On Tuesday night in Madrid we were treated to seeing Spurs gaffer Harry Redknapp, a man who at the best of times resembles Andrew Lloyd Webber with C4 packed into his cheeks, wearing what can only be described as “his sad face”. The reason being that after Tottenham had sailed gallantly though the choppy and treacherous seas of Europe's elite club competition, they found themselves embarrassingly torpedoed by Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid.
This was particularly distressing to Sky's punditry team, which despite only being only two bodies deep, still managed to cram in two former Spurs players, a former Spurs manager and the son of the current boss. Levels of impartiality not normally seen outside of a Fox News studio. “I know my dad pretty well, and he'll be disappointed to concede like that” crooned Jamie as the nation gave a slow, monotonous clap.
Aside from a brief lovers tiff with Rob Palmer over what constitutes a “wheeler dealer”, there's been a gradually obvious and increasingly nauseating buddying up between the Redknapp family and Sky Sports. Keeping his son in gainful employment, despite his borderline criminal abuse of the word 'literally', has probably helped them get an arm around the Spurs boss, talking Gareth Bale's price tag up to about £500billion won't have hurt either.
It's a relationship that suits Sky down to the ground. They need new and exciting plot twists for their continuing saga of “Football: The Movie” where every kick of the leather requires 6-weeks of hype, 2 hours of previewing and virtually endless discussion and analysis - entire species have evolved, screwed and died out again in the time Sky takes to cover a play-off semi final – so what better arrangement that having 'Arry's Spurs, a team both capable of challenging the big teams whilst still being billed as underdogs as the main event.
It's heroic, it's romantic, it's audacious, Spurs are to football what Jamaica were to bobsleighing.
And we love the underdog story in this country. It's heroic, it's romantic, it's audacious, Spurs are to football what Jamaica were to bobsleighing, Luke Skywalker was to the force and Babe was to sheepdog trials. Well worth the extra few bob on our subscription fee. But this status is fleeting, soon either Spurs will establish themselves as a big club, or they'll fade back into mid-table mediocrity, either way they'll lose their charm. So why, do you ask, would Sky think it profitable to get into bed with their manager?
Simple, Harry will be the next England boss, you can bet your aaaas (Redknapp for “house”) on it, and it will come at a time when Sky look to vastly increase the number of England games their various channels carry. The love-in will continue, albeit it only during international breaks.
No doubt he'll extend Murdoch's cameras the same courtesy and “unprecedented access” he's afforded them at White Hart Lane over the last few years. Giving us an intimate look at Jermaine Jenas' face when he hears he's actually been selected and super slo-mo replays of Aaron Lennon glue-gunning rhinestones onto his caps. Interesting also that The Sun and The News of The World, both under Rupert's News Corporation banner, have been the most vocal in criticising the current England boss. But I'm sure that's just a coincidence...
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