Harry Redknapp abruptly resigned as QPR manager after two and a quarter years at Loftus Road earlier this week. Redknapp cited the reason being an imminent knee surgery that has made him decide now is the right time to step aside but in truth, there could be a number of reasons why he has left QPR.
Redknapp didn’t enjoy the best of spells at Rangers after taking over from Mark Hughes in November 2012. He couldn’t help the club avoid relegation in his first season in charge, with the R’s finishing rock bottom of the Premier League. With a squad that, on paper, should have walked the Championship, Redknapp had difficulties in making his side a consistent outfit with QPR eventually finishing fourth.
An unconvincing campaign ended with a narrow 1-0 victory over Derby in the play-off final, thanks to a Bobby Zamora goal in the last minute. And in his third season in charge, things didn’t improve leaving the club in 19th position and needing something special to avoid a second relegation in three seasons.
On the face of it, Harry Redknapp has left QPR at the right time in terms of the lack of success he has achieved at Loftus Road. QPR had high expectations that Redknapp would be the man to lead the club to becoming an established Premier League team but that couldn’t be further from what has actually transpired. Redknapp had troubles in establishing a settled starting XI throughout his reign and although he had money to spend, too many players were on high wages that weren’t contributing to the side.
In the league, three defeats on the bounce and six without a win was enough to send Redknapp over the edge. Their away form has been much documented this season for the sheer embarrassment of the run they are on. Rangers have lost all eleven away matches in the Premier League this season and have looked hapless on their travels.
Just a couple of weeks ago Redknapp suggested an ‘insider’ was trying to destabilise the club by suggesting his job was on the line. He said “It’s this ‘insider’ who is trying to cause a problem. Who do you believe – the chairman or ‘the insider’?” This was a clear sign of the pressure getting to Redknapp and spelled the beginning of the end for the now former QPR boss.
Although Redknapp has had plenty of financial backing from Tony Fernandes, he was obviously frustrated at the lack of movement in the January transfer window. The club were crying out for two or three new players, not least another striker to partner Charlie Austin. But Fernandes wasn’t willing to let Redknapp spend any more money, which could potentially cost QPR their Premier League status. Mauro Zarate was their only addition, in a loan move from West Ham. However, much Redknapp wants to cover up the real reasons to why he left; leaving just a day after the transfer window shut after spending no money should be seen as no coincidence at all.
At 67-years-old, after a long and successful career in management, Redknapp in all likelihood saw no need to carry on the job at QPR. With the club struggling and seemingly no signs of improvement, Redknapp was right to step aside for a younger man to come in for the long haul.
Whether or not the need for knee surgery was the real reason behind his resignation, the time had come for Redknapp’s two and a quarter year spell at QPR to come to an end.