Harry Redknapp’s time as QPR manager came to an abrupt end during the week. Richard Barrett discusses the tenure overseen by the worst manager in QPR Premier League history.
The vultures were circling, time running out. How did it come to this? A year that started with hopes of breaking records, served only to break R’s hearts. What appeared at first to be £28 million worth of sensible signings, soon turned into a collection of inadequate, inefficacious individuals.
The sun was setting on Harry Redknapp’s tenure as QPR manager, and he knew it.
Although Rio Ferdinand was signed on a free transfer, his time at Loftus Road would prove costly. Poor performances and an FA ban for reacting to an over-zealous fan via Twitter would see the former Manchester United captain suspended for three games, with Redknapp stating the following:
“He’s come from a team used to winning every week…and has found it more difficult. I think we’ve looked more solid recently but no, I’ve got no problems with Rio.”
Ferdinand’s fall from grace bore striking similarities to Redknapp’s managerial decline; two men nearing the end of their respective careers, no longer able to assert their dominance to the same effect as years gone by, and being outshone by their younger peers.
Redknapp’s reasons for stepping down, according to the manager himself, were due to off-field matters. Not the fact that his QPR side lie bottom of the table, not the fact that they have earned zero points from a possible 33 away from home, and most definitely not the fact that his club failed to secure any top players in January.
A combination of ill health and ragged results meant Harry didn’t have a leg to stand on, both metaphorically and physically. The former Tottenham manager pointed to the latter as his reason for limping away from Loftus Road.
Like a boxer that feels he still has that one punch left in reserve, Redknapp has refused to allow his unsuccessful tenure at QPR dictate his legacy. His legs may be wobbling, but Redknapp is ready to go another round.
“In Harry’s words, he said there is no way I am giving up football. Even at 67 years old, he will not be calling it a day.” – Jim White, Sky Sports News.
Resilient he may be, but being required by a Premier League football club at this stage in his career Harry most certainly is not.
As per Opta, Redknapp leaves London as the least winningest permanent manager in QPR’s Premier League history, winning just 9 of the 48 games of which he was in charge. His team also became the first since Liverpool in 1953/54 to lose their opening eleven away matches.
Despite his current muddle, it would be unfair to forget that Redknapp did in fact enjoy success with the R’s; earning promotion in the Play-off Final in 2013/14. However, upon further scrutiny anyone that witnessed the London club that season would know that they coughed and spluttered their way back to the Premier League.
Over the last ten regular games of the season Rangers drew three and lost two of their games, leaving them in 10th place in the form table. Not exactly Premier League standard.
Pitiful away performances were the cornerstone of ‘Arry’s tenure at Loftus Road. Having lost eleven from eleven this season, his charges of 2013/14 failed to win a whopping fifteen of twenty-three trips on the road.
Perhaps Harry’s knees are causing such discomfort due to the hours he spent in front of the altar praying for an away victory.
As the cliché maintains, the league table never lies. No amount of rose-tinted glasses can romanticise Redknapp’s performances in the Rangers hotseat. No abundance of Sky Sports sensationalism can permit giving Christopher Samba £100,000 per week. No jovial chit-chat from the driver’s seat of a car can excuse zero points away from home. And no self-respecting man should use an injury to shield himself from his incompetencies in the workplace.
Harry Redknapp jumped before he was pushed and it’s time he took responsibility for his dreadful display.