Midweek Musings #1: Harry Redknapp - the final word
This will be my last word on the Harry Redknapp saga.
A week-and-a-half has passed since his sacking and initially, I was shocked. My concern was that the club had dropped a massive clanger once again and as much as my Mrs told me that she wasn`t bothered in the slightest that Redknapp had gone (he was too negative with the players he inherited, she said) I couldn`t help but feel a little let down by the hierarchy at Birmingham City.
However, the more I learn about the situation, the more it becomes apparent that perhaps the club made the right decision. Here`s why.
Regardless of what line of work you`re in, being told on a daily basis that you`re not good enough will have an adverse effect on you. Redknapp, on numerous occasions, ridiculed the players he inherited. After the Ipswich game, he said: 'We are in a situation where we are short. I look at the bench and - no disrespect to the lads - I have got no change".
Since his departure, the players seem more upbeat and positive. Lukas Jutkiewicz used his post-Derby interview to claim the players are 'enjoying training again`.
OUT-THOUGHT AND OUT-MANAGED
Harry Redknapp is well known for being a manager without a plan B and we have seen evidence of that on a few occasions already this season.
The goalless draw against Bolton was a lacklustre affair in which Blues failed to create many openings. Redknapp had options on the bench to adopt a change in style. When passing through the opposition doesn`t work, why not try using wingers to get balls into the box or even, as a last resort, go long? Mix it up a bit. Blues were too one dimensional and predictable.
At Burton, Blues were comfortable at the interval with a 1-0 lead. Nigel Clough changed his system and personnel at the break and Redknapp simply had no response. It was a torrid second half in which Blues were deservedly beaten while Redknapp looked a forlorn figure on the sidelines.
The same can be said for his last game in charge, a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Preston. Again, Blues led at half-time and were in control. Alex Neil made tactical changes which caused Blues all sorts of problems and Blues couldn`t deal with it - conceding three goals in 12 minutes.
PUT YOUR FEET UP, HARRY
Living in Sandbanks, Harry could be forgiven for wanting to put his feet up or play a round of golf. Instead, he opted for the rigours of management. If rumours are to be believed, the players didn`t see much of Harry at Wast Hills. Apparently (make of this what you will) Redknapp often turned up halfway through the session and spent most of his time at Wast Hills in his office.
If you have ever read Joey Barton`s book, you will know a little bit about Redknapp`s training ground style…it involves more horse racing, less coaching.
To lose three key players to hamstring injuries would take its toll on any team. But why did Blues have so much bad luck with injuries? 'It happens`, Redknapp said.
Well, this week, Lee Carsley scrapped that theory. He said- "I think we will have to adjust some of the training techniques with what we have done in the past. I don't think we can just accept whatever it was, three or four, two or three hamstring injuries. I think it's something that we can maybe manufacture a bit more in training".
Ultimately, football is a results based business and results under Redknapp this season have been poor. The best performance was, arguably, Leeds away - Blues lost 2-0. Apart from that game, I struggle to recall a good performance over 90 minutes. The second halves against Preston and Burton were as poor as Blues have played in recent years.
Not that longevity is a word in most football owner`s vocabulary, but at the age of 70, how long would Redknapp have stuck around at St. Andrews for? And let`s be honest, if results didn`t improve, he would have walked away - he said so himself.