If I were Modric, I’d want to leave Spurs. It’s not you want to hear and it’s not what I want to hear, bur Modric almost certainly wants to leave, and most probably will. The cries have begun. If mercenaries like Luka want to go we should let them, some say. Others say we must do all we can to keep him.
We should sell him. And this is not some anti-mercenary tirade. All footballers are mercenaries, of course, and the magic Croatian is no different. Really, who can hold it against him? One of the best midfielders in the world (and that’s no exaggeration) has been denied Champions League football for the second season in a row. Is it his fault Spurs failed to secure that third-place finish, ultimately missing out on Europe’s elite footballing competition? No, it’s not. It’s Redknapp’s.
Of course, in an ideal world, Luka would love the shirt as much as we do. But that’s just not reality. I really can’t begrudge him wanting to leave – he, honestly, deserves better than a manager that plays him out of position, is tactically flawed and never learns from his mistakes. If reports are true, Modric, for whatever reason, won’t have a bad word said against Harry. I, on the other hand, will. It’s hard to criticise him. He’s helped build this fantastic team. He has also, for the last two seasons, hugely underachieved. Two seasons in a row we’ve won no trophy and missed out on the Champions League. When our top players leave, go on to win trophies at some of Europe’s elite clubs and enjoy the best years of their footballing career, history will remember Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur as being a team that massively underachieved.
Last night is the most deflated I’ve ever felt after a football match. Drogba tucking away that penalty relegated – albeit in a different way – Spurs. Bale, whose right to leave has been diminished by his lacklustered performances that help cost us third place, will want to join Luka by the exit door. Now, I fear, is not the time for Levy’s famously tough stance, the one so empathically displayed last summer when Chelsea attempted to poach our star player. We, I believe, need to take the £80m and ship Luka and Bale off abroad, and begin the process of rebuilding. We need to compete again for next season by building the best squad we can. If it’s from scratch, so be it. Waiting all summer, and then giving in at the last minute, or even not giving in, will destabilise the team – like it did last August – and could cost us. We could end up back in mid-table obscurity.
Those who want to stay should stay and rebuild, those who want to leave, should be allowed to. It’s tragic that this five-or-so-year project has failed, and this great team is set to be dismantled, but now is the time to start again.
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