Monday, January 12, 2009

Football Managers Gone Wild III

Alright, so I've figured it out. Harry Redknapp is either the Bill Parcells of English football or he's just gone batshit from his time at Spurs. He wouldn't be the first. Arry's outburst after Sunday's display-- moderate in nature, given the breakout performance put on by Joe Kinnear upon his introduction at Newcastle or Rafa's queer little tantrum the other day-- was notable not so much for a particular line or profanity, but rather the breadth of his scorn. My favorite, the mocking: "They had two points from eight games when I came here. How do you get two points from eight games?" It's a good question. Let's go back in time, watch Harry mix magic and malice... and then yesterday.

Presenting... Redknapp's Road to Red-faced Rage! Buckle up.

Note: Scroll down to the bottom for Sunday's highlight reel. Still I'd say it's more fun to watch it ebb and flow and ebb.

In their greatest success and most efficient action, on the pitch or off, this season, Spurs axed the terrible triumvirate of Ramos-Poyet-Comolli on Saturday evening, October 25, immediately introducing Harry Redknapp as the replacement. That the negotiation with Portsmouth remained clandestine is a miracle. You might even say Daniel Levy learned from the Jol debacle. Maybe.

Anyway, Harry arrived and bam! Spurs beat Bolton, exceeding in one afternoon their season's point total through eight games (two, you'll remember.)

Before and after the match, it was a lovefest. Building up the players, the club, Redknapp was going to get the most from his NME.

"I am a big follower of the history of the game and Tottenham have been a great club over the years. I followed Tottenham, I trained there as an 11-year-old, 12-year-old so I know the history of the club. It is a big, big, club."
After the 2-0 win:
"I've taken over clubs before where I looked at it and thought 'how do we get out of this one?' There is real quality in this group of players here. You look through and there are international players. We have to start working as hard as we did today for each other, picking up points, playing as we did - they passed the ball with real quality which I was really impressed with."
So yea, apparently we're really good after all. Let's go score four at Arsenal... two in the last couple minutes!! Yea, some trouble with corners, c'mon... Road derby draw! Arry!
"It really was an amazing game of football to be involved in. We gave away some bad goals, from set-pieces too, even though we worked hard on that on Tuesday at training. But the boys have been fantastic, there's a real spirit there, a determination. They are jumping for joy in the dressing room."
A week after beating City 2-1 in MancTown (with two Darren Bent goals no less), Spurs hand Liverpool their only loss of the season. It's actually the first of two wins over 'Pudlians in the week, the latter a Carling Cup KO. Here's Harry after the league win.
"It was a good win and a good performance - even if we could have done better on corners! That's 18 goals we've scored in my five matches in charge - we're bringing in Les Ferdinand as a striking coach and I've told him if we stop scoring it's his fault!"
So are we jumping for joy in the locker room? We just beat Liverpool twice in a week, who cares about crosses? This isn't fun Harry from October.

Right around this time, Gomes went through his "crisis of confidence." There wasn't a warm sweater in Jimmy Carter's basement that could fix this. The question after an especially disturbing performance at Craven Cottage was when... not if... So Harry, is it Cesar time? This keeper sucks, give it 'em!
"It's difficult, he's my goalkeeper. He's got to do the job, in all honesty. I've got another keeper, a Spanish lad of 37, and then I've got kids. I've got to stay with him."
Redknapp sticks with Gomes. And so, after the Fulham game (Nov. 15) Gomes plays the next six, conceding two goals, and earning four clean sheets. A Nil-nil draw with Man U. on Dec. 13 his crowning achievement. One impossible save after another. Harry, the floor is yours. Tell us of this Brazilian genius!
"If he can keep these performances up we haven't got a problem. But I'd like to bring in another keeper as cover."
Huh?!? Oh, I see. Let's not be overconfident. And to prove we're not so good, how bout a miserable loss at Newcastle(1-2) and a Boxing Day abortion home to Fulham (0-0).
"It was ok but we lack punch up front. I couldn't see us scoring. We had a lot of the ball but didn't create enough chances. We looked solid at the back they had one or two chances but other than that we kept them quiet. We're short in certain areas to make the difference. I thought Bobby Zamora was outstanding, in the first half he held the ball up very well. I wish he was still at Tottenham."
Bobby Zamora... right. Anyway, so much for having all the talent we need right here in the room. Looks like Levy's wallet might not be so safe after all. A 0-2 loss at the Baggies makes the point.
"We need a certain type here. We've got an awful lot of good little players but we need more strength and a bit more power in the team. It is a badly-balanced put-together squad, in all honesty, from day one."
And with these words, so opens the transfer window. Brilliant stuff. Jermain Defoe is back in town about 12 minutes after these comments come across the papers.

But even with the little fella back in Spurs strip, the league goals and results remain elusive. Sunday's 0-1 at the JJB might have actually been the most lopsided disgrace of the season. He can Take No More... Cue 'Arry... and our latest edition of Football Managers Gone Wild!
"If you look at the results of Tottenham over the last year you have to be concerned. Look back to the end of last season after the Carling Cup - where Spurs beat Chelsea in the final - and see how many points they have got. They had two points from eight games when I came here. How do you get two points from eight games?? They (the players) put the club in it, it is up to them to get us out of it. There is plenty of flair, but we are in a relegation scrap and we need some men and some characters to get us out of it, that is what you are looking for when you are in the position we are in. "We've got some but not enough. You'd put your life on Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Dawson, Didier Zokora, Jamie O'Hara."
'Arry-- how 'bout Your Boy Defoe?
"We didn't see a great deal of him. He needs someone up there with him who is going to get hold of the ball."
So you're saying Roman Pavlyuchenko, subbed after 53 mins didn't do the hold up work? That's a rhetorical question, thanks.

Anything else?
"At the moment we have some players who cost this football club a lot of money and they need to be better for the team. They are supposed to be quality players - and they have got to show that on the football pitch. If you look at our results - two points from eight games - it cannot always be the manager's fault, can it?"
I mean, it can if it's Spurs.
"There are still an awful lot [of players] who can do a lot better than they are doing. We need some improved performances, especially away from home. We have thrown three games away - in the last minutes of each game - that cannot be right."
No, that most certainly cannot.


The Fan's Attic said...

Caption: Harry Redknapp's reaction to the load Wigan blew on Spurs face.

The Likely Lad said...

i would argue arry looks like he's on the receiving end of some more positive results

phil said...

Normally, I'd stick up for poor 'Arry, but after the side he picked on Sunday, I'm quite sure the poor soul's gone mad.