LONDON (Reuters) - New Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp defended Heurelho Gomes on Tuesday over the Brazilian goalkeeper’s erratic start to the season.
Gomes, signed from PSV Eindhoven in June, faces his first north London derby against Arsenal on Wednesday when his eccentric style will again come under scrutiny.
”He’s a top keeper, he’s a brave keeper,“ Redknapp told reporters. ”He doesn’t hide on his line and let people head balls at his goal.
”If he thinks he can come out and deal with the situation he will do it. Everybody who has watched him over the years in Holland thinks he’s a world class keeper.
“I like him, he’s a character,” added Redknapp. “He can go on to become a top goalkeeper in the Premier League.”
Gomes, nicknamed the ‘Octopus’ by PSV fans for his long arms, has taken his share of the blame for Tottenham’s worst start to a league season.
He was also at fault in a UEFA Cup defeat at Udinese last week when he conceded a penalty trying to dribble round a striker.
In a recent defeat at Stoke City, Gomes knocked out team mate Vedran Corluka when coming out to punch a cross.
Redknapp is relishing a visit to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal and said Spurs could take a lot from Sunday’s 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers, their first of the season.
”That gave the whole place a lift,“ said Redknapp who has given squad numbers to players frozen out by the sacked Juande Ramos. ”The lads have got smiles on their faces and are looking forward to a new beginning.
”Going to Arsenal is always a tough task ... they have a great stadium and are a fantastic team. They pass the ball superbly but we passed the ball great on Sunday.
“You have to do that against Arsenal, you can’t keep turning the ball over (to the opposition).”
Redknapp is hoping to bring former Spurs midfielder Tim Sherwood into his backroom staff and could also use former strikers Les Ferdinand and Teddy Sheringham.
”I would like to get Tim involved, he has got something to offer for sure,“ said Redknapp. ”He captained Blackburn to a championship and has a lot of good qualities.
“I haven’t spoken to Teddy yet but he’s another. You want to encourage these younger guys to get involved because we want young English managers who can coach at the top level.”
Editing by Tony Jimenez