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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee