Are Spurs moving in the right direction?

by Mystical Mike

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

‘Appy as ‘Arry:

Spurs boss may flash the cash, just don’t expect him to nurture any rough diamonds.

Since Harry Redknapp’s arrival at White Hart Lane as the latest messiah to try and rescue the sinking ship of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the lilywhites have flown up the table into the heady heights of 16th place in the Premier League.

So much for Mr Wheeler Dealer, acquiring bargain starlets from football’s equivalent of Europe’s car boot sale – our ‘Arry has splashed the cash this January at any two-legged athlete willing to run around a lot and say a few kind words about how he’s always wanted to play for the leading lights of North London’s second club.

The signs so far have been good, if a little worrying. Wilson Palacios may have cost the amount of an old country manor, but Spurs finally have a player with a bit of brain AND brawn, Carlo Cudicini remains a top-flight goalkeeper, and Jermain Defoe is showing signs of increasingly maturity.

Redknapp has praised his players’ resilience and quality but as Pompey and Saints fans would well know, the ex-West Ham boss shouldn’t always be taken for his word – for the Englishman has always had a habit of empty promises.

So far at WHL, Harry has dismissed reports of Beckham joining (“I’ve got David Bentley”), bigged up his strikers before signing Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane, applauded the character of his no.1, now no.2 goalkeeper, and reassured fans that he would do his uptmost to get Captain Ledley King fit.

Since then, Bentley has been glued to the substitutes bench and incurred the wrath of ‘Arry, Darren Bent has been compared to Redknapp’s wife, Gomes has been replaced by Cudicini and Ledley King’s time at the Lane is effectively at an end with Keane’s appointment as Captain and the centre-back dropped from the squad.

There is a worry that Spurs now have a manager who, rather than attempt to fix the problem, will simply go out and buy another player should any squad player incur his displeasure – especially with Daniel Levy so keen to make up for the number of botched up errors at the club in the past 18 months.

This in itself is a shame. Players like Giovani Dos Santos, Adel Taarabt and even home-grown youngsters like Tom Huddlestone and, are rough diamonds with huge potential, but look likely to be the first out in the summer.

Roman Pavyuchenko could also go, which would be a disappointment at a time when the Russian is beginning to illustrate his sharp football brain and predatory instinct in front of goal. Other players like Gareth Bale, Alan Hutton and Bent could also go in the summer.

Of course, not all of this is wrong or avoidable. Ledley King’s injuries have cost Tottenham and England of one of the finest centre back’s in the past decade, while it could be argued that players like Bale, Jermaine Jenas and others have failed to impose themselves at the North London club.

Redknapp will know that he has some serious talent at his talent at his disposal. Luka Modric, Palacios, Woodgate, Keane and Corluka are all strong players and he also has a chairman who is willing to back him to the hilt with all the cash he could dream of.

But should Redknapp choose to look at the fringes of his squad he will see there are some talented players there who, with a little refining, could turn into key players for his team, and save the club millions of pounds that would otherwise be invested in replacements.

He’s moaned about the team being lopsided, unbalanced and no good but the former Pompey man will also be aware that he has a squad that cost a lot of money and came to the Carling Cup holders with a lot of potential. Redknapp may be able to blame any failure this season on the previous regime, but he will be all too aware that football is a fickle business likely to bite him on the backside should he fail to live up to expectations.

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  • stevie

    I think the appointment of Arry was slightly desperate and is surely not a long term one. I would like to know what Spurs fans think of this….

  • Martyn

    I think you’re all a bit radio rental!! As a squad, we were not perfroming under Ramos. I have always maintained he is a good manager but always believed we needed a manager that would be able to stick a hot rod up a players arse if he wasnt performing. With the exception of Chimbonda, I think Harry has bought well. Palacios has the potential to be one of the best plyers in the premier league. Defoe is one of the best English strikers around and Keane, whilst i was devastated to see him leave will always score goals, when he is treated fairly. Cudicini has come in and done very well, when Gomes was injured, so couldnt be dropped.
    Huddlestone was ever present when Harry first came, he then got injured and hasnt quite recovered his sharpness yet but Harry sees potantial in him. Taarabt is getting chances off the bench but he is a risky player in the precarious position we are in. He can be brilliant but he can also lose the ball in terrible positions putting us under pressure. Dos Santos is probably still in recovery from injury to be risked in such high pressure prem league games at the moment. Bale is great but underperforming, Hutton has been injured for 2 months and is still way off recovery and Jenas is simply not good enough! We all know Ledley’s problems. Pavlyuchenko has played almost every game since Harry’s arrival, so why you would get the impression he wants to sell him I will never know. I dont even want to discuss Bent, he’s useless at the moment.
    As for Harry himself, why shouldnt we have him long term, there are very few good managers around and he is proven to be a good man manager. As for, dont expect him nurture, if you listent to Rio, Defoe, Cole and Carrick, they all say he was certainly very influential in their career developemtn at West ham, who do have a good academy.
    I think you’re way off in your assessment Doug. Sorry mate

  • Darren

    All I know is I have enjoyed watching the Spuds on many occasions this season. They have provided me with some great entertainment. On a serious note it’s time to ditch King, what use is a player that can only play 2 games per month? As for Bentley, he’s not even good enough for a bottom 6 side, let alone England!

    I do think next season you’ll be in with a shout of a top 15 finish.

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