Is there as likeable a manager in English football as Harry Redknapp?
The 72-year-old coach has been in and around the English game for the best part of 50 years after breaking through at West Ham as a player and then taking his first steps into management with AFC Bournemouth in 1983, a club Redknapp would manage for nearly 10 years.
And for Portsmouth fans, Redknapp is a figure who holds a special place at the club for more reasons than one.
Having left the manager role at West Ham after the 2000/01 Premier League season, Redknapp took up the job as Director of Football at Portsmouth, and although there were reports at the time that the coach was to join Leicester City to replace Peter Taylor at the Foxes, the former Hammers boss remained with the club, and it proved to be a pivotal decision.
After poor results towards the end of the 2001/02 season, Redknapp replaced Graham Rix as manager of Portsmouth, and 12 months later the newly appointed Pompey boss guided the south coast club to the English top-flight for the first time in nearly 15 years.
Although Redknapp was able to keep Portsmouth up in their first season back in the Premier League in over a decade, the former Hammers player left the club the following campaign over disagreements with then-owner Milan Mandaric, and his move to Southampton was unsurprisingly an unpopular one with Pompey fans.
Branded a ‘Judas’ by Portsmouth supporters, Redknapp’s time with Southampton was brief after ‘Arry was unable to keep the team in the Premier League as the Saints were relegated to the Championship, and in December 2005, he was back at Pompey where he has his most successful period as a manager.
As well as keeping Portsmouth up in the Premier League in his returning season at the club, Redknapp was able to guide the side to their first piece of domestic silverware in nearly 80 years in the form of the 2008 FA Cup.
It would prove to be his best achievement with the club, as the following season Redknapp was appointed as Tottenham Hotspur manager, a team he would spend four years at and take to the Champions League before joining QPR in 2015, and then Birmingham City in 2017.
Redknapp is currently waiting for his next managerial move, but after winning 2018’s edition of the reality TV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, it is likely the iconic manager’s return to football will be delayed for another year or two, and for Portsmouth fans, they remember the veteran coach as the man who brought the club to its glory days.
Portsmouth fans, is Redknapp one of the club’s greatest ever managers? Let us know!
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