Monday, 20 February 2012

One Major Honour to Manage England

So Harry Redknapp is the favourite to become the next England manager.

Ask most people their opinion and he is the first name that springs to mind.

But spend a little longer than just your gut reaction and you really start to question why.

Harry is doing a great job at Tottenham at the moment.

A really great job.

Perhaps though, the successful candidate should have done a bit more than just have a couple of good seasons of late.

After all, he took an underachieving Tottenham side into the Champions League during a period when Liverpool, Arsenal and now Chelsea all hurtled towards a rapid decline.

He’s not won anything with Tottenham.

In fact, his only major honour was an FA cup win with Portsmouth.

Splitting 2 spells at Portsmouth, was a brief and unsuccessful period at Southampton.

Preceded by 8 years doing a steady job with West Ham and his first role at Bournemouth.

Harry may be top of mind for most due to how well Tottenham have done this season and last.

But is the best man for the England job really a manager who has only 1 major honour to his name after 28 years in the role?

Not to mention he’s only ever had one season of Champions League football.

His experience of the English league will be great for knowing what assets he has available to him.

His one season mixing it with Europe’s elite won’t have given him much experience on the opposition.

As for Harry being the outstanding ‘English’ candidate - that just highlights the lack of top English managers at the moment.

Nothing more.

An Englishman will not do a better job than a ‘foreigner’ if he is not a better manager.

And with Euro 2012 fast approaching - decisiveness seems paramount.

But the English FA should not confuse decisiveness with haste.

A caretaker role now instead - can mean the decision on the long term future of the England national team be made in due course.

He will not have enough time anyway to shape the team his way.

It will be a case of steadying the ship in Poland and Ukraine as opposed to setting it a new course.

When the Republic of Ireland interviewed for the current position - Paul Jewell was the outstanding choice.

The FAI took their time over the decision and Giovanni Trapattoni appeared.

The landscape could shift dramatically come this summer too.

Jose Mourinho could become available.

Harry’s 1 major honour might need to total 3 if he’s to beat the Portuguese master tactician to the job.

If Martin O’Neill continues his surge up the table with Sunderland and takes fourth spot, would he be considered the outstanding candidate?

He has had relative little success in the English game too but has still won more major honours than Harry.

Coupled with a more sustained period of success.

Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan and Steve McClaren had 1 major honour between them and all had a shot at the England hot-seat.

But it was Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello - with 32 major honours who are the only managers to have taken England to a quarter final of a major tournament since Euro ‘96.

If Fabio and his 16 major honours cannot make a success of this group of players - I’m not sure Harry and his 1 can do any different...

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