Football FanCast columnist Dan Mitchell looks back at the
dramatic 24hrs at White Hart Lane and hails the appointment of Harry Redknapp.
What can I say? Where do I start? The news I woke up to yesterday morning
has left me utterly flabbergasted. Ramos gone, Poyet gone, Comolli gone,
Redknapp in and already fully in charge for the Bolton game. Just another day
in the life of a Spurs fan I suppose….
Perhaps I should start with Ramos. After all, the much-hailed Ramos
Revolution has come to an end before the man could even make it a full calendar
year at the Lane.
I have previously been pretty scathing of Ramos on this website,
particularly about his mind-boggling tactical decisions.
A man that was supposedly a master tactician and one of the best managers in
the world came to Spurs and has looked amateurish. The club has had its worst
ever start to a league campaign, and since the Carling Cup win of last season,
has won only 3 league games.
I know these stats have been trotted out endlessly in the media but just sit
and consider them for a moment. 3 wins in 21 league games. That isn't mediocre.
That isn't even bad. For a club of Spurs stature to win 3 league games in 21
attempts is absolutely appalling.
Is Ramos completely to blame? No, of course not. His tactics have been poor,
his team selections have been poor, his motivational and communication skills
have appeared to be non-existent, but he has not been the only one to blame.
Poyet was his right hand man, and as much as I like Gus, he is just as
liable for those criticisms as Ramos. He may not have had the final decision on
tactics, but he could certainly have influenced them better. As for the players
apparent discontent with the Ramos regime, Poyet must take a large chunk of the
blame. He was the best English speaker on the new coaching staff and it was up
to him to convey messages to the players and to motivate them. It has been
clear in recent weeks that he failed.
Comolli has gone as well in a sacking that has been on its way for some
time. I previously wrote an article looking at the transfer deals that Comolli
has been involved in since he arrived, and whilst I still believe he was being
made somewhat of a scapegoat, there is no denying that his work in the last
transfer window was shoddy. Spurs lost their two best players and Comolli
failed to replace them. In the summer transfer window it was clear that Spurs
would need 3 strikers (at least 2 of
which needed to be world class); a holding midfielder, a left winger and a
covering centre half. Instead Spurs invested huge money in an exciting, but
ultimately unnecessary group of players.
Corluka was a good signing to act as a covering centre back and Pavlyuchenko
appeared to be a decent signing to fill one of the empty striking berths.
However beyond these two players Comolli failed miserably. After a lengthy
pursuit of Andrei Arshavin the deal fell through at the last moment and Comolli
was not suitably prepared. His moves for Milito and Garcia were abject failures
and ultimately we were forced to take an unproven United reserve as part of the
As well as failing to replace the strikers, Comolli also failed to bring in
a centre midfielder who could protect our defenders. Spurs have been shocking
at the back for some years now, but to look at our back 5 you would ask why.
Gomes, Hutton, Woodgate, King and Bale is, on paper at least, an exceptionally
strong back line. I have always said that the reason Spurs concede so many is
not because of the defence, but rather because of the midfield. The lack of a
midfield general is an age-old problem at Spurs and the fans have repeatedly
called for one to be signed. Comolli ignored the Spurs fans cries.
The left sided problem is a bit trickier to assess Comolli on. I actually
think he may have solved it by bringing in Dos Santos. However Ramos' bizarre
refusal to play him on the left and leave him there has meant we still can't be
Levy has come out and said that whilst he hasn't taken this decision
lightly, he felt it was a decision that needed to be made urgently for the good
of the club. I would be inclined to agree. I have been saying for some time
that Spurs needed to give Ramos until Christmas to sort the club out, but I
admit I was wrong. The performances in the last couple of weeks have been the
worst I have ever seen from a Spurs team, and I just couldn't see the team ever
pulling itself out of the slump. If we were going to be beaten so
comprehensively by Stoke, what might happen in the North London derby? I was
expecting an embarrassment.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a huge Levy fan. He is to blame for the Spurs
situation as well, and he has a habit of letting the people below him take the
bullet when things go wrong. His timing has also been a bit off once again. To
sack a manager and replace him overnight so players wake up on game day with a
new gaffer is certainly not ideal, and I wonder if it just might have been a ploy
to avoid Sundays protest against ENIC and Levy.
Having said all of this though, I agree with what Levy has done. The club
desperately needed a complete overhaul and by sacking everybody from the Ramos
regime, Spurs can start afresh. Even better is the news that Comolli has not
only been sacked, but he isn't going to be replaced. Spurs are going back to
basics with a proven Premiership manager who will be given full control of
transfers. It's exactly what Spurs needed, and it's what they've got.
If I had been told yesterday that Ramos was going and asked who, in an ideal
world, I would bring in to replace him, I would have said Harry Redknapp. Here
is a manager who has taken over clubs in dire straits on many occasions, and
has completely changed their fortunes. A man who has proven on countless
occasions that he is both a strong tactician, a wily transfer market dealer and
a fantastic motivator.
Spurs desperately need a leader in the dressing room who can rally the
players, tell them what he is expecting, and make damn sure they do it. Harry
Redknapp is just the man for the job and Pompey's loss has been Spurs gain
Saying that, I do genuinely feel for the Pompey fans. For them To wake up to
the news must be heart-breaking and no matter what Harry and the clubs say
about £5m compensation, I'm sure it's not good enough to them. Portsmouth is a
fantastic team who have punched above their weight for some time, and I really
do hope they bring in someone who can carry on Harry's good work at Fratton
In the long run of course Harry's aim has to be to get the players
confidence back up, to bring in the necessary players in the transfer window
and to move Spurs up into a respectable league position. A top half finish and
some decent cup runs would be a superb end to the season for Spurs considering
how it has started.
I suppose all that needs to be said is goodbye and good luck to Ramos and
Poyet, they failed but it wasn't for lack of effort. Ramos should head back to
Spain and show what he can do there. Poyet is ready to take on a manager's role
and should be heading to a Championship club to prove himself in my opinion.
Comolli and the continental management structure are gone and I say good
riddance. Redknapp is in and I send my condolences to Pompey fans, but there is
only one more thing for me to say. Let the Redknapp Revolution begin!
What do you think about Ramos and Comolli going? How do you feel about
Redknapp as a replacement? Feel free to comment below and I will respond to any