Redknapp: Everton postponement a blessing

The postponement of Tottenham Hotspur's opening-day-of-the-season encounter with Everton has proved a blessing in disguise for the club’s title chances, according to manager Harry Redknapp.

Spurs' August 13 fixture against the Toffees was postponed due to the London riots, with the rearrangement now giving them the opportunity to move level on points with second-placed Manchester United and three behind leaders Manchester City.

And Redknapp believes the postponement has been a 'blessing', as it allowed him to strengthen the squad and conquer the summer controversy surrounding midfielder Luka Modric's future.

"I felt we struggled at the start of the year, the postponement might have been a blessing," he said.

"It wasn’t a good time as Luka was maybe going, [Scott] Parker and [Emmanuel] Adebayor was not here and we didn't have a great pre-season in terms of being prepared. In the end it might turn out to be a blessing."

Tottenham went on to lose against both Manchester clubs in their first two league games, but Redknapp says he felt at the time that Spurs would still have a good season.

"I just felt that if we could get Adebayor on loan and Scott Parker it would make a difference. There was a feeling around the club that it was a difficult period, that first couple of weeks."

Meanwhile, Phil Neville has labelled Gareth Bale 'one of the best wingers in Europe' as he prepares for an intense battle on Wednesday.

"In Bale I see a better player than I did last season. He is adding things to his game and doing now what he wasn’t 12 months ago," he said.

“Teams are trying to block him on the flanks, but he has started coming into the middle and scoring a lot of goals. We are going to have to be at our very best to stop him."

By Didrik Ottesen