Date: 28th October 2008 at 4:18pm
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Whether you blame him or not, whether you hate him or not, it’s pointless. He has gone & the real damage is yet to set in.

I am gutted Harry has gone because he brought us unimaginable success & world-class players. Like so many others that have watched Pompey for at least the last 30 years & have experienced all 4 divisions, we have had to put up with many a dark decade. I really believe it may not ever be this good again.

I don’t subscribe to the poison that is being thrown at him. We don’t know the real story as to what is going on behind the scenes & what made him jump. My memories that will stay with me forever are those fantastic years from the promotion & championship team of 2002-03. To our first full season in the Prem and when we stayed up at Wigan. Being in the top ten & beating the Man Utd’s, Liverpool’s and nearly everybody at some stage. The life dream of being at Wembley & winning the FA Cup. The experiences of being Europe & seeing Pompey play. These are all down to the teams built by Harry. Only he could attract these players. Yes we had to pay the wages and Milan & Sasha must take credit for this. These players arguably could have gone anywhere but they came to Pompey. Why? Harry Redknapp. They could have gone to Everton, Villa, Newcastle. Big clubs with big traditions but they came to little Portsmouth. From Merson to Stone, Sheringham to Berger. They helped establish the club & help us grow.

We will all be grateful to players like Gary O’Neil. Matt Taylor, Linvoy, Benjani & De Zeeuw for their massive contributions too. But it’s the star players of now that take my breath away. Harry attracted Sol Campbell who was the catalyst for us to go to the next stage, then David James, Distin, Niko & Johnson. Then the coups of getting Defoe & Diarra last January & in the summer Crouch. Now Harry has gone, why should they stay? Even if they don’t follow him to Spurs, others will be in.

4 England players & the jewel that is Diarra, where will be without them if they leave? I would be very surprised if at the start of next season that many will be here. And no matter who takes charge, we won’t be in a position to attract similar quality. The stars came for Harry & not Portsmouth. We bathed in the glory of it all & we will all drown in the disappointment in our own way. Pompey may have been good for Harry, but Harry was very good for Pompey. I really believe we needed him much more than he needed us. We will never be the same without him. Unless of course we have billions to spend, get the new ground & training facility but if we don’t…

Written by storagematt.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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18 Replies to “Vital Harry”

  • i never will forget what he has done for this club, it is true that the vast majority of what has happened for us over the years is down to him – and for that, and the fact that he helped fulfil pretty much everything that i have dreamt about seeing pompey do is something i will never forget and will always be thakful for…
    yes, player and managers come and go – but it is just the manor of his departure after constant promises that he ‘wouldnt do it again’, he was ‘pompey till he died’, that he ‘couldnt let the fans down again’ and so on that gets me – some might say he had done all he could with pompey? bull had he, with the players that we have more could have been done – and without him it will be a lot tougher, but who is to say that adams cannot carry on this work, appointing him gives us a better chance of carrying on where we left off if you ask me….
    if players were going they would have been going with or without HR here come january or next summer, if a few go – which i expect – that will be no different than i suspect it would have been anyway…
    again i say thanks for what you did HR, but we now move on, even ‘if’ things cannot carry on as they are so be it, tbh i have seen most that i could have ever dreamt of, so even if things go wrong now and all the players leave because HR has so be it, i will still be here come what may, but lets not think that everything will come tumbling down, because we still have things in place to be a top 10 side and maintain premier league football, with or without him. we now move on now, its a new era, the tony adams one.

  • Very pesimistict there Matt. Yes Harry did wonders to attract a good class of player here. Now the football we play, the fact we are in Europe, FA Cup winners and are a top half Premiership side should be enough to attract players. There will be plenty of rumours about players leaving, but why should they? What would they gain by leaving in January? They will all be cup tied, and Europe tied. Stop being so merchant of death about it all. These are still the good times so enjoy.

  • Redknapp has been a truly great manager – perhaps one of the three greatest in PFC history alongside Tinn & Jackson but (and there will always be a but with Harry) – NOT a great man. He could have shown far more dignity is his leaving rather than going on all media channels at midnight Saturday to start bragging about how wonderful life was going to be at Tottenham.

    Alan Ball on the other hand was an average to good manager, although he did get us promoted and saved us for relegation after we looked doomed in 97/98 just like Harry did three years ago.

    But I would say Ballie was a great man, always 100% committed to the club & its fans, and with less self interest and arrogance that has always been Harry’s real weakness, fuelled I might add by the glamour media orientated environment lead by his son (can’t stand that Nintendo Wii ad!).

  • Well said Sneaks and FP. The club and the fans need to make sure all this doom and gloom is not a self-fulfilling prophecy. F**k, we have enough of that with the recession!

  • Yep, just seen Harry on TV, he says we have the quality to carry on what he has left behind. All we can do is hope we still have it after January. Had a sort of sneaky admiration for the man turning up today. What should have been fab for him looked like an ordeal. I’ll give him a grudging A for guts. Time to move on now. Up the blues!

