Harry Redknapp denies Gareth Bale dives and cheats


Harry Redknapp is adamant that Gareth Bale does not dive and insists the only reason that his star winger goes to ground so much is because he is targeted by opposition players, who "kick him from pillar to post" every week.

Bale was criticised last weekend by a number of pundits for the incident which led to him winning Tottenham a penalty in their 5-2 defeat at Arsenal.

Ex-referee Graham Poll said former colleague Mike Dean had been "fooled" in to awarding the spot-kick after Bale dragged his trailing leg into the path of the on-rushing Wojciech Szczesny before tumbling to the ground inside the Arsenal box. Replays showed there was little, if any, contact.

Bale has been cautioned for diving, or "simulation" as it is now known, before this season, but Redknapp insists the player is not a cheat.

"I don't think he dives," the Tottenham manager said.

"I haven't spoken to him about it and there is no need to. He gets kicked form pillar to post most Saturdays.

"I think you will find there is an awful lot of players who have been booked for chopping him down with cynical challenges this year, rather than him going down under no challenge."

Bale's electric pace may have helped him become one of the most explosive players on the planet, but the 22-year-old's skills also mean he has had to deal with a number of clumsy challenges from defenders who cannot keep pace with the winger.

The pummellings took their toll last year, when Bale was forced to miss much of the second half of the campaign because of several injuries.

Redknapp is confident that Bale has now developed enough physically to deal with the reckless tackles, which the Tottenham boss insists are just a normal part of the game which Bale has to deal with.

"He takes some rough treatment, he gets chopped down an awful lot because he runs so quick and he changes direction so quickly," Redknapp added.

"He has to accept it. The great players do like Messi and Ronaldo.

"I watch Spanish football every week and Messi gets chopped down and kicked but he gets up and gets on with it. He never misses a game.

"Gareth is a great young player with a fantastic future and he has to accept that.

"It doesn't worry me. He is 6ft tall and is built like Ronaldo. He is strong. He can take it."

Bale suffered a hamstring injury in midweek but Redknapp is confident that he will be fit for Sunday's crucial clash against Manchester United.

Spurs go in to the match on the back of a 5-2 mauling at Arsenal which all but ended their hopes of winning a first Barclays Premier League since 1961.

The defeat also left Tottenham looking over their shoulders at Arsenal and Chelsea, who trail by just seven points.

Despite challenging for the title for most of the season, Spurs' chances of bringing Champions League football will take a severe hit if they lose their upcoming games against United, Everton and Chelsea, but Redknapp is confident that will not be the case.

"The Arsenal match was a blip, a one-off. It's done and dusted, history, and the players have all moved on," Redknapp added.

"All the big teams have had bad days this year.

"We occasionally will have a day like that where everything went wrong and we have to put it right this week."

Redknapp is confident that Rafael van der Vaart, who was reduced to a second-half substitute role last week because of a calf injury, will be fit for Sunday's game and he also hopes that Ledley King and Kyle Walker will have overcome their respective knee and ankle complaints.

Redknapp has endured a difficult time this season, undergoing a heart operation in November and recently having to clear his name in a 13-day long trial against tax evasion charges - a case which he won.

The popular Tottenham boss, heavily tipped to take over as next England manager, turned 65 today - an age which many associate with retirement.

Redknapp has no plans to quit just yet, however.

"I'm not retiring, no. Not yet, no," he said.


Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments