Harry Redknapp has completely written off Tottenham’s title chances this season in just three words. No Harry Kane. For 12 years, former Spurs manager Redknapp has regularly gone on record to tip the north London club to finish top of the pile.
He backed his own 2012 side, the team Andre Villas-Boas inherited from him, thought Mauricio Pochettino was going to crack it a couple of times and even backed Jose Mourinho to complete the project in his second season in charge.
Now Spurs are flying high, though, two points clear at the top of the table, the best he thinks Ange Postecoglou can achieve is third. “Can Tottenham win the Premier League? No, but they will finish in the top four,” Redknapp said emphatically.
“If he was still at Spurs he would have scored 12 goals already – and had another half dozen or so assists as well. If they had brought James Maddison in, and Micky Van de Ven, and kept Kane – then they would have a team which could win the league.
“They have done great and I love to see them doing well and I love the manager. They are going to have a really good season – I see that. They will get back in the Champions League.
“But, to be honest, I can only see them finishing third or fourth. But that would be a good season.” Tottenham’s next test is an emotional return to the club for Pochettino and his stumbling Chelsea side on Monday night – although Redknapp knows only too well how those occasions can turn out.
Two years after his own surprise sacking by Daniel Levy in 2012, Redknapp returned with QPR – only to be unceremoniously thrashed 4-0 in Pochettino’s first home game in charge. “People were very nice, yeah, but you want to win, don’t you?” Redknapp said.
“Poch is a good manager and a great guy. I hope he gets a good reception – the fans love him and he really deserves it. But I don’t think Pochettino is particularly bothered about being well-liked.
“He will just want to go there and get a result. With the way things are going at Chelsea at the moment, he’d rather get a bad reception and win 4-0.”