It’s always been known Harry Redknapp likes a gamble. Be it his forrays in the transfer market, or the 12:40 at Kempton, he’s always been one to take a risk. And usually, they pay off.
However, by taking the Tottenham Hotspur job, has Harry went one gamble too far? Looking at Spurs and the current predicament they find themselves in, it’s hard to see the logic in Redknapp’s decision.
Spurs are a team in decline, with no confidence and seemingly no hope – on and off the field. The team simply cannot buy a win at the moment, and their tally of two points from eight games has seen Spurs slump deep into a relegation battle. Too good to go down? On recent evidence, far from it.
Furthermore, Redknapp had a job for life at Pompey. It was a job with little pressure, where expectations weren’t too high, and where he was adored by the fans. At Spurs, things will be different. The supporters and board demand success – and unrealistically so in my eyes. It will be a far cry from the low-pressure job he had at Pompey, that’s for sure. Just ask Martin Jol, who was scandalously sacked from his post as Spurs manager only a year ago. Does Daniel Levy believe in karma? He certainly should. Jol can afford a wry smile at latest developments at White Hart Lane, you would have to think.
But maybe that’s just it. The challenge. Maybe Harry got too comfortable at Portsmouth? Maybe he thought he’s taken them as far as they can go. The challenge of rejuvinating this Spurs team may have been too much to turn down. This is Redknapp’s last chance to prove he can mix it with the big boys before he retires, and who can deny him that?
In any line of work, you want to test yourself. And managing Spurs will certainly test Redknapp. The team looks desperately short of confidence right now, and Harry needs to address that. Big players are going missing for Spurs, when leaders are required. And in Redknapp, Spurs have one of the best man-managers in the game. Players enjoy working for him. He gets the best out of people. He might be just the man Spurs need.
Should Harry get it right at Spurs, he enhances his reputation further. Get it wrong and it’s a small blotch on an otherwise fine management career, in a job where it could be argued no-one could bring success. Maybe it’s not such a gamble afterall?
As for Pompey, I think they’ll be fine. The £5m in compensation will soften the blow somewhat, and in Tony Adams they have an astute young coach ready to step up to the plate. And what’s more, Redknapp has left the club in a rather comfortable position indeed, with Pompey comfortably sat in mid-table and in European competition. Things could certainly be worse.
So Harry, the pressure is well and truly on. Welcome to the circus at White Hart Lane. Don’t get too comfortable, will you?