Keep Your Enemies Closer: A Q+A with Tottenham's Cartilage Free Captain

Yer a wizard 'Arry!

First and foremost, I would like to give the Toon Army a nice, friendly, "Hello! I'm not quite dead yet." I do apologize for my extended leave of absence from the site, but North East Arkansas Junior High School Girl's Basketball sometimes has to take precedence over the greatest football team in all the land... what a life I lead.

With that out of the way, it is my privilege to share with you all the ineffable wisdom of one Kevin McCauley of Cartilage Free Captain, your SBNation source for all things Tottenham Hotspur.

1. We might as well begin with the hot button issue around White Hart Lane, do you think 'Arry will be leaving you for the England job? If so, in what capacity, do you think he'll do double duty, or will Tottenham be on the hunt for a new manager? What are your feelings about the whole episode? Do you actually root for Redknapp's leaving if it means you can bring in Jose Mourinho?

I do think Harry will leave for the England job, and I think the timing will be similar to when Steve McClaren left. The FA will wait until Tottenham are very late into their season, perhaps until they've mathematically clinched a top-four place, before making any kind of announcement. If he gets hired earlier than that, I assume he'll do double-duty until the season is over. In any event, I do not expect Harry Redknapp to be Tottenham's manager in June. Harry's a good manager, but if England pays us to get him, I'm not too broken up about him leaving. Our success has more to do with Gareth Bale and Luka Modric than it does the manager. I'd be thrilled with Mou, but plenty happy with David Moyes, Guus Hiddink, Fabio Capello or one of the up and coming managers in Spain, France or Germany.

More questions and insights after the jump!


2. With 14 fixtures left in the season, you're currently sitting five points behing ManU and seven behind City. Do you think there is any chance of you making a run at the title, or even the silver? How secure do you feel in the third place spot with a seven point cushion on Chelsea? How has this season matched up with your expectations, and, as an aside, isn't it wonderful not having to worry about Arsenal anymore?

I think we have an outside shot at the title, but making sure we stay ahead of Chelsea and clinching third place is still the goal for most. It is very nice to not have to worry about Arsenal, and it's great that they've more or less screwed themselves to the point where they can't pass Spurs this season. I think that we're good enough to prevent Chelsea from making up the gap between us, but not good enough to pass the Manchester sides. I think we'll finish in third place, ahead of Chelsea by 1-5 points.

3. I followed Iago pretty closely when he was with Juventeus, and my inclination is that he was a huge addition to your squad's youth system. How do you see his role developing within the club when he returns from Southampton? Where do you see other new additions Saha and Nelson fitting in? I've always figured both of those players, especially Nelson, were pretty underrated. Do you think there is a meaningful place for them at Tottenham, or were they mostly brought in for insurance?

I haven't gotten a chance to watch Iago with Southampton, but there's no reason to believe he can't become a contributor for Spurs. He did enough in Europa League to convince us to buy him, and he'll probably get better as he plays more in England. I don't envision him playing regularly for the team next year, but who knows? This is a kid who had a lot of promise with Barcelona and the Spanish youth teams, and he's failed to live up to it so far. I'm cautiously optimistic about his future. As for our winter signings, they're inexpensive and experienced stopgaps. We know that if we play them, they won't make silly mistakes, and that's important given our current league position. Nelsen is a quality player if he's healthy, but the problem is he hasn't been healthy in a very long time. He's just cover.

4. Speaking of transfers, how hopefully are you that you wrangle Adebayor to a permanent stay? Newcastle has shied away from loan deals in recent years, so I can't imagine having such a prolific player working for us while still contracted by another team. Do you think Defoe can get the job done alone if City calls the crafty Togolese back?

I only want to sign Adebayor permanently if he wants to be here enough to take a massive pay cut. He is a good player, but he is not even as good as half of his wages at City. He would have to be willing to sign for well under £100k a week, and City would have to be willing to accept a fee of less than £10m for me to conclude that it was a good piece of business. In a world where Papiss Demba Cisse and Moussa Sow are available for £10m or less, we shouldn't be paying more than that for Adebayor.

5. You're still alive in the FA Cup. With the table as tight as it is, how much weight would you like to see put in that competition? How do you think Redknapp's potential departure will play into those decisions?

I would really like the team to try and win the FA Cup, simply because there's almost no chance of us dropping out of the top four without an absolutely monumental collapse. I don't think Redknapp's potential future has anything to do with how we view the FA Cup.

6. Finally, prediction for the match tomorrow?

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Newcastle in a great, open game. If Tiote and Cabaye were available, I'd predict a draw, but our midfield will be superior with them out.
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