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Poor Old Harry! Where He got it all wrong at Tottenham!

When Harry Redknapp took over from Juande Ramos in 2008, Spurs had only take two points from their first eight premier league games and were bottom of the table. The 65 year old primary assignment was to lead spurs out of the relegation zone at least and finish in mid-table. But he did more than that.

 

Redknapp transformed the fortunes of the north London club. With just two points from eight games, he took the Club on a six-match unbeaten run. A run which included the memorable 4-4 derby match against Arsenal. Harry got Spurs to the Carling Cup final and into the Round of 32 in the Europa League. The club eventually finished 8th that season and improvement on the previous year despite the abysmal start. It was an astonishing accomplishment for the spurs fans who thought their season was over… Their Messiah has definitely arrived!

 

As if that was not enough, the following season (his first full season in charge) he guided Spurs to fourth position taking them into the Champions League for the first time. The first time in the history of the club! Wow! Redknapp was on seventh heaven. This was just too good to be true. Spurs played some exhilarating football on their way to the quarter-finals, which saw them knock out Inter Milan and Ac Milan; two big giants, but were eventually knocked out by Real Madrid.

 

Now let us pause for a moment and fast forward to January 2012. At that time, Spurs were 3 points behind the top spot in the EPL. Redknapp was within reach of the top spot in the Premier League table back on the morning of January 22 as they headed to the Etihad to take on Manchester City. It was unbelievable! He was poised to be the man that will lead spurs to their first EPL title after guiding them to their first champions league outing. His fairytale story was going way too fast than he planned. 


 

For a manager who has previously managed “average” clubs all his life,(Southampton, Portsmouth, West Ham  and Bournemouth) the level of success he was about to attain was unbelievable. In his managerial career spanning over 30 years, Harry has never gotten to this height. The attention of the media was now on White Hart Lane. The pressure started mounting. He had to stay strong. They narrowly lost the game at the Etihad thanks to a late penalty they conceded. Their title hopes may have been lost but they still bounced back a week later with a win over Wigan and 3rd place seemed secured as they maintained a 13 point lead over Arsenal in fourth place. He was getting his tactics right and the club and the fans were enjoying every moment at White Hart Lane

 

When Harry Redknapp took over from Juande Ramos in 2008, Spurs had only take two points from their first eight premier league games and were bottom of the table. The 65 year old primary assignment was to lead spurs out of the relegation zone at least and finish in mid-table. But he did more than that.

 

Redknapp transformed the fortunes of the north London club. With just two points from eight games, he took the Club on a six-match unbeaten run. A run which included the memorable 4-4 derby match against Arsenal. Harry got Spurs to the Carling Cup final and into the Round of 32 in the Europa League. The club eventually finished 8th that season and improvement on the previous year despite the abysmal start. It was an astonishing accomplishment for the spurs fans who thought their season was over… Their Messiah has definitely arrived!

 

As if that was not enough, the following season (his first full season in charge) he guided Spurs to fourth position taking them into the Champions League for the first time. The first time in the history of the club! Wow! Redknapp was on seventh heaven. This was just too good to be true. Spurs played some exhilarating football on their way to the quarter-finals, which saw them knock out Inter Milan and Ac Milan; two big giants, but were eventually knocked out by Real Madrid.

Now let us pause for a moment and fast forward to January 2012. At that time, Spurs were 3 points behind the top spot in the EPL. Redknapp was within reach of the top spot in the Premier League table back on the morning of January 22 as they headed to the Etihad to take on Manchester City. It was unbelievable! He was poised to be the man that will lead spurs to their first EPL title after guiding them to their first champions league outing. His fairytale story was going way too fast than he planned. 

