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Redknapp is Right for England, But is England Right for Redknapp?

It’s been almost two weeks since the Football Association accepted the resignation of Fabio Capello as England manager. Yet they seem no further forward in their attempts to appoint his successor.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp is still the unanimous choice to take up the reins from the Italian. However judging by his relaxed attitude following his side’s 0-0 draw in the FA Cup at Stevenage yesterday it is apparent that an approach is yet to be made.

Whether it be managers, players or fans, the whole of the English game expect Redknapp to be appointed England manager in the near future, a role that many see would be the perfect finale to a successful managerial career.

Given his success at club level, more so in how he has transformed Spurs into Premier League title contenders, it seems Redknapp is right for England. This question must be asked though, is England right for Redknapp?

The former Bournemouth, West Ham, Portsmouth and Southampton boss is enjoying his best spell in management, with his side third in the league only seven points behind leaders Manchester City with 13 games remaining.

In just over three years at White Hart Lane, Redknapp has taken Spurs from the bottom of the league to the Champions League, with this season looking likely to be his best in charge of the north Londoners.

If Redknapp is given the opportunity to progress Spurs in the manner he already has then there is little doubt they will become genuine title contenders in the not too distant future. They have arguably been the most entertaining act on the Premier League stage this season, and will feel they are just about still within a shout of this season’s title.

The success the 64-year-old gains from his approach to the game and the manner in which his team play is what makes him right for England, but will the risk be worth the reward if he was to turn his back on Spurs to fulfil his lifelong ambition of managing his country? It’s very doubtful.

To describe the national job as a poisoned chalice may be a step too far, but it can’t be denied the media scrutiny that follows the England manager can almost make the position impossible. Would it be worth giving up what he has at Spurs for this? That’s for him to decide.

If Redknapp was to take the England job and succeed it will be seen as the perfect way to end his 30 year stay in management. However, how will his a reign as national manager be deemed successful? Without being pessimistic, it’s highly unlikely England can be guided to lift either the European Championships or the World Cup in the near future. The competition is currently too great.

It will almost be impossible for Redknapp to gain anywhere near as much success as England boss as he has at Spurs, and that’s another factor he must consider before walking out of White Hart Lane. He, of course, may disagree.

Nobody will be able to stand in his way if he decides this is the right step for the next chapter of his career. For every Englishman it is a dream to manage your country. And rightfully Redknapp is no different.

It’s only a matter of time before he receives the call from the FA, everyone is certain of that. From then it will be down to him to decide where his future lies, a decision he should make with his head and not with his heart.

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  1. trickybrkn

    February 21, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I like Harry, but only the English FA would consider a manager who slipped through a tax evasion charge based on profiting from your post as manager, just after its caption is defrocked over racism. And yes I understand Harry was proven innocent, but my point is when you have a perception problem, you sort of want a clean sheet to start.

    The other issue with Harry as manager is Lampard.

  2. Andrei

    February 21, 2012 at 1:40 am

    @guest “So you have a definition of “top flight” that includes two teams, one of which you think might lose their “top flight” status soon, leaving only Manchester United (your team). Sounds like an ineffective and downright irrelevant definition to me.”

    I don’t know how effective or relevant my definition is but it is at least simple. To be a top team you need to prove that you are a real title contented by winning it. If you want to be counted as established top four team you have to stay in the top four for a meaningful number of seasons (3-4 in my opinion). Do you have a better definition? So far nobody really provided any explanation about what is so special about Spurs accomplishments. They managed to finish in the top 4 in EPL once. So did Newcastle, Leeds and Everton. Spurs reached the quarterfinals of CL once. So did Shakhtar Donetsk and Shalke 04 in 2011, CSKA Moscow in 2010, Villarreal in 2009 and Fenerbache in 2008. Would you consider all these teams “top flight”?

    • mickel rodger

      February 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      are you stupid…….do you even watch football
      Harry has put spurs from the bottom of the table to the champion league and made them a title contender
      and Arsène Wenger haven’t win anything in 7 years
      mannnnn …it even feels stupid to reply to you

  3. Gazza

    February 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm


    What Arry has done is allow Surs to play the best brand of football currrently on show in the EPL.
    Something that England can only dream of.
    I agree with you he is certainly not a top notch manager but who is?
    You are only ever as good as the team you inherit. Thats exactly why Harry’s getting a look now.
    He inherited a very good Spurs side.
    All this relegation when he came along is a load of cobblers it was 8 games into the season.

  4. James

    February 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Harry’s the man, there are barely any other suitable candidates. Pardew doesn’t want it – that leaves us with Hodgson, Pearce, and, god forbid, Steve Bruce. Will be pretty sucky if Redknapp doesn’t accept the job…

  5. scrumper

    February 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    If one considers how the FA hate anyone speaking out of school, then our ‘Arry will find it hard going and it may end up in snot and tears. However, if the FA do offer him the job it’s about the most dynamic thing they’ve accomplished in about fifty years. Uneasy bed partners here.

  6. Martin Lindsay

    February 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Andrei, I didn’t say Spurs were THE title contenders, but if you’ve followed English football as close as I have this season you will know they have been spoke of with regards to winning the title.

