A career on the line

Redknapp: Spurs job my biggest gamble

October 15, 2009
By Harry Harris

Harry Redknapp has confessed that joining Tottenham Hotspur was such a massive gamble that his entire career would have been over had he fouled up the assignment.

Harry Redknapp and staff
GettyImagesHarry Redknapp with his Tottenham staff

The former Portsmouth manager revealed the extent of his decision to switch to White Hart Lane ahead of his return to Fratton Park for Saturday's Premier League match.

Asked about the biggest challenges in his career, Redknapp told the League Managers Association magazine The Manager: "When I took over at Portsmouth for the first time it was a big challenge because, in all honesty, the club wasn't going anywhere at that point.

"Then I joined their rivals Southampton, which, looking back, was possibly crazy. And, of course, people also thought I was mad to return to Portsmouth when the club was bottom of the league.

"I really put my career on the line there, as I did when I joined Tottenham. They were bottom of the league and had I failed to turn things around it would probably have been the end of my career. I've given my utmost for every club I've managed."

Redknapp has more than turned Spurs round. He kept them up when they looked doomed last season - having picked up just two points from eight games before his arrival - got them into a respectable league position, changed around the players in the summer, and now has a team challenging in the top four.

It would be a momentous achievement if he could finish in the top four with so much competition this season. And Redknapp has made it clear that if he is hugely successful at Spurs, he would then have a realistic chance of becoming Fabio Capello's successor as England manager.