Ben Pauling’s The Jukebox Man bids to build on a Cheltenham near-miss as he lines up for the Cavani Sartorial Menswear Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

The gelding, who is owned by Harry Redknapp, won his first two starts over hurdles and was then third at Grade One level in the Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury at the end of last year.

He was subsequently somewhat overlooked at 18-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but outran those odds when going agonisingly close, as he was beaten just a head by Stellar Story.

The Jukebox Man now returns at the same level in Liverpool, having proven in defeat that he is well able to mix it with the best.

“He’s come out of Cheltenham in good form and we’re really looking forward to seeing him run again,” said Pauling.

“Watching the race back, we felt we could have done a few things differently, but all in all he showed us he is a Grade One performer for the future, which is very exciting in itself.

“He’s not a flamboyant horse at home, he just does what he has to do, but he seems in good order with himself, so we’re looking forward to rolling the dice again.”

Nicky Henderson’s Shanagh Bob looks to demonstrate his promise again in the race and preserve his unbeaten record.

The six-year-old has run twice under rules, taking a Plumpton novice on debut and then stepping sharply up in grade to land the Bristol Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in December.

He was due to return to the same track to contest the Albert Bartlett, but like many Henderson runners, he was withdrawn as the stable was suspected to be in ill health.

“I don’t really know how good he could be, he’s a horse that could fool you a little bit,” said Henderson.

“It probably tells you a little bit that we started at Plumpton first time out.

“It’s not the normal nursery ground we use, it’s a great track, don’t get me wrong, but you wouldn’t expect to see the Albert Bartlett favourite at that time of year.

“He was good and we moved straight into Cheltenham, when he was really impressive.

“He’s a lovely horse, he’ll jump a fence and I’d love him to come through this because if he does, we go novice chasing with a top-class horse on our hands.”

Gordon Elliott has a single runner in Croke Park, while Willie Mullins fields Naas Grade One winner Readin Tommy Wrong and Dancing City.

Readin Tommy Wrong was the favourite for the Albert Bartlett but was pulled up on an off day that Mullins’ son and assistant Patrick thinks he can be forgiven for.

“Paul (Townend) chose Readin Tommy Wrong in Cheltenham, he’s the horse with the touch of class in a staying race,” he told Sporting Life.

“He came from behind in a two-and-a-half-mile race in the Lawlor’s, he should be ideal for a staying race because he settles and a horse that settles is worth 10lb in one of these races.

“Nothing really came to light after Cheltenham, I think he just had an off day and you can draw a line through that. You can always forgive a horse one bad run.

“It’s obviously not ideal coming off the back of that but for me I’d still back him to get back to his Naas form. I just think he has that little bit of class that separates the real stayers from the other horses.”

Dancing City also contested the Albert Bartlett and was third, though the margin was wide and the younger Mullins feels he had luck on his side that day.

“Dancing City is more of a galloper, more dour,” he said.

“He ran really well at Cheltenham, but I think a lot went right for him and he was still well beaten, so I’m not sure where I’m going to see the improvement from him, but I could see him running a solid race.”

Sir Alex Ferguson had the upper hand when meeting Harry Redknapp’s teams on the football pitch and he outscored his old rival two winners to one on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The big meeting was in danger of becoming more than a bit predictable with Willie Mullins recording a double on each of the first two days – but it was livened in some style up by wins for a couple of celebrity owners.

Ferguson, the former Aberdeen and Manchester United manager, has thrown himself into racing ownership since his retirement and has recently been enjoying great success with a horse he bred himself, Spirit Dancer, winning valuable prizes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia recently.

He has owned horses for a long time with friends Ged Mason and John Hales, and while they have had very good horses and won a host of good races, together they had failed to scale the Cheltenham Festival heights.

That all changed in a magical 40-minute spell on Thursday when first the Paul Nicholls-trained Monmiral caused a big shock in the Pertemps Final and then Protektorat, third in the Gold Cup a few years ago, returned to his best to win the Ryanair Chase on an equally special day for Dan Skelton.

Ferguson – who together with Hales, Mason and Peter Done paid a record €740,000 for Caldwell Potter at the sales in February – said: “I’ve finally had a winner here. Two in 40 minutes! It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? It’s a special place.

