What now for Redknapp and Spurs? Have England, Chelsea, Liverpool missed out?

Harry RedknappImage: Simon Kendrick

Bombshell or predictable? And now that ‘Arry’s gone, is White Hart Lane on the imminent travel itinerary of Moyes or Hiddink? In the first of two looks by Salut! Sunderland at the managerial merry-go-round, Stephen Goldsmith poses these questions and offers his own answers …

Now then,
who honestly saw this one coming?

Well I suppose we kind of did. It had genuinely crossed my mind that there may have been a bit more to what met the public eye when it came to the well-documented delaying of Redknapp putting pen to paper on a new deal.

The daily goings on involved in the saga didn’t particularly enter my natural train of thought on all things football. But then that train was already pretty crammed with the enigma that is O’Neill’s transfer targets and, perhaps more importantly, what will be the extent of funds available to him whatever they may be.

Nonetheless, I was quite curious as to why ‘Arry felt the need to keep speaking about the matter. I couldn’t help sense that all wasn’t rosy in his north London garden; why else would he feel the need to tell us all he would never have allowed anything like this to happen to one of his players?

If he had confidence in his chairman sorting it then he surely wouldn’t have invited this media attention. Speaking to Daniel Levy through the medium of television indicated direct communication was proving problematic. If there was nothing to worry about, it seems unlikely this would have been the case.

Even so, his departure still came as a bit of a shock.

Stephen Goldsmith applies Goldy's Logic to the Harry Redknapp saga

My immediate thoughts led me straight to England. Like Sunderland, the national side are very much in my heart and, as Redknapp was the perceived favourite for the job in the first place, I can’t help wonder whether the FA will feel they have spectacularly missed a trick.

When the unexpected appointment of Roy Hodgson was announced, the immediate kneejerk response was that the FA had gone for the cheap option. Hodgson’s moderate success was generally at smaller clubs and in countries where the standard of competition fails to live up to dizzy heights of the Premier League, though he had mixed fortunes at Internazionale.

He failed dramatically at both Liverpool and at Blackburn Rovers who, lest we forget, were among the Premier League big guns at the time.

Daniel Levy is a notorious tough nut when it comes to finance, as Sunderland have found out, with a knack of getting top dollar for his assets. After trying to buy success by appointing Capello, could the FA really afford to pay over the odds again?

One popuar theory that did the footballing rounds when when England were stuck in managerial limbo was that Stuart Pearce would carry on Capello’s work until the the climax of the European championships. The FA could then bring in somebody with more time to impose his methods, somebody like Harry Redknapp. As the darling of the media, he was the popular choice. The people’s choice even (allegedly). Had the FA stuck to this, if it was indeed ever on the agenda, then they could be getting Harry for a big, fat zero right now.

They insist Hodgson was always first choice. They would, wouldn’t they? I find it hard to believe that anybody on the FA has the footballing knowledge to have studied Hodgson’s methods and made a decision based on them. It is as hard to believe as that Hodgson’s sides are hard to beat (sorry, couldn’t resist that phrase).

But public opinion now seems to have changed regarding Hodgson. Had we lost all three games under his leadership it is highly probable the back pages would have been shrieking that their man Redknapp should have been appointed immediately, that they knew best all along.

That said, any severence package for Hodgson may seem worth paying to those stiffs at the FA now that Redknapp would cost nothing, at least before he started collecting his salary. If England should lose their next two games, it will be very, very interesting how the media will react. The king is dead, long live the king?

I feel Hodgson could have done without this.

We, as a nation, are just starting to warm to good ol’ Roy, but the longer Redknapp remains out of work, the more that certain people will want him.

Like everyone, I have absorbed all Hodgson and those who know him best have had to say. We have all seen his ideologies implemented with England in each of his three matches to date and can be under no illusions that any diversion from what we have seen will be other than minimal.

But this does appear the most pragmatic and viable option for England with the squad we have.

