Harry desperate to take a break

Harry Redknapp admits he needs a long break from football during the summer — but will surely have to wait at least another week before switching off his mobile as he sweats over Tottenham’s Champions League fate next season.

Not even a final day victory over Fulham, courtesy of goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe, could definitely secure a place in Europe’s elite competition next season.

Arsenal’s victory over West Brom ensured they finished third and although Tottenham had to settle for fourth, they will now have to pin their hopes on Bayern Munich beating Chelsea in the Champions League final next Saturday to ensure they qualify for the competition.

With England only being awarded four places in the Champions League, Chelsea will take the final place if they can record a memorable victory in Munich’s own backyard.

You could argue Tottenham have only got themselves to blame following a dismal run of form which only saw them record one win in nine.

It remains to be seen how much Redknapp being the strong favourite to succeed Fabio Capello as the next England manager affected the players, but it is no coincidence that their poor spell came at exactly the same time.

Redknapp missed out on the position after the FA went against public opinion and appointed West Brom manager Roy Hodgson instead.

Tottenham supporters will rightly argue why it took so long to name their man if they were not going to make an approach for Redknapp who was busy trying to secure a Champions League spot.

Coming into the game Tottenham still had nightmare memories of the last time they missed out on a Champions League spot back in 2006 when they were struck by ‘Lasagne Gate’.

Ten players were struck by food poisoning on the eve of their last game against West Ham which cost them a place in the competition.

This may be completely different, but it would be ironic if the north London club missed out again through circumstances out of their control.

In a cruel twist of fate, the man in charge of Tottenham that day was Martin Jol, who was now returning to White Hart Lane in the Fulham dugout and must have had mixed emotions about trying to stop his former club reaching the Champions League.

The Tottenham supporters clearly showed their support towards the Dutch coach as they continued to sing his name and must have been hoping deep down he would do them a massive favour.

The game could not have started any better for the north London club after Adebayor put them into the lead after just 96 seconds.

The Togo striker played a neat interchange with Rafael van der Vaart and made no mistake striking a right-foot shot past Mark Schwarzer into the corner of the net.

Any nerves among the home supporters quickly faded away and all eyes focused on what was happening at the Hawthorns.

Yossi Benayoun’s early goal for Arsenal dampened the atmosphere around the ground but that quickly changed as Shane Long put West Brom level and White Hart Lane erupted when Graham Dorrans put West Brom into the lead.

Redknapp was doing his best to keep in touch with developments in the Midlands and even had substitute keeper Carlo Cudicini tuning into the radio to keep him updated.

There were certainly going to be more twists along the way and that proved to be the case as goals from Andre Santos and Laurent Koscielny put Arsenal back in the driving seat.

That did not stop Tottenham putting the game beyond Fulham as substitute Defoe added a second on 63 minutes when he slotted the ball home from close-range.

It was all in vain though as Arsenal held on to beat West Brom and secured third place.

Redknapp will now be praying that Bayern Munich can do him a massive favour and beat Chelsea next weekend to help his Tottenham side reach the promised land of the Champions League and help him enjoy a much needed holiday.


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