So Harry Redknapp looks set to leave Tottenham after a stalemate over a new contract. It won’t take too long for the North London club’s board to realize that this will be a big mistake.
There’s clearly been something wrong at White Hart Lane for some time. Tottenham, in the first half of the 2011-12 season, were playing vibrant football and being tipped as title challengers. Then the England job became vacant and Harry Redknapp was touted as the man for the job.
Tottenham seemed to lose their way for a while and despite finishing fourth in the Premier, missed out on the Champions League due to Chelsea’s triumph in Munich. In any other season, Redknapp would have been considered a success.
But, Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, wanted Champions League football and after throwing away a 10-point lead over local rivals Arsenal, he’s clearly an unhappy man.
The trouble with Spurs is they are desperate to be Arsenal. They have been in the shadow of the Gunners and Chelsea for the past decade – even longer for Arsenal – and no matter what they do, they cannot make the breakthrough. Redknapp brought them close to matching their London neighbours, succeeding where Ramos, Jol, Hoddle and Santini all failed. Let’s not forget that Harry Redknapp’s win ratio is higher than that achieved by Spurs legends Bill Nicholson and Arthur Rowe, who both brought the title to White Hart Lane.
Redknapp offered them the best chance, and what’s more, he’s been playing the type of football that Tottenham were once renowned. But it doesn’t seem good enough for Levy to offer Redknapp nothing more than a rolling 12-month contract.
The end game is that Levy will release a manager who just a few months ago was the most coveted in English football. It doesn’t make sense – or was it Levy’s intention to force Redknapp out? I think it was.