“It has been probably 20 years that I’ve wanted to have a winner here, as when I first started I just had Flat horses and no National Hunt ones.

“I got interested in the jumps with Ged and John. It 100 per cent makes it more enjoyable having a winner with friends. Everyone looks forward to Cheltenham, while on the Flat you have the Derby. These two events are unsurpassed.

“It’s special here, it’s like the Derby or the FA Cup final and I’ve waited a while to experience this. A lot of people who buy horses have never had a winner, never mind here. It’s a feeling of elation.

“Of course it’s not the same as winning at football, that was my life, I was immersed in that, this is what I do for pleasure so it’s a different feeling. I don’t have to worry about it, I leave that to the trainer.”

Redknapp echoed Ferguson’s sentiment as he also celebrated his first Festival success after years of trying.

His Shakem Up’Arry, who won the TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase, got his name from Redknapp’s time at West Ham when a fan used to sit behind him and shout ‘shake ’em up, Arry’.

Redknapp said: “I can’t believe we’ve done it. He travelled so well and jumped the last and I thought ‘please, don’t stop now’. People were saying ‘Go on Harry, he’s won’ and I thought ‘no he ain’t!’.

“Racing has been a big part of my life. I grew up at West Ham as a player where we had a team of punters, that’s how it was back in those days. We all loved a bet, we all loved racing.

“I’ve been lucky to have got into racing as an owner and when you buy horses you dream of having a winner at Cheltenham.”

He went on: “My old nan was a bookie’s runner down our street in the east end and she used to get locked up every day for taking bets! To be here now in this position is incredible.

“My main worry is that they get round safe, I jump every jump with them and think ‘please don’t fall or get hurt’. When they come back safe and sound, especially in front, it’s all the better.

“It’s great for Sir Alex to have a winner as well, we had some great days. Going into his office at Old Trafford at quarter past two when the teams were out and we’d watch a bit of racing for 15 minutes and then we’d go out and I’d do my best to try and pull off a miracle and get a result!

“We both loved the racing and we both loved the football. For him to get two winners today is great and for me to get a winner is fantastic.”

One lucky Betfair punter put all three horses in a £5 accumulator they were calling ‘The Gaffers Treble’. It returned £16,195.

Betfair spokesperson Barry Orr said: “The punter must not only be a racing fan, but also a big football fan. The two ex-bosses are massive racing enthusiasts and Cheltenham is the Champions League of the horseracing world, so for both to score on the biggest stage is a great result.”

Harry Redknapp enjoyed a first Cheltenham Festival winner as Shakem Up’Arry found the scoresheet on a football-orientated day three of the Cheltenham Festival.

Having watched his former managerial rival Sir Alex Ferguson notch a double earlier on the card, it was soon the turn of the former West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham boss to return to the Prestbury Park winner’s enclosure with his course specialist – who supplemented his New Year’s Day triumph here in great style.

Sent off at 8-1 for the TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase, the Ben Pauling-trained 10-year-old travelled supremely in the hands of Ben Jones and having jumped the last already looking the winner, he stuck his head down and galloped all the way to the line.

The victory continued Pauling’s fine run of recent form, with the Naunton Downs handler registering a fourth Festival success. However, it was a first victory for 24-year-old Jones at the meeting having only once previously enjoyed success at the Cotswolds track – aboard Shakem Up’Arry on the duo’s previous start.

The Jukebox Man will not be seen again until the spring following his fine third in Newbury’s Challow Hurdle.

Owned by football great Harry Redknapp, he was bought for £70,000 after impressing in the pointing field and since being beaten by the well-regarded Gidleigh Park on his rules debut, he has barely put a foot wrong for trainer Ben Pauling.

Two novice hurdle victories saw him stepped up in class for the final Grade One of 2023 and although failing to come away with victory, the six-year-old was less than two lengths adrift of eventual winner Captain Teague after being involved in a prolonged battle with both the Paul Nicholls-trained scorer and runner-up Lookaway up the Newbury straight.

That gives Pauling confidence that he has a special performer under his care and after being given plenty of time to recover from his Challow exertions, The Jukebox Man will be prepared for big-race targets in the spring.

He said: “We are really lucky at the moment to have some smart young horses, but he is definitely up there with the best of them.

“He’s particularly suited by that sort of ground and I’m not saying he does not have the speed or class for better ground, but I think he handles the soft very well.

“I thought he ran a lovely race and jumped particularly well and travelled strongly. Although four of them finished within two lengths of each other, rather than say the race wasn’t that strong, I think you probably have four nice horses.

“Lookaway brought very strong handicap form to the race and the others are very unexposed horses who have done nothing wrong in their preparation and are hopefully going to be smart horses for years to come.”

Pauling continued: “He won’t run again now until the spring. I just feel the Challow is always a gruelling enough test and I don’t think we can say this year is any different.

“Amazingly, he has come out of it very well indeed and is as fresh as a daisy. However, I think we will be saving him for something in the spring, whether that is Cheltenham, Aintree or even Perth.

“We will look to run once or twice max before the end of the season and although I think he will stay three miles very well, ground will probably determine which route we went really.

“I think he will definitely stay three, but if it came up soft I wouldn’t be afraid to leave him at two and a half and I think he is an absolute belter. He has a brilliant attitude, loves his job and I think he is going to be a very smart horse for the future.”

It was an exciting few days for both Pauling and Redknapp and although they fell short in the Challow, they received the perfect compensation package at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day when Shakem Up’Arry landed the valuable Paddy Power New Year’s Day Handicap Chase by an emphatic seven and a half lengths.

It was a long-awaited victory for the 10-year-old, who had been sent off favourite for the corresponding race in 2023 and had also placed over the course and distance at the Cheltenham Festival.

“He has always been knocking on the door of a big one without quite finding what is needed to get his head in front,” continued Pauling.

“Whether that be at the Festival or whenever he ran, he always seems to turn up, but has just fallen slightly short.

“We just gave him a tinker with his wind in the summer and whether it is that or not, I’m not sure, but it looks to be paying dividends and it is great for both Harry and the horse to get on the board in a big one and reap the rewards for almost Harry’s patience really.

“Harry couldn’t have been much happier, he was gutted not to be there, but he has always adored this horse – I think because he is named after him. He has owned him with me since he was a three-year-old and amazingly he turned 10 the other day which is frightening.

“He has always been fond of this horse and it was lovely to see him go and do it.”

Harry Redknapp was appointed Tottenham manager following the sacking of Juande Ramos, on this day in 2008.

Ramos, who had lifted the League Cup just eight months previously, was dismissed following a dismal start to the season, with Spurs rock bottom of the Premier League table with just two points from eight games.

Chairman Daniel Levy paid £5million in compensation to Portsmouth to secure the release of Redknapp, who had won the FA Cup with Pompey the previous season.

Sporting director Damien Comolli was also sacked along with Ramos as Levy oversaw an overhaul of player recruitment.

Redknapp’s tenure began with a 2-0 victory over Bolton – the team’s first win in the league that season – on the day he was appointed.

When discussing his motivation for the move, Redknapp said: “I just thought maybe it was time to move on and Tottenham are a big, big club.

“I thought, ‘Let’s just give it a go before it is too late’.”

West Ham could emerge from Declan Rice's departure as a "stronger" unit with James Ward-Prowse taking the midfielder's place, according to Harry Redknapp.

Rice joined Arsenal for a club-record £100million in July, having capped his final season with the Irons by lifting the Europa Conference League trophy in June.

Despite the windfall generated by Rice's sale, West Ham endured a frustrating pre-season amid reports boss David Moyes did not see eye-to-eye with new technical director Tim Steidten.

However, the signings of former Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse and Mexico international Edson Alvarez have lifted the mood at the London Stadium.

Ward-Prowse enjoyed a dream debut as West Ham beat Chelsea 3-1 on Sunday, becoming the first player to record multiple assists on his first Premier League outing for the club.

With Ward-Prowse bringing his set-piece prowess to the London Stadium, Redknapp – who played for West Ham between 1965 and 1972 and managed the club between 1994 and 2001 – is positive about the Hammers' prospects.

Asked about West Ham's recruitment, Redknapp told Stats Perform: "I love Ward-Prowse. He's a good player and looks a good character and a good lad.

