London, Aug 29: Less than six months after captivating Europe with dazzling Champions League displays, Tottenham is rock bottom of the Premier League and manager Harry Redknapp is frustrated with life at White Hart Lane.
“I feel we've had a terrible preseason, there's been a feeling around the place,” Redknapp said after Sunday's 5-1 mauling by Manchester City. “Its not been right. People going, people wanting to go.”
None more so than Luka Modric, the fulcrum of Tottenham's attack who is pushing for a move to Chelsea.
Less than two hours before Sunday's match, Redknapp had to force Modric to play after fresh reports of Chelsea's pursuit of the Croatia playmaker before the transfer window closes on Wednesday.
“He told me he didn't feel his head was right,” Redknapp said. “I told him he needed to play. I had injuries in midfield, he's our main man.”
Even Britain's top-ranked tennis player, Andy Murray, expressed incredulity that Modric was trying to get out of playing for the team he is contracted to.
“Surely if you are getting paid 60 grand a week you do what your told?!” Murray tweeted from the U.S. Open.
But Redknapp feels Modric's “head has been turned” with reports of a 40-million pound ($65 million) Chelsea bid.
“While he still sees a chink of light to go to Chelsea, he is probably doing what maybe people are telling him the best way of getting out of here is,” Redknapp said.
When asked if he wanted to cash in on Modric, Redknapp responded: “If I start saying that the chairman (Daniel Levy) will be very, very upset with me. He's not for sale, so he's not for sale.”
The manager hopes to sign at least one player—potentially West Ham midfielder Scott Parker—before the transfer window closes on Wednesday until January.
And Redknapp claims to be unaware of any interest Stoke has in signing Tottenham striker Peter Crouch.
“Crouchy going, I don't know where that's come from,” Redknapp said. “No one's ever told me that he's going to Stoke.”
The uncertainty surrounding Modric's future has coincided with Tottenham opening the season with back-to-back losses.
“It's all a bit unsettling,” Redknapp said.
Spurs were ripped apart by Manchester City at the end of the week that started with a 3-0 loss at Manchester United.
Such an emphatic defeat to City exposed the gulf that now exists between the sides. It was only 16 months ago that the north London club pipped Roberto Mancini's side to fourth place and qualified for the Champions League for the first time, producing memorable wins over both Inter and AC Milan last season.
But in the Premier League, Tottenham could only finish in fifth place in May.
And now Spurs are back where Redknapp found them when he took charge in October 2008 -- bottom of the league and needing to mastermind a major turnaround for a second time.
“The place needs a little bit of a lift now, and I've told that to the chairman,” Redknapp said. “I feel we have to freshen the place up a little bit.” AP