Is Harry a muppet for not bringing on Pavlyuchenko and Kranjcar earlier against Bolton and indeed earlier on in the season? Or is he a genius for bringing them on when he did and winning the game when he did? I posed this question on the match thread and it is difficult to answer.
Opinions are becoming more polarised on Spurs Community about Harry as a football manger in general and as Spurs manager in particular. Harry Redknapp the new Marmite. You either love him or hate him; you are either a 'In Harry we trust' man or increasingly a 'Harry out' man.
Personally I love Harry but I don't actually like him. I acknowledge our debt to him but I'm hostile to the idea that he 'saved' us. He certainly helped us dig ourselves out of a hole but we were a rising team before he came and Ramos was the temporary blip. Even Juande took us to the Carling Cup final and victory over Chelsea.
I love Harry for his attitude to the game: the emphasis on attack; the delight in classy footballers; his dignity in defeat, and victory; his loyalty to players. He is a good fit for Spurs and came in at the right time and inherited a good squad. His down to earth attitude and the fact that he wasn't Ramos helped a remarkable turn round which has seen us improving in every way over an 18 month period.
My attitude is complicated by the fact that as a result of following Spurs for many years I have come to value stability in both managers and players. You cannot build a team with constant changes of either. So even if we were to go out to AC Milan and not secure top four I believe that Harry should not be sacrificed on the altar of success but see out his contract.
Harry does himself no favours by his constant courting of the press and his desire to give good quotes at every opportunity. Some interpret this an aspect of his honesty. However this is mainly about Harry and has little value for Spurs.
On many occasions I wish that he had kept his mouth firmly closed. Training ground leaks about players out of hours habits, poor traing and fitness, or language skills are distateful to me as little evidence is ever produced to support tham. They remain rumours.
Some of his comments are crass and reveal an insensitive attitude to players and fans. He reveals himself as an old fashioned, conservative man, out of touch with modern times and at times causes me to question his famed 'man management' skills.
However as many would say it seems to be working. We are in the latter stages of the Champions' league and contesting a top four place for the second season running. What's not to like? Harry's attitudes and opinions are irrelevant even if it causes an underlying resentment which may come back to haunt him when the going gets tough as it will certainly do as the season progresses.
The treatment of Pavlyuchenko and Kranjcar seems to have focussed the debate. Pavlyuchenko is statistically our best striker in the Premiership and Piennar is not demonstrably a better player than Kranjcar particularly after Nico’s match winner at Bolton. A cameo of sheer class which as they say is permanent.
Harry's sniffy reference to 'Super Pav', devalues both the player and the fans, like me, who think that he should be given more time and should lead the line, perhaps with Kranjcar in support at Sunderland. This is based not on constant contact with the players on the training ground which clearly I don't have but simply on watching the games and applying the experience of many years to the performances of the players.
I like 'Tottenham' style players and think that Crouch is as square a peg as Bent. He tends to make us play in style which cuts out the midfield which is our strength and playing through the middle is part of our tradition. I'm an old man, I like tradition. Whether it's the fault of Crouch doesn't really matter. 'He gives us something different' is not true if he plays frequently or for too long. Loyalty like many virtues can be overdone.
So in the end it boils down to: 'Harry is doing a great job: get off his back': or 'Harry has done a great job but his tactical shortcomings and his failure to make best use of the squad show that we have reached the end of the road with Harry'
Toast anyone? Do you want Marmite with that?