I love the notion of the charming cockney character Harry Houdini being in charge of the Tiny Totts. It is not just that he is not much of a manager, which he isn’t (his best is mostly moderate at Bournemouth, WHU and Portsmouth, and his worst is Southampton) it is the way he is not a very good manager, while at the same time being written up in the press as some kind of amazing whizz-kid.
The point about Harry and the Tinies is that they are made for each other because both belive in the same chaotic approach to football. None of your nonsense about building a team, merging personalities, blending individualism to the style of the manager. None of your tactical niceties about moving Nasri from the wing to the centre, while playinig Vela on the wing. That’s too subtle for the Tiny Totts from down the Lane.
What Harry and the Tinies have in common is that they both have one simple approach. Go for everyone, buy who you can, stick them on the pitch, and for tactical know-how do what George Graham used to say to Perry Groves as a substitute: “Go out there and run around a lot”.
So it is that on entering a new club Harry criticises the players he has got, and says that he has no depth, no coverage, no balance, and he then goes and buys Peter Crouch.
But what is interesting is that The Tinies owner has the same approach. Joe Lewis in the Bahamas, spends money on dead causes just like Tottenham do when paying off a discared manager each season.
Joe Lewis, was the second largest shareholder in Bear Sterns, one of the first banks to go bust. He had a 9.4 per cent stake in the bank in 2007 because he thought that talk about banks going down in the US was being overplayed by negative journalists. As the shares in the bank collapsed in 2008 he carried on buying on the basis that they had to go back up sooner or later. That doesn’t mean he is about to go bankrupt – he owns among other things, quite a big percentage of Ladbrokes (which might make you think about betting with them). But he’s got less than he used to have.
So here we have an owner who buys rubbish shares and a manager who buys rubbish players. Harry signed Jermain Defoe, and got involved with Wilson Palacios, Stewart Downin, Kenwyne Jones, Craig Bellamy, Antonio Valencia, Stephen Hunt and Adriano, while meanwhile throwing out the old boys with a speed that can only be described as suicidal.
Think of Bent (who cost 16 million) and Jenas both suddenly considered useless and offered as part exchanges in deals. (Steve Bruce, who despite his background has always come across to me as a really nice and decent guy, told Harry where to go when he offered Jenas).
The point here is that Harry is not getting rid of players not needed any more, but is getting rid of the only people who can score goals for the Tinies. And it is being done on the basis that Uncle Joe will buy Happy Harry more toys to play with.
So there we have it. Mr Confused of Tottenham in close touch with Mr Confused of the Bahamas. A match made in heaven – and the Championship I suspect.