When Harry Redknapp took the reigns at White Hart Lane in 2008, Spurs were bottom of the league. Fast-forward two seasons and they were playing in the quarter-finals of the Champion’s League.
The North Londoners were unlucky not to qualify for this year’s Champion’s League, after finishing 4th in the league they had their place snatched by 6th place Chelsea’s triumph, becoming the champions of Europe secured them automatic qualification to defend it.
The season before they had been edged out of the top-four due to the insurgence of big-spenders Manchester City but for a side that hasn’t won the top-tier title in 51 years years, they’re giving it a good go.
Last season Redknapp said of his Spurs, “The title is a possibility.”
He, perhaps, spoke too soon – Spurs suffered a loss of form in the latter stages of the season, which saw them lose out to Arsenal for third place – the last safe Champion’s League place. But can they win the title this season?
Redknapp thinks so:
“He’s got the players there to be a top four team every year and challenge for the championship. That’s my opinion. They have got the ability there and I think that will happen.”
I’ll go out on a limb and say probably not this season – last Saturday’s victory at Old Trafford was AVB’s first big test. Only time will tell if he can guide his Spurs to glory. Especially, as he inherited a side that was doomed to lose it’s key playmaker – after Luka Modric unsurprisingly departed for Real Madrid this summer.
But the former Chelsea manager is accustomed to winning – he won the Europa League trophy with his Porto side before his less than fruitful move to Stamford Bridge.
He’s hungry for success and, after his failures at Chelsea, he’ll be looking to atone with Spurs and disprove his doubters.
Tottenham will likely struggle to compete for the Premier League title this year – but I wouldn’t be surprised if they found their success on the continent.
It’s probably too early to say, but I’d be inclined to suggest that fourth Champion’s League spot will be occupied by a North London club come May.
It’s down to AVB to make sure it’s his Spurs’ and not Arsenal’s.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald