"They've been great to me and I've enjoyed every minute of being at Tottenham. We all appreciate each other … I'm not going to leave them in the lurch, things are going really well. The fans are great, so I've just got to keep doing the job I'm doing."
While Harry Redknapp has confirmed that he is not going to leave the club in the lurch, his statement certainly does not preclude the possibility of his leaving at the end of the season. By that point, all being well, Spurs will have claimed a Champions League berth and the manager can step on to the international stage with a clear conscience and the satisfaction of a job well done. It's hard to recall any job in football where a candidate has been carried along on the wave of popular support that Redknapp is currently enjoying. And while the Spurs fans may not relish the prospect of his departure, it would be churlish to deny him the opportunity to embrace what for many represents the pinnacle of a career in management.
The players certainly did everything in their power to convince him that his future remains at Tottenham, with their stunning display at the weekend. Emmanuel Adebayor has not always looked convincing in recent weeks, but against Newcastle he was like a man possessed. While he and his strike partner Saha were arguably the two outstanding players on the day, every other member of the team contributed to a convincing win. It was particularly pleasing to see Assou-Ekotto and Kranjcar both capping fine performances by adding their names to the score sheet. Even Friedel, who had little to do in the game, earned kudos towards the end with a fine reaction save.
Newcastle had failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 14 league meetings with Spurs but even so they surely would not have anticipated conceding five, and certainly not being four nil down at half time. After the game Alan Pardew took the blame, suggesting that he had set his team up in too attacking a fashion. In truth, Spurs would have been more than a match for just about any opponent, such was their solidity at the back, their dominance in midfield and their flair up front.
Some supporters have expressed concern that this sort of champagne football will be short-lived, since Redknapp's departure will be followed by that of some of the club's outstanding talents, perhaps most notably Bale and Modric. Those worries may, however, have been allayed by one of the most courted young players in Europe mentioning Spurs as a possible destination, describing it as a "nice club with a lot of good players and absolutely a top coach." Whether or not Eden Hazard does end up at White Hart Lane in the summer remains to be seen. What is beyond doubt is that a "top coach" who is probably going the other way has created the conditions - and the team - to make that a real possibility. For that, and for much else, he deserves the thanks of every Spurs fan.