Redknapp responds to resignation rumours
Harry Redknapp has quelled internet speculation that he has quit his post as Tottenham Hotspur manager, stating that he intends to see out the remaining year on his contract.
The Spurs boss dubbed rumours that circulated on Twitter an “outrage”, and categorically denied that he would walk away from the club. However, his position has been the subject of much debate since the season's end, as Chelsea's triumph over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final denied Spurs a place in next year's competition, despite their fourth-place league finish.
While they were supremely unlucky not to secure a berth in Europe's elite tournament, it is their spectacular capitulation over the season's closing months that will most hurt Spurs fans. Redknapp's side were ten points clear in third place in February, but a decline in form left them scrapping with Newcastle and Chelsea over fourth spot.
Their poor run of results coincided with Fabio Capello's dismissal as England manager, as Redknapp was instantly and universally touted as the best candidate to replace him. However, the FA's decision to delay the appointment until the end of the season meant that Redknapp's future was in doubt for a significant period of time. While he denies that the constant speculation compromised his focus on the title campaign, the extent to Spurs' demise suggests otherwise: they swiftly slipped from their position of genuine contention, and many pointed the finger at Redknapp.
Daniel Levy, it is rumoured, was one of these people. Redknapp publicly stated this week that he felt Levy should offer him a new contract, and that the uncertainty regarding his future would only serve to unsettle the squad. It is quite possible, though, that the Spurs chairman will elect to steady the ship by removing Redknapp from its helm.
Such a decision would mark an extraordinary fall from grace. Having dragged Spurs from the footballing wilderness into the European spotlight, Redknapp's position seemed bulletproof. Popular with journalists, and advocating an attractive brand of football, he was seen as the solution to all of England's international woes. But after the FA ended months of surmising by appointing Roy Hodgson, it seemed that Redknapp had lost more than just the chance to manage his country.
The shortlist of Redknapp-replacements, lined up in February, may well rear its head again in the coming weeks. While at the time it was drawn up under the assumption that Redknapp would be leading England into the Euros, a new manager would now be charged with solidifying a Spurs team whose potential has never been in doubt.
Redknapp's popularity, and the undeniably fantastic job he has done at Spurs would make him a hard man to sack, but with the wealth of talent at the club, Levy would not be left short of volunteers willing to take the reigns at White Hart Lane. It will all come down to whether he trusts Redknapp to spark an about-turn in fortunes. If he fails to achieve this, his days will be numbered, and the candidates waiting in the wings will be breathing down his neck.