In the latest serialisation of Harry Redknapp’s autobiography in the Daily Mail, he talks about an undisciplined and toxic dressing room.
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp releases his book tomorrow, and judging by the snippets released by the Daily Mail it is sure to be a good read. Already there has been stories shared such as when he nearly ended up in jail, and the time he played a fan in his West Ham team.
However focusing on the debacle at QPR when he took over last season, he describes the situation as impossible, and that even Jose Mourinho couldn’t have kept that side in the Premier League.
Harry described the squad as ‘Poorly balanced, undisciplined, and devoid of confidence’.
QPR had spent big that summer with the hope that Mark Hughes could perhaps guide them to a top ten finish. They brought a lot of high profile players, but by the end of the campaign it was seasoned pro Clint Hill who was outshining the others.
Redknapp explained that the owners and directors were new to football and so were treated badly by advisers and agents. This led to many average signings of overpaid foreign imports. Players were brought in on exorbitant wages and when things started getting a bit tough for the team they weren’t willing to fight for the cause.
Harry describes Jose Bosingwa’s attitude as ‘disgraceful’ after he refused to sit on the bench for a game against Fulham. Just six months previously he was playing in the Champions League final, with this being a much different scenario it was clear to the manager that there was a major problem. ‘Within weeks I had worked out that my best player was Ryan Nelsen, a 35-year-old New Zealand international — and he couldn’t wait to get out’.
Even Nelsen said it was the worst dressing room he had ever been in. A combination of average footballer and high wages made the players very arrogant and they weren’t bothered about behaving in a professional manner. Redknapp goes on to say that some even feigned injuries so they didn’t have to play – it is no surprise QPR did get relegated.
Redknapp has moved on the bad apples now, and one he was particularly keen to see the back off was Adel Taarabt. He turned up late for a training camp in Devon and he was promptly sent away. The 66-year-old manager said that: ‘I know some of these players think they are better than this division but I’ve been down there and I know there are teams and players that will eat you alive if you are not fully committed.’
With the troublemakers moved on and a few experienced pro’s in their place, QPR have started the season very well. Karl Henry, Gary O’Neil, Niko Kranjcar, Charlie Austin, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and the return of Joey Barton have strengthened the side and they look strong contenders for promotion.
In his autobiography Harry says that during the end of last season, he wasn’t feeling right health-wise, and knew he couldn’t carry on like that. He was worried something serious could happen. Now QPR are performing well let’s hope it ties in with the experienced manager feeling himself again.