TOTTENHAM vs ARSENAL
TOTTENHAM boss Harry Redknapp says he will continue to show the Carling Cup full respect – despite vowing to name an under-strength side for tonight’s north London derby.
Spurs have a proud tradition in the League Cup having reached the final at Wembley in two of the last three seasons.
But with the added distraction of a Champions League campaign this season, Redknapp has been forced to shuffle his pack and throw in his youngsters at White Hart Lane.
“We’ve got lots of players who need to play who haven’t featured recently,” the Spurs boss said. “They are good quality players who need games under their belt and some of the players need a rest.
“I can’t keep using the same players. I am going to protect some of them. There will be
lots of changes. Arsene Wenger’s done it over the years and played the youngsters even in cup semi-finals. You’ve got to do what’s right for the team.”
Although Redknapp has been forced to follow Wenger’s lead and protect his first-team stars, the wily boss can’t understand why clubs not playing in Europe continually devalue the competition by fielding under-strength sides. “The Carling Cup is important,” he went on. “I can’t understand teams in the middle of the table resting their players in the Carling Cup. You have a chance of going to Wembley.
“It’s a chance to win a cup and I don’t know why they mess about with their teams. It is different if you have Champions League football.”
One youngster set to make his Tottenham bow tonight is Brazilian midfielder Sandro, who is in line for his first start since arriving in a £6m move from Internacional.
And Redknapp joked that chief scout Ian Broomfield could be for the high jump if the
21-year-old isn’t up to scratch. “He [Bloomfield] followed him,” Redknapp explained. “I
think he watched him four times; I didn’t have a chance to go to Brazil last year, it was impossible for me during the season.
“Ian is my chief scout, I rely on him. It was the first time I’ve done that but he came back and recommended him very highly.
“We checked him out with Dunga and and got fantastic reports, so we’ll have a look at the game tomorrow night and see if Ian’s still got a job on Wednesday.”