Redknapp lied about my illness claims Lennon
Aaron Lennon yesterday launched an extraordinary attack on his manager Harry Redknapp, accusing him of lying over his claims that the Tottenham player pulled out of Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid at the last moment.
Lennon said on Twitter that he would not "be made a scapegoat" after Redknapp suggested that he had only learned of the player's illness seconds before the match.
"Saying i fell ill be4 the game is bull**** i fell ill on sunday morning where the med team put me on antibiotics, but only got worse b4 tues," Lennon wrote. For a player who rarely speaks publicly and has a reputation for shyness with the media, this was as outspoken as Lennon has ever been. He added: "Believe me this is 1 game i did no wnt to miss and still devo (devastated) now!!!! but will not be made a scapegoat saying they only knew jus b4 KO."
Last night, Redknapp attempted a reconciliation with Lennon, saying that he had "no problems" with the 23-year-old and that Lennon was "not to blame" for the 4-0 defeat. "No one's made him a scapegoat," Redknapp insisted. "No one is blaming Aaron for not playing. It wasn't Aaron's fault. He didn't bottle anything. The kid wasn't well." On Tuesday night, Redknapp said that he had to take the decision seconds before kick-off, having spotted Lennon was unwell. "I lost him just as the teams were walking on to the pitch, he didn't feel well enough to play so we had to change things straight away."
He elaborated on the subject yesterday: "He (Lennon) went out for a warm-up, I picked the team, put the team-sheet in and he came back in. We were sitting almost waiting to go out and I looked at him and he was sitting there looking like death warmed up.
"I said to him, 'Are you okay?' He said, 'I've got no strength and no energy but I'll give it a go.' I said, 'But do you feel you can play, if you haven't got any strength or energy do you feel you can go out there?' I had to make a decision."
Jermaine Jenas, who played instead of Lennon, confirmed that Lennon's withdrawal was very late, but also that his illness had lasted for a few days. (© Independent News Service)