Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Harry Redknapp: the case for the defence

A mid table team in mid table

It's not my intent for this blog to be a series of match reports, if for nothing else I don't
get to all the away games, but I thought the hammers defeat was quite revealing. Ill-
discipline cost us. We are a dirty team. Lawrence deserved his red card (and could have
had two) and I dont like how Cotterill attempted to defend the first tackle. But I think our
bigger problem was centre mid, Lawrence is not strong enough to play there, Norris I'm
still undecided about and I don't know if Hayden is a good enough to play the destructive
defensive mid role. Erik great cross, Varney good, Benj energetic, even though they let
in four the centre backs look excellent, Halford especially, they could be the basis of our
team for years a la Kit and Awford / sol and distin.

But all in all we looked like what we are. A mid table championship team.

One 'Arry Redknapp

My feelings towards Harry Redknapp are a little like that of a jilted lover - outwardly I'm
angry towards him but there is part of me that secretly hopes he is gonna come back to us
- deep down I think he still loves us.

I realise I'm in a minority here and i understand why people dislike him. The media love
him but those who have to put up with his media output on a regular basis soon see how
repetitive it is and how he never takes the blame for anything. His claims that Pompey
were in the relegation zone when he took over ( which by the by isn't true ) plus he had of
course been at the club as Director of football so he should take some of the responsibility.
He did a good job getting Pompey up, but the bottom had fallen out of the market and Arry
empowered by Milans money did well to take full advantage. His boasting has continued
at Spurs there are a lot of people, me included, who hoped that Spurs poor run had
continued and after 8 games they had only 2 points as he regularly quotes this as the dire
position Spurs were in before he took over but alas.

Rumours continue to persist that Redknapp is on the take. Tom Bowers excellent
book 'Broken Dreams' devotes a chapter to Arry's dubious record and activities that are no
longer mere rumours but criminal charges. BUT in terms of character references, he does
seem to do more than the average manager for charity in terms of golf days and being
the manager of celebrity football games. In the world of increasingly sterile managers I
certainly enjoy his salt of the earth approach.

Most important to me of course is Portsmouth football club and his transfer record is the
basis of my case for the defence. We spent too much money when he was in charge.
There are some accusations that 'Arry demanded too much cash. But how weak were the
people around him that they couldnt say no!? Its his job to work with the budget given to
him. The cold facts are during his second spell as manager his transfer dealings profited
the club to the tune of over £35,000,000. As a Pompey fan you know the stats, Johnson
(14m profit), diarra (14m profit), Defoe (7.5m profit) muntari (5m profit) but so few real
duffs (Utaka excepted). You look at similar clubs like Leeds Utd who spent 12m on Fowler
selling him for £3m, Johnson for 7m released on a free - we were lucky to have his transfer
nous - if it had been given to a lesser manager who had made poor signings our financial
problems could have been deeper - indeed the majority of clubs who have suffered from
over reach sunk lower than us (Leeds, Sheffield W, Scum, Notts F, Leicester etc)

I think the way he went to scum after clearly stating he wasn't going to sticks in the throat

- but on a personal level you can understand he has no long-term ties to Fratton Park but
he lives down south and there was a job available - also his abject failure there makes it
easier to forgive!

That's not to say chanting 'Arry what's the score' during the semi-final victory wasn't one of
my favourite ever Pompey moments, you might not like how he conducts himself at times
but Pompey were lucky to have him.

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