Redknapp slams player power

Harry Redknapp today became the latest Barclays Premier League manager to hit out at player power in the game in the wake of the Wayne Rooney saga.

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway yesterday launched a furious tirade against the Bosman rule, accusing footballer's rulemakers of being "frighteningly wrong" in the way they have implemented it.

And Tottenham manager Redknapp was equally as forthright today when he claimed young players were being given long contracts they "don't deserve".

On the day when Rooney ended the saga by agreeing a new five-year deal, Redknapp expressed his concerns over player power.

He said: "I worry about it with kids now.

"We've ended up in a situation where you give young kids long contracts now, for fear of losing them.

"They come in here at 17; suddenly they get a four- or five-year contract.

"They've got their feet under the table; they can go and do what they want; they're getting plenty of money.

"Some of them, they'll work their socks off.

"But too many of them, they're in the comfort zone at too early an age."

Redknapp reckons clubs should be offering youngsters no more than one-year deals, forcing them to earn any extension.

"That's what all the great players did of yesteryear, all those fantastic footballers that we used to have in this country," he said.

"They had a year when they were kids, they'd work hard and want to try to get another year.

"Now, we're scared that they will walk away and go somewhere else if we don't tie them up into long deals.

"Half the time, you give them long deals and they don't deserve long deals, because they're not good enough to have long deals.

"They've not done anything; they've not proved anything.

"Half of them probably never will prove anything but we give them long contracts for the fear of losing them."

He added: "When you're dealing with top players, it's a difficult one.

"When you're dealing with kids, I personally would take a chance on losing them.

"If they don't want to stay at your club, well okay, fine."

One former Tottenham teenager Redknapp will not be letting go in a hurry is man-of-the-moment Gareth Bale.

Wales winger Bale was today still basking in his sensational San Siro hat-trick against Inter Milan on Wednesday that elevated him to superstar status overnight.

"He'll look back on that, surely, in years to come - and what an achievement," said Redknapp, who hopes the 21-year-old recovers from his amazing exploits in time for tomorrow's Premier League game with Everton.

"He's tired, the kid," Redknapp said.

"He had a couple of tough games for Wales and then, obviously, Saturday (against) Fulham, Wednesday night in the San Siro.

"He's nearly empty but, hopefully, there's still a little bit of petrol in there."

Redknapp immediately slapped a not-for-sale sign on Bale after Wednesday night's 4-3 Champions League defeat and he revealed today he spoke to chairman Daniel Levy on the subject following the game.

He said: "Gareth has not got a value; he's not for sale. That's the key.

"I spoke with the chairman the other night."

While Bale may play tomorrow, others will be rested, with the likes of Rafael van der Vaart, Sandro and Wilson Palacios ready to relieve them.

"I will look to freshen it up a little bit tomorrow, with one or two changes," Redknapp said.

"We have got some players who are desperate to play: the boy Sandro, Wilson Palacios; they're top players and they're available.

"Rafa's back again tomorrow."

The game against David Moyes' resurgent Everton comes barely 48 hours after Spurs arrived back from Milan.

Redknapp was philosophical about the 12.45pm kick-off, saying: "It could've been worse; it could've been away. We've got no excuses.

"We're playing a good team tomorrow.

"They had a little dodgy start; they've had a dodgy start last couple of years but, every year, David pulls them up.

"They end up either getting into Europe or pushing for European places.

"He's built a very difficult team to beat. They'll be up there again at the end of the year."

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