Spurs’ Premier League campaign got off to an inauspicious start on Saturday with a 2-1 loss to Newcastle. New manager Andre Villas-Boas failed to have an instant effect on his new charges with his first competitive game at the helm.
Villas Boas was a surprise appointment to the Spurs post in June, after the equally surprising sacking of Harry Redknapp. Though Redknapp had alienated his chairman and overseen an end of season slump that saw them throw away 3rd place in the league, many observers felt that 4th place was a good result and both Redknapp and Spurs were very unlucky to miss out on Champions League qualification.
Chairman Daniel Levy obviously feels that Villas-Boas is a good long-term replacement for Redknapp,but many fans remain unconvinced that he is capable of achieving anything special with Spurs. They signed two new players in Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson over a month ago, but since then, they appear to have struggled to find the goalkeeper, creative midfielder, and striker(s) they still seem to need if they want to push on.
So, this uninspiring last few weeks for the lilywhites got me wondering: would Spurs be any better if Redknapp was still in charge? He would be facing the same transfer issues as AVB. Spurs’ inability to permanently sign Emmanuel Adebayor is not the fault of anyone at White Hart Line—Adebayor cannot agree on a severance payment with Man City, and this would be the case regardless of who the manager was.
Equally, for the second season in a row Luka Modric’s desire to leave is unsettling the squad, and leaving them short in midfield. Redknapp could do nothing about this turmoil last year, so there’s no reason to assume this year would be any different.
So, what would be different if Harry was still the gaffer? Would he have the support of the dressing room? The ease with which the squad has taken to AVB, and Redknapp’s inability to halt last year’s slide, would suggest he’s not too sorely missed. Perhaps the players enjoy some tactical analysis after three years of being told “just f*ing run around a bit.”
Would Spurs have signed the players they need? Levy is the one who decides who stays and who goes; he takes the managers opinion into account, but it’s a good idea not to disagree with him in the press. Levy likes investing in youth and players with resale value like Kyle Walker, Sandro and Giovani Dos Santos, whereas Redknapp preferred the more experienced players like Brad Friedel, Louis Saha, and William Gallas.
Famously last season, Spurs were soundly beaten in their first two games. Admittedly they were against the two big Manchester sides, but they looked a far from settled side. There’s no guarantee that AVB will be the bright new dawn that Spurs fans are looking for, but it’s almost certain that the side would be no better off if Redknapp were still around.
Agree? Disagree? continue the discussion on twitter: @chiefhairyman