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Fortune Hides Cracks

Monday, November 01, 2010

It's the 84th minute and Spurs are on the end of another slightly farcical episode at Old Trafford. The match ends 2-0 to the home team, yet all anyone can manage to discuss is that controversial goal at the end which yet again exposes the difficulty referees face when officiating a big game. This isn't a critique on the referee's performance, nor will it suggest with the aid of hindsight what should've been the correct course of action, what it will postulate is how yet again Redknapp has managed to escape with his record intact.

Now allow me to make something extremely clear; I am in no way saying I think Redknapp is rubbish. With that established I will go on to question his tactics and selections.

With Huddlestone injured, Redknapp was forced to choose between Palacios, Jenas and Sandro to start alongside the diminutive Croat. The choice inevitably falls to one of Palacios or Jenas with Redknapp invariably preferring Jenas in these high profile matches, perhaps due to Palacios' somewhat volatile nature (although he's only received 2 red cards in his 3 seasons at the club). His aim is to go for 2 ball playing midfielders, discarding the traditional ball winning midfielder. As a result, Tottenham were overrun in the midfield.

Up front things weren't much better. I can only assume that Keane was preferred as he plays deeper, perhaps linking up nicely with Van der Vaart in training. However for Redknapp to discard Crouch (who has been in decent form, connecting deliciously will Van der Vaart so far), and then introduce an untested partnership (with a player who hasn't played a decent game of football since joining Liverpool) in one of the most threatening grounds in the country was a bad idea on paper and turned out to be a bad idea on the pitch.

Against Inter, Tottenham were undone in quite some fashion. However fast forward to full-time and the subject on everyone's lips is Gareth Bale.

For some time now there is an assumption that Harry Redknapp is a media darling, that he can no wrong in the eyes of the press. Perhaps because of this association journalists are afraid or simply don't feel the need to bring up his tactical naivety.

Too often when watching Spurs do I feel irritated by the way they seem to roll over in these away games. Too often it seems to be the same symptoms, a pedestrian midfield, unthreatening wingers and very busy centrebacks. The issue isn't with the players themselves, as they have enough quality to do some damage, but I do think the issue is with the gaffer.

'Arry is a man manager. There is no doubt about it. Sure along the way he gets his teams to play some decent football, but his continual insistence on 4-4-2 or "big man/little man" striking partnerships is out of touch. Tottenham have got where they are because of excellent financial management, and some managerial consistency. They got there on merit and hard work. But if they are to stay there or even make the jump their fans crave then Harry Redknapp is not the man for the job.

posted by teedoubleyou


Blogger SpursSimon said...

The "goal" and whatever the ref thought he was doing gave a great talking point - which as is being discussed on the more intelligent forums, is agreed as hiding the bigger issues again.

No argument from me, in fact I think your article is actually a lot more complimentary to 'Arry than most of ours...

1 November 2010 at 12:53  

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