I will admit to having wanted Redknapp initially. His attacking football appeals to me. And perhaps my judgement was clouded by wanting the polar opposite to Capello’s soul-destroying footballing philosophy. I have never been as disheartened with England as I was with Capello at the helm. From somebody who has travelled Europe to watch them play that is saying something.

In hindsight I can’t help thinking that Redknapp trying to impose his attacking intentions on the standard of players we have available would have amounted to footballing suicide. England à la Kevin Keegan, if you will.

But bvck to Daniel Levy. You have to question his thinking and strategy behind the timing of it all. Was he putting this off at the back end of last season in the hope England would still come knocking at his door bearing gold? Has he put it off up until now knowing fine well that Liverpool, Villa and Swansea were looking for managers? Could it even be the case of “I don’t want him but don’t want anyone else to have him”?

David Moyes is the bookies’ favourite to succeed ‘Arry. I would love to see Moyes test himself at a club with the money and genuine potential to be a real force. You wonder when his patience with Everton will run out. As big as Everton are, they appear somewhat frozen with a chairman who, certainly from the outside, seems to be asking for ridiculous money for a club that will need a new stadium upon purchase.

The bookies may feel sure this was on the cards months ago and that contact has already been made. By the time this has been read by some, it may even have happened. Levy isn’t the most loyal of chairmen, though, and I’m not wholly sure Moyes would fancy it for that reason alone. Everton are often in the bottom six or seven at christmas before having a late surge. Levy won’t stand for that, and hasn’t previously stood for it, and all Moyes’s effort and time spent building and reconditioning the team could be knocked down on a February whim.

My own feeling is that they will go for Guus Hiddink.

Like England, Liverpool may well feel they have missed a trick here, too. I expect Rodgers to show little in variation from the brilliant to the woeful. If he starts to falter, or maybe if he just doesn’t hit the ground running, Liverpool fans may well cast an eye on Redknapp developments. His attacking football, and the progression he managed at Spurs, seem tailor-made for them. I am in no doubt that a large slice of the Anfield loyal would have been overjoyed to see Redknapp thrust into the famous hot seat.

From Blue to Lily White for Moyes?

And what of Chelsea? Redknapp was linked heavily to that position last season. Levy’s timing couldn’t be so precise that he was awaiting on their new managerial announcement, could it? We have heard to a tedious degree how defensive Di Matteo’s Chelsea were in European success last season whereas Redknapp’s sides play with a flair that seem right up Mr Abramovic’s street.

I think Lambert will do well at Villa and am fascinated to see what Michael Laudrup brings to the table at Swansea. It all makes for exciting times but I’m not so sure either would have appealed to Redknapp.

Sunderland fans know as much as anyone what positive momentum can be built from an exciting managerial changes. It must also be nice to have a manager who performs grandly year in, year out at the helm, managers such as Moyes and Redknapp…

The Black Cats have the best of both worlds in that respect.

Martin O’Neill’s reign seems to be at a perfect and exciting phase to us still. It appears to be still in its infancy in terms of seeming fresh to the fans and players alike; the season’s end coming at a satisfying time in halting what seemed a bit of a slump, yet drawing to a close what still seemed a general upwards momentum in the club’s fortunes. The positive feeling created by O’Neill should be further amplified when he imposes himself on the club to greater effect over the summer by improving the playing staff.

I have managed to refrain from worrying about transfer speculation sufficiently to prevent insanity thus far. That’s down to a cracking summer of international football. And this management madness certainly helps too.

29 thoughts on “What now for Redknapp and Spurs? Have England, Chelsea, Liverpool missed out?”

  1. Di Canio does apparently have “Duce” tattoed on his arm and he did say something to the effect of Mussolini having many good qualities and being misrepresented, and there’s no doubt he (Di Canio) engaged in unsavory behaviour while at Lazio. He’s also alleged to have said he’s a fascist not a racist, which might mean he hates everybody who doesn’t think as he does irrespective of their colour. I didn’t know about issues at Swindon

    Even so, I think his football knowledge will be better than that of most fans, so if he thinks ‘Arry’s a good manager I’d have to respect his judgement in that area.

