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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