Wilson’s Wisdom: Some revel in Redknapp exit

Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp
Conor Chaplin in action against Northampton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s Checkatrade kick-off time rescheduled

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Harry Redknapp’s tenure at QPR came to a swift conclusion just hours after the January transfer window closed.

As news filtered through that Redknapp had quit, citing the knee replacement operations, some Pompey fans revelled in it.

And that didn’t sit right with me.

To some Blues fans, he is the very reason why their club now battles away in League Two following two narrow escapes from the executioner.

Redknapp’s attempt to build the best possible team he could, meant he was always looking for players to improve the side.

And his two spells were not without their controversy.

Many felt he stuck the knife into Graham Rix to get the job but Redknapp then built a new team that stormed to the division one title in his first season and then stayed up the next campaign.

Other fans’ dislike stems from the fact they never truly forgave him for the decision to defect to Southampton when he fell out with chairman Milan Mandaric.

It was a decision that still baffles to this day on just how he could be seemingly totally unaware of the feeling between the two clubs.

Perhaps he did know and simply didn’t care.

Regardless, having made that impossible move once, Redknapp did a return trip, kept Pompey up when they had no right to stay in the Premier League and then oversaw a period of success resulting in the 2008 FA Cup win.

In my view, that second stint cancelled out that big mistake he made and much more besides.

He finally jumped ship when Spurs came calling and Pompey were already on the slippery slope to financial meltdown.

It’s hard to argue with that one.

Yes, Redknapp has his faults.

He should have been more involved in the management of the club as a whole, rather than simply building the best team available.

Investment in the Academy or a training ground was pushed to the side.

Redknapp felt his sole task was to create a Pompey team that won matches. But if that was the case, the rest of the club’s issues – the management of the finances and club issues – should have been down to someone else above him.

And if that meant Redknapp did not have the final say, then so be it.

From afar, it seems he was the spoilt child whose parents never said “no”.

But is that his fault?

He often contested that he didn’t know what his players were earning or the transfer fees paid, which was nonsense.

Surely a key part of being a manager is to work out whether one player is better value than someone else?

But in my 30-odd years of watching this club, the best football I’ve seen was played by teams built by Redknapp.

Merson, Todorov, Hislop, Stone, De Zeeuw, Yakubu, Sheringham, Berger, James, Campbell, Distin, Diarra – all signed by Redknapp.

Would they all have come without him at the helm?

When I suggest Redknapp produced the best Pompey teams I’ve seen, a common reply from those who dislike him is: “At what cost?”

He is not perfect but the blame for the demise of our football club does not lay at his door.