"So yeah, they could be a stronger team this year, with the money they've raised. They've lost one outstanding player but they've [potentially] got [some] very good players in with that money. 

"I think it's good business for West Ham. I think West Ham will be fine."

Asked about Moyes facing criticism from supporters despite lifting the first major trophy of his managerial career last term, Redknapp added: "That's football, isn't it? That's the way the game goes. It's a results business now, you don't get long. 

"You know, back in the day, West Ham had four managers in something like 75 years. Ron Greenwood, John Lyall, Ted Fenton before that. That was how the game was. 

"Now, you get 20-odd minutes! You lose a few games, you lose four, five, six games, you're in trouble. You've got people calling for your head. 

"David is a good manager. He's been around long enough, he knows his situation, he knows he needs results. There's no reason they can't have a good season."

Another of Redknapp's former clubs did make a coaching change ahead of the new season, with Bournemouth replacing now-Wolves boss Gary O'Neil with Andoni Iraola.

Asked about his first impressions of the former Rayo Vallecano coach, Redknapp said: "I don't know much about him at the moment, but they tell me he's very good. 

"It's a good club, with new owners, and they're ambitious. It's good that new people have come in, they look like they're good for the club. I think they're going to be good for everybody.

"It's their choice to change manager, it's their decision. They own the club, they can do what they want and they feel the new guy's the man to take the club forward. Let's hope he can. 

"Things are looking good down there, I think the team looks okay. They've made one or two signings and they've got a couple more injured still to come in. 

"I think they might make one or two more signings. I don't see them being a relegation outfit this year, I think they'll be fine. They'll improve on what they did last year possibly."

Elsewhere, Redknapp is pleased to see former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe succeeding with Newcastle United, having earned his opportunity by leading the Cherries to the top flight for the first time in 2015.

"He's a top manager," Redknapp said of Howe. "We've got some fantastic young managers in this country who don't get the opportunity to manage a top team. 

"There are loads in the Championship and below who could do a great job in the Premier League if they were ever given the opportunity.

"Eddie deserved the opportunity. What he did at Bournemouth was amazing, and now he's doing magnificent, wonderful things at Newcastle. 

"He's got the backing, he's got good players, they've bought some fantastic players in, the recruitment's been great. But Eddie's a top manager, he could manage anywhere."

Newcastle United are back among Europe's elite and Harry Redknapp sees no reason why Magpies supporters will care about their Saudi Arabia-backed ownership if their success continues.

Eddie Howe's side finished fourth in the Premier League last season, qualifying for the Champions League in their first full campaign under the majority control of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The Magpies were flirting with relegation when a PIF-led consortium took charge in 2021, with signings including Bruno Guimaraes eventually helping them to safety.

Sandro Tonali, Alexander Isak and others have since joined as Newcastle continue to invest heavily, though their owners have attracted plenty of criticism from supporters of other clubs.

Saudi Arabia has been condemned for its poor human rights record and criminalisation of same-sex relationships, but Redknapp believes those ethical questions will be ignored by most fans.

"[The Saudis] are not going to mess about, they've got the money," former Tottenham and Portsmouth manager Redknapp told Stats Perform.

"They've come in and bought Newcastle. It's the Saudis that have bought Newcastle. Do the Newcastle fans really care now whether they're from Saudi Arabia or whether they're Geordies who own the club?

"They couldn't care two monkeys. For them, if they're winning games and they're taking a club forward and improving the team… they don't care, they're just happy."

Newcastle's supporters became disenchanted during the reign of previous owner Mike Ashley, with their new financial power a major boost for a club that last won a major trophy in 1955.

The Magpies are expected to mount another top-four challenge this term, and Redknapp believes that will be the only concern for most supporters. 

"Their team is winning, they've got good players, the manager's great, everything's fine," he continued. "They're not bothered about who owns the club.

"So I think we'd all get carried away. I've always said if Saddam Hussein had bought a team, they'd be singing 'There's only one Saddam'.

"The fans don't care who owns a club, as long as they're producing, bringing in better players and the team are winning."

The PIF has also started to invest heavily in the Saudi Pro League in recent months, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and other elite players making big-money moves to the Gulf.

