'It undermines the manager!' - Former Spurs boss comments on Director of Football debate

Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp has admitted that he would never work under a Director of Football, with former club Spurs reportedly looking to sack Franco Baldini.

Baldini has come under severe criticism in recent weeks, with Spurs poor start to the season placed on the former England assistant manager’s shoulders.

Having been in charge of signings since his appointment at White Hart Lane in 2013, the 54-year-old has overseen the purchase of roughly £133 million worth of talent - much of which has failed to live up to expectations. Christian Eriksen has been the only real standout performer brought to the club in recent years, and the failures of Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela and Paulinho have been well-documented.

Having, once again, signed a number of players this summer - reportedly all second choice targets of head coach Mauricio Pochettino - Baldini is said to be close to losing his job, with the North Londoners languishing in mid-table after 11 games played - with just 14 points won.

Baldini was the first director of football to be appointed at White Hart Lane since October 2008, when Damien Comolli - who also worked with Arsenal and Liverpool - left following the appointment of Harry Redknapp. Redknapp, very much a classic English manager, refused to work in a system with a director of football, and his first-hand control of every aspect of the club led Spurs onto their most successful period in recent history.

A League Cup final in 2009 was followed by Champions League qualification 2010 - in which they reached the quarter-finals of the tournament - before a fourth place Premier League finish in 2012. They only missed out on Champions League qualification through Chelsea winning the tournament, but the club saw it fit to sack Redknapp, and it has been a downhill slope since.

Being accountable for everything Spurs did worked wonders for Redknapp, who took praise and criticism when due, but, with Baldini always out of sight, current head coach Mauricio Pochettino has to take the blame, and the 67-year-old told the Standard that he is against a director of football.

The manager, currently in charge of QPR, said: “It totally undermines your role as manager if you’re not picking the players. It’s a joke really that you are expected to work with someone else’s players. It’s all very well someone recommending players to you but when they don’t work out, it’s your head on the block.

“I’m just not in favour of that. As a manager I have to select the players, train them every day and make decisions.

“I want to make my own decisions and rightfully so. If things don’t work out fine, I’m responsible for that. But why should I be accountable for someone else’s mistakes?

“My head’s on the block when it goes wrong so no I’m not going to support something that could cost me my job and I have no say in it.”

Redknapp’s view is surely one many Spurs fans accept at this moment in time, and they will likely be keen to see chairman Daniel Levy revert to a more traditionally ‘English' method of running the North London club.

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