Harry Redknapp may be a top club manager, but he does not have what it takes to be a successful coach at international level for England. This is not some knee-jerk reaction based on what happened at the Emirates on Sunday, it is something I have been thinking about since Harry’s name was immediately mentioned as the top man for the vacant England role.
Here’s a look at what has made Harry to be a successful manager at club level and a comparison to what is needed to become a successful national team manager.
Players that have played under Redknapp say he is a brilliant guy to work with and they enjoy playing in his teams. This is what enables him to bring out the best in his players and develop a great team spirit among his squads. The key to achieving this, is that he works with the players everyday, and they therefore spend a lot of time with him. When Luka Modric wanted to leave the club in the summer, Redknapp convinced the player to stay and he did not sulk.
As an England manager he will get 2 or 3 days maximum to work with the players, after that they will go back to their respective clubs. This will not be enough time to build the relationship he normally has with his players except for at tournaments, where he will have an extended period of time with the players.
The “wheeler dealer”
I know Redknapp does not like to be lumbered with this phrase, but it’s true – he is a master at getting the right player at the right price. I do not know how he does it but he seems to always get it right. Last season he was able to get Rafael van der Vaart at a bargain £7 million, which turned out to be a masterstroke as the Dutchman has become a regular match-winner for Spurs. Add to this the cut-price purchase of Scott Parker – who has been one of the outstanding midfielders in the Premier League this season – the Adebayor loan and the recent signing of Louis Saha, and it’s clear he does good business.
As an England manager he will not be able to sign any new players. The talent pool is very limited and he basically has to work with what he has. He will not be able to make a season-long loan signing to boost the team and will have to rely only on development teams like the Under-21s. Absolutely no wheeling and dealing.
Beautiful winning football
I like to watch Spurs play these days, mainly because of the style of football they play. It is fast paced, attacking football that tears teams apart. It would be great to see England play like that, as their performances were generally dull under the stewardship of Fabio Capello.
But sometimes a team needs to win ugly. Get a 1-0 lead and hold on. The weakness in Harry’s team is that they don’t seem to have a Plan B, and lack the ability to be able to adapt to the opposition. When the side comes up against teams that dominate possession they struggle. The team sometimes needs to absorb pressure before launching attacks, and this is particularly the case in international football. A national team manager must be very good tactically and have a strong defence to rely upon.
It would be nice to see Harry Redknapp as the next England manager but I just don’t think he is the man with the right skills to take the role.