The Blog that's not always wrong.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Tough Choices.

Well it seems that the realisation that we might in fact get relegated has caused consternation and confusion in the ranks, especially over Harry's team that played against Shaktar on Thursday. Is avoiding relegation the only game in town now? Or do we because of our fine history, cup record and to show faith with the fans need to go for everything and not subject ourselves to the indignity of prioritisation?

Can we qualify for Europe by beating Man.Utd. next week, or do we risk playing in the Championship by spreading our resources too thinly and risking injury to key players. Its a difficult one but Harry has declared his hand and pledged himself to do what I think he was brought in for, to avoid relegation. Its a limited aim but obviously a vital one.

Even over performances on Thursday we are at sixes and sevens. What firstly can we agree on? Dawson was a leader of men and Bentley was not; the youngsters especially Dean Parrett did not let us down. That's about it really.

Gomes is a clown, or like Cudocini at Bolton in almost identical circumstances, left hopelessly exposed by his defence. Cambell is just not up to it or did he play with heart and guts and do himself proud, closing down and running the channels all night.

Same with Giovani, Gunter, Chimbonda and Huddleston. All either hopelessly exposed at crucial moments or valiantly struggling against the cold, the pitch and a team from the Champions League ranks that had the edge in flair, skill, and overall team organisation. Jenas and Zokora have no fence sitters; they are either hard working and effective or 'shite'. There doesn't seem to be a middle way.

Again, did we play valiantly and despite the odds almost get the draw? Or were our understrength squad outplayed and lucky not to come back to White Hart Lane with an even bigger deficit? The proof of the pudding will be at Hull on Monday. If we put out a strong squad and win it then Harry is justified. Do the same against Shaktar in the second leg and beat Man.Utd. on Sunday and Harry is justified a second time.

However if we lose all three games what then? Out of everything, probably back in the bottom three with a tricky run in, more beating of chests and gnashing of teeth, and continued discussion of whether Harry Redknapp is our Saviour or the Antichrist.

Usually I am a play the best team you can; go for everything; play the Tottenham way at all times; go down with all guns blazing and relegation is nothing to fear, we've survived it before and come back stronger, sort of a guy. I expect us to win everything home or away, am continually disappointed because we don't but soon get over it and pick myself up for the next game.

Can I sustain this attitude when faced with the reality of relegation, which I have been facing up to for some time. I first confronted it head on when Juande'' ' two points in eight games' Ramos was with us. I said that if we were relegated he should stay and get us back up. Then came Harry and everything was again possible: top six and all the trimmings.

Now we're back to square one and I say again if we go down Harry should be given the task of bringing us back up. I don't think he has the complete managerial portfolio for the long term but has enough in his tool-box to be given the chance. I have been preaching stability and team building for some time as the basis for a revival at Tottenham and logically I can't abandon it now.

But does picking and choosing the matches where you make an effort undermine the mentality of the whole squad; that winning, or getting the draw on Thursday would have carried us forward into the vital league game at Hull in a more positive mood, and from there into the Carling Cup Final on a positively euphoric wave of team,club and fan enthusiasm.

Or is this season such a mess that we have no option than to abandon the Uefa and make sure that we don't go down? To be true to myself I have to go with the 'go for it on all fronts' agenda but I have been facing up to the possibility of relegation for so long this season that when Harry announced his avoid the drop scheme I was temporarily seduced.

In more recent interviews he is back on the 'we want to win every match' song sheet. But by the omissions on Thursday and the defensive way we played, we didn't have a clean shot on goal all night, I think we know where he's coming from. The trouble with Harry is not that he talks too much but that he contradicts himself, sometimes on the same day. He should start listening when he speaks. If he doesn't why should anyone else.

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