Spurs stewards to wear headcams to target fans
Tottenham have confirmed that stewards will wear headcams for tonight's game against Chelsea at White Hart Lane and will adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards anyone heard using foul, abusive, homophobic or racist language.
Spurs have reminded fans that such language will not be tolerated, and urged supporters to inform the club by text or email if they hear any such abuse. A statement read: "A reminder to all fans, both home and away, that foul, abusive, homophobic or racist language will not be tolerated at White Hart Lane. The club will take action against anyone heard using such language. Stewards will again wear headcams at the match against Chelsea and will adopt a zero-tolerance policy."
The possibility of Luka Modric joining Chelsea is "dead", according to Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. Had the summer's events gone differently, Modric could quite plausibly have been returning to Tottenham for the first time tonight as a Chelsea player. Chelsea offered Tottenham £40m for the midfielder in August but the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, stood firm, despite Modric's interest in the move to a higher-paying and more successful club.
Ahead of tonight's game, though, things are different. Modric has continued to play with his characteristic grace and wit, while Chelsea have missed precisely those qualities in their unsettled midfield. Spurs are two points ahead of Chelsea with a game in hand; victory would extend the gap.
Redknapp was unequivocal yesterday on whether Modric might still be interested in a move to Stamford Bridge. "No, I think it's dead now," he said. "He's here and he's happy here. It doesn't matter what Chelsea offer, he isn't going to Chelsea in January, not a chance. The chairman has said he is not moving, no one's leaving here that we don't want to get rid of, and he's said that, and that's for sure."
Although Modric struggled at the start of this season, not featuring in the 3-0 defeat at Manchester United on 22 August, Redknapp praised his return to focus since then. "It could have affected other boys, but I said that even when it was all going on, he just kept training," said Redknapp.
"He missed the one game, when it all got on top of him, just at that time," Redknapp said of the United game. "He's such a lovely boy that maybe seeing it every day, full on, on TV and in the papers, that probably got to him. And he just found it hard that week to concentrate on his football."
Modric's professional commitment to Spurs was a welcome change from the conduct of some footballers. "He never came in here with the hump," Redknapp said yesterday. "There's players who have gone 'you ain't stopping me going, I'm going to cause havoc'. I've seen players cause havoc at clubs, and be a nuisance and then you're better off getting them out."
While Redknapp was delighted to keep Modric, Levy was the main bulwark against the move. Redknapp admitted his sympathy for the player, which even aligned him against his chairman. "At one stage I did [disagree with Levy]," he said, "because I came out and said I could understand where [Modric] was coming from. I could understand. It's difficult, isn't it? If someone offers you a fantastic offer to go to treble your wages it's not easy. It was a great opportunity for him to do that. I could have easily taken the other line. I put myself in a position where I could have caused myself a problem with the club, in all honesty because I said what I felt. The easiest thing would be for me to take the other line."
With Spurs having kept Modric and Gareth Bale this summer, and standing third in the table, Redknapp is optimistic: "We've got to be a club that's looking to go places. The potential is great, we sell out every week. We've got good players. I would love to see us, if we're going to make a signing, perhaps make one big signing. That would really send out a message."
Aside from Modric, Redknapp would also be pleased not to face Frank Lampard, no longer a certain starter, tonight: "I would be happy if he is not playing. He is a fantastic player so if he's not playing I wouldn't be disappointed."