So long Harry, and thanks for the memories
|Aidil Rusli loves rock 'n' roll, still believes in the words "indie" and "underground", and after all these years still sings in his band Couple myspace.com/couple. You can get in touch with Aidil by emailing: [email protected]|
JUNE 16 — I wanted to write about something else this week, but this morning’s news is just too important for a Spurs fan like me not to comment on. Even on Twitter, the name Harry Redknapp was trending the morning that I wrote this.
So if you’re still not aware of it, my beloved club, Tottenham Hotspur, have now parted ways with its manager Harry Redknapp. It looks awfully harsh on Harry as he’s been at Spurs for four years, taking over the club when we had only two points from our first eight matches, and finished at fourth place in the EPL twice in three seasons.
When you take into account our grand adventure in our debut Champions League season, beating AC Milan at the San Siro and outplaying Inter Milan at home, and the scintillating football we played during the first half of last season, it looks even harsher.
Like it or not, these are heights that us Spurs fan very rarely get to experience, unless you were there in the 1960s to see the legendary Bill Nicholson work his magic as a Spurs manager, or for the blindingly brief moments when we had the likes of Ossie Ardilles in the 1980s and had Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne and Jurgen Klinsmann line up in a Spurs shirt during the 1990s.
Other than that, we’ve always been more of a mediocre mid-table team, more than happy to win the FA Cup or League Cup once in a while. So whatever you may want to say about Harry, that he’s more of a man-manager than one with tactical nous, that even when he’s supposed to be a magician when it comes to man-management he still treats his backup players quite shabbily, that it sometimes seems that he’s unaware of the concept of squad rotation, and so many more, he has given us Spurs fans some of the best times of our Spurs-supporting lives in recent memory.
Our failure to make our 13-point lead over Arsenal count in the race for third place in the EPL, losing ground in just about two months, was truly frustrating. Some people may blame Chelsea for snatching the fourth Champions League place from us by winning last season’s Champions League, but like many other Spurs fans out there, I feel that we only have ourselves to blame for not finishing third, especially with such a large cushion and eventually finishing just one point behind Arsenal. Third place was there for the taking, but we simply threw it away terribly tamely.
What really annoyed me though was when Fabio Capello resigned as England manager and the papers made it look as if Harry was a shoo-in to be the next England manager. It was reported that our chairman offered him a new contract when all this happened, probably to make public the manager’s commitment to Spurs, but nothing was signed (maybe because he thought he’d get the England job?).
Our slide in form began right then, and no matter his protestations otherwise, I’m pretty sure all the "new England manager" hoopla made him take his eye off the ball a wee bit.
When finally Roy Hodgson was appointed as the new England manager, suddenly there were noises being heard in the media about Harry wanting to discuss a new contract, for certainty’s sake, as he’s now got only one year left on his current contract.
Loyalty-wise, I wouldn’t argue with our chairman Daniel Levy’s decision to sack Harry. When Levy needed his commitment and offered him a new contract to fend off all the "new England manager" hoopla, nothing happened. I would be rightly mad at the way he’s changed his tune now that the "bigger fish" is no longer there to be fried.
But what’s really worrying now is where do we go from here? We have huge gaping holes everywhere in the squad. We need to buy at least two new centre-backs now as Ledley King is surely on the verge of retiring and William Gallas is probably on his last legs as a top level professional player.
We definitely need to buy at least two new strikers, and some cover on both wings, and if Luka Modric does move this year we’ll need a new playmaker and his cover too. A new goalkeeper is also of paramount importance as Brad Friedel will be 41 years old this season.
So that’s one hell of a rebuilding job needed just to be competitive next season. With our plans for a new stadium looking very possible, will we even have enough funds for that rebuilding job?
Do we even have enough quality young players if we don’t have said funds? Will there be a good manager in the market who’s interested to take up this truly tough-looking challenge? The future looks very uncertain indeed. For the wonderful last few years, so long Harry, and thanks for the memories.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.