Former Southampton manager Harry Redknapp’s arrival at the club certainly caused confusion back in December of 2004 – not least because he made the switch from rivals Portsmouth.
It was a pretty short, and certainly ill-fated switch and there was plenty of division in the fanbase, as Redknapp only achieved 13 wins in 49 matches, and less than a week after departing Southampton, he turned back up at Fratton Park which would’ve naturally only infuriated fans further.
Reflecting on that time in his career as he spoke to Four Four Two recently, (via Portsmouth News) Redknapp admitted he was somehow basically clueless as to the rivalry between both clubs, but in hindsight he more than accepted it was a move he should never have made.
“I got a call from Southampton. I lived down here, so why shouldn’t I work? It was a crazy move. I didn’t realise the hate between them. It was very bad. Non-stop phone calls all day, leaving horrendous messages. At home, I’d be outside and the boats that went past always seemed to be fishermen from Portsmouth. They would go past, a big gang of them on their boats going out through the harbour, yelling abuse.”
Given the level of abuse, as he describes, that he received from his former club, rocking back up at Portsmouth seems an even stranger move for him to have made given the feelings at the time. It’s not a new story really, it just seems to have got another outing following our recent EFL Cup clash with Portsmouth, but still holding the line that it was unexpected, will leave plenty of fans wondering how he couldn’t have known.