    And he’s not the only one to praise ‘Arry. Quite a few players and managers supported him as manager of England. I can’t think of anyone who stood up and said he wasn’t suitable

  2. Well I wish people would just stop finding reasonable and valid holes in my points of view. Luckily I have done plenty of cold call selling in my time so my skin has thickened somewhat. He speaks fondly of black players in the old book Pete. Maybe Seire A may be more up his street where these things probably won’t be as controversial.

  3. Di Canio is an admirer of Il Duce and I suspect it is not just because he was able to sort out the Italian railway network. There is an unpleasant side to di Canio; he has had problems with black players at Swindon and there is his Fascist salute when he was at Roma. Far too unstable to make a PL manager.

    • On your last point The Dutch were a heck of a team, but after watching Spain beat them and Germany, I coludn’t believe for a second anyone had any doubts about Spain’s greatness. They consistently looked like the more athletic team, almost always threatening, very active, terrific defense, and some pinpoint passes that were just breathtaking.

  4. Excellent thread this. Yes, Hilary I agree that there has to be a lot more to meet the eye. The notion that he was off to the England job seemed to be nothing but an open secret and I suspect that the FA dodged the bullet when they too realised that there was “behind the scenes” activity. Levy was expecting to get compensation and ends up lumbered with a manager who is never far from controversy and has already lined up his replacement only to find he is stuck with “old ‘Arry.” Venables and Redknapp are, as you say, cut from the same roll of fabric in my mind too.

  5. Interesting about Venables, Hillary. He had England looking fine before the F.A ditched him. Interesting about the Spurs fans Geoff, I thought they loved him.

    I know ‘Arry is a Landon geezer, just thought I would “throw it out there”.

  6. Mmm. Interesting. This morning, I was chatting with a coupe of people whose inside knowledge of Spurs has some credibility. We diverted from business and chatted about Sunderland (after asking where my accent came from – Bish actually) and I asked if they were upset by the loss of ‘Arry. They were more than happy to see him go – accompanied by those knowing looks of ‘dodginess afoot.’
    I floated my theory that there is much more going on behind the scenes. The tax case, the FA suddenly going cold and then Levy nudging him out. All of this despite a very good record with Spurs (4th, despite losing a few matches after the England stuff).
    Their parting shot was that he is expected to get a £3 million pay off before tax. After tax, that should amount to £3 million.
    I believe that Hodgson was the right choice (intelligent, decent, determined, experienced internationally). However, I am writing this 2 hours before the Sweden match…..
    Incidentally, they strongly believe that Moyes will join them.

  7. Rednapp reminds me of Terry Venables in many ways, although I think Terry the more emollient and ultimately shrewder of the two (also a better manager). I never thought the FA would appoint Rednapp to England-too risky on a number of levels, Like Venables his wheeler dealer persona and reputation for hard talking were never going to be their cup of tea.

    Interesting that you think that Levy was playing games with him-could be the case. I dont see him going far, his age, recent health problems etc etc, probably make him a less than attractitve proposition for really big clubs. I also think think he is a London geezer-dont see him going North. Could West Ham however consider ditching Allerdyce for him?

    • Mussolini died in 1945. De Canio was born in 1968, so I’m not quite sure what you mean, Pete.

  8. Levy thought Harry was going to England and he would get a tidy compensation package, he has his new manager lined up and who ever he is he will be there long term, Levy is money mad and has at times been unethical, the Olympic Stadium bid, an inside moles etc. The only way Levy could make money out of Harry is the England job. He won’t move up north and there isn’t a suitable job for him in the capital, although he will have to find one now. Levy’s strategy has back fired and his only way out was the sacking of Harry, the best and most successful Spurs have had since Bill Nicholson. The way he has been treated is disgracful and is a reflection of Levy’s business tactics.

    • Two points I agree with and that I kind of covered in the piece and with comments also Keith. Glad you agree.

