Spurs boss Redknapp slams West Ham and fixture pile-up
Harry Redknapp has launched a remarkable attack on the friendlies being played by Tottenham and England, as well as the West Ham owners who condemned Spurs’ pursuit of midfielder Scott Parker.
28/1 title hopefuls Tottenham lost a pre-season warm-up game 4-1 to Villarreal at White Hart Lane last night – a fixture Redknapp said he’d rather not have played.
And in the post-match press conference he went on to rebut claims made by Hammers chairman David Sullivan that Spurs were “unsettling” Parker after making a £7million bid.
“What have we done wrong?” asked the Spurs manager. “How is it unsettling? Who made it public that we had made an offer? You can make an offer for a player if you want to.
“I’m sure our chairman must have got some encouragement or he wouldn’t have made an offer. Scott Parker is an outstanding player but if West Ham don’t want to sell him that’s up to them.”
Whatever the behind-the-scenes niggles, the confirmation that Redknapp wants the influential midfielder is a sign he doesn’t feel his squad is strong enough to cope with the rigours of a European campaign.
Spurs are 33/1 to win the Champions League, but with a two-legged qualification tie and two final friendlies against Benfica and Fiorentina to come, Redknapp is unhappy with his side’s busy schedule.
“It’s crazy,” the 63-year-old said. “We pile more games in. The last thing we need really is to be playing games. We need to train. I need to get the players on the training pitch because all we do is play and recover.
“I didn’t want this game tonight. Too many games have been scheduled and it’s a problem.”
Redknapp also slammed England’s customary early-season friendly, this year against Hungary at Wembley on August 11th, three days before Tottenham’s opening fixture against top-four rivals Manchester City.
He added: “Can someone tell me why we have an international week on the week of the season starting?”
Spurs are 6/5 to beat City, but such was the way Villarreal picked apart a full-strength Tottenham defence Redknapp has cause to be worried.
Spurs are on the verge of taking part in thier first Champions League campaign, but must first get through two matches which take place on either August 17th or 18th, and August 24th or 25th.