For a manager who has previously managed “average” clubs all his life,(Southampton, Portsmouth, West Ham  and Bournemouth) the level of success he was about to attain was unbelievable. In his managerial career spanning over 30 years, Harry has never gotten to this height. The attention of the media was now on White Hart Lane. The pressure started mounting. He had to stay strong. They narrowly lost the game at the Etihad thanks to a late penalty they conceded. Their title hopes may have been lost but they still bounced back a week later with a win over Wigan and 3rd place seemed secured as they maintained a 13 point lead over Arsenal in fourth place. He was getting his tactics right and the club and the fans were enjoying every moment at White Hart Lane


The Great Mistake

 On the 8th of February, Harry Redknapp problem started! Fabio Capello resigned as England’s manager and there was just one person on the mind of every English fan and player..  Redknapp was the immediate public choice for the open job following Capello’s announcement, as fans around the country voiced a “Harry for England” mantra. They wanted him to do the wonders he did at spurs on the national level.  At the same time, according to some reports, Redknapp and Daniel Levy the director at Tottenham  were in discussions regarding a contract extension for the then Spurs manager.  Spurs wanted to secure his services on a long term after achieving so much for the club in a short time. It seemed very clear, however, that Redknapp was waiting for a call from the FA, a call that never came.


 

He became distracted and it started affecting him and his players. Then it started showing on the pitch.  A run of just three wins in 11 Premier League matches was what followed.  I remember one of the games they played during this poor run, the north London derby against arch rivals Arsenal. Spurs jumped out to a 2-0 lead during the first half at the Emirates. But they blew it away as the Gunners rallied to score five unanswered goals in that game!  Before you knew it, Spurs blew the 13 points lead over Arsenal away! They were languishing in 4th place. How sad! For a team that was tipped to win the league just a few weeks before.

 

 Although Redknapp claimed his side has struggled due to a difficult run of fixtures – not the ongoing speculation linking him the England job, it was so obvious that he was trying to cover things up.

 

Throw in their 5-1 FA Cup semi-final humiliation at the hands of Chelsea in April and you have a chain of events that pushed Redknapp to the brink. Spurs eventually lost their 3rd spot to Arsenal and then to crown it all up, Roy Hodgson was named as England’s manager! 

 

 Harry was doomed! He had lost his long desired England job. If he did not secure at least a champions league spot for spurs next season he was going to lose at both ends. He had to summon courage and hang on.

 

Eventually, he did. Spurs finished in 4th place, a point behind Arsenal. That was not enough for them to secure champions league football though. They had to hope Bayern defeat Chelsea in the Munich final in order for them to qualify. Hopes were dashed when Chelsea defiled all odds and won the UCL. Harry was back to square 1. He lost it all.

 

Ironically, The FA told the press during the unveiling of Hodgson as England’s manager that “he has been the number one choice for us from the beginning” even though we all knew that Harry was the top man for the job from the onset. Tottenham’s disastrous form may well be one of the reasons for the FA’s decision to overlook him.


 

He also had issues to deal with at his club. The manner in which he lost the backing of the club’s board and the fans and also the England managerial job was shocking and a bitter blow for the old boss. That should have taught Redknapp something even he may not have known about the fickleness of supporters and administrators alike in football. Football is a results-based business, if you don’t get the result; you lose your trust and support. Simple and short! He was relieved of his duties at White Hart Lane as the Director of football at the club was quoted to have said this, “It was not a decision the board and I have taken lightly”. A very difficult call for the Director Daniel Levy. 


 

Harry produced incomparably the most inventive football Spurs have played since the mid 1980s, if not the early Sixties. To dismiss such a manager on such opaque grounds takes the kind of visionary boldness. Redknapp will feel entitled to point at his body of work he has done for the club and ask could anyone have done better. The demanding Levy obviously feels the answer to that is “yes” so the search will begin for his successor.

 

 His tremendous work cannot been forgotten so easily. He helped build a formidable squad for spurs with the likes of Modric, Bale, Adebayor, Lennon, Van der vaart to mention a few. Harry must now wait for another chance to redeem his legacy as a manager. He had the chance of a life-time to make a big mark with spurs but he spooned it. His last comments he leaves read thus

 

” I am sad to be leaving but wish to thank the players, staff and fans for their terrific support during my time there.”

 

 We wish him all the best as he tries to regain his image and forge ahead. He brought breath taking football to the league and should be credited for that.

 

An exit may seem harsh on Redknapp but his critics point to the fact that his team would have qualified directly for the Champions League had they not thrown away a 13-point lead over rivals Arsenal towards the end of the season after a poor run of form.

