Redknapp lambasts 'crazy' taunts
Harry Redknapp admits the abusive chants some Arsenal fans aimed at Emmanuel Adebayor in the last north London derby sickened him to the core.
The Tottenham manager expects the former Arsenal striker to be on the receiving end of a fierce barracking when the two clubs meet at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow and he now believes abusive chanting at top-flight matches in general has caused football to sink to a new low.
Spurs ran out 2-1 winners against their bitter north London rivals at White Hart Lane last October but the match was marred by a series of unsavoury chants from both sets of fans.
A section of the away support sparked outrage by directing chants about the deadly gun attack on Togo players in Angola towards Adebayor, while some Spurs fans directed personal abuse at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Redknapp was particularly unhappy with the chants about Adebayor.
“Unbelievable. It’s crazy,” the Spurs boss said, shaking his head. “No one deserves that. It’s absolute filth. Having seen boys get killed like that, get shot, and then for people to start singing about it...”
Redknapp has always been a keen advocate of the traditional values of football but his confidence in the game has been shaken by offensive chanting, some of which has been directed at him lately.
“It’s the worst thing about the modern game. I hate it,” Redknapp said. “It gets worse. It’s scary what some people chant. People sing songs about a player’s mother dying.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when I was watching the West Brom - Wolves game the other day. What they were singing about a player’s wife, it made me ill. I don’t understand it. It’s nonsense, filth.
“We have all grown up loving the game but they can’t be football lovers. People get in a crowd and they change. If you meet them individually they are as good as gold, but get them in a crowd and off they go, they all follow and chant any filth that comes into their heads.”
The Arsenal fans’ hostility towards Adebayor stretches back to 2009 when, shortly after leaving the club for Manchester City, he sprinted the length of the pitch at Eastlands to celebrate in front of the Gunners supporters in his first game against the London club.
The striker, whose 28th birthday falls tomorrow, missed last week’s draw at Stevenage due to a knee injury but he is expected to be fit to play at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
Redknapp insists the Togo striker will be able to keep his cool in the fixture and is confident there will be no repeat of his 2009 celebration if he scores.
“I don’t think he will do that again,” Redknapp said.“It is difficult (for him). I came out and stuck up for him last time because he was getting almighty abuse.
“Okay, he over-reacted but if someone is giving you abuse and you are taking it and taking it, you will react at some stage.
“That’s what happened to him. But I’m sure it will be okay (on Sunday). He will be able to handle it.”