The question of who should succeed Fabio Capello as England manager has been a taboo subject for Spurs fans over the past few months. The minute Harry Redknapp was labelled favourite to step up to International Duty was the minute Tottenham’s season nosedived.
Our 2011-2012 Premier League campaign had got off to a flying start. Forgetting those two abysmal opening games against the Manchester clubs, Tottenham went on to face 23 games emerging with only 2 loses. We were 3rd in the League, inches away from mounting a real Title Challenge, and you’d have been hard pressed to recall a more successful period in our club’s recent history. The fans were buzzing, the players on top form and the manager who had scraped us up from the bottom of the table in 2008 dared to dream that he could take our club all the way.
Then it happened.
Harry was bookies favourite to become the next England Manager.
Overnight our season transformed. The glorious road-trip we had embarked upon together cruising from mid-table territory to a Premier League Title and Champions League football suddenly became a horrendous gut wrenching car crash. Until Sunday afternoon, we were 1 win in 9 games. Many a manager has been sacked for a lot less, and Spurs fans suddenly became divided as people started to call for Harry’s dismissal.
[typography font=”PT Sans” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#222222[/linequote]Perhaps controversially and currently very much in the minority, I’m still furiously fighting in Team Harry’s corner[/typography]
Now I’m among the first to admit that Redknapp has tactically been way off since Capello resigned. Experimenting with Bale on the right, moving Rafa and Luka (arguably two of our best players on the field) out of position to cover the absence of Lennon, not rotating the squad despite players such as Walker, Parker and Disco Benny being visibly exhausted having played 40+ matches to name just a few. But perhaps controversially and currently very much in the minority, I’m still furiously fighting in Team Harry’s corner.
When Roy Hodgson was awarded the managerial position for England, I could have cried. The culmination of our bad string of results coupled with friends and family telling me every time I saw them that there was no way Harry wouldn’t jump ship when the FA came knocking had sent me into an extreme state of denial. Nothing seemed more important in my footballing world than keeping hold of our gaffer, and I truly believe that our form would have continued to plummet at an alarming rate without Harry at the helm.
The trouble is, now that we’ve managed to hang on to Redknapp against all the odds, I can’t believe that some of the fans are still calling for “Harry Out”.
The reason that I’ve seen given most for this opinion is that he’s taken us as far as we can go, but how can that be the case? When Harry took us on in 2008 we were a club in grave danger, sitting rock bottom of the League. Since then, we’ve climbed the table at an astonishing rate, going from a 5th placed side playing in Europe, to a 4th placed team who stormed their first run in the Champions League making it to the quarter finals, to a club that had a legitimate and realistic Title Challenge.
All in 3 years.
Now if thats not a manager worth clinging on to for dear life I don’t know what is. Even if he had taken us as far as we could go who do fans honestly believe could take us further?
Even if we could bag Mourinho (which lets be honest is extremely unlikely) we are at risk of him changing everything that we love about Spurs the most.
Harry is a fantastic advocate for free flowing football. Kick him out now and I guarantee we will live to regret it.
He’s the best manager we’ve had at White Hart Lane in decades. Yes he’s been poor recently, but with the England job behind him and the summer to bring in a few fresh faces I honestly believe Harry can bring out the Title Challenge in our club that we know in our hearts we are capable of.
Whatever your opinion on Harry Redknapp, I’d like to end by compelling Spurs fans to get behind both the team and the manager until our last fixtures are over. If a change of manager occurs in the summer, so be it, but it will not be happening before the end of the season.
Whether Harry is in or out… we’re in it together until May 13th.
Die for the shirt.
Long live the cockerel.