x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Redknapp awaits the sales

A recurrent theme in Tottenham's season has been the requirement to undo the damage done in the summer and autumn. On and off the field, it continues.

A recurrent theme in Tottenham's season has been the requirement to undo the damage done in the summer and autumn. On and off the field, it continues. Encouragement can be drawn from their form under Harry Redknapp yet, courtesy of a lamentable start under Juande Ramos, only goal difference separates them from a place in the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, the sacked director of football Damien Comolli's legacy explains the pursuit of Stewart Downing and Craig Bellamy. Tottenham are looking to rectify a lack of balance and end their shortage of strikers. They have scored a solitary goal in their last three Premier League games but, even with David Bentley out of position on the left and both Darren Bent and Roman Pavlyuchenko out of form in attack, their drought could be shortlived with a trip to the Hawthorns today.

West Bromwich Albion have been endearingly but injudiciously open at times. For Redknapp, irritated by the lack of space Fulham afforded his playmaker Luka Modric on Friday, they may prove ideal opponents. His rhetoric indicates the principal source of concern, once the defence, is now the attack. Even the likely absence of the defender Ledley King is countered by the return of Jonathan Woodgate while Heurelho Gomes' improved form may lessen the need for goalkeeping reinforcements.

Yet reminders that, 12 months ago, Bent was the fourth-choice forward, coupled with the enduring question of whether Pavlyuchenko will settle, means a goal for either against an Albion defence deprived of the injured Abdoulaye Meite would be timely. Replacements are imminent, even if Redknapp's stock response is to downgrade expectations. "Where do you find a top striker at this point of the season?" he asked. "Who is going to sell? I need four."

December has been endured but, however hard he pretends otherwise, January is a month that a shopaholic such as Redknapp enjoys. rjolly@thenational.ae