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Redknapp keen to add fuel to the fire

Harry Redknapp has been all over the press today in his condemnation of Joey Barton, saying much along the lines of "'ere, he meant to do him you know", even managing to link the incident in the same breath as Ben Thatchers elbow on him:

"Barton deliberately did Pedro. He deserved a red card and
anyone who says it's an accident needs their heads looking at. Pedro was running
the game before he got hurt and I'm annoyed because Pedro is a good player and a
good professional who doesn't go around kicking anyone. But now he's copped it
twice against City. He's the one suffering here."


Redknapp for me is pretty much a rent-a-quote type of guy, more than happy to play things out in the press (note his 'interest' in Distin after the game, an argument that it is tapping up?) and seems to have an opinion on anything and everything - much the opposite of son Jamie, who has yet to offer anything remotely insightful on Sky.

Stuart Pearce, quite rightly, has come out strongly in support of Barton today and talk of a 'witch-hunt' is not far wrong when excerpts such as this in The Mirror are being published:

"It's odd he should drag his heels when somebody else's are
available.
There are those who believe the tackle was accidental. They also
believe in fairies, Father Christmas and the cheque's in the post".


Chris Bailey wrote a good piece in todays MEN which echoed a litle of what I was suggesting yesterday in that Barton has become the latest 'pantomime villain' for the press, and The Guardian also back this up, touching on the issue of the disappointment the City board feel over this.

The disappointing thing about Redknapp's comments are that he is accusing a player of doing something when he has no knowledge of whether he intended to hurt Mendes or not. To suggest a player deliberately set out to 'do' another player are comments are of an inciting and inflammatory nature, and imagine his reaction if Stuart Pearce had come out after the game and accused Mendes of acting up? Incidentally, Mendes is unlikely to miss any further action.

Stuart Pearce has provided a measured, eloquent response on the subject, saying:

"I think reputations are created around people, sometimes
justly and sometimes unjustly.
"I have to stand in front of the Press after
every single match and answer questions on all kinds of scenarios and quite
often it is clear that some of them have got together to explore an angle of
attack whether that be about a bit of talent, a diving incident, a foul or a
great save.
"There is normally one thing. At Portsmouth it was Joey, but
after reviewing the incident, the semi-nastiness and people trying to put words
into my mouth was unfounded. That disappointed me a great deal."


Yet the press are only to happy to jump all over 'Arry's opinion and run along with it, regardless of the consequences it causes.

p.s. Still no footage of Barton's offensive gesture to be found.