Redknapp and Hoddle quit QPR to leave Sherwood a clear run
Is this the end for Redknapp as knee problems force him to quit the Premier League strugglers?
Former England manager Glenn Hoddle has followed Harry Redknapp out of the door at Queens Park Rangers, resigning as head coach just hours after Redknapp stepped down as manager and leaving Tim Sherwood the odds on favourite to take over at Loftus Road.
Admitting he was "shocked and surprised" by Redknapp's decision to quit, Hoddle said in a statement on Tuesday evening: "We all know football is a results-orientated business but I always felt that given a few more games, Harry could have turned it around down there at the bottom."
According to The Guardian, Redknapp, who turns 68 next month, told QPR chairman Tony Fernandes of his decision to resign after 26-months in charge early on Tuesday, citing knee problems, "which were restricting his ability to work on the training ground and will require surgery".
Inevitably there were other rumours suggesting Redknapp had resigned in protest at Rangers' failure to dip into last month's transfer market, though he denied that, saying it was "not any factor".
But as Hoddle alluded to in his resignation statement, results have not gone the way of Rangers this season and the west London club currently lie 19th in the Premier League table, without a single point from 11 away games this term.
Hoddle wasn't the only member of the coaching team to leave the club on Tuesday evening. Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond have also cleared their desks, leaving Les Ferdinand – who arrived at Loftus Road in October as head of football operations (a position Redknapp described as "a stupid title") – and Chris Ramsey to prepare for the challenge of hosting fourth-placed Southampton on Saturday.
Redknapp gave a bullish interview to The Sun on Tuesday evening, stating his intention to return to management in the not-too-distant future. "I'll be back," he said. "Maybe next season. I am going to see a specialist soon and have my knees done. I couldn't carry on the way I have been feeling. Once they are done, I hope to work again. It all depends on which jobs are available."
In truth Redknapp's departure may signal the end of his colourful managerial career, certainly in the top-flight with few Premier League clubs unlikely to hire a man approaching 70 and in questionable health. In 2011, while in charge at Spurs, he needed to have his coronary arteries unblocked. Football management is increasingly a young man's game, and Redknapp's day appears to have passed.
As to who will replace him at Rangers in the long-term, the papers are unanimous in installing former Tottenham caretaker boss Tim Sherwood as the front-runner. As the Sun notes Sherwood worked with Les Ferdinand during his spell in charge of Spurs and the 45-year-old has already hinted in the past he would like a crack at managing Rangers.
According to the Sun, however, Tony Fernandes harbours "reservations" about Sherwood, who is taking his Uefa Pro coaching licence, and could yet decide to appoint former West Bromwich manager Steve Clarke to replace Redknapp.