Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For Harry Redknapp - It's Now or Never

A wave of emotion swept through White Hart Lane on Saturday evening as Spurs played Newcastle United with supporters giving Harry Redknapp their full support as they tried to influence his decision about taking over as England manager some time in the near future.

Harry Redknapp - Decision time

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Harry Redknapp is the nation's choice, the England players have given their support and the media are fully behind him for the vacant England manager's post.  In fact, if they all had their way Harry would already be crowned and fitted out in his England blazer and charming the press with his wit and charm about his plans for Euro 2012 in the summer.  The only discordant note comes from those of us who support Spurs and would rather that the Football Association would go knocking at someone else's door in their search for a manager to replace Fabio Capello.

In true Spurs fashion we wait for fifty years for a manager to put together a team to rival the 1960s masterclass of football that Bill Nicholson's side produced week after week and suddenly England require a new manager and in everyone's view there is only one candidate fit for the job, one Henry James Redknapp.

While the Spurs fans continually chanted, "We want you to stay Harry Redknapp, we want you to stay," on Saturday evening against Newcastle and their support for him during his court case demonstrated by their singing at the match against Wigan had an emotional affect of Redknapp, trying to keep him at Tottenham will be akin to the old history story of King Canute and his futile attempt to stop the tide coming in. 

While the Football Association draw up their shortlist, the best that Tottenham can expect is that Redknapp remains as manager of Spurs until the end of the present season before taking charge of England at the European championships.  

As Harry Redknapp enjoys a few days on holiday in Dubai, he is bound to be considering his options at the end of a very traumatic three week period for himself and his family.

If you were Harry:
For becoming England manager:
  • Harry Redknapp's standing in football is as high as it has ever been - he's managed an incredible turnaround in just over three years with Spurs - taking them from being a relegation threatened side in his first season and into the Champions League where they made a very positive contribution last season.  Spurs are currently playing the most attractive football in England and are receiving plaudits on all sides.  He is managing some world class players and doing so with ease.  He is the 'darling' of the media with his quips and headline producing comments.  The only way that Redknapp's stock could be higher would be if he were to take Spurs to an unexpected title win or an FA Cup triumph, that would be the icing on the cake for all concerned.
  • The court case has been settled and with the 'not guilty' verdict that potential 'cloud' has been removed.
  • He has frequently expressed a desire to manage England and even during the past five years while there was the uncertainty of the court case, it never ruled him out and he was always considered a possible candidate.
  • At sixty four years of age and with his birthday in two weeks, the chance to manage England is unlikely to come his way again - so it has to be 'now or never'.
  • Redknapp has always had the knack of working with top players and bringing out the best in them, something which past England managers have simply failed to do.  It would be a challenge for him but one he is quite capable of undertaking successfully.  As he said himself in court, "I'm a fantastic football manager."
  • The England manager's role would bring a reduction in the day to day stress levels that exist for a club manager.  He wouldn't have to drive on a daily basis from his home on the south coast to Tottenham and with his recent heart surgery, his heath must be a consideration.
  • Things can change very quickly in football.  If he were to remain at Spurs and in the worst casre senario, some of the 'star' players, Gareth Bale and Luksa Modric decided it was time to move on or the Chairman received an offer that he deemed to be too good to turn down, the team could be decimated.  A poor start to the new season and early elimination from the Champions League could make Daniel Levy nervous, especially with the need for funds to finance the new stadium, and the October international break has proved a time in the past when Spurs have been prepared to make a managerial change and it could be, "Goodbye Harry,"
  • Harry Redknapp enjoys his day to day involvement with football - the players, the media - and it would be difficult to become accustomed to less involvement as England manager.
  • He has a good relationship with the Tottenham players and he enjoys working with them and he knows that they are on the verge of something very exciting which could bring him greater success than he has ever experienced before in football.
  • The England manager's post is a 'poisoned chalice'.  Many have arrived to take on the role with great reputations and experience of footballing success around the world but have fallen short when faced with the expectations of England at a World Cup or Euro competition.
Setting aside all financial aspects, there can be only one conclusion that Harry Redknapp can come to and it is simply that it's 'now or never' for him as  far as the England manager's postion is concerned.  He could be available come the end of the season to manage England in Poland and Ukraine in Euro 2012 and then prepare for the World Cup campaign in the new season.  

Will such a situation spur the Tottenham players on to greater endeavours to bring success to the club this season or will it bring a premature end to the hopes that Spurs supporters have harboured for so long that the club would return to the glory days of previous eras?  

Will Harry Redknapp join the list of England managers with Tottenham connections - Alf Ramsey, Terry Venables and Glenn Hoddle, only time will tell.


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