Premier League clubs are largely unable to compete with the financial incentives offered in Saudi Arabia, and Redknapp is unsure how England's top clubs can respond.

"I don't know what response [the Premier League] can make," he continued. "You're not going to stop players going over there. Give players a chance and they will go.

"They can all come out and say I don't agree with this, don't agree with that, but when the money's put in front of them, they're all whizzing off over there and it won't stop.

"We've seen players going and there's an awful lot more who would love the opportunity. I speak to people who ask me if I know anybody who can get certain players, top players, over there, international players that want to go.

"When the money is there and they can treble or quadruple their wages, they're going to go. It's going to be the place a lot of players are going to want to go and play, and make a fortune."

Richarlison is not capable of filling the hole Harry Kane has left at Tottenham, according to former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp.

Kane joined Bayern Munich for a Bundesliga-record €117million (£100m) earlier this month, leaving Tottenham as the club's all-time top goalscorer having netted 280 times in 435 appearances in all competitions, including 30 in 38 Premier League games last season as Spurs finished a disappointing eighth.

Kane's departure has left Tottenham fans concerned over their attacking options for this season, with the striker's impressive output last term making up for disappointing campaigns from the likes of Son Heung-min and Richarlison, who only scored 11 league goals between them.

Richarlison particularly struggled in his first season with Spurs, netting just once in the Premier League after joining from Everton for £60m, and Redknapp doubts whether the Brazil international can step up in Kane's absence.

"[Richarlison] can't fill Harry [Kane's] boots," Redknapp told Stats Perform. "No, he's not on the same level as Harry Kane.

"He's got to do better than what he did last year for sure. He's played for the Brazilian team and is a regular for them, he played at the World Cup. [He] scored goals at Everton, did okay there.

"I think Son will play through the middle. They'll let him off the leash and stick him through the middle. I think that's where he wants to play. He'll score goals, he will get between 15 and 20 goals, I think. 

"But Harry Kane and Son together is definitely better than Son on his own. So that is the problem."

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy decided to cash in on Kane with a year left on the striker's contract, a decision that Redknapp understands but does not necessarily agree with, adding: "It's difficult. Daniel had that problem with him at the end of the year as a free agent.


"So do you wait and let him walk away for free, or do you take the 100 million? Could he have bought in that type of money by just staying this year and getting them back in the Champions League? Quite possibly.

"I thought Tottenham made some good signings, [James] Maddison coming in would be a big plus for Harry. He'd supply and make goals for him.

"[It is a] difficult one, but Daniel does what he feels is right for the football club at the end of the day, and he obviously feels it's better to take the 100 million now than get nothing at the end of the season."

Kane's exit is one of several big changes at Spurs, with former Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou appointed ahead of this season as Tottenham bid to return to the top four.

Redknapp feels Postecoglou is in for a baptism of fire in Premier League management, having to cope without Kane in a league that will prove to be very competitive at the top end again, explaining: "He's got a great job. He's got a result as he's come from nowhere, really, in the last few years to manage Celtic and then manage Tottenham.

"I like him. When I see him, I like him an awful lot. It looks good. He's a good character. And I think he'll do a good job. I suppose when he came he always knew that he would have Harry for a year at most.

"I'm sure he's excited with the players he's working with, it will be the best players he's ever worked with anyway. 

"He's never worked with a squad of players near that standard before. It's going to be a tougher division this year and he needs time.

"There's Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle [United] and Tottenham. Seven teams here scrapping it out for four places.

"I think Spurs will be okay. I think Maddison was a great signing. They just took the centre-half now, the Dutchman [Micky van de Ven], who is supposed to be a good player. They'll bring two or three more in.

"They will be pushing for a top-four place, [but] whether they can make it without Harry Kane, I'm not sure now."

Harry Kane can lead Bayern Munich back to Champions League glory, according to his former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.

Kane joined the Bavarian giants from Tottenham last week for an estimated €117million (£100m), leaving as Spurs' record goalscorer and joining a Bayern side targeting their 12th consecutive Bundesliga title this season.

For all their domestic success, however, Bayern have suffered three consecutive quarter-final exits from the Champions League, last winning Europe's premier club competition in 2019-20.

But Redknapp, who handed Kane his Spurs debut in a Europa League qualifier against Hearts in 2011, believes the 30-year-old is the best striker in the world and can spearhead Bayern's return to Champions League glory.

"He's just for me the best centre-forward in the world," Redknapp told Stats Perform. "He can do absolutely everything. 

"He's an amazing player. He scores goals. He makes goals, he can head it, he can score left foot, right foot, there's not a weakness in his game.

"Wherever he goes, he'll be a sensation. He could push Bayern Munich onto getting even closer to winning the Champions League this year and what they've been in the past.

"They'll probably win the league again. But the Champions League has got to be what they're looking to win and he's certainly the man to help them do that."

Kane's Spurs departure ended a 19-year association with the London club, the latter stages of which were clouded by rumours of a potential exit as major silverware evaded him. 

Redknapp is surprised Bayern managed to acquire Kane, questioning why Manchester United did not attempt to sign a player who sits just 47 goals shy of Alan Shearer's all-time Premier League scoring record.


"It was a surprise to me that he decided to go to Bayern Munich," Redknapp said. "Even if he had gone to Real Madrid, I could have understood it, maybe.

"For me, he'd have been a great signing for Man United. We see [Moises] Caicedo going [to Chelsea] for over 100 million pounds. He's a defensive midfield player, doesn't score goals, doesn't make goals, breaks the play up. 

"Harry Kane, for less money, who guarantees you between 25 and 30 goals a year, he could have pushed Man United onto maybe winning a title this year. So I was surprised they didn't go for him.

"I thought he might stay on and beat Shearer's record. I suppose the only person that's pleased he's going to Germany probably is Alan Shearer. It will keep the record intact."

Kane netted on his Bundesliga debut as Bayern began their title defence with a 4-0 thrashing of Werder Bremen on Friday.

Redknapp is confident his former player will adapt quickly and doubts he will be worried by the shadow of Robert Lewandowski, who scored 238 goals in 253 Bundesliga outings for Bayern before leaving for Barcelona last year.

"It'll be a different way of football, the style will be slightly different," Redknapp added. "It's still football, but it'll be slightly different to what he's been used to here.

"He's so low maintenance as a player, he's confident in his own abilities, he works hard, trains hard, lives right, family man. He'll score goals, make goals, he'll be a sensation.

"You know, Lewandowski was a great player, but Harry Kane's a better player."

Harry Kane will choose to stay with Tottenham and can win trophies with the club, says former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp.

Kane scored his 266th goal for Spurs in the 1-0 victory over Fulham on Monday, equalling Jimmy Greaves' all-time goalscoring record for Tottenham and boosting their top-four hopes.

But with the striker's contract due to expire in 18 months, it has been rumoured Kane may opt to leave to pursue silverware elsewhere, with links to European giants such as Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

Kane has spent 19 years with Spurs but is yet to lift any major trophies, losing the 2018-19 Champions League final to Liverpool and finishing as an EFL Cup runner-up twice.

But Redknapp, who handed Kane his Spurs debut in a Europa League qualifier against Hearts in 2011, is confident the 29-year-old will not move on.

"I think he'll stay there," Redknapp told Stats Perform. "He's happy there.

"He's got a fantastic contract, obviously, he earns amazing money. His life is good, got a lovely family. I think he's moving house and his life is good. He's enjoying his football there."

Aside from Spurs' bid to repeat their top-four finish of last season, the club remain in both the FA Cup and Champions League as they look to win their first major trophy since the EFL Cup in the 2007-08 campaign.

Redknapp believes the London side can provide Kane with a route to silverware, saying: "I think he feels he can still win something with Tottenham.

"I think Tottenham could win a trophy in the next year or two for sure. I think there's got to be chances they'll win the FA Cup."

Arsenal should be labelled as favourites in the north London derby, but Harry Redknapp says Harry Kane will always give his old team Tottenham a fighting chance.

Premier League leaders Arsenal make the short trip across the capital to face their rivals on Sunday.

A 3-0 defeat to Antonio Conte's team in the corresponding fixture last season was the start of Arsenal's capitulation in the run-in, which saw them miss out on the Champions League.

