Is Harry Redknapp stockpiling Mr Average?
On Monday it struck me that Harry Redknapp was stockpiling midfielders. I was concerned that without anyone noticing Redknapp was indulging in some bizarre fetish of his where he attempts to hoard any midfielder that he can possibly buy. The squad was bulging with them and he was still pursuing Lassana Diarra and Scott Parker. It looked like the Tottenham squad would contain 16 midfielders heading into the season. At the last minute Redknapp must have been busted or just looked at his squad list, anyway, something kick-started him into action and he sold Palacios to Stoke and sent Bentley and Jenas out on loan. It was a good start but he still has 13 (counting Bale) and Bentley and Jenas will be back next summer!
Spurs started the season at Old Trafford playing Livermore and Kranjcar in centre midfield, it crossed my mind that Redknapp was over-hyping his injury crisis to push through the Parker signing, but playing such a weakened central pairing showed the crisis was genuine. Tottenham had 15 midfielders and this was their best option, you have to wander what they’d been doing in pre-season training to leave so many players injured. I thought teams were supposed to start the season fresh, fit and raring to go?
When midfield service returns to normal and Modric realises he’s still at Tottenham, what does Harry Redknapp intend to do with all these players? He can’t really play more than 5 at once. Even sneaking Van der Vaart in as a secondary striker would only get a maximum of six on the pitch. Although there may be a draining Europa League campaign ahead, he’ll find it very hard to give them all a game. Some of them will not expect to feature heavily this season, Rose and Townsend in particular, but the likes of Pienaar and Krancjar came to Tottenham expecting to play games.
At times Redknapp’s hoarding has felt like a sorry waste of talent. Bentley may have wasted his own and Jenas may have forgotten where he put his but Krancjar had a fantastic season before Bale displaced him and Pienaar was a top Premiership midfielder at Everton, (that seems like a distant memory after only half a season, strange) the two now seem destined to play in the Europa League and sit, waiting for another injury crisis to present them with some top level football. If Levy is so desperate to keep the wage bill down he should stop allowing Harry to pick people up on the cheap by offering them huge salaries. In the long run it looks like a costly way to maintain a squad. It’s a relief to see that Jenas is no longer going to manage to hide in games and just generally to see Bentley out of the squad but Palacios got a raw deal at Spurs, his form may have dipped over the last season but he is still a quality player. Then again there are plenty of people eager to step up and fill his boots.