The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

The Harry Effect

There must be more to it than changing the manager surely. I like Harry Redknapp in many ways but Big Phil Scolari he's not. He has a reputation for doing clever things with average players and small budgets but the transformation of Spurs is breathtaking. One thing I have discovered this week: its very hard to type when you are holding your breath.

I have argued for the retention of Ramos in the name of stability and long term team building but Levy decided to short circuit the whole process again. The DOF system was seemingly a step too far but in view of our turnover of managers was arguably an enlightened approach to achieving greater stability. With different personnel it might have worked , who knows. But since the inept sacking of Martin Jol, perhaps for the best of motives, things have been in free fall apart from the performances on the way to the Carling Cup final and in the final itself.

Trying to apportion the blame between Levy, Comolli and Ramos is an inexact science at best. The response to the new regime is however clear, and would suggest that all was not well between the players and Ramos. Ledleys expressed relief and his apparent ability to turn out three times in a week gives us a clue. Perhaps the rumours of the deputation to Levy of senior players is true. The inclusion of several 'rejected' players into the first team squad; the re-appearance of Huddleston and Bentley; the emergence of Modric as a key player and the banishing of ever present Zokora to the bench all give pause for thought about the way in which Ramos handled his resources.

That he was sold down the river by the sale of Berbatov and Keane and the failure to replace them adequately is obvious. The signing of cup-tied players in what was for Ramos a priority was clearly incompetent but the resurgence of the team cannot solely be attributed to Harry Rednapp. Its as if a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.'Free at last; free at last'

Was it a communication problem because of the language barrier; the training regime; the diet; the personality of Ramos himself ? Or none of the above ,or all of the above? Harry's down to earth approach, supportive manner and his appreciation of attacking football and skilful players has worked wonders.You would have thought that Harry's techniques were too well known to be effective. Surely highly paid proffesionals need more than a verbal cuddle to make them play

The defending against Arsenal and the nervy performance of Gomes was little changed but the team spirit and the individual determination required to come back from a two goal deficit with a minute to go to full time was something not seen since the Carling Cup final. A clean sheet and a competent team performance against Bolton, no red cards or penalties except for our opponents and most importantly our first win certainly steadied the ship but in no way set up our expectations for the thrilling comeback at the Emirates or the fighting determination against Liverpool.

Against Liverpool we were outplayed for long periods and lucky not to be two down early on. We came back with a bit of luck for the equaliser and a fingertip Gomes save to keep us in the game. Then Bent showing his predatory instincts was quickly onto Reina's excellent save from Bentley to set up his partner Pavlyuchenk for the winner. Harry, incidntally, ignoring the conventional wisdom that Bent and Pavlyuchenko can't play together was again rewarded with his substitutions.

Something has happened to Spurs in this last week Our luck has changed along with the manager. We are not quite a fully functioning team but individuals have begun to shine. We are not yet safe but we are off the bottom and heading in the right direction.This time last week everyone wanted to play Spurs and now nobody does.

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