Harry Redknapp – Footballers" Football Column: La Liga is better than the Premier League

HARRY REDKNAPP: Life as a football boss is scary… A few bad results, the chairman goes to his golf club, his mates tell him the team's rubbish and the manager is sacked!

PUBLISHED:

09:32 GMT, 15 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 15 March 2013

Harry Redknapp

QPR manager Harry Redknapp was hotly tipped to replace Fabio Capello as England manager. That job went to Roy Hodgson and Harry now finds himself battling relegation at Loftus Road. Redknapp enjoyed a magical four-year spell at Tottenham during which he took Spurs on a Champions League adventure. In his Footballers' Football Column, Redknapp looks at why there are no English clubs in the last eight of the Champions League, explains why he believes La Liga is better than the Premier League and why foreign owners need to give English managers a chance….

One-on-one with Harry Redknapp

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If I am honest, at the start of the year, I don't think you could see an English team winning the Champions League. You looked at Manchester United and thought they might go close. They were unlucky against Real Madrid – the referee's decision to send off Nani cost them.

It has been one of those years for
English clubs in the Champions League. We've not got a single club in
the quarter-finals, but I'm sure next year will be different.

I think we will probably see a stronger Chelsea and a stronger Manchester City. The
Barclays Premier League is exciting, it is probably the most exciting
league in the world. But in terms of actual football, I think the
Spanish league takes some beating.

When you watch a La Liga game, you will always see two teams who are technically very good. Our league has the excitement, every game is a tough game.

It isn't always pretty, but on any given day, you can see an upset in our league whereas you don't get that so much in Spain.

Crashing out: Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie look on after Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid

Crashing out: Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie look on after Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid

Turning point: Nani was controversially sent off against Madrid when United were ahead in the game

Turning point: Nani was controversially sent off against Madrid when United were ahead in the game

Turning it around: Lionel Messi helped Barcelona overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit to AC Milan to progress

Turning it around: Lionel Messi helped Barcelona overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit to AC Milan to progress

A real force: Borussia Dortmund's have progressed in recent years under Juergen Klopp

A real force: Borussia Dortmund's have progressed in recent years under Juergen Klopp

More from The Footballers' Column…

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The Footballers' Football Column – Martin Allen: There is nothing wrong with Harry taking his squad to Dubai… I took my players to France but only let them play Monopoly and Pictionary
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Steven Reid – The Footballers' Football Column: Liam Ridgewell went to a Justin Bieber gig… he didn't even have the excuse of taking his kids – he went with one of the other West Brom lads!
09/03/13

Curtis Davies – The Footballers' Football Column: I knew I'd score against Blackpool, I always get goals when I play the B-teams
07/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Mark McChrystal: I haven't given up hope of winning my first full cap… And don't judge James McClean unless you know him or understand Northern Ireland
05/03/13

Ruud Gullit – The Footballers' Football Column: German teams are doing better in Champions League because they have homegrown players… English clubs have too many overpaid foreigners
02/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Brian Clark: Newcastle's 28m super scout on discovering the Ameobi brothers… oh and a chubby lad called Gascoigne
28/02/13

The Footballer's Football Column – Carolyn Radford: Life in non-League It's all fast cars and 70-year-old club secretaries
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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The top teams dominate in Spain. They've got two fantastic teams in Barcelona and Real Madrid. They have also got Atletico Madrid who are outstanding.

For me, technically, La Liga is a better league than the Barclays Premier League. The football they play, the passing of the ball; it's of better quality than the Barclays Premier League.

Why is is it a better league technically Because they don't play like we do.

They don't put crosses into the box too often, they don't have teams taking long throws, they don't have teams just booting the ball up the pitch.

They all play. They play out from the back, pass the ball and their movement is good. But you can see that style coming into our league now.

Look at the way Swansea and Wigan. It's no secret that a Spanish manager, Roberto Martinez, started the Swansea philosophy.

And he has done the same at Wigan. Yes, they are struggling but they have spent no money and Roberto has got them playing to the best of their ability.

As well as Spain, I also think the Bundesliga has come on leaps and bounds. Their two top teams, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, are excellent.

You saw that in Dortmund's Champions League group. They were in with Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax but came out on top in that group of death.

I watch plenty of lower division football and you see the ball being booted up the pitch a million times in 90 minutes. The ball is booted from one end of the park to the other so many times the ball must have a headache.

It gets booted up the pitch, one team heads it away and vice-versa. There's too much of that; we need to encourage teams and players to play football.

Nurturing kids to play a passing game has to start from park football. Kids games on Sunday mornings are geared too much towards winning the game.

The priority for them is to win. That absolutely has to change. You need to be able to let kids take chances when they play.

Rio Ferdinand was 17 when he played for me at West Ham, I told him to play. I wanted him to come out of defence with the ball and pass it.

If he made a few mistakes, it wasn't a problem for me. But when you've got parents on the sidelines ranting and raving at their kids because they lose the ball, that's when it becomes very difficult.

Encouraged to pass: Harry Redknapp says he wanted Rio Ferdinand to play from the back when he was at West Ham

Encouraged to pass: Harry Redknapp says he wanted Rio Ferdinand to play from the back when he was at West Ham

Hope for the future: St. George's Park will help develop the future of English football

Hope for the future: St. George's Park will help develop the future of English football

Hopefully, the introduction of St George's Park can improve our elite kids technically. We'll see, let's hope we've got the right coaches in there, that is the key.

The identity of how this country wants to play football has to come from the very top. We have to pick a way of playing and stick with it.

Are we going to play out from the back Are we going to ask the centre backs to spilt and let a midfield player pick the ball up from a goal kick Are we going to try and play our way through

If that's what we want then we need to coach our kids to pass, pass, pass, pass and pass again.

Or are we just going to boot it up to the big centre-forward If England want to do that then what's the point in coaching the kids to pass the ball

Not to be: Redknapp says he does not think about being England manager

Not to be: Redknapp says he does not think about being England manager

The great escape Redknapp is trying to mastermind QPR's survival in the Premier League

The great escape Redknapp is trying to mastermind QPR's survival in the Premier League

Out identity needs to come from the top. We need to pick a way to play and stick with it all the way through the system. Otherwise there is no point.

The problem we've got is that it's difficult to see an end to that cycle of playing long-ball. We are in a results business. We all need results.

We don't have time. It might take a year to change the attitude of the players and change the philosophy. But do you get that sort of time with chairman at half of the football clubs

After a few bad results, the chairman goes to his golf club; his mates tell him the team's rubbish and the next thing you know the manager's sacked. It's scary.

It's like a merry-go-round. How are you supposed to improve teams in six months

Brian McDermott did a great job at Reading and they sacked him, how can you get your head round that decision Nigel Adkins earned two consecutive promotions and still got sacked. ]

Brian McDermott

Nigel Adkins

Out of work: Both Brian McDermott and Nigel Adkins were sacked after winning promotion last season

In many ways, for managers in the Championship, it seems like there is no point in getting promoted because you've got more chance of getting the sack in the Barclays Premier League.

When you're in the Barclays Premier League, unless you've got the resources, you're going to come back down again. And if it looks like you're going to be relegated then the manager is in trouble.

It's crazy, but that's how it seems to work.

British managers just don't get a chance in the top league anymore because of the number of foreign owners. This country will eventually have all foreign owners.

That's why I think it's great to see people like Dave Whelan do so well at Wigan, or if you look at West Ham, they have got David Gold and David Sullivan.

The right people: David Sullivan and David Gold are West Ham fans and Redknapp says football needs more owners like them

The right people: David Sullivan and David Gold are West Ham fans and Redknapp says football needs more owners like them

Going about it the right way: Harry Redknapp is full of praise for Roberto Martinez at Wigan

Going about it the right way: Harry Redknapp is full of praise for Roberto Martinez at Wigan

They are West Ham people, West Ham are their club. We need more people like that in our game,

All the foreign owners are successful people, they are all billionaires. They think whatever they are involved in they should be winning.

They think if they are winning in business, why aren't they winning in football They can't understand it if their team aren't winning every week or top of the league. That's the problem.

They only see they are not winning, they don't think about why they are not winning. They don't think to themselves: 'We haven't got the players.'

They only see they aren't winning games. They don't understand why, so they sack the manager.

He looks older than me! Redknapp says he is not contemplating retirement yet and says he looks younger than Arsene Wenger

He looks older than me! Redknapp says he is not contemplating retirement yet and says he looks younger than Arsene Wenger

BARCLAYS TICKET OFFICE

Harry Redknapp was speaking on behalf of Barclays Ticket Office.

Every 90 minutes throughout the season, Barclays is offering fans the chance to win free tickets to Barclays Premier League matches by going to a Barclays ATM and requesting a receipt, or by visiting barclaysticketoffice.com

People always say I should be managing England rather than be in a relegation fight with Queens Park Rangers now, but I don't look back at what might have been. I don't think like that.

What
happened last year has gone, that's life. Even when I've called it a
day, I won't look back and regret not managing England.

I'm looking forward to the game against Aston Villa on Saturday, that's all. I've been very lucky to have managed in the Barclays Premier League all these years, doing something I love and getting paid for it. It's a fantastic life.

I'm 66-years-old, but I'm not even contemplating retirement at the moment, I'm still enjoying it. Just look, at Sir Alex Ferguson, he is's older than me.

Arsene Wenger is around the same age…even though he looks older!