Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Beckham Circus Is No Issue for Harry

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Beckham Circus Is No Issue for Harry

Article excerpt

HARRY Redknapp has denied the media circus surrounding David Beckham's presence has affected his team's preparations for their crunch match against Manchester United.

Tottenham boss Redknapp's claim his side are serious title contenders will be put to the test tomorrow when they take on the Red Devils, who top the table and have an eight-point lead over the north London side with a game in hand.

The build-up to the match at White Hart Lane has been overshadowed by former United star Beckham, who started a fourweek training spell with the club on Monday. Ever since Beckham's arrival there has been a throng of camera crews and photographers stationed outside the club's training ground in Chigwell, Essex, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder.

But Redknapp rejected the suggestion that Beckham's arrival had done more harm than good and maintains his squad will benefit from Beckham's presence regardless of whether a loan deal can be agreed with his parent club or not.

"David has brought a buzz around the place," Redknapp said. "There are lots more press here today than normal. There are people outside the ground every day.

"Once we come in here we train and get on with it. It doesn't affect us. It has been good having him here. Everyone respects him, likes him. There's nothing flashy about him, in my opinion. He just comes in and just gets on with it. He's a great role model for any footballer."

Talks about a loan move for the 35-yearold have still to materialise into a deal, Galaxy refuse to budge on their insistence that Beckham must return to pre-season training by the middle of February.

That would appear to have dealt a blow to Tottenham's chances of sealing a deal for Beckham, especially given that Redknapp will have to discard one member of his 25-man squad at the end of January if the midfielder is to play through February and until March. …

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