Why Redknapp will be sacked this year - probably

Last week thing’s looked to be going swimmingly for Harry Redknapp, what with Spurs going into last weekend’s matches second in the Premier League after four wins from their opening four games. So swimmingly, in fact, that Mr Redknapp was bestowed the honour of being named Premier League Manager of the Month for August, following his side’s impressive start which included an opening day win over Liverpool, a 5-1 demolition of Hull and a 2-1 win at rivals West Ham.

But that was exactly when we knew trouble was a brewin’.No, we aren’t talking about the regularly discussed but widely discredited ‘Curse of the Manager of the Month Award’ being the cause of Tottenham’s home defeat to Manchester United at the weekend.

Instead, it's the lesser known ‘Curse of the Manager of the Month for August’.

For you see, things haven’t always worked out so well for those who have picked up this early season honour.

Last season’s Premier League Manager of the Month for August was one Gareth Southgate.

Middlesbrough had beaten both Spurs, then managed by Juande Ramos, and newly-promoted Stoke City, and also came close to getting a result at Anfield before two late goals saw them leave Merseyside with nothing.

"Hmmm, perhaps if we sign Marlon King..."

And it was this frustration that was a sign of things to come, rather than those two sturdy home wins.

Boro went on to finish the season in 19th place, having stood in a creditable eighth place after 13 matches and were relegated from the top flight with little more than a whimper.Many Teeside natives called for Southgate’s head, and only the famously saintly patience of Boro chairman Steve Gibson was enough to keep the former England international in a job going into this season.

August 2007’s winner, Sven Goran Eriksson, wasn’t afford the same second opportunity.

The Swede’s Manchester City side had flown out of the traps, thanks in no small part to the substantial investment made by Thaksin Shinawatra, with wins over West Ham, Derby County and arch rivals Manchester United, before succumbing to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Sven and Thaksin didn't see eye-to-eye

Despite playing some very tidy football, keeping things tight at the back and hitting the heights of second place in that opening month – City’s season slowly started to crumble.

Although they sat in a Champions League spot in early January, City slumped in the second half of the campaign and ended up finishing 9th.

A humiliating 8-1 defeat at Middlesbrough on the final day was enough to convince Shinawatra, who would soon be on his way himself, that it was time to do away with dear old Sven.The winner of the 2002/03 award, Glenn Hoddle, Tottenham boss at the time, suffered from a similar slump, albeit over a slightly longer period.

An opening day draw at Everton was followed by wins over Villa, Charlton and Southampton, and Spurs went into September atop the Premier League.But Spurs' defensive frailties eventually got the better of them, and the North Londoners finished in 10th place, having conceded 62 goals over the course of the season, only three less than bottom club Sunderland.

Hoddle didn’t really act to rectify this problem over the summer of 2003, instead bringing in more firepower (well, this is Spurs we’re talking about), with strikers Helder Postiga, Freddie Kanoute and Bobby Zamora all ariving for a total of £13 million.

Spurs started the 2003/04 season poorly, with just four points picked up from the first six matches."What could possibly go wrong, eh Helder...?"

A 3-1 home defeat to Southampton was to prove the final nail in the coffin, and within 12 and a half months of Spurs topping the league and Hoddle being named Manager of the Month award, the former England boss was sacked. Will Redknapp come to a similarly sticky end?

Who knows – but to be honest he’ll be doing well to last beyond October 25 – that date that chairman Daniel Levy has done away with Spurs’ previous two managers.

Tottenham to suffer an embarrassing home defeat to Stoke on October 24, perhaps?


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