Anorak News | Liar Liar

Liar Liar

by | 14th, May 2004

‘IT’S good to see that even while a real war with bullets and torture is going on, footballer writers have retained a sense of perspective.

‘The bald eagle must die’

And nowhere more so than on the cover of the Sun, where readers hear that “IT’S WAR” between Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp and his club’s chairman Milan Mandaric.

Hostilities broke out after the Serbian tycoon claimed that the call to oust Jim Smith from the Pompey coaching staff was instigated not by himself but by Redknapp.

“He wants Jim out not me,” says Mandaric. “Whether or not he stays is now up to Harry.”

This, it seems, was news to Redknapp, who recalls making no such request.

“It’s bullshit,” says he. “The chairman is telling filthy lies. I told him I would not get rid of Jim in a million years. He’s a pal and respected by everyone in football… I love Jim”

Well, not everyone it seems, and Mandaric says he plans to bring in another coach whether Jim goes, stays or lives to be a million years old.

The upshot is that Redknapp’s days at the helm of the club he has guided to Premiership survival are nearing their end.

Indeed, the Mirror – which has been known to like a scoop – says “IT’S OVER” and claims that Harry has already “quit” live on TV.

The Mirror was watching the magic box as Harry sad: “It’s going to be hard for me not to go – I feel that strongly about Jim. I love being with Jim, we bounce ideas off each other – and if he goes it’ll be very difficult for me to stay.”

Erm, did anyone apart from the Mirror actually hear Redknapp resign? Perhaps the paper has some photographs of Harry packing his bags to support its story.

But while we wait for those snaps, we hear via the Express that Liverpool have turned down an offer to do a deal with local millionaire Steve Morgan and prefer the bid from the Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

And one page on, we hear how Alan Shearer has obtained his Uefa ‘B’ coaching licence. That means he can take over managerial duties at Newcastle from the beleaguered Bobby Robson.

The idea of the monosyllabic Shearer running the team’s affairs should chill the spine of even the most fanatical Geordie.

Top players rarely make good mangers, and it’s hard to believe the Express’s claim that Shearer would be welcomed by fans to take over from Robson.

He’d be better advised to learn his trade at a less high-profile club, like Spurs. But would he go even if the offer came?

The Mail says the Tottenham board have already failed to lure James Milner away from relegated Leeds, and that’s despite offering the Yorkshire club a generous £4.5m fee and, one imagines, the player a good few thousand a week.

Perhaps Milner is turned off by the fact that Spurs have yet to appoint a manager for next season. But not to worry, we do hear that Jim Smith might be available some time soon…’

Posted: 14th, May 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink