QPR’s boss is certain his two new Chile World Cup stars are the real deal - and nothing like some of the squad the manager inherited when he took over.
Harry Redknapp joked about longing for the day when players might say: ‘good morning’ in English after he joined in November 2012. And it was an open secret that disharmony in the dressing room, especially among the foreign contingent, led to Hoops’ relegation.
“You see Mauricio go out there and train,” said Redknapp. “He’s at it from the gun, and Vargas is a busy player, and I liked the look of him in the World Cup, although we had him watched long before that.”
Not so the first Chilean signed by the manager when in charge at West Ham.
Javier Margas arrived in his twilight years, and suffered from day one - literally.
“We bought the lad; stuck him out in a house in the middle of Essex and gave him a car,” Redknapp recounted.
“He didn’t speak a word of English, and on the first day trying to find the training ground he ended up at Stansted Airport. No word of a lie.
“And then coming up a country lane he gets a puncture. He didn't speak English, and that’s the way it was.
“Now at QPR, we’ve got Paul Roberts (players liaison manager) who makes sure the houses are OK, and helps players settle in.”