S vs ENGLAND
TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp last night hit back at Welsh claims that Gareth Bale was already injured when he joined up with Gary Speed’s squad.
The Spurs winger will miss tomorrow’s Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Cardiff due to a hamstring injury, which Wales boss Speed claimed the 21-year-old already had when he reported for duty at the beginning of the week.
But Redknapp insists Bale, who has played just three times since he injured his back against Newcastle in late January, was fully fit when he left the north London club.
Speed and his Dutch assistant Raymond Verheijen claimed scans proved Bale had tweaked a hamstring following last Saturday’s goalless draw against West Ham, which prompted a strong response from Redknapp.
“I wouldn’t have let him go if he had an injury,” said Redknapp. “Gareth played for 90 minutes against West Ham on Saturday and they tell me the figures from that game show he covered more ground than he’s ever done before.
“There was no sign of a hamstring injury. When he left here on Saturday, off he went and he certainly wasn’t injured.
“He hasn’t had a hamstring injury. He had a back, then he had a tight thigh and we’ve been very careful with him.
“Now he’s got a hamstring. He must have done it with Wales.”
Rumours of a Welsh row with Spurs gathered pace yesterday when Wales assistant coach Verheijen wrote an angry message on Twitter railing at “incompetent amateurs”.
The Dutchman later moved to clarify that the media were the intended target of his ire, while Speed admitted that the comments of his assistant had created “an unnecessary problem”.
“In no way did it refer to Tottenham,” said Speed.
Spurs are understood to have spoken to Verheijen and are satisfied they were not the subject of a tweet, posted early yesterday morning, which read: “The incompetent amateurs struck again!”
A few hours later, Verheijen posted: “Spoken with people of Spurs as they thought ‘incompetent amateurs’ had something to do with them. Promised them to put it on Twitter.”