IF THERE’S one factor that provides me the hump about Christmas, it’s listening to footballers complain about what a troublesome time it’s.
I by no means went together with that as a participant and definitely not as a supervisor, so don’t count on me to vary now.
Harry Redknapp just isn’t having gamers complain concerning the hectic Christmas schedule Credit score: Getty Photos – Getty
Even again within the day, once they used to play matches on Christmas Day itself, I couldn’t see what there was to get upset about.
All it did was make me assume how fortunate we had been . . . coaching for an hour, being properly paid for one thing you like. How might anybody say they had been laborious accomplished to?
If anybody has motive to moan it’s all of the medical doctors, the nurses, these within the emergency companies who’re working. It’s all a few actuality test and realising what you’ve obtained.
And speaking of actuality checks, after I was nonetheless a youth-team participant at West Ham, and hoping for my massive first-team break, one Christmas introduced the largest ever.
It was Boxing Day 1963 and all of us went to look at the sport in opposition to Blackburn, all of us assured we’d get a consequence.
We had the likes of Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Ronnie Boyce, some actually respectable gamers, and Johnny Byrne really put us two up. However it become one of many strangest video games I ever noticed as a result of Rovers got here again and battered us 8-2.
Afterwards we needed to wait outdoors the dressing room, and there wasn’t a sound from inside, in case there had been any accidents or supervisor Ron Greenwood wished to make any modifications.
The best way the fixtures had been again then, we had been taking part in the return at Blackburn two days later and us younger lads thought we would have an opportunity due to the consequence.
Harry Redknapp in his taking part in days at West HamCredit score: Popperfoto – Getty
However because it occurred he caught with the identical lot, bar bringing in Eddie Bovington for Peters, so it was a doubly disappointing Christmas.
Ron knew what he was doing as a result of we went to their place — each groups on the identical practice — Eddie man-marked Bryan Douglas and we gained 3-1.
Ron saved the identical aspect for the remainder of the season and we ended it profitable the FA Cup, so possibly that Boxing Day hammering really did us a favour in the long term.
I all the time beloved the Christmas interval –— though in case you are frightened about outcomes, particularly as a boss, you’re simply going by means of the motions with all of the festivities.
Should you’re combating relegation and want factors, that’s all that issues. And that was the case in my first 12 months in cost at West Ham, after we had been backside of the desk.
So you possibly can think about my response after I heard the gamers had booked an open-top bus, full with jazz band, to drive by means of East Ham for his or her Christmas occasion.
Harry Redknapp and Bobby Moore congratulate Trevor Brooking in 1972Credit score: Rex Options
I advised them “if you go previous all these workmen, individuals digging the roads, those paying your wages, they’ll chuck all types at you,” and cancelled it. They nonetheless went out, simply in a few mini-buses as an alternative, and, in fact, it didn’t finish properly as a result of a bus obtained broken.
These events are extra bother than they’re value.
When it got here to Christmas Day, I’d convey the gamers in early for coaching after which allow them to go dwelling for dinner with the household earlier than we’d meet up for the sport the subsequent day. However I’d by no means, ever, say to them they might have only one drink, as a result of the minute you do that you just’re heading for bother!
It’s a busy time and also you’re away from dwelling on Christmas evening however you’d have all summer time to go on vacation . . . and had been getting properly paid for the privilege.
So if I ever heard any of them complaining — or moaning about too many fixtures — I’d be on them immediately. Attempt doing it in ankle deep mud, like all of us needed to again within the day . . . possibly then you definitely’d have one thing to moan about.
Though even then you definitely by no means did, since you had been simply grateful to be taking part in soccer for a dwelling. There’s a number of on the market who would do properly to keep in mind that now.
DIEGO GREATEST OF LOT
Diego Maradona tops the best gamers for RedknappCredit score: AFP – Getty
LIONEL MESSI set the all-time scoring report for one membership together with his 644th goal for Barcelona this week — another than Pele obtained for Santos — elevating the outdated query of who’s the best.
The best way Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had been one of the best two on the planet for a decade is unbelievable, and, in fact, Pele was implausible.
However for me Diego Maradona tops the lot, for nearly single-handedly profitable the World Cup, in addition to turning an retro Napoli into title winners. However it’s an in depth name.
ALL SET TO SHAKEM UP
I CAN’T wait to look at the soccer over the subsequent couple of days.
However as a lot as I find it irresistible, the horse racing is all the time one thing particular over Christmas, too — and I’m much more excited than regular about it.
My horse Shakem Up’Arry is because of run within the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown subsequent week and we fancy him to present us an actual run.
He ran a cracker when fourth final time, he’s been burning up the gallops and he shouldn’t be far-off. I’ve one other respectable bumper horse due out at Warwick within the new 12 months, so I’ll let you realize about him, too.
CUP PICKS TOOK MIKEL
Mikel Arteta rung the modifications and noticed his Arsenal aspect crash out of the Carabao CupCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
I KNOW it’s a busy interval however I don’t assume that was any motive for all of the modifications we noticed within the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
You’re a few rounds from Wembley, from profitable a trophy, however managers had been bringing in eight or 9 totally different gamers. Unbelievable.
Mikel Arteta actually missed an opportunity to redeem himself by fielding that Arsenal side against Manchester City. In the event that they’d obtained a consequence it could have eased the strain on him.
All anybody cares about now could be both making the highest 4 or staying up.
Arsenal don’t appear to have an opportunity of the primary, so certainly they don’t concern relegation?