People say a lot of things about Harry Redknapp. All too often, they are none too flattering.
And I know I have been guilty of that in the past. His transfer dealings remain exotic and colourful. And I don’t expect there are too many Pompey fans who look back at the Redknapp years with too much affection.
Or if they do, then the glory, glory days of Premier League status and 2008 trips to Wembley came at a heavy, heavy price.
But ‘H’ has always known a player. And is no stranger to success. The boys play for him. He gets teams organised. And playing. With spirit. And with no little resolve. As this weekend’s events proved.
When faced with adversity Harry Redknapp invariably comes up smelling of roses. Time and time again.
And I would argue that this weekend’s injury time success over Derby County, which saw Rangers bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, is as big an achievement as anything Old H has done before.
Particularly given the shambles Rangers were in as they went down; the turnaround is extraordinary given the players that were bombed out and brought in over the last 18 months.
Which is why it might be instructive to look at it from a Norwich perspective as Neil Adams looks to repeat such minor miracles in Norfolk.
Because Harry built himself an Old Lags XI. Literally in the case of Joey Barton. And Richard Dunne is no angel. He has had his moments. But was the rock upon which Rangers’ return was built.
Bobby Zamora has always had the ability, just never the fitness and in red card villain Gary O’Neil and Niko Kranjčar, Harry had two players from his Fratton Park days – lads he knows inside out.
Characters he can rely on. And then, of course, he had Rob Green. Our Robert has been round the block often enough to play his part at Wembley.
And that’s the key to all this.
Barton might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the one thing no-one can deny is the fact that Joey is a character.
As is Dunne. Robert is.
H built a side with character to it. And in the dying seconds of that play-off final, such character shone through.
And as he returns to the Premier League where, in fairness, his managerial talents belong, so he won’t have to look far for that 20-goal striker. Our old friend Loic Remy is due back on loan from Newcastle.
Put this all in a Norwich context and the lessons won’t make for entirely easy reading for a club that is clearly looking to youff to, in part, deliver its salvation Southampton-style.
Because H gathered to him players whose loyalty to the manager might stretch back a decade – a luxury denied Neil Adams as he takes his first steps into big-time management.
And there is another bit to the Redknapp tale that, likewise, doesn’t sit too easily in the Carrow Road model of 2014-15.
Because H has always struck me as very much his own man; he just gets on with it. Sure, he is ultimately answerable to his chairman, but other than that he does what he pleases. And, invariably, the results justify the means. For example, taking a punt on a 34-year-old Richard Dunne.
It would be an interesting exercise to see whether or not a similar punt by Adams this summer would pass the ‘football committee’; whether the incoming technical director would approve – and if he did whether the ultimate yay or nay would then sit with the chairman of the football committee, in this case City chief executive David McNally.
I would strongly suspect that H wouldn’t have much time for such multiple assessments of his transfer thinking.
He doesn’t strike me as much of a committee man. And one wonders whether – if that was the set-up proposed to every managerial candidate – whether one or two might have baulked at proceeding via a committee.
But, as ever, proof will come in the pudding. For now, I think Redknapp’s achievement in getting Rangers to bounce back at the first time of asking needs to recognised and saluted.
How many lessons can be translated into a Norfolk setting is for others to ponder and judge.