 

Redknapp’s Spurs Career at a Glance  

2008: October 26 – Redknapp reveals he has agreed to become Tottenham manager, two days after the club approached Portsmouth.

2009: May – Having taken over with Spurs bottom of Premier League and with just two points from eight games, guides club to eighth-place finish.

2010: April 11 – Redknapp’s Spurs beaten 2-0 in FA Cup semi-final by Portsmouth at Wembley.

May 5 – Secures top-four Premier League finish and place in Champions League qualifying round with 1-0 win at Manchester City.

July 13 – Signs contract extension to keep him at White Hart Lane until 2013.

 

November 2 – Spurs stun Inter Milan 3-1 at White Hart Lane in the outstanding performance of a Champions League campaign that takes them all the way to the quarter-finals.

 

2011: May – Spurs finish fifth in the Premier League, missing out on another season of Champions League football.

 

November 3 – Redknapp misses Tottenham’s Europa League trip to Rubin Kazan after a having a heart procedure, and goes on to miss further matches while he recovers.

 

2012: January 22 – As Spurs are being talked of as genuine title challenges; Redknapp sees his side lose 3-2 at Manchester City, who gets a last-minute penalty from Mario Balotelli.

 

February 8 – Redknapp is acquitted, along with former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric, on charges of cheating the public revenue.

 

On the same day, Fabio Capello’s abrupt departure from England sees Redknapp installed as the favorite to replace him, but the FA say no immediate decision will be made. During weeks of speculation, Tottenham’s form dips.

 

May 1 – England name Roy Hodgson as Capello’s successor.

 

May 13 – Having conceded a 10-point advantage over Arsenal, Tottenham finish the season fourth.

 

May 19 – Chelsea’s victory in the Champions League final costs Tottenham a place in the tournament next season.

 

June 12 – Redknapp angrily rejects speculation he is set to leave Tottenham.

 

June 14 – Spurs confirm he is to leave the club. 

 


 


 


 


 

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. south upper

    9 July, 2012 at 03:48

    mate move on already….what you fail to talk about was what was going on behind the scenes….how he failed to use his squad how he got rid of players on loan that could of helped us the list goes on and on…Harry has gone and thank god for that and do us all a favor move on harry is sacked and thats harrys own fault he had the offer of a new contract he wanted england he had 4 years he wanted england he had 70 mil to spend he wanted england….when harry was in court we stuck by him when he wanted england we offered a new contract its harry fault…training methods old hat tactics basic let bale come inside rather than stay on the left…..use of player poor gio not used buy nelson saha to name but a few…New manager new player new vision good bye harry thank for the good times we will look forward to the future…..

  2. Gav Jenko

    9 July, 2012 at 04:29

    A very biased view towards a man who was only interested in his own brand. He’s as into himself as Beckham, no wonder they get on really well.

    He only sought short term signings, Saha, Nelson, Gallas…. Would’ve had Neville from Everton if he could have. His only good signing was Kaboul and he had already worked over him at portsmouth who couldn’t pay Spurs what they owed for him and so we had 1st option for him to come back. He never signed VDV, that was Levy. He signed Sandro without ever seing him play so can’t take the credit for that. He only gave Bale his chance cos he was forced to through injury.

    he realies on the age old magic of having players love him cos he lets them get on with it in they’re own way. They have total freedom on the pitch cos he doesn’t bombard them with tactics, cos tactics are not his style. He doesn’t rotate enough and they get burnt out. The last two seasons have shown it as we went tits up in Febuary twice.

    He keeps telling us about the two pts in 8 games and how we’ve never had it so good and we should be delighted with 4th and we couldn’t afford proper players with the money we pay and blah blah blah.

    and he contradicts himself on a daily basis, whilst courting the England job…

    the man was a disaster, and the best team of players that THFC has seen in decades will still play the best football in the league without him, just you watch.

    with the talent at the lane at the moment, we could have won the EPL. the idea of 4th was an insult in January and he deserved to go, if not for his short termism, or his flirting with other jobs, or his mouth, then for his contract games straight after Daniel Levy’s mother had just died.

