The changes needed for Spurs to start flying again

The changes needed for Spurs to start flying again


Following on from the crushing defeats to both Manchester teams, Daniel Levy must surely be considering the position of Harry Redknapp at Tottenham.

United and City will probably be competing for the title this season, but the pathetic manner in which we capitulated in both fixtures demonstrates the difference in class and also highlights the lack of improvement over the last season.

Spurs had a great run in the Champions League last year, Harry and the lads won many plaudits for their work, but ever since Real Madrid knocked us out we haven’t come close to recapturing any creditable form.

Two wins in our last fifteen League games is unacceptable form for a club of our stature and with one of the largest squads in the Premiership, Spurs fans expect more.

This season we’ve continued where we left off. We have no plan B and a group of players on the pitch showing no confidence or togetherness.

Spurs were unfortunate that the Everton game was called off. A win against David Moyes men would have offered a platform to build on, but a victory over the stretched Toffees’ squad would have just papered over the cracks at Spurs.

Now that the club are addressing the dead wood issue, there is no reason why we can’t also use the Champions League money to change all that is failing at White Hart Lane.

These are the changes I would like to see:

STAFF – I admire Harry Redknapp for the work he’s done whilst at Spurs, but I now feel that the club has to appoint another coach. Tactically I feel Redknapp falls short of other managers and I no longer believe he can get the best from this group of players.

Spurs now require a coach who can work out a system to accommodate our top players and doesn’t select the same players each week and then hope for the best after ninety minutes.

There are many different managerial options available. Some with more experience than others. Personally I would like to see Martin O’Neil, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, or Dave Moyes considered.

These managers all have different qualities, but I admire their determination and winning mentality, they all have good tactical awareness and are often happy to use youngsters when necessary.

A managerial change would also allow the club to replace the current coaches we employ. There must be an issue with the coaching of our players, as we have many technically gifted individuals that often have no tactical awareness when they step onto the pitch.

Our defenders make positional errors time and time again. Our wide midfielders look one-dimensional and our strikers can’t play together and continually make the wrong choices in front of goal.

Tottenham also have a terrible injury record, so there has to be an issue with the physio department or the training methods. Jonathan Woodgate is playing games for Stoke, as is Jamie O’Hara at Wolves, yet these players never left the treatment room at Spurs.

After all the disappointments in the transfer market we should also appoint a director of football again. This would allow the manager and chairman to concentrate on their own roles once more.

Although Frank Arneson and Damien Comolli received criticism during their time with Spurs, overall their work was successful.

Liverpool have benefited from appointing Damien Comolli and are starting to develop a strong and well balanced squad with a British spine of players.

PLAYERS – The club needs to look at the way we manage our playing staff. Now that league rules dictate squad size for clubs, it is imperative that we have a squad of fully fit players.

Ledley King is a hero in my opinion and the best English centre back when he plays, but sadly his playing days are over and the time has come to offer Ledley a coaching role at the club, as we need players we can rely on to be fit.
Manchester United cut their losses on Owen Hargreaves, because Sir Alex knew he needed a full squad of players to challenge in all competitions. We should learn from the master on this subject even if it does pull on the heart strings.

Another lesson we can learn from United is how to develop our youngsters so that they reach their maximum potential.

Harry has earmarked the Europa League for this purpose, and players such as Walker, Rose, Townsend, Livermore, and Kane will hopefully blossom with their exposure to this competition.

Following the woeful performances in the Premiership in the last fifteen games, the club should also use the Europa League to experiment with our other players.

If Gareth Bale continues to look out of sorts on the left wing then why not try and play him in the centre of midfield? Wales have played him there and he certainly has all the attributes required.

Other options would be Corluka or Kaboul in a defensive role, or even Kyle Walker at right wing? Through experimenting we found a new position for Danny Rose and by using the whole squad we can improve team morale and create competition for places.

TRANSFERS – If Spurs won’t re-appoint a director of football or change the manager in the near future then Daniel Levy needs to make strong decisions in the transfer market to strengthen the club.

The sales in this transfer window were very important, with approximately £25 million received and at least £250,000 a week removed from the wage bill.

The trimming of the squad will hopefully bring the group closer together and will also allow more freedom in the transfer market in the near future.

There also needs to be a closer working relationship between chairman and manager; who didn’t seem to know what stage transfers were at, which was evident in his countless interviews.

What’s clear to all fans is that any potential players we purchase in the future must improve the squad significantly. Recent targets such as Beckham, Phil Neville, Craig Bellamy, or Joe Cole don’t fit into this category.

The signing of Emanuel Adebayor was vitally important for the club even if the player’s attitude is questionable.
The Togolese striker has plenty to prove, but as us Spurs fans know, he can unplayable at times.

The signing of Scott Parker will add grit to the midfield, and regardless of the player’s age he is an improvement on Jermain Jenas.

The sale of Peter Crouch to Stoke demonstrated to Spurs’ remaining strikers that no-one is safe and they have until January to prove their worth to the club.

Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe are now playing for their futures and whichever striker doesn’t raise their game should be sacrificed for the prolific Brazilian Leandro Damiao.

After terrible defensive displays in the league so far maybe we do need to bring in a commanding figure such as Gary Cahill and Spurs will try again in January.

Bolton’s valuation was too high though for a player with only a year left on his contract and Spurs will now have to compete with other clubs who will surely be interested in the England international.

There were no moves for Giovanni Dos Santos or Niko Kranjcar either so they now have a great opportunity to impress the manager and justify fans requests for their inclusion in the squad.

Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon have yet to hit form, so the extra competition will hopefully benefit the club.


  1. I agree with much of what you say. I believe there are clear indications that the relationship between Levy and Harry has broken down somewhat. Rather than drag out what from a distance looks like an unhealthy situation, it may well be time for Harry to step aside for a coach with more modern ideas.
    I will most likely be howled down here, but for me VDV’s signing has not necessarily been a good one.

  2. vdv scored all of our important goals last season (Bale too) so I am a little perplexed at this kind of view.. when Defoe lost his bottle vdvd stepped up. Penalties assists goals and is the only man skilled enough at spurs to know where crouch would head a ball.. at wolfsburg (international cv alone) he was the man, if rednapp has the inability to get players around him to fine tune there games tham that is a coaching issue. Defoe was sold for a reason but like most things rednapp. fans only see the sun coming out of his a****!!!

  3. I think you’ve managed to see everything one wya – a couple of things to pick out.
    – Woodgate played lots of games for us before breaking down again.
    – Harry not knowing the stage of transfers is normal. He isn’t going to tell the press the details and he will tell Levy what he wants and leave him to it anyway.
    – A tactically unaware manager doesn’t beat the teams we beat (Arsenal, AC, Liv, Inter etc) althoguh he isn’t the BEST, he’s not the worst.
    – The reason we have fallen behind Mancs and Liv (Still not too sure we’ve fallen behind liv) is because of the money they can pay in wages.

    Although I don’t whole heartedly disagree with you, I don’t think the article is very well balanced, almost a case of making stats say what you want them to say.

  4. A good write-up. VDV was a good signing in my view, but I agree he should be used sparingly. We needed someone like Scott Parker, as playing against City without a holding player showed how suicidal and utterly naive our tactics were. I don’t think Nico, Gio and Pav have a future at the club, as the January window will probably demonstrate. Someone tell me why we couldn’t pay what Bolton wanted for Cahill and be done with it? Enough money was made from the outgoings.

  5. I agree with the sentiments concerning VDV. He is great when on form and everybody else is playing his game. But unfortunately that seems to generally not suit the rest of the team most of the time. for the squad to rotate it needs to have more than one plan. The team needs to play in different formations and be less predictable.
    I have written this in a few places and will continue to do so. If we have to have a 25 man squad it has to have a lot of good all rounders and just a few specialists. Especially Spurs as we tend to have older players, they will be sidelined through injury and we need to be able to cover them. At one point last season we had about 8 banged up players we need to have people to cover them.. the kids maybe .. is that allowed?

  6. Good article- also think Harry has done the best he can(and a good fist of it) but now treading water until court case and/or England job- We dont have the dosh that Citeh and Manure or Chelski have and so cant compete on their level. Realistically we are fighting Pool, Stoke,the Barcodes, and l’Arse for European places (inc 4th) . Is it me or do our physio people seem to be over busy with player injuries -are our training programmes too heavy or can’t they just cant get them fit enough?

  7. After a day of listening to Talksport hoping that something big would happen – I was left somewhat crestfallen -was personnally hoping for Samba – but the article does give me some hope that all is not lost.
    I don’t think our season will actually start until we get our best player back (not Modric) when he and Parker can try to shield our very dodgy (defensivly) back four. Unless we can actually get King and/or Gallas back fit we are going to be in deep trouble.
    As mentioned by tb & john now Crouch has left what is VDV going to do without the knockdowns but then I doubt he or Hudd will get in the best line up.
    Friedal, Walker, King, Gallas, Ekotto, Sandro, Parker, Modric, Lennon, Bale, Adebayor.

  8. he is a little bit up his own ass but vdv is a good player he is still proberly our best tatical player from modric dont get me wrong bale is a good player but he is not world class like people think he is when we play the better teams the great defenders mark him out the game he is getting to prodictable with vdv he more clever and now we got scott parker redknapp hes no excuses that we lack a leader

  9. “There were no moves for Giovanni Dos Santos or Niko Kranjcar either so they now have a great opportunity to impress the manager and justify fans requests for their inclusion in the squad. ”

    Fat chance. Harry hates Gio

  10. Good well written article, food for thought, if only someone from the powers was reading! My thoughts – V de V not a bad signing but too much emphasis on always building around him, he could be used a bit more sparingly. Defoe Rarely if ever scores goals that matter, he’ll score two when we are cruising against a poor team but won’t get the equaliser or winner when it matters, no amount of playtime will change that, would prefer to see Pav get more game time, Also keen to see Kane and Coubially ( spelling?) get a run out for more than a few minutes, the League and Europa cups to provide this opportunity. Finally Hary to go? on balance probable yes, but only a proven success in man management to come in, AB will need a lot of love to make him play at the level he was at a couple of years back, There you go now, hope springs eternal but I’ve a feeling its going to be a miserable enough season.

  11. I just dont see a bigt enough improvement in the squad. Yes we have ADebayour but he can be hit and miss thats why his two previous teams didnt want to play him. Parker is ok but not world class and Freidel is 41! I once read a piece in the sporting section of one of the papers that the journalist who I remeber was well experienced, couldn’t belive it when Harry brought in Kevin Bond as a coach. The journalist had apparently watched him at other clubs and said that he was one of the worst football coaches he had ever seen. He was totally shockeed to see him sat next to Harry. I’m sorry but 15 games and 2 wins says it all to me. Rednapp is clueless tactically. We are defo looking at finishing outside the top 6 this season when in reality we should have been capatilising on our 4th finish the season before last. Levy needs to persuade a proven world class manager to take the helm and by persuade I mean pay the millions to him that we would normally reserve for a top player. Harry simply aint going to get us any further up the ladder.

  12. Got to agree that unless Harry gets us back in the CL then I cant see him at the club next season.

    On V der V I reckon Harry should move him to CM and move Modric behind the striker. Frankly I’m tired of seeing the supposed supporting striker collecting the ball from the CB’s. Watch the whole team begin to make more sense. V der V is constantly roaming the whole pitch like a box to box CM so just play him there. Its not like his size matters because Modric has played there last season.

    Also Modric would remain operating between the striker and midfield watch the goals come flying in from our strikers and even Modders might get a few more. Or play a second striker is you dont like Modric either way it works.

  13. Thank you for a well thought out article. Very perceptive: I’ve made this blog one of my favourites.
    Glad you made the point about training and the physios. I cannot understand why we seem to have twice the injuries of other clubs. This dates back many years, as far back as I can recall.
    Surely better warm-ups/warm-downs would help at least.
    As for Ledley, it is ridiculous that he is still classed as a player, much though I respect the guy- I saw his first senior game for Spurs. But he will destroy his knees if he tries to make them stand up to a 90 minute game. Once the cartilage is gone, that’s it. Please quit, Leds. Meanwhile, what is wrong with Gallas?
    Finally, agree totally that Gio should be given a run of games. So, he cut loose a bit when he came to London.
    Tell me what young guy wouldn’t if he found himself in a city full of girls with loads of dosh in his pocket?
    Harry has made his point by ignoring him. Cut him loose, pat him on the back and say he’ll be in the team for a while. His talent is rare.
    My only regret was that Jamie o’Hara left us. He could have done the job Parker was brought in for.

  14. Sorry Alan mate O Hara is ok but only ok, not that Parker is much better but he is better. I think you have wrote a good article until that bit mate. Lets just get behind our team and pray for a season of less injury’s. I f Leders can stay fit and Gallas we have half a chance to push on.

  15. I think the players and Harry must be given until Jan. then we can judge the team, HR, and modders and co. anyone who isnt performing other than our young talent has to go. would love to see cahill,damiao come in jan. bassong and Pav/or JD to go. get VDV to adapt to formation or leave

  16. glad to see that there are a few people having doubts about vdv, a lot of the time he is doing a bentley,he takes a free kick after waiting for our centre backs to arrive in the box then shoots at goal,keeper collects ball -long punt downfield,there are our depleted defence being over run,bang-goal down.all because of a player who over-rates his own importance.for gods sake cross the ball for our cb,s to get thier headers in. forget yourself for once & play for the team.

  17. I belive a 4-2-3-1 formation would be ideal. Providing everyone is fit, my team would be:
    Walker Dawson King Bale
    Sandro Parker
    Lennon vdv Modric

    or we could play 4-3-3:

    Walker Dawson King BAE
    Parker Modric
    vdv Adebayor Bale


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