Over the weekend Harry Redknapp released a very odd little tidbit. In an interview with The Observer, Tottenham Hotspur manager told the paper that he had tried to acquire Manchester United defender before the start of the season.
"I can't ever see us getting Rio now. I was interested. Last year, I tried. I tried at the start of the season," Redknapp told The Observer. "When he was on the teamsheet against Chelsea in the Champions League I thought Man United had got a much, much better chance of getting a result and it proved that way."
Harry made it clear in the interview that he believes Tottenham Hotspur are in need of more leaders. Many would be quick to point out that Tottenham's mental toughness has been, more often than not, an asset to the squad. However, with the recent run of form in the league one has to wonder if, perhaps there is something to Harry's point about leadership.
"William [Gallas] has come in and given us experience and we've got Michael [Dawson] at the back but in the long term I still feel that you need to find another one or two if you're going to keep progressing, that type of real character, who has opinions and that will to win around the dressing room - a few leaders. You can't have too many at your club. That's why I tried to take Phil Neville from Everton in January."
While, I suppose, that's a fair explanation for Tottenham's odd pursuit of Neville and will probably account for a number of even stranger pursuits this summer. Is this really what Spurs should be valuing? Is leadership and experience that much more important than ability? I don't deny that the team needs the two former qualities, all teams do, but I'm firmly of the belief that what this team really needs is more ability. Obviously the two aren't mutually exclusive, but when there is a total package the cost is often prohibitive. So, where do you stand? Leadership or ability?