The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Harry or Luka?

In a throwaway line in a recent blog I remarked that the nightmare would begin if Modric were to be sold and that I'd rather Harry left than Luka. I've been thinking about this and considering whether in fact I do actually believe this.

This was in the context of little or no action in the transfer market until the long signalled sale of Zokora to Sevilla. Now little or no action in the market this summer actually suits me as I think that the squad performed well in the run in last season and should be allowed to continue without the turbulence created by the sacking of the manager or the wholesale replacement of players.

The sale of Modric who is our best player would be as big a breech of faith as the sales of Berbatov and before him Carrick though under different circumstances of course. It would indicate once again that we are a selling club and that we know our inferior place in the scheme of things.

It would be worse than Berbatov because as far as I know Modric has dismissed any question of his wanting to move. However if we fail to make some progress he almost certainly will at the end of the season. He is certainly good enough to play for any of the top four.

Now I realise that I have to genuflect and kiss the hem of Saint Harry before I voice any criticism and I have paid tribute to the man, who I like, on many occasions. Harry was brought in to save our skins and he has done that and more. But I don't subscribe to the ' in Harry we trust ' school of fandom and the topic of Harry's competence is not off the agenda.

I am also on record as saying that Harry should be allowed to get on with the job for at least another season whatever happens, but then I said that about Juande. We all know that at Spurs under the present regime it just won't happen.

My initial reaction to Harry's appointment is not printable on a family blog but he has done the business and all credit to him. There is a school of thought that says that anyone but Ramos would have done the same but I seriously doubt that. Harry's pragmatism, experience, personality and Englishness was a cocktail that was crucial to the transformation of the squad.

However the question pops up for the new season ' Can he take us any further? Does he have the tactical nous and the experience at the top level to motivate the squad to achieve even more than last season. He has a reputation for being good with young and talented players but we didn't see much of that last season due mainly to the difficult circumstances we found ourselves in.

Tactics and team selection were doubtful at times: Bolton and Wigan away spring to mind. The collapse against Man. Utd demanded decisiveness and got theatrics. The appointment of Keane as captain I predicted would be a hostage to fortune and in my view it was. All these items lie heavily in the scales.

Now this is not to question Harry's past performance: he did us proud, but what does it tell us for the future. In other words I have my doubts. Now in the hypothetical situation I have posed: Harry or Luka, where do I stand. Now politicians always refuse to answer 'hypothetical' questions but they are often the most interesting ones. As I am not a politician I am quite happy to answer the question especially as I asked it in the first place.

In my opinion Luka Modric is a very fine footballer who could play at the highest level and is one of the few who could take us there and perform quite comfortably . Harry, in brief, though a decent manager could not. We could do as well or better under any number of home grown and foreign managers who although they might not have done the business last season because of the pressures might be better placed to take this settled and competent squad to the margins of the Champions' League.

So the answer is that if forced to choose I would prefer to keep Modric and lose Harry but obviously in the name of stability and with respect to Harry's achievements last season I would be much happier to keep them both.

4 comments:

who framed ruel fox? said...

Although it gives us little to talk about, I'm more than happy with the considered approach to this years transfer window. Stability, as you mentioned, is paramount. I hope the board take the same line in the coming season and don't make any rash, ad-hoc decisions if Harry and the team don't hit the ground running.

Look at Arsenal, Man Utd and even Liverpool. All teams with managers who've been given time to implement their own ideas and build successful, trophy winning teams. Whether Harry is the right man for the job he certainly should be given the chance.

And keep Modric please.

JimmyG2 said...

And Moyes at Everton,O'Neil at Villa who has been there for longer than the average manager at Spurs,which is not that hard, 9 managers in the time that Wenger has been at Arsenal.
Statistics, and common sense tells us that a rapid turnover of managers and players is no way to build a successful squad.
Not sure why I am ranting at you Foxy since we obviuosly agree.

who framed ruel fox? said...

I was reading the other the day that since Ferguson took over at United in the mid-80s, Spurs have been through 19 different managers. I couldn't be bothered to confirm that this was accurate but it sounds about right.

Incredible, really.

JimmyG2 said...

Since Keith Burkinshaw left in 1984 we have had 15 managers though I dont think that it includes all of David Pleat's caretaker stints
Thats an average of 20 months each.

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