Sunday, 24 April 2016

Harry Redknapp broke my glasses

Harry Redknapp took our club into the Champions League and for that I will be forever grateful but my rose-tinted spectacles have finally cracked.

Countless times I've defended his Tottenham reign when others have belittled his achievements but I cannot stand by his comments in this week's London Evening Standard.

Redknapp was responding to Ledley King's claim that this Spurs team is better than his.

While he modestly agrees with our former skipper, the way he goes about it totally undermines the good work Mauricio Pochettino has done at the club.

He said: "Mauricio has done a great job but their success has been the emergence of good players exceeding all expectations. 

"Nobody could have predicted Harry Kane would suddenly become the player he is today. We knew he was good but after so many loan spells, you couldn’t claim he was going to take the Premier League by storm."

Sorry, ‘Arry but it's not some incredible twist of fortune that sees a group of players all reaching their potential at the same time. For a start, they are all different ages and have been at the club different lengths of time.

But more impressive is that so many of them are ahead of schedule. 

The fact that Kane (22), Dele Alli (20), Eric Dier (22), Erik Lamela (24), Kyle Walker (25), Danny Rose (25) and even Mousa Dembele (28) are in the form of their lives is entirely because of good coaching - not regardless of it.

Sure, Pochettino came into a side packed full of promise but we didn't see any other managers getting best out of it, so much so that huge transfer fees have been wasted as huge stars like Roberto Soldado and Paulinho failed to find their feet.

If Kane was not firing under previous bosses, and after multiple loan spells, it speaks volumes for Pochettino - who not only gave him his first real run in the team but also capitalised on his initial run of form to set him on an upwards trajectory that, frankly, doesn't seem to have a limit. 

Redknapp also contradicts himself, claiming Poch's famous double training sessions  aren't a key factor.

"If they were," he says, "Rochdale would fly up the divisions."

But then goes on to label all of Spurs' players "incredible athletes".

He adds:  "Rose and Walker can run all day. Kane never stops for breath and Dembele is up and down in the midfield engine room."

But these players were not always tearing teams to shreds in the latter stages of games - in fact all those players he mentioned have looked at some point like their potential may never be fully realised. So surely their improved fitness and form has at least something to do with the training? 

I'm a big fan of Harry's and what he did for our club. Two top-four finishes, turned around what looked like a relegation campaign, League Cup final, FA Cup semi and Champions League quarter-finals.

People still belittle his success at the club just because we fell away at the back end of a difficult season and because, god forbid, he showed some interest in the England job. 

Redknapp did a lot for the club. - nobody can convince me otherwise - but he would surely baulk at the suggestion Gareth Bale's emergence had nothing at all to do with him.

Harry was a king of making players feel good about themselves - massaging their egos so that even nervous youngsters became the most precocious talent.

He helped Bale overturn a 24-game winless start to his Spurs career and gave him the confidence to score a hat-trick in the San Siro and tear a certain Brazilian right-back to shreds - thus christening this blog.

The same goes for Danny Rose, Redknapp gave him his debut and he used it to score an absolute wonder goal in a marquee 2-1 win over Arsenal in April 2010.

Redknapp’s key strength was as a motivator and he could make players feel like they were capable of anything.

So he above all should know that good coaching makes all the difference to potential - and that Spurs would not be where they are without even better coaching methods than when he was in charge.

And that is exactly what we've got.

If that's a struggle to come to terms with then so be it.

Follow Taxi For Maicon on Twitter @Taxi_For_Maicon

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