  • Harry could have been true to his word and retired if he was unhappy, it’s not as if he needs the money. Had he retired and then gone back to work a year on nobody would have said anything but to do it this way proves he cares nothing for any of us no matter what he’s said in the past.

  • one bonus point He won’t be able to sign Defoe in the transfer window, he’s not allowed to re register with Spurs till 12 months have passed and his move to us was only finalised in February.

  • Apologies for dourness of the article, just fearing the worst & hoping for the best. There are two sides to everything and as a man HR has let us down but a manager he was great. The next few months will tell us a lot but I won’t subscribe to the poison words or the complacency of what we have now. I just don’t want the club I love so much to implode & do a Leeds.

  • Just a quick question for those who are abusing Harry and cheering Tony Adams. If Tony is successful as Pompey manager what decision do you think he will make if he then gets the chance to succeed Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager? Hmmm!

  • I liked the article Matt, it was touching. Harry did do a lot for us, and brought in great players, but opinion seems to be that Tone can bring in great players too, and maybe he influenced some of them coming in the first place, those with Arsenal connections. The trouble was Harry left when we were on the crest of a wave, and there was much more to be achieved and won. He left after he’d made those statements that he wouldn’t, he made statements about the club that were unnecessary – and for me, the worst thing is, he left less than 24 hours before a match. He should have had enough integrity to keep it secret till after the Fulham game, then tell the players, then make it public. But he couldn’t do that could he. When he came back, I knew he couldn’t be trusted and he’d leave. When he nearly went to Newcastle, he made all those great statements about Pompey and what the club meant to him, and I knew then that if a big club came in for him he would go, and said so on this site. But then we started really winning, the FA cup happened, he said these kind of things again, and I believed him, and really warmed to him. (sucker) But disappearing so suddenly like that on the Sunday, leaving the players to find out on TV/internet was awful. And yes FP – I hate the Wii ads too. We were going to buy one, not now! Still, roll on the Adams era, looking forward to it!

  • Adams would be forgiven if he left and went to Arsenal, he has a long history with them, and was known as Mr.Arsenal, Harry left and immeadiately declared he was a Spurs fan as a lad, I’ve read on more than one occasion about him being stood on the North Bank with his dad, call me stupid, but I’m sure the North Bank isn’t on the Seven Sisters road.

  • Yes you are right Paultsmouth. I just find it hard to accept the hatred for a manager who brought us so much success. After decades of under-achievement, to take us up, keep us up, win the FA Cup, qualify for Europe and get Saints relegated! What more could you want? Perhaps a little more honesty but then who of us is perfect. Thanks for everything Harry and good luck Tony. You have a hard act to follow!

  • Paultsmouth is 100% right about Redknapp’s Arsenal supporting days. He is the master PR manager – and good luck to him. Who else would get Daniel Levy to turn 180 degrees and rip up his Director of Football strategy – out goes Cormolli with the rest of the foreign legion. But how shrewd Sacha has been in making Storrie Executive Chairman and appointing Tony Adams, despite the boards’s doubts about his experience. In contrast with Milan M’s dominance of any new manager press conference & photo shoot Sacha simply delegated to Storrie but was there to support them in the background – a very different business approach but the man has a dignity and self control that Harry sadly lacks!

  • I have a most of the above..FP i agree in full with your 1st contribution. I hitched down to FPark from Bolton in the early 80’s for a game against MCFC, Campbell was manager and Bally was youth team something or other. I sneaked into the JImmy DIckinson suite for a pint after and met Ballie at the bar. I TOLD IM I LIVED IN BOLTON AND HITCHED DOWN BECAUSE I WAS OUT OF WORK- HIS RESPONSE WAS TO BUY ME A PINT.
    what a man. Redknapp…..well who knows, he would make a great politiciian.. but a great football manager

  • For Tony to leave for Wenger’s job he’ll have been successful here. Why did Sir Alex get the an Utd job? Because he made unfashionable Aberdeen the top side in Scotland and took them to Eorpean glory against Real Madrid in the the final of the cup winners cup. We’d take an equivalent from Tony Adams I guess. It’s about career progression. Tony has the desire and appetite to succeed. Time will tell wjether he has the ability. Good luck Tony Adams!

  • We have Traore on loan from Arsenal. Ask yourselves why? After Tony’s speech yesterday, I think it becomes clear. Arsene has also said he will help Tony with his puchasing choices (as long as they are not going after the same players), so our man does have good connections. Spurs also said, when Kaboul came to Portsmouth, that he would come on. Why? Once again, Tony and Joe Jordan were given as reasons along with Harry admittedly. I was amazed at Tony’s pedigree when I heard it yesterday. That coupled with his leadership skills does it for me. OK, he ain’t no spivvy wheeler dealer, but then we can leave that to Storrie, who is shifty enough for the whole league, let alone Portsmouth. Good luck Tony Adams. Lets give him a real Fratton Park Roof Raiser at our next game!

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