Tottenham take bold step
Published: 03.07.12 / Written by: David Gold
Daniel Levy stunned observers by firing Harry Redknapp last month.
It was a surprising, yet intriguing decision, given the good work the former West Ham boss has done at White Hart Lane. Two fourth place finishes and Champions League football are impressive for a man who arrived with the club bottom of the league.
Tottenham sharply alerted to Harry Redknapp's contractual situation last month when the former West Ham boss decided to remind them that he has just one year to run. Redknapp seemed irked that his contract situation had been allowed to get to the point where he had just one year remaining at the helm.
This begs some questions. For a start, why would Harry do such a thing? If the club do not intend to extend the deal, then it is an irrelevance, is it not? It would certainly not help the team, as it would only increase speculation over his future rather than keep it under the radar as it had been.
The only plausible reason is that Redknapp wanted it to be known that he was coming into the last year of his contract. Is he looking for a way out? Certainly Harry never stays anywhere too long, and it may be that he is simply planning his getaway from White Hart Lane in advance.
But what about from chairman Daniel Levy's perspective? Levy may well have banked on England taking Redknapp and leaving Tottenham searching for a new boss. It seemed as though it was inevitable but then it became apparent that he was not to take on the post.
That put Tottenham in a situation where they had to decide - is Harry the man to take them into the future? This season he showed naivety as they collapsed near the end and missed out, though in unfortunate circumstances, on a Champions League spot. Tottenham though have come very far since they were forced to fire Juande Ramos and bring in Redknapp. That cannot be ignored. But the question was has Redknapp taken them about as far as he can? Levy obviously thought so.
And it is not as though there is a lack of tantalising options. Fabio Capello remains unemployed, whilst Pep Guardiola is on a one year break so would presumably be available when Redknapp's contract expires. And Jose Mourinho is set on coming back to England at some point. But Andre Villas Boas or France coach Laurent Blanc seem to be the two in the frame, most likely the Portuguese.
Stick or twist is always a tricky game. But in Tottenham's position, they have taken a brave gamble to do the latter. Redknapp is an excellent coach with a good record, but he has never proven himself to truly be a winner. For that, they may just need someone else, someone who can take one of the most promising teams in the country and get them to realise their talent.