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Why Tottenham's Harry Redknapp Should Never Be England Manager

by Owen Blackhurst
22 September 2011 35 Comments

Every time England fail to win 8-0 people call for 'Arry to be the next England manager, but the last thing a new crop of promising youngsters need is to be told to 'get into 'em'...

Tony Cottee, a non-entity of such transparency that his own shadow thinks it is in a permanent game of hide and seek with a shouty ghost midget, has become the latest idiot to claim England should sack Fabio Capello and hire Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Redknapp as England manager with immediate effect.

To be fair to Tone, who I’ve had a dislike of since I couldn’t get him in a Panini album when he was young player of the year (I had seven Craig Leveins, his Scottish counterpart) he’s the latest in a long line of people who should know better who have also spouted this garbage. You get the feeling that the big beasts of Fleet Street, Winter, Holt et al, exist in a semi-tumescent state at the thought of football’s Del Boy spending long hours on the hearth rug telling them how t’riffic Tom Cleverley is, before they get naked, rub each other in goose fat, and engage in some gentle belly-slapping tupping.

Now I’ve got that off my chest, let’s have a look at why Redknapp shouldn’t manage England. I’m no lover of Capello, his tactical rigidity having made me want to scoop out my own eyes and eat them and his perplexing post match interviews nearly costing me a few 42′ HD TVs, but at least he has seen the error of his ways, even if he is too long in the tooth to go the whole hog.

Anyone who watched the recent Spurs v Manchester United match, where Redknapp started with two creatives in central midfield and watched Anderson obliterate that area of the field must surely see that Redknapp has the tactical nous of a cabbage.

It’s fair to say that Redknapp has the tactical nous of a cabbage

‘Ah,’ you cry, ‘but he’ll get ‘em motivated won’t he, they’ll be up and at ‘em, they’ll play the English way’. I understand this theory, but I don’t believe it stems from any real desire to see this ‘english’ way, more that it comes from a decade that has seen the national team managed by two cold fish and a stinking kipper.

With everyone fit, England now boast an array of attacking and technically gifted players that, save for Argentina, Brazil and Spain, are as good as anything the world has to offer. They also have Theo Walcott, but that’s another story. Wilshere, Parker, Gerrard, Rooney, Young, and even Downing are a pretty handy midfield and attack who should not be constricted by tactical shackles but also probably need more information than ‘go out and get amongst ‘em’.

Football has changed and Redknapp has proved time and time and time and time again that his methods have a pretty short shelf life, this is why he constantly buys and sells, because he can gee players up for so long but when it comes to the next stage, how to both motivate them and devise a plan to tactically best the opposition, he can’t do it. If Redknapp was so f**king good would Modric want to leave? Yes, Spurs were ace in the Champions League last year, but they finished fifth in the league because they couldn’t beat teams like Bolton away from home with Harry’s philosophy that asks too much of tired legs.

The Premier League is a fine league, certainly more competitive than Spain, faster than Germany and more exciting than Italy. But statistics show that possession is swapped far more frequently than any of the other big leagues which makes for entertaining matches domestically, but can often leave England chasing shadows internationally. Look at the way Algeria and Wales pinged the ball around against England, who with a blood and thunder approach continue to try and kick the back doors in rather than delicately unpicking the lock by passing teams into submission and therefore give the ball away with alarming regularity.

If the FA can remove their thumbs from their sphincters, they should now find a manager who will, post Euro 2012, ditch all of the old guard

I’ve no doubt Redknapp could do an ok job for England that would end in the same way that it always does, the quarter-finals. But with a great crop of young players coming through should this really be enough? That England excite and depart yet again without a sniff of the confetti? If the FA can remove their thumbs from their sphincters, they should now find a manager who will, post Euro 2012, ditch all of the old guard (as Keegan should’ve done for Euro 2000) and be given a contact that runs through until after the 2018 World Cup. A manager who will place the emphasis on possession, the ability to go from slow to quick in attack, be dogged and organised when the ball is lost and who will encourage them to play without the arse-clenching fear that the Three Lions brings. A man who can charm the press, wind up rivals and take the flak for his team. A man, probably, called Jose Mourinho.

