Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson has stated that former Tottenham Hotspurs manager, Harry Redknapp was a more accomplished tactician than Arsene Wenger.
Merson, who later played some of his best football under Redknapp in the latter stages of his career at Portsmouth, believes Redknapp was the best man-manager he played under. He added that Arsene Wenger had a higher caliber of players to work with.
After spending 12 years at Arsenal, Merson was sold to relegated Middlesbrough just one season into Wenger’s reign. He eventually joined Redknapp at Portsmouth and flourished under the tactician.
Redknapp led Portsmouth to the Premier League after racking up 98 points in the 2002-03 Championship season. This season, Merson was named in the First Division’s Team of the Year.
Merson: Harry Redknapp is the best man-manager
Speaking with Sky Sports, Merson said that Redknapp is one hundred percent the best man-manager he has ever worked under, by a million miles.
“As a man-manager knowing what you want or what you need, you could tell him what you need, he wouldn’t tell you what you needed. I think that was a massive thing with him.
“The thing with Harry, people think, ‘Oh, he’s a wheeler-dealer’… his knowledge of football is second to none. I honestly think he’s tactically better than Arsene Wenger, in my opinion. I worked under both.
“Tactically, if I know a manager who wants to set up, make sure we don’t lose a game and stop the other team playing… for me, Harry is the man.”
While claiming that the former Portsmouth coach was with former Arsenal coach, George Graham, and on the same level with Wenger, who had some unbelievable players.
“When you’ve got Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, [Robert] Pires, [Patrick] Vieira, [Emmanuel] Petit, [Marc] Overmars and [Freddie] Ljungberg… if I’m the manager of Arsenal, I’m opening the football match up!
“I want the game to expand, to go end-to-end because if it does, there’s only one winner. That’s Arsenal because of the players I just reeled off.
“But when you’ve got a manager who hasn’t got that quality of player and you’ve got to set up, that’s why I think Harry is a phenomenal manager.
“He put a team together, he pulled players into certain positions and it clicked. I played in a phenomenal football team.”
Redknapp’s only league title as a manager was Portsmouth’s promotion to the Premier League up to date.
He also lifted cups with Pompey, West Ham, and Bournemouth, and was named Premier League Manager of the Season in 2009-10.
Arsene Wenger’s record as Arsenal coach
Wenger played 1228 games and won 704, drew 279, and lost 245. Out of 823 Premier League games, the former coach won 473, drew 199, and lost 151.
He also coached the team in 191 Champions League games where he won 96, drew 42.
In the FA Cup history, Wenger won 73 games, drew 22 and lost 14 in 109 games.
In the League Cup, Wenger played 73 games, winning 42, drew 9 and lost 22.
Wenger also won 14 out of 23 UEFA Cup / Europa League games and drew five 5.
In the Charity/Community Shield, Wenger won 6 out of 9 played and drew 1.
Wenger won 7 FA Cups, three Premier League trophies, seven community Shields during his time at the North London club.