Harry Redknapp: why the days of such hoary-handed managers are numbered

Defeat by Manchester United is likely to signal the end for Queens Park Rangers’ classic British football man

Three years ago almost to the day I was in the Swansea City press room watching André Villas-Boas answer questions on TV about his ailing Chelsea team, speaking as ever in fluent Villas-Boas. The collective is strong. The energy in the group is good. The dream of a vision of a goal of a very special tomorrow is very much on track. It was still very easy to marvel at Villas-Boas’s fluency in a language not his own, even as the suspicion began to settle that this was a man fluent in the international language of techno-gabble, popping up in front of the cameras each week like a sad, handsome android doggedly translating into English a 600,000-word EU pamphlet on integrated agricultural systems.

“AVB, there he is!” a passer-by shouted as Villas-Boas waded on – a passer-by who turned out on closer inspection to be Harry Redknapp, in town with Spurs to play Swansea that afternoon. “Tell you what, I’m going to change my name to HJR,” Redknapp announced on his way out. “It makes me sound more h'in-tell-i-gent.”

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