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5 Reasons why Harry Redknapp could have guided The Blue's to promotion

The Blues

On 18th April 2017, Harry Redknapp was confirmed as the permanent manager of Birmingham City. When Redknapp accepted the position, he considered the job to be as challenging as the one he had during his first spell at Portsmouth. In the end it proved to be, as the experienced Englishman lost his job after less than 5 months in charge of the Blues.

The resemblance was uncanny as Portsmouth then and Birmingham now picked up just enough points to survive the season under the management of Redknapp. Despite a poor run of form, they managed to escape the relegation zone. Both teams finished their season with 53 points respectively. What’s more amazing is that both clubs had the same number of wins, losses and draws at the end of seasons.

However, what Redknapp would have loved to replicate this season with Birmingham City was the glorious season he had with Portsmouth back in 2002/2003. Harry Redknapp helped Portsmouth win the championship and return to England’s top-flight football for the first time in 15 years.

The key to Redknapp’s success in 2002/2003 was the five transfers he made in the summer transfer window. All the new arrivals were free transfers and played an integral role in gaining promotion.

Harry Redknapp began trying to work his magic as soon as possible. The Blues’ manager successfully convinced the former Brighton goalkeeper, David Stockdale, to join the team. Apart from this, he carefully planned his summer targets and strategy in order to bring experience and talent into the club.

According to Kevin Phillips, Redknapp was perfect for the job as he has the required expertise to bring back the glory days at St. Andrews. According to this information, the odds of Birmingham winning promotion into the Premier League was 8/1 and 23/1 for winning the Championship. This was unbelievable if you compare it to the odds of now of 200/1.

Here are the top five reasons why Harry Redknapp could have guided the Blues to promotion:

Great Championship goalkeeper

We are familiar with how Harry Redknapp likes to build his team from the back. This has been the model ever since the beginning of his managerial career. In the 2002/2003 season, Portsmouth announced the signing of the First Division’s keeper of the year, ShakaHislop. Likewise, Redknapp made a move to sign David Stockdale who was last season’s best keeper.

Birmingham were well prepared in the goalkeeping department with Adam Legzdins, Connal Trueman, David Stockdale and Tomasz Kuszczak competing for the number one spot.

Solidified defence

Previously, Redknapp signed a couple of defensive players who played a vital role in Portsmouth’s victory. He tried to implement a similar structure at St. Andrews after signing a quality defender, Marc Roberts.

Critics praised Roberts’s performance in the past and believed that the addition will not only give Redknapp improved defensive options, but will also solidify the defensive line. However, this wasn’t the case for Redknapp and his marquee signing.

Championship experience

Redknapp is known as one of the most reputable managers who has spent a majority of his career managing England’s top clubs. He has extensive Championship experience under his belt as he helped Portsmouth gain promotion into the Premier League and provided the necessary tools for Queens Park Rangers make their way into the Playoffs in the 2014/2015 season.

Redknapp was the reason Birmingham City survived last season’s relegation scrap. And because of that fans were expecting that the 70-year-old manager could have guided the Blues back into the Premier League.

Transfer market

Birmingham City were very active in the transfer market bolstered their squad for the upcoming season as they bought in a total 23 players. Redknapp managed to sign Angers’ midfield powerhouse Cheikh Ndoye.

A few other names that were bought in were Jota, Harlee Dean, Craig Gardner, Jeremie Boga, Sam Gallagher, Carl Jenkinson, Andrew Shinnie and Diego Fabbrini.

Strategic leadership

Redknapp had the ability to lead the Blues back into the Premier League with the support of the club’s owners. We saw that the manager had the required financial backing to make his desired squad.

This never meant that Birmingham City were guaranteed to win the Championship. However, having a good squad at his disposal could have allowed Redknapp and his players to have a winning mindset. We never saw this happen though, as he went on a six-game losing streak therefore leading him to be sacked.

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