Redknapp: I toughened Bale up at Tottenham and made him into a superstar

Harry Redknapp’s time at Tottenham always proves a divisive topic of discussion.

The veteran manager spent four years at Tottenham, overseeing an electrifying side with the likes of Luka Modric, Rafael van der Vaart and, of course, Gareth Bale.

But despite reaching the Champions League (in which Bale and his team-mates dazzled, particularly against Inter Milan), Redknapp’s work has been bettered already by Mauricio Pochettino.

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They may not have had a Plan B, but Redknapp’s Spurs side was great to watch. A large part of that was down to the young Bale’s burgeoning talent on the left wing.

And Redknapp, who had been criticised for his handling of Bale in the past, claimed to have played a huge part in making the Wales winger a global superstar.

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Redknapp claimed that Bale was “soft” and that, during his time at Spurs, he brought the battling streak out of him, helping home along in becoming one of the world’s best players.

In 2013, Redknapp’s book, Always Managing, was released. Here’s what he had to say on Bale:

“We had to tease that combative streak out of him because, at that time, he was regarded as a left back and was up against Benoit Assou-Ekotto, one of the best in the Premier League. Gareth seemed too soft to be a defender so we decided to try him further forward.”

In reference to Bale’s outstanding performances against Inter Milan in 2010, Redknapp gushed.

“I predicted he would be our Cristiano Ronaldo. And that’s just what he was. I don’t think I have ever seen one player terrify a team so completely as Bale did Inter Milan.”

Redknapp takes credit for playing Bale down the middle, an innovation often attributed to his successor, Andre Villas-Boas.

“Of course, a year later when he was scoring for fun in that position in Andre Villas-Boas’s team, it was hailed as a genius move. The bottom line is that Gareth can play anywhere.”

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alexhorlock

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