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Delighted Redknapp lands top boss gong

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has been named Barclays manager of the season.

The award recognises the 63-year-old's achievement in guiding Spurs to fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and securing qualification for the Champions League for the first time.

“I'm delighted to receive the award but it's a team effort with Kevin (Bond), Joe (Jordan), Clive (Allen), Tony (Parks), Tim (Sherwood), Les (Ferdinand) and all the coaching and fitness staff,” he said. “Really, I'm just part of the team. It's all down to the players and what they've achieved and it’s a real honour to receive it.”

Redknapp took over the Spurs reins in October 2008 with the team bottom of the table having picked up only two points from their opening eight games.

The north London club ensured a top-four finish this season by winning 1-0 at Manchester City on Wednesday night, and could even pip Arsenal to third if they win at Burnley tomorrow and Fulham beat the Gunners.

Redknapp becomes only the second manager to win the award without having won the league, following in the footsteps of George Burley who guided Ipswich to fifth place in 2000/01.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, maintains Tottenham deserve their crack at the Champions League.

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“Yes of course, Spurs are in the Champions League on merit, you are never there by coincidence,” Wenger said. “They managed to beat us, to beat Chelsea, and also after a massive disappointment of losing the FA Cup semi-final.

“Straight away they had an opportunity to put it right against us and that brought up the level of confidence again, they have finished the season on a high. When you beat Arsenal, you beat Chelsea, you beat Manchester City, you deserve it.”

Wenger feels in a way that Arsenal have become victims of their own success, with top-class European football now taken as a pre-requisite at Emirates Stadium.

“You could see when you look at our rivals, you know that everybody celebrates. We don't do that anymore because we have done it (qualified) for so many years that everybody finds it normal,” Wenger said. “It is not normal — it is the consequences of the quality performances during the season and it is not because we are Arsenal we are guaranteed that.”

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