Harry Redknapp has been named Birmingham City manager for the remaining three matches of the season. The 70-year-old takes over from Gianfraco Zola, who only managed to win two of his 24 matches in charge. The Italian resigned on Monday after the defeat to Burton and he has left the side only three points above the relegation zone with a poor goal difference.
This will be Redknapp’s first domestic managerial role since he left QPR over two years ago and at the age of 70, it is hardly an appointment that is looking to the long term. However, it is crucial that Birmingham avoid relegation as it would significantly set them back in terms of their Premier League ambitions.
The new owners are ambitious and wanted Zola to be the man to lead them back into the top flight, but it was the wrong appointment and showed their lack of footballing knowledge. The decision to bring in Redknapp is another example of bringing in a name rather than the right manager. However, at this stage of the season, it is unlikely that they would have had many options. BBC Sport report the following quotes from Redknapp after his appointment was announced:
“It’s a real challenge. I’ll live up there until the end of the season, and if I keep them up I’ll sit down and talk about next season.
“It’s not really a risk. They have won two out 22. I haven’t got a magic wand. I’m not going to turn them into Real Madrid. We need a win.”
Although this is seen as a short term appointment to secure their Championship status, these comments from Redknapp suggest that there is a possibility for it to carry on past the end of this season if he is successful in keeping them up.
Birmingham City fans will be thinking that he can hardly do worse than Zola, who will go down as one of the worst managers in the club’s history. However, given Redknapp’s age and time out of the game, there are few reasons to believe that he can lead a resurgence in the club’s form. They have three matches left and inquests can wait until later. This is the time to focus on staying in the Championship and the supporters need to get behind Redknapp and the players. His first match will be at Villa Park in the Second City derby.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Harry Redknapp’s appointment as Birmingham City manager:
BREAKING: Harry Redknapp named Birmingham City manager.
"Niko, Jermain, Crouchie…It's Harry. We're putting the band back together." pic.twitter.com/P2gWbVQNHf
— SPORF (@Sporf) April 18, 2017
Breaking news: Roll down your car windows….Harry Redknapp is the new manager of Birmingham City.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 18, 2017
Just woke up in NYC (11am) to find a general election called and Harry Redknapp in B9. pic.twitter.com/wnUGRFALII
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) April 18, 2017
HARRY REDKNAPP IS THE NEW BIRMINGHAM CITY MANAGER AND I (LUKE) COULD NOT BE HAPPIER WITH THE WORLD THIS MORNING pic.twitter.com/ehDZSUPkOb
— The Football Ramble (@FootballRamble) April 18, 2017
Some Birmingham fans were happy with the appointment:
— DavoBirmingham (@DavoBirmingham) April 18, 2017
Under our circumstances the appointed of Redknapp with Steve Cotterill his assiatant is brilliant.
3 games to save our season then build!
— Blue & White (@BluesBcfc) April 18, 2017
HARRY REDKNAPP!! Strange feeling right now, sort of like it, sort of feel he's past it? But LETS GET BEHIND HIM!!! Come on Arry!!! #bcfc ???
— Fezza (@SeanFerris1) April 18, 2017
How are some moaning about the Redknapp appointment? What did you expect? We've picked up a great manager here, board have done well #bcfc
— John Cavanagh (@Cavz9) April 18, 2017
Others were less certain:
Something feels off regarding Harry Redknapp – at age 70 I cant understand his motivation to manage Blues with the position we're in #BCFC ?
— Jon Burke (@jonnoburke) April 18, 2017
— Nick Walkiden (@nickowaldo) April 18, 2017
'Arry bleedin Redknapp! Not sure how I feel about this one. TTA like their 'names' don't they? Relegation saviour? Hmm #bcfc
— Matthew Brennan (@MattyBrennan) April 18, 2017
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