The only thing keeping 19th-place Queens Park Rangers (QPR) out of the English Premier League basement is Leicester City, who sit one position below them in last place. QPR faces the monumental task of digging themselves out of the relegation zone with 15 league games remaining this season and must now do so without their manager Harry Redknapp. The club announced February 3 that Redknapp has handed in his resignation due to upcoming knee surgery. However, many observers believe he was gently shoved out the door.
There’s no doubt the team needed some type of change as they’ve set a new Premier League record for losing their first 11 road games of the season. They’re not really much better at home either as they have just 19 points on the campaign after 23 matches. The problem is there’s nowhere else for them to play. The 67-year-old longtime manager said he needs knee-replacement surgery as soon as possible and he won’t be able to give the club the attention it deserves for the remainder of the campaign.
Redknapp’s resignation comes just a day after the January transfer window closed in which QPR failed to make any moves to solidify the squad. The team, which he took over in November, 2012, was promoted back into the Premier League this season after being demoted to the second-tier English Championship League two the year before. Redknapp told the British press via a written statement, “It means I won’t be able to be out on the training pitch every day. And if I can’t give 100 per cent, I feel it’s better for someone else to take over the reins I know what people think — that I’ve been sacked, or stormed off because we couldn’t get the players in. My son Jamie said that my timing has to be the worst in the world.”
With Redknapp now out the door at Loftus Road, the London club will be taken over on a temporary basis by the franchise’s head of football operations and former player Les Ferdinand. He’ll be given a hand for the rest of the season by coach Chris Ramsey. However, QPR could appoint a new fulltime manager before the 2014/15 campaign comes to an end. Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood has been mentioned as Redknapp’s replacement by soccer insiders.
Redknapp’s managerial career could wee be over now considering his age and recent record in the Premier League. He got into management 32 years ago after retiring as a player and has managed the likes of Bournemouth, Portsmouth, West Ham, Southampton, and Tottenham. However, he stated that he’ll be looking for another job once he’s had the knee surgery. He mentioned that he couldn’t imagine what his life would be like if he wasn’t involved in soccer.
The highlights of Redknapp’s career have been few and far between. However, he earned promotion with Bournemouth and the team eliminated Manchester United from the FA Cup in 1984. He also won the FA Cup with Portsmouth in the 2007/08 season, which was the club’s first FA Cup triumph in 69 years. In addition, he led Tottenham to a European Champions League berth in 2010. Ferdinand and Ramsey definitely have their work cut out for them as bet365 has them at 5/2 to finish last and 1/2 to be relegated.