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Geoff Hurst mystified by Redknapp’s Spurs departure

England legend doubts anyone can improve on Harry’s work at White Hart Lane

Image Credit: AFP
Harry Redknapp on the White hart Lane touchline for thegame between Spurs and Newcastle last season. Redknappwas sacked by Tottenham this week.
Gulf News

Dubai Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur departure is devastating for the club, according to England legend Sir Geoff Hurst, who believes few can fill the void he leaves behind at White Hart Lane.

Redknapp was sacked by Spurs on Wednesday after failing to agree terms on a new contract, despite the 65-year-old’s four-year reign twice taking the club to fourth position in the English Premier League. They missed out on playing in next season’s Champions League due to fifth-placed Chelsea winning the European title last month.

Relations between Redknapp and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had reportedly deteriorated in recent months after the former Portsmouth and West Ham manager’s trial for tax evasion and his consequent linking to the England job.

But despite this upheaval, Hurst, a former West Ham teammate of Redknapp, couldn’t see the departure coming.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Euro 2012 fan zone at the Movenpick Hotel, Ibn Battuta Gate in Dubai, where Hurst is guest of honour, the 1966 World Cup-winner said: “It’s astonishing. I’m absolutely amazed by what’s happened. I can’t see this being any good for the club, the fans or the players.

“Who is going to take them from fourth into the top three? I don’t think any manager in the world, be it Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola, whoever they get in, I don’t think anyone can envisage taking them beyond fourth.”

Hurst added: “We don’t know what’s gone on, but one of the most important relations in a club is between the coach and the chairman. If that’s broken down it’s like any working relationship in any organisation, it threatens to ruin the spirit and harmony of the company and it’s the same in football.

“There does appear to be friction over a period of time between the chairman and manager, but from a football perspective I just can’t understand it.”

On speculation linking Redknapp to UAE clubs Al Ahli and Al Jazira, Hurst said: “As bad a decision it is for the club, the way it’s transpired is fantastic for Harry. He can walk away from Tottenham and go anywhere with what he’s achieved.

“If he decides he wants to come out here and that’s what he wants to do for a couple of years, if the money’s good, he might decide to do that, I don’t know. Harry could go anywhere.”