Harry Redknapp joked that the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, would have an "odd couple" relationship with any manager he employed, as he reflected on how the partnership has shaped the club's impressive start to the season.
Levy has earned a reputation over the years as a hard-headed businessman, who prioritises the bottom line, while Redknapp is considered in some quarters to be a transfer market player, although do not tell him that.
The pair have clashed at times and their working relationship can be fractious, but with Levy's backing, Redknapp was able to fine-tune an already powerful squad in the summer and the results have been there for all to see.
With the new signings Brad Friedel, Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor performing impressively, Tottenham have taken 28 points from an available 30 to sit third in the Premier League, ahead of Saturday's visit of Bolton Wanderers.
"I suppose anyone who's working with Daniel would make an odd couple," Redknapp said. "He's a businessman, a clever businessman, with a fantastic business brain. We're football people, really. He's a good negotiator … it's a very well-run club from the top. The new training ground will be amazing and the whole set-up … he has to take a lot of credit for that.
"I've got no problems with Daniel, I get on very well with him. He does all the negotiations for players. If I want a player, I'll discuss it with him. In the summer, we brought in Parker and Friedel, loaned Adebayor and tried to get [Gary] Cahill [from Bolton] but couldn't pull that off. He's been very supportive all along. I told him Parker was my No1 target and he trusts my judgment. I've always said I'll choose the players and if they're not good enough, I'll take the blame."
Although Parker, in particular, has been key to the impressive form, Redknapp also acknowledged the contribution of Ledley King, the central defender, whose chronic knee problems looked set to force him into early retirement. King barely trains and he does no work with the ball in between matches but, to general surprise, he has started nine of the team's 10-game league run. His excellence has been less surprising.
The 31-year-old last tasted defeat in August last year, in the 1-0 home loss to Wigan Athletic, and his Premier League record since reads: P13 W12 D1. His availability, together with the form of Younès Kaboul alongside him, has meant frustration for the fit-again William Gallas, a player who is not noted for his reserves of patience. Redknapp must man-manage that situation but he hopes King can continue to play.
"It looked like Ledley was going to have to retire but he has come back and just been amazing," said Redknapp, who was asked about the player's chances of going to Euro 2012 with England. "I wouldn't want to say 'leave him out' because I'm sure he'd want to go but I'd be surprised if he made it."