It is easy to forget that Harry Redknapp was a top-class football manager before he became football’s greatest salesman.
The King of the Jungle can count taking Tottenham into the Champions League among his finest managerial achievements and he might have been given a shot at the England job if not for a bank account named after his dog.
Instead, Redknapp’s career fizzled out with spells with QPR and Birmingham. At the R’s, he replaced Neil Warnock and inherited a squad full of high-profile players including Shaun Wright-Phillips, who was among the club’s top earners.
But it ended in disaster – and the former winger has recalled all on a fall-out between the two that ended with him moving the United States to play for peanuts.
“They thought we went there for the money and that we didn’t really care of we win or lose which wasn’t the case,” Wright-Phillips told the Liquid Football podcast, which is produced by JOE in partnership with Paddy Power.
“We were giving 110 per cent but things, as in football, don’t always go your way. I think that’s what happened to us then.
“That kind of set the tone and the manager started changing things and people started having fall-outs.
That’s one thing I thought would never happen to me and then Harry came along and it all went pear-shaped.
“Away from the game we get on like a house on fire but there was a time when Jon Macken was playing in front of me. I had a few pieces of floating bone in my ankle so I had to have an operation at some point.
“I was just training all day and all the time I trained I couldn’t get it done.
“I waited until the end of the season because we were in a battle. But then I fell out of favour, I wasn’t playing and I wasn’t even making it to the bench. I said ‘if you’re making me wait until the end of the season to have this operation and you’re not even putting me in the bench or playing me, I might as well get it done’.
“I got it done and he wasn’t happy and that was it. I never played again. There were a lot of stories coming out that said I was refusing to leave because I was getting paid so much money.
But then I went to New York Red Bulls and signed for four, five hundred dollars a month.
“If I was only there for the money, why would I sign there for that much?”