Harry Redknapp should be the next England manager, lot’s of people in football have said this, including Premier League managers. Of course I don’t really agree, but for now that is unimportant. What is important however, is the process of appointing the next England manager. It was always going to be an entertaining ride, because the English Football Association are involved. The F.A guarantee decisive action and ensure a professional approach.
So the F.A haven’t appointed anyone, they’ve done sweet F.A. They said they were going to wait till the end of the season, in a move delighting journalists but infuriating fans. Thanks to the F.A not making an appointment, the press are free to speculate about who might be England manager, running the same story again and again until the post is filled. Today this story appeared in the always well sourced and fairly balanced Sun newspaper.
Harry “not sure” about England. This is the story, apparently, having thought about it a bit, Redknapp isn’t sure he wants the England job. This is a man who once said that managing your country would be the highest honour a manager could have and he would be proud to do it, so what could have brought about such a turn around? What could have changed Harry Redknapp’s mind?
It could be that now he’s actually close to getting the job, he’s realised that it’s a horrible, impossible challenge and that having your genitals massaged by a maniac with a sledge hammer may in fact be preferable. I have a different theory and it’s that this story puts him in a much stronger bargaining position. If he makes it obvious he wants the job the F.A will offer him less money, so ‘Arry in classic “wheeler-dealer” fashion doesn’t want to make it too easy for them. He could be playing Spurs of course, flirting with England to try and get more money from Spurs with no real interest in the job.
“Weeeellllll” says ‘Arry “You almost never see the players. Maybe two days in two months. It is very difficult.” Yes, doing less work for more money is certainly difficult. You can see why he might want to stay at Spurs. He’s assembled a great squad and although Tottenham’s form has suffered since Redknapp has been linked with the England job they should still make it into the Champions League.
Redknapp could have ended speculation quickly by saying he was staying with Spurs, but he can’t do that, because he wants the England job and because then someone might actually look at his tactics and his recent misuse of Bale in a free role and Modric on the left of midfield and blame Spurs terrible form on his poor management and not on the speculation linking him with the England job.
So Harry’s friends at the Sun do him a favour. After all, he often “writes” a column for the Sun (having recently admitted under oath that he’s basically illiterate doesn’t stop him writing for The Sun), so the idea that he’s got a bit of pull with the sports desk editor isn’t exactly out of the realms of possibility. They run a story saying he’s not sure he wants the job. Brilliant, the paper gets “an exclusive” where Harry the presumptive front-runner plays down his links to the England job and he gets to negotiate a better deal with the F.A when the times comes, it’s a win, win.
The F.A have helped matters by sending out letters asking managers not to talk about the England manager’s job, this is the kind of decisive action you expect from the F.A. I thought I’d get to the heart of the matter, so I phoned Redknapp and asked him about the England job: “It would be very difficult to leave Spurs” says ‘Arry, “very very difficult” really ‘Arry? Just how difficult? “Weeeellllll… I’d probably need to get offered £6 million a year for less work, to do a job I’ve always wanted to do anyway”