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Harry's programme notes

Posted on 8 February 2009  - 12:00

As part of our build-up to home matches, we publish Harry Redknapp's column straight from our official matchday programme.

Harry's programme notes

As part of our build-up to home matches, we publish Harry Redknapp's column straight from our official matchday programme.

NOT AT THE LANE? You can buy individual copies of the programme online by CLICKING HERE...

HARRY'S NOTES v ARSENAL, FEBRUARY 8

It was a real quality performance against Stoke City last time out here at the Lane.

We opened Stoke up and probably could have come in at half-time leading by more than the three-goal margin we had secured - we were that dominant I felt.

Stoke pulled a goal back in the second half when they hit us on the break. They are dangerous opposition with their set plays but we kept the ball superbly to secure the three points. We looked stronger, the front people held the ball up well and it was a better all-round display, more like what we expect of them.

Our second half performance against Bolton Wanderers last weekend was every bit as good but we still came away with nothing. We showed terrific character to level it from 2-0 down and at that stage we should have finished them off.

Instead we got done in the final minutes just like in our previous three away fixtures and that is a great frustration because we cannot afford to keep giving vital points to teams down at the bottom with us.

I am delighted the transfer window is finally over. The phone never stops ringing and it can be a real nightmare. We already had a good group of players, it was just I felt we were a little bit unbalanced in certain areas. The chairman has been excellent and so supportive throughout and I feel now that we look strong and have a squad that can push on.

We have unfortunately lost Jermain Defoe for the next couple of months to injury which is a blow because he was in great form but in Robbie Keane and our other three strikers I am sure they have the quality to do the job for us.

Harry's notes


I am delighted Robbie has decided to return to the Club, along with Pascal Chimbonda and Jermain. I am sure that if the Club had their way these players would never have left in the first place, while Wilson Palacios and Carlo Cudicini will also prove to be important additions to the squad.

Robbie is a leader and a popular member of the dressing room and that is why I have decided to make him team captain.

I have spoken to Ledley King, who accepts that because of his injury he cannot play every game, as well as Jonathan Woodgate and they have been fine about it, while Jermaine Jenas has also done a great job everytime he has worn the armband.

Today we welcome Arsene Wenger and Arsenal to White Hart Lane for this second North London derby of the season.

As a kid I remember watching plenty of London derbies but this was obviously one I was never involved in. It is a huge game for everyone and I know how important it is that we secure a win for our supporters today.

We had a great game at the Emirates in my first week here as Manager I am sure we will be in for another exciting contest this afternoon.

Arsenal play some terrific football and their record over the years under Arsene has demonstrated what a fantastic side they are.

We know we face a tough task, but it is a game where we need some points because we need to get ourselves on another run of positive results.

Today marks the official launch of SOS Children's Villages World Orphan Week (WOW). On behalf of everyone at the Club I'd like to thank all those who have shown the spirit to wear something WOW today as well as those who have made a donation to the charity.

Enjoy the game.