Sunday, 12 October 2014

Being there

Southampton 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

West Ham 2 Queens Park Rangers 0

Growing up my step father was a fan of a 1979 film starring Peter Sellers called Being There. The story was about a simple gardener (Chance) whose knowledge of the world around him is derived from just the TV that he watches and his gardening, but once his benefactor dies and he discovers the outside world, he is mistaken for 'Chauncey Gardiner' and simple observations are taken as profound and filled with the wisdom of what others around him perceive to be the makings of the future President.

I can't help thinking about this movie as I ponder over our current dilemma of what appears to be a lack of strength in the form of Redknapp's leadership. I admit that for most of last season I was relatively forgiving. I tended to trust Harry's rather erratic judgement despite the 'tombola' strategy because, for the most part, we were winning games. And of course, when we got to the end of May and that day at Wembley, the rest became history.

Part of this was because I had read, heard and observed that Harry's a pretty good man-manager. After what we had been through with the personality-less Mark Hughes, Harry had he ability to make players feel good about themselves and play with freedom. At the very least, he also had slightly better taste in the players: despite all the loans, we had kissed goodbye to the Monobrows of the world.

As many have observed however, the success at Wembley papered over cracks already in existence. It's easy to get a little depressed about this but for anyone who knows QPR well, the cracks should not be a surprise. But, as fans who spend a lot of our hard earned money supporting the club, we deserve a manager who truly embodies the spirit of being a manager, and moreover a leader, through thick and thin. At this stage in the season I am now ready to say I am not sure I have faith in Harry to lead us to safety come the end of the season.

Harry Redknapp is not Chauncey Gardiner. In his post-match interviews he is not particularly profound. Instead of reasons, he only has excuses, and instead of taking ownership he puts blame. Neither of these are leadership behaviours. Don't get me wrong, we're going to lose loads of games this season whether we have Redknapp or not, but it's the leader who is prepared to be as responsible for results as much as everyone else in the club and is prepared to admit to mistakes and ugly things that we don't always want to know, that I will personally appreciate and I believe others would too. He appears for too distant and too disinterested to be a manager of any club, never mind a club like ours that needs lots of sorting out. And frankly, we are facing the greatest challenge of all- survival.

The irony of the movie is that Chauncey Gardiner's perceived intelligence made people truly believe he was truly with them all, even though in reality nothing mattered more to him than gardening alone. Unfortunately for us, It's all too obvious that Harry simply isn't there when it comes to football. To quote Chance: 'As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.'

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