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What If Harry Says No To The England Job?

Sunday 26th February 2012
It would appear that the entire country wants Harry Redknapp to become the next England manager and rightly so. What if Harry turns down the job though?

He has said on many occasions what a privilege it would be to manage his country (there used to be a similar joke about the Queen Mother) but a number of factors could prevent it from happening;

  1. The FA may not want to stump up the compensation Spurs and Daniel Levy are looking for.

  2.  He is well thought of at Spurs and there is no question he revels in the popularity.

  3. He has the backing of one of the best chairman in football.

  4. Spurs should finish 3rd this season and be guaranteed Champions League next season.

  5. There is less pressure in his current job.

Most importantly, in my opinion, is that his job at Spurs gives him the opportunity to do what he does best;

  • Day to day management of a team.

  • The confidence he gives a struggling team –Portsmouth springs to mind.

  • Ongoing development of players. Look at the way Gareth Bale and Kyle Walker have improved. Look at the way he has got the best out of players others have failed to.

  • Look at how he manages difficult personalities – who has controlled Adebayor the way Harry has.

  • The way he tinkers in the transfer market is as good as anyone in the game.

None of the above points come with the England job. He will only have the players for a matter of days every couple of months during the qualification for the World Cup.

Is three weeks enough if/when he takes England to the Euros in the summer? For the reasons stated above, is he really the best person for the job?

He ticks a number of boxes. He is English. He is very popular. He is media-friendly. He is a great communicator. For what it is worth, he has a presence and a passion that has been clearly lacking since Venables had the job. International management, especially in tournaments is about winning individual battles.

Over the last three decades the likes of Spain (2010) and Argentina (1986) walked away with the cup from start to finish but other winners (Italy in 1982, Germany in 1990 and France in 1998) are those countries that set themselves up brilliantly for individual games.

The same could be said for Jose Mourinho when he won the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010.  They were not the best team in Europe. They were not better than Barcelona or Bayern Munich but won the individual battles. The same point is emphasised even further when the same man won the biggest prize in European football with Porto six years earlier.

So is Jose Mourinho the answer? Yes and No.

Yes for the reasons above, he is also loved by most English fans, he loves English football, he is exactly the right personality needed, and he too has the passion and presence for it. Unfortunately he is a no. He doesn't want the job, I think on this occasion we need an Englishman and Mourinho will only take one international job – Portugal.

So who? I feel we need a coach not a manager. What else is on the checklist?

  • English.

  • International experience.

  • Played in major tournament at international.

  • Knowledge of European football.

  • Tactically astute.

  • Man manager.

  • Clear communicator.

  • Able to manage big personalities.

I agree with his appointment for the Holland game but Stuart Pearce is not the permanent answer. I would look at a shortlist of two - Ray Wilkins or David Platt.

  • Both English.

  • Both made in excess of 60 caps for their country (RW 84, DP 61).

  • Both played at major tournaments.

  • Both have knowledge of European football, having both played at the highest level in Italy.

  • Both are very tactically astute. Platt is often the driver in enforcing change when the chips are down for Manchester City. Look at the way Chelsea's season went after Wilkins was sacked last year!! Anyone who has heard these two commentate or read an article will know they see things in the game that others do not.

  • Both are great man managers.

  • Both are very clear communicators.

  • Both have experience of managing some of the biggest personalities in the Premier League.

I would like nothing more than for Redknapp to accept the job, but I feel we may be guilty of having every egg in one basket and are not investigating the plan B option. For my money these two tick every box and I do not think it is a formality that Harry will accept as and when the FA come knocking.
Danny James
Big Queens Park Rangers fan, all views my own.

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