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The Forgotten Redknapp

My Arsenal Story
Started on 18 October 2012 by Arvind
Latest Reply on 2 February 2014 by The 510 Series
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  • VIEWS6816
Arvind's avatar Group Arvind
11 yearsEdited
In the last few days, things have been moving too fast, and this morning over coffee, I realized it was moving even faster.

I'm Jamie Redknapp. Yes, yes, I'm 'Arry's kid. And Frank Lampard's cousin. But I want to be my own man. Not just this guy's kid or that guy's cousin. When I was a player, I had that recognition. Even though people knew me only for what I did off the pitch rather than on it. Former Captain of Liverpool and Spurs, capped by England 17 times - no one remembers that. Some may recognize me as a pundit on Sky Sports or maybe a columnist on the Daily Mail, but those jobs don't make me happy. I need to get back into football. Not just be a journalist.

So, that's why three days ago, I sent my agent to go look for a managerial post for me. League 1 or League 2 would be a great place to start, I thought. And yesterday, he rang me up and told me Arsenal want me. I told him I didn't want to be a coach. "No, Jamie. Arsenal want you as their Manager. Arsené Wenger had a heart attack. He's alive and will recover, but he's retired from management on doctor's orders. The strain from management is too much for him."

"Naw." I thought to myself. "It can't be."

I switched on the T.V and changed the channel to Sky Sports, and the headline read - "Arsene Wenger retires from football management."

So my agent - still on the line - tells me to get dressed and to come downstairs because he's got a limo to take me to the Emirates.

Still in disbelief, I got dressed and we went up there, he finished up the contract talk quite quickly and - bang! I'm the manager of Arsenal.

I expected they would give it a week or so before announcing it to the media, but this was a rude shock.

My mug o' coffee almost slipped out of my hand when I read that bit of news. I put it down on the table and stared at the wall. I had no freaking clue what to do as a manager.

Then, I felt I vibration in my pajamas. I had received a message on my phone.
I flipped it open.

It wasn't one of those smartphones or Blackberrys, just an old flip phone. I don't know what it was, I just loved them.
"Wonder whom it's from", I said to myself.

I can't wait for this... Looking good. Go Jamie!
Looking awesome so far! keep it up :)
Arvind's avatar Group Arvind
11 yearsEdited
It was around 4:00PM, and I was just sorting out the clothes I would wear. Shoes, a new pair of socks, my favorite suit, my whitest shirt(some stains just won't go away) and some hair gel, all lay on the bed. I had a feeling something was missing though.

The tie! Making a bad first impression on the media and on the chairman was not the way I wanted to start. I foraged through my wardrobe. A couple of blue ties, a purple, a polka dot one, a green one, a pink one(don't ask). But no red. I was freaking out.

I saw a little cubical box sitting on the bottom. I forgot about my tie issue, because I became curious about what was in the box. For the life of me, I couldn't remember.

I flicked open the lid to see what was inside. A couple of pictures from when I was a player, and a winner's medal from the 1995 F.A Cup. I had a smile on my face as I recollected my time as a player. I lifted the last photo and there was a tie. A red and white one.

"No." I said to myself.

It was the one from 1996 FA Cup Final. We lost the game 1-0 to Manchester United. But that wasn't the worst part, atleast for me. We were dubbed the "Spice Boys".

You see, David James - our goalie - at the time was a model for Armani. He said he had a contact who could get us some really smart suits. We went along with it, but the staff didn't risk it. They all wore normal black suits. And we were stuck with those white suits. If we had won that game I'm sure no one would have said a word about it. But we lost, and the suits became an infamous part of F.A Cup history.

Well, anyway, I needed a tie, a red one, and this was the only one I had.

"Better a giggle from the media than a scolding from the chairman." I thought.

I put my clothes on, and the limo arrived.

I got in, and the driver slammed the accelerator

"Hope this isn't a big mistake." I thought to myself.
Akash's avatar Group Akash
11 yearsEdited
Arvind, with FM13 coming, I honestly don't expect this story to stay too long (no disrespect whatsoever), but you have given me enough reason to believe you will have one of those magical stories that make this site so awesome.
2012-10-18 15:30#67773 akash.vidyasagar : Arvind, with FM13 coming, I honestly don't expect this story to stay too long (no disrespect whatsoever), but you have me enough reason to believe you will have one of those magical stories that make this site so awesome.

