Harry Redknapp has told Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to stop sticking his nose in Tottenham’s business and start concentrating on his own performances.
Szczesny has sought to step up the psychological warfare between his team and their bitter London rivals in the last fortnight as the battle for Champions League qualification intensifies.
The Gunners were on the brink of slipping 13 points behind third-placed Spurs earlier this month, but they now stand just one point behind their neighbours after both teams went on contrasting runs.
The 21-year-old Pole had a dig at Tottenham after the Gunners’ 3-0 win over AC Milan, claiming Redknapp’s team could end up playing Europa League football next year — something he said would give him great pleasure. He then rounded on Chelsea, who trail Spurs by four points, claiming the reason why Blues owner Roman Abramovich has sacked so many managers is because a group of senior players practically run the west London club.
His outspoken attacks may have made him a cult hero among Arsenal fans, but Redknapp is not impressed.
“Szczesny says he is coming to get Tottenham? Oh yeah, yeah, he does have a lot to say Szczesny, doesn’t he?” Redknapp said.
“I’m a big fan of his, he is a fantastic goalkeeper and he could end up being one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League but he does come out with some stuff doesn’t he? He was having a go at Chelsea the other day and God knows what (else)...
“He is a fantastic goalie, but he should just keep doing what he does.”
The sniping between rival clubs is, of course, a key reason why the Premier League is seen as one of the best domestic competitions in the world, and Szczesny’s verbal salvo is unlikely to be the last between the two clubs this season.
But Redknapp is not a big fan of players attacking other clubs through the media.
“I don’t like it,” he said. “There is no need for it. Just get on with it, just get on playing.
“You weren’t allowed to speak to the press when I was playing. If you got caught you got a fine of a week’s wages, which was about £7.”
The Spurs boss himself has complete confidence his team will be playing Champions League football next season despite suffering recent successive defeats to Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton.
When asked whether his team had been rattled by Arsenal’s form, the 65-year-old said: “No. Not at all. They have been on a good run and I always felt they were capable of that.’’
Redknapp turns his attention to the FA Cup today, where Spurs can secure a Wembley semi-final with a win over Bolton.
The Tottenham manager lifted the trophy with Portsmouth in 2008, the only major trophy of his career, and would love to win the competition again.
He said: “It’s a great tournament and we want to go all the way to Wembley now and win it.”
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