With England still reeling from the news that Fabio Capello resigned from his position as manager, just four months before a major tournament, it seems a question of when not if, Harry Redknapp will be offered the job.
The Daily Mail reports that acquiring Redknapp would cost the FA £10million, and that is before paying him a salary – for which he would expect upwards of £4million a year. So getting Redknapp on a two-and-a-half year contract could cost the FA over £20million. Is he really worth that much?
Who should be the next England manager has created huge debate among fans and players alike, but the media seem to have already appointed Harry Redknapp, and I think it will only be a matter of time before the FA do the same.
If the FA want to go with an English manager – and they have suggested they do – then Redknapp is the outstanding candidate. Alan Pardew and Roy Hodgson are the other English managers in the Premier League and although Pardew could claim to be in the running, Hodgson’s standing has fallen somewhat since he took Fulham to the Europa League final two years ago.
I think Pardew would prefer to remain at Newcastle, with a possible Champions League place to fight for, and having created a formidable team in the North-East, he could easily do without the immense pressure of the England job. Although I actually think he would do a good job.
I sound like I am against Redknapp. I’m not. I’m just not sure he is what England need right now. Whoever gets the job will have a free shot at this summers’ European Championships. Having been in the job for only a few months and without Wayne Rooney for two games, the excuses are ready-made.
So whoever is appointed will be building towards World Cup 2014 in Brazil, they will need to make the transition from the old guard and start building the team around the likes of Jack Wilshere, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. The new man must also be ready to integrate other young and intelligent players. Danny Welbeck, Jack Rodwell and further down the line Josh McEachran.
Redknapp is without doubt a good motivator and will hopefully have England playing with a freedom that has been missing for 10 years, but can you really see him leaving out the Frank Lampards, John Terrys and Rio Ferdinands of this world. It would probably take them to retire before Redknapp leaves them out of a squad, and that is my main problem.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Redknapp came in and guided England to an impressive Euros, making the Quarter-finals (or perhaps better), playing attractive football and bringing a feel-good factor back to the national team. But the upcoming transitional period is vital for England if they really want to become a major threat at big tournaments.
The aforementioned players can’t just be thrown in. And after them come Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nathaniel Clyne, Larnell Cole, Ross Barkley, Luke Garbutt, Nathan Redmond and the list goes on. England have more technically gifted, and more intelligent players coming through at every level through to Under-17.
These players need to be nurtured, not just with an arm round them and a kind word, but with a knowledge of when to play them and when to protect them.
It’s disappointing that the likes of Guus Hiddink and even Rafael Benitez haven’t been mentioned more, because it will take more than a motivator to ensure that England don’t mess up another ‘golden generation’.
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