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Sport Where are they now? Tottenham’s first starting XI of the Redknapp era

15:21  26 october  2021
15:21  26 october  2021 Source:   planetfootball.com

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On October 26, 2008, Tottenham appointed Harry Redknapp as manager, sparking an incredibly entertaining four years at the club.

David Bentley celebrates scoring for Tottenham against Arsenal in October 2008. © PA Images David Bentley celebrates scoring for Tottenham against Arsenal in October 2008.

Spurs were bottom of the Premier League having earned just two points from their opening eight matches under Juande Ramos when Redknapp took over, but he led them to eighth place and the League Cup final in his first season.

The following campaign Spurs finished fourth, and Redknapp’s exciting side was subsequently able to storm the Champions League as they reached the quarter-finals.

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Here, we remember Redknapp’s first starting XI in charge of the club. Tottenham beat Bolton in the first match after his appointment, but that was a side picked by Clive Allen, meaning we’ve revisited the thrilling 4-4 draw at Arsenal.

“If this is what the watching world can expect from Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur, then the Premier League should rejoice in his appointment,” Dom Fifield wrote in The Guardian following the match. Wise words indeed.

Heurelho Gomes

Gomes was in the midst of a difficult and error-strewn debut season in England and, as The Guardian noted, Tottenham were “undermined by a goalkeeper shorn of all confidence” as they fell 4-2 behind at the Emirates.

The Brazilian did eventually settle at White Hart Lane and remained in England for over a decade, playing for Watfrod from 2014 until 2020. He continued provoking the odd bout of jitters but remained as entertaining as ever throughout his spell at Vicarage Road.

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At the ripe old age of 40, Gomes is now back in Brazil, playing in the second tier of the Minas Gerais state championship with Democrata Sete Lagoas.

Roman Pavlyuchenko standing in front of a crowd: roman-pavlyuchenko-tottenham © PA Images roman-pavlyuchenko-tottenham

READ: Six former Tottenham players we can’t believe are still playing in 2021

Alan Hutton (Chris Gunter, 79)

Arriving from Rangers with a decent reputation, Hutton never really established himself at Tottenham and did not see eye-to-eye with Redknapp.

“He never said anything to me when I left the club,” the right-back said after joining Aston Villa. “I can’t actually tell you the last time we spoke. It was probably when I heard the words, ‘I don’t want you to train with us any more, I want you to train with the kids.’

“I just don’t think anyone should be treated like that. For me, Spurs was an unhappy place. I knew my time was up long ago. When Redknapp came in, it just went downhill from there.”

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Hutton left Spurs for Aston Villa in 2011 and remained there until he hung up his boots in 2019.

Gunter, meanwhile, became a stalwart for Reading and the Wales national team and is now at Charlton in League One.

Vedran Corluka

Tottenham paid Manchester City £8.5million to land Corluka in the summer of 2008, and the defender was a reliable and possibly underrated presence for both City and Spurs throughout his five years in the Premier League.

He then moved to Lokomotiv Moscow in 2012 and stayed there until retiring in 2021, passing 100 caps for Croatia in that time. He is now the assistant manager for his national team.

Jonathan Woodgate

Replacing Ledley King in Spurs starting XI as Redknapp rotated his perennially-injured centre-halves, Woodgate will be fondly remembered for scoring the winning goal against Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final.

After ending his career with spells at Stoke and Middlesbrough, the 37-year-old worked as a scout for Liverpool before rejoining Boro as a coach in 2017.

He was most recently manager at Bournemouth, who he left in the summer of 2021 having suffered a playoff defeat to Brentford.

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto

In May 2017, Redknapp admitted he was interested in signing Assou-Ekotto for Birmingham, telling the Spurs Show podcast: “The only trouble is that he’s admitted he wants to be a pornstar. Maybe I can get another year out of him before he decides to do that.

“What a good player. He could well end up in the Birmingham colours next year, Benoit.”

‘Arry was sacked by Birmingham. We dread to think what Assou-Ekotto is up to.

David Bentley

Redknapp’s first match in charge of Spurs saw possibly the highlight of Bentley’s career at the club, as the winger scored an outrageous volley from the edge of the centre-circle, admitting after the match that he “felt like Superman and could fly home.”

But the former England international quickly fell out of favour at White Hart Lane and after a number of loan spells retired at the age of 29 having fallen out of love with the game.

He now lives in Marbella, where he runs a group of restaurants and bars.

Luka Modric

Remarkably, Modric’s quality and suitability for the English game was coming under question after joining Tottenham from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2008 for £16.5million.

Not sure what he’s been up to since, like.

  Where are they now? Tottenham’s first starting XI of the Redknapp era © Provided by PlanetFootball

READ: Remembering the night Luka Modrić entered the pantheon of ‘world class’

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Jermaine Jenas

The scorer of Tottenham’s third in the 89th minute and the answer to the quiz question ‘who scored the first England goal of Fabio Capello’s tenure?’

Injuries began to curtail Jenas’ career and he now works as a pundit.

Tom Huddlestone

It’s hard not to have a soft spot for Huddlestone and his ability to strike a ball so sweetly. If only he could run.

The former England international rejoined Championship outfit Derby County in July 2017 before moving back to Hull for a second spell there in the summer of 2021.

Gareth Bale (Aaron Lennon, 55)

This was pre-Inter hat-trick, yet-to-even-be-part-of-a-Premier-League win Bale. But he went on to become a decent little players and earn a move to some Spanish club called Real Madrid.

His time in there has not always been easy though, and he was back at Spurs for a slightly weird, no-crowd, Mourinho-tainted loan spell in 2020-21.

Lennon, who scored the dramatic stoppage-time equaliser at the Emirates, left Spurs for Everton in 2015 before joining Burnley in January 2018.

Roman Pavlyuchenko (Darren Bent, 65)

“My first training, we were out having a practice match, and suddenly I shouted at Pav to bend his runs or whatever,” Redknapp told BT Sport in 2016. “And suddenly this guy on the touchline sprinted onto the pitch to tell Pavlyuchenko what I was saying.

“After about eight times he had run on, I realised that he worked harder than Pavlyuchenko. He came off at the end of the session and he was knackered while Pavlyuchenko hadn’t even broken a sweat.”

The striker eventually left Spurs in 2012 and is nowadays playing in the third tier of Russian football for Znamya Noginsk.

Bent retired after being released by Derby County at the end of the 2017-18 season following a loan spell at Burton Albion.

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