David Bentley believes an infamous prank on then-Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp effectively ended his career at White Hart Lane.

The former winger, who retired from the game in 2014 at the age of just 29, celebrated Spurs’ qualification for the Champions League in the 2009-10 season by throwing water over his boss as he conducted a post-match interview following the 1-0 win over Manchester City.

The incident gained much attention and Bentley played just three more times for the Lilywhites under the management of Redknapp and his eventual successor, Andre Villas-Boas.

“The lads tried to get the chairman in the changing room and someone said ‘get the manager’ and it turned out he was being interviewed, so I went and did it,” the 33-year-old said in an interview with The Telegraph.

“It was just a celebration, I wasn’t trying to make him look silly,” he continued.

“He wasn’t happy because he was trying to change his image and I went and chucked water on him.

“He wanted to be like Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I played loads that year and there was no problem between us, but then that was the end for me.”

Bentley was once tipped as David Beckham’s natural heir on the right of England’s midfield, but inconsistency and a perceived attitude problem limited him to just seven caps for his country.

Whilst he enjoyed some memorable moments on the field in a Tottenham shirt, notably scoring a 40-yard strike against North London rivals and his own former club Arsenal, he never reached the heights many expected of him when he first arrived on the Premier League scene.

Speaking to BT Sport in 2016, Bentley claimed that the changing nature of football over the course of his career led him to fall out of love with the game and hang up his boots prematurely.

Whilst he appears to have a point regarding Redknapp’s treatment of him following the win over City in 2010, in reality Aaron Lennon was the first choice on Tottenham’s right flank and the ex-Blackburn Rovers man in fact started just 11 of the team’s 38 Premier League games that term.


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