A home win against Bolton really should not be any cause for particular celebration for Spurs. Admittedly the mismanagement of the last 18 months has meant that the immediate priority is avoiding relegation, but frankly, finishing 17th would represent a woeful season for Spurs.
I am not suggesting that we have a divine right to make the Top Four, or that this will be “our year”, as is trumpeted each August. But at the start of each season, making Europe certainly is a realistic goal. On the back of three successive seasons of European qualification, one strong push for the Champions League and a trophy, European qualification – ie finishing 6/7 and/or winning a trophy – is a reasonable goal for the club.
Is Redknapp the man to achieve this? I’m not yet convinced. He’s definitely the man to lead us out of the relegation scrap, but that’s certainly not all we should be targeting. This season is likely to end in mid-table obscurity and failure to make Europe. Looking ahead however, is Redknapp ever going to get us into Europe, even after starting with the luxury of pre-season and his own transfers? His record overwhelmingly suggests he’s the man to haul a club into mid-table or top-half security, so as a short-term fix this is fine; but there’s far less to suggest he can meet Spurs’ fairly reasonable expectation of regular UEFA cup football.
Last year he won the FA Cup with Pompey, meeting or perhaps exceeding their expectations, and we’ll now see whether he can do the same and better with a club that is bigger in terms of fan-base, history and financial backing. The manner in which he put together a combination of English and foreign talent, youth and experience, at Pompey, bodes well for Spurs.
However, I’m not yet convinced that he’s the man to meet our goals. Aside from the top four, we should be aiming to beat every other team in the division at least once each season. A home win vs Bolton should not be a cause for oarticular celebration. Certainly next season, Redknapp will have to show that he can turn us back into a team that regularly makes the UEFA cup – and then, as under Jol, we can start to dream of bigger and better things.