Harry Redknapp has delivered a strong personal attack on the upcoming international fixture programme, warning that it could wreck Tottenham's preparations for their most important start to a season in years.
Redknapp is at a loss to understand why his and other Premier League players are being forced into a series of friendlies across the globe on 11 August, just three days before the new league campaign gets under way.
"What on earth is this about?" asked a furious Redknapp, whose side kick- off against Manchester City before their eagerly-awaited Champions League qualifier a few days' later. "Can someone tell me why you have an international week the same week the season starts. What's the point?"
Spurs had 10 players away on World Cup duty and those who were available returned for Thursday's pre-season friendly against Villarreal. Tottenham now go to Benfica on Tuesday before wrapping up their pre-season programme against Fiorentina a week today. But instead of then hitting the training ground for a period of intensive preparation ahead of a Champions League qualifier that could shape their season, many of the Spurs squad go off to play for their countries. "They've just been away as a group to the World Cup, they've come home and now they go off again just before the first game of the season, followed by a Champions League qualifier," said Redknapp. "We play Fiorentina next Saturday – which is a nuisance in itself – then they go off and play for their countries in another meaningless friendly. I won't see them until the Friday, 24 hours before we play Manchester City. How can that be a way to prepare? We are piling in more and more games. All you can do is play and recover, play and recover."
Redknapp insists West Ham are to blame for unsettling Scott Parker as he refused to rule out an improved offer for the midfielder. "Who made it public that we made an offer?" he said. "You can make an offer for a player if you want to. You can make an offer for anybody. I'm sure the chairman must have got some encouragement or he wouldn't have made an offer. I'm not sure the full story has been told about that one."