TOTTENHAM (3) vs CHARLTON ATHLETIC (0)
TOTTENHAM boss Harry Redknapp insists a loan deal for David Beckham could still happen, after seeing his side coast into the FA Cup fourth round with a swaggering London derby defeat of managerless Charlton.
Striker Jermain Defoe netted twice against his former club while teenage winger Andros Townsend capped an eye-catching debut with the opening goal. The home side’s reward is a trip to more capital opposition in Fulham later this month, by which time Beckham may finally have signed.
Spurs are still to agree terms with LA Galaxy for the veteran England midfielder, 35, to join on loan, although he will train with the club from today. Before yesterday’s clash Redknapp appeared to have given up on the deal but hinted afterwards that an agreement could yet be struck.
“I don’t honestly know. That’s being done above my head. Hopefully it could still happen,” he said. “The situation is ongoing. I was led to believe that insurance was a problem, but apparently that’s not the case.”
Talks between the two team started more than a week ago, and the sticking point is believed to be the proportion of Beckham’s £250,000-a-week wages that Tottenham would have to pay. If a loan is to be finalised, however, Spurs will be keen to act fast, with Beckham due back in California for the start of the Major League Soccer season in mid-March.
Redknapp (right) wants Beckham as cover for Aaron Lennon on the right, but witnessed Townsend put in an impressive audition for the role on his first start. The 19-year-old looked dangerous from the off and broke the deadlock shortly after half-time when his 20-yard shot beat Rob Elliot with the aid of a deflection.
Defoe then took centre stage as Tottenham, with substitute Luka Modric pulling the strings, made their superiority tell against League One opponents. The England forward’s first came after he hurdled two tackles and darted diagonally at the Addicks defence before finishing low into the far corner.
He doubled his tally just two minutes later, once again running at the heart of visitors’ backline and skipping past challenges before beating Elliot at the second attempt.
“The first half wasn’t easy for us,” added Redknapp. “Charlton worked hard, we huffed and puffed a bit but Luka came on at half-time and gave us a bit of guile in there and we started to open them up in the second half.
“What a player he is. I didn’t want to wait 15 minutes into the second half and it’s still 0-0 and you’re in trouble. He turned the game around straight away.”