Tuesday, October 15
When Harry met Billy
Some interesting comments about his fall out with Billy Bonds in the serialisation of Harry Redknapp's new book Managing: My Autobiography in the Daily Mail. Harry says of joining Bonzo at West Ham: "He was a fantastic fella. But in the Premier League world of modern football, he was increasingly a man out of time… West Ham had been relegated, bottom of Division One with a stupidly low points tally. They were a shambles. Bill was upset that I said it publicly, but the club was too easy-going."
Clearly much of the friction resulted from Redknapp, despite being number two, being the manager of the side in all but name. His hands were all over the transfer deals and great player and decent man that Bonds was, you do feel West Ham would have struggled had he remained in sole charge. The board realised this when Bournemouth approached Redknapp to become manager, and panicked, offering to move Bonds upstairs and make Redknapp manager.
Redknapp writes revealingly: "Billy clearly feels I overstepped the mark as his assistant. He says I gave interviews before matches on Sky discussing tactics but that is certainly not my recollection of it. Yes, I was direct in my approach at times but it was Billy who asked for my help. Once I had accepted that invitation I wasn’t in the business of being relegated. I was at West Ham to have a proper go. I still do not understand why Bill would take that personally. It was as if he wanted me to do a job, and then when I did that job and it got noticed, he didn’t like it."
Ironically the combination that might have worked well would have been Redknapp as manager and Bonds as assistant. Meanwhile it's fair to assume Christmas cards will not be exchanged.