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Why Redknapp is Tottenham's biggest obstacle to title glory

Is Harry Redknapp the biggest obstacle to Tottenham becoming a top two club?

Or more precise, is the shadow of the England job about to undo all the strides made by Spurs over the last three years?

It's now time for Redknapp to step up and commit himself publicly to Spurs. He's been vocal in calling on Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, even Rafael van der Vaart, to show loyalty and stick with the club. Now he needs to do the same.

For as long as the England speculation persists, Tottenham are working with one hand tied behind their back in the transfer market.

Daniel Levy , the Spurs chairman, made it clear at their AGM last month that Redknapp wasn't tempted by the Three Lions post. Fans will be hoping he's right.

But Redknapp has continued to refuse to rule out succeeding Fabio Capello - and that can only work against Levy in the transfer market.

Redknapp has spoken about finding "that special player" who can transform the club into a title contender.

No-one can question Levy's ambition, 12 months ago he was trying for Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi and Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente with bids of £25 million-plus. But if there are doubts about the manager's future, which top class player is going to take the gamble when there is the threat of instability at the top?

But it's not just at the senior end where the speculation can hurt Spurs. Souleymane Coulibaly chose the Londoners over Europe's biggest clubs in the summer and is pulling up trees with the club's youth and reserve teams. But what of the next superkid they're competing for?

When the question comes: will Harry be staying? What will be the answer. Any decent agent will know that a manager's departure inevitably leads to changes throughout the club - including the youth team staff. Knowing they'll be placing their young client in a stable environment will always be a big factor in the battle for the game's best kids.

Everything is tied to Redknapp. You can't blame him for eyeing off the England post. It's been his lifelong dream and at 64 probably feels it's come at the right time.

But what he and Levy have built at Spurs goes beyond the emergence of Manchester City.

The Tottenham success has not come from an injection of outside money. It's been build on pure football nous, tried and trusted methods which has kept Redknapp at the top of the managerial game for over 16 years. For all the attraction of the England job, the chance to see his approach to the game justified with Premier League or Champions League glory has to be a massive pull.

His star players have responded to his loyalty call as he wanted, now it's time for the manager to do likewise.

Chris Beattie
About the author

Chris Beattie

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