Redknapp takes Spurs crash course
Harry Redknapp took an intensive 90-minute crash course on the size and shape of the task awaiting him as Spurs manager during a north London derby that defied all logic at The Emirates.
Redknapp's touchline demeanour was a mixture of delight and disbelief as Arsenal's apparent stroll to victory was rudely interrupted by Jermaine Jenas's superb last-minute strike and a chaotic levelller from Aaron Lennon in the third minute of injury time.
It gave Redknapp's new charges a point that barely looked possible for most of a game in which Arsenal dominated, but displayed a careless streak that always kept Spurs interested.
Spurs, understandably given the finale, celebrated as if they had won - but when the elation dies down, Redknapp will have learned much about what needs to be done at White Hart Lane.
Spurs showed there was nothing wrong with their spirit by the manner of their comeback and the way they stuck to their task, despite being outplayed for long periods.
And to score four goals at Arsenal - no matter that the Gunners were largely victims of their own naivety - demonstrates there is real quality for Redknapp to work with.
Redknapp's side are inventive with the ball, but he will know that without the ball they are too easy to get at, a danger to themselves.
Arsenal's passing is traditionally their most dangerous asset, and yet twice at The Emirates they were gifted goals from set-pieces that were hardly works of art. Cheap goals - and Spurs concede too many of them.
Redknapp will also be able to study some grim evidence about one or two of the players he has inherited.
He spent the weekend praising his goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, but the summer import is currently little more than a liability.
Those kind words of support for the flawed Brazilian may have been little more than a temporary patch on his damaged confidence until the January transfer window opens.
Gomes comes for - and misses - corners and free-kicks with alarming regularity, and he cannot compensate for the uncertainty he creates with the occasional fine save.
Spurs also need a commanding central defender to play alongside the excellent Jonathan Woodgate in the regular absences of Ledley King.
And expensive full-back Alan Hutton did not deliver a display that will have earned top marks from his new manager, especially when he gifted Arsenal their fourth goal, scored by Robin van Persie.
There are, however, already vital signs of Redknapp's influence that will be positives for Spurs as he starts to get his feet under the table at White Hart Lane.
Redknapp will encourage Spurs to play in a manner that is a good fit with White Hart Lane's finest traditions, and he is clearly keen to encourage the naturally gifted stars within his ranks.
David Bentley needed to start playing like the player he thinks he is, and in Redknapp's first two games he has shown signs that he will flourish under his guidance.
Bentley's goal at Arsenal, a tee-up and volley from 40 yards, was truly outstanding and a sign of his natural ability. It was a piece of invention and skill few players could have successfully pulled off.
And while he has yet to demonstrate the quality he has shown for Croatia, Luka Modric looks like he is finally coming out of his shell and adapting to life in the Premier League.
The main commodity Spurs will take away from Arsenal is a massive injection of self-belief and confidence, which has been in desperately short supply this season.
And with league leaders Liverpool arriving at White Hart Lane on Saturday, they will need it.
But for now, Redknapp has made a fine start and everyone at Spurs - players, management and supporters - will carry that huge feeling elation at the final whistle forward into better times.