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John Everett

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Harry's Games: Inside the Mind of Harry Redknapp
Harry's Games: Inside the Mind of Harry Redknapp
by John Crace
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Page-Turning Insights, 3 Sept. 2013
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John Crace is one of those gifted writers who clearly thinks long and hard about each and every sentence and injects his own personality into the subject. I myself went to Eton with him and remember him as a keen and talented footie player. We used to avidly watch Match of the Day on a Saturday night (a treat in those days), so his love of the subject shines through. I can't quite understand, however, why, coming from Wiltshire, he didn't support Swindon. I might be being unkind if I say that I have no recollection of Swindon being a fashionable side when we were at school. John's living in London, and writing for the Guardian, is maybe an explanation. I also can't escape the nagging feeling that there is something opportunistic about the subject; an opportunity that has maybe slipped past.
Even so, the book is a genuinely page-turning one for more or less any football lover, and there are many profound insights into what makes Harry tick - most of which John has uniquely formulated himself from the appraisal he's given to the many conversations and interviews he had with those who knew Redknapp; some quite closely.
My disappointment was that I didn't really close the book with any greater insight into what made Redknapp, in John's words, a `national treasure'. His acquittal of tax evasion didn't necessarily acquit him of `looking after number one' or having very much to offer beyond having a shrewd eye for a good transfer deal: his on-field tactical nous seemed/seems to be far less positional analysis than `go out and play your socks off'! It worked at Spurs - sometimes - but would it have done so for England? That doesn't seem to be important...left to the the popular vote immediately following his acquittal, he would probably now be the England manager.
But, once again, I genuinely enjoyed reading the book - a lot - and looked forward to the occasions when I could do so. I also learnt a lot! There were many useful insights into how the whole managerial process works that I was previously unaware of. Was I any more familiar with Redknapp himself? No, not really! Was it worth the money I spent? Every penny!

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