Saturday 2 November 2019

Guest Review: Always Managing: My Autobiography By Harry Redknapp

‘From kicking a ball as a kid under the street lamps of Poplar and standing on Highbury's North Bank with my dad, to my first game at West Ham, I was born head over heels in love with football. It saved me, and 50 years on that hasn't changed one bit - I'd be lost without it…’

Harry is the manager who has seen it all - from a dismal 70s Portakabin at Oxford City and training pitches with trees in the middle to the unbeatable highs of the Premiership, lifting the FA Cup and taking on Real Madrid in the Champions League. With his much loved, no-nonsense delivery, Harry brings us a story filled with passion and humour that takes you right inside every drama of his career.

Harry finally tells the full story of all the controversial ups and downs - the pain and heartache of his court case, the England job, his love for Bobby Moore, his adventures at Portsmouth with Milan Mandaric, the Southampton debacle, Tottenham and Daniel Levy, and not forgetting his years at West Ham or the challenges at his current club QPR.

It’s the epic journey of one of the great managers and, along the way, the story of the British game itself over the last five decades. In an era now dominated by foreign coaches Harry is the last of an old-fashioned breed of English football man - one who has managed to move with the times and always come out fighting.

Review: This is the second autobiography by the former footballer and football manager Harry Redknapp, written with the assistance of Martin Samuel. It describes his career as a footballer, playing on the right wing for the Tottenham Hotspur youth team, before playing the bulk of his career as a professional footballer for West Ham United and Bournemouth. Following the end of his playing days in England, he had a spell playing and coaching in the USA for Seattle and Phoenix.

On returning to England, he had periods as manager of numerous clubs, including Bournemouth, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers. The book describes, in an informal, almost conversational, style his experiences over this time, including such high points as steering Portsmouth to FA Cup victory in 2008 and managing Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League. There are numerous anecdotes throughout describing many of the colourful characters he has met during his career. These include the England legend Bobby Moore, alongside whom Harry played at West Ham United, and the talented, if temperamental, Italian player Paulo Di Canio whom Harry managed at the same club. It is interesting to read about the contrast between the culture of British footballers during the 1960s and that of more recent years when the influx of overseas footballers resulted in a change in attitudes towards training, conditioning and nutrition. There are also numerous stories about the relationships, good and bad, he has had with chairmen and staff members of various football clubs he has managed.

Although the bulk of the book is concerned with football, there are details of his private life. This includes a chapter devoted to his trial, in 2012, for tax fraud, when he was acquitted of all charges. However, the book is mainly about football and his style of management, particularly in relation to his ability to wheel and deal in the transfer market. As such, it should appeal to all football fans.

The book was published in 2013, so details of his later management career with Birmingham City, or of his winning the 2018 TV series of "I'm a celebrity...get me out of here!" are not included. As can be seen from Harry's CV, this is an entertaining autobiography by a very colourful character.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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