The good ol', free-wheelin', tactics-ignorin', loveable Harry Redknapp is in pain. Not, he'd have us believe, because of his struggling QPR team's lackluster Premier League performances, or the because his owner laughed off the prospect of adding any bodies in the newly-closed transfer window while subtweeting Redknapp on his managerial skills. No, Redknapp is in pain because of his bum knee. And he's decided to quit his job to take care of it.
Here's the official statement the club put up on its website to announce 'Arry's surprising decision earlier today:
HARRY Redknapp has tendered his resignation at QPR, which has been accepted by the Board.
Redknapp – who joined the club in November 2012, overseeing 105 matches in charge – informed Chairman Tony Fernandes of his decision to resign this morning.
He will undergo knee replacement surgery in the coming weeks.
Redknapp told www.qpr.co.uk: "I have had such a fantastic time at QPR. I would like to thank the Board, the players and all my staff, and especially the supporters who have been absolutely fantastic to me since I arrived at the club for their tremendous support.
"Sadly I need immediate surgery on my knee which is going to stop me from doing my job in the coming weeks. It means I won't be able to be out on the training pitch every day, and if I can't give 100 per-cent I feel it's better for someone else to take over the reins."
At face value, it all sounds rather serious. Knee replacement surgery is no joke, after all, and as a long-time player back in his day, it's quite believable that Redknapp would require the procedure after years of running slowly ground away at his knee cartilage. In another interview, Redknapp explained how the pain was finally too much to endure:
"I was awake all night, thinking about it," Redknapp told the Daily Mail. "I'm struggling so badly now. I can't walk, I can barely stand and watch. I'm in pain all the time. I've been putting it off, and putting it off, but it has got to the stage where I cannot do the job.
"I went to bed thinking I would sleep on it, but then I couldn't sleep a wink. That's when I decided to call Tony [to resign].
Doesn't sound too fun.
However, this all does sound rather convenient. Just a couple days ago, Redknapp was reportedly pushing behind the scenes to bring in more talent for his squad in hopes of bringing them out from the relegation places. Club chairman and majority owner Tony Fernandes took to Twitter to respond to those requests:
No more cheque book. We have good players. Bought all the players manager asked for in sunmer [sic]. Our players not mercenaries. Good guys.
If something intresting [sic] comes up we would look at it. But I'm not optimistic. Given the right motivation, tactics and coaching we can achieve much more.
Tactics and coaching, eh? If you wanted that, you never should've hired Redknapp in the first place.
Just as Fernandes promised, QPR—who have to be keeping one eye on possible sanctions for overspending they may face should they drop down to the second division—didn't make any moves in the market. And now we have Redknapp quitting, even as he swears up and down that he's got a great relationship with Fernandes, despite having received at least one dreaded vote of confidence.
We'd say we're going to miss Redknapp and all of his antics, but then again, no one really buys that he'll stay away from the game for very long. One hundred bucks says he either joins another Premier League club after another manager's sacking, or at the very least he's back in the league next season, telling the lads on one of the newly promoted teams to run around out there and get a bloody goal already. Until then, 'Arry.