Yet Mikel Arteta's side are flying high this term and, having beat Spurs 3-1 in October, Arsenal are looking to complete their first league double over their rivals since 2013-14, which was also their last league victory away at Tottenham.

Former Spurs manager Redknapp believes Arsenal have the edge, but is confident Kane – the highest-scoring player in north London derby history with 14 goals – will take an opportunity if it comes his way.

"At the moment, you'd have to fancy Arsenal, to be honest, they look so good," Redknapp told Stats Perform.

"They're so full of confidence. I love the way they're playing. I think they've got some real quality players, but when you've got Harry Kane in your team, you've always got a chance, you've got a puncher's chance.

"They might get outplayed for long periods of a game but Kane can land a knockout blow anytime. So I wouldn't write Tottenham off by any means. I think it'll be a tight game."

Kane has scored in all but one of his eight league home games against Arsenal, only failing to find the net in a July 2020 clash, when the competition restarted behind closed doors during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 29-year-old has scored 198 Premier League goals and is just one strike away from matching Jimmy Greaves' record of 266 goals for Tottenham.

Only Erling Haaland (21) has scored more Premier League goals than Kane (15) this season, with the Spurs talisman having far over performed his expected goals of 10.5.

Wayne Rooney (208) and Alan Shearer (260) are the only players to have scored more Premier League goals than Kane, who Redknapp believes is the cream of the crop.

"Oh without a doubt, yeah," Redknapp said when asked if Kane will break the competition's goalscoring record.

"I think he'll smash it to pieces. Harry's just an amazing player, he's the best centre forward in the world in my opinion.

"He's right up there isn't he? Shearer you know how far do you go back you know, but you know, he's up there with the very, very best isn't he?

"The great Jimmy Greaves was a different type of player, Jimmy was a fantastic footballer. Genius. But Harry is just amazing. For me, he's the best all-round centre forward, he can do everything. The complete player.

"There's nothing he doesn't do. Team player. Great guy, not a problem. Perfect professional."

Harry Redknapp has backed Graham Potter to be a success at Chelsea once the former Brighton and Hove Albion boss has his best players available.

Potter is enduring a difficult time at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea having lost six of their past eight games.

The Blues have won just once during that poor run, beating Premier League strugglers Bournemouth 2-0 at home on December 27.

Sunday's 4-0 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup served up a stark example of the gulf between 10th-placed Chelsea and teams battling for the title, yet Redknapp insists Potter, who replaced Thomas Tuchel in September, simply needs time to get to work.

Chelsea's injury list is a long one, with Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Christian Pulisic, N'Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Edouard Mendy the first-team regulars out of action.

"You can't sack the lad can you, he's not been there 10 minutes – he's got a million injuries you know, you've got injuries galore, both his full-backs, Chilwell, James, important players, Fofana came in unfit, they've got lots of injuries," Redknapp told Stats Perform.

"They have still got a very, very strong squad. They've spent money like it's going out of fashion but he needs time. He's only as good as your players at the moment – it's not rocket science. People seem to think you go in and show them how to play football. It doesn't work like that.

"At the moment, he's got his best players missing and they're struggling to win. When they get back in the team, you'll see a massive improvement."

Chelsea have been active in the January transfer window, signing four players already, while they are also eager to land Benfica's World Cup star Enzo Fernandez.

While that transfer appears to be on ice for now, the Blues confirmed the loan signing of Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Redknapp does not think more signings are necessarily a silver bullet, however.

He said: "They've got enough players, they just need those back from injury – they need James back, they need Chilwell back. There's no reason they can't go on a run."

Potter has won eight of his 18 games in charge at Chelsea (44.4 per cent), and Redknapp says it would be foolish for the club to show him the door.

"Five years – you just gave him a five-year contract, you can't very well bring him in, give him a five-year contract and then sack him, surely to God," Redknapp said.

"I know they've done it before, Chelsea, that is the way they've worked. Managers who've won the Champions League and then they've been sacked a couple of games later, it happens. But I don't see that happening this time."

Gareth Bale was only behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the peak of his career, according to former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.

Wales legend Bale announced his retirement from football on Monday, bringing to a close a career that included three LaLiga titles and five Champions League medals with Real Madrid, among other accolades.

