Redknapp knows stakes rise in new year

 

Christmas came late for Harry Redknapp.

Tottenham were the last of the Premier League's leading sides in action in the Boxing Day round of fixtures and, by the time Redknapp sent his side out at Carrow Road on Tuesday night, only Manchester United had recorded a victory.

Tottenham's Gareth Bale-inspired success at Norwich City means they will be four points behind the Manchester clubs if they win their game in hand – against Everton as part of a busy January. Redknapp believes it will be a desperate struggle among the top six clubs to secure the four Champions League spots and the title because, as Boxing Day demonstrated, those from the lower echelons are quite capable of upsetting their supposed betters.

"There are no easy ones," Redknapp said. "Liverpool couldn't beat Blackburn – that was an impossible result. I was driving home [on Boxing Day] and Chelsea drew with Fulham. Yes! Brilliant. I was kicking every ball. I got home and thought, 'Liverpool will get three points, Arsenal will beat Wolves – it's so tight, there are no easy ones.' When you think you are going to get three points, you come unstuck."

As Chelsea adapt to life under Andre Villas-Boas and Kenny Dalglish refashions Liverpool, Tottenham are settled, with their leading players in rich form. It gives Redknapp possibly his best opportunity to finish in the top three. At the very least.

"Tottenham could win the league," he reiterated. "It's not impossible but it's doubtful because the Manchester clubs look so strong. It's a great opportunity. Chelsea will get stronger again and will keep pushing on, Liverpool will get stronger. They have massive backers. Everyone wants to be Champions League – the top four is tough to be in. Who says next year someone doesn't buy a club? Dave Whelan is 75 and may go and retire, there might be a Russian or Arab who comes along and suddenly Wigan are pushing for the top six. That's how it works."

Redknapp's belief that the lesser sides are more able to upset those above will be tested today at Swansea, where Manchester United are the only one of nine visitors to have won this season. But Spurs' record on the road, and the accomplishment with which they have dispatched the likes of Wigan, Wolverhampton, Norwich and Blackburn, has been a significant marker of their improvement. Victory at Swansea would be a seventh away win of the campaign and, with the new year still to be rung, would equal their best performance on the road in a Premier League season.

"Look at our record of winning games away and it has been fantastic," Redknapp said. "Games that, normally, you look at Tottenham and think they are tough games – but we have won."

Redknapp does not expect to be busy when the transfer window opens tonight and yesterday said there is no chance of Carlos Tevez coming to the club, much as he admires the Argentine. "It's not happening," he said. "We are not pursuing it. His wages would be astronomical. Until you get a 60,000 stadium you aren't going to pay the wages that some of the other clubs pay."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada