Harry's Games: Inside the Mind of Harry Redknapp

By John Crace

Who is Harry Redknapp? soccer genius or soccer chancer? grasp tactician or sensible joker? How is it that even if he was once dealing with courtroom complaints for tax evasion such a lot of humans have been nonetheless heavily tipping him to be the following England supervisor? How can one guy have such diametrically antagonistic and incompatible profession trajectories? Does the longing to have an English supervisor accountable for the nationwide aspect warp people's thinking?'

To Portsmouth fanatics, Redknapp used to be the guy who walked on water and received them an FA Cup. To Southampton fanatics, he's nonetheless the satan incarnate who had them relegated sooner than leaping send to their arch opponents. Spurs fanatics are not convinced what he's, bit do not care as lengthy as he retains the staff jointly and profitable. occasionally he is the Messiah, at others the clown. Whoever he's, Crace is decided to discover out.

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Whereupon, Redknapp urged placing jointly a syndicate within which he and 3 others may individually submit £5,000 every one and – in a forerunner to the Peter Crouch association that may later be the topic of his court docket case – break up any gains on Clarke’s next sale. The chairman became this recommendation down and at last got here up with the cash himself. ‘So Clarkie performed for a season,’ Redknapp stated, ‘got 36 objectives after which we offered him to Southampton for £500,000. My syndicate used to be gutted – that may were a revenue of just about part one million kilos – yet not less than it proven to me that i may spot a participant and had a massive destiny within the administration video game. ’ The Clarke deal is another of the good ‘loveable Harry’ tales, pitched artfully someplace among bigging himself up for having been so shrewdpermanent and taking the piss out of himself for having overlooked out on a bumper payday. It diverts us from brooding about what was once quite occurring in any intensity. We’re intended to imagine, ‘That Harry . . . what a geezer. will get a participant the chairman doesn’t even really need for subsequent to not anything after which flogs him for a fortune in subsequent to no time. ’ this is often fairly simply part the tale, although, simply because what will get omitted is that, in the summertime of 1986, Clarke used to be picked for the Northern eire international Cup squad in Mexico and was once one in every of its few stars, scoring a comfort aim within the defeat to Spain throughout the workforce phases. such a lot pundits reckoned that show off objective greater than doubled his eventual move price. So whereas Redknapp deserved credits for recognizing and constructing expertise, the dimensions of the revenue owed greatly to post-World Cup hysteria. strong as Clarke was once, Redknapp can by no means have imagined he was once a half-million-pound participant. extra considerably, even though, the deal glosses over Redknapp’s failure occasionally to differentiate among the personal and the general public sturdy. It’s as though his default place is that something that advantages him instantly merits these round him and, once more, it increases questions about the place his loyalties eventually lie – to himself or the membership? it is a habitual subject with Redknapp. The Clarke move may well recommend that, on that get together, Redknapp used to be much more keen on his personal misplaced chance, as what he turns out to recollect such a lot sincerely is that he neglected out at the likelihood of constructing a brief and simple £120,000. there is not any checklist of him ever having stated, ‘Thank God the membership did so good because it used to be suffering a piece on the time. ’ The aftershock ripples of the Clarke move didn’t finish there. Had the money stayed with Redknapp, it will most likely were placed in the direction of procuring a much bigger domestic or invested in a neighborhood company; he could later purchase an Italian eating place in Bournemouth. And the membership may have stayed within the 3rd department. because it was once, the part million proved to be the monetary launchpad for Redknapp to obtain the group that was once to win Bournemouth advertising to the second one department within the following season. It acquired John Williams, a centre-back from Port Vale whom Redknapp has frequently defined as his best-ever signing; defender Tony Pulis from Newport; strikers Dave Puckett from Southampton, Trevor Aylott from Crystal Palace and Carl Richards from Enfield; and goalkeeper Gerry Peyton from Fulham.

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