The last three games saw Spurs making a dramatic u-turn. From a team hyped as relegation material, they are now a team eyeing for a spot in the UEFA championship. This impressive turnaround began when their former manager Juande Ramos was sacked and Harry Rednapp took over the hot seat. Redknapp is currently seen as the person who has, using his managerial expertise, revitalised Spurs back to their winning ways. And unfortunately for Ramos, he is now deemed as a ‘bad’ manager. So, without questioning Redknapp’s ability as a manager, we ask ourselves how important is the manager and how crucial a manager’s expertise really is.
I read somewhere of a so-called mutiny amongst the players at Spurs before the arrival of Redknapp that led to the sacking of Ramos. It was also suggested that one of the culprits that started the mutiny has left the club whilst the rest remained. Okay, we are not supposed to believe everything that we read on the internet, but what if the idea of mutiny were true? That means that the players were the ones who decided that Ramos would eventually be sacked by playing maybe half-heartedly with the intention to sabotage the team performance.
We can only start guessing why the players did what they did. And unfortunately for Redknapp, it also suggests that in the past three games that he was in charge, the players had played to their true capabilities after their objective of getting Ramos sacked was achieved. And that has helped Spurs to start winning again. We now wonder if Spurs would have still achieved the two wins and a draw if a monkey was appointed as the manager to replace Ramos.
Any football fan will be able to tell you there is just so much a manager could do. The performance of the team is always dependent on so many other factors. My own experience for the past 15 years as a manager cum coach has shown me how far that truth is. I have had a year when the selection process before a tournament was a breeze and preparing the team was an easy task too. Players listened to instructions on and off the field and were very dedicated in training. We became the district champion and went on to play in the last eight at the state level. Some of the players who have been under me are playing for some state teams and also have played for the national team, which shows the quality in the players themselves. I have also had a year when preparing for a final game, the players did not heed to my advice to not watch the European Champion League games the night before. And we eventually lost because players could not perform when they lacked the much needed rest.
There was one year when only 30 students turned up for the selections as opposed to almost one hundred in previous years because everyone seemed to be more interested in futsal. And we did not even make it past the second round. I used to watch the KL team train under its coaches such as Chow Kwai Lam and used some of the methods they used to train the players in my teams. Some years it worked wonders but for other years it did not when the players who turned up had limited abilities.
My point is there is so much a manager could do. He could spot talents and make the correct decision in the formation and importantly decide where a player of certain ability should play. If they are available of course. No one sane enough would doubt Benitez’s ability as a manager although we know that he has made mistakes in the past. He is human after all. If he were to be given the players of his choice, I am sure our chances of becoming the champion would be brighter. Maybe we would have been one already during the Rafalution since his arrival at LFC. Even at Valencia before he left, he was eyeing to bring in unknown players such as Ronaldo of Manure and Drogba who are not so unknown today. This shows how shrewd he is as a manager.