Despite Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp declaring that he will not pursue bringing in an emergency goalkeeper on loan to replace Heurelho Gomes for Wednesday’s 4th place decider against Manchester City, you can’t help but feel that he is putting principles before necessity.
Redknapp joked to the media after his side’s 1-0 win over Bolton that he would ask the Premier League to bring in “another two goalkeepers”. However the joke could well be on him should City beat Spurs in their crucial game on Wednesday. Current deputy Ben Alnwick has only played in two games for the club, and came under criticism for his performance in the Carling Cup semi-final against Burnley last season which Tottenham lost 3-2 but progressed on aggregate. Alnwick joined the club in 2007 from Sunderland, where he was tipped to be an exciting prospect; however he has yet to fulfil that potential, which is evidenced by his lack of playing time for Spurs.
Clearly the comments made by Redknapp indicate that he isn’t happy that Man City have been allowed to bring in a replacement goalkeeper for injured Shay Given, in Sunderland’s Marton Fulop. Despite City’s millions they cannot help the fact that players can get injured at any given time and they didn’t exactly go into the campaign with Given as their only recognised ‘keeper. The club did prepare for the eventuality that Given could be injured or suspended by bringing in Stuart Taylor on a free transfer from Aston Villa in the summer. However Taylor unfortunately also injured himself and it’s not often that a club plans heavily around the possibility of having their two goalkeepers out injured. In fact should City have signed a 3rd keeper last summer along with Taylor and Gunnar Nielsen then it would have been seen as a waste of money.
Similar to City, Tottenham’s number two Carlo Cudicini is also out injured, but unlike City they have experienced goalkeeper Jimmy Walker to deputise for Alnwick. Whereas Man City manager, Roberto Mancini has stated that their other goalkeeper after 3rd choice Nielsen is only a 15-year-old and given that Walker is 36 with a wealth of experience it’s not exactly fair, so you would feel that Tottenham have the better goalkeepers prior to City bringing in Fulop. But despite this fact, nobody should begrudge Redknapp if he did want to bring in someone else as this game could define Spurs’ season. Mancini knows that he needs to deliver 4th place for his side so he is doing all he can to make sure he fulfils that requirement.
Even if Harry doesn’t want to look like he is cheating the system, he should have put aside his pride and done what is best for the club. After all the Champions League is the biggest stage in Europe and there is no doubt that after many years of missing out Tottenham fans are desperate for the club to take part in the competition.