West Ham manager Avram Grant insisted goalkeeper Robert Green had silenced his critics after seeing his side record their first league win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham in an entertaining London derby.
Frederic Piquionne scored the only goal with a superb glancing header from a Mark Noble corner in the first half but it was goalkeeper Green who weighed in with a string of fine saves, including one spectacular effort from Luka Modric.
At the end of the game Green, who was heavily criticised for his World Cup howler for England against the United States in South Africa, appeared to aim a defiant gesture in the direction of the press box.
Grant said: “He is a good goalkeeper and it was a normal performance from him. It was a great save against Modric.”
When asked had Green been harshly treated, Grant replied: “This is the life of a sportsman. I haven’t seen any footballer who is good all the season. It does not matter what is in the papers he showed on the pitch that he is a very good goalkeeper. His performance today was the best speech. I like emotion in the game. I don’t want to be a cold fish.”
Redknapp also admitted Green made the difference.
Redknapp said: “He has had a difficult time after his mistake at the World Cup but it looked like he was in great form again today. He made two world class saves.”
For Redknapp there was the taste of defeat at his old club for the first time as a manager, but he was in philosophical mood.
“It is the first time I’ve been beaten by the Super Hammers,” he said. “But I don’t feel any worse losing to West Ham. I’ve had a great run coming back here.
“They started strong and their front two were a real handful. They worked their socks off. It was a great team effort from West Ham and it could have gone either way. It was an exciting game, end to end stuff. It was more of a basketball match. They attacked, we attacked and it could have gone either way.
“If Tom Huddlestone had scored when he was clean through in the second half it would have been different. They would have been on the floor and we would have been in the ascendancy.”
Redknapp has defensive problems for Wednesday when his side take on Dutch side FC Twente in the Champions League at White Hart Lane.
He lost William Gallas yesterday when he tore a groin muscle in training, Ledley King has groin and knee problems, Younes Kaboul has a hamstring injury and Michael Dawson is a long-term casualty. Fullback Benoit Assou Ekotto also has a knee problem.
It leaves him likely to have to depend on Vedran Corluka and Sebastien Bassong in central defence after a shaky display at Upton Park.
Redknapp admitted: “We looked a bit open at the back, didn’t look solid but it was not our normal back four. The last 15 minutes we were all over the shop.”