your article on Barcelona / Chelsea that the only statistic that matters is the scoresheet.

    I don't think anyone can blame Spurs fans for being disappointed - who wouldn't be after seeing such a fall in grace! As a fan myself I am gutted, and actually laughed when Harry said 'we now need four wins' - I thought 'oh yea where will one win come from??, and last week it was 'we need 5 wins'' - and next week itll be 'we need 3 wins' for europa league!!

    England are welcome to Harry, who I think will be found out completely at that level - but at least the media will get want they want and will have a mate in the job. Spurs have been around a lot longer than he has and will continue to be long after he's gone.

  • Comment number 18.

    Although Redknapp's tactics are dubious at times, Spurs' problem is clearly a lack of strength in depth, particularly going forward. If an attacking player gets injured, it seems like Sandro is the default choice to start, stifling creativity by playing two holding midfielders even if it's at home to a poor team. Forget Modric, who fails to turn up in just about every big game and whenever Spurs need him, whenever one of Parker/Bale doesn't play (and also Adebayor), they are a different team. Almost everything good they do comes from Bale: his pace and movement is immense. Had Spurs not had exceptional luck with injuries they probably wouldn't even be in the hunt for a CL spot.

    The only reason fatigue has taken so long to hit, and keeping the squad almost injury-free, has been the absence of CL football. Had Spurs been competing in Europe there's no way they'd have been able to play the same team every game over Christmas as they did this year, and would have been several points further back. If Spurs do manage to get CL, they're going to struggle to bulk out their squad with the financial constraints, particularly given that they're going to need to buy a striker good enough to lead the line for a CL side, which will cost basically the entire transfer kitty.

    Spurs' run of form is simply dreadful, and fixtures against the likes of Blackburn and Bolton, which was perceived as an easy run-in, are made to look a lot harder when they're scrapping for their lives. If they were to turn it round and win all 4 games then that'd be enough I think, with their run-in I can see Newcastle dropping 4 points or more.

    As for England manager, Redknapp is still a prime contender due to the dearth of good English managers around. However, while writing him off due to Spurs' form may be short-termism, the original hype was even more so. Redknapp's strength has always lain primarily in the transfer market, but looking at the state he left all of his previous clubs in, it shows he was living well outside his means. You can't do that with England, you can only pick what you're given. For that, I think Hodgson would be a better choice, but no doubt the media would prefer their mate old 'Arry because he'll give them more to feed off.

  • Comment number 19.

    Spurs aren't just Harry Redknapp, look at his assistants/coaches, Bond, Jordan and Allen.

    What is needed is a good nucleus of players for the National Side from one club side and a settled side that doesn't change from match to match. If you look at Spain or Germany they don't have 11 players from 11 different teams. The defence needs to come from a club side so they don't end up looking over their shoulders to see where each other is and end up out of position by playing as if in their club side.

    Leave Stuart Pearce in charge, he has more experience of the England set up and role than anyone parachuted in at the eleventh hour, and all likely players know him and his methods, otherwise we are back at the shambles of the last world cup.

  • Comment number 20.

    Adams for England!

    PS. Mind the Gap!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    The biggest problems for Spurs lie ahead, he need to replace a 40yr old GK will soon come. Gallas & King won't get any better, a summer battle over Modric looms large, the need to find a top class centre-forward to replace Adebayor should his wages prove a stumbling block and you can bet the Bale rumours won't stop anytime soon.

    Levy isn't known for splashing big money without selling a few first and I don't think Spurs will have ever been presented with a better opportunity to have sealed Champions League football and should they fail to do so then it could have disastrous long-term consequences for the club. I have never rated Redknapp and surely he must have to come out and start taking responsibility. It was only two weeks ago he was blaming the 4-4-2 formation for their defeat against Norwich, without ever stopping to think who decides on formations and tactics.

  • Comment number 22.

    Harry's record of winning is not great even accepting that he has done well at Spurs. Also there are still plenty of unanswered questions regarding his transfer dealings and cah payments to suggest that these will all be re-hashed in the press if he takes the job.

  • Comment number 23.

    #11, GeorgeCFC,

    I think you're spot on.
    No matter how quickly Spurs haters will try to belittle Harry Redknap, he took the Spurs job with Spurs 2nd from bottom, brought the squad together again, built on that and lead them to Champions League football, playing an attractive brand of football. It takes a genuinely good manager to achieve that.

    On top of that, Levy is a very capable owner who knows how to deal with transfers. It's crossroads for Spurs, as it is new heights they've reached, in comparison to their Premier League history. He does have to invest in the squad but it's a tricky act when you want to keep the books balancing. How can you compete with Sheikh Mansour, Roman Abramovich and Manchester United in transfers?

    Spurs have good things going for them. Location is London and this is an added incentive for foreign players when moving to the Premier League. Spurs also have a very good team, very good players, playing attractive football. They have things going for them, to attract quality additions to their squad.

    When the dust settles, stay on top four or not, we'll perhaps see what the future holds for Spurs, as we'll be able to see how Spurs approach building in their squad.

    What I know is that they have some excellent players in many positions and it would be nice to keep the whole squad together. Perhaps, they need to address their attacking options. They're missing quality there, perhaps.

  • Comment number 24.

    #14 I would have more sympathy if it was a penalty. The fact is it was a free-kick that was quite a long way out, he still had to stick it in and Friedel should still have saved it comfortably.

    Spurs were given a corner that they shouldn't have been after 63 minutes, and were also given a few dubious free-kicks in the second half. Taarabt was given a petty second yellow for poking the ball 10 yards, yet around the same time Parker got away without a yellow for a shocking dive (which Clattenburg clearly saw given that he didn't award a foul) and Bale got away without punishment for physically wading into the crowd, which regardless of the circumstances is one of the most blatant infringements of the rules you can commit.

    The difference is Spurs didn't make the most of the decisions that went their way.

  • Comment number 25.

    As others have mentioned the first eleven is as good as anything but with squad players being allowed to leave in January thats poor management. Having said that IMO its not the Arsenal game that has turned the season but the Defoe miss against City in January. Since then its been virtually downhill all the way

  • Comment number 26.

    The Capello resignation has certainly clouded the issue because we will never know if Spurs would have held their challenge to the end. The ex-Spurs such as Pleat and Mabbutt say that the players are not affected by the Harry/England impasse, other ex-pros say the same. If this is the case then why do the fans always demand a managerial sacking when things go wrong? One thing is for sure, if you support a team they will break your heart sooner or later.

  • Comment number 27.

    I don't have a problem with Harry Redknapp becoming England manager, he would do as well as anyone and it will be nice to have a manager that actually speaks the same language as the players he is coaching. Alan Pardew would be a great alternative but he has already ruled himself out so that is a non-starter.

