Harry Redknapp’s abrupt decision to resign as Queens Park Rangers manager could be the catalyst for the West London club to reinvent themselves.
Redknapp opted to leave Loftus Road due to an ‘upcoming knee operation’, just one day after the often described ‘wheeler-dealer’ manager failed to sign anyone on transfer deadline day, which many associate the 67-year-old with annually – whether he likes it or not.
In Redknapp’s tenure, QPR picked up an unhealthy reputation of signing players on high wages who did not have either the talent, desire, or both, to earn the big salary.
The R’s were relegated from the Premier League in the 2012/13 season with the likes of Julio Cesar, Christopher Samba, Tal Ben-Haim, Samba Diakite, Park Ji-Sung, Adel Taarabt, Estaban Granero, Stephane Mbia and Loic Remy all on their books.
Not to forget Jose Bosingwa who was pictured smiling when he left the pitch as QPR’s relegation was confirmed following a 0-0 draw at home to Reading. Samba joined Rangers from Anzhi Makhachkala for £12.5 million in that January, earned a reported £100,000 a week, then rejoined the Russian club six months later for £500,000 less.
They were expected to bounce back to the Premier League easily due to their financial backing from Tony Fernandes, but hopped rather than bounced, finishing 4th, however winning the play-offs – beating Derby 1-0 with a last minute Bobby Zamora strike, although Derby dominated proceedings at Wembley for large periods.
Despite Charlie Austin blossoming, QPR languish in 19th this time around, losing every single away match to date as well. Which is why it’s time for them to make a bold appointment.
Tim Sherwood is currently the bookies’ favourite to succeed his fellow former Tottenham manager and that would not be such a bad choice.
Sherwood boasts a 59% win rate as Tottenham manager, more than anyone else in the club’s history (Redknapp’s was 49%), and Sherwood is a young boss who has only fairly recently left the greatest game on earth, not something Redknapp can claim.
Sherwood was arguably unfairly dismissed by Spurs just six months into his 18 month contract in what was the worst kept secret in recent Premier League history. He won 14 of his 28 games in charge.
QPR coach “Sir” Les Ferdinand is also in the frame, but legends have been used before as inspiration to guide a club to greater things and examples such as Alan Shearer (Newcastle) and Stuart Pearce (Nottingham Forest) has not worked. Garry Monk at Swansea has had great success, however, Monk had been at the Swans for 10 years. Ferdinand may not get the same backing from a dressing room he has only known since last October.
Glenn Hoddle too is in the fold, despite being out of work since resigning from Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2006. He revolutionised English football with the success of the 3-5-2 system, long before Louis van Gaal, taking Swindon Town to the Premier League, then getting the England job after continuing the success at Chelsea.
Comments suggesting the disabled were punished for acts they did in a past life led to his sacking though, and his career has never really recovered. Punditry for ITV has begun the rebuilding work, but it may be all too late. Hoddle’s ideas on and off the pitch seem out of touch.
A more left field and ambitious appointment would be that of Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement. The relatively unknown 43-year-old spent time as the academy coach at first Chelsea, then Fulham, before moving onto a brief coaching role at the Republic of Ireland.
He returned to football in 2007, back at Chelsea, working with the youth team and then joined the first team set up under Guus Hiddink in the 2008/2009 season as the Blues won the FA Cup. He stayed on for Carlo Ancelotti’s time at Stamford Bridge, winning another FA Cup as well as a Premier League title before working with a less successful manager, Steve Kean, at Blackburn.
The damned life at Blackburn was swapped for the Notre Dame when Ancelotti signed him up for his Paris Saint-Germain side that would go on to romp to the 2012/13 Ligue 1 title by 12 points.
Carlo came calling again, this time for none other than Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, and the rest of the Galacticos are under the mentorship of Ancelotti and Clement. Madrid are now La Liga, Copa del Rey, and Champions League holders, after finally clinching La Decima.
Madrid’s sunny shores may be too tough to leave for Clement, but he has expressed a desire to become the figurehead of a football club, and, being the son of QPR legend Dave Clement, he may not be completely out of reach.