Harry Redknapp’s ability to wave a wand over Queens Park Rangers this summer has converted them from petulant no-hopers, into Championship front-runners.
Currently level on points with leaders Burnley, but with a game in hand, Redknapp’s side are 18/19 favourites to win English football’s second tier and it’s a price that shouldn’t be ignored.
The Hoops have conceded just two goals this season
If you told football fans at the 2010 World Cup that Brazil’s number one Julio Cesar would be ousted by the blundering Rob Green in the Championship three years later, they’d have wasted no time in having you sectioned.
But that is exactly what has occurred, as the former West Ham stopper’s arrival has seen to the footballing disappearance of one of Rangers’ better Premier League players.
The change has brought with it a remarkable run of clean sheets that currently stands at eight league games, while the Loftus Road outfit have conceded five goals fewer than the next best Championship defence.
Redknapp surpassed himself during the summer window
The amount of poisonous influences at Loftus Road during their ill-fated top-flight struggles became well documented.
It seemed that cleaning up such a rag-tag bunch was even beyond their wheeler-dealer extraordinaire boss, but Redknapp managed to surpass his own very high standards.
Uninterested players like Jose Bosingwa, Djibril Cisse and Anton Ferdinand were booted out while consummate senior professionals Richard Dunne, Karl Henry and Gary O’Neil arrived.
Then there were the loans. Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tom Carroll came from Tottenham while ex-Spur Niko Kranjcar caught the eye, making QPR’s the most quality-laden squad in the division.
“Everything I read from him, I really don’t like him. I’m going to go on record saying that. I know from his challenges on me that he doesn’t like me.”
That was Joey Barton’s view on Karl Henry in 2011. Fast forward two years and the feuding pair find themselves as central-midfield partners. It’s a credit to Redknapp’s management style that he’s been able to get them functioning in a calm, effective manner. A far cry from the shambolic state of affairs the club endured last season.