Opinion: ‘Arry Redknapp continues to find new ways to deflect the blame

Opinion: ‘Arry Redknapp continues to find new ways to deflect the blame

first_imgThis column appears in the current edition of Sport magazine. Download the free iPad app from the Apple Newsstand, and follow on twitter @sportmagukLove him, hate him or anywhere in between, we will miss Harry Redknapp when he is no longer gracing our television screens every week.’Arry is a fascinating character. Few who have met him or know him well have a bad word to say about him, yet as a manager he divides opinion like almost no-one else. Is he a shrewd football man with an eye for a deal who likes to play the game the right way, or is he a chancer who has somehow blagged his way to a long and largely successful career in a notoriously difficult business? He might just be a bit of both.I have only encountered him once, at a raceday at Windsor in the spring. He spent all afternoon on the phone, and then at dinner that evening made a brief cameo on stage. He answered a few questions in good heart, sounded utterly unenthused about life at QPR, and then proceeded to regale the room with that story about George Best, Miss World, a bed sprinkled with cash and the waiter who asked him where it had all gone wrong. The place roared with appreciation as though no-one had ever heard it before. ’Arry sported the sheepish grin of a man who could barely believe he had got away with telling such an old tale, and was out of the building by the time the applause had ceased. The room adored him.Therein lies his enduring talent. The room – whichever one it is – still loves him. Which is why, with QPR bottom of the league after somehow contriving to lose to shaky, shambolic Liverpool on Sunday, Redknapp got away with turning his post-match press conference into a one-man attack on apparent fatty Adel Taarabt.As exercises in blame deflection go, turning on a player who has barely figured this season shouldn’t really work. Yet the room let him have it, with no-one prepared to suggest that Taarabt – obviously a tricky character – blatantly isn’t three stone overweight, as Redknapp insisted. Why let something as dull as fact get in the way of a man holding court with such ease?Where Redknapp still treads, of course, others follow. Arsene Wenger was at his surly worst after Arsenal failed to beat Hull at the weekend, giving BBC questioner Jacqui Oatley an odd mix of honest answers and patronising, almost creepy responses in an uncomfortable post-match interview. Swansea’s Garry Monk, meanwhile, was in full-on fury mode after his team lost at Stoke, accusing Victor Moses of diving and cheating to win the penalty that brought the home side back into the game.Premier League managers have an almost impossible job, but watching them react to adversity is one of the game’s great joys. And, in that table at least, ’Arry is still right at the top. 1 Harry Redknapp last_img

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