By Toby Davis ,Reuters
LONDON — Harry Redknapp was seemingly on the verge of scaling the highest peak in English soccer but, just six weeks later, he has been brought down to earth with a bump after being jettisoned as manager of Tottenham Hotspur. When the “people’s choice” to replace Fabio Capello as England boss was overlooked in favor of Roy Hodgson on May 1, few would have predicted it was the beginning of a remarkable descent that culminated in Redknapp being sacked by his club on Thursday. In a familiar pose, he leant out of his car window to address a waiting reporter and explained his dismissal had nothing to do with the media circus that had followed him around from the minute Capello announced his departure. “No effect whatsoever,” the 65-year-old said on Sky Sports News. “I kept my counsel about that all through and in the end England was nothing at all to do with anything.”
Nor was it anything to do with his side’s loss of form following Capello’s resignation that saw Tottenham drop from 10 points clear in third place, to one point behind rivals Arsenal at the at end of the season. Although they scraped into fourth place, they were eventually prevented from entering the Champions League next season when Chelsea won the competition having finished sixth in the table. “I still think the same outcome would have come if Chelsea hadn’t had won it that’s the feeling I got,” Redknapp added. The club said Redknapp had arrived at the club at a time when “his experience and approach was exactly what was needed.” Which implies they now are looking for a different mould of manager to the one who had taken them from bottom of the table when he arrived in 2008 to a Champions League quarterfinal in 2011 and consistent top five finishes.
Redknapp is a likeable East Londoner with a penchant for comic one liners. He is an old-school man-manager, who is able to get the famous soccer cliche of “110 percent” from his players. His tactical acumen, however, has been frequently called into question.
To a certain extent he was the obvious choice to succeed Capello, with the FA inclined towards an Englishman following the Italian’s fraught tenure.
Redknapp had outperformed all his fellow countrymen in the Premier League and could unquestionably motivate players to outperform their ability.