Ever since the departure of Fabio Capello, the entire football world has been wondering the same thing, and that is whether Harry Redknapp will be the one who will take his place. The current Tottenham boss is the strong favourite to take over as the new England manager, as he has proven in the last years that he can bring out the best in a team, leading the Spurs from relegation threats in 2008 all the way to the mighty Champions League in 2010.
For many, including myself, the position of England manager is the toughest in the business, as the expectations are higher than anywhere else. Along with all the expectations comes a great deal of pressure as well. The fans and the media are constantly evaluating your every move, so you have to be well prepared and comfortable in that situation and I think Capello never truly was. That is why he failed as the manager of England. Even though he has coached some of the top European clubs and won many major honours, never before has he had a job in English football.
With England being the home land of football it is tough to except the fact that the national team has not won in the last years, or even challenged for the top spots for that matter. With the arrival of Capello things were supposed to change and England should have become a major force in world football once again. But it was not to be. The Italian manager never really got the trust and the belief of the fans and sometimes, even the players. Despite his impressive résumé and great authority, he was not able to form an England side which could dominate. And that is something, if we take in account all the great players England has to offer, which cannot be overlooked. All in all, he underachieved as he did not get it done. Whether he actually did resign as a result of John Terry being stripped as captain is a whole ‘nother discusion. To me what matter is that he is no longer the England manager and someone with more chances of handling this particular position can get in charge of things.
Without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that person should be Harry Redknapp. The 64-year-old Spurs manager has enjoyed a lot of success throughout his career as he has climbed up the English football ladder, eventually reaching the heights of the Barclays Premier League with Tottenham. When he arrived in London from Portsmouth, he faced a tough challenge, but he was able to keep a cool head and lead the Spurs out of the relegation zone. And they never looked back since. Revitalizing the team with his determinate attitude and attacking philosophy, he transformed the Spurs into legitimate contenders for the Premier League title. Redknapp has always been a fan of the beautiful game and that is exactly how he wants his team to play. He likes quick, one touch football, with lots of movement and fast pace. But the crucial thing is that the fans enjoy it and since Redknapp joined the London club, their fans, and others as well, have loved watching them play. This season in particular, Tottenham have been the team with the best style of football, even though Manchester City and Swansea are close contenders.
Redknapp has been able to form a group of very talented players that can brake any defence and are extremly hard to play against. He has relied on his instincts when it comes to giving young players a chance and believing in them. Therefore he now has a team full of players that are not even in their prime, but are already considered world class footballers. It the eyes of the pulic he is the right man for the England job as he has now matured in to one of the finest managers in the world and has a football philosophy that suits the England fans. If we add the fact that he has a terrific eye for discovering talented players and is able to get the best out of each individual as well as the team as a whole, he is surely the perfect man for the job. But above all we must not forget the fact that he is British and that is something that counts more than anything to the fans.
The one thing that could stand in the way of Redknapp becoming the national team manager is his current contract with the Spurs. So far, he has not agreed to anything with the FA and remains firmly in charge of Tottenham. The one thing he did point out is that he does not wish to leave the club as their real story of success has just began and they will only get better and better. The decision he has to make right now is extremely difficult even though it is a win win situation. On the one hand he would leave a group of players which he put together and lead to success. He developed a close relationship with the players and after many years he finally got Tottenham back on track towards winning a title and they are playing terrific football while doing it. On the other hand he would not want to miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime, as he is regarded as the saviour of the national team, and if he leads them to a title at the Euros or at the World Cup, which he is definitely capable of doing, he would become an English football legend and would secure eternal glory. If he in fact does leave the club there is no doubt there would be a fierce battle for the vacant spot, as many managers would love to lead a team with such talent and ability. What is certain tough is, if Redknapp does leave, those would be very big shoes to fill.
Whether he decides to take the England job or to stay with Tottenham, I will respect his decision as he is one of the finest managers of his generation and English football will undoubtedly continue to benefit from his knowledge and expertise, regardless of his position.
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