The Butterfly Effect. Coined by Edward Lorenz, it is defined as a ‘small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state’. Think back to Sunday October 23rd and what you were doing that day. Not a particularly exciting day of sport, well apart from Tottenham Hotspur defeating Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at Ewood Park, and when the North Londoners could actually win a game, but we shall get to that later.
QPR played, and defeated, Chelsea that afternoon at Loftus Road on what proved to be their first home win upon their return to the Premier League following a solitary Heidar Helguson penalty in the tenth minute. However, they key moment in the game was John Terry allegedly racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in a single incident that would shape Spurs’ season for the worse.
How does that affect Spurs’ season?
That very well publicised incident sent shockwaves across the footballing world. In a time when racial abuse is very much, in an understatement, frowned upon, the timing of Terry’s rant to Ferdinand couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just a week before, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was reported to have abused Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra in a similar fashion.
Racism was the hot topic in football at the moment, clearly something Terry hadn’t heard anything about. Cue a tirade of abuse and condemnation towards the Chelsea captain following the fiasco and, as a majority believe, it was well deserved. And this is where the initial problems started. Many called for the Blues stalwart to be stripped of his England captaincy for the second time, with the reason that he doesn’t deserve to lead the country.
This is where the problem started, well not on that afternoon. We have to fast forward just under four months, and to be precise, February 3rd, to when the Football Association took the decision to strip the 31-year-old of his place in the national side. As mentioned, it wasn’t the first time it had happened after former manager Fabio Capello had opted to remove Terry from his position a little over two-years earlier after an alleged affair with one of Wayne Bridge’s former partners.
The Italian insisted that Terry would never captain England again following the revelation, despite reinstating him to his position around 12 months later. However, Capello had absolutely no say in the FA’s choice to remove Terry a second time round. An understandably furious England manager took to the media to vent his frustrations and many expected the worst following his TV appearance.
Unsurprisingly, but shockingly nevertheless, Capello quit his position with the national side a week later as a result of the FA’s decision surrounding the Terry saga. Meanwhile, a short way across London, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was being acquitted of all tax evasion charges following a gruelling 10 days in Southwark Crown Court.
Enter Harry Redknapp
Redknapp woke up the morning of February 10th thinking over whether he would end the day in jail. Instead, he went to bed that same night instilled as the favourite for the England job. Since the abysmal display by the national side in South Africa in 2010, fans were calling for the FA to sack Capello at the time and bring in Redknapp following the debacle at the World Cup.
Now, almost two years on, the same fans are still calling for the FA to make the ‘right’ choice and bring in the Spurs boss ahead of Euro 2012. At first, supporters of the North London were 100% against the idea. Calls of ‘Harry Redknapp’s blue and white army’ and ‘Oh Harry Redknapp, we want you stay’ echoed around White Hart Lane during one of the finest performances witnessed by the Spurs faithful during the 5-0 rout over Newcastle United.
Yet, following the result, Spurs have picked up just six points from a possible 27. Redknapp claims his head hasn’t be swayed by the talk of the England job, but he has thus far refused to distance himself from the speculation, often relaying the same line ‘it’s a terrific job, but I’m focused on Spurs’. Yet, in comparison, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was also linked with the role early on, and while he may not have been a genuine contender to succeed Capello, he also distanced himself from the media talk early on and since the aforementioned defeat at the hands of Spurs, the Magpies have since lost once and won their last six on the bounce that has seen them leapfrog the North London side into fourth place.
Redknapp may be too proud to admit it, but he is more focused on the England role now than Spurs. The fans sense, if reports are to be believed, the player’s do to and speculation is mounting that he is set to leave the club sooner rather than later. So, despite what some fans may believe, the fact remains is that the current rut Spurs find themselves in is down to Terry.
Terry accused of racial abuse towards Anton Ferdinand
Stripped of England captaincy by the FA
Capello isn’t happy and quits
Redknapp acquitted of tax evasion charges and subsequently linked with England role
Coincides with Spurs’ dip in form
Reports suggest Redknapp will take over before the end of the season
Ladies and Gentlemen; The Butterfly Effect.