So the inevitable finally happened, and Senor Ramos was given the boot. Hardly surprising, given the teams diabolical start to the league season.
Ramos is obviously a talented coach but he never really sparked in England, that Carling Cup win aside. For various reasons, Ramos was unable to get the best out of his players and you always got the unnerving feeling that he was often using players he had not chosen. In summary, it was like Ramos never had full control over what he was doing.
Into the Spaniard’s place, steps Harry Redknapp. Spurs have apparently given Portsmouth £5 million in compensation and have this time avoided the shambles that took place in trying to secure Ramos’ signature, this time last year. Redknapp brings with him a great deal of experience. Often known as a ‘wheeler-dealer’ type manager, Redknapp does have a knack for plucking obscure players out of nowhere and turning them into greats.
Redknapp’s only black mark on his career was when he left Portsmouth to join bitter rivals Southampton, only for them to be relegated. He promptly returned to Pompey and has transformed them into a tough, challenging Premier League side, culminating in their FA Cup success last season.
Perhaps, what is more satisfying for Spurs fans, however, is the fact that much maligned Sporting Director Damien Comolli has also left the club — and will not be replaced. In a frank and forthright open letter to the Tottenham fans on the club website, chairman Daniel Levy spoke about this and how Tottenham have reverted to the traditional English system of management. For years, Spurs have employed a sporting director and it never seemed to pay any rich dividends. One could argue that it cost Juande Ramos his job.
Comolli’s shoddy handling of the Berbatov affair left Ramos short of strikers, a plight which eventually lead to his downfall at Tottenham. Redknapp will now be the man responsible for signing players and it is a system which makes more sense than the previous one — the manager signs the players HE wants.
Levy is an oft-criticised chairman. Spurs fans generally don’t like him for the businessman like way in which it appears he runs the club. But his honest views given on the Spurs website paint the portrait of a man who may simply just want the best for his team. He may have made mistakes, but find me a chairman who hasn’t? Levy has brought Tottenham back to the way they believe the club should be run and until that policy backfires, he should be given something of a break from the barracking Tottenham hordes.
He should also be praised for his choice of managerial appointment. Redknapp has never managed a club the size of Tottenham, but he is adept at getting results for teams that desperately need it. And make no mistake, Tottenham are in severe need of points to lift themselves from the mess they find themselves in.
Should Tottenham expect the world from Redknapp? Probably no, not right away, at least. Patience is, indeed, a virtue and one that the most suffered of Spurs fans should dig deep to find. Redknapp’s priorities should be to stabilise and then to build this club back to its former glories. It may take time but Redknapp is likely more equipped than most others to do it.
It’s the start of yet another new dawn at White Hart Lane. One can only hope, for the sake of their fan’s sanity, that this one provides at least a modicum of success.
Written by Mark Tilley.
This article is a submission for the Soccerlens 2008 Writing Competition; to participate, please read the details here. The competition is sponsored by Subside Sports (premier online store for football shirts) and Icons (official signed football jerseys).