Tag Archives: redknapp

Harry Redknapp gives Julio Cesar the nod to save Queens Park Rangers from relegation

Redknapp set to give Cesar the nod ahead of Green in bid to save QPR from Premier League relegation

By
Stuart Fraser

PUBLISHED:

12:23 GMT, 1 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 1 April 2013

Julio Cesar is tipped to be the man Harry Redknapp will rely on to save Queens Park Rangers' season during the relegation run-in.

The former Inter Milan goalkeeper, who joined as a free transfer during the summer and earns around 60,000-a-week, has been in scintillating form at times this season and grabbed the attention of plenty of Premier League clubs including Manchester United.

Well held: Cesar's good form at times this season looks like it has clinched him the No 1 shirt

Well held: Cesar's good form at times this season looks like it has clinched him the No 1 shirt

He has fought for the No 1 shirt with Robert Green all season, although the rivalry has been tapered by injuries, but will be given the job of helping keep QPR in the top flight for the final push.

Cesar has started in 21 Premier League matches to Green’s 11 and has kept five clean sheets to Green’s none.

Run-in: QPR's final eight Premier League games

Run-in: QPR's final eight Premier League games

The Brazilian has only dropped one ball all season — give him a catch success rate of 98 per cent — and has saved 74 per cent of shots to Green’s 60 per cent.

He has also made on average twice as many saves per game (4.1 saves per match).

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp has been maths teacher as well as manager to his players this week.

The Queens Park Rangers boss reckons that four wins plus two draws equals Barclays Premier League survival.

On the eve of the short journey to Fulham, winger Andros Townsend insisted: ‘The gaffer has said he thinks 37 points might be enough and we feel we are capable of achieving it.

‘We’re a confident group of players and we’re playing well at the moment. We can really take the game to the opposition.’

QPR will have to find a way past Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, as his side aim for a top-10 finish.

Schwarzer, 40, has been instrumental in Fulham securing a mid-table berth with eight matches remaining this season and manager Martin Jol sees no reason why he cannot continue to do a first-rate job at Craven Cottage.

Jol has opened contract talks with Schwarzer and believes the Australian can continue playing until he is at least 42.

Calculations: Redknapp reckons four wins and two draws will see QPR safe

Calculations: Redknapp reckons four wins and two draws will see QPR safe

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

|

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…

The Footballers' Football Column – Luther Blissett: People say Watford have exploited a loan 'loophole' but Zola has established us as a force really quickly
12/03/13

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
12/03/13

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
25/02/13

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!

Rio Ferdinand to the rescue: Should Roy Hodgson name Manchester United defender in England squad

Rio to the rescue: Is it time for Roy to bring back Ferdinand for England Keown, Redknapp and Sportsmail's team of experts have their say

PUBLISHED:

10:46 GMT, 13 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 13 March 2013

Roy Hodgson is set to name his England squad for the World Cup qualifying matches against San Marino and Montenegro and fans are desperate to know if Rio Ferdinand will be in it.

Left out for 'football reasons', Ferdinand has not featured for the national team under Hodgson but, with former captain John Terry now out of the picture, he has been touted for a return.

The 34-year-old has been superb for Manchester United this season and here, Sportsmail's team of experts say whether they feel Ferdinand should take that form back on to the international stage.

Solid: Rio Ferdinand has been tipped for an England return after fine performances for Manchester United

Solid: Rio Ferdinand has been tipped for an England return after fine performances for Manchester United

MARTIN KEOWN

I would bring Rio Ferdinand back into the England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. If Sir Alex Ferguson is picking him as his first-choice centre back for Manchester United, that is good enough for me.

Roy Hodgson is one of the only people who could get away with bringing someone back after not picking them for so long. Hodgson is such a nice man and would find the words to make it a smooth transition.

Ferdinand has every right to feel he should have been in recent squads and he’s the best central defender we have. On top of that, Phil Jagielka is out injured and Gary Cahill has suffered a dip in form. He would benefit from playing alongside some as experienced as Ferdinand.

Tiredness is less of a factor now that United are out the Champions League. Ferdinand has fewer matches to play between now and the end of the season than he would have expected so Ferguson should not have a problem with him playing for his country.

I would imagine Hodgson wouldn’t use him for both games because of the recovery time he needs and the only potential problem with that is whether it creates instability in the team. If someone else plays well against San Marino, do you kill their confidence by then dropping them

The answer is probably yes.

Young gun: Ferdinand made his England debut as a teenager - coming off the bench against Cameroon in 1997

Young gun: Ferdinand made his England debut as a teenager – coming off the bench against Cameroon in 1997

JAMIE REDKNAPP

What has he done wrong He seems to have handled his omission maturely… he lost the England captaincy and didn’t cause a fuss. He has played his way back into form. He wants to play for England and add to his 81 caps.

Judging him on ‘football reasons’, he has to be back in for the World Cup qualifiers, doesn’t he Montenegro is a challenge and their centre-forward, the Juventus striker, Mirko Vucinic is a handful as he proved to Celtic in the Champions League. But Rio has handled better strikers.

Okay, he is not the future, but he is the present.

MARK ALFORD

No. Stick by your footballing
reasons, Roy. I'd prefer it if you further explained them to us all, but
as I suspect your argument is that you're building a side – and
specifically a defence – that can win us the World Cup, please go ahead
and conquer. Rio's too old. Yes, he can still pick a pass and play but
he's past his best. He's lost a yard and that's what matters at
international level. In Roy, we trust… There's no other way.

Off the mark: Ferdinand (No 5) scored his first international goal against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup

Off the mark: Ferdinand (No 5) scored his first international goal against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup

Off the mark: Ferdinand (No 5) scored his first international goal against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup

NEIL ASHTON

Yes. He remains the outstanding England defender of his generation. If he can get two games against Real Madrid in the Champions League, he can play against San Marino and Montenegro in the World Cup qualifiers.

LEE CLAYTON

Yes. Pick your best players, qualify for the World Cup, then worry about his age, his ability to play back-to-back games in a short space of time and the future.

There is a risk that England’s future will be an end-of-season tour to the back of beyond while the World Cup is taking place in Brazil. We did that before, let’s not do it again.

Rio must play in Montenegro. What’s to discuss

CHRIS WHEELER

Yes. Forget his age, any personal
issues with the manager and the fact that he might not be the best man
for the job when the World Cup comes around. Ferdinand's performances
for Manchester United this season have proved he's still a defender of
the highest quality. That's all that matters so just go ahead and pick
him.

SAMI MOKBEL

Yes. Simply because he is without doubt one of the best four centre-backs available to Roy Hodgson.

It's been a while: Ferdinand's last England appearance was against Switzerland in June 2011

It's been a while: Ferdinand's last England appearance was against Switzerland in June 2011

DOMINIC KING

No. Roy Hodgson has made his decision
to preclude Ferdinand from international duty, so he should stick with
it. There is sufficient quality in the England team to negotiate a
tricky task without worrying about whether Ferdinand should play or not.
With Phil Jagielka injured, play Joleon Lescott and give the in-form
Michael Dawson a go. Ferdinand is England's past, concentrate on the
future.

NEIL MOXLEY

If he’s the best English player to fill the position – and I think he’s the best option at present – then of course he should be picked. I’m not one for ‘looking to the future.’ It’s a nebulous managerial cop-out. When is ‘the future’ What about the here and now

He’s fit, playing well and wants to resume his international career. What, really, is there to consider

On the box: Kelloggs made special cereal packets for the 2010 World Cup but Ferdinand missed the tournament through injury

On the box: Kelloggs made special cereal packets for the 2010 World Cup but Ferdinand missed the tournament through injury

JOHN EDWARDS

If he doesn’t, then ‘football
reasons’ will no longer wash as an explanation. With John Terry out of
the frame and Phil Jagielka and Chris Smalling injured, there is only
one logical choice alongside Gary Cahill.

