Tottenham’s Premier League match against Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Saturday is not about Harry Redknapp! No matter how much the media try to make it about Redknapp, the game is not about the former Tottenham manager. They will approach the game from every angle – Harry Redknapp against Andre Villas-Boas, Redknapp and his former Spurs coaching staff out to make a point to Tottenham Chairman, Daniel Levy, Redknapp and his former Spurs’ players, Adel Taarabt and Ryan Nelsen, wanting to put one over on their former employers or Redknapp the ‘saviour’ of QPR.
No matter what angle the journalists and commentators take, the match is simply Tottenham looking for three points to continue their progress towards a top four finish while Rangers are in need of the points as they battle to avoid relegation. Anything else is a side issue and irrelevant.
QPR v TottenhamQueen’s Park Rangers gave Tottenham a difficult game at White Hart Lane where Spurs recovered from a sluggish first half and being a goal down at the interval to win with an own goal and one from Jermain Defoe in little over a minute. The match was one of Rangers’ better performances under Mark Hughes in the early part of the season but overall Rangers have struggled and only secured their first League win against Fulham in mid-December in their 17th match of the season. They did achieve a fantastic result, winning 1 – 0 at Stamford Bridge in their last League game but they are 20th in the Premier League and have struggled all season.
QPR’s two wins have been in London derbies and they will definitely be up for another one. There is sure to be a great atmosphere inside the compact Loftus Road ground with the home fans hoping for a repeat of last season’s result. Taarabt inspired the team that day and scored the only goal in a match which saw another poor performance from Tottenham. Rangers desire for the points to avoid relegation was much greater than Tottenham’s in their drive to get into the Champions League. The result will be remembered, sadly, as the final match of Ledley King‘s illustrious Tottenham career. He deserved so much better.
In mid-October, Tottenham fans wanted the White Hart Lane game against Chelsea to be about Andre Villas-Boas. His first opportunity for payback against his former employers who had sacked him six months earlier. In reality, it wasn’t. It was about Chelsea turning up and putting in a professional performance to take the three points.
Tottenham must set aside any distracting side issues surrounding the match and have one clear focus. As Chelsea did to them in October, Spurs need to put in a professional display against the bottom team in the Premier League who have been struggling all season. Every team contending for a top four finish will go to Loftus Road and, in all likelihood, get a result as Swansea, West Ham, Southampton, West Brom and Liverpool have already done. QPR have taken a home point from Chelsea and Everton as well as Reading and Aston Villa – 7 points from 10 League games.
Tottenham do not want to improve that Rangers’ home record by even one point, they are after a win and three points. That is the only acceptable result if Spurs are to show that they are true contenders for a high finish in the Premier League. This match is not about Harry Redknapp it is simply about the Tottenham players having a greater desire than Rangers, using their undoubted ability, taking their chances and getting the three points. Nothing else is of any relevance regardless of what the media say.