Harry Redknapp has backed his so-called misfits to lead Spurs into next season’s Champions League.
Roman Pavlyuchenko, David Bentley and Gareth Bale had all been struggling for first-team outings at the turn of the year, but have all regalvanised to become key players for Tottenham in 2010.
Bale and Bentley have deputised in place Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Aaron Lennon, whilst Pavlyuchenko has scored five goals in the three games he has appeared in.
All three are once again in place to start Sunday’s visit of Everton and Redknapp is confident that they will all be key players in the run-in to the campaign.
“I’ve treated them all very well. When they haven’t been in the team they’ve still been part of everything.
“When I came here, there were about 10 of them who didn’t train with the first team. They were sent away.
“I’ve never done that with anyone. I treat them all the same, every day. They come in and train with the first team every day. They couldn’t have been treated any better than I treated them.
“The problem with doing that is that sometimes you need the players that were ostracised. I ended up using the players at some stage as you get injuries. Suddenly you have to go back to them and say ‘okay lads, you are with us today.’
“Bale was unlucky as Benoit was the improved player, he became as good as any left-back in the country. Gareth would not get in the team.
“Gareth has improved, the penny has dropped with him, there has to be two sides to his game. You see him now, he heads the ball, he makes the tackles. He looks as good as any left-back there is.
“We are getting the best out of him, he has realised that he has to defend better. He is just 20 and is learning the game. his game has come on a bundle.”
Both Bentley and Pavlyuchenko have had their attitudes questioned by Redknapp, but Redknapp feels Bentley is on the verge of an England call-up again, whilst Pavlyuchenko is expected to be given another start against Everton.
Redknapp always felt he would need to call upon these players again and recalled his time at Pompey when he required his entire squad to make a contribution.
“There isn’t any trick but when their opportunity comes they have to take it. It is a squad game.
“There was a group of them (at Portsmouth). Most had been got rid of. Alain Perrin had got rid of the good ones and brought some bad ones in.
“There was a rpoblem there. There weren’t many left. Ricardo Fuller was sold for Â£100,000 – he’d cost you Â£5million now.”
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