Prior to his move to Spain, Bale made a name for himself at Spurs under Redknapp, where he won two PFA Player of the Year awards and scored 71 goals in 237 games for the Premier League side.

Speaking to Stats Perform, Redknapp said he was not overly surprised by Bale's decision, and feels at his very best his name belongs in the most esteemed of company.

"I suppose it was a bit of a surprise but not a great surprise," he said. "He'd gone to America [joining MLS side Los Angeles FC in June], not played many games and even though he came on in the [MLS Cup] final and scored a goal, he looked like he wasn't figuring in their team much.

"He played in the World Cup, did okay [and it was] great to get Wales there, a fantastic achievement. But in all honesty, it wasn't a Gareth Bale when they played England [losing 3-0 in the group stage] or anybody really that we've come to see over the years.

"He maybe felt he couldn't reach the heights [he used to] and the standards he set over so many seasons when he was absolutely fantastic for me, when he was the third-best player in the world for a period behind Ronaldo and Messi.

"And maybe he felt he couldn't quite get back to that again and decided [to] maybe call it a day. But he's had a fantastic career."

Bale had already been at Tottenham for a year before Redknapp was appointed in 2008, and the former West Ham and Southampton boss knew he had a gem on his hands as he decided to move him further forward from his original position at left-back.

"I sort of inherited him in that position," Redknapp explained. "But I knew him from Southampton, I'd followed his career very closely and knew that he was an amazing talent from a very early age.

"When I went to Tottenham, I was very much looking forward to working with him because I just felt he was a player with the ability to go on to become a big star. He was a left-back, I pushed him forward onto the left wing, but if he had stayed at left-back, he'd have been the best left-back in the world, he was just an amazing talent.

"He had everything really, he had the physique, he had the ability to run, that speed with and without the ball, he could dribble, he could shoot, he could head it. There was nothing really that he couldn't do.

"He wasn't obsessed with football. He wouldn't be one in the dressing room that would voice any opinions or one that would want to spend hours out practising after training. It just came very easy to him, he was just a fantastic, naturally gifted footballer and athlete."

Redknapp credited Bale's form at his peak to his professionalism, and after scoring 21 goals in 33 Premier League games in 2012-13, he earned a big money move to Madrid.

"He was so easy to handle, he was just a smashing lad," Redknapp said. "He was low maintenance, was never a problem, you knew at night he wasn't out in nightclubs or drinking. He's a family man.

"[He was] quite humble, quite shy. But when he got on the pitch and he got the ball, away he went and when he got it, whoever was playing against him was in trouble every time... [it was] just amazing what he could do."

Harry Kane will cost a premium for any club wanting to prise him away from Tottenham, according to former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.

England captain Kane is reportedly keen to end a career-long association with the north London club in order to pursue major honours.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been linked to the 27-year-old, along with Paris Saint-Germain and his ex-manager Mauricio Pochettino.

However, Redknapp knows first half what a tough negotiator Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is and he expects his old boss to extract top dollar.

"It will not be easy. You are dealing with Daniel Levy and he's not easy to deal with," Redknapp told talkSPORT.

"He is not going to go, 'Okay, Harry, I understand, off you go mate, we will sell you for cheap'.

"He is going to cost a king's ransom, believe you me."

Redknapp expressed surprise at Kane apparently agitating for a move, given his exulted status at Spurs.

"I thought he would stay," he said. "His life is fantastic, he is the leader of the club, his family is here.

"But I suppose he has got to the stage now where he has won all the individual accolades and now wants to get some trophies on the board."

As such, Redknapp feels the Tottenham faithful should be understanding towards their talisman, who he thinks would be a transformative singing if he ends up at Old Trafford.

"If they are sensible, they [the fans] will look at and think he deserves the opportunity to go and win a few trophies," he said.

"I would be surprised if he went to Chelsea. If the fans have any sense, they would understand his situation.

"If you want a guarantee to win trophies you go to Man City or Liverpool, but he could turn Man United into title winners. He is that good.

"With his goals and everything he brings, they would be very close. Whoever gets him, he will improve them massively. He will be a great signing for somebody."

Redknapp added: "He is a great lad, a great professional and an absolute gent to work with. He would be amazing to have at your football club."

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