Whilst Portsmouth were holding on to their 2-1 victory over at Mansfield at Field Mill last night, Harry Redknappâ€™s wife, Sandra, was busy recording the BBCâ€™s Panorama for her Husbandâ€™s viewing when he returned. Itâ€™s a good job she did. Harry may wish to use the recording as evidence for any legal action he might consider bringing against the Beeb, as their attempt to smear him with tapping up accusations failed. Their feeble effort at exposing any wrongdoing by the Pompey Boss was at best amateurish, and at worst, downright scandalous.
Secret cameras may add a certain thrill factor to any documentary, but any evidence of bungs, tapping up and general dishonestly was severely lacking. No passing of brown envelopes under the dinner table here, just a series of boasts by some rather questionable football agents, as to whom, in their opinion, may â€œenjoy a bungâ€. Itâ€™s tame, reactionary broadcasting, one swallow does not a summer make, and one agent arriving at Pompeyâ€™s training ground for a cup of tea with Redknapp, does not, “rock the football world”.
In fact, the most embarrassing slip by Redknapp last night, was that he thought And Todd was a good player. He redeemed himself soon enough though by referring to Todd as, a â€œtough bastardâ€. His judgment proved to be reasonable, Todd was sent off on the opening day of this season at Fratton Park.
It appeared to me, that Panorama were trying to catch Redknapp out – they failed. He must be considering his own actions against the Beeb. Certainly, nobody should be surprised, if he, like Sir Alex Ferguson, refuses to cooperate for interviews with the BBC. Yes, there is an appetite for exposing evidence of footballâ€™s shady transfer deals, but last nightâ€™s attempts to conspire against Redknapp was myopic and unsubstantial.
â€œIâ€™m one million percent innocentâ€ exclaimed Redknapp, in the beginning of the week, and on last nights evidence, he can add a few more zeros to that too.
Are the fans really that interested anyway? I donâ€™t hear of supporters enquiring about bung culture when an international midfielder is signed by their club. If as suggested, cash is sliced off the transfer fee, itâ€™s an Inland Revenue problem not a football supporters woe. We, as usual, just want to see success.
If last nightâ€™s programme revealed nothing substantial, can we let the football do the talking please? Redknappâ€™s team are looking over their shoulders again, not to check how clear they are of relegation, but, at the other 19 clubs below them in the Premiership. A top of the league, unbeaten, no goals conceded, form that any football manager will acknowledge constitutes a dream start to the season.
The Pompey Boss will wish to forget about the distractions of last night, as his side aim to beat Bolton and return to the top of the Premiership on Monday. Thereâ€™s records to be broken too. Pompey will equal Chelseaâ€™s record of 6 games played at the start of the season without conceding a goal and donâ€™t mention Arsenalâ€™s invincible run of three seasons ago!
The BBCâ€™s programme may have been lacking in substance, Redknappâ€™s side are certainly not. This is a side that looks organised, balanced and motivated. Last September, Alain Perrin was struggling to compete in a league that he, and most of his signings, had never played in before. Perrinâ€™s unproven players remained just that, Twelve months later only Andy O Brien, a Â£2m buy from Newcastle, survives from the Perrin reign â€“ he is struggling to make the first team.
Of course, spending Â£12m in the January transfer window helps, but Redknappâ€™s summer transfer deals have been nothing short of dazzling, and of course, legitimate. Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce will be seen together on tv again on Monday night, as Sky televise the Pompey v Bolton match.
Don’t expect secret cameras with that broadcast.