Five Things We Can Expect From Redknapp

With Harry Redknapp joining QPR to lead the club's fight for survival, Matt Stanger looks at five things we can expect from the new manager...

Last Updated: 26/11/12 at 09:23 Post Comment

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1) The Huge Turnover In Players Will Continue
I don't want to count how many players QPR have signed since they returned to the Premier League in 2011, because counting makes my head hurt. But I know the answer is a lot. The club's spending has been incredibly haphazard under Tony Fernandes, typified by the deal for Julio Cesar, which was completed only weeks after Robert Green had moved from West Ham to be the Rs' new number one. Mark Hughes failed to help his cause by planning his transfers meticulously, and in a recent interview with L'Equipe, defender Stephane M'Bia said the manager wasn't even sure of his position when he joined on deadline day.

One thing is for certain with Harry Redknapp: he doesn't suffer fools. And after taking a hard line with underperforming players such as David Bentley at Spurs, the QPR squad can expect similar treatment if they fail to impress the new boss. The likely scenario is that a good number of Hughes' recruits will be on their way in January, with Redknapp looking to put his own stamp on the squad.


2) QPR To Have One Remaining Striker At The End Of The Season
Redknapp will have to be careful if he does conduct a fire sale when the transfer window re-opens, as his eagerness to reshape the Spurs squad mid-way through last season contributed to the team relinquishing a huge 12-point lead over Arsenal in the battle for third. At the end of the campaign Jermain Defoe was Spurs' only remaining first-team striker, with Emmanuel Adebayor returning to Man City (albeit temporarily) and Louis Saha leaving at the end of his short-term deal. While Redknapp will obviously look to bolster QPR with new faces at the first available opportunity, the experience of last season should encourage him to try and find the right balance.


3) Increased Press Interest
The press are going to be all over QPR like a rash in the coming weeks and months and the club will have to adapt to the increased exposure. Like a dog on heat, the press pack will hump the leg of every story they can squeeze out of the Rs and the increased media coverage could have a detrimental effect on the team if the circus becomes a distraction. Redknapp has obviously had plenty of practice in deflecting pressure away from his players, though, and he should be able to dictate a positive spin on the team's form regardless of how results pan out. God help QPR's summer signings; the Redknapp factor is going to come as a serious shock to them.


4) A Focus On Tactics
As we've seen from his appearances on Match of the Day, Redknapp has been spending his sabbatical studying chalkboards and reading/listening to the audio version of Jonathan Wilson's Inverting the Pyramid. Perhaps this sounds a bit snobby, but the manager's tactical ineptitude was a leading influence in Spurs' capitulation last season. Roberto Mancini was clearly impressed, however, copying Redknapp's system of a three-man defence, which gained Spurs an impressive 0-0 draw at Stevenage in February. In terms of the new manager's approach at QPR, expect Esteban Granero to inexplicably move out to the left wing for several fruitless matches and then Redknapp to claim credit when he switches the midfielder back into the middle.


5) Renewed Belief
As much as it's rather easy - and enjoyable - to laugh at the Redknapp show, he is undoubtedly the best appointment QPR could have made and Fernandes' costly gamble should see the Rs gradually start to climb the table. As I wrote here, Redknapp has a point to prove after he was sacked by Spurs and overlooked for the England job, and he will be desperate to make the most of what could be a final flourish in the top flight.

On the whole (ignoring Darren Bent), Redknapp knows how to work players and get the best out of underperforming teams and his motivational ability will help to lift QPR from the joyless and hopeless place they found themselves in under Hughes. After such a dreadful start to the season, it won't be an easy task to survive, but would anyone be surprised if QPR are challenging for a Europa League spot in 12 months' time?

Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.

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