Redknapp Anger Over Balotelli Stamp
Tottenham chief, Harry Redknapp, has taken umbrage with Manchester City striker, Mario Balotelli, after the Italian stamped on the head of Spurs midfielder, Scott Parker - and got away with it, despite a retrospective ban. However, the veteran coach intimated that he would not pursue further punishment of Balotelli, noting that player discipline is the duty of Roberto Mancini.
Last weekend's fixture was particularly galling for Spurs and Redknapp. After holding the scores level at 2-2 for much of the game, an injury time penalty gave City the advantage and the three points, disappointing those who bet on sports and had backed Spurs in the latest odds for the draw. Making matters worse was the fact that Balotelli, who many felt should have been sent off, scored the winning goal for City.
Balotelli, who is well known for his mischievous - and sometimes outright dangerous - behaviour, was striking a ball when he appeared to topple over Parker, who had fallen trying to block the Italian's shot. Balotelli accidentally hit Parker in the head with his left calf, but the follow up, a stamp to the head and face of the midfielder, appeared rather more deliberate.
"He's back-heeled him straight in the head", Redknapp said. "It is blatant. Scott has got a cut on his head." The Spurs boss added that Balotelli "reacts to challenges like that at times", hinting at the player's reputation as a 'loose cannon'. The forward has been a staple of the tabloids since his Inter Milan days, in the late 2000s.
Some notable antics include wearing an AC Milan shirt on TV, despite being contracted to Inter Milan, and throwing a dart at a youth team player during the few first weeks of his arrival in Manchester. He has also been the subject of a number of 'urban legends' in the newspapers, which prompted the wearing of an under-shirt sporting the words: "why always me?"