Tottenham Blog: Harry for England…please!
"Spurs are currently playing so badly that we’ll be hard pushed to even win one game"
April 24th, 2012
In my last column I confidently predicted that despite a dip in form, Spurs would still finish above Arsenal.
My logic was half-right. While I was correct in my view that Arsenal would drop points against teams that they were expected to beat (QPR, Wigan), my assumption that Tottenham would take advantage of an unchallenging set of closing fixtures, was misguided.
After Tottenham’s lacklustre defeat against QPR, Harry Redknapp asserted that Spurs would still finish in the top four if they won their remaining games. He’s probably right and if they were to claim all 12 points, they might even still finish above Arsenal.
The trouble is that Spurs are currently playing so badly that we’ll be hard pushed to even win one game. The players are looking tired and uninterested, while Harry clearly doesn’t have a clue how to turn things around.
There is the argument that Tottenham’s shocking decline in form is a result of the fact that the players know that Redknapp is leaving for the England job. I have some sympathy for this theory. It’s all very well to say that the players should be giving their all regardless (and they should), but the fact remains that once a squad know that the boss is on his way, they down tools. Even Manchester United finished third in the season that Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement.
But although I believe the link between Redknapp and England has had some detrimental effect, it doesn’t tell the full story and rather conveniently lets Harry off the hook.
Because this is now the second season in a row that Spurs have got themselves in a great position, only to throw it all away in the closing months. You have to question the training methods and the squad selection, that seems to result in such fatigue.
Previously influential players such as Scott Parker now look dead on their feet. It’s hardly surprising considering that Parker, a player in his thirties, has been virtually picked in all of our games this season, despite the fact that the club has cover in his position in the form of Sando and Jake Livermore.
The fact that Redknapp hardly ever rotates doesn’t just have a detrimental effect on the players he runs into the ground. Because he never gives them a game, the squad players on the outskirts of the first team, eventually get fed up and demand a move.
So we find ourselves in a position where we have no real cover for Kyle Walker because Vedran Corluka has had to beg for a loan move, to keep alive his hopes of playing at Euro 2012 this summer. Meanwhile, Steven Pienaar is in fine form and scoring important goals at Old Trafford for Everton, while at White Hart Lane we have no cover for our wide players.
Perhaps Pienaar could still have a future at Spurs if David Moyes becomes our manager next season. Right now I’d take him in place of Harry and for that matter I’d also take Brendan Rodgers, Paul Lambert or just about anyone. Is Avram Grant still looking for a job?
Somehow the leading contender to become England manager is a master motivator who can’t motivate his players and knows as much about modern football tactics as he does about choosing an indiscreet name for a Monaco bank account.
The people’s choice for England manager? He’s certainly the Tottenham fans’ choice. Who wouldn’t want £10m in compensation for a manager that you’ll probably end up sacking?
Words by Dan Fitch, read the rest of his Footballscores.com Tottenham Blog.