Where are they now? Tottenham’s first starting XI under Harry Redknapp

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

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 the club 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.

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 Fifeld 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 remains in the Premier League to this day, provoking the odd bout of jitters but as entertaining as ever, as one of the senior players at Watford.

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.”

Gunter, meanwhile, has become a stalwart for Reading and the Wales national team.

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What Makes A Club: 21 photos to sum up the Spurs matchday at The Lane

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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.

The 31-year-old – he’s still only 31 – is now closing in on his 100th cap for Croatia having spent the past five years with Lokomotiv Moscow.

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 joining Steve Agnew’s backroom staff at the Riverside Stadium last term.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto

Redknapp recently 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 co-owns a restaurant.

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.

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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, who’s still only 30, recently rejoined Championship outfit Derby County.

Gareth Bale (Aaron Lennon, 55)

This was pre-Inter hat-trick, yet-to-even-be-part-of-a-Premier-League win Bale. Apparently things began to pick up for the Welshman at some stage.

Lennon, who scored the dramatic stoppage-time equaliser at the Emirates, recently returned to Everton’s first team after a period away from football due to mental health problems. Well on him.

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 last year. “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 now plays in the third tier of Russian football with Ararat Moscow.

Bent, meanwhile, is part of the Derby squad alongside Huddlestone, although he his yet to make an appearance this term.


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