Redknapp Could Have Fashioned Contenders As Tottenham's Fortunes Rise
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Spurs have turned a corner since Harry Redknapp has taken the reins, that much is plain.
The bare facts are though, he has presented them so far this season as contenders for the title, and to date, with results as they are, they remain a player in the title race.
Perhaps if Chelsea had won every game and looked good doing so, it could be said that the race is dead. The reality is that several teams have been playing good football and Chelsea have been sporadic at best.
When Chelsea have played, it has been phenomenal at times, though disappointingly they played poorly against a defensive Manchester City and then sent out a defensive mindset against Arsenal.
These two games displayed Chelsea's weakness. Across town at White Hart Lane it was Wigan who made Tottenham look terrible, with a resilient performance against a team who walked onto the pitch thinking they were going to put on some sort of carnival for the fans. To their horrified surprise, they were grossly mistaken.
In the aftermath however the emergence of Rafael Van Der Vaart has changed all that.
Spurs have suddenly looked the goods. The little bit of extra quality that Van Der Vaart displays has made the team a force in Europe and also restored the fear in opponents that Spurs have not really generated since the 80s.
Spurs with Modric were good, but Spurs with Modric and Van der Vaart are premiership class.
They also have striking options with goal scorers who provide and score on a reasonable secure basis. That is, when chances are genuinely available, they are put to bed to those who are offered them.
The defence has been almost sound with a solid back four despite a rotation that has seen multiple center back pairings, and the first choice keeper being injured.
The arrival to fitness of Gomes will be a boon to the team as he was in excellent form at the close of last season and could finally be reaching the type of concentration levels that first led him to being talked of as a possible Tottenham anchorman.
The ingredients are there and the league is in an odd mood, results have gone awry several times for those who like to make predictions with several sides falling, including Spurs, when they appeared to be odds-on favorites.
It seems the playing field has again been leveled as teams begin to draw nearer than ever before in terms of technical mastery.
The difference now are the moments of genius, and for Spurs, Van Der Vaart has shown his ferocious finesse in punishing the mistakes of two opponents in their carelessness in front of their goal.
His combination with Modric looks extremely potent; both are excellent ball players and have special gifts that could be the difference for Spurs in several games this season.
If Redknapp can continue to get the most from his players in the next few weeks, Spurs could finally emerge as actual contenders, for the first time in 20 or so years.
Redknapp is known as an admirer of Ferguson, and here he could finally have a real opportunity to emulate his example.
The season is young, and there are many games to come; earlier, it looked as though Chelsea were superior to their adversaries, though United's Ferguson did actually point out they had only played lesser sides.
It was in some ways the manner of their victories that had caused the talk to get to fever pitch, as Chelsea had simply been masterful.
The interesting thing for observers is the spark that has been seen in matches in which Van Der Vaart has figured for Tottenham; he has renewed something that has been missing for sometime for this team. If Harry can work it right, he could finally have the side that will prove his managerial nous, once and for all.
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