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Old 08-23-2006, 06:09 PM   #318
Rob Ban Fan
Rt Hon Ed Balls MP
 
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REDKNAPP SLAMS THATCHER
By Simon Stone, PA Sport

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp launched a fierce attack on Manchester City's Ben Thatcher after revealing Pedro Mendes suffered a seizure following the defender's challenge on him at Eastlands.

Mendes was stretchered off and will spend the night in a local hospital after being flattened by a forearm smash across the head by the former Wales international five minutes into the second half of the goalless draw at Eastlands.

Thatcher had already pole-axed Kanu, Sean Davis and Benjani Mwaruwari before his assault on Mendes, which amazingly only brought a yellow card from referee Dermot Gallagher.

"I knew exactly what was coming five seconds before it happened," said Redknapp.

"As soon as I saw Ben Thatcher running into the corner, I knew what was coming. I would have bet my life on it.

"Off the field, you could not meet a nicer boy. Unfortunately, on the pitch he is capable of doing things like that. It was a horrendous challenge and totally out of order.

"Pedro is in hospital and won't be coming back with us tonight.

"He suffered some kind of fit or seizure, we had to give him oxygen, and he wasn't in a great way when he left the stadium but we will see how he is tomorrow."


Portsmouth midfielder Matt Taylor branded Thatcher 'a disgrace', with Redknapp now calling for the FA to step in and take action.

"How can that not be a sending off," he stormed.

"What do you have to do, kill someone?

"The FA have to look at it. It is there for all to see. I like Ben as a guy but that was wrong."

It is not the first time Thatcher has been in trouble this season.

On the Blues' pre-season tour of China, the former Tottenham was sent off against Shanghai for two bookable offences, but not before putting an opponent in hospital with a punctured lung after a similar challenge to tonight's, which also went unseen by the referee.

"I saw Ben running into the corner at 110 miles per hour," said Pearce.

"I want the players to play at a high tempo near the ball and it looks like the tackle was a bit mis-timed."

Without the benefit of a replay, Pearce opted not to offer an opinion on Thatcher's conduct, claiming the full-back had inquired about Mendes' health after the game.

"I certainly hope it was an accident," he added.

Well that Welsh cunt isn't getting out of Fratton alive.
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