Tag Archives: harry redknapp

So long, QPR. But is Harry going down with you?

QPR say goodbye to Premier League football. And if I was a betting man, I’d say that it will be highly unlikely that Harry Redknapp will be managing QPR – or indeed any team – in the Championship next season. The London side may have been relegated yesterday, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Harry won’t be going down with them.

The 66-year old is a fine manager. Premier League material and has the potential guide any club in the right direction. Why didn’t it work at QPR? Redknapp himself admitted that some of the high-paid players were the subject of jealousy from some other players causing a division.

“There are splits in the camp,” he said. “I’d be liar if I said there wasn’t, it’s been obvious for everyone to see all year. It’s a problem”.

Though Redknapp has given interviews about the future with QPR in the Championship, I would be highly surprised if he does down with them.

So if he leaves Loftus Road where could he go?

Well at this time we can only speculate, but I’d keep a close eye on what goes on at St James Park. Following Newcastle’s 6-0 demolishing at the hands of a Suarez-less Liverpool on Saturday – the Magpie’s heaviest home defeat in 87 years – current boss Alan Pardew even admitted that his future is completely out of his hands.

If Pardew’s time with Newcastle is up, would it be the perfect replacement for the club to install Harry Redknapp as new boss. Don’t be so surprised if that happens.

Then again, the game in England is predictably unpredictable. Harry wouldn’t end up at Chelsea and The Special One could go to Arsenal or Liverpool? Surely not? You never know – who would have thought that Rafa Benitez would one day manage Chelsea?

 

Do you think Harry Redknapp will become manager of another Premier League team? Or will he go to the Championship with QPR? Let Rob Smith know on Twitter (@robsmithireland) and be sure to check us out on Facebook (/FootballElMundo)

Five for Monday

It’s Monday! And “welcome to the working week” as Elvis Costello sang some years back. But I say, sod that, take five minutes out on this beautiful October day and watch these five clips that I found on the web as of late.

1. David Platt still has it at the age of 46. Even Sergio Aguero is impressed.
[jwplayer mediaid=”2435″]

2. A live hand grenade (you read that correctly) being thrown the pitch and lucky player still has his arm attached to his body. 
[jwplayer mediaid=”2436″]

3.  ‘Arry Redknapp remembers Paolo Di Canio’s playing days.
[jwplayer mediaid=”2437″]

4. José Mourinho’s greatest ever celebrations (complete with awesome soundtrack for the Special One).
[jwplayer mediaid=”2438″]

5. Palermo’s Fabrizio Miccoli scores an outrageous goal. Forza!
[jwplayer mediaid=”2439″]

Well, I hope the rest of your Monday goes well. If you come across any funny, interesting, outrageous or unbelievable football-related videos then hit me up on twitter (@robsmithireland). Stay tuned to the blog for more later on this week, as I’ll be posting directly from Barcelona’s Camp Nou in the lead up to a certain rivalry in Spain.

So what next for England?

So Fabio Capello resigned as manager of England and, of course, the English media were quick to speculate who could take over the reigns  (José Mourinho and Arsene Wenger were just two names mentioned on TV literally within minutes of his resignation). But who will be the next England manager? How will England fare with a new boss just months before they embark on another major tournament.

"Arrivaderci, Inghilterra"

Well, the FA chairman David Bernstein said in his press conference that he is “not prepared to rule out anything but an Englishman or British person would have a good start”. So who’s the best man for the job then? Stuart “Phsycho” Pearce will take temporary charge of England for this month’s friendly against Holland – but he’s not the right man to take the reigns on a permanent basis. The media (and some England players also) seem to be concentrating on our favourite wheeler-dealer, Mr. Harry Redknapp.

‘Arry said his main focus was on managing Tottenham and that he had not thought about the England job. Well, of course he would say that. He is possibly one of, if not then THE best man for the job. But even if offered it, would he take it? He way well not – Spurs are doing mighty fine and he’s the reason behind that. So who else is there? Roy Hodgson? I can’t see that happening. David Moyes? I strongly doubt it. Alan Pardew? He won’t even be shortlisted. Who? Maybe another foreign manager is the way to go.

