As Queen's Park Rangers slid out of the Premier League yesterday, Harry Redknapp again found himself having to defend his dysfunctional squad in the face of internal squabbling. The QPR manager faced accusations that defender Jose Bosingwa left the pitch laughing after the 0-0 draw with Reading that confirmed both teams' relegation.
Redknapp explained that Bosingwa was simply chatting with Portuguese compatriot Daniel Carrico, the Reading midfielder.
"Jose was only laughing because the lad who played for them came up and spoke to him as they walked off," Redknapp said. "He wasn't laughing about getting relegated. You could put a camera on anyone and see them laughing. To start throwing that one at the boy is completely out of order. He was laughing because, as he walked down the tunnel, another foreign lad came up and said something to him and he laughed and put his arm around him. I don't see what he has done wrong.
"I've always said the game is about good players. If you've got good players, managing football clubs is the easiest job in the world. At the end of the day, we were short in all respects."
Redknapp warned that Rangers might find it difficult to return to the Premier League at the first attempt. "QPR are not a superpower going into the Championship," he said. "You look at it and you will see 14, 15, 16 big clubs that have won things over the years. It's full of quality teams. It's going to be very hard to get out of it."
Tony Fernandes, the QPR chairman and co-owner, will discuss next season with Redknapp this week. Fernandes, who is also chairman of the Caterham Formula One team, tweeted yesterday: "Sorry to all QPR fans. But the plan goes on. Now more than ever. We owe it to you. Took 3 years to get Caterham right. No quitting."
It should be pointed out that Caterham are bottom of the constructor's championship, with zero points.
Anton Zingarevich, the Reading owner, who took over almost 12 months ago, vowed to invest wisely for the next Championship campaign. "It is not the amount that decides things, it is how you spend it," he said. "We need to sign the good players on good deals. But we need to be cautious to pick the right deals."