Sunday 26th October. I woke up at 7.30am and immediately looked at my mobile, it read ‘4 new messages’. Something had happened, or I was suddenly the most popular person in Fareham.
I opened my inbox, where I could read the first line of each message and strangely, they all had one word in common: Redknapp. My heart skipped a beat. What now? I knew Redknapp was a bit of a cheeky chappy, proven by his addiction to saying one thing and meaning another, but surely he hasn’t…..no, it can’t be. I tentatively opened the first message: ‘Redknapp gone to Spurs! B*****d!’. I couldn’t believe it. I opened the next, from my Tottenham-fan University buddy in Essex: ‘Redknapp’s arrived! Sorry mate, we got Harry!’. I deleted the rest without reading them. I couldn’t quite believe it…..
This set the mood for the rest of the day. I immediately got up and turned on Setanta Sports News and there he was – grinning at me from my TV. Traitor. Judas. I felt betrayed and angry. Overcast skies, rain, miserable atmospheres – and it was only 8am. I spent the rest of the day in a bit of a sulk, and woke up the next day at 6.30am to go shopping for a costume for a fancy dress party on Halloween. As I was driving into Portsmouth, it reminded me of the drive I take to Fratton Park on a matchday. Then I got thinking….is it really any wonder he left?
Think about it: he’s just won the FA Cup with us, and has done the impossible and given us fans European Football for the first time ever. Many fans, unrealistically in my opinion, expect him to build on this: maybe finishing 5th in the league, as well as another decent FA Cup run, and of course, qualifying past the group stages of the UEFA Cup – even after being beaten by Braga and tough fixtures coming up. Not only that, the board are, despite what they say, in financial difficulties, and it was inevitable that Portsmouth would need to sell players anyway – which would leave Redknapp with no transfer budget, if any.
Sacha Gaydamak’s financial history has been doubted in the past – is the club his, or is it Daddy’s? His father has had his fair share of controversial financial dealings, and word has it as soon as he steps foot out of Israel he’ll be extradited to France faster than he could say ‘Sacre Bleu!’. Hardly the type of dealings that are usually associated with Premier League football clubs.
Not only that, but look at the pressure Spurs have been under lately. Under-achieving, under performing Spurs. On paper, Spurs are a top six team – how many of you can honestly say that before the season began Spurs would get relegated. All, and yes I mean ALL of Spurs problems are due to one person, and one person only – Juande Ramos. The board at Spurs are a good board – Levy rarely gets stuck into team affairs, and quite frankly Juande’s man management is poor – reflected in their current league position. As they lost more and more games the pressure heaped on the players to perform under Ramos, and so silly mistakes were made. Despite where they are, Spurs are still a top six team – they just need the right person to steer them the right way – and apparently that is Redknapp.
Can you blame Redknapp for going? At first yes, after all he could have said no. But realistically what else would he achieve at Portsmouth? Not enough I suspect to keep some fans happy – those fans that expect more and more each season. Spurs are a top six team, and Redknapp can see that. Redknapp knows he can definitely turn Spurs fortunes around – all he needs to do is keep them up (and let’s face it, that’s not a difficult task). I don’t blame Redknapp I entirely blame the board for this fiasco. I don’t think they realise they are putting the entire squad at jeopardy in that they may follow Redknapp to White Hart Lane. They should have rejected Spurs advances like they rejected the FA when he was gunning for the England job. At the end of the day, Redknapp is a quality man-manager, and as such will be in demand – if he didn’t go to Spurs now then he would’ve gone elsewhere at another time.
Redknapp – you will be missed. Storrie & Gaydamak – I sure hope you know what you’re doing, because the way it stands you two will be very unpopular come May.
Written by PFCGino.
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