Could he really leave mid-season?
Well, I have Fabio Capello to thank for two things today: first of all, potentially screwing my team out of a smooth run in during the latter stages of their Premier League campaign this year, and secondly for rendering huge swathes of a very long article I'd written today redundant. Cheers on all counts my friend. In the name of delivering content, however, I am determined to provide this site with something today, so here are some of my immediate reactions to the possibility of losing Redknapp and some thoughts for the future for you to chew over, discuss and ultimately dismiss as sheer madness.
1. What will happen to Bale's development from here on in?
We've all noticed it. This site's authors have spilled an intensive amount of cyber-ink over it. Even Redknapp himself has confirmed it. Gareth Bale is no longer an out-and-out winger any more, largely thanks to Redknapp's hands-off, player ability-lead approach this season. Though he often ventures out wide to provide the killer cross, in recent games Bale has started to drift inside and function almost as an attacking CAM who uses his pace and vision to provide stunning goals. What will happen if Redknapp does take the England job and is replaced by a manager who takes a more traditional approach to lining his players up?
Certainly, if it was Capello himself taking over in a straight swap, Bale would be shunted out wide back into the position he plays best in on paper, with his more spontaneous tendancies encouraged out of him (and cheers for absolutely wasting Steven Gerrard at the World Cup that way too Fabio. Come to think of it I really don't like the guy that much at all any more). This would obviously go against the path that young Bale is starting to forge for himself under Redknapp's intuitive style of play. Clearly it's highly unlikely that Capello will actually be at the helm of Spurs come next season, but it's still a pertinent question considering how many managers share his style.
2. Would a new manager-chairman dynamic overhaul our transfer policy?
Clearly, as far our movements in the transfer market over the past few years can be used as a telling insight, Redknapp and Levy have quite an odd relationship. From time to time, Redknapp seems as able as any manager to lay down the law and force through the signings he wants. Equally however, there are times when he seems completely clueless as to which players we're keeping and getting rid of, as his general befuddlement during the Luka to Chelsea saga illustrated. All in all it seems that Levy isn't all as in favour of a singular approach to transfers as he claimed to have been when he abolished the Director of Football role around the time of his appointment of Redknapp; indeed, when it comes to bringing in players as well as stopping our stars from leaving, Levy seems pretty much like the only person who truly knows what's going on.
What I'm starting to wonder is whether a new manager would change this state of affairs. As a matter of fact, I would put some kind of money on the Director of Football position being reinstated and the new manager having even less autonomy over transfers. Look at the facts now: the key members of our first team are all products of Comolli's scouting during his time at Spurs. In an era of Manchester City throwing silly money around for the Agueros of this world, a shrewd Director of Football might be necessary to help secure the type of low-cost, high-return signings that Spurs would need to make to keep up with the pack leaders. All in all, bad experiences with Comolli might come to bear on the way Levy restructures the Spurs staff if Redknapp leaves. Bear with me on this one, people. I think it might have legs.
3. Would you even want a Mourinho-type at Spurs?
It sounds like borderline idiotic question. Why would I not want Levy to usher in a manager who could change the fortunes of our club in a way we could never have anticipated in recent years and launch Spurs to the pinnacle of European football. Well, I've been doing some intense soul-searching in the, oh, six or so hours I've had since the news about Capello broke, and I just don't know if I could come around to being used to having a big name manager at the helm of Spurs. It all comes back to the point someone made about clubs having personalities of their own that someone made a few months back when the possibility of signing Carlos Tevez was being floated around this site.
I really truly do believe that Spurs has an identity of it's own, and for me Tottenham has never been a club where the name of the gaffer had a more immediate impact on people than those on the team sheet. When a manager as big-name as Mourinho, Capello, Louis van Gaal or the like comes in, this idea becomes untenable, lost in the face of the expectations and assumptions that come with such figures. So the minute people started to think of Spurs as a vehicle for a Special One, I'd feel something had been lost. No-one, manager included, should be bigger than the club and I'm not sure I could reconcile myself with the media emphasis on the fortunes of the ‘new Mourinho team'. For me, being a Spurs fan has always been more about deflating those types of clubs, and I can't even see a drastic improvement in the results we achieve taking away that feeling. Perhaps this is the kind of issue that requires address in a longer piece for another day, but for the purposes of this instant reaction piece I feel it bears at least throwing out there for consideration.
4. Dear God, please don't let it be Bond and Jordan for the rest of the season
Our squad needs a leader they can get behind this season and work to impress this season. Assistant manager Kevin Bond and First Team Coach Joe Jordan are not that leader. First of all for the obvious reason that they are two people, but for not smartasses out there I'd also like to point out that their direction has seen Spurs flounder even when we've been playing at our most supremely confident. Against Fulham, even when winning 3-1, we looked at best bereft of rhythm and cohesion; against Liverpool, we looked like we didn't have a plan that went any deeper than ‘sweet Jesus just keep it out of the goal'. Under Bond and Jordan we have alsowitnessed such madness as Sandro being brought on when we need a goal.
Clearly, the two men are not strong or assertive enough to shape and enforce a game plan on the Spurs side when they need some direction; they seem clueless as to how to turn the tide of a game and cannot inspire any of the swagger and confidence out of the side that we've seen elsewhere, and for these reasons I cannot conceive of a situation more horrifying than them taking the reigns even for the last few months of the campaign.