Redknapp: We can win the title

Redknapp: We can win the title

Published Nov. 21, 2010 11:12 a.m. ET

Harry Redknapp has told his Tottenham players they could be Premier League champions this season.

Spurs on Saturday staged one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the north London derby to win 3-2 at Arsenal and put them right back in the thick of what manager Redknapp dubbed the most open title race ever.

Tottenham went into the game seven points behind their arch-rivals, who looked certain to go top of the table when they raced to a 2-0 half-time lead through stunning goals from Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh.

But Spurs came roaring back, scoring through Gareth Bale, a Rafael van der Vaart penalty and Younes Kaboul to cut the gap to four points.


The win came 24 hours after Redknapp took his players aside on the training field and declared they were potential champions this season.

"It's wide open this league this year, it's wide open," he said.

"Chelsea are not as good as they were; Man United are not as good as they were three or four years ago.

"They're still excellent teams but they're not the force they were.

"They were almost invincible, the pair of them.

"I think Tottenham are now getting closer and the championship is wide open.

"I said that to the players yesterday morning.

"'Why can't you win the championship?'

"'Who says you can't?'."

He added: "It's wide open for somebody who can put a run together.

"It's there for someone to have real go at it this year.

"Why should we all be fearful and keep saying, 'We can't win it'?'

"I wouldn't be saying it if we had a bad group of players.

"I'm a realist; I'm not dreaming.

"It's difficult to do but it's not impossible.

"This is the best chance anyone's going to get this year.

"There's very little to choose between the top five or six teams at the moment."

Talk of Tottenham winning the title looked a mere pipe dream at half-time today as Arsenal completely dominated.

But Redknapp "went for broke" by throwing on fit-again striker Jermain Defoe and it paid off.

"It was either a case of getting beaten four or five or trying to get a goal back and seeing if we could make a game of it - and that's what we did," said the Spurs boss, who admitted giving his players a half-time blast.

"We were open still but we needed a goal and luckily, we got it at the right time."

It was the fourth time Spurs had come from behind to win this season and Redknapp joked: "I wish we wouldn't go behind.

"It's really not that clever when you're a manager.

"They say you're clever.

"I should've done that (played Defoe) in the first place; we wouldn't have been behind.

"In the end, it was a great result for us to come here and pick up three points having been two behind again."

Redknapp controversially handed the captaincy to William Gallas today on the defender's return to Arsenal.

But the former Gunners skipper shone at the Emirates Stadium, despite his every touch being jeered.

Redknapp said: "I thought William Gallas was outstanding today.

"I made him captain today and, for me, he was my man of the match."

Gallas was snubbed by former team-mate Nasri during the pre-match handshake, but Redknapp shrugged this off.

He also hailed his skipper for lasting the full 90 minutes after injuring himself late on, saying: "He was struggling but he wanted to carry on."