2012-10-18 15:30#67773 akash.vidyasagar : Arvind, with FM13 coming, I honestly don't expect this story to stay too long (no disrespect whatsoever), but you have me enough reason to believe you will have one of those magical stories that make this site so awesome.

No disrespect taken. Yeah I know that it won't last long, but it's nice practice for future stories I may do, and will get me comfortable with a format and also its something for people who are using the site to read. :)

And also thank you for the compliment. :P
The moment I got off I was whisked away inside the stadium to a room. A guy came and gave me a piece of paper with some questions on it and told me to read it.

"This is what they will ask you.", he said, before rushing out.

I had barely three seconds to read it before the Chairman waltzed in. He eyed me from head to toe, to make sure I looked good.

"Well, I guess it's okay.", he said. "That tie is rather tacky, though, even for my taste."

"Anyway.", he said after a while. "The media are waiting. Let me and the board speak first, and then the media and you will have a little Q&A session."

He led me through a series of doors, and I expected the media after every one. Not to be. I kept wondering when the final door would be and then suddenly I realize I'm in the room with the media. My eyes stung from all the camera flashes, but soon the chairman sat down, and signaled for me to take the seat beside him.

He took a sip of water and started speaking. But then I just zoned out.

I thought about how I would manage the team. I wasn't exactly known for my discipline, and as a manager I would sure as hell not want to manage someone like me when I was a player. I kept thinking if I was the right one for the job. I decided that I wouldn't know until I tried.

Suddenly, I felt a tap on the shoulder and I got back into the real world. Peter Hill-Wood got up off his seat and whispered to me in my ear. "Good luck. Don't say anything stupid or I'm going to sack you. Keep it simple." He left the room and I turned back towards the media, imagining them as a bunch of sharks, and me as Nemo. I shuddered.

The first question came. "Arsené Wenger has retired after several glorious years. Do you feel the pressure of succeeding the club's most successful manager?"

I couldn't think of what to say. On instinct I opened my mouth, and the words came out this time.

"Arsené is a brilliant manager", I found myself saying. "And naturally anyone succeeding him would feel the pressure. I know everyone related to the club - and even those who aren't - wish him a speedy recovery, and thank him for what he's done for the club."

The next one came before I had time to relax.

"Despite having many good players, Arsenal have failed to win any trophies over the last few years. Most fans attribute this to the club selling its best players every year. What do you think?"

"Well, football clubs these days have to behave like a business these days. Splashing the cash doesn't work, atleast long term. So many clubs have made the same mistake. Leeds, Rangers..the list goes on. But, it's true that the emphasis in the last years has been on the financial part, and that is because we've built a new stadium and have to pay out our debts. But I hope that during my tenure as manager of Arsenal we can change our priorities a bit and aim for success, and then try to stabilize ourselves."

"So, does that mean you will be active in the transfer market?"

"Definitely, but we're not going to buy players just for the sake of it. We have to make sure he's the right one. There's no point wasting money if we haven't found the right player. I don't like to make "panic buys". We have to make sure the player fits into our philosophy."

"Last question, Mr.Redknapp."

Phew. Was I glad to hear that.

"You've captained Liverpool and Spurs, your father has managed Spurs, your cousin plays for Chelsea. All rivals of Arsenal. So do you think that the fans may not take to you, especially since you've got no experience?"

The hardest question for last. I'm terrified that I will screw up. But I can't let that show. The players no doubt will be watching this. They need to know I have confidence to steer the ship.

"I honestly don't know what the fans will think at first, but I'm sure if we can get good results, they will be on my side. And I'm sure we can get those results because even though I have no experience, I have confidence in my abilities as a manager."

"Thank you, Mr.Redknapp", said the journalist.

The camera flashes finally stopped. The press conference was over. I took a deep breath. The chairman walked in again.

"I was watching you. Well done. You handled that well. Now make sure you can back up your talk with action.".

I nodded to him, and he nodded back, and we both left the room.
Woooo! This is brilliant, but unexpected for the same reason Akash gave. Good Luck!
Haha! I'm replying to this story for no reason whatsoever!

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