Rafael van der Vaart says Harry Redknapp was 'like your dad' at Spurs

The Netherlands international looked back fondly on his time at Tottenham under the Englishman.

Former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart has been reminiscing about his two-year spell in North London in an interview with the Mirror, emphasising that leaving the club was the worst decision he made in his career.

The 32-year-old had particularly kind words regarding former White Hart Lane boss Harry Redknapp, the man who led Spurs into the Champions League before being dumped by Daniel Levy in 2012 in favour of Andre Villas-Boas.

The ex Ajax and Hamburg star, who this summer signed for Real Betis on a free transfer, thought the 67-year-old would have been perfect for the England job.

"Harry [Redknapp] — he was like your dad," Van der Vaart told the Mirror. "I would give everything for that man; I was really sad when he left. I think the England job would have been the best job for him and also for England."

As it turned out, the careers of both Redknapp and Van der Vaart's struggled once they left North London. Redknapp spent a couple of campaigns at QPR where he saw them relegated from the Premier League, then promoted, before leaving last season with them facing relegation again. Van der Vaart's career hasn't been much better, seeing a decent first season back in Germany ruined by two successive relegation dogfights of his own.

One silver lining to come from Van der Vaart's Tottenham exit

Though the Dutchman's exit from White Hart Lane was anything but a welcome departure from the squad in 2012, his leaving did open up the possibility for more responsibility to be placed on the shoulders of Welshman Gareth Bale.

While Van der Vaart was still at the club, Bale was predominantly used on either the left or right wing, and although he was already displaying the kind of form that signalled him to be a major star in the making, it wasn't until Villas-Boas took over that the Wales international was given a more central attacking role.

Bale's final season at Spurs, the campaign after Van der Vaart left the club, saw him score 26 goals, more than double the total he managed playing out wide, and of course earned him, and Tottenham, that world record transfer to Real Madrid.

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