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The Mexican Standoff

Contract signings are never easy at White Hart Lane. A long, drawn out affair involving our esteemed chairman Daniel Levy and either a potential new signing, a player that wants out or the manager. At present, it seems both Levy and current boss Harry Redknapp are discussing possible terms for a new deal for the veteran tactician. Alan Robins looks at how the conversation might just go down…

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(A completely imaginary conversation, bearing no resemblance to reality)

In N17, a door to an office opens; a 65 year old man enters

Daniel Levy: Morning Harry, take a seat. Coffee? ..I understand you asked for a meeting?

Harry Redknapp: Morning Daniel, I’d luv a coffee, ta. Yeah, I wanted to speak to you about my contract.

DL: Really? What about it?

HR: Well as you know, it runs out next year and I was wondering when we were going to sit down to discuss the new one.

DL: Ah I see. Well, as you’re here, why don’t we have a talk now; see where we stand. What are you thinking Harry?

HR: Daniel, we’ve had another triffic season. I got us into the top four, above Chelsea and Liverpool. Who would’ve thought that Chelsea would go and win the Champions League Final. We was just unlucky, nothing we could’ve done about that.

DL: Well, we could have finished third Harry.

HR: Daniel, Daniel, we’re a good side. The league is changing and a top-four position is very difficult to achieve. Fourth was way over expectations. We’ve finished in the top four once, not every year.

DL: I think Martin said the same, and looked what happened to him. Harry, we were a clear third by ten points and then we slumped when you were linked with the England job and…

HR: ..The England job didn’t distract me at all, it’s the players, not what they used to be. Can’t run through mud like the old days.

DL: What?

HR: Look they’re triffic lads, all of them but we got unlucky with some injuries. Daws, Azza, Ledders, Gallas and the others, well they got tired.

DL: Couldn’t you have rotated the squad, brought in some of the youngsters?

HR: I couldn’t rotate Daniel. We had to let some players go out on loan. They were unhappy at not being played. You can’t keep unhappy players and the youngsters, well they’re fine for the Europa League and that Mickey Mouse Cup but when we went out of them, they went out on loan as well. Anyway Daniel, we’re getting a bit off track…the contract?

DL: So, what are you looking for?

HR: Since Roy got the England job, I am totally committed to Spurs. I want to build a Champions League dynasty. I reckon a further three years should do it. Of course, considering how well I’ve done, I think I deserve a pay rise too…

DL: Hold on Harry, three years? I’ve already discussed this with the Board. We might consider a one year rolling contract.

HR [choking on his coffee]: Sorry?

DL: Martin..damn it..Harry, Harry, you have got the team playing some wonderful football, but frankly the last two seasons we have slumped at a crucial time and we have missed out on Champions League football. Conservatively, this has cost the club around £60 million…

HR: …It doesn’t work like that. We don’t have a divine right to be in the top four. If we finish in the top four we’ve punched above our weight.

DL: The point Martin [mutters: I must stop doing that]..sorry Harry, is the last two seasons we were in a position to secure Champions League football and we blew it. However, you have a year left on your contract. If you achieve the targets set, we will offer another year. It worked for Guardiola.

HR: I’m not Pep….

DL: True

HR: …and anyway according to my agent..

DL: The Sun’s your agent now?

HR:.. Chelsea and The Qataris are interested in me, so it would be in your interest to offer me a longer contract. You know tie me down, increase the compensation if it came to that.

DL: Are you telling me Sandra will move from Sandbanks to Qatar?

HR [slightly uncomfortable now]: I didn’t say that Daniel.

DL: The offer is a one year rolling contract….

HR: Don’t forget some of players are waiting to see if I stay. If I go, they could as well.

DL: No player is bigger than Spurs Harry. Or manager come to that.

HR: Yeah but Daniel, what about your reputation. You have already said you won’t sell your best players. They are more likely to stay if I’m manager..

DL: What’s your name Steve Kean?

HR:…so if they see I’m committed by agreeing a new contract then…

DL: You can agree to a one year rolling contract. You know, perhaps the players would see who we have lined up, err..sorry who we would consider to replace you and be happy to stay.

HR [perspiring now]: It’s also the players I can attract Daniel, triffic players with Premier League experience..Rob Green, Joe Cole, Anelka..

DL: I thought you wanted to build a dynasty?

HR: I do, I do and with Walker, Modders and Baley we can build around them. As I said, it will be easier for you to keep them if they see I’m going to stay.

DL: I’m offering a one year rolling contract. Of course, if you think you do not have the backing of the Board you can resign.

HR [laughing]: Daniel, you know I’m not going to resign. You know, I think we have a Mexican Standoff

DL: Talking of Mexicans, did you see the Brazil match, what a cracker by Giovani!

HR: Who’s he?

DL [sighs]: Bye Harry, close the door on your way out. 

Alan is most definitly on Twitter, and can be followed here.

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