Hodgson is to be applauded for
looking to the future, but there is a time and place for experimenting
with potential. A World Cup qualifier away to the group leaders is
neither. That rules out Steven Caulker, while the likes of Ryan
Shawcross, Michael Dawson and Joleon Lescott lack Ferdinand’s proven
pedigree when the international stakes are at their highest.

The San Marino game should be plain sailing, whoever gets the nod, but for 90 minutes in Montenegro, it has to be Rio.

ALEX KAY

Of course he should. Ferdinand is the
best English centre back around at the moment and knows how to keep his
head in big games. Also, the alternatives do not fill you with hope:
Joleon Lescott is in and out the team at Manchester City, Gary Cahill
has a wobble in him and Michael Dawson, though playing well, hasn’t
featured for England for a long time.

MIKE ANSTEAD

If
he’s good enough, then yes. With John Terry out of the picture, England
are seriously lacking top-level experience at the back – Gary Cahill,
Phil Jagielka and Co won’t worry the world’s best. Bring Rio back and
he’s still got time to forge a new partnership ahead of Brazil 2014.

TOM BELLWOOD

No. His inclusion would represent a kick in the teeth to those whose performances warrant place in the team and have a long-term future in the national set-up.

LAURIE WHITWELL

Yes. Ferdinand is by some margin the best English central defender playing regularly. He is managing his body well this season and is a major reason United's defence has tightened up in the second part of the campaign. The experience he brings to international football only adds to the compelling reasoning for selection. Surely you pick the best players on offer at any one point rather than worry about a future that is yet to be achieved.

DAN RIPLEY

Judging by Ferdinand’s current form and fitness, the Manchester United centre-back certainly deserves a recall to the England squad. His composure on the ball and experience would be a key asset to a Three Lions side that has yet to have a stable back four under Roy Hodgson’s reign. At 34-years-old Ferdinand isn’t the future, but Hodgson needs to pick a squad that can pick up two wins later this month, not one that is likely to lead England after Brazil 2014.

Decision time: Roy Hodgson is set to name his England squad to face San Marino and Montenegro

Decision time: Roy Hodgson is set to name his England squad to face San Marino and Montenegro

JOE RIDGE

Yes. It's crazy we're even asking this question. Along with Michael Dawson and Gary Cahill he's the only Englishman playing regularly at centre back for a top four club – and he's still head and shoulders above those two.
SUNNI UPAL

No. Ferdinand is 34 so it would make no sense going back to him considering he will be 35 by the time the World Cup kicks off next year. England have enough choices in defence and don’t need to turn back to someone who is in the twilight of his career. The decision was, rightly or wrongly, made a long time ago for ‘footballing reasons’ so let’s just stick to those reasons and move on.

Not spoiled for choice: Gary Cahill's form has dipped while Phil Jagielka (below left) is struggling with injury

Not spoiled for choice: Gary Cahill's form has dipped while Phil Jagielka (below left) is struggling with injury

Struggling: Phil Jagielka (left)

RIK SHARMA

No. Picking a defender who probably won't be worth taking to the World Cup itself would only be acceptable if qualification for said competition would be viewed as an achievement. For England it is a necessity. Roy needs to focus on the men for the years ahead.

DECLAN WARRINGTON

No, and particularly not if Hodgson intends on using him for no more than just the next two games. Despite his decline, Ferdinand remains a polished defender and has lately impressed but he's had another inconsistent season in which Manchester United have frequently conceded. Hodgson needs to look at the bigger picture and build a new-look side: in Gary Cahill, Steven Caulker, Phil Jones and particularly Chris Smalling he has several improving, quality options who are already good but need time to develop partnerships for the World Cup. He should stick with them.

BILL RUNGAY

Yes. Age is not an obstacle. He is on track to winning an inevitable sixth Premier League title along with his first FA cup medal whilst showing he is still one of the most solid defenders in the game.

Old head: Veteran defender Ferdinand has the experience of 10 years at United and 81 England caps

Old head: Veteran defender Ferdinand has the experience of 10 years at United and 81 England caps

Harry Redknapp will have birthday blues if QPR lose Southampton relegation clash even if Tony Bennett is there

'I won't turn up even if Tony Bennett's there!' Redknapp will have birthday blues if QPR lose relegation clash

By
Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

13:16 GMT, 1 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 1 March 2013

Harry Redknapp has told his wife Sandra not to bother putting on any birthday celebrations if QPR lose at Southampton on Saturday.

Redknapp turns 66 on Saturday and shares a birthday with his counterpart Mauricio Pochettino, who will be 41.

A win for either manager will be huge in the race to avoid relegation, but is more important to QPR who are already seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.

Scroll down to sing along with Harry

Birthday blues: Harry Redknapp won't celebrate his 66th birthday if his QPR side lose to Southampton

Birthday blues: Harry Redknapp won't celebrate his 66th birthday if his QPR side lose to Southampton

And Redknapp, who enjoyed an early piece of birthday cake in his pre-match press conference, said: 'My whole weekend revolves around the match.

'To be honest my wife could make arrangements tomorrow night to bring Tony Bennett, who I absolutely love, over and I wouldn't turn up if we got beat.

'I'm no use to anybody. My whole weekend will revolve around how the game goes tomorrow. I'll be no use to anybody if it doesn't go well.

'She wouldn't even bother to arrange anything if I come home and it hasn't gone well. It wouldn't be worth me bothering.'

He recalled a birthday evening in Birmingham in 1997 with his wife that followed a 1-0 loss to Leeds when he was West Ham manager. ‘

'We booked a lovely restaurant,' Redknapp remembered. 'She said it was the most miserable night of her life. I can’t help myself, it’s pathetic really.

'Mark, my other son, was there with his girlfriend. She must have thought: “what a barrel of fun he is!” Like that geezer off the TV, Victor Meldrew. I can’t snap out of it, I can’t help it.'

Redknapp
has been warned he faces a torrent of abuse from Southampton fans when
he returns to St Mary's for the first time since he left the club to
return to bitter rivals Portsmouth.

Hoping for a happy return: Redknapp goes back to Southampton for the first time since taking them down in 2005 - and on his birthday, too

Hoping for a happy return: Redknapp goes back to Southampton for the first time since taking them down in 2005 – and on his birthday, too

He added: 'I'll get a bit of grief but what can you do It's no problem. They're not bad people, Southampton supporters. They're good supporters.

'They'll give me a bit of grief but that's life. I won't lose any sleep over it, the only thing I'll lose sleep over is if the result is bad.'

The two managers may share a birthday, but they are at different ends of the managerial timeline.

Redknapp has managed six different clubs, is creeping towards the end and has almost 30 years in management to draw on to keep QPR up.

Pochettino is at only his second club and heading into his fifth year as a manager. But when asked if he would rather be more experienced, or heading freshly into the managerial game like his counterpart, Redknapp replied: ‘No, I’ d rather be 25 years younger, although only if my missus was 25 years younger.

‘I’d love to be coming into management now at 35 or 36, starting out at Bournemouth again. I feel great. The heart is good and there is no problem. I feel well and not like I am 66.

‘I don’t think I act like a 66-yearold. I feel about 30. I feel fantastic and not any different.’

If Redknapp pulls off a remarkable escape and keeps QPR up, he could have us all repeating Meldrew’s famous catchphrase: ‘I don’t believe it.’

