Remembering How Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur Reign Came To An Abrupt End

Remembering How Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur Reign Came To An Abrupt End
15:08, 12 Jun 2019

It was the pinnacle of Spurs’ achievements in the Premier League era so far. Peter Crouch soared, and the ball nestled into the back of the Manchester City net.

Harry Redknapp’s reign was a story of a remarkable transformation, beginning in October 2008 with Tottenham bottom of the Premier League with just two points from eight games.

That had spelled the end of Juande Ramos and prompted the arrival of Redknapp. Within two years, he had guided them to the Champions League for the first time in the modern era.

His reign lasted nearly four years until he was sacked on June 13, 2012.

First, his future had looked uncertain as he fought tax evasion charges, of which he was eventually cleared in court.

Then, just a few hours later, Fabio Capello resigned as England manager in protest at the FA stripping John Terry of the captaincy following a racism charge.

In the months that followed, Redknapp persistently flirted with the Three Lions job – except the “64-year-old Englishman” who was being considered for the post eventually turned out to be Roy Hodgson.  

Yet by then, Redknapp had – at least in Daniel Levy’s eyes – lost focus. In February, Spurs had been 10 points clear of Arsenal and Chelsea after a 5-0 win over Newcastle United. Another Champions League adventure looked a certainty.  

As speculation about the manager’s job mounted, the north Londoners began to tail off in a way not dissimilar to the end of the most recent campaign.

On that occasion, however, it was more serious. Prior to the rule change, a fourth-placed finish proved insufficient to guarantee Champions League football, as Chelsea’s victory over Bayern Munich in the final of the competition meant the Blues took Spurs’ place.

Even if none of those events had transpired, it’s unlikely Redknapp would have built a dynasty at White Hart Lane. There were off-field tensions with Levy, the chairman refusing to give him the assurances he wanted in the transfer window, opting instead to give him a £3million payoff.

Redknapp had warned that the futures of Spurs’ key players were linked to his own, which wasn’t bought in the boardroom.

In hindsight, Levy was also right not to be taken in with the stance that the top four was as good as it got and that the prospect of Spurs engaging in title challenges was completely unrealistic. It was only two permanent managers later that Mauricio Pochettino disproved that.

At the time, the plan seemed less coherent. David Moyes, then still at Everton and with reputation in tact, was the preferred choice, with Wigan’s Roberto Martinez a close second. Andre Villas-Boas was appointed on July 3.

Yet the Redknapp era was ultimately a successful one. He forged an immediate bond with the supporters as the club’s first permanent manager from London since Gerry Francis and rescued Spurs from the brink in his first season.