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Harry’s Back: Redknapp named manager at QPR

A light bearing the Queens Park Rangers emblem is illuminated outside Loftus Road

A light bearing the Queens Park Rangers emblem is illuminated outside Loftus Road in London November 23, 2012. Queens Park Rangers sacked manager Mark Hughes on Friday with the team bottom of the Premier League table without a win in 12 matches this season. Harry Redknapp is the huge favourite with bookmakers to take over. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)


It seems like he’s been gone for a while, but in reality, new Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has only missed four months’ worth of matches. Dismissed by Daniel Levy and Tottenham Hotspur this summer, the former West Ham, Portsmouth, and Southampton boss is back on the sidelines at Loftus Road just in time for a transfer window, a great service to Sky Sports News producers expected to shoot a deadline day Redknapp through a Benz’ window.

It’s all part of the surreal comedy that surrounds one of England’s best managers. Perhaps he’s not quite the coup that QPR’s release claims (after all, where there really any better options for him?), but he’s about as good as Rangers could have hoped to land. Judging by his success as Spurs, where he guided Tottenham to two top four finishes, he’s certainly an upgrade over the man they let go. Instead of being run by someone perpetually weighed down by a perceived lack of respect (and attitude that extends back to Mark Hughes’ playing days), QPR gets a man with clear shoulders.

They also get a bit of a media whore. And Redknapp’s sure to make bids for Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe in the January window. Now QPR fans are the ones that get to make jokes about `Arry throwing 11 guys out there and seeing what happens, though his self-proclaimed tactical agnosticism has long been debunked. The smarmy relationship with the press that creates a tabloid boardroom - it’s all part of his charm. Redknapp will give Rangers fans plenty to talk about off the field should he fail to change fortunes on.

Those fortunes have left QPR without a win, the only Premier League team that’s failed to claim three points all season. They have the worst goal difference in the league and are six points away from safety, albeit with 26 matches left in the season. It’s a record that leaves few questions about whether Hughes deserved to stay on; rather, it’s unclear what took chairman Tony Fernandes so long to make a move. As bold as QPR have been with their checkbook, they were far less so when it was time to make a change.

But that checkbook has left a stocked cupboard for Redknapp. It’s a team that can challenge for more than a mid-table position, but there’s no reason a squad with the likes of Julio Cesar, Ndeum Onouha, Jose Bosingwa, Esteban Granero, Alejandro Faurlin, Park Ji Sung, Adel Tarrabt, Junior Hoillett and Bobby Zamora should be in this position.

QPR’s main problem has been in attack, where they’ve scored only nine goals though 12 matches. Redknapp’s teams have always been capable going forward, so their dearth of goals should end soon, especially since the mere absence of Hughes should help. All season, Rangers have looked weak and dispirited, an extension of the cloud surrounding their former manager. For QPR’s attack, there’s as much subtraction going on as addition with this managerial switch.

That switch will take full effect on Tuesday when Redknapp mans the sidelines at the Stadium of Light. Today, at Old Trafford, he’ll be on the sidelines as his new squad faces Manchester United.

Redknapp’s managerial record:

Bournemouth19 October 19839 June 19927002457000000000000457700218000000000000018070021070000000000001077002170000000000000170700139390000000000039.39
West Ham United10 August 19949 May 2001700232700000000000032770021210000000000001217001850000000000000857002121000000000000121700137000000000000037.00
Portsmouth25 March 200224 November 20047002116000000000000116700154000000000000054700126000000000000026700136000000000000036700146550000000000046.55
Southampton8 December 20042 December 2005700149000000000000049700113000000000000013700121000000000000021700115000000000000015700126530000000000026.53
Portsmouth7 December 200526 October 20087002128000000000000128700154000000000000054700129000000000000029700145000000000000045700142190000000000042.19
Tottenham Hotspur26 October 200813 June 20127002198000000000000198700198000000000000098700150000000000000050700150000000000000050700149490000000000049.49
Queens Park Rangers24 November 2012Present50000000000000000000500000000000000000005000000000000000000050000000000000000000!—