Harry Redknapp’s book serialisation in the Daily Mail is providing some quality, juicy anecdotes, as was to be expected from a manager never short of a yarn.
After yesterday’s extract revealed his (justified?) bitterness over missing out on the England job –
“I wouldn’t trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on it. How would they know? What clubs have they ever run? Who do they speak to who really knows the game?”
– today’s snippet reveals the story of how he tagged along to the Champions League final at the insistence of son Jamie, who had a guest ticket in Sky studios.
Chelsea winning meant Spurs ultimately missed out on Champions League football, and poor Harry was distraught in the studio.
That’s the sad part, here comes the funny one.
Redknapp tells how Ruud Gullit, also in the Sky studio, leapt and danced around the studio as if he’d won the thing himself, leaving Harry feeling all the more out of place.
His chip off the old block Jamie then stood up for his old man with a brilliant zinger directed at Gullit – ‘Ruud, do us a favour, they sacked you, didn’t they?, to which Gullit shrugged, ‘Ah, yes, but that was different people.’
As can be seen from the picture, Gullit really milked the celebrations, going down to the pitch to join in with the players, most of whom he’d probably never even met!
Harry then tells all on his hitherto secretive Spurs sacking:
My departure wasn’t straightforward by any means. It certainly wasn’t a case of walking in and being sacked. In fact, we had previously been talking about extending my contract. Having had these discussions, I went to see chairman Daniel Levy again. ‘What’s happening, Daniel?’ I asked. He seemed very unsure. ‘Maybe, Harry, we’ve just come to the end.’
I wasn’t happy, but I had to accept it and I wasn’t going to let it cloud my memories of my time at Spurs. I loved every minute of it. And I am proud of my record there. They had never seen Champions League football until I arrived — and haven’t since — and it’s not as if they were a top-four Premier League team in the recent past, either. Spurs had finished behind West Ham three years on the spin when I was at Upton Park.
I got on fine with Daniel. I still do. He loaned me some of his players last season with QPR. People think Daniel Levy and I were always clashing over players, but it wasn’t like that. Yes, he has his own views, but he never signed a player who wasn’t run by me first. He didn’t always fancy some of my choices, such as Scott Parker or Younes Kaboul, but I got most of them.
He was the first person to ring me up to wish me luck when I took over at QPR, and even on the night I left Tottenham, the car phone rang and it was Daniel. ‘Harry, let’s keep in touch,’ he said. ‘I hope we can still be friends.’ I thought, ‘He’s got some front. He’s just sacked me and now he wants to be mates.’ But we have stayed in touch. I’m not one for grudges.