Harry Redknapp outside Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday
3:31am UK, Thursday February 09, 2012
The Football Association could yet come out of an apparent debacle smelling of roses, arm-in-arm with the owner of a dog called Rosie.
Hours after being cleared of cheating the nation’s purse, Harry Redknapp finds himself the overwhelming favourite to take charge of the nation’s football team.
As you ask I think new man should be English. Players have to be,so should boss. HR the man if he wants it. He can do both jobs til May.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker_) February 8, 2012
In waving goodbye to Fabio Capello without having to pay a fortune in compensation, the FA have achieved a seemingly improbable result which is exactly what some in the organisation had been seeking for a long time.
The FA has quite rightly taken a heap of flak over the years for its handling of the big issues but last week, it got the John Terry conundrum about right.
The new(-ish) chairman David Bernstein has been determined to appear tougher, and was right to override Capello if that was the only way to remove the captaincy from Terry.
To send the England team into a major tournament with its leader facing trial on racism charges was untenable.
If the FA have a new firmer face – good. If Capello had lost his enthusiasm and was happy to go – good riddance.
And now for Harry? The Tottenham manager has never hidden his enthusiasm for the England role. The only snag is his current job.
Fabio Capello quit after John Terry was stripped of the captaincy
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will not give up lightly or cheaply on the man who has guided his team from the Premier League’s relegation zone to a genuine title challenge.
But he may not have much more chance than King Canute of holding back the tide.
The public and media enthusiasm for a Redknapp succession – a very English succession – is likely to be irresistible.
A deal can be done to keep him at Tottenham until his season’s work is done, perhaps with England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce minding the shop with the senior national team, perhaps with Redknapp having some sort of consultant role with the FA.
Then Redknapp rides in on his white charger, Rosie by his side, to guide England against the best of Europe in June.
They might even do well. But let’s not get carried away. We’ve had enough improbable stories for now.