Citing a heavy holiday schedule of four matches in 14 days, Tottenham coach Harry Redknapp has told his players there will be no team Christmas parties. Two years ago, Spurs players drew his ire by staging a team party in Dublin. Manchester City has enjoyed a "fancy-dress" Christmas party and Arsenal's players have been pictured out and about in London.
If Redknapp is perceived to be a modern-day, soccer version of Ebenezer Scrooge, he can live with it. Spurs opens the holiday program against Sunderland at home on Sunday.
"No more Christmas parties. We are too busy playing football, we have too many games and they have to concentrate on playing and getting on with their football," Redknapp said. "If they can't behave themselves, if they can't miss having a drink with the money they are earning there is something wrong with them. They are getting fortunes. They have great careers, great lives. They can get on with their football and then go away for six weeks in the summer. Don't cause problems at Christmas."
Redknapp is wary of players being depicted as carousers by the notoriously salacious British media. "The press will be waiting, someone will be taking pictures of them," he said. "Somebody can just have their eyes closed and it looks like they are boozed. You don't need it."