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Page last updated at 08:40 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 09:40 UK
Gazza criticises alcohol ban plan
Interview by Nesta McGregor
Newsbeat reporter

Paul Gascoigne
Gascoigne says he's happy with the way 2009 is going

Ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne has said that football clubs should not stop players from drinking.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has vowed to ban alcohol following Ledley King's arrest for an alleged assault outside a London nightclub.

But Gascoigne thinks players are under pressure and need to relax.

"It's a little lesson for Ledley King. That's OK. He'll learn from that, there's not a problem, leave the kid alone. What can you do?" he said.

Gascoigne, who has fought a public battle with alcohol and drugs, says the pressures of the modern media present an added strain for today's footballers.

I'm trying to make up for what I lost in 2008, which was a bad year for me
Paul Gascoigne

He said: "Now there's twice as many paparazzis, I've got followed today all day from nine o'clock. Four paparazzi would not leave us alone and you're going to get that now. It's just how you cope with them.

"Players are under a lot of pressure, sometimes they need to relax. In Holland some players smoke after games, not many English players smoke. They get provoked like I was provoked."

'Need to relax'

Gascoigne went on to reel off a list of stars who he thinks cope with the paparazzi pressures well, such as Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.

He added: "I enjoyed my time. Sometimes people don't leave me alone to get on with my life. Sometimes it gets too much."

However, the 41-year-old says he's pleased with the way this year is going.

He said: "I'm doing well. I'm happy the way life's going for us at the moment, as long as I keep it like that. The support I'm getting from the public is fantastic.

"I'm trying to make up for what I lost in 2008, which was a bad year for me.

"Now I'm trying to pull it back by doing the right things and trying to help other people - the people that helped me - and try and re-pay them back for the help they gave me."

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