      For the record (I think) I also stated that Harry is a bit tactically inept for international level. Not totally inept as some think; Di Canio praises him in his book and I would trust his judgement.

      There 🙂

  9. The Sixer has already pretty much summed up my thoughts about the Liverpool management situation. Appointing a bloke whose trophy haul is a one promotion on the back of a steaming train fired up by somebody else.

    The biggest problem that Liverpool have in terms of public comments and criticism is from the mouths of Hansen and Lawrenson, and not Redknapp. Did that sound like I was defending Redknapp? Hope not. 🙂

  10. If you knew LFC fans you would realise ‘Arry would be one of the last people we would want as manager.

    Between his attention seeking skysportsnews appearances, criticising Rafa for highlighting how badly the two cowboys were running our club and worst of all, writing for the most hated rag in Merseyside, #dontbuythesun

    There is no way he would be welcome at Anfield, as even you alluded to, his tactical nous is virtually non-existent. Yes we like attractive football (why we hated Hodgson with a passion) but with a purpose (why Rafa is still loved despite the British media’s attempts to demonise him). that squad should’ve finished 3rd, when it mattered he was lost.

    • I thought attention seeking would have been right up Liverpool’s street. I jest, honestly I do. Hadn’t realised he had attacked Benitez publicly, interesting.

      if I was wrong about the supporters; one thing you could never rule out is which way your owners may have felt about his availability. Ask our neighbours 11 mile up the road whether or not owners always implement things that the fans desire.

  11. The hype surrounding Redknapp is much louder than his record. Just to add to Phil’s analysis on the negative side. Two of his former clubs ended up in the third tier of English football not so very long after he left them.Southampton have only just recovered having been given the kiss of life by Nigel Adkins. Pompey, sadly may never recover.

    He’s a “wrong ‘un”

  12. I’m with Phil. Redknapp is a manipulator of the media to achieve his own nefarious ends: unsettlling players, engineering moves (his own and players’), driving up already inflated prices and wages to suit his own ends. I wouldn’t want him anywhere near SAFC.

  13. I have, always, found the “hype” surrounding Redknapp both undeserved and distasteful.

    What has he, actually, achieved in almost 30 years as a manager?

    On the plus side:

    a) A Football League Trophy, in 1984, and a promotion, from Division 3, in 1987, whilst with Bournemouth.

    b) An Intertoto Cup, in 1999, whilst with West Ham.

    c) Promotion, in 2003, to The (then) Premiership, whilst with Porstmouth (first tenure).

    d) FA Cup win, in 2008, whilst with Portsmouth (second tenure).

    It can, also be argued (not unreasonably) that he was responsible for the upturn in THFC’s fortunes, following their pathetic showings under Juande Ramos.

    It could, also, be argued (not unreasonably) that the Spurs’ squad had been, dramatically, underperforming prior to his appointment, considering the standard of players at the club.

    On the negative side:

    a) The last three clubs he managed (prior to Tottenham) all experienced major, financial, difficulties following his departure.


    I don’t think so!

    b) Link in to that his recent court case (where he was acquitted of all charges, because they could not be proven beyond all reasonable doubt).

    If the criteria had been that used in a Civil Case (on the balance of probability) then I think he would have been incarcerated as I type.

    c) His, seeming, lack of “loyalty”, with every possible opportunity being investigated to see if HR can benefit, to the detriment/exclusion of his current employers (whoever they may be).


    When scrutinised his win % (as a manager) is only 40.82%.

    Compare that with Hodgson’s (43.02), O’Neill’s (52.63% and even Alan Pardew (42.81).

    I loathe and detest the man, in the same way I loathe and detest John Terry.

    I would, though, be inclined to trust Terry more (maybe, not a lot) but, significantly, more than I would ever trust Redknapp!

    Maybe, The FA shared my views?

    • I think that he was unlucky not to receive a better job offer than he did earlier, Phil.

