Could Harry Redknapp be Swansea City's saviour?
Speculation has been rife as to the identity of Swansea City’s next manager ever since Bob Bradley was sacked earlier this week, following a disastrous 85-day reign. Welshmen Chris Coleman and Ryan Giggs were the early bookmakers’ favourites, but another name has gained momentum in the media. According to The Telegraph, former Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp is in the frame to succeed Bradley and could come under serious consideration if the Swansea board is unable to persuade Coleman to leave his current job as Wales manager.
Apart from a brief spell in charge of Jordan for two FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers, Redknapp has been out of work since resigning from the hot-seat at QPR in February 2015, citing health problems. In his subsequent work as a television pundit, he has made no secret of his desire to return to management should the right offer present itself – and beleaguered Swansea could fit the bill. Redknapp, who turns 70 next March, didn’t rule himself out of the running when quizzed about the vacancy by TalkSPORT radio host Max Rushden on Wednesday morning. He said: “It’s a good club and if the opportunity and the challenge came up it would be one that would be interesting.”
Despite his near two-year exile from Premier League management, there is logic behind a potential approach for Redknapp. In his two most recent club jobs, the former West Ham United boss was hired as a firefighter, to turn around the fortunes of a struggling outfit. Famously, he took over at Spurs in 2008 with the north London club marooned to the foot of the table, having claimed just two points from eight games. Not only did he mastermind their survival, but he very nearly led them to a European place. It was a similar scenario at QPR four years later, although that time he was unable to save them from relegation.
Interestingly, according to a report in The Telegraph, Redknapp would try to sign Chelsea captain John Terry should he be appointed manager. Swansea’s defensive shortcomings have been well documented; no Premier League team has conceded more goals this season and Terry would bring considerable pedigree and presence. The 36-year-old has returned to fitness following a frustrating period on the sidelines but has found himself behind David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta in the pecking order. With Kurt Zouma also on the road to recovery, Terry’s first-team opportunities could be even more limited. However, Terry has previously stated that he would not play for another Premier League club, so any hopes Redknapp would have of luring the former England international away from Stamford Bridge would appear remote.
How would Swansea supporters react to the hiring of Redknapp? Probably not with universal approval, it has to be said. Coleman is sure to be a favourite among the fans, given his background. But there is no denying Redknapp’s Premier League credentials and ability to inject much-needed enthusiasm into a club in crisis. And Swansea, like it or not, are a club in crisis. With just 12 points from 18 matches, they face a monumental battle to avoid relegation, following an uninterrupted six-season stay in the top-flight. Of all the candidates linked with the job, Redknapp’s name most definitely deserves consideration.