Will QPR Disaster Finally Stick to Teflon ‘Arry?

Posted: February 4, 2015 in Football
Tags: , ,
Redknapp Future?

Does Redknapp have a future after QPR debacle?

Few people have personified the Premier League era like the enigma that is Harry Redknapp.

Only the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger can perhaps claim to have had a more profound effect on England’s top flight since the dawn of Sky Sports, with only Jose Mourinho perhaps now at a point where he can stick his oar into proceedings, as far as managerial figures can go.

Redknapp has endured a fascinating career that has spanned over three decades now, undertaking roles at West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and most recently QPR, becoming a very popular figure among the country’s sporting media due to his approachable nature in a world that is slowly becoming more and more closed off in the search for genuine football news. The Daily Mail’s sidebar of shame does not count in that regard.

Redknapp Car Window

Redknapp in his famous interview position from his car window

This however has surmounted in continued river of gushing tributes for us in Joe Public to suffer, with Redknapp’s abilities and triumphs in the game being repeatedly built up to be more than he ever truly deserved.

The campaign to see him get the England job ended up seeing Roy Hodgson unfairly victimised when he was offered the post instead, with Redknapp seen further as a victim after his hounding after the role saw him axed from Tottenham Hotspur after demanding improved terms following his failure to lead his country, despite the club having stood by him in his heavily publicised court case for tax fraud.

His time at Spurs remains his biggest accomplishment (arguably alongside his sole FA Cup victory with Portsmouth) as he led the North London side to their first ever Champions League campaign, during which he steered Spurs to a famous victory over AC Milan to reach the quarter-finals.

It was his failure to build on this side that featured Luka Modric and Gareth Bale already that ultimately contributed to his demise at White Hart Lane, with his own signings failing to really cut the mustard and improve the side from Champions League qualifiers and into genuine title challengers.

Redknapp’s business throughout his managerial career has always been chequered anyway, with some of his signings from abroad at West Ham among those considered some of the worst ever made in Premier League history (Marco Boogers anyone?).

Marco Boogers is considered one of the worst signings in Premier League history

Marco Boogers is considered one of the worst signings in Premier League history

His man-management skills are supposedly the key to his continued work at the top level, but this has only seemed to be a case of whether you are liked within his band of brothers, with many players having been publicly embarrassed by a manager only too keen to take his dirty laundry into the public eye.

The likes of Roman Pavlyuchenko and Darren Bent were mocked in public by their manager at Spurs, and Shaun Wright-Phillips has recently aired his grievances with being outcasted at QPR without ever being given a reason, let alone a chance to prove himself.

His first half season at QPR saw him conveniently have the previous regime to blame for the Super Hoops’ eventual relegation, despite Redknapp having made a series of ill-advised signings after taking over from Mark Hughes, with the big money signing of Christopher Samba the pick of the bunch after reports of his £100k-a-week wages emerged, only to be packed off back to Anzhi Makhachkala as soon as demotion was confirmed.

Christopher Samba

Christopher Samba is one of Redknapp’s biggest mistakes at QPR

Despite having a string of experienced Premier League players and big wages and a chairman in Tony Fernandes still willing to invest in the squad, QPR struggled to make an instant comeback, as they ended up narrowly remaining in the play-off places in the Championship, eventually defeating a superior Derby County side to sneak back in.

Further investment followed over the summer only to hear Redknapp once again bleating about a lack of numbers up front, despite having Eduardo Vargas available only to be played on the wing, while Adel Taarabt was consistently frozen out despite a lack of any other quality in the creative side of QPR’s game.

A decision between him and advisor Glenn Hoddle saw QPR attempted to field a three man defence that included veterans in Richard Dunne and Rio Ferdinand to see a 4-0 thumping at Spurs, the first in a record breaking 11 successive defeats away from home that saw QPR without a single point on their travels by the time Redknapp stepped down.

That despite having an impending ‘knee operation’ on the horizon, Redknapp then saw fit to crawl through the latest transfer window with QPR in desperate need of (yet more) new faces to avoid yet another relegation, waiting until the day after the transfer window slammed shut to announce his intention to leave Loftus Road, having failed to bring in anybody to freshen up the squad.

With his ability to motivate his players appearing to be on the wane and his failure to keep up with the evolving world that is football (he still claims to be barely able to read), it’s time that the wall of support from the media stepped aside and realised the continued defence of their mate is a foolish campaign that only serves the public to question their own motives and abilities.

As for Redknapp himself, despite his insistence that this is not a departure from football altogether, it is perhaps time he realised that the game has moved on in ways that he can never hope to keep up with, while other positions in the game barely make sense given his problems with basic skills.

For all his flaws and faults, Redknapp will always be remembered as one of the key characters that helped shape the first three decades of the of the Premier League era. But the time has now come for him to step aside and allow the next breed of managers to come through, as his flaws now outweigh his qualities innumerably.

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