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Harry Redknapp has revealed the secret to one of his greatest assets when it comes to running a football club - man management.
The former Tottenham, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and West Ham boss was known for his ability to get the best out of players as a result of his ability to connect with them on a personal level, something he has been praised for by those who played under him.
Talking on Yahoo Sport Presents: The Football Show, the 72 year old gave an insight into the importance of managing footballers beyond the highest paid first team players at a club. He said: “I think every day you go in there are problems. You’re running a football club with 40 odd players, it’s not just the players that you hear about; the first team, senior super stars.
“You’ve got kids that have got problems with their girlfriends, their home life, their digs are not right, so every day you’ve got problems, it’s not just about football, you are managing a group of 40 or 50 people. There’s always something cropping up so it’s very important, it’s a big part of the job.”
Redknapp revealed he has passed the advice on to former professionals making their way in the world of football management, including former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard. He added: “I think you have to be yourself and take an interest in people. I think that’s important. I remember talking to Steven Gerrard when he first got the job at Liverpool with the kids and I said, listen Stevie, talk to them every day, spend time talking to the kids.
Not just about football, after training how are their lives, is everything going well in their private lives, spend a bit of time on the training ground after training, a bit of individual coaching, you’ll make them feel so important.”
The former QPR boss was also keen to emphasise that player encouragement from a young age is key to the success of a football club, revealing, “too often people group players all together they’re just a group and they’re not individuals. I think at youth level you’ve got to do that more with the kids, take an interest in them and little words of encouragement can go a long way.”
Another manager praised for his man management skills is current Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino. The Spurs manager has taken a small squad to a top four finish in the Premier League and a Champions League final despite not making any signings in the last two transfer windows.
Despite being liked with a move to other clubs, including Manchester United, and admitting he might leave if Tottenham win the Champions League in Madrid on the 1st June, Redknapp can’t see the Argentinian going anywhere, anytime soon.
He said, “I don’t see him moving. Everything, I think, is in place at Tottenham, great stadium, fantastic training ground, outstanding group of players I don’t see him moving.
“I think next year they will be closer in the title race with Liverpool and Man City. I see three teams, I think those three will pull away from Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. I can see the gap getting bigger.”
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