'Arry could get the top job

Of course, The Special One would be welcomed back into England with open arms. But it’d be very unlikely for him to part company with Real Madrid – especially now at this point in the season with Los Blancos top of La Liga. Arsene Wenger was mentioned? He wouldn’t leave Arsenal. And I don’t think he’d be too keen to manage England. What about Guus Hiddink? He wouldn’t be a bad choice in my view. But would the FA hire him?

Whoever gets the full time gig may have to deal with some issues before even setting foot on a training ground such as the captaincy and if John Terry and Rio Ferdinand play together at centre-half or if  JT should be selected at all given recent events. Interesting times ahead. Watch this space…

 

Transfer deadline day chaos (or the lack of it)

Ah, the last day of January. A day many spend the evening by staring at Jim White and his colleagues on Sky Sports News for the usual drama of transfer deadline day. Last year Andy Carroll joined Liverpool for an astonishing £35 million and Fernando Torres joined Chelsea for £50 million. Social networks went crazy that night. What could happen tonight? Will Chelsea make another massive signing? Could Gerard Pique (and girlfriend Shakira) make Manchester their new home? Could Carlos Tevez join Liverpool and then Everton only moments later? Will it be the most exciting day in footballing transfer history?

The answer is…no. The day hadn’t quite the excitement as last year’s for the average footie fan. But it did have some interesting moves that will no doubt make an impact at certain clubs. One of these clubs is of course QPR. Having already captured Nedum Onuoha (Man Citeh) and Taye Taiwo (AC Milan), they signed Bobby Zamora (Fulham) and Djibril Cissé (Lazio) to strengthen Mark Hughes’ side. Throughout January, they more or less bought half a team.

Zamora joins the R's

Meanwhile ‘Arry Redknapp (who is not a “wheeler-dealer”) brought Everton’s Louis Saha to White Hart Lane on loan for the rest of the season with Steven Pienaar going back to his former club also on loan.  Everton did also complete the £5.5m signing of Nikica Jelavic from Rangers. Speaking of Spurs, their out-of-favour striker Roman Pavlyuchenko left to join Lokomotiv Moscow in his native land. Elsewhere, Man City landed Chile midfielder David Pizarro on loan from Roma for the rest of the season as did West Brom, for our very own Keith Andrews from Blackburn.

There was some interesting moves elsewhere in Europe such as this and this, but overall it could be considered a fairly quiet one – certainly by English standards with “only” £55.1 million spent by Premier League clubs this deadline day. Last year it was £215 million. Maybe at the next transfer deadline day, on the last day of August, it might be even less? Who am I kidding…Man City and Chelsea are still around, aren’t they?

Anyway, throughout the entire month of January, some of the best signings in my opinion have been:

  • Thierry Henry – New York Red Bulls to Arsenal (loan)
  • Carlos Kameni – Espanyol to Malaga (free)
  • Maxi Lopez – Catania to AC Milan (loan)
  • Gary Cahill – Bolton to Chelsea (£7 mil)
  • José Antonio Reyes – Athletico Madrid to Sevilla (€3.5 mil)
  • Moussa Sow – Lille to Fenerbahce (€15 mil)
  • Nicolas Anelka – Chelsea to Shanghai Shenhua (undisclosed)
  • Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy to Aston Villa (loan)
  • Amauri – Juventus to Fiorentina (€500k)
  • Alex – Chelsea to PSG (€5 mil)

Any other good transfers missed this month that is worth mentioning? Leave a comment or hit me up on twitter.

Camp Nou to Portman Road: What went wrong for Giovani Dos Santos?

August 2007. I am sitting amongst 98,500 people in the Camp Nou. A sell out crowd. Barcelona are to face Inter Milan in their annual Gamper Trophy match – a pre-season friendly the club arranges to introduce new signings and showcase their silky skills. It was both Yaya Touré’s and Thierry Henry’s debut in Barça colours. Starting that day also was one Mexican player – the much praised Giovani Dos Santos. Remember him?

Giovani was one of a select few non-Spanish/Catalan players to come through Barça’s youth academy – La Masia. Barça scouts would only risk spending club money and moving an entire family to Catalonia if a player is enormously gifted. Leo Messi being another example. For years, his remarkable rise in Barça’s youth teams was the talk around Camp Nou and eventually manager Frank Rijkaard heard about this talented kid. Just who is this Mexican lad?

