Rants and musings from the magazine team
With Harry Redknapp poised to become QPR manager, James Maw examines what the new gaffer will inevitably do...
1) Repeatedly mention 'four points from 12 games'Redknapp's curiously defensive catchphrase during his early days at Tottenham was "they had two points from eight games before I got here". This curt reminder usually followed a poor result. It won't be all sunshine and laughter between now and May, and in the darker moments, Redknapp will be sure to mention Sparky's awful start.
2) Get points on the board quickly Once Saturday's trip to Old Trafford is out of the way, the West Londoners have a favourable run of matches. Next Tuesday sees a trip to Sunderland, with home games against Aston Villa and Fulham in early December, along with an away day at Wigan. It could be the perfect time for him to take the helm, building up a head of steam in those early fixtures will give his team some much-needed confidence ahead of the tougher challenges coming over Christmas – including West Brom, Liverpool and Chelsea.
3) Spend plenty of cash in JanuaryWell, obviously. Not that anyone should call him a wheeler-dealer, as Sky's Rob Palmer discovered in this not-safe-for-work, explicit-language clip:
Redknapp does need to shake the QPR squad up and he’ll most likely be on the lookout for a striker, especially with Bobby Zamora out for at least three months with a hip injury and Andrew Johnson unlikely to return anytime sooner from his knee ligament injury. But the defence also needs shoring up, which leads us on to…
4) Raid White Hart LaneHayden Foxe, Svetoslav Todorov and Shaka Hislop to Portsmouth; Nigel Quashie and Ricardo Fuller to Southampton; Martin Cranie, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch to Portsmouth; Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Niko Kranjcar and Younes Kaboul to Tottenham. You get the idea – Harry likes to keep things familiar. Likely targets in January will be Michael Dawson and, of course, Jermain Defoe. Helpfully, both have already been linked with a move to Shepherds Bush in the recent past.
5) Get the best out of Adel TaarabtSure, he may have labelled the Morocco international a 'fruitcake', but Redknapp has never doubted the playmaker's ability – at least in public – and now could be the time they finally hit it off. Redknapp was willing to give Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale freedom to play as and where they pleased last season, and it could well be that he affords the Loftus Road fans' favourite similar slack in the coming weeks, freeing the midfielder from the shackles placed on him by Mark Hughes. This would certainly be something to which you'd expect Taarabt to respond positively.
6) Try and sign David BeckhamWhether or not D-Beck and family fancy swapping the West Coast for West 12 is unknown, but the former England skipper is certainly on the market and Redknapp will certainly be keen, having been foiled in his attempts to take the football icon to Tottenham in 2011.
7) Keep QPR in the Premier LeagueAlthough his attempted salvage job at Southampton in 2004/05 ended in failure, his subsequent successes at Portsmouth (2005/06) and Tottenham (2008/09) suggest he has the know-how to steer the currently less-than-super Hoops clear of the drop. Not least as, and we'll repeat this, he'll spend loads of money.
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