James Lawton: Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and the FA have sabotaged Harry Redknapp's career

Against Milan and Internazionale, Spurs played with adventure and bite

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy may have a superior view of how the finances of football should work but when it comes to the heart and the soul of the game he has declared himself a dullard.

It is scarcely credible that Levy's chagrin over missing out on a place in Europe – which in the end was decided not only by the superb resilience of Chelsea and their Champions League win but a set of circumstances that may never be repeated – has been the trigger to sack a man who in four years took away the ache of decades.

Whether or not Redknapp is precisely your cup of Rosie Lee, one fact is beyond any dispute.

Not only did he turn Spurs away from the possibility of relegation, he made them look like Spurs again, which is to say an authentic football team which before the distraction of the vacant England manager's job and what seemed like the near certainty of its manager being lured away was playing some of the most engaging football ever seen in the Premier League.

Yes, ultimately, Spurs came up a little short of a serious challenge for the title but their chances of Champions League qualification were without question damaged by the instability which came with the Football Association's delayed move to appoint a successor to Fabio Capello.

In fact the ruling body can stand beside Levy in the dubious honour of sabotaging at a late stage of his career the English manager who did most to suggest that it simply wasn't true that native football men were incapable of producing a game of genuine inspiration.

Against Internazionale and Milan, Spurs played football of adventure and authentic bite. Luis Figo, no less, said that the development of Gareth Bale was an astonishing achievement. Rafael van der Vaart was beautifully nurtured, Luka Modric skilfully re-motivated.

But then the FA announced it had only ever had eyes for Roy Hodgson. However you rated the impressive professional claims of Hodgson, it was still a gratuitous insult to the man who had so brilliantly re-animated one of the nation's most famous clubs.

Quite possibly it was the trouble Redknapp had before a jury cleared him of tax evasion that worked most heavily against him at the FA – certainly it was worry over the business activities of Terry Venables that ultimately denied the national team the services of arguably its best manager since Sir Alf Ramsey.

No doubt Redknapp will re-surface in the game but this is hardly the point. He made a niche at White Hart Lane and it was one that promised the highest achievement. Some might say that mark had already been reached when Spurs produced such thrilling football at home and on their brief but thrilling adventure in Europe. It was a game with which some of the denizens of White Hart Lane had once been familiar and Harry Redknapp brought it back.

Unfortunately, Daniel Levy apparently didn't get the point. He was counting the cost but missing the value. Spurs, you have to believe, are the poorer.

 

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little