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Harry defends Arsene

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has come out in defence of Arsene Wenger after criticism of the Arsenal boss.

Both managers face up to each other for Sunday’s north London derby with the Gunners struggling and Spurs on a high after beating Wolves, Liverpool and Wigan Athletic in successive games.

However, Redknapp has dismissed criticism of Wenger and says the Frenchman will be at the Emirates for many years to come.

“You know what it’s like in football. You lose a few games and suddenly Arsene Wenger’s a poor manager,” he told reporters.

“The man’s been a great manager at Arsenal and I am sure he will be for many years to come. God knows what people are saying about him on the radio.”

“They have had injuries. That has been the problem. I think the centre-half (Thomas) Vermaelen is top drawer. They have missed him. I think he is a fantastic player.”

Spurs have done well in recent derbies, coming from two goals behind twice last year to earn four points.

And Redknapp said he is backing his team to deliver again, although he said there was no way he would be underestimating the Gunners who have won their last three matches in all competitions.

“They’ll be difficult to beat but we are a very good team as well so I fancy our chances against anybody,” he said.

“I am confident in my own team. I just feel we have good players here. Scott Parker and Adebayor coming in have made a massive difference to us.”

“Sandro coming back from his long-term injury gives us strength. He’s a fantastic player so we look strong.”

The match on Sunday will see Adebayor come up against his former side once again after his infamous goal celebration when playing for parent club Manchester City.

But Redknapp said the incident should be forgotten before adding that he hoped the Togo international would not react in a similar manner this time.

“I’m sure he won’t overreact again. I think he apologised last time. He’s got a lot of respect for Arsenal still but he loves it here now, he’s a Tottenham player,” he added.

“I’ve never spoken to him about it. I hope he does score a couple of times. I hope he slides on his knees and celebrates.”

“I am sure he’s going to get plenty of abuse come the weekend but he has just got to get on with his game.”

“You can’t react to that. He’s got to get on with it. Fans are entitled to give players all the stick in the world so long as it’s in the bounds of decency.”

Fri 30 September, 2011
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