The Redknapp factor

by Mystical Mike

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

The only way is up

What a week last week was for Spurs fans. Although still bottom of the league, there a is new found optimism at White Hart Lane.

What is it about Harry Redknapp that inspires a group of players to believe in themselves? Is it that he has a wealth of experience in the game and players trust him? Is it that he has a personal relationship with every single squad player? Is that he has a much better tactical knowhow than he is given credit for? Is he just lucky? Or is it that he is a genuinely good guy with charisma that people naturally warm to?

My view is that it’s all of the above. He does have more experience than most when it comes to football management. He got his coaching badge at 21, so he’s had that mindset for 40 years. He does have an extremely good rapport with his players. So much so, players will leave top clubs to join him. Even when he leaves a club or players leave a club that he managed, that relationship seems to continue. They see him as a father figure. Often forgot when discussing Harry Redknapp, is his tactical knowledge. I, myself, never really thought much about his ability with tactics until last week. Whilst both Wenger and Benitez have been criticized for their tactics and substitutions against Spurs, Redknapp has been rightly lauded for his substitutions and reactionary tactics both on last Wednesday night and last Saturday. The Bolton win was well deserved but, whilst Spurs should get credit for their newly installed never say die attitude, no one can deny that in both the Woolwich and Liverpool games, they were beaten for large portions of the game. There is a definite sense that Redknapp & Spurs were very lucky in those games but I am a firm believer in making your own luck and I think that Redknapp is the epitome of this scenario.

For all these points though, one thing I have always thought about Harry Redknapp, whether he was at Portsmouth, West Ham or Bournemouth, was that he was a genuinely good guy. I think he, and his son has inherited this too, is a very charismatic and honest man that people do seem to like. He doesn’t mince word and is very intelligent when it comes to the game of football.

Spurs are in no way out of trouble but I think only a fool would put money on them being relegated. (For what it’s worth, I think only the same fool would put money on Woolwich winning the title too)With Harry Redknapp in charge, they have someone that can instil the belief in the players that they can beat any side.

As for Ramos & Poyet, I wish them all the best. They are good coaches and people. Ramos has already proved as much and Poyet will have success in the future. Unfortunately, the new players didn’t take to them and Modric and Bentley were and are key to the success of Spurs going forward.

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  • Darren

    hate to say it but Harry going there was the best thing EVER to happen to the Spuds.

    They were lucky against Arsenal, they were lucky against Liverpool, but you need luck and that’s what Harry can bring to the team. Under Ramos they would have caved in and got beat 6 or 7 against Arsenal, Bentley would either be playing right back behind the goal or right back on the pitch. Which brings me to ask, how can one man get it so wrong?

    I can see the Spuds finishing 12th or even higher as everyone seems to be beating everyone. This would be achievement after the hilarious start to the season.

  • James Webb

    I have always said that we need a manager the Spurs fans can relate to. Preferably a big character and most importantly a Londoner. Harry ticks all those boxes and more. I just hope now he fills the team with mainly British players who know what it means to be a Spurs player. We are a club with big traditions and the last few years we have slowly been killing them off. Harry has taken a week to turn the club upside down and head back to a club which every Spurs fan wants to watch and support. There is no doubt we are the biggest sleeping giant in British football. If Harry is as good as everybody hopes he is and with the expected new ground set to go ahead, we have a better chance than ever to wake up and get back to where we belong.

    It shows that when we are doing badly, the media attention is huge. Everybody wants to have a dig and make jokes. All Spurs fans know that if we where a Sh*t two bob club nobody would bat an eyelid. To me it just shows how worried the top clubs are of our potential and when are down the easiest thing to do is step on us and keep us down.

    I must admit its never a dull moment being a Spurs fan and I wouldnt want it any other way. I think some clubs have been caught up in all these foriegn philosophies and have lost their true identities. (Spurs included) We have been guilty of trying to copy what other teams have done and along the way had some dreadful players and coaches. We need to remember our roots and appeal to the ordinary working class fans. Kids growing up need role models and having local based lads come through our accademy gives every budding player hope. I would much rather have a few more Jamie O’hara types come through, with his enthusiasm and passion than buy some 2nd or 3rd rate foreigner.

    Whatever happens this season we can at least hold our heads up high and be proud of our club once more. No more gimmicks just Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

  • Adrian

    Interesting stuff, i liked the article on Spurs. I think they have a massive light at the end of the tunnel now that HK has arrived, where-as previously they could definitely hear the train coming! Why he left Pompey i’m not sure. Money? No, i don’t think that is Harry’s style. Unhappy with club? Unlikely as he has been dedicated at the club for several seasons and even came back from Southampton to reign again amid all that controversy. Fallen out with the board? Would we ever really find out anyway? My heart says it’s because he relishes the challenge and i really believe that. I think tactically he is outstanding, as good as any manager in the Premiership at the moment. You only have to look and see where Pompey were when he left. A top ten club and with UEFA cup qualification this season to boot. I think with the limited resources he had (seeing as the club is “unofficially” up for sale at £20mill!) he has used his nouse yet again in the loan market to bring in Armand Traore and Nadir Belhadj for the season. In the games I have seen recently against Middlesbrough and Braga in the 1st round of the UEFA cup they have both been star finds. The results have been dogged in their victories, very disappointing in their losses through nothing more than “schoolboy errors” but they do have the foundations of a good team in James, Johnson, Distin, Defoe and by far their best player, Diarra.

    So why is it that when HK arrives he peruses the fixture list to immediately face three very “seat of your pants” games. Now anyone in the right mind who plays the prediction racket would have had Spurs down for a Norway Eurovision special (“nil points!”) yet somehow he pulls off a season changing draw at Arsenal in a 4-4 goal fest, a 2-0 home win at Bolton and then the sinking of the scouse army with a 2-1 win. 7 points from a very, very difficult three games. Arsenal, the best team to watch when it comes to the passing game without question yet very inconsistant still, Bolton – hardy notherners who aren’t afraid to get stuck in and make a fight of any game and then Liverpool, excellent in the Champions league with quality throughout. What will they be like when Torres is back fit? I shudder to think.

    So this brings me onto why people believe Ramos was a competant tactition/manager, i just don’t see it? I’m looking at his form and apart from their massive 5-1 win over their north london rivals on the 23rd Jan this year in the Carling Cup and the win in the Carling Cup final over the Blues at Wembley – nothing has really cemented in the team. Selling Keane and Berbatov – in my opinion absolute madness. It obviously got to the stage where they both wanted to leave, but don’t you have to ask why? Both happy under Jol and yet not so under Ramos it would seem. Some incredible amounts of money flying around and some good and not so good trading in the January window. Can i just say it’s a pleasure to now see Modric playing where he should – need i say more about Ramos’ previous tactics? Aaron Lennon should be playing, with Bentley doing what they both do best – let’s not forget there is a national interest in these guys too, plus Woodgate, King, Jenas (over-rated i’m afraid) and then Huddlestone – massively under-rated! Spurs are only on the up and up, i can’t see Harry doing anything but being a success and i wish him all the best – after all he is one of the rare English managers we have left and we need to keep hold of them!

    Food for thought.

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