Kyle's Walk of shame as Redknapp opts for Kaboul at Spurs
HARRY Redknapp has proved in the last few weeks that he gives his kids a chance, and Danny Rose paid tribute to his manager's faith in him after the historic victory over Arsenal. 'I can t believe the gaffer picked me for such an important...
By Ben Pearce
HARRY Redknapp has proved in the last few weeks that he gives his kids a chance, and Danny Rose paid tribute to his manager's faith in him after the historic victory over Arsenal.
"I can't believe the gaffer picked me for such an important match," said Rose. "It just shows what he's about, he trusts his youngsters."
That is one side of the coin. The other is the tale of Kyle Walker, who also made his Premier League debut recently - in the 2-0 win over Portsmouth last month.
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The 19-year-old right-back contributed to a clean sheet and played a key role in Niko Kranjcar's goal, getting to the by-line and pulling the ball back into the danger area.
After the game Walker stated his desire to be "the regular right-back", and he started the next game at Sunderland - where he was at fault for all three of the Black Cats' goals in the miserable 3-1 defeat.
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He has not been seen since. Redknapp's faith only extends so far, and the manager has gone to great lengths to keep Walker off the pitch for the last three games.
Vedran Corluka - whose ankle injury opened the door for Walker - returned for the FA Cup semi-final but was in such pain that he needed injections after 90 minutes to enable him to play extra-time. He was not fit to face Arsenal or Chelsea.
And, rather than reinstate Walker, Redknapp has opted to play Younes Kaboul out of position in the last two games - despite admitting that the centre-back struggles to play out wide.
"The team was a bit makeshift," said Redknapp after the victory over Chelsea. "Kaboul's playing at right-back, and he's no right-back to be fair to him. I do find myself shouting more than I normally do when he plays there."
The Tottenham manager made it sound as though he had no other option, and he has also hinted that he is rueing his decision to allow Alan Hutton to join Sunderland on loan in January - "He would have been good now," said the 62-year-old.
None of this looks very good for Walker, whose 'big chance' lasted just two games. He may well have smiled inwardly as Rose hailed Redknapp's faith in his youngsters - before being returned to the bench three days later.
While Redknapp may happily thrust his youngsters into the heat of battle, he is equally quick to haul them out again. But if Walker has any complaints, they will not be shared by Spurs fans.
Redknapp's ruthlessness has kept Spurs in the hunt for fourth place this season - mistakes are punished by the manager before they can be punished by opponents.