Harry Redknapp is one of those football managers who falls into the Marmite category – you either love him or hate him.
There is one thing that is certain though; life has never been dull at any of the clubs he has managed over the past 30-odd years.
Within the game Redknapp is highly respected and regarded as a far more astute tactician than those who have painted him merely as a wheeler – dealer wide-boy.
Above all though Redknapp believes that even though the role of a football manager has changed since he started at out as Bobby Moore’s assistant at Oxford City in the late Seventies many of the principles remain the same, with man management the key.
Harry’s autobiography “Always Managing” is a jocular journey through his career which started as a young winger at West Ham in the Sixties.
After his playing career fizzled out in the United Sates, Redknapp was jobless for a while and was working as a mini-cab driver.
But after the strange period with Moore at Oxford, Redknapp got a break at Bournemouth, before emerging as a top level boss with West Ham, Portsmouth (twice) Southampton, Tottenham and QPR.
Redknapp parted company with Rangers earlier this year when it was clear that the club lacked the squad to stay in the PL. He had led them back to the top flight having inherited an over bloated, over-paid squad when he succeeded Mark Hughes two years ago.
One of the constant themes in the book is that ultimately, no matter how good a manager is, success can only be achieved when a club has enough quality players in it’s squad for the level they are playing at.
He suggests that had Jose Mourinho taken over QPR when he did then he would have been unlikely to keep them up either.
Inevitably this book is laced with humour and some wonderful anecdotes. Redknapp also addresses the issue of the High Court Case over tax (he was cleared of all charges) and how that affected him getting the England job ahead of Roy Hodsgon.
Redknapp concludes: “Football, like life, isn’t always about winning – the Premiership, the Champions League and the rest of it.”
“For most of us, like life, it’s about staying afloat and doing the best with the hand you have got, looking to build something worthwhile, never giving in, and trying – amidst all this – not to forget to love every minute of it.”
BB Rating: 9.5/10