The Fixer – England’s Harry Redknapp

26 Nov

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You run a top-flight English club. You are bleeding points. Leaks are everywhere, players pissed off, morale thin, and the puddle deep with fans abusing the idiot you hired last year to bring success. The investors never intended their wealth to be on the Titanic. What to do? You send out an S.O.S. to Harry.

Harry Redknapp sails to the rescue. His latest mission is at the wheel of the fast sinking Queens Park Rangers. The club is listing badly, in last place in the English Premier league, winless, rudderless and everything seeming hopeless. No luck with the breeze. Harry brings the wind.

Throughout his speckled coaching career he has blown in and out of clubs, leaving some in better shape, abandoning others to their fate, himself sometimes at the mercy of the bosses. Listening to Harry speak, you come to believe. He drafts hope. The kind of optimism you find in the blustery pub philosopher, the man of the people – the boys can do it, where there’s a will, there’s a way, we got a job to do.

English football fans believe in that archetype. When the England national team job became available earlier this year, Harry’s claim was trumpeted  by the masses. The news tabloids ran his campaign for the job. Polls had him as popular as the Queen.

But those in the halls of football power were more wary. The idea of Shakespeare’s “we happy few…” and visions of a populist King Harry telling the elites what to do, did not rest well with some of football’s landed gentry. Never crown the man of the people as King. A chap called Roy Hodgson was hired instead, somewhat of a glum choice. He could be sacked in the future without anyone caring in the pubs.

Harry returned to the waves of club football. He took London club, Tottenham, to the door of the Champions League in 2012 only to be sacked. Rumor had him at odds with the Spurs boss. But once again men with much to lose have come calling. And whom does Harry wish to be first officer saving Queens Park Rangers from the deep? David Beckham.

Alan Black will be in Los Angeles next week for the MLS Cup Final between Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo on December 1. The game will be David Beckham’s last in a Galaxy uniform.

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