In late November there were several who had consigned QPR to the dead and buried pile. Relegation from the Premier League appeared to be the only option.Then arrived Harry Redknapp. The West London outfit have now transformed themselves into a side capable of survival.
If the Hoops become another Harry Houdini success story they can start planning for the long term. The project at Loftus Road is an ambitious one but will it be one for Redknapp to carry out? Will he want to put all his eggs in one basket again and commit to the club for the foreseeable future if they get relegated? Would he stay even if they pulled off the miracle escape? I am not so sure.
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The 66 year old will not have forgotten how he left White Hart Lane under a dark cloud. There were few Lilywhite supporters that shed a tear when the axe was wielded upon him. They felt he had run his course and taken the club as far as he could.This must have left a bitter taste in the mouth. Will Redknapp risk being so cruelly discarded once again? He may be a hero at QPR now, that can all soon change.
The frustration at Tottenham towards Redknapp was born out of their manager batting his eyelids elsewhere at the England job. This would be a warning sign to be careful to not make the same mistake twice but this is not just your normal Premier League boss. Redknapp is a creature of habit. He must be painfully aware that he will not have many more chances to manage in the upper echelons of World Football again and can’t turn down taking a risk. This is why you can see him being motivated should a big job opportunity arise for him once again. The roles he would truly desire is set to a very small list of clubs, but what would happen should one of these come calling?
There may be several QPR supporters who think I am barking mad to suggest he would leave after giving him his chance to rebuild his name but they may forget the man we are discussing here.
Harry Redknapp is a football manager who is tactician on and off the field who has always thought of his career prospects first. He after all had no fear in walking out in Southampton when they were consigned to the Championship. Then when he saw a sinking ship on the horizon at Portsmouth, he did not hesitate to drive away to London. It is not necessarily fair to criticise him for this, even though several football fans will, but it does show what he is, ruthless.
There was always an inevitability that Redknapp would be back in the English top flight. The QPR position was the right fit at the right time. The R’s had not won a Premier League game all season and things could only get better. You also suspect that the close proximity of the January transfer wind which coincided with his appointment was a factor.The Winter Window gave the “wheeler dealer” plenty of scope to take punts on those who he saw as “proper” players up for a relegation scrap. He needed no regard for the future.
When Redknapp suggested he was keen on the Ukraine managerial position, just before his appointment in West London, it forced the hand of Tony Fernandes to move in. The QPR owner could not take a risk on one of the few managers that could lead them to survival not walking through the doors. Every man and his dog knew that Redknapp would never go to Ukraine. It was a show of power though that he will use whatever he can as leverage to preserve his managerial name and keep it in shining lights. It is certainly food for thought how often Redknapp though now mentions how great his working relationship is with Mr Fernandes so regularly to the media. Future employers always would want great communication with their manager.
Mark Hughes may have been lambasted for signing mercenaries in January, but Harry Redknapp did too. The difference was that the present QPR boss had a far easier sell to the players he brought in to ensure they were motivated. Loic Remy and Chris Samba have come in for ludicrous and large transfer fees, but if you look at the bigger picture they are in no lose situations.
If they play to their potential they could keep QPR safe which would be satisfying but regardless of how the R’s do they are putting themselves in the shop window.Would you be surprised if Redknapp admitted to those he signed that he was also using the club as a tool to put himself in the media spotlight once again? yes, but nobody would be shocked if that is what he is doing.
Remy and Samba know if QPR go down that they will be in demand and could earn themselves moves to clubs that did not even remember they existed six months ago. The situation is the same for their manager at the helm. Even if survival is attained in the summer, the squad requires a huge face lift. Does Redknapp have the stomach for that fight for the next few seasons? That is debatable. There could be several options which could lead him to push the exit door once more.
The Chelsea manager’s position is seemingly up for grabs in the summer. He has seemingly switched across from one deadly rival to another before. They currently have Rafael Benitez at the Helm who they never suspected would be leading the Blues into battle and if Redknapp moved there you have seen stranger.
Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal may also be up in the summer and Redknapp’s CV would shine over others and North London is not foreign territory to him.
I may be speculating about clubs that the QPR boss could end up at, although there is one thing that I can be fairly certain on. This is that if he were to stay at Loftus Road for the long term I would be more shocked than if he were to pull of Premier League safety this campaign.