Daniel Levy right to sack Harry Redknapp

by James Hunt

He brought good players, good football and good results, but the time was right for Harry Redknapp to leave Tottenham Hotspur.

While Daniel Levy’s decision to sack the 65-year-old will have come as a surprise to many, it’s difficult to say it wasn’t the correct one.

When the position of England manager became available, Redknapp became the first choice of the media, many of whom he is friendly with. Indeed, he was spoken about as if his appointment had been made.

He did little to quell this talk himself, and it coincided with a big dip in Spurs form that saw them go from outside contenders for the title to having to fight for fourth place.

That was despite Spurs, and Levy, standing by Redknapp during his tax trial, faith he did little to repay. After courting England, he has reportedly also had flirtations with Chelsea and clubs in the Middle East.

His lack of tactical nous became ever more evident, especially with his continued deployment of Gareth Bale on the right wing to little or no effect. He even admitted to having trouble writing out a teamsheet.

He failed to plan for the long-term, instead building a side around 30-somethings like Brad Friedel, William Gallas and Scott Parker, while not quite toeing the party line in terms of the possible sale of the likes of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale.

All of these things have added up to mean he has to leave. He only really has himself to blame.

Redknapp took over at White Hart Lane in 2008 with the club in a perilous position, struggling at the bottom of the league after the tenure of Juande Ramos and two points of eight games.

He took them to eighth in the league and an appearance in the League Cup final – which they lost to Manchester United – but it was his second season that saw Spurs fully realise their potential.

He not only had them winning games, he had them doing so in style and they qualified for the Champions League with a fourth place finish, their most successful Premier League season. His reward was a new contract and being named Premier League Manager of the Year.

The Champions League campaign will be remembered as the pinnacle of Redknapp’s reign, and rightly so.

Drawn into a tough group that included reigning champions Inter Milan and Dutch title winners FC Twente, they managed to not only progress but do so as group winners.

The games against Inter served as the platform that catapulted Gareth Bale into a global superstar and Harry Redknapp into a reputation as the best English manager around. They lost 4-3 in the San Siro, despite Bale scoring a hat trick, and famously beat them 3-1 back at White Hart Lane.

Their growing status was further enhanced with another set of games against a team from Milan, as they were drawn against AC in the last-16.

They again progressed, this time getting a victory at the San Siro (1-0) before holding on for a draw in the return fixture. Their Champions League dream was ended emphatically by Real Madrid, with a 5-0 defeat on aggregate, but there was no doubting that Redknapp and his Tottenham team were ‘the’ story of the 2010/11 campaign.

In the league, they couldn’t quite balance their form with that shown in Europe, and missed out on another season in the Champions League by finishing 5th.

What proved to be Redknapp’s final season saw them finish 4th once more, only to be denied a place in next season’s Champions League thanks to Chelsea’s penalty win over Bayern Munich.

He leaves having achieved good things, but not great ones, which is probably a reflection of his own talents and similarly limitations, and ultimately – along with the reasons outlined above – why he is no longer manager.

13 Responses

  1. Stan dup yid says:

    Spot on !

  2. Rich says:

    Well written piece. I think we are looking at a top seven finish this season, no matter who comes in as I expect to see big changes on and off the pitch.

  3. Vince says:

    Am I the only one thinking D Levy is very funny? Not only does he sacks Harry the day after Chelsea appoint a new manager but then wants AVB to take on a project that a certain oil chap paid millions to get going across London only last year. For what its worth I would be happy for him to lead us.
    On a change of subject, have we signed Sweden’s Rasmus Elm (way back in Jan) to join us after the Euros? Any other deals going on?

  4. TommyHarmer says:

    Don’t know if you are a Spurs supporter, but you are probably the first other than on specifically Spurs blogs to give something of the flavour of fan’s perspective on Redknap. He was favoured for a long time, but not liked – much more concerned to please journos than supporters. Everything was short-term, from signings to in-match tactics. There may be short-term loss for us but, if he had stayed we would only have been saved from long-term loss by Levy’s financial prudence. Thanks for the ride, Harry, but so long and good riddance – you were never one of us.

  5. mendes says:

    Hooray! At last a balanced article without all the finger pointing, jingoistic crap being served up by most of the media with their one-sided comments. Well done Sir.

  6. Beano111 says:

    Brilliantly put

  7. James Hunt says:

    Thanks for the responses. Quite surprised to see people agreeing, to be honest. Also I should point out I’m not a Spurs supporter (nor an Arsenal one).

  8. Richard says:

    Good article, and as a Spurs fan i have to say i agree.

    Although i feel Daniel Levy must take some of the blame in that he was waiting for the FA to appoint Redknapp and get the compensation, when the Sacking should have taking place a lot sooner.

    1. Top Tottys says:

      ………….we shoulda definitely sacked the gingertwat after the Villa draw!! I knew then he had taken a big bung from the Arse to phuk up our season!!!!

  9. picasosdog says:

    a very accurate and balanced piece.

    the same hacks that touted HR for the england job who encouraged him to ditch spurs and go for it are now surprised he has left. they are predicting doom and gloom for spurs, such hypocrites harry would have left if england came calling he said as much himself.

    so which ever way spurs would have ended up in the exact same situation. so good riddance to the self serving “man manager” and COME ON YOU SPURS

  10. SP says:

    You shouldn’t be so surprised that Spurs fans agree with with – your article reflects the opinions of many.
    The fans are split on this: a very small minority (I believe) hated him from the word go, and always wanted him out. A slightly larger minority (I bleieve) just will not hear any criticism of him, even now – he got two 4th placed finished and led us on a swashbuckling run in Europe, and that is the end of the matter for them. But the majority (I believe) were quite ambivalent. I would consider myself in this group.
    I think he was a bit ulucky, in that Chelsea won the CL – if we were in the CL next season, I would’ve felt that he probably earned the right to lead us into it – but that happened, and he won’t. So now really is the best time to move on. He is 65, he has a slight heart-condition, and while it might seem a little harsh to cut him loose, I don’t believe he really earned a three year contract after the capitulation in the league and the flirting with ither jobs, not at that age and those health conditions.
    He did give us some memorable moments, I don’t like it that the media are inserting this notions that THFC and their fans aren’t grateful – that just suits their agenda. We are. But the fact is, his cons finally began to outweigh his pros.

  11. James Hunt says:

    Thanks for the feedback, good to get insight from Tottenham fans. Is the general consensus that he’d still be manager if they’d got CL football? And would fans be happy with that?

  12. N19 Yiddo says:

    I think fans expected Harry to be there next season, CL or not, and then depending on results levy would decide on a new contract or let him go. And that’s what would have happened until Bigmouth Strikes Again and can’t keep his trap shut, demanding another three years. That was the final straw for Levy. And the fans too. I don’t know how many times I shouted “shut up would you!” at the telly whenever Harry was on sky sports news, which was pretty much every day. Spouting his verbal diorreah out his car window. First he starts letting bale play anywhere but the left wing, which was disastrous and frustrating and cost us games, then against AV when we were drawing he brought on Parker for vdv instead of defoe in a game we had to win. When he did that, everyone realised he didn’t know what to do tactically. The game was up. That cost us third place. Not good enough.

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