When Harry Redknapp took over at my beloved Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs to the rest of you who know very little about Barclays Premier League), in the autumn of 2008, it was not the most popular choice but was better than anything as we were rock bottom, with 2 points from 8 games and definitely staring relegation at the end of a 9 month season. This was not good. There was a lukewarm reception from us Spurs fans about Harry’s appointment. He was rumoured to be an Ar5ena1 fan and an ex-West Ham manager. This was not the credentials to endear him to us Spurs faithful.

Here was a collection of young extremely promising, talented players, an assembled cast that was the envy of the Premiership and many were misfiring, not delivering, severely short on confidence and generally failing! In comes Harry, talks up the squad like they were the world beaters, often describing a certain player as “triffic” in his broadest cockney and talking up wistfully the days he visited the hallowed ground (White Hart Lane, N17 North London) and failed to impress on trials, Bill Nicholson the legendary double winning manager of 1961!

I thought gosh this man knows how to play it. His use of the media and the attendant apparatus made for interesting read and ready entertainment. Add to this the fact that the players suddenly started performing (they must have been reading the same papers), winning 2-0 at home to Bolton Wanderers – always a tough fixture, drawing 4-4 at the Emirates with the olde enemy, and finally beating Liverpool 2-1 at home at a time when they were leading the table and had only lost once all season. What suddenly happened to this team that couldn’t buy a win? What happened?

Needless to say, we staved off relegation, ended the season in respectable 8th in the league (many of us wanted to finish higher up to qualify for Europe, but the crafty ‘Arry engineered our absence), and built some confidence in the players. In the process players who wouldn’t have had a look in with even relegation threatened teams, the likes of Benoit Assou-Ekkoto, Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas and Luka Modric suddenly were the flavours of the season.

The following year was again magical with Spurs qualifying for the European Champions League ahead of Liverpool, Manchester City (with all their billions), and this year its been very interesting with Spurs beating Internazionale of Milan (Inter Milan), Ar5ena1 at the Emirates and Liverpool in recent weeks. The ride continues.

‘Arry continues to show masterful man management skills and his handling of the media is becoming more sophisticated that he might as well be a PR practitioner. What really is interesting about old ‘Arry is that he engenders a “feel good” spirit wherever he goes. People actually like chatting and dealing with him, like being around him and work hard for him when he asks. That is the mark of a great man manager. ‘Arry’s obviously had his fair share of failures of course. The most spectacular being Marco Boogers at West Ham and Darren Bent recently at Spurs. But that goes to show that he is human and fallible and I suspect that motivates to learn more.

Hope there’s a fairytale ending to the run this season. Some of the players under ‘Arry’ stewardship have been talked about as worldclass – the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Rafael Van der Vaart – but ‘Arry’s shown that it takes a worldclass manager to deliver worldclass success.