Spurs manager Harry Redknapp has suggested that the FA change Manchester City’s home Premier League fixture with Stoke over fears that the visitors just won’t be bothered.
The two teams were due to meet on May 14th, but now have an appointment to meet in the FA Cup Final on that day and their league fixture has been changed to take place three days later. Stoke will qualify for Europe if City win the trophy AND finish fourth, prompting fears from North London that Stoke will throw the game to help City finish in a Champions League place.
“It is a bad time to play the game. No-one would say that Stoke would go there and not try to win but I just think the whole thing would be surrounded by people looking at it and thinking what went on if they do get beat,” said Redknapp which, once translated from cockney into English read ‘if City win the cup, Stoke will screw us.’
However Redknapp swear that his fears have absolutely nothing to do with his own team’s inability to catch City despite the blues indifferent form in the league. “That fact that we have won only one in six league games has nothing to do with it,” says Redknapp, who threatened to burst a blood vessel at the very suggestion.
“In fact, City should have seen how crap my lads have been and given up a few more points. They have a better goal difference to us, so why did they then go and put five past Sunderland? They are unfair and inconsiderate. Thinking about it, they should be deducted as many points as it takes for us to overtake them without fear of them catching us. That’s how it should be”
The Spurs manager confirmed that he had spoken to the chairman about the Stoke situation, who promised that he would give the matter his immediate attention right after he had completed ‘some other more important tasks.’ When asked what date City and Stoke should meet, Redknapp replied “9th May would be ideal, to be honest. I know they play Everton two days earlier and us the following day but come on, fair’s fair. They’ve got lots of money.”
Spurs recorded their fourth draw from those six games with a 3-3 result against Arsenal, leaving City two points clear of the Londoners. Ironically, Spurs only win during their current run was a 3-2 home win over Stoke City.
On other Cup Final news, ITV have confirmed that there will be absolutely no bias in Stoke’s favour during their coverage of the FA Cup final next month. A statement from ITV read: “Although we love to see the bigger teams getting beat, especially in a Cup Final, there will be absolutely no biased reporting from our commentators or pundits, before, during or following Stoke’s magnificent and unexpected victory at Wembley next month.”
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