    The biggest problem though is this. Redknapp is brilliant in the transfer market, so moving into the international arena will completely blunt one of his biggest weapons. The fact of the matter is that England don't have good enough players to challenge for a major tournament, even if you make Mourinho of Ferguson the manager.

    Spurs have just run out of steam at the crucial time. For me they haven't quite been the same since they lost away at Man City in the last seconds. If they can keep that squad together and add one or two more quality players, they will improve year on year. Redknapp has done a great job their but someone like David Moyes could easily carry that on.

    It appears that Redknapp is on a short-list of one for the England managers job, another idiotic piece of administration from the FA. What if he says no? I'd be happy to see him take the reins of the national team, it will certainly be interesting. But England aren't good enough to win silverware and the managers job is something of a hiding to nothing, even if you are a fan favourite and a media darling....

  • Comment number 28.

    I don't know how you can't link the two? Ever since the England job has been mentioned there has been so much more media pressure on Tottenham and he spotlight has been on us. I really think the FA have ruined our season, with our current form and champions league qualification a real doubt I fear us not being able to keep hold of Bale and Modric next season.

  • Comment number 29.

    Spurs look jaded. As said above, this is clearly due to a lack of depth in the squad. In my opinion Newcastle are favourites to take 4th now as they look fresh, hungry & everything is clicking for them right now. Spurs are still 3-4 top players short of challenging for the title & could also use some squad players to enable them to rotate the likes of Bale & Modric. Van der Vaart has had a disappointing season.

    As for England manager (I know this isn't a popular suggestion) but I'd give it to Hoddle (Pearce as assistant) for the summer and then reassess the situation.

  • Comment number 30.

    After reading the article, I think Phil McNulty is wrong in seeking reasons for the deep of the Spurs form in switching positions to Bale and Lennon. All great teams switch positions, many times, in attack. So what?

    As for Taarabt, yes he is talented. On top of that, though, he's a strange character with too much of an ego which happens to be unproven. In the summer, he was a non quantity in the African Cup. Was Redknap wrong in selling him? I doubt it. Spurs have bigger ambitions than that and I think it was the correct decision.

    Neither was the Defoe miss against City the reason Spurs are on a big slump of form. It's never one incident. Rotation and strength in depth is the answer to tiring key players in squads with ambitions. How far can you go competing with your direct competition for players though? Because the competition reads Sheikh Mansour, Roman Abramovich and Manchester United: two of them have their own personal agendas, while United have the backup of a 75000+ stadium, always full, never mind their commercial activities.

  • Comment number 31.

    Aye? "Jaded" and "Distracted"?

    How about, shock horror, "Players not very good"? Anyone ever heard of that scenario?



    .

  • Comment number 32.

    #31, nibs,

    I think Arsenal fans don't qualify to talk like this about Spurs.

    Spurs have quite a few players Arsenal would love to have but they can't afford them: Kyle Walker, Bale, Modric, VDV, Lennon.

    Plus, Spurs play more attractive football than Arsenal this season, without meaningless sideways passes.

    Why don't you wait to go for the title next season, as Wenger promised in his reminder that he won't invest in the summer, with Benayoun, Arteta, Ramsey and Rosicky the core of this title charge?

  • Comment number 33.

    #30 I agree, there's a complete glass ceiling at Spurs, even more so than at Arsenal. They have a strict financial model because it's what they need to maximise resources, so they can't attract the top players and they won't be able to bulk out their squad sufficiently to challenge for the title whilst the likes of Chelsea, United and City think of a £30m net spend summer as a pretty modest outlay.

    I don't buy the rubbish about it being down to Capello's sacking. Look at Spurs' big games before that: hammered by City and United, fortunate to stumble past a woeful Arsenal, outplayed for 70 minutes at home to Chelsea, poor at Newcastle, only Liverpool at home (a mid-table team almost!) yielded a convincing performance for a team with their ambitions. Inevitably, they came undone when they had to play all these teams again. Dour draws at Liverpool and Chelsea, beaten by under-performing City, United didn't turn up first half and brushed them aside, hammered at Arsenal despite having two huge pieces of luck, hammered by Chelsea in the cup semi. Spurs' strength was their consistency, which was facilitated by the lack of injuries (due partly to not playing CL) allowing them to field Friedel Walker King Kaboul Assou-Ekotto Parker Modric VDV Bale Lennon Adebayor far more than anybody else has fielded their first XI, which has now evaporated.

    As for all this talk about losing Modric, I'd be far more worried about Bale, who seems to be the source of most attacks. There are worse things than being paid £30m for a centre mid that has an almost non-existent goal return, a very modest assists tally and goes missing in just about every big game, time for people to stop perpetuating this myth that he's one of the best in the world.

  • Comment number 34.

    English fans are the most arrogant and delusional lot, so stuck in their petty club rivalries that they can't realise they are the ones who reflect/cause the chaos in the national team: No native manager is good enough, mostly because he would be a manager of a rival team. Sad but true; the majority are calling for a foreign coach.
    The country can never get behind the team because they actually hate every player not in their local team.
    Redknapp is a good coach from a mid-table team, and his achievements with TTH, being able to hold his own against juggernauts like CFC, LFC, MUFC, ARS is a major achievement. Lose a few games and english fans turn on you.
    What the hell do you expect? For the other teams to roll over and play dead when you flash a British passport! English fans need to grow up and finally support one of their own and their team.

    Stop the stupid hatred, it's just a game: leave the silliness at the door when it's time for national football.

  • Comment number 35.

    Being a Spurs fan, this has been a very sad two months. We have totally collapsed. Lets not make excuses. Mentally we are weak- always have been. Redknapp has done fine job, but I see him as a pundit. He comments too much on others, he said "Newcastle wont finish in Top 6"- Nice one Harry. If they hold their nerve- 4th at a minimum for them. Pardew has done a magnificent job.

    All the quality we have( debatable), until you are strong in the head- you wont finish over the line. Make him England manager and put us out of our misery. Either way at least the season is over and we can all talk Engerland- great.

  • Comment number 36.

    I have read some of the biggest load of rubbish from so called expert football writers this season,this is the best spurs team in 50 years, Worst Arsenal team for 15 years, only 2 arsenal players would get into this team,all this written with half a season still to play. Bowel has faded badly and modric has already done a deal to the highest bidder,(chelsea or manure),they need a massive overhaul,look at there results in the europa league,in a very weak group.

  • Comment number 37.

    I have to say I have never been a huge fan of Harry. The reason is that you can never trust him can you?? Look what he did to Portsmouth!! Yes they won the FA Cup but financially he left them ruined and then he left them high and dry to go to Spurs. It is up to the manager to rally his troops to and as Spurs heads are down it is up to Harry to do his job which over the last few months show he has poor tactics and man management.
    If Harry is the next England manager we will win nothing and in my opinion we need to leave Pearce in charge as for the last 6 years he has immense under 21 experience at competition level.

  • Comment number 38.

    "I think Arsenal fans don't qualify to talk like this about Spurs." Given how much Spurs fans have been mouthing off all season I think Arsenal fans have every right to talk like that.

    Reality is that Arsenal, like Spurs, are unable to compete with the Manchester clubs with their current financial situation. Arsenal have in fact net spent £125m less than them since 2003, but unless Spurs get a sugar daddy or Arsenal decide to re-invest some of the vast profits then nothing will change.

    If you think that Spurs play more attractive football then fair enough, it's got them 10 goals less and as we're constantly reminded pretty football counts for nothing.

    Of that list to be honest there's none I'd be desperate to have, other than Gareth Bale who is immense. We already have a pacey young English right winger with inconsistent end product, plenty of people who can pass the ball around the midfield without doing the business in the final third, probably the most reliable right-back in the league and aren't particularly desperate for a lazy luxury player. Almost as laughable as Henry Winter putting 10 players in his North London XI.

  • Comment number 39.

    The big question surely is whether the English FA will give Arry a big enough budget to buy in players for the England squad :)

    The media would crucify RH in an England job and Pardew would be mad to leave NUFC at this stage. The Press love Arry and could easily burst into spontaneous song at all of his press conferences.

    The England job should go to one of the Team GB bosses: Pearce or Hope Powell. Or Hope as boss and Stuart as her assistant.

  • Comment number 40.

    #27.

    Excellent post (if I may say so).

    The best tennis coach in the world wouldn't have got Jeremy Bates to a grand slam victory. However, the complaint in English football has often been that such talented players as we have consistently under-perform.

    The problem now is that Harry's stock has lost value and if he is the only name on the list then the English media will devour him after the first lack-lustre England performance, assigning to his family crest his very own garden-variety vegetable. White Hart Lane will seem like a vague, distant and pleasing memory.

  • Comment number 41.

    Good points from Number 8 and 9, Spurs had a massive gap to 4th and playing maybe the best football in the PL (even looking outside title contenders) Anyone who has returned from a 2 month holiday and seen their results wouldn't believe it! And i think posts 8 and 9 have nailed it.

  • Comment number 42.

    #27, 40

    In fairness to the FA, it is the English club fans who presented Redknapp's candidacy as a fait accompli. The FA have been in reactive-mode ever since.

  • Comment number 43.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 44.

    If you at Newcastle this season they actually spent more than Spurs to be up where they are ?

    How can Spurs be expected to compete with Man U, Man City and Chelsea who spend at least £50m in the transfer window whereas Spurs will only spend £20m ?

    Also look at the players Harry bought Parker, Saha , Nelson and Adebayor. Players that are experienced but in their 30's. Only Parker you would say has performed consistently.

    Daniel Levy's tight spending policy will always mean the best any Spurs manager can achieve is 4th place. He should set higher ambitions for the club?

    Harry will go down as the manager who had the best Spurs record under Levy which does not say much given Spurs have had 6 managers in 13 years of his reign

    Levy is the problem at Spurs

  • Comment number 45.

    At the time I said the possible appointment of Redknapp as England manager would show a lack of ambition from the FA and it seems I'm being proven correct. Also I think the FA is right in waiting to make a decision at the end of the season because if Pep or Mourinho become available then one of those two should be offered the job even if it just is for the Euro's.

  • Comment number 46.

    I think the current situation surrounding Spurs at the moment is a farce, to much pressure on the players with a manager who seems set in his ways (i.e Sandro spurs fans will know ). I hate to slate redknapp as i think he is a really good coach but to say that the England position has no affect on the team is incorrect, i refuse to believe that a team who realises that there manager is almost certain to leave cant carry on unaffected.

    As for the bale , modric and who ever else leaving if we dont get CL i believe they will , in complete credit to bale not so much modric they stayed this season in hope that they could help us get back to CL so as spurs fans i think its correct to let them leave.

    Although if this is the case for a team who looses their manager and best players surely next season will become a rebuilding process rather than striving to get back in the CL or dare i say it winning the league.

  • Comment number 47.

    @ 44 Sorry but look at the payers Harry has let go!! Keane, Bent, Crouch (in/out/in/out) etc. Playing Defoe up front as the only striker yesterday was extremely stupid and old fashioned, 4-3-3 is the way forward not 4-5-1!!

  • Comment number 48.

    Spurs really do have a problem with their squad in terms of quality. If you look at the best starting eleven: Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Modric, Parker, Bale, van der Vaart, Adebayor, whoever comes in to replace one of these is really a step down. Jake Livermore is one of the few exceptions, he's played well when given the chance. The others are pretty average to be honest.

  • Comment number 49.

    FA need to make their approach now. In fact they should have done it ages ago. I don't know where they got this idea that the manager can be thrown in just before the tournament starts and hit the ground running. Theoretically it's possible but ideal preparation it certainly is not. Spurs's season is disrupted already so making a formal approach can't hurt one bit. It's not like the England manager has too much to do between now and the end of the season so there's no reason why Redknapp couldn't be named England boss now and still complete the season with Tottenham. Or if it's Hodgson, Pardew or whoever, the same thing.

    What do the FA think they stand to gain by delaying the appointment? I don't get it.

  • Comment number 50.

    #38, northbank123,

    Still though, Spurs have a temporary attack, if you allowed me to use the expression.

    Arsenal have a great striker in RVP. Will he extent his contract? If not, are Arsenal's hopes in attack left on the young shoulders of Oxlade-Chamberlain?

    Comparing Spurs and Arsenal, Spurs have a much more cohesive defense line. At Arsenal, take out Konchielny or Vermaelen and you're as exposed as City are when Savic is in central defense.

    The difference is Arsenal are the fifth richest club in the world, according to Forbes while Spurs are not. Arsenal should be more ambitious than "also there".

    It was interesting to read that from Walker, Bale, Modric, Lennon, VDV, Arsenal would need only Bale. Your midfield is mediocre. Is that news to you?

  • Comment number 51.

    When we were firing our tactics were rather simple - Bale zipping down the left with Lennon down the right, Parker disrupting opponents play and getting the ball back allowing Modric to pull the strings. Our midfield was the best seen in many a year. Redknapp tinkering with that was a mistake. He should have stuck with bale and lennon keeping to their touchlines and running at people. None of this 'roaming' rubbish. And Sandro has THE worst touch I've seen in a premier league footballer. Friedel can dribble better.

