It has been 2 months since Harry Redknapp officially took charge at QPR, and to the shock of many football fans, the club still remain at the bottom of the Premier League. However, as many know, Redknapp is not a manager to lose a relegation battle, but has even Harry himself left it too late?
Redknapp has become renowned for his famous escapes from the dreaded drop-zone, appropriately starting this trait in his first major coaching role at Bournemouth in 1982-83, where he was handed the manager’s position after a disappointing spell by David Webb. Redknapp successfully led Bournemouth out of the relegation zone and survived the drop into the bottom rung of the football league.
Redknapp then repeated this success in his second spell at Portsmouth where he joined in December 2005, and secured their survival in the Premier League once again, avoiding the drop. Redknapp’s most recent escape act was with Tottenham where he took charge in October 2008, and the club had sunk to the bottom of the Premier League, with just 2 points from their first 8 games. Redknapp was yet again able to work his magic and within 2 weeks had taken Spurs out of the bottom 3 by obtaining 10 points out of his first 12 in charge.
These are all astounding achievements and can only be seen as evidence of his managerial ability, but the question I ask now is, has Harry bitten off more than he can chew with QPR?
There is no doubt that if any manager can pull of this escape mission, Redknapp is the man, but with the January transfer window coming to an end, has he got the squad he requires and even a glimmer of hope of keeping QPR in the Premier League? In my honest opinion, I believe that he does. Redknapp has secured 16 points out of a possible 33 since his takeover, reducing the point gap to safety at 17th position from 6 to 4 points. This may seem like a small impact yet the recent results that QPR have somewhat grinded out have been impressive including draws against West Ham, Spurs and Aston Villa, shock wins at Chelsea and Fulham and yet another draw against the current Premier League champions Manchester City last night.
In context, to lead the team to these results is already an achievement, but to lead QPR to safety, Redknapp will have to produce another master plan, which I believe will heavily rely on QPR’s next 8 fixtures, which include Norwich, Swansea, Southampton, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Fulham and Wigan. All of which must be perceived as winnable, and some even as 6-point, must win games.
The signing of Loic Remy has had an instant impact on the team, and I can already see a successful partnership between himself and the talented Taarabt. I see it as a case of Redknapp having to bring such characters under control and working for him, and the team. It is also vitally important that he exploit the situations and poor form of other clubs in the battle, such as Southampton with the recent shock dismissal of Nigel Adkins, bound to upset their rhythm. If Redknapp can achieve this, I expect to see QPR in the Premier League next season due to another spectacular plan from Harry ‘Houdini’ Redknapp.