    Bye Harry! won’t miss ye (even if AVB doesn’t work out)…..

  3. SPURSGUV

    9 July, 2012 at 05:40

    This article annoyed me. Harry built a squad. Er I don’t think so. Lennon, Modric and Bale were here before harry. Ade was arrived at by Levy. When we got Sandro harry didn’t know him and said “they tell me he’s a good players”. Harry was miffed that he wasn’t in control of buying players. This showed again when he said..” i got a call from the chairman asking if I wanted VDV”. Look at who he did sign, crouch, keane, defoe, chimbonda, freidel, parker, Saha, Pienaar, Nelsen..many of these will get the boot, some have already. He tried to sell Bale when he arrived. Said Modric was too small and tried to blame lennon for a eruo failure when lennon had been sick all week. His tactics were a joke btw. The truth about his demise is in there, but well disguised. Harry got the boot for being disloyal. He hadn’t been here a year and was tempted by an offer from Dubai. He failed to sign up as said. Then when he want in after missing the england job he brought in Rooneys advisers. Spurs stood by Harry all through his court battle with Tax evasion. His way of repaying that was wanting away. He was never really happy at Spurs. Spurs have for some time collectively bought players. Harry thinks the old fashioned way and that he should do all the buying. If you check out the two lists of players aforementioned you’ll see why Levy/the board want some input to the acqusition of players. Harry left southampton and pompey in a mess. LEft to himself he would have done the same at Spurs. He had peaked I hear. I reckon he was lucky to have the opportunity in the first place. He blew it. He and his followers need to get over it. I’m still intrigued to know why this so successful manager (one cup in 30 years) hasn’t beeen snapped up by another club. It’s way past the two weeks he was banging on about. He’s gone..good..we have AVB now so lets concentrate on this fella. He’s gonna need a lot of backing with Lamps and Rednapp aiming at him before a ball has been kicked.

  4. Royalspur

    9 July, 2012 at 05:58

    Massive Harry fan, really the best 3 years I can remember in the league since I was a boy in the sixties, but agree we have to move on, worried re AVBs man management but was always going to be tough at chelski with their strong characters, and that’s been our problem for a while, love Ledley but never felt he was going to give rockets if team mates not performing, let’s hope Jan is the man!, and be a leader on the park

  5. deargodwtf

    9 July, 2012 at 06:27

    was this “article” written by a child? the grammar and simplicity of the writing I could forgive, but the superficial analysis based on nothing but headlines from two years of news articles with the words “redknapp” and “tottenham” shows that the author has less understanding of the actual situation than most likely anyone who will ever read it. shocking what passes for effort these days.

  6. Aicher

    9 July, 2012 at 06:41

    Redknapp created a great Spurs side. Some brilliant nights in Europe will live long in the memory
    But Redknapps whoring himself for the England job was puke injuceing to say the least
    To get the team playing the way it did especially i Europe, with the court case hanging over was incredible
    When Capello left brand Redknapp kicked in. With the support Spurs gave him in court this was hard to take
    Levy was right to sack him. If Redknapp was offered a new 4 year contract during the last third of the season then Redknapps a mug
    Don’t know about AVB but if he’s Spurs manager he gets my support, unless he’s rubbish

  7. Will

    9 July, 2012 at 07:03

    Two “whatif” will always worry me :1) the Fulop debacle was it honest mistake, payback or was even money invoilved? We will never know.
    2) Rose’s possible WHL careed ending “gaff” at Villa which almost certainly cost us two points. It seems a coincidence that each time we have an advnatage over the Woolich lot that the “gods” intervene and we miss out, yet again. I often wonder who works for these “gods”.

    These were both freakish results and one wonders whether both had not occurred and we thus finished 4 points ahead of Arsenal what would have then happened to harry. OMHO the same result would have occurred as we needed someone else to climb up to a higher level. IMHO only the maintenance of teh 13 pt lead would have kept him his place

  8. Martin

    9 July, 2012 at 07:18

    The right thing would have been for Harry to take the England job.
    He should not have been ostracized for that.
    He should have been forgiven.
    The club has to do the right thing.

