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Transfer Rater: Lucas Moura to Arsenal


Harry gets his shot at the big time

So, Harry Redknapp has finally got his heart's desire: a shot at managing a bona fide big club.

The 61-year-old gained his reputation as a transfer market wheeler-dealer out of necessity, not desire.

It began at Bournemouth, gained him notoriety at West Ham United and continued with Southampton and (twice) at Portsmouth; clubs where he was never given vast sums to spend but where he enjoyed modest success.

But now, after his sensational move to Tottenham Hotspur, Redknapp looks to finally have gotten a shot at the big time, albeit from the very bottom of the league.

Whether he's allowed to spend big in January and bring in fresh faces remains to be seen, but the chance to step into the hot seat at a club of Spurs' stature and aspiration is exactly what Redknapp has been longing for, and it's an opportunity he felt had passed him by.

Earlier this year he had the chance to join the car crash that was (and still is) Newcastle Untied, but opted to stick with Portsmouth. It proved to be the right decision, not least because the off-field politics and interventions on Tyneside would not have suited him, but because had he left Fratton Park he would not have enjoyed his finest hour as a manager - lifting the FA Cup.

After that moment of triumph, surely the pinnacle of his career, and with the eternal gratitude of the Pompey fans, it is understandable that Redknapp's head was ready to be turned by another club, he knew he could leave with his head held high after a job well done.

There are those who thought Redknapp would be tempted retire after the FA Cup win; after all how could he hope to match those highs again, what more could he achieve with Pompey?

But Redknapp was never inclined to think that way. He had unfinished business in the game.

Redknapp's appointment may come as a surprise to some, particularly given Spurs' efforts over recent years to embrace a supposedly progressive, forward-thinking structure involving a 'directors of football' and 'technical directors'.

In recent years Spurs have turned to Europe for their coaches, presumably looking for a more sophisticated approach, not that it did them any good, particularly with Jacques Santini and latterly Juande Ramos.

The folly of Frank Arnesen and Damien Comolli and their legacy finds the club at the foot of the table and winless in the league. Hopefully for Spurs the previous structure, which has been proved to be a colossal failure, has been retired; and the best sign that this is the case is Redknapp's arrival.

If there is one thing Redknapp dislikes it is the interference of others in his work. It is why he left Portsmouth in 2004, Southampton in 2005 and probably why he said no to Newcastle earlier this year. It is unimaginable that he would have joined Spurs if he were not in complete control.

Those who cling to Redknapp's stereotyped persona as an East End barrow-boy done good are guilty of underestimating a shrewd manager who has enjoyed success throughout his career and has an eye for the game's scientific and technological advancement and who understands the value of developing youth.

If Spurs are to stand a chance of survival they must trust Redknapp to get the job done and not get in his way.


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