Tottenham players revolt against manager Redknapp

Players have complained to chairman Daniel Levy about the tactics and match preparation of the 65-year-old, who is hot favourite for the England job, as Spurs' season implodes
By Wayne Veysey and Greg Stobart

Tottenham players are in open revolt against manager Harry Redknapp’s methods following the calamitous run that is destroying the team’s season, can reveal.

A cabal of players, including some of the most senior at the club, have communicated their frustrations via their agents over the last few weeks to chairman Daniel Levy during a run of just one win from nine Premier League matches. understands they have complained about Redknapp’s tactics and match preparation, with one enduring theme being that training during the week is providing little preparation for the weekend fixtures.

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It is believed that senior Spurs figures have been so alarmed by the players’ feedback and a catastrophic run of results that they would consider replacing Redknapp as manager at the end of the season, even in the unlikely event that he does not quit Tottenham to become the new England boss.

The club has abandoned plans to try and persuade the 65-year-old to stay at White Hart Lane and will not offer him the four-year £16 million contract they had prepared.

Although has learned that Redknapp is far from at loggerheads with his entire squad – reports of a bust-up with Emmanuel Adebayor are wide of the mark - a significant number of players have questioned events on the training ground.

“The players feel they are not going into matches well enough prepared,” a Tottenham source told “For instance, they will practice all week in a 4-5-1 formation and then play 4-4-2 at the weekend. Or vice versa.

“They also feel there is not enough attention to detail and tactics. One common complaint is little or no practice defending set-pieces. There are question marks about the coaching and how much the players are improving through the input of the staff.”

The dressing room unrest is not just restricted to players affiliated with one particular agent who has involvement with a significant proportion of the Tottenham squad.

Some of the Spurs players are feeling the effects of a 49-match campaign in which Redknapp has tended to pick his strongest available XI for every league and FA Cup game, rather than juggle his resources.

Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Scott Parker, Kyle Walker, Brad Friedel, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Younes Kaboul and Adebayor have each started at least 28 of Spurs’ 34 league matches, an unusually high proportion even though the club's involvement in the Europa League ended before Christmas.

“Some of the players are exhausted and, as a result, their standards have dropped,” the source added. “If you look at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson meticulously manages the entire season and keeps freshening up the team while relying on a core of regulars. Harry just picks the best XI and lets them get on with it.”

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Redknapp’s January dealings, in which he sold Roman Pavlyuchenko and allowed Steven Pienaar, Sebastien Bassong and Vedran Corluka to leave on loan - replacing them with injury-prone pair Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen - has also raised eyebrows.

Senior Spurs figures are coming to the conclusion that a parting of the ways with Redknapp is desirable following a run of five defeats and three draws in nine league games since beating Newcastle 5-0 on February 11, when Tottenham were third in the table and 10 points clear of fourth-placed Arsenal.

The 5-1 FA Cup semi-final humiliation at the hands of Chelsea has also been a key factor in the change of thinking at the top of the club.

Spurs will not try and change Redknapp’s mind if, as expected, the FA make an official approach to the club to secure him as the next England manager.

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