Jamie Redknapp: Dad told me Tottenham would go for it

07 May 2010 12:01
Going for goldI sat with Dad before the game and I thought he might play Wilson Palacios, or maybe five in midfield to give Tottenham some protection at the back.

You can't allow yourself to be overrun in midfield in these games and that idea can sometimes inspire negative tactics.

I should know him better.

Going for gold: Harry Redknapp was not prepared to sit back and defend at Eastlands. He was ready to attack

'No Jamie, not today. This is about going for it. This is our chance. We are coming here to win. I don't want to lose this moment.'

So it was 4-4-2, two creative players in midfield, big responsibility for Tom Huddlestone and pace wide.

They went for it and they got it!

It was an anxious time, sitting there and watching the game. I did wonder if Spurs would fall at the final hurdle, but I'm proud of him. I know what he has gone through to get to this moment.

Only as good as your players When Dad took over at Tottenham, they were bottom. They still had good players but there was a confidence crisis. He has thrived at a big club, loving the pressure and enjoying the opportunity.

I've worked in some good teams with bad managers and they have fallen short. You need a man at the top who will transmit the vision of the club and my dad has been the right man at the right time.

Training day: Harry Redknapp loves working with the big players like he did with Paolo Di Canio and Paul Merson

The bottom line is he loves working with good players, always has.

Whether it was Paolo Di Canio at West Ham or Paul Merson at Portsmouth - or now players like Luka Modric, it is what gets him out of bed and on to the training pitch in the morning.

He's the King Two kings: Dawson and King have been immense for Spurs

The patriot in me wants Ledley King to be selected for England, even though his knee would probably benefit from a rest.

He is like a magnet for the ball, a thoroughbred of a defender, the best centre-half in the country.

What amazes me is that he doesn't train, but then plays as if it is so easy - and in this unforgiving league when you are up against players like Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor.

All I will say is that it is going to be hard to pick both Rio Ferdinand, the England captain, and Ledley King in the squad. If one - or both of them - either breaks down or can't play back-to-back matches, it will leave the centre of defence exposed.

No more soft centre When I was at Liverpool, if we could pick a home game against anyone it would have been Tottenham. They had lovely players, but score first and they collapsed like a deck of cards.

There was always that soft centre, partly because while they had brilliant individuals like David Ginola - and Glenn Hoddle before that - they were not a team.

Even when I played for Spurs later in my career, I could sense there was something missing; they had the support base and a big-club feel, but it was easy to fall short.

Forward planning: Luka Modric put in a fine performance to typify Tottenham's attacking approach at City

Now they have a team - powerful athletes, warrior defenders, pacy, skilful little ones and players like Luka Modric.

The result was not only about the stars, it was also about the supporting cast. Younes Kaboul, for instance, was magnificent.

Stepping up: Younes Kaboul was outstanding at right-back

There was a moment towards the end of the game when a long ball came towards the Spurs penalty area and he jumped like a giant and sent a thundering header back into Manchester City's half. It also sent back a message: You can't go past me. It is a confidence thing with him, but he can be a top player.

Like Ledley and Michael Dawson, too.

Daniel Levy, the chairman, also deserves praise. He has invested in a team; picked the right manager and now the club has a chance to advance. The foundations are in place.

Beware the KO I'm not being a party pooper here, but the Champions League knockout stages are fraught with danger.

Some dangerous teams will be lurking in the draw next season.

When Everton broke into the top four, they lost in qualifying to Villarreal, then lost in a UEFA Cup qualifier to Dinamo Bucharest and finished 11th in the Barclays Premier League that season.

But let's not dwell on that .

Class act, Khaldoon I was in the boardroom after the game, when the City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak came over and said: 'Pass on my congratulations to your dad. He throughly deserves it.'

Class act: Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak wasted no time in offering Harry Redknapp his congratulations

I thought that was a touch of class, because so many people find it hard to lose gracefully. He seems a good guy, ambitious and determined.

You just know these people aren't about finishing second. They are going to be on the world stage very soon.

Who needs a keeper? We have come to expect brilliant reflex saves from Heurelho Gomes. It was not always like that.

When Dad came to Spurs, one of the first jobs he expected to take on was replacing the goalkeeper, whose confidence was shot to pieces.

A combination of the hard work of goalkeeping coach Tony Parks, who knows what it is like to win a big match for Spurs, and the natural ability of Gomes has resulted in Tottenham discovering a world-class goalkeeper. in their own squad.

We've done it, pal: Redknapp and Spurs assistant Joe Jordan celebrate the club's landmark win

It's good to be English Roy Hodgson at Fulham, Steve McClaren at FC Twente and now Harry Redknapp. You see, English managers can be successful.

  We are too obsessed in this country with foreign coaches. Maybe now, chairmen will see that there is plenty of quality at home too.

We can all see what the foreign managers have brought to our country, but let us applaud and embrace the quality of English coaches too.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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