“We Want Harry” cries the back page of The Sun, in a manner that would befit a teenager who’s just lost his lager virginity. It appears that the paper’s campaign coupled with a few devious tweets from Manchester will convince or rather force Redknapp to accept the tainted role of England manager. But let us forget about England’s inevitable forthcoming failures for a moment and consider the ramifications for Tottenham Hotspur.
I could quite easily drown this article in a sea of superlatives praising ‘Arry’s time at Tottenham. His new breed of resolute defending and exciting, attacking football at the Lane mixed with his canny ability to handle the media, have rightly highlighted him as a candidate for the England role. However, the most important aspect of Redknapp’s reign has been his capacity to install a belief within the squad that they can play at the highest level.
Not so long ago Welsh sensation Gareth Bale endured a record 24 Premier League games for the club without winning a single game. Nowadays he can single-handedly inspire his team to victory and is one of the world’s most desired wingers. Whilst Harry cannot take full credit, he has been a prominent figure in restoring Bale’s confidence.
It’s clear that Redknapp’s exit would have a significant impact on the club but perhaps for contrasting reasons. Players who have flourished under Redknapp’s guidance may feel that progression will grind to a halt whilst others, presumably those languishing in the reserves, will view it as the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Chairman Daniel Levy faces arguably the toughest decision of his tenure, with this single appointment going along way to outline the future intent of the club. Spurs find themselves lingering somewhere between the Europa and Champions League but have their sights set firmly on challenging for the title.
High profile names including Jose Mourinho have already been batted about in the media and will have many fans salivating with joy despite his ties with rivals Chelsea. Although the chances of the ‘Special One’ arriving in North London remains unlikely, it is still important that Levy recognises that a standard has been set by the achievements of Redknapp.
Levy may want to be wary of appointing a prestigious manager with glowing credentials as Chelsea will testify to. The likes of Phil Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti and Avram Grant have all arrived at the club armed with adoring references across Europe. Yet, they have all failed to match past triumphs and have eventually been escorted out the back door with hefty payoffs.
The bookies currently have David Moyes sporting the shortest odds, a man held in high regard thanks to his achievements at Everton on a shoestring budget. Other candidates could include ex-players Chris Hughton and Gus Poyet who are both performing minor miracles at their respective Championship clubs. The appointment of the next manager will be crucial in deciding the fate of several key players.
Last summer was dominated by Luka Modric’s apparent desire to leave the club in search of further honours. Chelsea had a succession of bids knocked back by Spurs with Modric claiming he had a “gentleman’s agreement” with Levy that ensured club would entertain offers from a “big club.” The Croatian playmaker has excelled in the heart of midfield this season and Redknapp’s departure maybe interpreted as another broken promise, fuelling his desire to leave.
The future of Emmanuel Adebayor also remains uncertain, as the measures to make his move permanent have been hampered by his excessive wage demands. The Togo striker will have be convinced of the clubs vision in their new appointment, who will in turn have to believe Adebayor is to person to lead them there.
Although loyalty is very much as forgotten trait in football, Spurs fans should be assured that the likes of Kyle Walker, Brad Friedel and Scott Parker are unlikely to seek moves away. It’s become common knowledge amongst professionals that the value of a regular first team place soon outweighs an extra zero on the wage slip.
Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon are also unlikely to seek pastures new, given that it’s been about a decade since a club purchased a promising Englishman without a vastly inflated price tag. Jermain Defoe has unsurprisingly backed Redknapp for the role of England manager but it doesn’t take a genius to realise he’s tired of sitting on the bench.
Spurs have been a joy to watch under Redknapp and his departure would hail a new dawn at the club, and whilst it’s true that no one player makes a team, has anyone ever spoken that way about a manager?
If Daniel Levy does have trouble filling out a team sheet (much like Harry ‘writes like a two-year old’ Redknapp) then I can be reached on Twitter @theunusedsub
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