World Soccer views and news
So what now for Tottenham?
A seismic weekend at Tottenham resulted in the ruthless cull of Juande Ramos and his coaching team and the sacking of director of football Damien Comolli.
Harry Redknapp was then hired as the club’s new manager just hours before the north London club claimed a first league victory of the season against Bolton.
However, their league position is still precarious (they are bottom, a point worse off than Newcastle) and there are many Spurs fans who are uncomfortable with the appointment
Not just because Redknapp has strong connections with West Ham United, but because his main attribute appears to be guiding average sides away from relegation.
Apart from last year’s FA Cup victory with Portsmouth, the 61-year-old Redknapp’s CV highlights are none too impressive.
Sure, he saved Portsmouth from relegation a few years ago and will probably have enough tricks up his sleeve to get Tottenham into mid-table by the end of the season.
But, what then? Is Redknapp really the man that can make Tottenham a force again? Can anybody?
It is a stark admission of failure by chairman Daniel Levy that he has gone back to basics after several unsuccessful attempts to discover Tottenham’s own “Arsene Wenger”.
Since Wenger took charge of Arsenal in 1996, Spurs have entrusted Swiss Christian Gross, Frenchman Jacques Santini, Dutchman Martin Jol and Spaniard Juande Ramos with trying to close the gap on their north London rivals.
Quite frankly, apart from Jol who turned Tottenham into a serious league force and came within 90 minutes of taking the club into the Champions League, the flirtations with European coaches have been a disaster.
The appointment of Redknapp also spells the end of Levy’s preference for a European-style management structure. There will be no director of football and Redknapp has made it clear that only players he wants will be in the squad.
What many fans cannot understand is why Jol, who guided Spurs to consecutive fifth-placed finishes, was not allowed the same responsibility.
Instead, he was undermined by Comolli and eventually sacked — a decision that now appears to have put the club back years.
Tottenham play Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday and thousands of Spurs fans, whether they admit it or not, will be looking on with envy and asking the nagging question, “What if Wenger had chosen the other half of north London?”
Redknapp may provide some instant comfort but sadly, Tottenham fans seem destined for many more years of pain.
PHOTO: New Spurs boss Redknapp comes out of the tunnel ahead of his side’s game against Bolton Wanderers. Oct.26 REUTERS/Kieran Doherty