The best of British!

Harry Redknapp has proved himself worthy of England job

In the aftermath of Fabio Capello’s exit from the England management job, one name has been mentioned constantly by pundits and broadcasters as his possible successor: Harry Redknapp. As people call for an English manager to take over the England job, is Redknapp the best man for the job? Or are there other options to consider?

In a management career that has seen him take charge of Bournemouth, West Ham United, Portsmouth (twice), Southampton and currently Tottenham Hotspur, Redknapp has proven himself to be the most successful English manager of the current era. He enjoyed success during his second spell with Portsmouth, guiding them to victory in the FA Cup in 2008. More recently, he took Tottenham to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history and they performed admirably, topping a group which included the holders, Inter Milan and defeating AC Milan, the second most successful club in the competition’s records, to reach the quarter finals.

There is no doubting his record on the field, but his record off the field is not neccesarily perfect in recent times. Although cleared of all charges, the recent court cases over tax evasion may take away from some of the respect he has earnt with his feats on the pitch. Will this have any effect on the FA’s decision? Certainly, I feel it should not prevent him from becoming manager, but the FA may feel that with such a prestigious position they should entrust it to someone with a slightly less tainted past. Another potential barrier may be his age, but again this should have little influence on the decision. His age may, in fact, be an advantage. He has a lot of experience and a vast knowledge of the game. After all, Fabio Capello was far from young. Of course, another question to ask is whether Redknapp will actually want the job. He is doing exceptionally well at Tottenham and looks like guiding them into the top four of the premier league again this season. He may also be aware of the public humiliation of recent England managers- remember Steve McClaren? It is possibly the hardest job in football, as we, as a nation, demand so much in such a short space of time. Redknapp may enjoy the challenge, but he will be quick to remember that his head will be the first to roll if things don’t go to plan.

One man who may feel slightly let down if Redknapp gets the job is Stuart Pearce. The current England U21 manager has done a tremendous job with the U21’s and perhaps does not get the credit he deserves. In 2007 he took them to the semi-finals of the UEFA Under-21 Championships and in June 2009, he guided them to the final of the same competition. He has nurtured players, such as Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere, who are now breaking into the senior side. He would bring something that perhaps Redknapp would not be able to bring to the England side- a strong understanding of the young talent England has to offer. Stuart Pearce may bring with him a younger, more exciting side, which will grow into the future of English football. In terms of other options, the FA may be forced to look overseas at the likes of Guus Hiddink. I have heard speculation (and that is all) that Jose Mourinho may be interested in the job, but I feel it would be unlikely that he would want to leave his current club, Real Madrid.

With the overwhelming demand for an English manager I suppose it comes as no surprise that Redknapp is being considered as frontrunner for the job, but I do not think that we should rule out Stuart Pearce as he certainly will bring some qualities with him that, perhaps, Redknapp will be unable to provide. Having said that, Redknapp for me still seems the most suited to the job and I trust that he would be the man, if given the job, to lead England to some sort of glory in the future.


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