Redknapp has established Spurs as genuine challengers
Recovered from heart surgery, his return to White Hart Lane last night was a triumphant one as Tottenham brushed aside Aston Villa to climb to third in the table.
After heavy losses in their opening games against both Manchester clubs and with the Luka Modric transfer hanging over them, many wrote Spurs off at the end of August.
However they are unbeaten in the league since then, winning eight of their nine games and scoring at least twice in every fixture.
Redknapp has established Spurs as genuine top four challengers, defying those who thought his side’s appearance in the Champions League last season would not be repeated again any time soon.
Although he may have reacted angrily to being referred to as a ‘wheeler dealer’ in the transfer market, the Spurs manager has done little to diminish that reputation this season.
He spent only £5.5 million this summer on Scott Parker’s proven midfield excellence as well as acquiring a reliable goalkeeper in Brad Friedel for free and the deadly striking capabilities of Emmanuel Adebayor on loan.
It is no coincidence that the arrival of Parker and Adebayor at White Hart Lane has been followed by their unbeaten run in the league and both have been hugely impressive.
In the meantime, the two traditional big clubs of London, Chelsea and Arsenal, have looked far from assured.
The Blues experienced back-to-back home defeats this weekend for the first time since 2003 and the Gunners’ 8-2 thrashing by Man Utd in August was their biggest loss for 123 years.
However it is not just new signings that have made Spurs into the team that thumped Liverpool 4-0 and won a prized North London derby against Arsenal.
Gareth Bale has begun to rediscover some of the form that saw him pick up last year’s PFA Player of the Year award and his goal-scoring performances in Spurs’ successive victories over QPR and Fulham led to Alex McLeish playing two right-backs last night in an attempt to stifle the Welshman.
However such efforts were futile as the winger provided the assists for both of Adebayor’s goals as well as teeing up an opportunity the striker missed to complete his hat trick.
Redknapp’s success in hanging on to Modric has also been crucial and the Croatian performances so far this season have underlined just why Chelsea were so keen to get their hands on him and why his manager fought to keep him in North London.
Redknapp’s bargain transfer deal of last season, Rafael Van der Vaart, has also been in terrific form including scoring six goals in five consecutive games, which has taken him to the summit of the club’s top scorers chart.
The speedy English duo of Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker have made key contributions to Spurs cause as well, with the latter earning an international debut last week as a reward for his fine displays.
With so many players in such good form it is perhaps no surprise that Tottenham find themselves in their current healthy position and while there is a long time to go in the season they can at the moment quite justifiably claim to be the best team in London.
Picture:ReutersTagged in: aston villa, emmanuel adebayor, Harry Redknapp, Luka Modric, Premier League, Scott Parker, Tottenham
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