      Hodgson’s win ratio isn’t maybe fair as a comparison due to the fact he done a lot of winning in leagues that are inferior to ours. Di Canio praised him very highly in his book, said he was astute tactically and punched well above his weight with the players he had at his disposal.

      His job at Portsmouth was remarkable really. I have mates from Pompey who can’t emphasise enough how much he turned them round, and with a poor playing staff. They hate him now like.

      At Spurs i think he has done a great job. Serious contenders for the champions league year in, year out. Nobody has had the Spurs faithful so content in quite a few years.

      The court stuff isn’t ideal but it has to be disregarded due to the old innocent until proven guilty concept.

      • Firstly, I would like to put on record that I am not replying to the article as a supporter of Hodgson BUT I do regard Redknapp, on a par, to the “Antichrist”!.

        “I think that he was unlucky not to receive a better job offer than he did earlier, Phil.”

        Can you, please, explain exactly, what you meant by that?

        His record at Bournemouth (83 -92) had a win % of 39.39.

        At West Ham, (94-01) his win % was 37%.

        So, on what premis do you make that statement?

        “Hodgson’s win ratio isn’t maybe fair as a comparison due to the fact he done a lot of winning in leagues that are inferior to ours.”

        That, at face value, may appear to be fair comment until the facts are revealed.

        Please checkout the comparative performances.





        Redknapp, for me, is morally (not financially) bankrupt – unlike 3 of his last 4 clubs.

        I can’t help but wonder why that shoud be?

        Let me ask you a simple question, Goldy.

        Would you trust him with your bank account, your daughter, or even those of your most disliked?

      • I honestly don’t dislike the man. Nor do I really admire him to huge extents. The question of trusting him is too hypothetical to really take seriously. I don’t personally know the bloke, as I assume you don’t.

        If Hodgson has a better win percentage in this league solely then I retract that bit.

        At no point did I actually state Redknapp was statistically a better manager than Hodgson or anybody else for that matter.

        It is of my opinion that he done extremely well at West Ham and Portsmouth and ‘what I mean’ by my statement is that he had evolved, in my opinion, into a good manager way before he finally got a job like Spurs. I’m allowed a personal opinion aren’t I?

    • At last, someone who sees through the hype. Always being happy to talk to the press doesn’t make you a good manager, it justs means that the press will not slaughter you. There have been times during the last few months, normally when someone has used the phrases ‘fans choice’ or ‘everybody wants him’ regarding him for England when I have wanted to kick the radio/telly, etc. He is tactically clueless and appears to me to have 1 approach – buy better players than other clubs, no matter what it costs – and that does not suit a national manager.

  14. Nice smart a*** reply, Ian. The “ultra ambitious” FSG have just appointed a man who was sacked by Reading and who has had one seasons experience in the PL at a club with no expectations. No doubt, when he leaves in 18 months time, with even fewer trophies than Hodgson and Dalgleish combined, the Kop will be begging for Good ol’ ‘Arryt o move north asap.
    Or maybe Steve Bruce will sip from the poisoned chalice offered by the Reds?

  15. Sorry. Will be sure to get inside Harry’s head next time to see if he would be open to the idea of. Relocating for one last push at one of the biggest jobs in football.

    And I see what you mean about Fenway. Kenny D was an extremely young forward thinking manager bursting with revolutionary ideas on the tactical front.

    Nothing was said as matter of fact anyway. I stated that a similar job that he done at Spurs could have been just what Liverpool needed. There’s nothing wrong with ruling out theories and questioning logic through reasonable debate, I’m all for it.

    But of course if you weren’t so arrogant and pedantic you would have known that.

  16. Chelsea, maybe, but Liverpool? nah.

    You see our ‘arry lives in Banks on the south coast and apart from the fact that his missus loves it there, outside of London, it is the most desirable place in the U.K to live so sorry to p*** on your cornflakes, but a move to Anfield would never have been on the cards anyway for a man in his sixties who does not fit the profile of the ultra- ambitious and wealthy Fenway Sports Group who own LFC.

    But of course if you had done your research you would have known that.

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