    We are sorely lacking a goal scorer. Defoe was non-existent yesterday, Aboe is sporadic at best. Saha is over the hill. We should have got aguero in the window but there's no way to match the wages of MC.

    Central Defence is a problem and we've lacked cover here too. King is sensational but perhaps he's playing too much now as he's been making mistakes. Gallas looks fragile. We miss Dawson probably more than any other player. Akoto (sic) and Walker are doing fine, thankfully.

    Assuming we get CL and get to keep our players (wouldn't blame Bale for going to Barca at all. Good for him.) then we need a world class, young goalscorer and some central defenders from the youth team to come through (much like Man Utd have had). And for heavens sake put Bale and Lennon on their wings and keep them there.

  • Comment number 52.

    #15 Heygill

    The reason that Spurs "fended off" Chelsea over the Modric affair is becaus Modric is on a long term contract and there was no immediate risk of him leaving on a free transfer if Daniel Levy dug his heels in. The fact remains though that if a player is being courted by all the current top 6 clubs in the PL, then 4 of them will be able to offer much higher wages than Spurs currently would. Adebayor isnt going to become a permanent signing simply because Manchester City pay him an obscene amount of money which Levy won't get close to.

    Newcastle are rather the exception to this of course, but the difference is that Newcastle would be happy with 5th spot at the end of the season.

    Oh, and having 38 players on contract plus Adebayor isnt really a relevant statistic bearing in mind you can only pick from a PL squad of 25 plus the under 21's.

  • Comment number 53.

    What i cannott understand knowing King and Gallass injury record , he lets Bassong,Naughton and Caulker go on loan[wrong keep at least one of them]
    Bale and Modric are they as good as they think they are.
    But the biggest thing if he wanted the job take it if not he should have came out and said he was not interested.
    This has disrupted our season but look back we did this last season and the season when we won the carling cup.
    Good bye Harry and thanks for nothing.
    Take the poison chalice of the england Job.
    We should never have got rid of Martin Jol he did the same as Harry no champions league for two seasons but at least he was an honest bloke

  • Comment number 54.

    Maybe if we found a way to eliminate the big four(MCFC/MUFC/ARS/CFC) then Spurs would have no problem finishing top 3, even 2nd! The man has done wonders with the little he has; so has Pardew. Give the man a break.
    TTH is great but no top four team; they are top6 team fighting for 4th.

  • Comment number 55.

    I'd say Man Utd currently have three players (Rooney, Valencia, Scholes) who, if left out and replaced, would result in a significantly weakened team.

    Man City have three or four, similarly Arsenal.

    Spurs have about eight or nine. Bad move letting the likes of Pienaar and Pav move on. Maybe it's a financial thing and out of Harry's hands, but I have a feeling he just called it wrong this time around.

  • Comment number 56.

    In respect of Tottenham they were the only Premiership club that came out of the January transfer window with a worse squad that they went into it with - for this Harry Redknapp must take the blame and therefore the blame for the teams decline.

    In respect of the England job the FA should either give it to Stuart Pearce or go with a completely fresh approach and give it to someone such as Nigel Clough

  • Comment number 57.

    Is Redknapp really a 'master' in the transfer market? Spurs's best players were there before he arrived (Bale & the overrated but still good Modric), van der Vaart was a Levy signing. Harry came in and bought Defoe, Crouch, Bassong, Palacios, Saha, Keane, Kranjcar, Pienaar & Nelson.

    So his masterfulness in the market has rewarded him with Parker & Friedal as good signings while the rest are duds or not good enough full stop. Throw in the fact he blasted Dareren Bent, who would walk into this Spurs side, you can see why people are doubting him.

  • Comment number 58.

    Redknapp for me represents an aspect of English football which is unsuited to international management. A good eye for a player, good, good motivationally with players but tactically inept and limited coaching ability. His promotion for England manager seems more based upon his press relationship than his abilities on the field. The clamour for an English manager is ridiculous, since when do you hamstrung yourself just for the local lad? Trying to just perform a basic comparison between Capello and Redknapp is ridiculous where you line up multiple European CL success and League winners in both Spain and Italy against what? A winning FA cup final against Cardiff! When you look at the performances of Hodgson and Pardew with far less resources than Redknapp, you really wonder where all the clamour of Harry for manager comes from. A lot of that goes back to Capellos non existent relationship with the press, whereas you could always turn to Harry for a good one liner. With Redknapp we will end up with a Kevin Keegan mk2 and even the one liners drying up when things go pear shaped.

  • Comment number 59.

    Redknapp would be laughably out of his depth managing England. His main strength as a manager lies in his wheeling and dealing in the transfer window. Tactically he's been exposed as a one trick pony whose limitations are exposed pretty quickly. He;s good at getting his teams back to basics, whih is what Spurs were so desperately lacking under Ramos when 'Arry took over but ultimately will never be good enough to take them to the next level

    Don't think it's any coincedence that once Capello resigns and 'Arry is touted as his natural successor that Spurs form collapses. Throughout his time with the club, his best results have come when the pressure on him is minimal. For instance, beginning of 09/10, who can honestly say they were tipping them for top 4? They impressed in the CL last season because again they went in as underdogs and were expected to fail at the first stage. Also, their exploits in Europe that season took a big toll from their League form

    That dismal start they made this season had many of us thinking it could be another relegation battle for the Spurs. Without the pressure on their shoulders, they obvoiously impress. This season they've been kept going by their ability to put the minnows to bed, soemthing they;ve never really been able to do before. His record in the big games remains poor however, and I think he was also helped by Arsenal's awful start and Chelsea's winter collapse under AVB

    What does the future hold for 'Arry? If he does take the England job I can't see him lasting long, people who were critical of Don fabio;s tactics will be even less enamoured by 'Arry

    I wouldn;t be surprised to see him end up at Villa actually, assuming they can avoid relegation under the hopeless Mcleish

  • Comment number 60.

    This is typical of Spurs. When they was on a high, automatic CL qualification in the bag. Even once talk of title contenders only 3 months ago. Now the reverse has happened as i expected. They now show form of a relegation team a total collapse. 2 wins in 10? the horror show at the Emeraites shown the collapse has begun and Spurs never really recovered since. Home defeats to the like of Norwich sudden failure to win away games etc.. Redknapps claims Spurs need to win there final 4 games. He said before the QPR game 5 wins should do. That game now gone and lost. I don't see Spurs winning their final 4 games. How can Spurs suddenly start winning again? As always Arsenal have gained and won the upper hand over their north rivals. (not a Gooner) i do actualy prefer Spurs. Redknapp for England the people say? I dont. :(

  • Comment number 61.

