Want-away playmaker Luka Modric asked not to be included in the Tottenham Hotspur side that faced Manchester City on Sunday at White Hart Lane. In his press conference after the game Spurs' Manager Harry Redknapp told the press:
Luka came to me at 11:30 this morning and said to me, 'I don't feel my head is right today'. I said, 'I feel you need to play today, Luka. I need you to play. You need to come and play'. I told him we had injuries and I said, 'I need you to come and play. We need you on the pitch, get out and play'. I told him he was our main man.
No where in that quote are the words that Harry Redknapp more than likely actually used, which probably included quite a few expletives. If this is, in fact, true and Harry Redknapp is not blowing smoke, then it is certainly a disconcerting sign for Spurs. Redknapp believes that people (read: agents) are advising Luka to sit out games in an effort to force a move to another club, but also reiterated that he and Club Chairman Daniel Levy have no interest in selling Modric.
My initial reaction to this statement is that I would have told Luka where he could stick his head. Did Redknapp handle it correctly? I don't know. Personally, I want players who are committed to the club who are willing to go out and work hard and put in a good shift. However, I also want the best players on the pitch. Given the circumstances Redknapp did as well as he could. Luka played 60 some-odd minutes and then left. He looked good, but not great and, given Harry's statement, I don't think that should surprise any of us.
Sure, Modric has made it quite clear that he wants to join Chelsea, but he is still a Tottenham player and as such he should be available for selection when fit. I've mentioned this before, but let's not forget that Samir Nasri played for Arsenal just a few days before his transfer to Manchester City was complete, despite the move being an almost certainty at that point.
Perhaps Chelsea have already made their alleged £40 million bid for Modric and perhaps the transfer deal is close to being completed, but until such time as Modric's name is on the dotted line and the deal has been approved by the Premier League Modric is a Spurs player and should be expected to contribute.
For a long time I hoped Luka would stay. Now, I just want him gone. If his concern is for winning trophies, then Chelsea may not be the place for him, but it is certainly a place to make a good deal of money to play a game. Modric has done nothing to endear himself to the fans this summer and however you feel about Daniel Levy's strong-arm tactics in the transfer market, you have to admit that Luka's conduct has been, by and large, unprofessional at best.
Modric is a fantastic player and will, no doubt, be excellent for whatever club he plays for. I just don't want that club to be Tottenham Hotspur. Did Harry make a mistake by sending Modric out to face Manchester City? How would you have handled the situation?