x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Redknapp has nothing to lose

Tottenham Hotspur yesterday took the drastic step of dispensing with their controversial European management setup and handed total control of the team and transfers to Harry Redknapp.

Tottenham Hotspur yesterday took the drastic step of dispensing with their controversial European management setup and handed total control of the team and transfers to Harry Redknapp. The departure of the manager Juande Ramos, along with the sporting director Damien Comolli along with the coach Gus Poyet and assistant Marcos Alvarez, was no surprise but their simultaneous move to appoint Harry Redknapp as replacement to the Spaniard could not have been anticipated outside White Hart Lane's inner circle.

Supporters had blamed the chairman Daniel Levy and Comolli for Spurs languishing at the bottom of the Premier League with just two points from eight matches - their worst start to a season in 100 years of league football. "In Harry, we are accepting with his appointment that now is the right time for us to move back to a more traditional style of football management at our club," Levy said. Levy said Ramos, who lasted less than a year in the job, had run out of time to turn things round as Spurs were faced with a relegation battle and had lost their opening Uefa Cup game.

Redknapp, 61, admitted to being in the "comfort zone" on the England's South Coast at Portsmouth after guiding the club to FA Cup glory last season, but the challenge of reviving a fallen giant like Spurs proved too much to resist. The Londoner's favourable response to Spurs, who have paid £5million (Dh29.2m) in compensation to Spurs, indicated that he still has the desire to make at least one more impression on a sport that has served him well.

And the man who earned the nickname "Harry Houdini" for performing acts of escapology in previous jobs will be aware that there is everything to gain from guiding his new club to safety. Redknapp initially thought it was a hoax message from Spurs, but once he established it was for real felt it was a challenge he could not turn down. "I just thought maybe it was time to move on and Tottenham are a big, big club," he said.

"I thought 'let's just give it a go before it is too late.' «It is a tough job, they are bottom of the league, so let's see what we can do." For Ramos, dismissal marked the end of exactly 12 monthsin command - a year which started superbly with an unexpected victory over London rivals Chelsea in the Carling Cup final but one that has gone into sharp decline since. @Email:wjohnson@thenational.ae Tottenham v Bolton, s4