    @ 56.
    At 11:41 22nd Apr 2012, rhino wrote: "In respect of the England job the FA should either give it to Stuart Pearce or go with a completely fresh approach and give it to someone such as Nigel Clough"

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bloomin' heck - After the FA dinosaurs didn't give it to his Dad who conquered Europe with a brilliant Forest team?? I'd like to see the Paddy Power odds on that appointment...

  • Comment number 62.

    I would have thought that the answer is obvious, but nobody has identified it yet.

    It's the infamous north London virus. And yes, Spurs fans are entitled to be incensed, as they've been infected by Arsenal!

    Some refer to it as the 'come February come the melt down virus.'

    It's a nasty condition that guarantees that previously imprerssive teams tank in the run-in. What's interesting though is that Arsenal actually caught a new strain of the virus at the start of this season which has set-back scientists in their pursuit of a cure.

    Research suggests that Sit Alex Ferguson has the antidote but he's currenly refusing to cooperate with the authorities.

  • Comment number 63.

    What has he actually achieved as a Manager ?
    I can only think of a FA cup followed by a bankruptcy

  • Comment number 64.

    Does the reason for Spurs slump matter? Fact is they are in relegation form at the minute and 'Arry's the manager.

    The man England need is someone who gets the best out of the players he's got or has too make do with and very rarely transfers in big names, but finds unpolished gems (because you can't transfer players in to the England squad).

    But I doubt Moyes would do it.

  • Comment number 65.

    Why are we always told that Harry is the people's choice? Who says so? The media. HE'S THE MEDIA'S CHOICE! Hardly anyone I know fancies him for the job, as most football fans are well aware of his limitations. I said this on a post weeks ago when the subject first aired and I'll say it again: he is NOT the man to take us forward. Either pay big bucks again for a top coach (therefore probably foreign), or take a (cheaper) chance on an up-and-coming younger person. The answer may be in our own back yard: why not give Pearce a fair crack of the whip? Could England do much worse than recently anyway?

  • Comment number 66.

    'Could England do much worse than recently anyway?'

    Yes they could. You seem to forget the pre-Capelo years.

  • Comment number 67.

    To the posters criticising Spurs January dealings, I think that's a bit unfair

    Pienaar-was absolutely awful for Spurs. I remember how that signing from under the noses of Chelsea was supposed to represent a power shift . He's clearly a player who suits Everton

    Bassong-did I genuinely see someone criticise 'Arry for getting rid of him? Laughable player. Genuinely one of the worst players in the division. Curretly looking far from impressive on a dismal Wolves side. Nelsen is clearly an improvement

    Pavlyuchenko-another awful and unhappy player. Probably the best natural finisher they had but every other aspect of his game was awful. As I recall he'd been linked with moves away since 2009, was amazed he stayed as long as he did

    Corluka-slow as anything and wasn't happy at being Walker's understudy. No point keeping an unhappy player on the wage bill

    Caulker is clearly one for the future, hence the loan to Swansea. Undoubtedly will be banging on the first team doors next season

    Nelsen-on a free transfer to replace the hapless Bassong, could have been alot worse

    Saha-poor injury record but clearly a better player than Pavlyuchenko

    Whatever you might think of them, Spurs are a well run club financially and won't smash their wage structure on a £20 million player in a January window. This was clearly a gamble that didn;t pay off, but there was a definite logic behidn these actions

  • Comment number 68.

    I have never thought Redknapp was good enough to be England manager. He has done nothing of note as a club manager. Is he the person who will give the England national team the revolution is desperately needs? Will he improve English youth development, so that we have at least two good goalkeepers rather then the one we have now? Will Redknapp tell the greedy Premier League that there should be a limit on foreign players? Will Redknapp tell the FA that it is time for England to play more matches (away against Brazil, Argentina and Mexico et al) rather then less? Will "saviour" Redknapp encourage more England players to play abroad in Spain, Germany and Italy in order to become better players?

    No he wont, it will be more of the same. We wont qualify for WC 2014 with this average joe in charge.

  • Comment number 69.

    One FA Cup win in 28 years as a manager, and that was with a club spending money it couldn't afford. Hardly a glowing CV.

    On the other hand he is always ready with a joke for the media, and is a master at redefining targets. At Christmas he claimed that they were chasing the title, 1 month later he was telling everybody that 4th would be a fantastic achievement.

    It will be interesting if he gets the job. When he comes back from the Euros claiming that reaching the quarter finals was a great tournament, the press will crucify him (even though based on the players available, it does represent a par preformance - group stage would be disappointing, a semi-final would be outstanding).

    Now about that shift in the balance of power in North London.

  • Comment number 70.

    I think there may be a few factors for Spurs decline, Harrys heart problems may have had a lot more effect than we realise. I know a few friends that have had this procedure & it does bring home the realization of your own mortality & things that were important before lose their status of being so important as they were. Harrys post match interviews have definitely changed in the last few months but whatever happens now you have to give him credit for giving us 3 great seasons of football thats been usually a pleasure to watch & also given us a team that everyone has been talking about, I just wish he would play Dos Santos more, every time I have seen him in action he never fails to impress.

  • Comment number 71.

    Mourinho or Sir Alex would be best candidates but both would not do it. At a 70% win rates they are at least 20% ahead of any of the other candidates. Harry has about a 50% win rate at Spurs so is way ahead of any of his rivals overall. He would also be capable of managing all the different kinds of players. To be honest though without enough decent strikers we're hardly going to set the world on fire no matter who's in charge.

  • Comment number 72.

    54. At 11:38 22nd Apr 2012, lexborgia wrote:
    Maybe if we found a way to eliminate the big four(MCFC/MUFC/ARS/CFC) then Spurs would have no problem finishing top 3, even 2nd! The man has done wonders with the little he has; so has Pardew. Give the man a break.

    Love the "plucky underdog" myth. In the last 5 years only the free spending Chelski and Man Citeh, plus Liverpool (the kings of the comedy transfer) have spent more money on players than Spurs, regardless of whether you look at total spending or net spending.

    A lot is made about the impact of the England speculation. IMO it is more about Spurs being "worked out" by other teams. Having stumbled over a system that worked well at the start of the season, Harry has proved unable to respond when teams have found a way to combat it. Of course the other factor is complete reliance on the form of certain players (Bale, van De Vaart, Adebayor, and in particular, Modric). When any of those players are below par, Spurs are unable to cope.
    Of course you can point to how much Arsenal have depended on van Persie, but Spurs didn't lose two of their top 4 players in the last week of the transfer window, plus a 3rd to injury.

  • Comment number 73.

    @66 Mind the Gap

    No, I remember those years well - by 'recently', I meant as in recent times ie as opposed to long ago. My point is that England have historically under-achieved in major competitions and the worse they could do under a Pearce or other 'up-and-comer' is ... under-achieve. At least it's a cheaper way of under-achieving, and y'never know - it could go better than expected. I do not subscribe to the 'Capello was rubbish' school-of-thought: his record suggests he is a top coach and he qualified England well (against mainly limited opposition) in his campaigns (I do not think he covered himself in glory at SA 2010 though). The reality is that our players have not been good enough and I don't think it would've mattered who'd have been in charge, so instead of another expensive 'failure', why not try an alternative route

  • Comment number 74.

    I think that Harry Redknapp should go for the England job, because I wouldn't take the risk of putting Pardrew or Hodgson for it. The reason why I back Redknapp for the job is that I don't think that it will work out with Tottenham, especially as Newcastle don't look as if they're going to give up that Champions League spot. I have no definate favourite for the England job, but I think that the FA need to start thinking harder about who they should give the job to, because England don't want to be at the Euro 2012 with their caretaker manager Stuart Pearson.

  • Comment number 75.

    Redknapp is only partly to blame for this downturn in form. It was really quite inevitable and there isn't much he can do about it now. They just need the Summer transfer window to come.

    Spurs have a good first XI and their strength has always been their midfield - in particular Modric and Bale. The problem is they rely so heavily on the two and don't have any quality in depth to replace them if they fall out of form.

    Some players have boundless energy and can perform physically game after game. Other's rely more on nuance and technique, and i don't think it's any coincidence that we've seen so many of these types of players drop in form towards the end of the year. The likes of Silva, Mata VDV and indeed Modric. It's no criticism on them, because being slight is partly what makes them great at what they do when they ARE fit. They just can't keep it going for 50-60 consecutive games a year in a league and environment where the physical demands are as high as they are. And when you build a team around this sort of player as Spurs have done then you will suffer when they start to tire and you can't replace them. Modric is a great player but everyone can see that he's shot - he hasn't scored or created a single premiership goal in approaching 3 months. Every other top team can rotate and rest their players - that's how you sustain good form.

    The other factor is that the diminishing powers of their midfield has really exposed their poor defence and lacking forward line. Gallas and King are not the fantastic players they once were. They need a forward who can win them games too - somebody who can get them 20 goals a season.

    There isn't much Redknapp can do at the moment as Spurs' cards have all been played. Shuffling it around isn't changing much as the balance he had was already perfect - fatigue has just set in. Changing personnel isn't going to help much either as they simply don't have anyone up to the required level to bring in. Who are the replacements for Bale/Lennon/Modric even meant to be? I was surprised when they let Piennar go because even if he wasn't good enough to make the starting XI, he'd be a great backup player to have as he can play in and cover for so many of these positions.

    They should keep Redknapp (England aside) because the transfer markets are where he really comes in to his own. If they can get in some quality squad players this Summer to take the burden off of his best players than they will be a real force to be reckoned with next year.

    Having said all that i still expect him to leave and take over England anyway! Somebody else will just have to add the depth instead. The fact is Redknapp will still have left them in a great position with a great blueprint to follow.

  • Comment number 76.

    Spurs pathetic form can be more easily explained by the capitulation in the North London derby. Put it this way, if the reason is the whole Redknapp and England thing, then the players need to grow up. If everybody in life reacted to the impending loss of a boss they really like the way they have, the economy would be in tatters.

  • Comment number 77.

    #50 Maybe they're more cohesive because Kaboul and King have started most games together this year, whereas Vermaelen and Koscielny have started fewer than half together at centre half, as well as Gibbs and Sagna both missing half the season. Lennon has roughly the same proportionate return as Walcott in terms of goals and assists and suffers from the same problems, Walker is good going forward but Sagna is arguably the most consistent right-back in the league, and as for Modric we already have Wilshere and Arteta who get on the ball and shift it quickly in the middle of the park to good effect, what we need is somebody to pose a threat in the final third, like Fabregas did and like Rosicky is trying to do.

    I'm not saying Arsenal are a great side, or that Spurs are a terrible side, far from it. They're pretty evenly matched, although on the basis of this season I'd say Arsenal still have the edge due to the narrow lead, the turmoil there at the start of the year and the fact they've had eight tiring games against the champions of Italy, Germany, Greece and quarter-finalists Marseille, the impact of which people underestimate. The reality is that RvP and Bale are the only two world class performers so picking a North London XI or saying what other Spurs players I'd have seems to be a bit pointless, particularly given that the two teams play differently. It's not like those players would turn Arsenal into title contenders.

  • Comment number 78.

    Redknapp had emerged as "The People's Choice" . . . really? I thought he was the media's choice? I didn't hear too many people emphatically campaigning for Redknapp when Capello was appointed, or after England crashed out of the last World Cup.

  • Comment number 79.

    #77 I agree Arsenal are certainly not a great side at the moment. The fact that with all the chaos at the Emirates this season, we are still 3rd is a sad reflection on the rest of the league.
    I am not sure about Bale being world class either, he is not even the best player at Spurs.

  • Comment number 80.

    The fact is that there is no potential English manager capable of taking on the job. Not Redknapp; not Hodgson or anyone else English. I simply don't understand the opposition to a foreign manager. Many of Britain's most successful international companies have foreign CEOs

  • Comment number 81.

    #79 It doesn't give me much satisfaction to say it, but if we finish 3rd it will have to be seen as a successful season given the turmoil at the start: we were never going to be able to compete with the Manchester teams, and it will take 2-3 years of decent investment in players, as well as keeping RvP etc, to get into that position.

    I do normally refrain from throwing round the tag "world class" because people often use it stupidly, but Bale is a top class performer, regardless of his limitations as a footballer, and seems to be at the heart of most of Spurs' attacks with his blistering pace.

  • Comment number 82.

    If Redknapp is the best that England can do then we are in real trouble! We saw him at Saints and he did everything wrong.

  • Comment number 83.

    Most of the important points have been covered. The ´love-in´that Harry has with the press protects him from the most basic of criticism.

