Harry Redknapp: Tottenham legend Tony Parks can save flop keeper Heurelho Gomes
Published 00:00 22/11/08 By By Mike Walters
Harry Redknapp is backing Tony Parks to stop calamity keeper Heurelho Gomes from looking a mug.
Sipping from a club teacup personalised with the inscription "Harry", Spurs boss Redknapp insisted he will stand by the flapping Brazilian against Blackburn tomorrow.
And as Tottenham reject Paul Robinson returns to White Hart Lane with Blackburn tomorrow, Parks - the latest addition to Redknapp's backroom team - has been told to help "quiet man" Gomes become a big noise in north London.
Parks, whose penalty save in the 1984 UEFA Cup Final against Anderlecht enshrined his place in Spurs legend, has replaced Austrian Hans Leitert as specialist goalkeeping coach.
His first task will be to stop Gomes dropping any more clangers like last weekend's at Fulham, and Redknapp said: "I needed to bring in somebody who knows the English game a bit more. Tony's a terrific personality and everyone at Tottenham remembers him for his UEFA Cup Final penalty save. I spoke to Trevor Brooking about him, and he said Parks is highly regarded at the FA, where he's been looking after goalkeepers taking their coaching badges.
"Tony's a talker, he's enthusiastic about his job and I think he will be a big help to Gomes in terms of rebuilding his confidence. They've worked together for a couple of days this week and already have a good relationship. Tony has been genuinely impressed with him.
"He's a real character and it's important he is able to project his personality because our goalkeeper is a quiet man, and he needed someone to work him on the things he's got to do in England. He's been putting him under pressure, getting him used to coming out for crosses with lots of bodies in the way, and he's working on him being more vocal.
"It's important he's able to relay information to his defenders all the time and he has to be able to boss the game, pulling people into position and talking to them. Communication is so important, as we saw with the mix-up between John Terry and Scott Carson in Germany. The keeper should really have been telling John to stick it into touch.
"There aren't many talkers left in the game, not even among English players. Where are the players like John Terry and Tony Adams who boss others around on the pitch?
"Most players now seem to concentrate on their own game and it's a dying art. Maybe it's because there are more foreign players and not everyone speaks the same language, I don't know.
"We all saw what happened at Fulham last week, but there isn't a keeper in the world who has never made a mistake.
Great players like David James and Petr Cech have days where it doesn't go right for them. Hopefully Gomes will show us that whoever was responsible for bringing him here was right to spend £10m and let Paul Robinson leave.
"You don't pay that kind of money if he's no good, and he will definitely be in goal for us on Sunday. But he has to learn to trust his centre-halves as they're strong in the air and they can deal with crosses into our box."
Redknapp believes there are similarities between Gomes and David James, whose career he revitalised at Portsmouth, but added: "I'm not going to try to buy Jamo in January. Hopefully Gomes will prove to be the top keeper we need."
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