Spurs boss responds angrily to criticism from some fans about failure to qualify for Champions League - and explains why he missed out on signing Uruguayan ace
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has angrily denounced some of the club's critics as “idiots who don't even watch football" - and revealed that he was deterred from signing Luis Suarez in January by scouting reports that said the Uruguayan couldn't play up front as a striker.
Suarez has excelled since joining Liverpool, and Redknapp ruefully acknowledges that Tottenham missed a trick in not pursuing their interest in the player during the winter transfer window.
Ahead of Tottenham's trip to Anfield to face resurgent Liverpool - and Suarez - Redknapp admitted at his pre-match press conference that he had been put off by scouts telling him that the South American was too similar in style to Rafael van der Vaart.
“We kept looking at Suarez but people thought he couldn't play up as a striker," said Redknapp.
"They said he's like Rafa [van der Vaart] and you can't have him and Rafa or you'd have two players who want to drop deep, so that was the problem.
“We were looking for someone to play up front with Rafa. People said he couldn't do that, he drifts and comes deep. But he played up front on his own the other night [against Fulham on Monday] and he was fantastic."
While signing the star who has shone so brightly at Anfield might have given Tottenham's season a different complexion, Redknapp has no time for those who are now criticising Spurs for failing to finish in the top four.
Having guided his team to the Champions League quarter-final this season and ensured they are still in contention for a Europa League spot next season, the 64-year-old has hit back at anyone describing Tottenham's campaign as a disappointment.
“The reaction doesn't hurt me. The reason I don't listen to phone-ins is because you're talking about idiots," Redknapp asserted.
"Who rings up a radio station? My dad lived for football, went every Saturday, but he wouldn't pick up the phone to a radio station. It's absolute nonsense.
"They're idiots who don't even watch football. They say, 'We were rubbish today'.
"The guys on the radio ask them if they were at the game, and they say, 'No, I heard it on the radio'.
"When I start worrying about what they think, I'll be in trouble.
"99.9 per cent of people who go to Tottenham have loved everything they've seen. That's all that matters."
Redknapp added that the critics must reassess their expectations with the Premier League getting tougher each season and Tottenham being newcomers among Europe’s elite sides.
“I can't believe what's been said. I don't know where they've been the last few years. Not watching Tottenham obviously," he said.
"We've seen some great football this year, some great games.
"Maybe expectations have been raised, but they don't have any brains, they don't understand.
"If they think we should have Champions League football every year, then what's been happening during all those years we didn't qualify?
"I didn't see us reaching the Champions League previously.
"It's not as if it's something that happens every year but hasn't happened this time, so it's a disaster. It's so hard to get into the top four now.
"We were flying until Gareth Bale got injured and that was a massive setback for us. We could have got an extra four or five points [with Bale in the side]."