Harry Redknapp for England?
So Fabio Capello has quit as England manager after being undermined by the FA over the John Terry captaincy issue. Fair enough. I’m glad the FA took decisive action and I’m glad Capello acted equally decisively. Make s achange from the FA and is typical Capello.
Time to move on then, and it seems the whole country, media and English players want to move on to Harry Redknapp, especially now that he has been, rather conveniently, acquitted of tax evasion.
Redknapp is almost the ideal candidate. From a football point of view he has the credentials. From a man management point of view he is the only choice. But there remains a lingering doubt in my mind…and I don’t know why.
But if it was me picking the next England manager, yeah, I’d pick Harry.
Will he take it…and if not, what alternatives are there?
Redknapp has publicly stated that he would love the England job. He is a passionate patriot and if the job was offered there’s no doubt he would consider it very seriously. But the job he has at Tottenham Hotspur is a good one. The fans and players love him and he will feel he is not yet finished in his task there.
Should he be offered the job he has an agonising decision to make. And the FA won’t let him do both jobs, I’m sure of that. When push comes to shove I think the opportunity to manage his national team will prove to tempting and he will leave Spurs…perhaps to return again in the future, post-England management, who knows.
If he doesn’t, though, the FA don’t have much else to look at. Roy Hodgson? Lacks the man management skills and charisma required. Martin O’Neill? Not English and probably not interested (he has already deferred to Redknapp). Stuart Pearce? Doing a great job with the Under-21s but it feels like it’s too soon for him…and always will be. Arséne Wenger? Yep, maybe. but only if Arsenal fire him and even then another foreigner is unlikely.
Harry Redknapp is the only choice and the FA better hope he doesn’t turn them down.
But how about this idea from a friend of mine. Give the job to Gary Neville. And start with a new squad, none of them over the age of 24.
If you’re going to start with a new broom, then sweep everything away. Neville has the respect of all the players. He is intelligent and he can be extremely motivational. Really, only a lack of managerial experience and tactical know-how are the negatives.
The FA won’t be so radical, of course. But the argument to clear out the squad and start afresh, free of egos and reputation, is a compelling one. Redknapp, I don’t think, wouldn’t do that. Maybe that’s what’s bothering me about him. He’ll have his favourites and he’ll pick partially on reputation, just like every manager before him. That’s not what England needs at all.
And we’re only four months from Euro 2012. We can’t prepare in time for that. So screw it. Bring Harry in, clear out the squad, start with young, fresh, hungry and ego free players and use Euro 2012 as a testing ground for an exciting new future.
Sounds great, doesn’t it. Except I seem to say it before every major tournament. Farcical.