    Secondly, comparing Redknapp’s job to Wenger’s is pointless. Redknapp took Spurs from the bottom of the table in 2008 to the Champions League. They are now an established top four team. That’s where he’s gained his recognition. Name me an English manager who has exceeded this.

    • Andrei

      February 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      So it seems like the “Englishness” of Redknapp is his main credential for the job. Btw I’m not saying that he is not right man to be the next England manager. However there are some inconvenient facts that are often ignored in so typical English media hype:

      1. Redknapp biggest accomplishment as a manager is 2008 FA cup with Portsmouth. He hasn’t won anything with Spurs yet.

      2. He managed Portsmouth through the period when the team gradually fell apart and went into administration soon after Redknapp jumped the ship. I’m not saying that Redknapp did it single-handedly but he was part of the management team that destroyed one of the oldest English clubs.

      3. His lifetime win percentage as a manager stands at 40.8% well below .50 mark. Even his record with Spurs by far the best team he managed is at pretty mediocre 50.55%. For comparison top flight managers standings: SAF 57.89% (lifetime), Mourinho 68.2% (Porto, Chesea, Inter, RM), Capello 57.04% (lifetime) 66.67%(England) 69.74% (Juventus) and absolutely ridiculous 72.1% for Guardiola with Barcelona.

      4. Redknapp has never managed a top flight team. Despite the recent success Spurs are still a second tier team in EPL and especially in Europe. Rather subjectively but his accomplishments with Spurs would be considered below average for a top flight team.

      • The Gaffer

        February 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

        Andrei, Tottenham Hotspur is a top flight team. They’re in the “Sky Six.” For the past two seasons, Spurs have only one place behind Arsenal at the end of each Premier League season. And lest we not forget that Tottenham progressed further in the Champions League last season than Arsenal. To say that Redknapp has never managed a top flight team is ridiculous. His success at Tottenham (a club that has now overtaken Arsenal as the leading club in north London) is not below average. It’s certainly the opposite of that.

        I’m sorry, but your Arsenal allegiances are blinding you.

        The Gaffer

        • Andrei

          February 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm

          It is funny to mention my Arsenal allegiances as I have been an admirer of Manchester United since late 1980s. Anyway, I guess our definition of a top flight team is a bit different. To me to be a top flight team you have to win EPL title at least once in the last 4-5 years. Or consistently reach CL semis to be top flight in Europe. That leaves only United and Chelsea but it remains to be seen if Chelsea manage to stay there. Even to be “an established top four team” as Martin implied Spurs need to stay there for 3-4 seasons. They have only managed it once with another one likely coming this season. Excluding “Big Four” (Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and these are teams that finished in the top four over last 10 seasons: Newcastle (2), Leeds(1), Everton (1), Spurs (1). Would you consider Newcastle, Leeds or Everton a top flight team? Or at least “an established top four team”?

          • Andrei

            February 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

            Somehow “and LFC” got eaten by the blog UI. “Big Four” in my post are Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and LFC.

          • The Gaffer

            February 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm

            Sorry Andrei. I thought you were an Arsenal fan the way you’ve been giving Andrey Arshavin the benefit of the doubt. My mistake.

            I don’t agree with your criteria. What if Tottenham finishes the season this year and next year in second place, and reach the last 16 in the Champions League next season? Under your criteria, they still wouldn’t be classed as a “top flight” side. With the power that Manchester United and Manchester City has, as well as the big finances of Chelsea, it’s hard for a team to break that.

            Bottom line is that I think Redknapp deserves the chance. If Mourinho isn’t interested, then Harry should be England’s man.

            The Gaffer

          • guest

            February 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm

            So you have a definition of “top flight” that includes two teams, one of which you think might lose their “top flight” status soon, leaving only Manchester United (your team). Sounds like an ineffective and downright irrelevant definition to me.

  7. jtm371

    February 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I think it would be good for England but it might not be good for Harry.The pressure at the Spurs is nothing to the pressure for the National team.I also think the team needs to be turned over Terry,Rio,StevieG need to hang it up.Take your lumps at the Euros and get ready for the WC.

  8. Andrei

    February 20, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Spurs are the EPL title contenders? Hmm… did I miss the memo? And what exactly has Redknapp accomplished with Spurs? One 4th place fininish, another potential 3-4th finish and CL quarterfinals? Well Arsenal have exceeded this routinely in the last 5 years but still many consider Wenger’s performance in post invincibles era as not even close to be successful. So why is Redknapp getting such a special treatment?

    • The Gaffer

      February 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Andrei, Tottenham is closer to winning the title this season than Arsenal is to catching up with Spurs. Seven points out of first place and playing the way that they are, Tottenham’s chances for a Premier League title can not be ruled out.

      Redknapp has taken a Tottenham side that was heading for relegation and took them through an incredible run in the Champions League where they exceeded all expectations. That is far greater than anything that Arsene Wenger has done in the time since Redknapp took charge at White Hart Lane.

      If England decides to hire an English manager, Redknapp is the best candidate. If England decides to hire the person who has the best experience, there are other managers out there who would be better candidates. But Redknapp certainly deserves a fighting chance.

      The Gaffer

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