Harry Redknapp: 'I didn't want to go away and jump off Bournemouth cliffs'

After an eventful year of trials and sackings, Harry is back doing what he loves best

One minute we were at the top of "Bournemouth cliffs", looking down the steep face of a Harry Redknapp soundbite as he attempted to make clear the complete absence of suicidal feelings on that fateful day in June when he left Spurs. ("I didn't go away from Tottenham that night when Daniel Levy sacked me and want to jump off Bournemouth cliffs").

The next we were down a Ukrainian salt mine contemplating the fate that would have befallen Redknapp had he taken the job as manager of that country's national team and not performed as expected. ("You can't say: 'Oh, we're playing England, it doesn't matter if we don't win.' I would have been sent down the salt mines!").

But for most of the time spent yesterday morning with Redknapp, on his first day as Queen's Park Rangers manager, it was hard not to follow his wistful gaze out the window to the club's windswept training pitches, with Heathrow's runways to the south and the queue of lorries on the M4 to the north.

This time last year he was Tottenham Hotspur manager, third in the Premier League and easily the highest placed of any English manager in the Premier League. Today, he is in charge of bottom-placed QPR for the first time, preparing for a dogfight of a game with Sunderland, another team whose form has gone through the floor, at the Stadium of Light.

In between he has been forced to divulge the details of his life in court on trial for tax evasion, for which he was acquitted; been the bookies' favourite for the England job and sacked by Tottenham in June. He is back in the game after five months out although, even at 65, Redknapp does not seem to have lost any of that nervous tension.

Yesterday his view of life at the bottom of the Premier League oscillated from philosophical acceptance of the black eyes that football can deal you to the admission he had badly missed the adrenalin rush of winning on a Saturday afternoon. "Just get on with life that is what you do," he said. "It is only a game, only a job... this is only football." But it seemed like it was himself, rather than anyone else, he was trying to convince.

As Redknapp spoke for the cameras, his old friend and training ground enforcer Joe Jordan came up the stairs, newly decked out in QPR gear but not stopping to glance at a sign on the wall of the old sports pavilion that doubles up as the players' canteen.

It was left behind from the Mark Hughes era and may well find itself quietly stowed away in the weeks to come. It reminds players that before they enter the canteen they should have, among other things, "finished your shakes", "washed your hands" and "understood how hard you worked and how this will affect your food choice".

They are the kind of demands that, one supposes, Redknapp has never made of a player himself and indicative of the approach of Hughes' staff of coaches and sports scientists that QPR have traded for his successor's more instinctive way of managing.

In his five-month sabbatical, Redknapp said he had watched most of his football at Bournemouth, often "going downstairs for a cup of tea" afterwards with the managers. "A bit of reality. Fantastic lads. I enjoyed it".

He had not been to a single Premier League game since he left Spurs because, he said, he did not want to set tongues wagging about other managers' jobs. He was civil about Levy who he said had called to wish him the best. "We had a chat," he said. "That's life isn't it?" Then he spoiled the karma for himself by mentioning for the umpteenth time that QPR only had four points from 13 games.

Suggested Topics
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
news

As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity

Life and Style
food and drink

Savoury patisserie is a thing now

News
news

Meet the primary school where every day is National Poetry Day

News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
people
News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Life and Style
fashionThe Secret Angels all take home huge sums - but who earns the most?
Sport
football

Striker ignored Brendan Rodger's request to applaud audience

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?