Harry Redknapp has been having a look at Newcastle United and their relegation rivals.
Maybe surprisingly, Redknapp sees the scrap for who goes down with Villa as ‘still all to play for’ after all three of Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich lost at the weekend.
Harry Redknapp claims that Mike Ashley and Steve McClaren shouldn’t be the main targets to blame, rather it being the players themselves.
Whilst obviously the team/squad are a key part of the problem, surely the person who decides how the club is run has to be seen as at the heart of the disaster.
Redknapp claims because Mike Ashley spent over £70m in the past two transfer windows it is ‘harsh’ to point the finger at him – conveniently ignoring the fact that this is money generated by the club and not put in by Ashley, most of it cash that was stockpiled in previous seasons as the squad was starved of investment. The biggest factor in the mess we see now, along with the failed process of bringing in players (on Ashley’s orders) who must have a potential higher resale value.
Harry Redknapp is mates with Steve McClaren and employed him at QPR, so little wonder he chooses to try and deflect blame from him.
However, any manager must take a large share of the blame after serving up such terrible results and football, leading to a season long relegation struggle and handing over a shocking state of affairs to Rafa Benitez with only 10 games to go.
Redknapp also claims that unlike Villa, the other three relegation candidates have ‘the makings of squads that can compete’ in the Championship.
Judging by the lack of commitment by some of the Newcastle players in the Premier League this season, many fans will wonder just how committed they would be in the Championship…
Harry Redknapp writing for The Telegraph:
‘I think whichever two of Norwich, Sunderland or Newcastle join them (Aston Villa) in the Championship will have a very good chance of promotion.
It’s far too tight to call down at the bottom, but they all have the makings of squads that can compete if they do go down.
They’re all big clubs too, but no-one has a divine right to stay in the Premier League. Newcastle, in particular, have spent heavily to try and stay up, and as with Randy Lerner I think people are far too harsh on Mike Ashley.
He has spent something like £70m since the start of the summer, but again it has been spent badly. He’s also had two very good managers in place in Steve McClaren and Rafael Benitez, so for me the players are to blame again.
But it’s not too late for them. The fact that all three lost this weekend means it’s still all to play for.
Norwich are marginal favourites to get out of it, but you couldn’t say that with any certainty. In contrast to the others, they always knew they’d be down at the bottom so have been scrapping for their lives since the opening day. If they go down it won’t be for a lack of fight.’