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The H Factor: Redknapp’s impact at the Lane

August 20, 2009


Tottenham – over the last few years it’s been a story of three little Piggies. Martin Jol built what seemed to be a solid platform at White Hart Lane, only for the big bad Wolf, Daniel Levy, to blow it down, much to the fan’s discontent. Along came Juande Ramos, but his structure didn’t last very long at all. He barely collected the wood before Levy came and blew his house down. But now Tottenham have a new era, and a new Piggy at the helm. Harry Redknapp has laid the foundations for his sturdy looking team, and Levy is yet to spoil his party.

Redknapp has been around the South Coast for as long as a lot of people can remember, from his playing days right through to his current Managerial endeavours. His playing days saw him wear the shirt for 4 Clubs, and he even ventured into the US in an attempt to make an impact on American football. West Ham, Bournemouth, and Brentford were his British-based Clubs, while Seattle Sounders were the boys across the Atlantic that gave him a chance there. In a career that lasted 18 years, Redknapp knocked up 276 appearances, scoring just the twelve goals. But it would be his Managerial expertise and prowess that would leave a big imprint on the Footballing life of Harry Redknapp.

In 1983 Redknapp took up the role as Manager of his beloved hometown Club Bournemouth – this after he had a stint as Assistant Manager in Seattle. In 9 years at the seaside Club, Redknapp managed to gain promotion from Division 3, and even beat Manchester United in the FA Cup third round. Some achievement. Redknapp then followed his mixed spell at Bournemouth with a long stint at West Ham, where he truly made his mark, and enhanced his reputation. He is still held responsible for the upbringing and nurturing of players such as Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, and Frank Lampard – all whom have gone on to play for England on numerous occasions and are now major parts of their respective clubs. Portsmouth followed his West Ham days, where he made an immediate impact, lifting Pompey to the Premier League in his first full season. He then managed to keep them in the top flight the following season, before a spat with then Chairman Milan Mandaric prompted him to resign. Harry then took up the post at local rivals Southampton, much to Pompey fan’s disbelief. Cries of ‘judas’ rang round the Football World for a lengthy amount of time. That is of course until he returned to Fratton Park for his second spell at the Club. In 2008, Redknapp finally called time on his Portsmouth career, to make the exciting trip to North London to take over a struggling Spurs side.

Redknapp stated that he couldn’t turn down the offer. The chance to join such a big Club was too tempting for him, and as he said himself, it may be his last and only chance to do so. Harry made immediate change. He stabilised the Squad, and managed to save Tottenham from a very unlikely relegation battle by winning ten of his twelve games in charge at the back of the 08/09 season. Now, he’s brought back Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe, and Pascal Chimbonda to the lane, as well as capturing the signature of Wilson Palacios. It’s those players that have made the difference to Tottenham since Redknapp’s arrival.

He’s definitely one for getting the best out of his players. Since bringing Defoe back, he’s looked a different player. He’s already banged in 5 goals this season for Club and Country, and there’s no doubt there’s a lot more to come. “Jermain has been brilliant for us so far this season. He looks stronger and fitter than ever”. Robbie Keane’s career seemed to have stalled when he linked up with Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, but since returning to his beloved Spurs, he’s been given the captain’s armband, and has been playing better than ever. One may argue that we didn’t see the best of Keane because he never really got a chance at Anfield to make an impact, but that’s no fault of his. And as for Darren Bent, he couldn’t hit a barn door if he tried when Jol and Ramos were at the helm, and even though he’s a pretty average player, he ended up as the Club’s top scorer last season – the majority of his goals coming under the Redknapp reign towards the end of the campaign. He’s now moved on to Sunderland where his confidence is sky high, and is banging in goals left, right, and centre. Two in two so far for Bent.

It’s not hard to put your finger on how Redknapp gets the best out of his players. He’s one of the most respected Footballing figures in Europe right now, and has been for a long time. Players look up to him, perhaps almost as a Father figure, or at least as a friend. He knows where to draw the line between a bit of friendly banter off the pitch, and getting down to business on it, and that’s where the respect comes from. The players know he can be a banter merchant and a bit of a joker, but when it comes to matchday they know to perform, and they know where they stand. His honesty shines through most of all. If he has something to say, he’ll say it. He doesn’t beat around the bush and try to hide things like a Wenger, or a Benitez would do. He says it how it is.

Obviously his knowledge of the game is as good as anyone else’s. His tactical awareness, man-management and everything else you can think of that goes with being a Premier League Manager is first-class. Ramos panicked when things weren’t going his way. He tried to make changes that everyone could see weren’t going to work. Redknapp has kept it simple though. He’s stuck to what he knows best, played players in their best positions, and as I said before, he’s got the best out of his lads. Tottenham will go places with Harry in charge. They’ve already made a wonderful start to the new season, beating Liverpool at WHL, and demolishing Hull at the KC. Europe is certainly on Spurs’ minds, and in this current form, who’d dare bet against them?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. maserati4200 permalink
    August 20, 2009 12:08 pm

    Harry’s a diamond geezer!

  2. August 20, 2009 3:17 pm

    when i read “he ventured into the US in an attempt to make an impact on American football”, my thought was what the hell was harry redknapp doing in american football. lol. then i read the next sentence – seattle sounders. lol.

    i think he has a team to call his own now, not one that he inherited. with that, i can see them winning something in the near future. i still think that his squad is on the thin side but he only has the league and cup runs to think about this season so it might be just enough to last the season.

  3. August 20, 2009 3:56 pm

    Forget the prince! All hail King Harry!

  4. terry totti permalink
    August 22, 2009 9:44 am

    redknapp and his staff at spurs have given us our club back…

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