Belfast Telegraph

Redknapp rues loss of local links

Harry Redknapp admits his team will be at a disadvantage when they face Chelsea on Saturday as Tottenham's foreign players do not grasp the history and importance of what a London derby means to the club.

Spurs and Chelsea have enjoyed a simmering rivalry ever since both clubs were established, and the Blues have dominated the battle between the two teams in recent history having not lost to their neighbours at home since 1990.

Redknapp admits the history will be lost on most of his players though, and said: "If I said to Benoit (Assou-Ekotto) we have not won at Chelsea for 20 years, he wouldn't have a clue. He probably doesn't even know we are playing Chelsea tomorrow until we tell him later on."

He added: "He won't look at the fixtures. He will turn up and say: 'what time is the coach tomorrow gaffer?'. And that is it. He will be here, but he won't be sure if we were going to Arsenal or Chelsea.

"All players are like that now, most of them. You still have some throwbacks, still I am sure there are maybe a couple of the lads at Chelsea.

"We have got a lot of foreign players here now and they get on with it. The history of the clubs is probably lost on them in all honesty.

"I was showing a picture of John White on the wall to Rafa (van der Vaart) the other day. I was telling him he was an amazing footballer that got struck by lightning but he didn't know.

"I come from the East End, we knew about the Arsenals, the Chelseas - we knew all the players. I don't think they do that now, not so much. And certainly the foreign players, they are not going to know.

"I think it's a disadvantage.

"If I asked Frank Lampard he would tell you all about players. He has been brought up with it. His dad would talk about Bobby (Moore) and all them players. It's rarer now I think."


From Belfast Telegraph