And as for his number two? I’d have Harry Redknapp, who can shout himself hoarse and pat his players on the back while Jose devises a plan to best superior opposition. He did it with Inter, his Real Madrid team look to have gone up a notch and, rather than representing a limp shag with a clapped out whore to the denizens of Fleet Street, he’d be a Viagra fuelled romp with a twenty grand a night hooker.

That’ll do for me.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

totnam 9:47 am, 8-Sep-2011

First . . . Agree entirely but please England, take him soon. Regards, the majority of Spurs supporters.

spursguv 10:16 am, 8-Sep-2011

Your a low life. How dare you compare rednap to a cabbage! What have cabbages ever done to you? Imho cabbages are far more intelligent than rednap. He must take the england job coz I watch spurs far more than england and it's killing me watching groundhog day over and over and over

spur1950 10:34 am, 8-Sep-2011

yes please HARRY FOR ENGLAND signed a true spur but really mate u alt to learn about teams and tactics completely wrong at man u we started with livermore,vdv and kranks done alright for an hour had more possession i believe then went a goal down panic stations just didnt do enough man city well ask spurs supporters in the mean time learn a bout football and tatics

Owen Blackhurst 12:32 pm, 8-Sep-2011

You seem an erudite chap, spur1950, any links to your thesis on football and tactics?

Mr Blackcurrant 12:53 pm, 8-Sep-2011

Quite right OB. The obsession with finding an English manager, on the basis that only an Englishman could posses the required passion to succeed, puzzles me. I don't care where a manager comes from or how much he jumps up and down on the touchline. I do care that he can send out a team that is technically and tactically capable of winning major tournaments. The appointment the first foreign manager in 2001 was 27 years too late in my book. If the FA had had the foresight to snap up Ernst Happel when Ramsey went I reckon the trophy cabinet would be a little fuller. It would have been a bold move - I dread to think how severe the backlash from the jingoistic quarters of both the press and fanbase would have been.

MarkC 1:33 pm, 8-Sep-2011

I thought you were going to come up with some ingenious suggestion as to who should replace Capello. Then you suggested the most obvious choice ever - Mourinho. Thats the kind of suggestion my wife who knows nothing about football would make. If England want to change direction, start fresh with a young, smart, tactical coach, who'll play youth and promote exciting football, then look no further than Roberto Martinez. Just a shame the FA wont have the guts to go for a lesser-name, plus the majority of the public wouldnt get it either.

Razspur 1:59 pm, 8-Sep-2011

Capello is a clown and has at his disposal an excellent crop of young players but will never get the passion and commitment Harry would achieve. The problem would then be tactics, probably fair enough in seeded qualifying groups but wildly inept during knockout competition. I can`t help thinking that if Spitting Image was still on our screens Fabio and Harry would be a riot with the gibbering English and Two Ronnies look competing against Twitchys cockney wheeler dealing. I just want to see the back of Harry and expect Levy to have Ancelotti lined up with a war-chest for the Jan transfer window because we will need him to keep Bale as the lad will not put up with mediocrity indefinately.

Bernie 2:10 pm, 8-Sep-2011

I think you're slightly erroneous in your brief and generalising analysis of Spurs' match away to Manchester United this season. Jake Livermore wasn't a 'creative' when last I looked, and spur1950 had it right when he said Spurs more than matched United for an hour. After going 1-0 down Redknapp gambled by bringing on Pavlyuchenko, looking for an equaliser. Then they conceded two more because Huddlestone and van der Vaart were simply overrun in midfield by a bigger, better and fitter Manchester United squad. That's hardly tactical nous befitting a cabbage OB. I also think that having an English manager would produce better results, especially one like Redknapp, because of the relationship he would forge with the team. Compare how distant Fabio Capello is with the England players. The Andy Carroll situation of the last few days is just one example of that. Redknapp could instantly forge a rapport with the England team, and play a brand of football which would excite England fans again. What's that you say, results are what count? Well, in 2006 Germany were managed by Jurgen Klinsmann, who isn't exactly blessed with an abundance of tactical nous either, and reached the semi-finals of a major tournament. Will that do for you?