Crooner: Redknapp would ditch birthday celebrations even if favourite singer Tony Bennett was to appear

Crooner: Redknapp would ditch birthday celebrations even if favourite singer Tony Bennett was to appear

Not even if Tony Bennett is there! Redknapp won't vows no party…

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Darren Bent Stoke City transfer target

Get Bent! Stoke favourites to sign 10m Villa striker after Lambert hauls him off at half-time

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:38 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:10 GMT, 30 January 2013

Stoke are leading the chase to sign Darren Bent after the striker was substituted at half-time during Aston Villa's 2-1 loss at home to Newcastle last night.

The England international has started just seven Premier League games this season with Villa boss Paul Lambert preferring to use Christian Benteke as a lone striker.

He was given a chance last night but Lambert was clearly not impressed.

Benched: Bent was ineffectual against Newcastle on Tuesday night

Benched: Bent was ineffectual against Newcastle on Tuesday night

Up to eight Premier League clubs are known to be monitoring Bent's situation but Villa, who fell into the bottom three after last night's defeat, do not want to sell to clubs near the foot of the table.

Stoke do not fall into that category and if they are prepared to meet Villa's 10million asking price then Bent could be theirs.

The 28-year-old's 75,000-a-week wage
demands could prove a stumbling block but with both Villa and Bent keen
to part ways a deal could be forced through before the transfer window
shuts tomorrow night.

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Bent, who has 16 caps for England, cost
Villa 18m rising to 24m only two years ago but they are prepared to
cut their losses and let the former Sunderland and Tottenham man leave.

Stoke's pursuit of Bent has been stepped up as QPR attempt to lure Potters striker Peter Crouch back to Loftus Road.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis confirmed he received an inquiry from his QPR counterpart Harry Redknapp about Crouch.

'Harry has rung me up and asked me about the possibility,' Pulis said.

Wanted man: QPR are hoping to bring Crouch back to Loftus Road

Wanted man: QPR are hoping to bring Crouch back to Loftus Road

'I have spoken to Peter about it and
then it is up to Peter whether he wants to go. Peter is very happy here
and he has made that clear.

'The important thing for me is that if he does want to go, it has to be right for us and also we have to make sure we have someone who will come in and do the same job.

'To do all that over two days is going to be ever so difficult.'

Premier League predictions: Martin Keown and Jamie Redknapp go head-to-head

Premier League predictions: Martin Keown and Jamie Redknapp go head-to-head

By
Martin Keown and Jamie Redknapp

PUBLISHED:

22:45 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:59 GMT, 29 January 2013

Pressure is hotting up at both ends of the Premier League table this week, with a full programme of fixtures across Tuesday and Wednesday.

At the bottom, Newcastle and Aston Villa head into their clash knowing defeat could see a calamitous season hit new lows with a place in a relegation zone.

Friendly rivalry: Jamie Redknapp and Martin Keown have predicted this midweek's Premier League results

Friendly rivalry: Jamie Redknapp and Martin Keown have predicted this midweek's Premier League results

Friendly rivalry: Jamie Redknapp and Martin Keown have predicted this midweek's Premier League results

Closer to the top, Arsenal and Liverpool, both still very much the outsiders in the four-way race for the Champions League places, square off at Emirates Stadium, though even three points won't see either side overtake Tottenham, who are at Norwich.

As for the title-chasing trio, Chelsea and Manchester City are away – the champions at QPR and the Blues at Reading, while Manchester United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford.

With so much at stake – and so soon after one of the most memorable weekends of FA Cup upsets – a surprise, or two, are certainly not out of the question.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

But where do our experts see the points going Martin Keown and Jamie Redknapp, themselves no strangers to playing under intense pressure, have had their say on all 10 games taking place.

If it's goals you want, both suggest you head to north London. In the west of the capital a shock could be on the cards if Jamie is to be believed, while Martin thinks a similarly surprising result could happen at the Madjeski.

MARTIN AND JAMIE'S PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS

TUESDAY
JAMIE REDKNAPP
MARTIN KEOWN

Aston Villa v Newcastle

1-1

1-1

QPR v Manchester City

2-2

1-1

Stoke v Wigan

2-1

2-1

Sunderland v Swansea

2-1

1-0

WEDNESDAY

Arsenal v Liverpool

2-2

3-2

Everton v West Brom

2-1

2-0

Fulham v West Ham

2-1

1-1

Man United v Southampton

3-1

3-1

Norwich v Tottenham

1-2

0-2

Reading v Chelsea

1-2

2-2

Premier League preview

QPR"s Harry Redknapp doesn"t blame Eden Hazard for kicking Swansea ball boy

QPR boss Redknapp: I don't blame Hazard for kicking 'disgusting, idiotic' ball boy

By
Press Association Reporter

PUBLISHED:

11:39 GMT, 25 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:03 GMT, 25 January 2013

Harry Redknapp has absolved Chelsea’s Eden Hazard of blame for his red card against Swansea, instead branding the actions of the ball boy involved as 'disgusting'.

Hazard was sent off by referee Chris Foy for kicking Charlie Morgan in the closing stages of Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Liberty Stadium.

The Belgium playmaker lost patience when the 17-year-old ball boy refused to hand over the ball after it had gone out for a goal-kick.

'Disgusting': Redknapp did not agree with the ball boy's behaviour

'Disgusting': Redknapp did not agree with the ball boy's behaviour

Morgan fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him, with the 22-year-old Chelsea star then trying to kick it from under him but appearing to instead make contact with the youngster.

QPR manager Redknapp sympathises with Hazard and holds Morgan responsible for the incident.

'Hazard toe-poked the ball under the boy’s body. Why is the kid lying on the ball in the first place' he said.

'Idiot': Redknapp sympathises with Hazard's frustration

'Idiot': Redknapp sympathises with Hazard's frustration

'You can imagine the frustration – you’re a player trying to reach a cup final but there’s this kid behaving like an idiot who won’t give you the ball back.

'Hazard didn’t kick the kid, he kicked the ball underneath him, but the whole thing got blown out of all proportion.

'I can think of a lot of players who would have kicked a bit harder than he did. He just toe-poked the ball away.

Exit: Chelsea were eliminated at the semi-final stage

Exit: Chelsea were eliminated at the semi-final stage

'The boy was tweeting before the game that he’s a super time waster. The way he behaved was disgusting.'

Morgan himself briefly broke his silence last night, tweeting: 'Crazy 24 hours. Spoke to Hazard and I will not be pressing charges. Be in touch.'

Despite that, South Wales Police have been obliged to continue investigating the incident after receiving three complaints.

Settled: Morgan will not be pressing charges

Settled: Morgan will not be pressing charges

'Three calls have been received from members of the public living in Sussex, Kent and west Wales which are being followed up,' a police spokesman said.

Hazard was assumed to have avoided criminal charges when the matter was dropped after he and the teenager met and made mutual apologies.

M&C Saatchi complete ground-breaking deal with Merlin talent agency

Magic touch: M&C Saatchi seal Merlin tie-up in bid to rule world of sport and entertainment

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

09:58 GMT, 24 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:15 GMT, 24 January 2013

The biggest players in sport will join up with some of the leading lights in showbusiness in a company aimed at ruling the world of entertainment.

M&C Saatchi UK Group, one of the world’s fastest growing global communications companies, has acquired leading talent management agency Merlin Elite.

It combines leading sportsmen, such as Amir Khan, with Merlin’s stable of clients, including Andrew Flintoff, Jamie and Louise Redknapp, pop star Jay Kay, TV personality and fashion model Jodie Kidd and radio presenter Jamie Theakston.

Deal: Amir Khan (right) is represented by M&C Saatchi

Deal: Amir Khan (right) is represented by M&C Saatchi

It is the first time a global advertising agency has bought a talent business and the ground-breaking enterprise sees M&C Saatchi acquire a majority 60 per cent of the talent business, with the new company, M&C Saatchi Merlin, becoming the first new organisation to be part of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment Group.

To be based at M&C Saatchi’s headquarters in London, M&C Saatchi Merlin will act as a stand-alone business and will look to further grow its portfolio in sport, TV and entertainment, with a number of new names expected to join the line-up.

Represented: Andrew Flintoff

Represented: Andrew Flintoff

Since founding Merlin a decade ago,
chairman Richard Thompson has built an impressive roster of clients
within sport and entertainment and he commented: 'I am extremely excited to be joining the M&C Saatchi family. With the quality of people I have met, to the level of creativity and professionalism, I have no doubt this merger of talents will help create a new breed of Management Company – the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

'Talent management, both for sportspeople and entertainers, has fundamentally remained the same for the past thirty years. M&C Saatchi Merlin will have a creative approach to managing, nurturing and developing a career that will be unique. This acquisition demonstrates why M&C Saatchi have long been regarded as pioneers.'

Steve Martin added: 'This is not about selling Merlin’s talent portfolio back to our existing clients. We are joining forces with Merlin Elite to allow us to develop new revenue streams, build valuable intellectual property and harness some of the best talent in the country. It is a pioneering business model and the combination of creativity with strategic personal management will really freshen up a part of the industry that has been doing the same thing for a long time.'

The board of M&C Saatchi Merlin will consist of Richard Thompson, who will be chairman, Sian Connolly, Merlin Elite MD, Steve Martin, Lisa Thomas and Jamie Hewitt, M&C Saatchi Group FD.

Lisa Thomas, CEO M&C Saatchi (UK) Group, added: 'The combination of these two incredibly successful businesses will form a formidable powerhouse in our growth areas of Sports and Entertainment. M&C Saatchi Group has always done things differently and we are delighted to lead the way with this brutally simple, strategic acquisition.'

West Brom will not sell Peter Odemwingie to QPR

QPR dealt blow as West Brom refuse to sell Odemwingie in January transfer window

By
John Curtis, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:56 GMT, 24 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:56 GMT, 24 January 2013

Peter Odemwingie has been told that he will not be allowed to leave West Brom during the current transfer window, the club's new sporting and technical director, Richard Garlick, has confirmed.

The Baggies striker is a target for QPR who have already had one offer rejected – believed to be 2million.

But Garlick insists the Baggies will only allow players to leave on their terms.

Staying put: Peter Odemwingie (centre) will not be leaving West Brom

Staying put: Peter Odemwingie (centre) will not be leaving West Brom

He said: 'Last summer there were supposedly players leaving but we kept hold of most of them.

'We don't have to sell any of our players. It's only on our terms.

'It's well documented about Peter. We had an offer and we don't intend to sell any of our players.

'When an offer comes in, we speak to the player out of courtesy. We've had that chat with Peter and he knows the situation.'

Albion also rejected a 5m bid from Rangers for defender Jonas Olsson who only signed a new four year contract in October.

In the market: Harry Redknapp was keen to sign Odemwingie for QPR

In the market: Harry Redknapp was keen to sign Odemwingie for QPR

Garlick does not expect West Brom to sign any players before the transfer window closes a week today.

He said: 'We're happy with the squad we've got and there are no immediate plans to bring anyone in.

'If an opportunity presents itself, then we will look at that, but we're looking more towards the summer.'

Harry Redknapp tells Yann M"Vila to use QPR as stepping stone to Manchester United

Use QPR as stepping stone to Manchester United! How Harry convinced M'Vila to join Hoops

squad but he is serving a two-year ban from international duty after he and four other players in the Under 21 squad went on an unauthorised night out in November.

Redknapp said: 'He is a top, proper footballer. He can play. He controls the game, he can pass the ball, he is strong.

'He's had a few problems off the field but he is only young. If he behaves himself and comes and plays for us as he is able to then he will be a great asset.'