Redknapp: Cash is only motivation for players - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Redknapp: Cash is only motivation for players

Manager saddened that Spurs squad (and others) have little regard for game's history

No knowledge of the past, little interest in the future, and cocooned by cash; the mentality of the modern footballer was spelled out by Harry Redknapp yesterday. Speaking with acceptance and only a touch of disappointment, the Tottenham manager described a generation of players almost entirely insulated from the concerns of their context in the game.

Whether the issue put to the players was Tottenham's record at Stamford Bridge, where they play today, or Spurs legends of the past, or the prospect of Champions League football returning to White Hart Lane, Redknapp was insistent. Even regarding talk of the manager himself departing to lead England, Redknapp was unambiguous: "They don't give a shit."

It started with discussion of Spurs' recent form. They have taken one point from their last four games, and have seen hopes of London supremacy and automatic Champions League qualification threatened. Redknapp was asked, not for the first time, whether this was because his players had been distracted by speculation of his filling the vacant England job.

"That is the biggest load of nonsense I've ever heard in my life," Redknapp sighed. "They don't care whether I'm the manager next year, they wouldn't lose any sleep over that or whoever comes. That's football: footballers are footballers, they play the game, they come in every day and train, somebody else comes in the door tomorrow and it's 'the king is dead, long live the king'."

It was certainly modest, and Redknapp did say that a focus on the immediate future was not unique to the players. "That is football," he said. "They don't worry 'oh Harry is going to England or he's going to go somewhere else'. It doesn't happen that way. I've been around football all my life, it doesn't happen that way. I don't think about it either. Whatever happens to me, happens to me."

Redknapp even said that footballers were not always concerned about the level they played at. It was put to the manager that Champions League qualification was necessary to buy the best players, but Redknapp shrugged that off too: "I think it gets over-rated a bit that one. If you pay them enough money and give them a good contract then they will play for you. That's how I see it."

And as unworried as Redknapp said players were about the future, they had even less interest in the past. Tottenham travel to Stamford Bridge today, where they last won in 1990. Asked whether this record would haunt his team, the Spurs manager doubted whether they would even be aware of it. "The thing is the players don't know that," Redknapp said of Spurs' record. "If I said to Benoît Assou-Ekotto we have not won at Chelsea, he wouldn't have a clue."

Not that Redknapp believes his left-back is intimately aware of even the fixture list: "He probably doesn't even know we are playing Chelsea tomorrow until we tell him later on. And that is genuine. He wouldn't look at the fixtures. He would turn up and say, 'What time is the coach tomorrow, gaffer?' And that is it. And he will be here, but he wouldn't be sure if we were going to Arsenal or Chelsea."

Redknapp is accepting of Assou-Ekotto's nature, but there was a tinge of sadness when he recounted how Rafael van der Vaart was unaware of a Tottenham great.

"I was showing a picture of John White on the wall to Rafa the other day," he recalled. "And Rafa loves football, he is a real football person. I was saying that is John White, he played for Tottenham. He was the most fantastic, amazing footballer, John White. He had skills like you have never seen in your life this fellow. But it was a long time ago."

For all this to be news to Van der Vaart was clearly a disappointment. "We have got a lot of foreign players here now and they get on with it," Redknapp said. "The history of the clubs is probably lost on them in all honesty. We can probably make out it is not, but it probably is. He could probably tell me about players at Ajax or somewhere, but in this country they don't know, do they?"

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

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
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week