The Two-Face Perspective
What do we think of Harry?
Harvey Dent: Redknapp, the miracle worker. He’ll save Spurs. He’s the right man for the wrong circumstance the club finds its self in.
Two-Face: But is he the right man to take Spurs forward?
Harvey Dent: If by forward you mean avoid relegation, then yes.
Two-Face: And beyond that? Then what?
Harvey Dent: How about avoiding relegation before realigning club ambitions. This is damage limitation. It’s the afterbirth of the fabled Director of Football system and it can’t just be swept under the carpet. There’s no quick and easy impromptu kick-start that will propel the club back to where the fans and chairman want it to be. It won’t happen overnight and it won’t happen easily.
Two-Face: I get it. This isn’t Harry’s fault. He’s come in to do a job and clean up the mess. But this is Tottenham, not Portsmouth.
Harvey Dent: And your point is?
Two-Face: We need not forget who we are and the traditions we have so being linked to the likes of Bellamy and Bullard and even Zamora, make me taste my own puke. And with my face, that’s saying something if I can taste vomit.
Harvey Dent: Forget who we are? Would that be a club that aspires to heights we hardly ever reach? Martin Jol’s 5th placed side has long been dismantled. Take away those two seasons, and we are nothing more than under-achievers, based on those aspirations and the transfer money spent on new acquisitions. Massive underachievers. Pompey were almost relegated, and Harry pulled them from the depths and within touching distance of Champions League football. Surely you’ll take that?
Two-Face: But at what expense? Redknapp is no master tactician or managerial genius. He isn’t known for taking the raw materials he has at his disposal and moulding them into a winning mentality. That old more than the sum of their parts trick isn’t in his repertoire.
Harvey Dent: What?
Two-Face: For Harry to succeed he has to gut the squad he has and then bring in players of his own liking, until the right balance is in place for the side to achieve its goal. In this case, mid-table.
Harvey Dent: Hate to point out the obvious, but he has the same players Ramos had at his disposal and has managed to notch up 18 points compared to Juandes 2. I’d say that’s pretty decent managerial skill right there.
Two-Face: So, we are settling for avoiding relegation, and that’s all? A team built to finish above the bottom three. Then what? What happens after that? We settle for a mediocre side who probably won’t punch above 8th or 7th place?
Harvey Dent: Mediocre? Like the one we have at the minute?
Two-Face: I think we both agree that the current side is bare bones. A skeleton crew with a handful of players that should not have been purchased in the first place. Rather than build a team we've bough players who only function in different roles and formations and never in the same one together as a single unit.
Harvey Dent: Which makes it commendable that Harry turned it around so quickly. Seems the knee-jerk thing to do is wheel out the wheelbarrow of despair because we dropped points against Newcastle, Fulham and WBA. Don’t forget, we are in the position we are in because of the start we had. So when we do drop points, it’s magnified tenfold because we can’t afford to do so based on the clubs around us being on similar totals. But that isn’t Harry’s fault, now is it?
Two-Face: Are you saying he is immune to criticism just because of his initial impact?
Harvey Dent: No, of course not.
Harvey Dent: People’s perception of events can have drastic reactions, from good to bad, when things go for or against us. Look, he had a wonderful start to life at Spurs. We rode our luck, but that was more than can be said for when Ramos was at t he helm. But in no way were we playing brilliantly. Certain individuals improved, others haven’t. There are still problems with our strike force (or lack of) and the balance through the midfield is still fragile and not up to the long haul task of climbing the table. So the moment we drop two points or more, why should Harry get the blame?
Two-Face: Because the tactics, the formation and selection is his responsibility. If we’ve stagnated, which we have, and the players are failing to give their all, then the manager should be aiming to get a reaction from them. I expected one at WBA after the Fulham game. We didn’t get it, regardless of the referee and sending off, the display was inept. Something all too often tagged with Spurs teams – regardless of the manager or players present at the time.
Harvey Dent: There’s a good chance Harry has done as much as he can do with the players he has.
Two-Face: Do you really believe that?
Harvey Dent: We need an injection, in the form of a new forward and definitely a left-winger. Don’t underestimate what a couple of new players will do for the side. Yes, we have our fair share of prima donnas and players with their heads firmly in the clouds. This has been a deep routed problem at Spurs for years and years. Far too many individuals who believe their own hype and the hype that has surrounded the club for far too long. It’s a comfort zone that some take advantage of, and almost wait for someone else to do the deep digging for them. Seems at Spurs it’s ok to be half a defensive midfielder, but still play in every game, or be a player with huge potential but with each passing season come nowhere near to fulfilling it.
Two-Face: You haven’t answered my question.
Harvey Dent: Patience. Harry cited the necessity, the requirement of having proper players in the team. Players not engulfed in vanity or bogged down with self-importance based on their haircuts. Players who will get stuck in and understand that sitting on 20 points just above the bottom three is a relegation battle, one that requires men with balls of steel and not fluffy scared kittens more interested licking their balls.
Two-Face: Do kittens lick their balls? I thought that was dogs?
Harvey Dent: It’s just a metaphor.
Two-Face: Bit of a mess that. Like your argument. If Harry requires proper players, then why is David Bentley playing every week? By your definition, Bentley is a player who is constantly licking his balls. And the only product you can associate with him is what he puts on his hair. He rarely beats the first man with a set-piece. Doesn’t track back, doesn’t do much in fact that helps the team. He’s like a good looking version of Andy Reid. Slim, a little taller with highlights in his hair. In fact, arguably, he isn’t even as good as Andy Reid. At least Reid can play in more than one position.
Harvey Dent: Let’s not scapegoat.
Two-Face: No, no. Let’s not. This isn’t about scape-goating. This is based on performances and fact. David Bentley? What does he do exactly? Not much at the moment. Is Harry’s genius man-management skills based on playing David every game because he’s bound to regain form at some point? Did the club not try that with Robinson last season? Granted, it’s worked with Gomes, but keepers are funny creatures. Outfield players can easily be replaced. What type of message does it send out if Bentley is undroppable to the likes of O’Hara and anyone else for that matter who sits on the bench or worse? Bentley is the personification of all that’s average about Spurs at the moment. I’m sure there is a good player in there somewhere. But it doesn’t help matters that the player himself believes he is great when he is merely just good.
Harvey Dent: In defence of Bentley, he has little support and nobody to pass too, but sure, form wise regardless of reasons, I agree. But maybe Boateng or whoever genuinely isn’t the right answer for us and Harry knows.
Two-Face: Why? How do you know that? Is he really that unimpressive in training and for the reserves? Surely he should be given a start, if anything, to allow Bentley the time for some much needed soul-searching. Because at the moment, the Penguin would do a better job out there.
Harvey Dent: So what’s your answer?
Two-Face: Well for a start, it’s not Bellamy. Our stature, even though we have been nothing more than over-glamorised pretenders to the 4th spot, was a lot higher than it is now. We attracted Juande Ramos, one of the most highly rated coaches in Europe. Few in England could have done that.
Harvey Dent: Money. Money can do anything you want it do. And Spurs, fans and club alike, do a mighty fine job of hyping the club beyond its reality. Look, there is no doubt Levy runs the club financially spot on. We are rich. We can always compete in the transfer market, and we always buy quality players, amongst all the duffs. But look at what signing Ramos achieved. Cup aside, it didn’t work out and the DoF pulled the club down from the giddy heights achieved under Jol to the brink of utter disaster. So if you consider the amount of times we’ve gone out and signed the ‘right’ manager and ‘right’ players, and yet ended up with zero in the way of progress and success – I can’t see how an old fashion reality check will hurt us.
Two-Face: So going from Modric to Corluka to Bellamy and Downing is fine with you? Do you honestly believe that aiming for a lower-tier in the Premiership just to survive is the way forward? Why not aim higher, survive, and then be able to push on?
Harvey Dent: Here we go again. Isn’t this the fickleness of fans coming into play now? Just above the bottom three, yet you want to consider what we can aim for AFTER we get ourselves out of this relegation dogfight. How about getting out of the dogfight first? And Modric and Corluka were signed in the summer, so Spurs – with or without Redknapp – will always attract this type of quality. Keane and Berbatov have not been replaced effectively at this time, but we probably don’t need to aim that high because it’s not required. A good decent goal scorer is what’s required, and there is no need for it to be a superstar or a sexy signing. Just one that will do the flipping job and do it well. You know, if you add Berbatov and Keane into the current side, we wouldn’t be worried about relegation. As I said earlier, don’t underestimate what an injection of new blood can do. We are missing vital organs, and the transplants are just days away.
Two-Face: You need to work on your analogies and metaphors. As much as Harry and Levy need to work on their signings. Bellamy for £8M? Downing for £15M?
Harvey Dent: Downing gets linked to Spurs for £15M every single season, so I don’t get your problem with this.
Two-Face: So, these are the proper players Redknapp wants? Sounds like another Bentley signing. Superflous.
Harvey Dent: Then what do we go for? Another Pav or Modric? We can’t afford to do that. We need players who will fit in from the off and Redknapp knows that. We’ll know for sure once the transfer window opens. Everything until then is nothing more than hearsay and gossip.
Two-Face: And Harry gets us out of trouble with these signings, then what?
Harvey Dent: Again, why does everything have to fall into a 3-4 year plan? At the moment, there is no plan other than getting ourselves into a stable position. Once we are stable, then we can go about signing what we consider better quality players. But we are not in the position or have the luxury to do so at the moment. Once we are in a healthy state, then we will. And remember, Harry’s stay at Spurs might well be short term. He will only take us so far, and it’s probably a given that Harry and Levy both know this. The next man in, will hopefully inherit a good side, top end of the table, consistent and going places (again).
Two-Face: So, we sacked Ramos because he couldn’t get the best out of the team he had, which is the same team Harry has. So arguably, you could say the players react better to Harry than they did with Ramos, but as a group are still not good enough. Which is possibly down to Levy and Comolli. And thus are beginning to struggle again because Harry can do so much with so little.
Harvey Dent: You’re obviously leading up to something with this.
Two-Face: If Ramos had the right players then it might have worked.
Harvey Dent: It didn’t work. Whatever the reasons, whether it was communication or he disliked living in England or if it was purely footballing matters, it did not work out. We got what we thought were the right players although everyone will always blame the departures of Keane and Berbatov as being the downfall. Which is not something most would disagree with.
Two-Face: Ok, so we sign yet more strikers. But surely we needed to bring in a manager who is tactically astute to the level Ramos was?
Harvey Dent: He wasn’t tactically astute for us.
Two-Face: You know what I mean. Harry praises Zamora in the press. Admits to telling Pav to ‘run around a lot’. To go from Top 4 pretenders/contenders to hiring and firing Ramos which might not have happened had Comolli and Levy replaced Keane and Berbatov properly, and end up fighting relegation with Redknapp at the helm and being linked to the type of players we would never be linked with. It’s just not right.
Harvey Dent: Are we covering old ground again?
Two-Face: We might buy journeymen or stop-gap players but this isn’t the same ethos the club has had in recent years and it won’t place us anywhere near Villa’s consistency or City’s financial clout.
Harvey Dent: You make no sense. City will outbid anyone they choose. Villa, without the hype, have slowly and gradually built their way to their current position. No big name superstars in their team by the way.
Two-Face: So Levy has also scrapped the sell-on value ethos, by looking to bring in the likes of Bellamy that won’t have any value after a season or two.
Harvey Dent: Ok, we are definitely going over old ground now. Fact of the matter is, under the previous ethos and system, we were heading downwards. It simply wasn’t working. We’ve played well under Harry. Reclaimed some form and pride. We were unlucky against Newcastle. The Fulham game simply illustrated what we need to acquire in January. And the same can be said about the WBA game, which we probably would not have lost on another day. All this talk about Ramos and what if he had two decent strikers is bullshit, because Harry is in the same position. Compare the two.
You notice the difference? Redknapp had the far more difficult games to get through. So lay the ghost of Ramos to bed once and for all. All that we should be concerned about is being a Prem League side cometh the summer. Then, with the guiding help of Levy, Redknapp knowing he is at a far bigger club (with no disrespect meant) to his previous clubs, will be able to aim much higher in the way of transfer targets, with the luxury of time on his side for any bedding in of foreign acquisitions. At the moment, we needed fighters and we need experience. We don’t fight relegation often, so there is no pussy-footing around the matter. No room for mistakes. The current lot don't look fit for it.
Two-Face: Ok. But do we agree that in the long term, Redknapp is not the answer?
Harvey Dent: Harry is known for one or two things. He makes smaller clubs ‘bigger’. He spends a lot of money on a lot of players. Nobody knows what he will be able to achieve at a bigger than small club like Spurs. We are about to find out. And if you look at the players he signed for Pompey (Defoe, Diarra, Johnson, Campbell, James, Crouch) it’s not all Bellamys and Zamoras, is it?
Two-Face: So, he leaves in a few seasons with us in mid-table with an ageing squad with no sell-on value and a new stadium about to be built. Cost of surviving relegation I guess?
Harvey Dent: Let’s wait and see who he signs in January. He’ll make some shrewd signings for sure, but he won’t just make them for the sake of it. They will fix the problems at hand, and surely that’s all that matters.
Two-Face: So he isn’t the long term answer then?
Harvey Dent: He’s a wheeler dealer cockney cheeky chappy. Not a tactical genius. He’s been brought in for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to steady a sinking ship whilst Levy evaluates his position, club structure (no more DoF) and the development of the new ground. Then, with or without Levy and Redknapp, the club will once more aspire for greater things.
Two-Face: Maybe we should aspire to be more like Everton and Villa. Consistent without the constant demand for precision attack minded football. Win ugly more often than not. Sacrifice glory football for bread and butter results.
Harvey Dent: That’s not Tottenham. And it never will be.
Two-Face: Guess not.
Inspired by the boys over at Glory Glory.co.uk