Redknapp thinks Gomes is great now
Harry Redknapp insists any doubts he had over Heurelho Gomes have
been dispelled by the Brazilian goalkeeper’s commanding form for
Gomes kept a third successive clean sheet in Boxing Day’s
goalless draw against Fulham, producing a string of fine saves as
Spurs escaped Craven Cottage with a point.
Redknapp admits to being mystified by Gomes’ reputation as
one of the world’s finest keepers when he initially assumed control
of relegation-mired Spurs in October last year. A succession of
high-profile blunders had shattered the 28-year-old’s confidence
and left fans questioning just why the £7.8million signing
from PSV Eindhoven was so highly rated.
But Gomes, with the help of goalkeeping coach Tony Parks, has
flourished this season and Redknapp now understands the rave
“There was a time when I had my doubts about Gomes,” said
Redknapp. “When I first arrived at Tottenham I thought ‘we’ve got a
problem here’ because he was going through a bad time.
“Tony Parks coming has made a big difference. Tony had him
working on the training ground while before he was looking at the
technical side of it.
“The hard work has got into his head and given him the
confidence he needed.
“When Gomes joined Tottenham, Tony Adams said to me that
Spurs had signed the best keeper in the world. Tony had been
working in Holland.
“Guus Hiddink, who had him at Eindhoven, was saying the same
“I thought are they all right or what? Tony’s not drinking
any more… But now he looks a terrific keeper.”
Gomes’ reflexes kept Tottenham in contention throughout the
first of two London derbies in three days, with West Ham next up at
White Hart Lane on Monday.
Fulham created far more chances than Champions League-chasing
Spurs and Redknapp believes the outcome – and his satisfaction with
a point – illustrates how difficult the Premier League has become.
But the former Hammers manager remains convinced his team are
strong enough to finish in the top four.
“It’s a good point at Fulham – they beat Manchester United
convincingly last weekend,” he said. “I thought Chelsea would win,
not draw, at Birmingham (yesterday). I also thought they’d go to
West Ham and win, but it’s so difficult at the moment.
“It’s hard to get three points. Anyone can close the gap on
Chelsea because they haven’t been that convincing but they still
have a nice lead.
“Other clubs have improved their squads and are having a go.
Every game is more difficult.
“Smaller clubs are no longer rolling over for the bigger
ones. It’s hard to pick up results.
“But I still think we’re good enough to finish in the top
four. There won’t be much between us and Aston Villa and it will be
interesting to see how Manchester City go now.
“I think we’ve got a chance of breaking into the top four.
I’ve told the players we can do it, let’s have a go.”
Redknapp must decide whether to start with Robbie Keane
against West Ham following the club captain’s ineffectual display
Keane has played second fiddle to Jermain Defoe recently and
Redknapp admits he is struggling to adjust.
“Robbie Keane’s been used to playing all the time. Recently
he’s been subbed or hasn’t started and he’s not found that easy,”
he said. “But Robbie’s a big player and his attitude and the way he
trains have remained first class.”