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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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