The Calvin Report: No bitterness from Redknapp on first meeting with ex since being dumped

 

Ultimately, players are more important than a manager's media profile or his comfort with the metrics of the modern game. Harry Redknapp's current set at Queens Park Rangers are inherently inferior to the familiar figures whose allegiance is to Andre Villas-Boas and Tottenham Hotspur.

Redknapp's horizons are limited, so pragmatism must overwhelm principle. This goalless draw had the feel of a lower-division side chiselling out a lucrative cup replay. It didn't quicken the blood, which would have been a bonus on a frigid day, but such performances can be rehabilitative.

Everyone knew the back story. The pre-match embrace between Redknapp and the man who succeeded him at Spurs owed more to The Sopranos than Love Actually. It was brief and perfunctory. Their farewells were more effusive, and a source of strange irritation. "I just told him what a good job he was doing," Redknapp insisted. "I have never had a problem with him. We don't mix socially, but I don't mix socially with other managers. He didn't take my job. I didn't have a job at the time."

The contrast between the pair was compulsive, yet focused on caricature. 'Arry the sheepskin-coated scallywag is no closer to reality than AVB as the Voice of the Mysterons. They do the same job in different ways. It's called diversity, folks. Enjoy.

There was no outpouring of emotion, no genuflection towards the progress made at Spurs during Redknapp's four seasons in charge. A single banner, on a cardboard sheet, in the away end was the only visible demonstration of gratitude: "We'll always love you Harry. But today's on you."

It is legitimate, though, to consider who has the best of the deal. Instinct, not to mention the League table, suggests Spurs. Villas-Boas has seen off the Redknapp Glee Club. He is emerging as a figure of substance, even if yesterday's palsied performance suggested more work was required on the training ground.

It is pointless to underplay the damage caused to AVB's reputation at Chelsea, where he was a predictable victim of prejudice, politics and alpha male personality profiles. He learned harsh lessons, but now seems more comfortable in his own skin.

"Both teams want to reach their goals," he said, in that prosaic way of his. "QPR's is salvation. It is Champions' League qualification for ourselves." Some of his public statements still make little sense, but when he simplifies his approach, common sense and erudition shine through.

Redknapp was predictably the more tactile figure during breaks in play, ruffling Adel Taarabt's hair like an indulgent father. His comic timing is all very well, but a one-liner is insufficient to persuade a player of the requisite standard to volunteer for fire-fighting duties. Rangers lack the width and creativity associated with his teams. The net result of the agents' bonanza under Mark Hughes is a Championship-standard side which has rejected conscientious objectors like José Boswinga and Esteban Granero.

Revealingly, their most effective player was Ryan Nelsen, who is awaiting permission to start a new career as head coach of Toronto in the MSL. He may be 35, and wider than the South Island of his native New Zealand, but they will miss his resolution and the honesty of his character.

Unlike Redknapp, whose selection policy at Spurs was relatively inflexible and led to fatigue at the business end of the season, AVB has rotated his team intelligently and effectively, without finding the ability to win when playing badly, which defines Manchester United.

While Redknapp believes his sacking was political, Villas-Boas accepts the limitations imposed upon him as a middle manager employed by an institution that is 85 per cent owned by a Bahamas-based investment company.

Tottenham is a multi-layered club. Villas-Boas has more affinity with the aspirational nature of the new Academy than Redknapp, whose preference was always to prioritise experience over youth. He is more at ease with the commercialism of his role, and the need for managers to maintain churn rates and cultivate sell-on value.

Footballers are notorious for being self-serving in their praise, but whispers from Tottenham's new training ground suggest the players are more comfortable with the clarity and intensity of the Portuguese manager's coaching.

Redknapp has always been more emotionally driven. But the blueprint he used in saving Portsmouth from the drop in 2006 has more relevance than his definitive achievement at Spurs, reaching a Champions' League quarter-final against Real Madrid. Circumstances dictate that his main objective to is make QPR "hard to beat". A limited but not unworthy aim. Whether it can satisfy Redknapp in the long term remains to be seen.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
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

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone