There’s something about Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp that just makes him so intrinsically hard to love.
It may very well just be the fact that his face looks like four lungs wrestling for position in a plastic bag, or that he constantly seems to evade any form of karmic footballing retribution despite his recklessly myopic quest for instant gratification regardless of the financial capabilities of whichever club he pitches up at – or maybe, just maybe, it’s because of his particularly repetitive brand of blame resistant buck-passing.
Anywhom, today the Football Association have confirmed that they are to review comments made by Redknapp following Spurs’ 2-0 defeat by Manchester United on Saturday evening.
With five minutes left to play at Old Trafford, Redknapp’s side were already a goal down when Luis Nani collapsed under the immense force of gravity in Spurs’ penalty area, presumptuously stopping the ball with his hand as he wilted in the glare of the floodlights.
To cut a short story even shorter, play was then waved on, Heurelho Gomes dithered like a sh*tting spaniel, Nani suddenly recovered from whatever grievous ailment had left him prostrate on the turf just seconds earlier, springing to his feet to roll the ball past the clearly flabbergasted Gomes and into an empty net – thus ensuring that the game ended 2-0.
Speaking in a post-match interview, an incensed Redknapp described the incident as a ‘scandalous’ and ‘farcical’ goal, accusing referee Mark Clattenburg of making a ‘total mess of it’ – then echoing his sentiments in his column for The Sun:
“[Clattenburg] is responsible for one of the worst refereeing decisions ever. And each time I watch it, it gets worse.
Mark has made a right cock-up and he knows it himself. I know he’s said to people he should have blown his whistle and given a free-kick.”
The refs will stick together on this but it’s not right – they know a real mess was made of this situation. Everybody in the world has seen it for themselves.
All the referee had to do was blow his whistle, book Nani for handball and it resolves the situation.”
Redknapp also went on to imply that the matchday officials would have concocted a bogus explanation to defer the blame should he have sought one after the game.
Whether rightly or wrongly, the FA’s disciplinary department will now be charged with studying Redknapp’s little utterances to see if there is any suggestion he is accusing Clattenburg of showing a lack of integrity or impartiality – a cardinal sin in these days of sanitised media profiles and womb-like protection of officials.
For what it’s worth, I believe the blame to lie squarely (and quite literally) at the feet of Spurs ‘keeper Heurelho Gomes, as there never once was a break in play, with several glances then exchanged with Clattenburg (who clearly signalled for play to continue) before the Brazilian threw the ball to the floor with the view of gaining about ten extra yards before punting it upfield.
Had Gomes attempted to take his imaginary free-kick from the position that the foul (handball) had actually occurred I firmly believe that the referee would have stopped play and corrected him – although in trying to gain those ill-gotten few yards, the keeper’s intentions became unclear.
Both Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick then signalled to Nani that the ball was still in play and for him to capitalise on the confusion by scoring stick it in the back of the net, with the Portuguese winger even briefly seeking conformation from Clattenburg before contriving to almost miss as the ball squeezed under Gomes.
The confusion is precipitated somewhat as the linesman then raises his flag as a futile gesture of self-preservation as members of the Spurs defense rush at him to dispute the call. He then consults with Clattenburg, who blatantly confirms that he saw the handball, but still decided to wave play on because the ball was theoretically ‘safe’ in Gomes’ hands.
The goal was then given, end of debate. Or am I missing something here?