Harry Redknapp has a new autobiography coming out — yes, the same Harry Redknapp who told a court of law "I write like a two-year-old and I can't spell." And in between moaning about The FA being incompetent because they didn't make him England manager and tales of doing his job with £30,000 in cash stuffed inside his track suit, Redknapp shares an odd pet peeve he had during his time with Gareth Bale at Spurs.
From the serialization of the book in the Daily Mail:
He drove me mad in training. Technically, he was outstanding but he always seemed to be playing with his hair. It was never right. He’d be flicking the fringe or wiping it out of his eyes and I would be going quietly mad, just watching. ‘Gareth, leave your barnet alone! Gareth! Stop touching your hair!’
He was always getting a little knock in training, too. He’d go down then limp off and I always thought the physios made too much fuss of him.
It was the same pattern every morning: Gareth would tumble and stay there, and they’d all go running over. In the end I told them just to leave him alone.
‘Don’t worry,’ I said, ‘he’ll be fine in two minutes. If it is anything urgent we’ll soon know.’ That’s what they did and, as predicted, Gareth got up, got on with it and got better and better. With Gareth, it was all about building up his confidence.
The frequency with which Bale touches his hair is even noticeable during matches, but with him now at Real Madrid and Redknapp down in the Championship with QPR, there should be enough distance between the two to maintain Harry's sanity.
Anyway, this aside was just a lead-in to the bigger issue of Gareth Bale's reputation for diving and how his delicate mindset was even present in training. Perhaps if certain footballers weren't treated like delicate flowers so much, they wouldn't think they are.
- Harry Redknapp
- Gareth Bale