Much has been said over the last few weeks about the seemingly imminent move of Harry Redknapp from Tottenham to England.
Over the past few weeks Tottenham’s performance has faltered, and as a result many journalists and footballing professionnals alike have called for the FA to make their decision quicker, citing the ‘uncertainty’ over Redknapp’s future as the reason for this dip. One example was former Spurs player John Scales, who told the BBC:
It would be better if there was some certainty about the Harry Redknapp situation so the club could look forward, Harry being linked with the England managerial role will be a factor [in the clubs poor form]. Just how significant that is nobody can put a finger on but it won’t have helped.
Over the past few weeks I have no doubt that Spurs form has been affected by some difficult fixtures, but other matches should have been won, and certainly shouldn’t be the result of critical reports like this one from the BBC, blaming Redknapp’s nearly imminent departure.
…a decline that coincided with Redknapp being touted as potential successor to England coach Fabio Capello extended their recent run to one league win in their last nine games…
After weeks of expecting Spurs form to improve, I have to take the view presented above that the uncertainty around Redknapp’s future is the cause of this dip in form. As a United fan it’s not new to me either – we saw the same thing at Old Trafford when Ferguson announced his likely retirement in 2001/02 season.
However, in my opinion, it is for this precise reason that I believe Harry Redknapp is not the man for England. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have always favoured Stuart Pearce as the man for the job, but this blog article is about more than that, about Redknapp being the wrong man for a team, regardless who the other options are.
What we have seen in the last few weeks is a manager who struggles in turmoil. Whether poor management has been the cause of this dip, or whether it is an inability to improve dressing room morale, ultimately the responsibility lies at the feet of the manager. He is the one who the question marks are about, and if he is in charge of the team, he should therefore be motivating his team to work harder, perform better, and forget about his mess.
For me this apparent struggle is what makes him an unsuitable candidate for the England job. As any football fan knows, the England job is probably the most pressurised job in world football, and nearly every match leads to some newspaper or other questioning how long the current manager will be in the role. One poor performance can lead to elimination from the only tournament they play in a two-year period (or failure to qualify, as we saw just 4 years ago). Over the last few weeks Harry Redknapp has proven his inability to manage a club in such a scenario, and for me, that is a serious problem.
That then leaves the question of who is a suitable man for the job. Whatever happens, I believe Stuart Pearce should be the man who leads England to the Euros. He knows the team, he has worked alongside them for years, and he is an excellent manager. What happens in the long term is anybodys guess, but for me, that picture doesn’t involve Harry Redknapp.