Paul Coelho 2:22 pm, 8-Sep-2011

Finally some sense! I was starting to think I was the only one.

Owen Blackhurst 2:24 pm, 8-Sep-2011

The same Harry Redknapp who publicly berated Darren Bent, flogged him to Sunderland, and has had to watch while Bent is third to only Rooney and Torres in goals scored in the last three years and has started for England regularly while Spurs have struggled for a good striker? That builder of relationships? It's not just about relationships, its about respect. Why would players who play under Fergie, Dalglish, Jose etc respect someone who has won an FA Cup and never managed a top four club? Steve McLaren tried to be their mate, look where that got him.

Bernie 3:05 pm, 8-Sep-2011

Hang on a second, weren't Spurs a top-four club less than a year ago?? Darren Bent hindered his career at Spurs just as much as Redknapp did. Sometimes when you miss chances like he did against Portsmouth at home you deserved to be publicly compared to Sandra Redknapp. Bent is a great goalscorer, but not a great footballer. Spurs played a totally different system to how Sunderland and Villa play, and even Charlton when he was there. Spurs didn't play a direct style, or a counter-attacking style, which limited the amount of chances that fell his way at Tottenham, and his playing time because he doesn't fit in well to a system different to those two. I'd still like your realistic opinion on who should be the next England manager.

Tom 4:49 pm, 8-Sep-2011

I'm a big fan of Jose and it is clear he is a tactical genius, but we're starting to see a different side to see a petulant Jose, which I can only put down to the fact that he's not winning! I think we have all criticized Capello because of the way he can't rally the players up due to the language barrier. We need an English Manager and if Harry who is one of few english managers in the Premier League shouldn't do it, who should?...... Pardew!?

Mr Pedantic 10:44 pm, 8-Sep-2011

You have a 42 foot tv??

Bob 11:46 pm, 8-Sep-2011

This article is proof that even Crack Addicts can get jobs as writers. Get a real job you hack.

burt drury 7:52 am, 10-Sep-2011


Ted 4:05 pm, 6-Nov-2011

Perhaps due to the recent heart problems he will never become England manager, and I hope he stays at Spurs for many years. We are playing attractive attacking free scoring football. Something every single England fan has been crying out for since we beat Holland 4-0 in '96.

paul 10:13 pm, 1-Jan-2012

Ted, whilst I was happy to beat Holland 4 nil, Holland had another bust up in their squad in 96. Their morale was not good and therefore they played very poorly.

Colin 9:43 pm, 8-Feb-2012

Who gives a fuck about the England football team? International football is shit.

Harry Futile 9:58 pm, 8-Feb-2012

Ah, the 4-1 against Holland in '96 ... this sort of thing can only happen with a cheeky, chirpy cockney in charge of the cabbages.

Hotspur 10:33 pm, 8-Feb-2012

Mourinho would`nt take the England job..Why would he. I think Harry should`nt take it,because if you`re happy somewhere, why leave?.Most of the players think more of their club team.(If the team is doing well).

shaun 10:43 pm, 8-Feb-2012

Agree entirely Colin... who cares about international footie. and to the clowns who say most spurs fans want to see the back of Rednapp... I don't know any! Rednapp has been masterclass at Spurs, I suppose we could go back to the good old days of David Pleat, or maybe Gerry Francis... You stupid, Stupid Muppets fuck off back to Arsenal!

