Football FanCast guest columnist David Hilton wants Harry Redknapp to stop all this top four talk.
I don’t think there was a press conference that passed last season where Harry Redknapp failed to tell those gathered of the plight the club was in when he took over. ‘2pts from 8 games’ was the famous quotation and why he had every right to boast of his achievements, as it was one hell of a turnaround, after a while it did start to grate and have little relevance with every passing week. This season however has gone full circle and where last year he was highlighting the achievements of the football club, he is now putting an unprecedented amount of pressure on himself and the team to perform.
The buzz word from Harry is that Tottenham have the quality and potential to be a top four side this season. I ask what the logic of making such statements are and who he is attempting to kid by saying them, because I believe it is only him and a handful of players who actually believe it is possible. I don’t know many supporters who are in agreement with Harry, or believe that this current squad is capable of it; therefore we are equally baffled to hear this continual theme in the press whenever he speaks. Why is Redknapp putting himself and the team on such a pedestal to achieve this season, I mean, shouldn’t he be playing down expectations?
I’m surprised with Harry if I’m honest and felt he has been around the game long enough to know it doesn’t benefit to put pressure on your players. The reason we were so successful, when he arrived last season was partly down that the players had nothing to lose and they could go out there with freedom to express, especially in the second half of last season. This year early results raised expectations among neutrals, but surely Redknapp would have been wise to dispel the pressure and the hype that was being showered on us by the media, instead of jumping on their bandwagon?
It has left me all bemused quite frankly and even if we had a top four squad (which I don’t think we have), the last thing you do is put pressure and expectation on the players. I think the performance against Arsenal was a classic example of a rabbit caught in the headlights and a week of top four talk, by the likes of Keane, King Crouch and Harry himself, took its toll on the players as they just didn’t turn up. Even after the defeat, Redknapp continued his belief that we can break into the top four. I don’t know why Harry doesn’t let it go, I mean the last thing supporters expected this season was us to be in the Champions League come May and why it would be a dream come true, realistically we are about 12months short, before we are in a position to mount a serious challenge.
So my message to Harry is to stop all this top four talk, take the expectation away from the players and allow them to relax. With every given interview you seem to be putting us more and more on a pedestal and one which the media will be happy to kick down and pour scorn on us, with every given defeat. As far as us supporters go we are not expecting anything, after the last two seasons, so don’t feel like you have to impress us with your ambitions. We know what the big picture is and what you want to achieve, but we also know that these things don’t happen overnight and believe me we are prepared to wait.