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On This Day: Harry Redknapp sacked by Tottenham

On This Day: Harry Redknapp sacked by Tottenham
© Reuters
Harry Redknapp had guided Spurs to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and made them regulars in Europe.

Harry Redknapp was riding high in early 2012, on course for the Champions League with Tottenham and favourite for the England job.

A few months later, he was out of work entirely.

It was on this day nine years ago that chairman Daniel Levy sacked Redknapp, the man who had guided Spurs to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and made them regulars in Europe after arresting an alarming slump he inherited from Juande Ramos in 2008.

Redknapp's appointment – just months after he had lifted the FA Cup with Portsmouth – was an emotional return to the club where he began his playing career in the academy, but there was little time for sentiment as he took over a side who had taken only two points from their opening eight games.

Soccer – Jermain Defoe Receives Player of the Month Award
Harry Redknapp brought Jermain Defoe to Tottenham and was rewarded with plenty of goals (Lawrence Lustig/PA)

Fortunes immediately improved and Redknapp led Spurs to an eighth-placed finish after losing to Manchester United on penalties in the League Cup final.

Redknapp made major changes to the squad, signing Jermain Defoe and bringing Robbie Keane back from Liverpool.

But one of the most significant moves came from within as he pushed Gareth Bale forward, converting the Welshman from a left-back who waited two years for his first win in a Spurs shirt into one of the most dynamic attacking threats in the Premier League.

Redknapp's first full season in charge saw them finish fourth, qualifying for the Champions League play-offs.

Soccer – Barclays Premier League – West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur – Upton Park
Gareth Bale emerged as a dynamic attacking threat under Redknapp (Adam Davy/PA)

That set up a thrilling 2010-11 campaign in which Spurs reached the quarter-finals of the competition, with Bale at the heart of some exciting play.

But they could not earn a return to the competition, finishing fifth in the Premier League that season and then being cruelly denied the following year when their fourth place was not good enough thanks to Chelsea lifting the Champions League trophy.

Early in 2012 Redknapp was found not guilty on two counts of cheating the public revenue in a case relating to his time at Portsmouth, and within days he was the favourite to replace Fabio Capello as England boss following the Italian's resignation.

The speculation was blamed by some for a fall-off in Tottenham's form late in the campaign, setting up difficult negotiations with Levy on a new contract as Redknapp approached the final 12 months of the deal he had signed in 2010.

As progress stalled, Levy instead chose to sack Redknapp, though may soon have regretted the decision as his replacement Andre Villas-Boas lasted less than one season.

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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