When Harry Redknapp was announced as interim Birmingham manager for the remaining three games of the season it was certainly somewhat of a surprise.
The 70-year-old took the reigns from Gianfranco Zola, who resigned his post with the Blues after a dismal run of results. The club was sitting 20th on the table and facing the reality of relegation from the Championship.
Of course some naysayers questioned the motivation of Redknapp taking the role. It was reported that Harry would pocket a £250,000 bonus for keeping the club in the Championship.
When taking the role, Redknapp was quick to point out money was not a factor.
“I wasn’t interested in the money. Birmingham are a proper football club but they are in a precarious position,” he said
“If I can just get them going and get a bit of belief back into them and we can pick up a win of whatever we need to stay up – that’s all I can do.”
While Redknapp had not managed in England since departing QPR two seasons ago, he is obviously still highly rated, and Birmingham moved swiftly to secure the man they thought could help guide them to safety.
A return of two wins from three games was ultimately enough for Birmingham City to secure survival on the final day. Amazingly the club had only won twice in 24 matches under Gianfranco Zola before Redknapp’s arrival.
Birmingham captain Michael Morrison was certainly full of praise for the job the interim manager had done since his arrival at St Andrews.
“Harry’s just made us hard to beat again,” Morrison said. “We’ve gone back a bit to what the players know and what we’re good at. Harry and his staff coming in have really galvanised the football club”
So what started as a three-game deal now has the possibility of being extended going by Harry Redknapp’s public comments since Sunday.
He has met with the club owners and has confirmed there is a possibility he could take the job on full-time.
“I’ve enjoyed it. It keeps me younger being out on the training ground every day, being around footballers. The lows are low for sure but the highs are great and I love it. There is every chance [I will stay].”
Some scribes will not be convinced that the former QPR manager can have the same effect for a full season. Maybe once the euphoria dies down the 70-year-old will rethink the challenges and decide it is a lot to take on.
Alternatively, the guarantee of funds to spend might convince Redknapp he still has something to offer at the seventh club of his managerial career.
It will certainly be intriguing to see what transpires. English football is certainly a better place and a more entertaining one with Harry Redknapp in it.