    As a Spurs fan - I know there are thousands of us who simply question his ability.
    Some very simple footballing logic seems to be beyond Harry but not the average Spurs fan...
    1) The modern game is a squad game - Just because you found your perfect starting X1 - doesn't mean you play them all, if possible, until they drop.
    2) You can't start moaning about fatigue, no one else is and if you'd kept the likes of Bassong, Corluka, Townsend, Caulker, Pienaar and Pav - then at least you would have fresh legs and fresh options at this time of the season. Now we have none. After 35 years of management - you'd have thought he'd have worked out there are 38 games in a season and some.
    3) All Harry's buys are short-term solutions with old players. He is not building a team or an era at Spurs. He is no Martin Jol.
    4) He has achieved one 4th placed finish with the team Jol set up and started. This year has been Harry's pick and mix and fix team and it's showing.
    5) As soon as his perfect starting X1 (which did so well) picks up an injury - he moves class players out of position - Modric on the right? VdVaart on the right? Bale with a free role? All balance is instantly bereft....incredibly annoying and for Spurs fans to be singing about that - well it says a lot doesn't it.
    6) In the last 9 premiership games we have 6 points. 6 points from 9 Harry - And you took over (as you often remind us) with 2 points from 8 - spot the difference?!
    7) Your armory of excuses is repetitive, predictable and tiring and wins you no fans - Their goalie had a blinder, we couldn't break em down, I can't fault our players blah blah blah.

    In short the majority of Spurs fans thought this would be our season - last year was the same - a terrible final run in, but we gave him the benefit of the doubt. He's had his 3 years, we've had some great games under him - but he's not a big time manager. He's a Pick and fix for the short-term. Perfect for England, not so perfect for Spurs.

    We now need to clear out all his OAP's: Friedal, Saha, Parker, Nelsen, Gallas.
    We need to move on from the wonderful King, the uninterested Modric, the lifeless Adebayour and the limited Defoe.
    We need to build a team around Walker, Caulker, BAE, Bale, Huddlestone, Sandro, Livermoore, Townsend, Lennon and VDV. A young and hungry team that want to play for the shirt and not their pay-cheques.

    Spurs fans have had enough of you Harry - You've peaked - Time to move on and leave yet another club in a worse state (squad wise) than when you found them.

  • Comment number 84.

    As an interesting Sunday afternoon exercise, here is my ranking of the 20 EPL managers as prospective England managers, if nationality is not a factor :-

    Ferguson
    Pardew
    Di Matteo
    Rodgers
    Martinez
    Wenger
    Mancini
    O'Neil
    Moyes
    Dalglish
    Redknapp
    Pulis
    Hodgson
    Jol
    Hughes
    Lambert
    Coyle
    McLeish
    Kean
    Connor

  • Comment number 85.

    Hodgson is the better choice.
    Harry is a wheeler dealer witth an eye for a signing, a skill not relevant to International football.Squad selecttion is nott based on yyour chequebook but the passport of players.Hodgson has international experience also and managed two big Champ League winning teams in Inter and Liverpool.........harry when it comes down to it will give the press a quote to use.

  • Comment number 86.

    #84 Rodgers fourth? That's hilarious, he'd try and outfootball Spain and other top nations and consequently get hammered. Passing football, Barcelona-esque, beautiful blah blah blah Swansea are starting to get found out and will go down next year.

    Di Matteo and Pardew are also short-term reactionary choices. Both have chequered records and a bit of temporary success makes them better choices than some of the best managers the PL has seen like Wenger, O'Neill and Moyes?

  • Comment number 87.

    The British press have CHAMPIONED two ENGLISH managers over the last thirty years and these two men have won exactly three trophies between them in their respective managerial careers lasting a total of almost 60 years. Their names Mr Terry Venables and Mr Harry Redknapp. Shows just how much the so called football press know about football i suggest

  • Comment number 88.

    @84 Equilibro

    Your post made me chuckle: can only imagine you're having a 'sofa day' following a Saturday night out. Endless arguments/discussions amongst that lot.

  • Comment number 89.

    #86 Decision making ability is as crucial as experience at the international management level. Decision making is linked to IQ. The size of the brain is inversely proportional to the size of the mouth. I prefer managers who can "write a letter"!

    Can you show us your ranking list?

  • Comment number 90.

    I am really angry about the collapse of Spurs. Since that 5.0 defeat of Newcastle with the exception of the result of the re-run of Bolton they have been a disaster. The debacle at the Emirates was the starting point for the downward spiral. They have the players but not the psyche and that's the problem: weak minded and not focused enough. I am totally fed-up with the whole team and as for Redknapp, it's not worth a comment. Too much hype and not enough reality.

  • Comment number 91.

    England are mad to want Redknapp, or any other Englishman to be England manager. The FA/media never learn, Redknapp will be another McLaren/Keegan/Taylor, just a nearly man. If England want to stand any chance they need to change their entire coaching system and give it the 10-15 years it takes to make an impact, but they don't have the patience for that so they need a fixer, Guus is the obvious choice, or even Mourinho. Of course England's players aren't the best in the world but they should be good enough to beat anyone with the right tactics, the right motivator, Redknapp will provide neither.

  • Comment number 92.

    In my view, Harry Redknapp has done a great job at Spurs and should ignore the guys at the FA - who all look a bit shifty and twitchy - and take Spurs forward. No-one taking the England has done anything of lofty note after leaving the role and most have left it pretty soon after taking it on. I don't doubt that Harry would do a good job - but would he be allowed to do that by the suits at the FA. I don't know what Phil Gartside was doing with his 'Harry support comments' on Friday. Isn't that akin to tapping up a manager for his organisation? and isn't that a disgrace? I was also disappointed in Alan Shearer raising the issue again - it's disruptive for Spurs and I felt that shamed him, too - if premiership managers are being told not to do it, shouldn't Gartside and Shearer be similarly respectful? It made me smile to see Sir Trevor Brooking talk about parachuting a manager in days before the European Championships - his bosses at the FA almost certainly prompted him to say that, in my view. They may think that it help cover the stupidity of manoeuvering Capello to leave - leaving the England team manager-less before the championships. And, since when did parachuting help? It didn't help West Ham when they parachuted Trevor in to save them a few years ago. Len

  • Comment number 93.

    #89 I'm not going to do a ranking list because it's too time consuming, and I don't see the point trying to sort out places 8-20 of managers that are nowhere near ready or good enough for a job like England. If it's primarily about decision-making then why is Pardew so high given that his success has been in the transfer market (Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Ba, Cisse) and di Matteo, who if Chelsea is anything to go by will continue to play Lampard, Gerrard, Ferdinand and co?

    I completely disagree with the absolute farce that the FA has turned the managerial position into. Awarding Capello a multi-million pound contract just before the World Cup was brazen stupidity, and sacking him but not bringing in anybody to replace him is outrageous months before an international tournament. Do they actually think they can draft in Redknapp/Pardew/Hodgson/Jesus Christ a matter of weeks before the Euros and perform well??

  • Comment number 94.