  9. TMWNN

    9 July, 2012 at 07:58

    I can forgive how poorly written and cliche riddled this article is, but I can’t forgive the total lack of insight as to what actually happened.

    Poor.

  10. ColinSC

    9 July, 2012 at 09:10

    Will/
    Rose’s ‘gaff’ was in no way worse than Rednapps Gaffe against Villa, subbing on Parker (rarely if ever scoring) as opposed to Defoe (often scoring as an impact sub). It was widely known we needed to score and were well on top so Defoe’s chances of scoring would have been relatively high. This was (from what I read) one of the reasons he went. He either deliberately or negligently chose to bomb us out of Champions league.
    Now we see Lampard on our (Spurs) sites telling us we were wrong to have sacked Redknapp and making inappropriate comments about AVB, it is easy to see how much malice he bore towards AVB and probably the level of guile he had in getting rid of him.As for the rest of the comments here I quite agree the article seems to have been written by someone that has only the smallest understanding of Spurs, and has cobbled together a compilation of other teams vilification of our beloved Spurs.
    I have moaned constantly about the lack of rotation, tactics, alienation of 50% of the team (like Lampard accused AVB of, only he was mandated by Abromovich to lose the old guard, and when he tried he was hung out to dry).Redknapp’s constant lack of taking responsibility (for when things went wrong), self-aggrandizement (for when things went right).He backed Chelsea in their right to buy Modric Last year against the wishes of DL basically the team did well because they are damn fine player, not because of Redknapp.
    I am looking forwards to what a fine tactician and person capable of articulation can bring the team who knows we may be able to score from a set piece now haven’t done it pretty much since harry started as that was another thing he didn’t bother with.

  11. TomyHarmer

    9 July, 2012 at 09:19

    My suggestion to the writer of this article is that he goes back through the good Spurs blogs over the last year and reads what the writers there and the contributions from ordinary Spurs supporters like me say (Dear Mr Levy, Harry Hotspur, Jimmy G, etc). Everyone was always suspicious of Redknapp, and he was generally only interested in himself, referring to Spurs supporters as ‘them’. He produced some stunning football, not by tactical awareness, but by giving the players freedom. When their efforts failed, he had no idea what to do next, aside of bringing on a bean pole and banging in high balls. He had a coaching staff that brought no changes to players’ on-field performances, and that was it. We were prey to whatever tactical skill other high-flying teams brought to a game, and dropped points to most of them. Levy would have stuck with him as the man to keep things going, but his greed and shiftiness finally lost him support. Goodbye ‘Arry: thanks, but no thanks!

  12. Clifford Chapman

    9 July, 2012 at 11:09

    When is this media obsession with Harry going to stop?

    You talk of Harry being taught of ‘the fickleness of supporters and administrators alike in football’, as if somehow this applies to Harry’s treatment, yet with no hint of irony you do not include managers. When Harry maintained that managerial issues were not a factor in players’ morale and performance during our appalling slump and then, as soon as he didn’t get the England job, argued almost the exact opposite when trying to get a new and improved contract, he was, rightly, doomed, To compound it, he even apparently admitted he would have taken the England job while negotiating with Spurs.

    And you talk of the fickleness of supporters!

    As a Spurs’ fan, I don’t deny that Harry rescued us from the foot of the table but let me remind you that Harry himself admitted that his rescue act at Portsmouth required every ounce of effort from the players because of their respective talents and abilities, a point he categorically and deliberately stated did not apply to Spurs when he took over because of their inherent superior skills. What he was really saying was that Spurs had been badly managed, something ironically true of his last few months in tenure.

    If ever a manager dug his own grave, Harry Rednapp did, and I really would like you, cos no-one else in the media offering this sentimental slop has so far responded, if he is such a great manager, how come the offers haven’t been pouring in?

  13. wolexis

    10 July, 2012 at 04:02

    Thank you all for your comments and criticism

  14. wolexis

    10 July, 2012 at 04:05

    Errr SpursGuv and deargodwtf were quite harsh though. thanks all the same!

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