Giovani was subsequently included in Barça’s squad for their pre-season tour in 2006 and again in 2007. Not bad for a 17-year old kid. He played in the game against Inter in the Gamper Trohpy after scoring and impressing everyone in the stadium – including not only myself but Leo Messi who later told journalists that the Mexican reminded him a lot of himself. Making his way into the first team and playing remarkably, he finished off his impressive season with a hat-trick in the final game of the season against Murcia. Then he was sold for the seemingly bargain price of €6 million to Tottenham Hotspur.

The future of Barça. A short lived dream

He didn’t exactly impress in England and certainly didn’t live up to the hype. His rumoured love for London’s nightlife certainly wouldn’t have done him any favours to get into Harry Redknapp‘s good books. Before his first season in England was over, he was sent on loan to Ipswich Town. Then the following year, Redknapp loaned him out to Galatasaray and last season out to Racing Santander.

From hat-tricks at the Camp Nou and praise from Leo Messi to loan deals at Portman Road is not how the script should have went for the now 22-year old. He certainly has the technical ability – Ronaldinho, Frank Rijkaard and the Spanish public witnessed it every week while at Barça. Perhaps England is the wrong country – the wrong style of football?

Giovani made a brief cameo for Spurs in the 4-0 win against Liverpool last weekend. But a brief cameo isn’t enough. I don’t know this gifted kid isn’t playing but he is not. But I certainly know he has the ability to do it. Maybe we’ll see a comeback someday and the Giovani of 2007 will be showboating once more.

You Tube gold: Off the pitch classic moments

One of the great things about watching videos on websites like You Tube is reliving some classic footballing TV moments that do not always necessarily occur on the pitch. Let’s have a look at some.

Of course, we can begin with Steve Bleasdale’s resignation as Peterborough United boss moments before a crucial game and all in front of the Sky One cameras for the 2006  TV series Big Ron Manager. Then there’s Graham Taylor’s arguments with German officials during England’s 1993 defeat to Holland in De Kuip, Rotterdam. Does he not like that!

Some though really make me crack up. Such as Martin O’Neill telling Robbie Williams that his solo career isn’t too bad for someone that “can’t write and can’t play guitar”. I wonder did O’Neill get “Rudebox”?
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/aEcPlgi2s-w" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
I can’t forget one of the most memorable pundits of the modern game. Ireland’s very own Eamon Dunphy. He’s ranted and raved about quite a lot of things from Terry Venables’ credentials as a manager to Roy Keane being “a class act” and from Cristiano Ronaldo being a brat to a fellow journalist that “ran away and left his wife for a young one”.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/_iBDlJEabiI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Finally, a big mention to good old ‘Arry Redknapp’s reaction to Sky’s Rob Palmer having being called a “wheeler dealer” manager (just before he snapped up Van Der Vaart with minutes to go in the transfer deadline last summer).
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/xJBsI7RAuvk" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Know of any classic off the pitch moments? Leave a comment or hit me up on twitter.

Champions League Matchday 6 preview

  Afternoon one and all. Matchday 6 in the Champions League this week and despite most clubs already qualified for the next phase there’s still some good games worth watching.

  Group H is the most open one with Shakhtar Donetsk, Arsenal and Sporting Braga all having a chance to progress into the next stage in the top position. It’s amazing Arsenal still haven’t qualified despite having scored 15 goals and mastered 6-0, 3-1 and 5-1 victories back to back. An upset at the hands of Serbian side Partizan could see a big surprise exit for the Gunners.

Wenger hopes his team keep their eye on the ball

  With this weeks contraversial news that Russia is to host the 2018 World Cup, the only team flying the Russian flag in the Champions League with hope is Rubin Kazan. Either themselves or FC Copenhagen could finish in second in Group D. Kazan face a very much in-form Barcelona in the Camp Nou but it was only a year ago when they caused an upset in the very same fixture.

  Finally, Spurs manager (and allegedly occasional wheeler-dealer) Harry Redknapp will be looking for maximum points to ensure their finish on top of Group A. They face FC Twente, previously managed by Ssshhteve McClaren. Inter Milan will be looking for points and as many goals as possible to finish in pole position. They will take on Werder Bremen, who have been well below their standard in this year’s competition.