Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Manager too Big

Harry Redknapp was on the verge of becoming the new manager of Ukraine when he received the phone call. Tony Fernandes, the jovial owner of Queens Park Rangers, acted with fresh immediacy after the sacking of Mark Hughes, keen to bring in the master motivator needed to provoke his slumbering stars. Harry was his man. The contract which was signed, however, is unlikely to be seen through; not out of any disloyalty on the part of Fernandes, but out of the reputation of Harry Redknapp. Queens Park Rangers now have a manager who, frankly, is too big for them.

Few managers are regarded in such high esteem as Harry Redknapp. The definitive clamour which engulfed him in the wake of Fabio Capello's resignation was born out of an inherent respect for his inimitable motivational skills and his stellar renown with fans and executives alike. An entire nation became deeply-enamored with his candid roadside interviews lurching out of the car window; all, at once, impressed by his charisma and personality. How, then, can that be contained within such a small London club?

This is not meant as a slight towards QPR. Largely, they are a decent club with a certain history and a neat sense of tradition. However, it is not to the benefit of the club to pursue, and harbour, such a relatively-stratospheric manager as Redknapp. Having a manager so clearly attuned towards European football, and success at the very highest level, will be of no benefit in the trench warfare at the bottom of the Premier League. Deep down, there will always be a part of Harry that feels as if he should be troubled with bigger and better things, and that part would be right.

At Tottenham, Harry experienced Champions League football, and proved adept not only at securing qualification, but impressive progression well into the spring. What will be his reaction when, this spring, all that he has left to play for, plan for, fight for, is a mere place in the Premier League? It would be only natural for him to feel at least disappointed. It is akin to a lavish prince, accustomed to fine food and the high life, descending the throne of superiority to live for a year on a local council estate; essentially, it will only work against the natural inclination of the prince.

Even if Harry does rescue Queens Park Rangers, it will only leave the club in more trouble in the not-too-distant future, for Harry will not stay around for long. Once the dawning realisation hits Redknapp that QPR are a club with potential constrained by the Premier League's bottom half, he will move, seeking the bigger and better things that should, in any just land, be occupying his mind now. Increasingly, this is beginning to resemble an action of impulse rather than rationality from Harry Redknapp; this job becoming available just as his eagerness to get back in the loop piqued. After all, he was about to jet off to Ukraine..........

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