Passion, success and a love for football, it’s part of the Redknapp package. The celebrity manager has taken the reigns at Blues, much to the celebration of Bluenoses everywhere. In my eyes, he’s the best manager available at this time, and probably up there with the best managers to grace English football. I’m still left baffled as to how the owners have enticed in a manager of his calibre, but I’m not complaining. It is only in recent years that he has turned down jobs at Liverpool and Newcastle. He was also heavily linked with the Swansea vacancy and even more so the England job, before Allardyce. There aren’t too many managers in the championship with a CV like his own, so there’s a lot to be thankful for.
Why’s everyone after him and why is he the perfect man for Blues?
He demands respect from his players and won’t take lightly to a poor performance. The media crawl all over him for his brutal honesty and witty one-liners. The Blues squad should look sharp if they want to keep their place, especially for the upcoming Blues vs Vile derby day. It was painstakingly obvious that the team had lost faith in Zola and a great deal of moral, along with their unfortunate run of form. On Saturday they were lethargic and lacked the fighting mentality of a team faced with relegation.
It is not uncommon for teams to see a change in fortune as the immediate impact of a new manager brings them to fight for their place under him, and in this case their place in the championship. To further enhance this desire will be the fact that they are no longer playing under a no mark manager. If we are honest, Blues have played under inexperienced managers these past few seasons, but Redknapp’s different; he’s a man players look up to and want to play for. If the incentive to fight for your manager should bring about results, it certainly will in these circumstances. If Blues are relegated then they will lose the opportunity to play under a manager of such great experience. I know these factors didn’t come into play under Zola, but I feel the nature of the sacking of the popular Rowett somewhat disheartened players rather than motivating them.
Redknapp’s seen a great deal of success in his managerial career – spanning 34 years. It all began at Bournemouth, after leaving as a player and applying for the manager’s role he was at first overlooked. After he did take over, as Bournemouth sat in the relegation zone of the Third Division, he steered them from relegation and caused shockwaves as his side beat the holders Man Utd 2-0 in the third round of the FA cup. He later lead the side to promotion to the second division. After Bournemouth, he joined West Ham later to become manager. Harry secured the team’s 2nd best ever premier league finish, in 5th place, in his second season having finished 8th in his first. He qualified the club for the Intertoto cup, which he won to qualify for the UEFA Cup. In his time at the club, his remarkable faith in youth saw him bring through Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and of course his nephew Frank Lampard.
In two spells at Portsmouth, he gained the team promotion to the Premier League, replacing his previous club West Ham. He returned to the club when they were threatened by relegation to help them survive, before securing a ninth place finish the following season and a remarkable FA Cup Win and to this day he is the last English manager to have earned a major trophy. Whilst his time at Southampton was not so successful, it was merely a blip on the radar, he went on to manage Tottenham Hotspur who he took over as they were in bottom place to take them to fourth, following a series of immense signings of the likes of Jermain Defoe in January. The team qualified for Champions league by playoffs before winning this and going to the quarter Finals of the tournament despite the odds against them, unfortunately, they were still knocked out by the superclub Real Madrid. Despite this, he became the second ever manager to win Premier League manager of the year, without having won the title. He later found himself at QPR, whilst being relegated in his first season, he got them promoted once more in his second. He has since managed the Jordan national team. Redknapp has won 7 premier league manager of the month awards in his time in the top flight.
If his star-studded career has not yet convinced you then just look at his desire. He admits to watching every and any football match he can. His family has football in its blood and he’s no exception, he is probably the most football passionate coach you will find and loves a challenge, so he seems fit for the task at hand with Blues. In his most recent interview, he has stated that he didn’t care about the money when joining Blues. The 70-year-old thinks highly of Birmingham too, saying they are a ‘proper club’ with ‘great potential.’ Let’s hope we can survive relegation and keep him on to achieve great things with our club, as he has done with so many others and what better way to kick off to a good start than with a Blues vs Vile Derby – where a win might just secure our Championship status. He’s admitted it is a huge challenge to save Blues from the drop and that he hasn’t got a magic wand to help him, but I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.
For now, let’s get behind BCFC and Redknapp because we’re in for a roller coaster ride, but what else do you expect being a bluenose?