Michael 10:55 pm, 8-Feb-2012

Ironically I think it's Scottish people have the most fun when watching England play. Stick to rugby fellas..

spursfan51 10:59 pm, 8-Feb-2012

Ridiculous. He started to creative mids because all his defensive mids were carrying injuries.

Frontwheel 2 12:09 am, 9-Feb-2012

Got bored half way down,I think what you would really like to happen is that arsehole king Kenny to get the job,that way you could carry on whining and feeling hard done by like all Scousers always do,yet deep inside knowing you've dodge a bazooka sized bullet by getting rid of the ignorant fuckwit.

John-Paul 9:00 am, 9-Feb-2012

England are consistently the 8th or 9th best team in the world. So finishing in the quarter finals of the world cup is about right. Should be in the semi finals of the Euros - statistically. I'd like to see Mr Rednapp manage England, be a fitting end to his career, and it would be interesting to see how he can manage when he can't buy anyone.

dennis 9:06 am, 9-Feb-2012

the fact that you included stuart downing as one of englands top midfielders suggests to me that you could be a cabbage yourself. No matter how articulate your message come across its still total crap and to judge a manager on one decision against united is stupid. Harry has turned spurs into a attractive team to watch who are also achieving in the premier league.

Mongbean 9:32 am, 9-Feb-2012

Yet another re-posted story under the banner "new stuff just in", Come on ST this becoming a little bit stupid now I read this article under 6 months ago. Perhaps you should start labbeling these stories "Same shit! different toilet!" or "new story for goldfish brained pilchard" etc....

Mongbean 9:36 am, 9-Feb-2012

Sorry my bad "Fresh stuff just in"..... or "stale mouldy stuff just exhumed"

Lukey Sparrow 9:43 am, 9-Feb-2012 could have Jesus Christ managing you and you'll still win fuck all.

Jay71 9:48 am, 9-Feb-2012

I was not sure when Spurs brought Harry in, i was still smarting from the way they got rid of Martin Jol, who had been making progress with Spurs. I thought Spurs were gonna be a bigger nut to crack, but he has done it! Spurs are competing at the top table with limited resources compared to the Manchester clubs, Chelsea & Arsenal (even though Wenger wont spend). I am sure Redknapp will take the England Job, Perhaps on temp, so he can still manage Spurs until both England & Spurs can find new managers? if at all a new manager is needed at Spurs?! I believe Jose wants out of Madrid in the Summer, so if Harry goes perhaps he would be tempted to join Spurs, its a challenge im sure he would relish? So if Harry you do go i hope all goes well for you and come on uncle Joe speak to Jose?

Ali Cairns 10:37 am, 9-Feb-2012

Full of typoes. Full of them. Sheeeeeesh...

Kev 10:47 am, 9-Feb-2012

Arry ssssayz he carnt evn reaed orr rite,use a phone,computer = a proper football type of guy

big mac 10:59 am, 9-Feb-2012

still think Downing should be in the England team? doesn't that shitmuncher coincidentally play for your shit team

The Cush 12:40 pm, 9-Feb-2012

They're being a bit unfair on you here Owen regurgitating this article from when they were trounced by Utd. At this stage i'm sure you've changed your mind about how Spurs are playing. I think England are in a bit of a win-win if he goes in part time. Expectations will be tempered due to the disarray, a good tournament will be met with the old 'Arry magic feel good factor and a bad one can be given the excuse of 'not enough time'. Should be interesting though.

Tony L 2:42 pm, 9-Feb-2012

Writing an irreverent, deliberately controversial article is a good place to be snide and shouty. The comments section; less so. I'd advise saving your thoughts for above the line. Re: the article itself I am tempted to have some sympathy- Predicting football is hard, regurgitating this article shows that. Time has proved you wrong. Wrong on 'Arry.bWrong that 'Arry couldn't beat the Bolton's of this world. Wrong on Downing. But at time of writing you should have known better. You called the man u game wrong, and the memory of 'Arry out Italian-ing AC should still have been fresh.

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