A tale of two managers
There are a few managers in football that I have no time for because I don’t care for their methods. They include Jose Mourinho, Roberto Mancini, Neil Warnock, Mark Hughes and a few others.
However, there is one manager I particularly can't abide and he is Harry Redknapp, now of Queens Park Rangers. I have never known another manager with so few tangible accomplishments, who has the kind of good press he gets. It is mind boggling and it never seems to stop.
QPR are deep in relegation trouble and I can stick my neck out here and say that they will go down. I am not saying it is Redknapp's fault. They are where they are in the league but I found it incredible that Tony Fernandes and the QPR board fell for the media hype in getting Harry to come to their rescue. Desperate people do indeed do desperate things.
In his scatter-gun approach to player purchase in the summer I wondered what Mark Hughes was thinking and the fact that the team struggled, leading to his eventual sacking, proved that he did not know what he was doing. To be fair to Hughes, all the clubs he had managed prior to QPR did better in the second half of the season.
Back to Harry Redknapp. During the last tumultuous season of Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, a lot of the press started to tout Harry as a possible replacement for Rafa at Liverpool, making it out that he was a better manager than the Spaniard, all because of what he was doing at Spurs at the time.
I was stunned at the mindless chatter. In over 30 years of club management, Harry Redknapp has ONE FA Cup triumph to show for his "great coaching ability".
Compare that to a manager who had won two Spanish League titles, a Uefa Cup and a Champions League and you can see why sometimes the minds of the average English football journalist might need to be looked at rather closely.
His one claim to fame is how "Spurs were bottom when he took over from Juande Ramos". What is usually ignored was that only eight matches had been played at the time and, with the quality at Spurs and Ramos' pedigree, he could well have turned the season around.
Under Harry, Spurs had an astronomical wage bill and there was a huge turnover of players, as is his way. Spurs did finish fourth twice but, in truth, the quality of his squad meant they should have done much more. Daniel Levy must have felt the same, hence his sacking in the summer.
Rafa Benitez on the other hand has gotten on with his job at Stamford Bridge and is doing what I expect him to do - mount a serious title challenge. Rafa is one manager who polarises opinion in a way that is unique to him. What can never be in doubt is his quality.
Here is a man who knows his job. I do not put him past winning more than one cup for Chelsea this season. Unlike Harry, he does not need good press to trumpet him as he lets his results do the talking for him. What is for sure is that, come the end of this season, if Chelsea don't keep him he could easily walk into the Real Madrid job after the inevitable sacking of Jose Mourinho.
As the premier league enters the new year, there should still be twists and turns but it certainly will involve the current top three. A cracking year is in store.
I wish you all a wonderfully happy New Year. May all your dreams and plans come through but, above all, may you all prosper and be in good health in 2013.
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