Tottenham Hotspur have already managed to surpass all expectation this season. Many of us predicted they wouldn’t even make it into the group stages of the Champions League, let alone make it through to the quarter-finals. Amazingly, even with this most unlikely assault on European glory, Harry Redknapp’s side are still a force to be reckoned with on the domestic front. Okay, so maybe they haven’t really gone on to compete for Premier League glory like their manager so boldly predicted, but many teams who are faced with the unfamiliarity of European football as well as the league and cups, normally struggle. So what’s next for Redknapp’s men? How can they improve on an already incredible season?
Spurs need to strengthen, because the next step up is going to be the hardest of them all – more of a leap, in fact. Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart, amongst others, are players worthy of winning the Premier League, so now it’s all about building around them. Players like Sandro can make that happen. But the problem ’Arry has, is that to make this next big step, he may have to get rid of a few who have served the club well, but are no longer good enough.
I’m talking about the likes of Jermaine Jenas and Wilson Palacios. These players, however good they may have been, are only now serving to eat into a wage bill which could be better spent elsewhere. Redknapp has the eye for a star buy, and has proved his ruthlessness in the transfer market with van der Vaart and Steven Pienaar. Now he has to be ruthless towards his own squad. I mean, how long can they continue to pay Ledley King to not train and give 60 minutes every couple of weeks? Spurs need a new Ledley; a consistent leader who will be available more often than not. Just think how valuable Nemanja Vidic is to Manchester United – that is now the target for Spurs.
Redknapp has one of the biggest squads in the Premier League but it may time to trim it down. Have you ever heard the expression ‘less is sometimes more’? Every manager has to compensate for a rigorous season, so obviously getting rid of too many would be suicidal, but it’s time White Hart Lane had more quality over quantity.
It’s going to be harsh on the ones that go, but I’m sure Tottenham fans would rather see success down at the Lane rather than Harry stick by some of his players. He did his level best to keep Niko Kranjcar in the January transfer window, but realistically, how often is he going to play? I think the Croat is a fantastic player for Tottenham now, but should they make it into a permanent fixture of the top four, he’s likely to be even more frozen out than he has already been experiencing – and he’s pretty cold as it is at the moment.
It seems harsh to now ask the players who have got Spurs so far to step aside, but football is very rarely a game of loyalties these days. Redknapp may soon have to recognise that some must go, otherwise they cannot carry on moving forward in the way they are. Football’s a cruel game, Tottenham may have to find that out first hand.
If you want to join me in telling Harry who he should get rid of in the summer than join me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@joino