Harry’s Game

melted face

I have this deep dark thought that I feel I need to share with some strangers and, as we are talking, then I will get it off my chest now. Feel free to deride me and call me all sorts of names. I can take it. Firstly, let me state, I am a Harry fan. I have the badge, the scarf and the official DVD. Harry Redknapp is made for Spurs and Spurs is made for Harry Redknapp – or should it say was. When he was first appointed I couldn’t think of a better choice – after a series of continental managers he was breath of straight talking English air. But today, this morning, after Wigan, the dark feelings that I felt in the summer, and periodically gnawed away at me last season, have become overwhelming. Let me try and illustrate what I am trying to say with some background. Firstly we all know Harry is as loyal as a certain Mr Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell when it comes to switching sides. From Pompey to his ‘spiritual home’ of Southampton in the twitch of an eye is perhaps the most overt display of this loyalty in action but there have been others. Disloyalty (or wheeler dealing) is, of course, all part and parcel of the great Harry Redknapp aura – an aura that spellbinds players, supporters and the press alike and there is no doubting we writhe in ecstasy at all the ‘Del Boy’ shtick because Harry is a fantastic manager. For Spurs, at the time of his appointment, there was no better choice. We needed a straight talking scrapper. Someone to kick the lazy, spoilt, sloth-like players up the jacksy and get them playing again. Harry was the man. With a remarkable, almost eerie, channeling of football magic we were top half of the table and fighting on in the cups. The fine work continued last season but there were times when I was not sold and silly losses to the Wolves and the Stokes and the Hulls seemed undo all those great victories and sometimes, tactically we were left wanting especially when he chose to play Keane almost every game without fail. Of course we got fourth on the last day and that is not to be underestimated and is a huge achievement that, quite frankly, he should deliver based upon a) our squad and b) his salary. We never died and we kept scrapping until the glories of the Champions League are upon us for
the first time in its current, modern, form.

Then the summer came and with it the World Cup and the walking disaster that is Capello. During this period Harry Rednknapp was quoted as saying he couldn’t refuse the job if it was offered to him which yes, you could argue is ‘honest Harry’ but you could also argue is a man hawking his services to the FA. I believe Harry should have been a bit cleverer with his responses to the press and the flirtations with the England job have been rewarded – The FA have said the next England manager will be English. So that leaves Woy Hodgson and our very own HR as one of a two horse race that I doubt Red Roy will be interested in taking after just setting up shop with the bin dippers. Of course one cannot read too much into what Harry was saying but it must be set against the backdrop of a man that will stop at nothing to fulfill his last great ambition. I don’t blame him at all, its the pinnacle of any managers career to manage their national team but I do object when it comes at the expense of the club I support.

So, yes, my dark though is pretty obvious – it is time to let Harry Redknapp go. I am sure you are disgusted with this statement, throwing shoes at the screen, and outraged at my lack of loyalty and moral fibre but seeing as you’ve read this far then give me a few seconds to illustrate why I believe it is time we move forward in objective terms. Firstly there is the England thing. He will be the next England manager and we, THFC, are on borrowed time until the FA call him. If you disagree that this will not happen (even Joe Public is clamoring for his appointment) then I suggest you are being a little naive and, unfortunately, time will will only provide the answer but I believe I am right. Secondly, all the reasons that made Harry such a success at Spurs, the gutsy, scraping, kick-up-the-arse style of management will simply not wash in Europe. I believe that now we are a big, top four club in the Champions League, we should get a manager that will sustain and maintain this stature. Remember, HR has never managed in Europe. In European terms Ramos, Jol, Gross, Graham, Hoddle are far and away more experienced. This seasons CL campaign will be as much a learning curve for HR as it will be for the players. This is maybe the reward that HR deserves after steering us there but it’s a reward at the expense of sustained European football. There is one scenario that keep cropping up in my my mind when I think of us in Europe and that is of Leeds. I don’t need to tell you how that panned out but Champions League football will not guarantee us success for the next five years. It may only be a season OR we get a manager in now that can have a better shot of things and refine the fine work that HR has done for us. I have raised this issue on Spurs forums before and people always ask me who would i get in? Who is available? I would argue that Gus Hiddink would be very tempted to take on the job right now, as things stand, whilst we are still at the early stages of the season. The other issue for me, and one that again, cannot simply be overlooked is HR’s abilities to divide fans. The vast, vast majority of Tottenham supporters are loyal good people that are forgiving and have laughed in the face of all the turmoil we have all experienced for decades however there are minority that go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to loyalty to THFC. These hardcore few will never look past HR the West Ham manager and Arsenal supporting schoolboy. Never. The cracks have been papered over with success but these supporters will never be a fan of the man and it follows that as soon as our team hits a rocky spell there will be less time afforded to Harry than would normally be the case. It’s not a point that one can argue and the hardcore few will never be placated. This means with have the genesis of a GG style in-fighting that we have not seen for a long time and one that has the potential to divide and damage our club like the bad old days.

Spurs are at a crossroads. The same crossroads Chelsea were with Claudio Ranieri at Chelsea all those years ago. The Tinker Man. Loved by the fans and a dignified soldier but Red Rom knew he wasn’t going to cut the mustard so, ruthlessly, and at the time was derided by Chelsea fans, was sacked and replaced by Mourinho. Chelsea never looked back. Their fans took about a month to move on following win after win and title after title. It is this decisive action that separates the big boys from the also-rans. I believe the Harry has taken us as far as he can domestically and it is time to build upon that foundation or stagnate and bounce around the top half of the league until the FA come knocking/Levy gets impatient. Wigan on Saturday was a big reminder for me. There will not be a better time to act decisively in our clubs recent history than at this point. You can call me disloyal but it’s a trait not unknown to Harry Redknapp. Harry cares nothing for the traditions of Tottenham and dismisses loyalty as evidenced by the signing of a 33-year old Gooner.

Live by the sword. Die by the sword.

One Response to “Harry’s Game”

  1. But it was White Christmas, when paired wih the voice of Bing
    Crosby, that may be the very best remeembered oof all of his songs.