Four hours' sleep; one for each league place, or year in charge at White Hart Lane. Harry Redknapp put his jobless head on his pillow in Sandbanks at 5.30am yesterday, after a two-hour drive home from the meeting where Daniel Levy had told him he was no longer wanted. At 9.30am he rose, spoke to reporters outside his house and told them he was fine and wanted another job.
Wounds take more licking than that. Still, as fronts go, it was brash, it was bold and there was still a twinkle in his eye. All very Harry.
The decision to sack Redknapp, for that is what it was, has been blowing in the wind , and the 65-year-old had smelled it.
Levy had not appreciated the flirtation with England, and did not think Tottenham's run of one win in nine league matches which followed was coincidental. There was private admiration in the Spurs boardroom for the young managers at Swansea, Brendan Rodgers, and Wigan, Roberto Martinez, and the jobs they were doing. "We finished fourth in the league and were just unlucky but I think it would have been the same outcome if Chelsea hadn't have won [the Champions League]," Redknapp said. "I think the chairman would have gone down the same road. Him and the owner can do whatever they like. It's their club."
Redknapp's exit may not even be the most controversial departure of the summer. Gareth Bale and Luka Modric have huge question marks hanging over their futures, to name just two. Would Redknapp really have kept quiet if both had gone.
"I've left behind some fantastic players," he added. "I think it was a team that could have won the Premier League in the next year or two. I just wish I could have been part of that. I had a great time there but that's football. I don't hold grudges. We all move on."
The future is similarly unclear for Redknapp. England has gone, perhaps forever unless something truly calamitous happens under Roy Hodgson. Last season's top four, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are all sorted for managers for the immediate future at least. Liverpool and Newcastle appear to be sailing into more stable times. Everton have the glamour but none of the finance should David Moyes go to White Hart Lane. Other jobs down the food chain at Aston Villa, Wolves, West Bromwich Albion and Norwich have already come and gone.
"I'm not coming to the end of it," he stressed. "I love football, I would suit any job. Alex Ferguson is in his 70s and is still the best manager in the world. I'm as fit as a fiddle."
But Ferguson has 36 more major pieces of silverware during his career in England. Domestic football may yet follow Tottenham's lead, despite the free-flowing football of his White Hart Lane tenure. And despite the brave face.Reuse content