Monday 22 January 2018

Redknapp backs pilates and yoga to boost Spurs' bid for glory

Jamie Holland

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has turned to yoga and pilates classes in a bid to boost the long-term fitness of his squad.

With his team fighting for honours domestically and in the Europa League, Redknapp has moved to reduce the danger of his players suffering long-term injuries by employing a yoga guru .

Goalkeeper Brad Friedel (40) has been using the same instructor for nine years and she now takes classes once a week for the entire Spurs squad.

It may be a surprising move by a man considered the most archetypal English manager in the top flight, but Redknapp revealed himself to be a big fan of the exercises.

"It's great for the players. They are all doing it now. If it's good enough for Brad with the shape he's in at 40, then it's good enough for the rest of us.

"It's brilliant. It makes the players more supple. Ryan Giggs is into it, big time, and it certainly has kept him in good shape.

"I joined in last week with all the coaches, but I don't know if it's for me. The lady in charge wanted me to get my leg up. I couldn't do it, so she lifted it and I felt my back go. I had sciatica for the next three nights. I think I'm going to scrub that idea for the moment."

Despite all the benefits Redknapp believes are being derived from the yoga and pilates, Spurs are facing a major injury crisis in defence for tonight's Europa League clash against Rubin Kazan.

Sebastien Bassong and Younes Kaboul are Spurs' only two fit centre-halves after Ledley King joined Michael Dawson, William Gallas and Vedran Corluka on the club's injury list.

Redknapp is likely to rest the majority of the team that drew against Newcastle, with Danny Rose, Andros Townsend, Tom Carroll, Giovani dos Santos and Roman Pavlyuchenko likely to be drafted in.

Meanwhile, Redknapp last night voiced his fears that foreign owners will eventually ruin the Premier League, forcing clubs to play matches abroad and making it more similar to the NFL.

"You can't have too many foreign owners coming in here wanting to change our game," he said. "That is where we are at. Eventually they will take the games to where they want to play them. If you have owners from China, India, Russia, America, they will want to take their teams to those places to play."

Commenting on the claim that a bloc of the Premier League's foreign owners were in favour of scrapping promotion and relegation, Redknapp said: "It would be scandalous. That's what our game is built on -- competition. Teams fight to stay up. What is more exciting than the last couple of weeks of the season -- teams looking to stay up, teams looking to win promotion?"

Fourteen of the 20 Premier League clubs need to agree on a rule change before it can be enacted and, with nine currently in foreign hands, Redknapp described the situation as "scary."

"I don't know what you can do," he said. "Some owners are looking to sell their clubs -- Everton are looking to sell. The bloke from the local butcher's ain't going to buy it any more, is he?

"English people don't have the money. The money is in Russia, the Arab countries, America.

"When they get control, they will do what they want with our game and we won't be able to do anything about it. It's scary."

Tottenham v Rubin Kazan,

Live, Setanta Ireland, 8.05

Irish Independent

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