Harry’s No Houdini

In October, with QPR rock bottom of the Premier League, Mark Hughes was replaced as manager by Harry Redknapp.

Despite some big name signings in the summer who’d be underperforming under Hughes (Jose Bosingwa, Esteban Granero) existing talent (Adel Taarabt, Djibril Cisse) and January signings of Redknapp’s (Chris Samba, Loic Remy), QPR went down. Redknapp is well known as a social guy with friends in the media, so the common angle has been that Redknapp couldn’t do enough to save them.

Maybe SeagullMan could have saved QPR?
Maybe SeagullMan could have saved QPR?

But how true is this? Writing for Squawka, I’ve taken a statistical look at different parts to QPR’s style of play, looking at how they’ve performed under both men.

Click here to read Redknapp’s Lack of Impact at QPR


Matches against Portsmouth and Brazil

A little late, as this post went up on Born Offside on Thursday night.

This week’s Lower League Week focuses on Port Vale, whose financial woes have deepened, with prospective owner Keith Ryder no longer returning the administrator’s calls.

No matter how long they waited, the call just wouldn’t come.

Harry Redknapp returned to football with Bournemouth, di Canio refused to stop talking, Preston have put together a decent run of results, an Oldham player made his international debut against Brazil, and Martin Allen took Gillingham to Barnet, who decided against appointing him manager in May.

Click here for the column in which I ask Where in the World is Keith Ryder?


Hodgson’s The Choice

I’ve written a piece for BornOffside about Roy Hodgson, who has this week been appointed as the new manager of the England football team.

If you’ve not been following the England national team in recent months, you’ve probably been driven less close to the edge of sanity than me. Here’s a brief rundown of events.

  • In February, Fabio Capello, England’s experienced Italian manager, hugely successful in club football but with a mixed record in charge of England, resigned.
  • The national sporting press immediately responded by assuming Harry Redknapp, the manager of Tottenham where he has done a more than decent job, would be the next manager. The FA said nothing, nothing at all, to confirm this, but the newspaper speculation talked as if it were a formality, only mentioning other possibilities in passing.
  • Harry Redknapp is considered popular with the press – being social and helpful when it comes to sharing his thoughts ahead of matches, potential player transfers, and so on, allowing the press to appear insightful. Unlike Redknapp, Roy Hodgson has managed in various different leagues, and managed three national teams, two of them very successfully – Redknapp has managed only in England.
  • The press have been reporting Redknapp as ‘the people’s choice’ as England manager, despite a number of people preferring Hodgson, Alan Pardew, or Guus Hiddink, among other foreign options.
  • On Sunday, the FA announced that Roy Hodgson had been approached to take the role, wth no other candidates being interviewed.
  • The British sporting press reported this, essentially, as ‘Harry Redknapp Not Offered England Job’, and frankly haven’t been very dignified about it.
  • During Hodgson’s formal presentation to the media as manager on Tuesday, around half the questions he was asked were about Harry Redknapp.

Here are my thoughts about Hodgson’s appointment.


Harry’s Flaws

Harry Redknapp is a talented football manager. His Tottenham team are currently third in the table, they are playing an entertaining style, and he’s the first English manager to challenge for the title for about ten, fifteen years.

God, that’s a depressing thought.

Harry Redknapp, being stalked by a giant seagull with a bad haircut.

The England manager’s job is currently vacant, after Fabio Capello’s departure last month, and Redknapp has been talked about by the English media, particularly Fleet Street, as if he is the nailed on certainty, the only possible choice. He’s also referred to as the fans’ choice – for instance, Match of the Day has said that the only people in the country who don’t want him to be England manager are the fans of his current club.

While I don’t totally disagree with his good press, I do to a large extent.

I’ve written an opinion piece for Born Offside, presenting the counterargument to the pro-Redknapp press.