    Never liked Harry, very much over rated as results from all teams managed can confirm. Man management questionable, if he likes you then you will do just fine, but look at how he's handled Bentley, Keane, Pienaar, Defoe, Pavlyuchenko? Look at the players he has loaned out as he claims now to have a weak and short squad? Questionable signings in Saha and Nelsen? He talk too much about former players like Taarabt which has come back to bite him on the bum last evening, and he loves to talk up other teams players by supplying the media with their contract dealings (Demba Ba for example) If he gets the England role the media will have a field day with his financial dealings once the wheels come off!! Too many questions with his defencive and overall team tactics and hoping his team suffer the consequences by finishing 6th this season. The England job should be given to the best suitable, forward thinking candidate, and that means choosing a foreigner again. Then again, with the lack of interest and oride shown by English players for so long I realy couldn't care less who they choose as it will be just another guy overseeing lacklustre performances that will deliver nothing towards the deluded expectations of the nations media!

  • Comment number 95.

    Pavulychenko, Bent, Palacios, Bentley, Corluka, Krancjar, Gomez, Bassong, Pletikosa, Dos Santos and Hutton all had their confidence systematically sapped and were tossed on the garbage heap by Harry. Does anyone really feel Bale and Modric are progressing like they could? Even finished products like Piennar and Keane wilted under Harry. Seriously...a man-manager?!?

  • Comment number 96.

    Anyone who doesn't think that the England thing is having an effect is dreaming. The form of players like Modric and VDV has dropped considerably since this all started. Redknapp should've just gone rather than talking himself into contention and then leaving us in limbo. And if he's not offered it he should be fired at the end of the season for the way he has let a second successive campaign go completely down the toilet in the second half of the season.

    And BTW can anyone else remember another manager we had suffering so many heavy defeats? 1-5 Man City, 1-5 Chelsea, 0-4 Fulham, 0-4 Madrid, 2-5 Arsenal... the list goes on.

  • Comment number 97.

    Arry has built a fine team that would give any England team he could put out a doing ......Adebayor when on his game is as good as Rooney. Bale is miles better than Downing. Modric better than anything Englands aging midfield have. VDV has more technical ability than any Englishman, etc, etc...............but Spurs are fifth in the PL and get totally pumped by all the big teams all the time!

    No wheeling and dealing at international level where you make do with what you have and tactics play a huge role.......so what on earth makes people think that Arry 'excellent wheeler and dealer but clearly tactitcally inept' Redknapp would bring success to England when he can't bring success to Spurs where he has players of far greater technical ability.

    Most of the pumpings happened before the time in the season he could use the 'not big enough sqaud' excuse (Man U, Man City, Arsenal) and Newcastle have a smaller sqaud and sit higher than them anyway, plus Arsenals sqaud isn't exactly huge and they had CL football to contend with too, so the 'not big enough squad' excuse is no excuse at all.

    If Arry did get the England job then Ukraine, France and Sweden will benefit but the big winners without question would be Spurs! From what I see most Spurs fans would be well happy if he left which is no suprise after this total failure of a season. If they finish outwith the top 4 and behind an Arsenal team that is as poor as it's been for 15 years and behind Newcastle who have a smaller sqaud and budget then he should be sacked anyway.

    Bite the bullet the FA and go foreign (or Scottish or Northern Irish) because England simply don't have any managers up to the job at the moment. Why go for Hodgson, Arry, Pardew or Hoddle when you could do much better. Granted neither SAF, Pep, Wenger or even the Special One could do much with Englands current crop of overrated rubbish but getting an Englishman in to manage will just increase the ineptitude.... has the 'wally with the brolly' been forgoton about already? Did you learn nothing from that? If Arry get's the job then the clear answer to both is a resounding yes.

  • Comment number 98.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 99.

    We had the wind knocked out of our sails when we were 2-0 up against Arsenal and set back on our own 18 yard box. We allowed Arsenal to run at us and I think we couldn't believe that Arsenal could come back with five goals! It really knocked the stuffing out of us. Through various other games, Utd and Everton we played well but did not get the rub of the green. Confidence dwindled BUT at the same time, I think there was a lot of talk on the training field about Harry taking the England job and the consequences for the rest of the staff. Bond, Jordan, Allen, Ferdinand, Sherwood and Redknapp Jnr could all be affected if HR moved to Wembley. How do you motivate players when the coaching staff are not motivated themselves and the body language may have been apparent.
    I cannot remember a Spurs team that has fallen so far from the heights over a two month period. It is totally mind-boggling?
    HR is very risk averse on the field, since that Newcastle game where we grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and banged in goals early, we have been so cautious in our buildup and play. HR also doesn't utilise his squad the way SAF and Wenger does. The players became burnt out and HR tried to get 'one more game' out of dead legs.
    What happened to the quick movement up the pitch at the start of the season? Goalline to goalline in 6 secs? Now we can hardly get up the park in 15 secs and breach the opponents defence. We take too long and this gives the opposition time to regroup.
    Additionally, Bale, Modric, VDV and Adebayor have all gone off the boil and Ledley has lost all his stengths. Parker has not played a good game since given the England captaincy. BAE has been found out on the left side of the park and now we are really struggling. I cannot put the total blame on HR; the players are professionals and should have the ability to pick up their pride and move on. Looks like Europa League at best?

  • Comment number 100.

    I concur with northernsuperspur. The England 'distraction' echoes the Beckham 'distraction' of early 2011. We barely won anything, with the exception of the Milan game and at Anfield last year too. I recall Pompey seasons fading in this way when Harry was manager too. The England factor emerged as soon as we knew Capello wouldn't stay beyond 2012 and the FA suggest he'd be followed by an Englishman! Harry was right for the job in 2008 but, until recently, has enhanced his reputation since. But, the lack of incoming, permanent long term transfers in the summer of 2011 and January 2012 suggested 'lame duck' status for Harry. The board were reluctant to invest with him likely to leave, perhaps too waiting on a new stadium and AEG takeover bid. So, short term signings were made...older players, potentially injury prone. A host of players, some disillusioned, some inexperienced went out. Consequence, players like Modric and Parker have burned out. Failure to cover Lennon has meant we can't always play 4-5-1 with zip. If we had bought Newcastle's Cisse and not Saha, the need to rely on Adebayor would have been less. Who knows how we'd have gone then but, Spurs fans are right to point out that Bale does most damage on the left, Lennon on the right. But that Pienaar boy can play a bit...if only it was for the club who too easily let him go back to Everton. Harry really is lame duck now and the FA have a problem because his reputation as a winner is diminishing as Pardew's is enhanced. As a Spurs fan, I'm looking forward, with very cautious optimism to a new era under who? Well Rogers or Martinez for their football; Moyes as a pragmatic move, Jose for the fantasist and Big Martin Jol and Chris Hughton for the romantic. Hello, David Pleat.....

 

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