Thursday, 14 June 2012

Grave Digger

There's an idea for Harry Redknapp now he has left Tottenham Hotspur. Grave digger. He'd be perfect for it. He's dug one already; his own.

This isn't an anti-Redknapp piece, not at all. I'm incredibly grateful to Harry for the job he's done at Spurs. He came in (2 points from 8 games, remember?), stabilised a team going the wrong way, and pulled us back up the league.

I don't think any of the fans or the board expected us to move on so quickly in 2009/10. 4th place saw us qualify for the Champions League for the first time in the modern era. Harry brought us some memorable nights in that competition. 3-4 at the San Siro versus Inter. Beating them 3-1 at the Lane. And of course winning 1-0 at the San Siro against AC Milan.

We also consistently competed with those big four clubs that we had struggled against for so long. We've recorded wins against Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal, home and away, as well as Chelsea at home. Manchester United remains the only scalp we were unable to take.

But in 10/11 we faced the same problems as this season, though this season we were able to find different excuses. The team's form fell away in March. Our Champions League exploits may have taken their toll on the squad, but you have to question why it happened the next season too, at almost exactly the same time. It couldn't be coincidence, could it? Unlikely.

Watching the problem arise in 11/12 again, Redknapp was powerless, seemingly, to prevent the slump and seemed devoid of ideas.

I suggested Harry could work as a grave digger for a few reasons. Most importantly, he let the England saga roll on for so long. As fans, I think we would have appreciated some honesty early on. He could have come out and said, 'Yes, I'd like the job, but I won't be discussing it again until after the Fulham game and I won't be meeting with anyone.' Brilliant, let's finish the season, then worry about it.

That didn't happen though, and it disrupted our season badly. He's told us he didn't agree that it did, but he was told by those around him it did.

Harry also failed to make the fans feel part of it. Everyone on the social networking sites has said the same thing; with Harry, it was always them, never us. That's how he talked about the fans, or sometimes worse, the team. The Club, and the fans, stuck by him through his tax evasion trail. He was inundated with messages of support and thanked us following his trial's completion. But that was seemingly forgotten very swiftly, as he started to bat his eyelashes at England.

His short term planning also didn't help his cause. He always seemed to be preparing to only be here until the end of the season. Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha, our January signings, failed to inspire the majority of fans, especially given the names we had been linked with.

If Harry wanted to stay at the Club as much as he said he did recently, he should have felt that way even when there was a chance of managing England. He won an FA Cup with Portsmouth, but he made his name at Spurs. His comments just made us feel like second choice. And no man is bigger than the Club. If he didn't want to commit while there was the possibility of a better offer, then he shouldn't be at the Club.

A new manager will hopefully be given a long term contract and be given financial backing, as well as some patience from the supporters. Alan Pardew was given a surprising five year contract at Newcastle United and given substantial backing from Mike Ashley. The player and mentality he has brought to the club has changed their fortunes massively.

Should it be Moyes, Andre Villas-Boas or Martinez, let's get behind them, back them, and support the club, not just the manager.

It's Martinez for me. This article goes a long way to making a decision for me. He, like Brendan Rodgers, could go on to become one of the best managers in the world, let's just hope he can achieve it at Tottenham.

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