Harry dismisses Comolli claims

Former Spurs director of football Comolli, who this month was named

director of football strategy at Liverpool, has repeatedly

attempted to take some of the credit for the north Londoners’

revival since Redknapp’s appointment as manager two years ago. The

Frenchman, who was sacked along with Juande Ramos prior to

Redknapp’s appointment, was responsible for signing several of the

players currently starring in the Champions League and Premier

League for Tottenham such as Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Alan Hutton,

Younes Kaboul and Heurelho Gomes. But he also brought in flops such

as Hossam Ghaly, Ricardo Rocha, Gilberto and Dorian Dervite. And

speaking ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game against Comolli’s

new club, Redknapp had no qualms reminding him Spurs were rock

bottom of the Premier League when he left in October 2008. Asked if

Comolli should take any credit for Tottenham’s success, Redknapp

said with tongue firmly in cheek: “Yeah, I think he should take all

the credit, for sure. “They were all doing well when I arrived, you

know? They were all good; they were all great.” He added: “He

brought an awful lot of players in – a lot have gone, a lot are

still here that were very good.” As well as being irked at

Comolli’s attempts to steal his thunder, Redknapp has another

reason to take issue with Liverpool’s new recruitment tsar, who

made one of his first pieces of business the acquisition of Spurs’

scout in France, Steve Hitchin. “He’s nicked him off us,” Redknapp

said. “He was really good, an English boy who lived in France. “We

liked him a lot. He would have been our main scout abroad. “What

can you do? It’s his life, the boy, and he’s obviously got a better

deal and decided he was going to move on.” Redknapp is not a lover

of directors of football, perhaps stemming from his time in

precisely that role at Portsmouth. When Graham Rix was sacked as

manager in 2002, the club appointed Redknapp as his replacement. So

when then-chairman Milan Mandaric brought in Velimir Zajec as

executive director two-and-a-half years later, Redknapp knew full

well the potential existed for his position to be undermined. “I

didn’t stick around,” said Redknapp, who quit not long after. “I

was only there about two days. “That was it; I was off. I didn’t

fancy it too much. “It was never going to work. “Myself and Jim

Smith – Jim was about 84 at the time, I think – we had enough

experience to be able to find our own players. “We didn’t really

need someone.” The director of football role has worked on the

continent and Redknapp accepted it was perfectly possible Comolli

and Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson would make it a success at

Anfield. But in what could be a word of warning to Hodgson, he

added: “If people are just going to dump players on you and you’re

the manager and you don’t know the players – they’re not your

signings – there’s only one person in the end that suffers and

that’s you as the manager. “Because someone’s going to give you a

full-back or whatever and you think, ‘He’s crap, I don’t fancy

him’, you’re loaded with him. “Suddenly, you’ve spent

£8million, £10million or whatever. “People only look at

you; they don’t think, ‘Well, it wasn’t his decision’.” He added:

“I want to make my own decisions: if they’re wrong then it’s down

to me. “I’ll be the one that goes; I accept that.” Sunday’s game is

also likely to see Redknapp reunited with Joe Cole, who he brought

through at West Ham but missed out on re-signing in the summer when

the midfielder moved to Liverpool. The 29-year-old endured

something of nightmare start to life at Anfield but Redknapp was

confident he would come good. He added: “I had complete trust in

him as a player because you couldn’t get anyone who works harder

than Joe. “He loses the ball, he chases it and wants to get it

back. He’s got great enthusiasm for the game. “He was an amazing

young player, the best I’ve ever seen.”