In the wake of Ledley King’s arrest, it looks like Harry Redknapp has decided it is time to ban Spurs players from drinking alcohol after a series of embarrassing booze-related incidents (many including King, it has to be said). The only problem is, that means that not only did the players not heed Redknapp’s warning when he told them they shouldn’t be drinking anyway but also that Redknapp must have lifted Juande Ramos’ alcohol ban at some point!
Harry Redknapp, 4 March, 2009: “I’ve got no time really for drinking in football. I don’t see any reason why footballers should have a drink. At West Ham I made it no-alcohol-allowed in the players’ bar when I took over as manager.
“We prepared right for Sunday’s final. No-one was even allowed to look at a glass of wine. Players should be totally dedicated. Would I have let them go out and have a blow-out if we’d won? No.”
Harry Redknapp, 12 May, 2009: “I’ll implement a strong rule next season that drinking is a no-no here. Footballers should not drink. You shouldn’t put diesel in a Ferrari. I know it’s hard but they are earning big money, they are role models to kids. They should dedicate their lives to playing.”
“We wouldn’t get these problems if the players weren’t drinking. There’s still too much of a drinking culture in English football but it’s not as bad as it used to be.”
Gus Poyet, 27 January, 2008: “Yes, there is a block on alcohol. We need to convince the players they need to be very, very careful. Without alcohol, you perform much better. If you are winning, they will be saying, ‘These guys are right’.”
“You can prove it with a simple test. By weighing them and so on. There are different things you can do and, anyway, you can see in the training. But there also has to be trust – and I trust the players. We can’t follow them everywhere and be like a father. You expect them to behave.”
So, you’re off the booze again, Spurs. And this time they mean it!