Cesc Fabregas wasn’t very impressed with Harry Redknapp back in 2007.
The Spanish midfielder was left frustrated after a 0-0 draw with Portsmouth back in 2007, who were then managed by Harry Redknapp.
It was after the game that he met Redknapp in the tunnel and told him exactly what he thought of Portsmouth’s tactics on the day.
“It was at the end of a game with Portsmouth and it was a nil-nil,” Fabregas said on a League of their Own (via the Metro).
“I was young and you know, stupid, I want to win and I just saw him there in the tunnel of the Emirates and I just said “Your team plays like s**t”.
“And he just turns round and says, “You are a horrible man”.
“I just run away. After that, we’ve been best friends. Every time we see each other we hug, we talk.”
The game in question was the final game of the 2006/2007 season.
Arsenal had gone into the game already out of the title race, and fighting with Liverpool for third place in the table.
The game ended goalless after Julio Baptista, who was playing his final game for the club before returning to Real Madrid, had a penalty saved by Portsmouth keeper David James.
A late Liverpool goal from Harry Kewell secured third spot for them, and Arsenal finished fourth for the second season running.
The following paragraph from Arsenal’s match report perhaps explains why they, and Fabregas, had such a frustrating afternoon.
“Wenger made wholesale changes for the final game of the season. Emmanuel Adebayor failed to recover from his groin injury while Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) was already ruled out. Gilberto and Jens Lehmann were rested so Manuel Almunia was set to play. However the Spaniard suffered a knock in training so Mart Poom stepped in to make his Premiership debut for Arsenal.
“In a serious switcharound, Kolo Toure moved into central midfield and Emmanuel Eboue began in front of Justin Hoyte on the right. Abou Diaby lent support to Julio Baptista.”
Fabregas went play for Arsenal for four more seasons before departing to Barcelona.
Redknapp, meanwhile, won an FA Cup with Portsmouth and got Spurs into the Champions League before disappearing into obscurity, only to be spotted leaning out of his car window during August.