Harry Redknapp’s arrival at Tottenham has been seen as a chance for Spurs to start again and get back on track, something that is becoming an annual event at White Hart Lane. But back in 2004 Tottenham were again on the brink of a new era.
French national team coach Jacques Santini had just taken over as manager and the club had installed Frank Arnesen as Director of Football, as Spurs chairman Daniel Levy continued to deploy a more continental approach to managing the club, despite the failings of Glenn Hoddle and David Pleat.
Santini had forged an impressive reputation in France, where he started Lyon’s incredible run of 7 consecutive league titles, and took over from Roger Lemerre after the 2002 World Cup. Despite a poor showing at Euro 2004, France were knocked out by the eventual winners Greece, the Tottenham fans were giddy at the thought of having their own Arsene Wenger.
Bringing in Arnesen from PSV Eindhoven was also quite a coup. The Dane was well respected within the game and had been responsible for bringing the likes of Ronaldo (the fat one), Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam and Arjen Robben to PSV.
Santini didn’t settle well and struggled to come to terms with both English football and the English lifestyle. He only lasted two months and Martin Jol, who had also joined the club in the summer as a coach, took over first team affairs.
From then on we know the rest. Jol took them to two fifth place finishes before being ruthlessly axed for Juande Ramos, Arnesen was lured across London to join the Russian Revolution at Chelsea and Damien Comolli, a former scout for Arsenal, took over as Director of Football.
Every manager has his own philosophy and it is very rare for a manager to come into a club and not want to bring in his own players. Already the rumours have started as to who Redknapp will buy in January and how much money will be available.
So in the space of 4 years Tottenham have had 4 managers and 2 Directors of football, all of whom have had their own preferences and ideas of the way forward for the club.
So I thought it would be a good idea to see how many players have been bought into the club since the summer of 2004 and find out where they are now plying their trade. I may have missed some out and in no particular order:
Andy Reid – Sunderland, Michael Dawson – 1st Team, Pedro Mendes – Rangers, Noe Pamarot – Portsmouth, Nourredine Naybet – Retired, Rodrigo Defendi – U.S. Avellino, Calum Davenport – West Ham, Thimothee Atouba – Hamburg, Michael Carrick – Manchester United, Sean Davis – Portsmouth, Erik Edman – Wigan, Mounir El Hamdaoui – AZ Alkmaar, Emil Hallfredsson – Reggina, Leigh Mills – Reserves, Marton Fulop – Sunderland
Jermaine Jenas – 1st Team, Paul Robinson – Blackburn, Lee Young-Pyo – Borussia Dortmund, Grzegorz Rasiak – Watford, Edgar Davids – Free, Danny Murphy – Fulham, Teemu Tainio – Sunderland, Didier Zokora – 1st Team, Benoit Assou-Ekoto – 1st Team, Hossam Ghaly – Reserves, Tom Huddlestone – 1st Team, Aaron Lennon – 1st Team, Wayne Routledge – Aston Villa, Paul Stalteri – Reserves, Radek Cerny – QPR, Reto Ziegler – Sampdoria
Darren Bent – 1st Team, Dimitar Berbatov – Manchester United, Gareth Bale – 1st Team, Mido – Middlesbrough, Pascal Chimbonda – Sunderland, Steed Malbranque – Sunderland, Ricardo Rocha – Reserves, Adel Taarabt – Reserves, Yuri Berchiche – Youth team, Dorian Dervite – Reserves, Oscar Jansson – Reserves, Tomas Pekhart – Southampton on loan
Giovani Dos Santos – 1st Team, Alan Hutton – 1st Team, Jonathan Woodgate – 1st Team, Gilberto – 1st Team, Kevin-Prince Boateng – Reserves, Chris Gunter – 1st Team, Younes Kaboul – Portsmouth, Mirko Ranieri – Youth team, Danny Rose – Youth/Reserves, Ben Alnwick – Carlisle on Loan
Luka Modric – 1st Team, Roman Pavlyuchenko – 1st Team, Vedran Corluka – 1st Team, John Bostock – Youth/Reserves,, David Bentley – 1st Team, Heurelho Gomes – 1st Team, Fraizer Campbell – 1st Team, Cesar Sanchez – 1st Team, Paul-Jose Mpoku -Reserves.
That is over 60 players in 4 years have arrived at the club with only a handful left and actually in the team. Some of these players were bought with the future in mind but now with a new manager that may throw their future at the club in doubt.
Redknapp faces a big job in getting rid of players like Paul Stalteri, Kevin-Prince Boateng and the others loitering in the reserves who have failed to live up to expectations. He must also resist the temptation to completely overhaul the squad again because it is stability they need and as they showed in glimpses at the Emirates last night, they do have quality in the squad.