'Don't say I'm a f**king wheeler-dealer. I'm a f**king football manager.'
John Crace (of Vertigo - One Football Fan's Fear of Success) is back and this time he has the enigma of Harry Redknapp in his sights. In Harry's Game, Crace explores the contradictions in an attempt to make sense of Redknapp, his ways and his ego covering the dock, the dugout, West Ham, relegation, Pompey and the best we've ever had it at Spurs.
In February 2012, Harry Redknapp was a man awaiting his coronation. On the day he was cleared of tax evasion at Southwark Crown Court, the England manager Fabio Capello announced his resignation. Redknapp's appointment appeared to be a formality. Yet within four months he had not just been overlooked by the FA for the England job, he had been sacked as manager of Spurs.
Redknapp divides opinion like few other managers. Is he the greatest English manager never to have managed England since Brain Clough? Or have England dodged a bullet? And how was it that he was ever seriously considered as an England manager when his train had yet to be heard? Just the the threat of on going court proceedings would have been enough to eliminate anyone else from consideration.
The facts of Redknapp's story are almost as well-known as his one-liners. The East End boys who played for West Ham, almost died in a car crash and went on to manage Bournemouth, West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton, Spurs and QPR. Yet no one has attempted to really understand him. What make him tick? Just how ambitious is he? What does his bravado conceal? Is he a football genius or a wheeler dealer? Could it be that the very same qualities that have made him such a successful footballer manager are the very same ones that have all but ended his career? Only by reconciling these apparent contradictions can you begin to make a sense of football's very English Greek tragedy.
I've got a copy up for grabs. If you want one, post in the comments section below simply stating why you should win the book...in the style of Harry Redknapp. Best one wins. Or I'll get the missus to randomly pick a winner.