Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughA memorable season for old 'arry - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough A memorable season for old 'arry - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

A memorable season for old ‘arry


After being tipped for a title challenge early in the season, Tottenham Hotspur have endured a shocking recent run and now their place in the top four is coming under threat by the inform Newcastle United.

Whilst the personnel on the pitch haven’t changed, the manager’s situation off it has.  Harry Redknapp is said to be the FA’s number one choice to take over the vacant England manager role and the increased speculation has coincided with this poor run of results for Tottenham.

You can see why Harry is wanted so badly by the FA and general public.  He took over at Spurs when they were in the centre of a relegation scrap and the fact that not reaching fourth position in the league will be seen as a disappointment is testament to the job he has done.  Not only has he propelled Spurs up the league, he has set his team out to play an attractive and dynamic way which has caught the eye of many fans across the country.

It’s a joy watching Tottenham play and early on in the season they were in unstoppable form with the front line of Modric, Bale, Lennon, Van Der Vaart and Adebayor firing on all cylinders, even Manchester United fans were wishing for the kind of resources that Harry Redknapp had at his disposal.  The moment where everyone sat up and noticed this season was the home game against a struggling Arsenal side.  Tottenham came into the game under huge pressure by their fans who were convinced that if they got a win then the tables would be turned in North London and all those glory years from a dominant Arsenal would be a distant memory.  The Spurs side that Redknapp fielded that day did not disappoint the faithful as they came out as 2-1 winners against their bitter rivals.

A good run of results followed and Harry Redknapp’s side were now expected to be in the run in for the title come the end of the season.  After a good 0-0 draw at Anfield, Newcastle awaited at White Hart Lane in which was expected to be a close encounter due to Newcastle’s impressive season.  Spurs were incredible on the day and ran out 5-0 winners against a Magpies side who were climbing the table themselves.  The result sent out a message to Arsenal who played hosts to Tottenham a week later. 

When all seemed to be on the up, it all went desperately wrong in the most humiliating circumstances for Spurs.  They started the game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium like a house on fire and cruised into a 2-0 lead, unfortunately for Redknapp the Gunners woke up.  By the time the final whistle echoed around the stadium Arsenal had smashed in 5 goals and the Spurs side that so often controlled games were ripped to pieces by their most bitter of rivals.  Despite this Harry took it on the chin and acknowledged that his side were still in a very good position to maintain their Champions League spot even though a title challenge was now out of the question.

Two more defeats followed and all of a sudden the nerves were jangling at White Hart Lane as their neighbours who had beaten them two weeks prior were now putting a good run together, the gap had been closed.  Their poor form had ran parallel to the current England national team situation, Fabio Capello had had a falling out at the FA and eventually handed in his resignation therefore opting against leading England at the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.  Did Redknapp see this as an opportunity to land the role that so many had tipped him for?

Press conferences came thick and fast for Harry and with the fixtures piling up due to it being the business end of the season he was constantly being asked about the vacant role at Wembley.  He was saying all the right things but surely the players would be affected by repetitive speculation that their manager would not be continuing the project beyond the end of this season.  Some players will obviously react differently to others, Gareth Bale for instance gave an interview where he stated that he wouldn’t blame Redknapp for going due to it being a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Senior players may look at it differently, would the next manager really put up with Ledley Kings injury problems and declining ability to command the back four?

The fact is that since the England speculation has cropped up, Tottenham have been uncharacteristic in their performances.  Their fluid, attacking style of play has turned into a team that just look open to the counter attack whenever the opposition get the ball.  This was perfectly demonstrated against Norwich at home of Sunday, the Canaries bullied Spurs and hit them on the break and by doing this they caused one of the biggest upsets of the season by winning 2-1 at the Lane.

Despite all the doom and gloom around White Hart Lane they still cling onto their Champions League position on goal difference and this was the target for Redknapp before the season but due to their flying start to the campaign the Spurs faithful has become restless.  If Harry Redknapp fails in his bid to propel Spurs back into the Champions League and eventually takes England to the European Championships his work at the North London side must not go unnoticed.  He took over when they were considered a crisis club and today they are iconic in the style of football they play and are simply a joy to watch.  The measure of the job he has done is the reason why every English man and woman who wants their national team to succeed wants him in change by the time England take on France on the 11th June.

Alex Smith

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