The Offside Treble – Harry Redknapp quits QPR, Crystal Palace sign non-league hotshot and Manchester United boss charged

This week Jen Offord talks about Harry Redknapp’s departure from QPR, how Crystal Palace dipped into the non-league market and Louie van Gaal being a sore loser.

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Diamonds are Forever

On first hearing of Harry Redknapp’s departure from Queen’s Park Rangers this week, it didn’t feel like particularly big news to me, after all isn’t he always getting sacked for being rubbish? The question ‘Has Harry Redknapp Lost His Sparkle?’ posed by BBC Sport, seemed a bit redundant – I mean did he ever have one? I don’t remember anything all that glittering about his career.

Redknapp has overseen managerial duties at three different clubs over the last decade, with roughly a three year stint at each (not bad going by modern football managers standards, this is a fickle business after all) and some success at both, Portsmouth and Spurs. Although things started to go somewhat awry for Redknapp, when he was charged with fraud – for which he stood trial.

Though QPR have undoubtedly struggled over the last few seasons, dropping in and out of the Premier League, the return journey to the Championship is starting to look inevitable. Harry did have the club’s owner’s backing, yet it was him that resigned.

Citing imminent knee surgery as the reason for his resignation (the club need 100% commitment at the moment and he’s not in a position to give it), you do suspect there may be more at play here. Redknapp failed to make any signings during the recent transfer window, despite making bids for Adebayor and Aaron Lennon (who decided to move here instead – hilarious photography ensued). Though given recent form, it’s not going to be a huge surprise to anyone that QPR’s coffers are on the bare side, regardless – it’s a tough league for clubs with no cash.

Moving On Up

Tough for the less wealthy clubs, yes, but one of the more interesting transfer stories I saw this week was of Crystal Palace signing 19-year-old Keshi Anderson from Barton Rovers, who play in the Southern League Division One Central (that’s in the eighth level of the English football league structure, FYI). To put that in context, the youngster was earning under £200 a month at his old club, based in Barton-le-Clay – a small town in Bedfordshire – and could now be playing against the likes of Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas, who reportedly earns somewhere in the region of £200k per week.

On trial at Brentford last week, Anderson impressed when he scored no less than three goals in six minutes, against Palace. According to Barton chairman, Darren Whiley, he’s not just any old “muppet” either. Whiley pointed out that Anderson was up against the likes of seasoned defender (and by “seasoned” I mean that in the context of him being a Crystal Palace and former Charlton Athletic player), Paddy McCarthy. A tremendous achievement even if it was only against the Palace defence – I do love a good news story in football.

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Bigmouth Strikes Again

Finally, it seems Jose Mourinho isn’t the only one who doesn’t know when to stop talking. Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal proved he’s also a sore loser by badmouthing, well, everyone after his team’s inexplicable tie with League Two side, Cambridge United, a couple of weeks ago.

Van Gaal has now been charged by the FA for bringing the game into disrepute after commenting “every aspect of a match is against us – the pitch, the referee”. Well it is embarrassing, and at least now everyone will be talking about the ‘tuppence ha’penny’ he’ll ultimately be fined, rather than the fact his side drew with Cambridge United.

Read more from Jen Offord here!

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