Wenger should tune in to some Sixties hits to see really bad tackling, says Redknapp

Spurs manager gives his backing to combative style and dismisses his rival's pleas for better protection
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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp has questioned the validity of Arsène Wenger's call for referees to protect players from injury. The Tottenham Hotspur manager is preparing his team to face one of the Premier League's more physically imposing teams but has no complaints about their approach.

Redknapp's 100th match in charge of Tottenham is against a Wolverhampton Wanderers side bottom of the disciplinary table having received 15 yellow cards and a red this season, while Fulham's Bobby Zamora suffered a broken leg after a challenge from midfielder Karl Henry.

Wenger, the Arsenal manager, saw Abou Diaby pick up an ankle injury last week against Bolton Wanderers and then asked for more protection. But Redknapp said: "He [Wenger] has had one or two bad injuries and maybe he thinks they have been hard done-by.

"That's his opinion, but we haven't all got to agree with it. We all get injuries, but I've got no complaints about the way opponents tackle my players. I've got a lot of skilful lads, people are not going to stand back and let us play."

Redknapp suggested footage of his playing days at West Ham would put the modern game into perspective for Wenger, who he faces on Tuesday in the Carling Cup. "It is just as well Arsène wasn't here in the 1960s," he said. "If he'd seen some of that tackling then, it really was something to worry about.

"It was unbelievable – the tackle from behind was allowed, every time the ball was played up to forwards people went straight through them. You look at the Leeds team from that era: they were a great side with fantastic ability, but they were so aggressive and the wars they had with Chelsea were frightening. Brutal. That's how it was, bad tackles were all part of the game and everybody had scars to show for it, everybody got kicked at some point."

Redknapp does not expect Wolves to alter their tactics at White Hart Lane. Henry had a running battle with Newcastle's Joey Barton earlier in the campaign so Wilson Palacios could be busy in central midfield.

"They are going to work hard, close us down, get in our faces and there's nothing wrong with that," Redknapp said. "My team can stand up to that kind of physicality and I've got no problems with it, as long as the tackles are fair. Looking at the video of that Wolves-Newcastle game, there were a few tackles on Joey Barton where the referee could have been a bit stronger."

Preparing his teams to face opponents such as Wolves is why Redknapp has no plans to slow down. His 100 games for Spurs have seen him take them from the bottom of the Premier League to the Champions League. He added: "While I keep enjoying it, I will keep going and while the club want me I will stay here. I don't feel any different to what I did before. I didn't realise it was 100 games. Life is going that quickly, isn't it? I've enjoyed it from day one, it's all gone fairly smoothly really."

Redknapp says he is able to get away from football by returning home to Dorset and spending time with wife Sandra. "We're boring as hell, we're like 'Billy No-Mates', me and my missus, just do our own thing," he said. "I haven't been a in a pub in 35 years and I haven't been in a nightclub in 40!"

The Premier League has confirmed it will dock £1m from Redknapp's former club Portsmouth's parachute payments for 2011 unless the South- Coast club pay that sum to Spurs for the aborted transfer of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Although Begovic never moved to Tottenham, the clubs had agreed a joint fee with defender Younes Kaboul, with the agreement that £1m would be paid to Spurs if the Bosnia international moved elsewhere. He joined Stoke and the League is satisfied that Portsmouth are contractually obliged to pay Spurs the money.

Rock bottom to Champions League: Harry's 100 games at Spurs

October 2008 Leaves Portsmouth to succeed Juande Ramos at Spurs, with the club bottom of the Premier League with two points from eight games.

March 2009 Leads Spurs to a second successive League Cup final, where they lose to Manchester United on penalties.

May '09 Spurs end the season in eighth position, just missing out on European qualification.

April 2010 Spurs lose FA Cup semi-final to Portsmouth, before beating Arsenal and Chelsea inside the same week to aid Champions League chase.

May '10 Peter Crouch header secures win at Manchester City to earn qualification for the Champions League.

August '10 Despite going 3-0 behind, Spurs overcome Young Boys to reach the Champions League group stages.

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