Tag Archives: Harry Redknapp

#oneaday 64 – Do they FA know FA?

Back in February I thought I called it. I really did. When Harry Redknapp walked free, I thought he would be the next England football manager. Don Fabio Capello did not fancy taking a beleagured England football team to the European Championships being held in Ukraine and Poland this summer and resigned and I thought Harry would be a shoe in. Dead cert. Banker. Ok, not a banker.

And I still thought he would be a odds on favourite on Saturday night when discussing the exact same issue with one of my Spurs mates. Then late last night (Sunday 29th April) the news broke on Twitter (as usual), that the FA were talking to Roy Hodgson and West Bromwich Albion had given their blessing. It turned out that Mr Hodgson’s contract with WBA runs out at the end of June and he is thus a free agent and therefore to a cash strapped Football Association, an affordable man.

I have to say I am very disappointed with this decision. I have never been that impressed with M Hodgson, but then as a West Ham supporter, I loved Redknapp, although many of my lot don’t. But the FA have decided to take the affordable option and the safe one. Harry is simply just too toxic for the FA. He has led a debateable career with many accusations of ‘bungs’ and they probably fear that some members of the press, may just want to dig up some more dirt on him.

Given Mr Hodgson has been all but confirmed by the FA and appears to be the only candidate interviewed, which is another mystifying decision, I will change my view, and give the man the support he deserves. He always seems to be a nice chap, polite and professional and seemingly well liked by his players at everywhere bar Liverpoool. He is also respected by the press and pundits alike. And that can be an advantage.

The FA have a very mixed record in this department, so we really should not be surprised. The job only went full time in 1946 with Walter Winterbottom who lasted until 1962. Then the great Sir Alf Ramsey who won the World Cup, but was not everyone’s cup of tea was the man with the best record. I can remember all the managers including Sir Alf. Sad but true.

After him we stumbled along – Joe Mercer came from Man City and lasted a year, Don Revie from Leeds who lasted a miserable 3 years.We didn’t even qualify for the World Cups in ’74 and ’78! Brian Clough, the people’s choice was ignored. Then came Ron Greenwood (who had been a success at West Ham) and he lasted 5 years with a relatively successful World Cup in 1982, we never lost a game, but went out on goal difference!  Brian Clough was ignored again. Then came Bobby Robson who got us to the  quarter final in Mexico ’86 ( the Hand of God one ) and the World Cup semi final in 1990 in Italy who wasn’t too bad. The FA then sent us all into the wilderness years by appointing Graham Taylor who was shockingly bad. Terry Venables did a couple of years culminating in Euro ’96 and another semi final penalty loss to Germany, and he was followed by Glenn Hoddle who started well, took us to a World Cup quarter final in France where we lost on penalties to Argentina this time. As England started to find some form, Glenn found God and lost the plot. Howard Wilkinson filled in for a while, whilst we all yawned and winced when we could be bothered, and then we got lumbered with Kevin Keegan who was always going to be disastrous. Peter Taylor took temporary control, made Beckham captain and prepared the way for Sven Goran Eriksson who started well and got us to 3 quarter finals at 3 championships – losing to Brazil, Portugal and Germany on penalties before handng over to his assistant Steve McClaren, he of the umbrella. Another disaster. When he got sacked Stuart Pearce stepped in whilst the FA found a replacement in Fabio Capello. And now we have Roy Hodgson.

As England managers go, this one is neither remarkable or inspiring. But I for one will wish him well and hope he can inspire some respect into our underperforming so called world class ‘superstars’. Let’s just hope he does not pick John Terry as captain though, that really would be the end.

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#oneaday 62: Please release me, let me go

I got a text today from one of my mates who was asking what day I was actually  leaving for the Ukraine to watch England contest the European Championships in June. My answer was simple, this time I am not bothering. England FC have become toxic, much like most football and certainly anything  to do with the Premier League. Yes the quality is there, but the loyalty and committment from many of the players just follows the money.

Two things have happened though that give me some hope and neither would I normally applaud or agree with the outcomes.

First, it looks like John Terry’s time as an England captain is finally over, for a second time. He may even have played his last competitive tournament game for England. I admire John Terry on some levels, there is no doubt that he is a true legend at Chelsea giving any team he plays for 100% of everything he has, and Chelsea rarely lose when he plays. But the FA have decided to sack him as skipper and have shown some leadership, even if it is a tad misguided. Terry is innocent until proven guilty, but the authorities should have brought the trial forward and got it out of the way before May. It is clear that some if not all of the other England players have had enough of their captain. His last outburst in South Africa was damaging beyond repair and he is guilty of hubris on occasion.

In sacking Terry, the FA have now pricked Mr Capello into action and he is not a happy bunny. Fabio has appeared on Italian TV and said that he is effectively unhappy with the decision and with the fact that he was not consulted. David Davies a journalist who used to be an executive director at the FA, has stated that some of his contacts are convinced Capello will quit. Personally I agree with him. Mr Capello has only got 5 months of his contract to run and forefit if he resigns. It will appeal to his Italian sense of ‘justice’ to resign. He knows he can only lose in the summer, he is working for money and no longer cares about what his employers think. If he walks away, in his mind he walks with his dignity intact, it was his decision. I believe Capello has lost the dressing room anyway, so this move would be the only chance of a win he would have this year.

Meanwhile the king in waiting is Poplar’s very own crown prince, Harry Redknapp who is currently on trial for tax evasion. Harry was by all accounts, banged to rights, but given the lead accusor and witness for the prosecution is a News of the World journalist, Harry may just find that his luck is in and he walks free. I hope he is innocent and proved so.  If he is, he will carrying on walking north all the way to Wembley and take control of the England team as soon as the season is over, although the FA will cut a deal with Spurs to borrow him for the friendlies planned between now and June. He will make Scott Parker his captain and try and forge an English birth certifcate  for Luca Modric and Gareth Bale. Harry has plenty of friends who can fix these things.

If Harry falls foul of the law and is detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure, then the FA may turn to the hardest number 3 on the planet. Mr Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce who has been managing the U21s for some time. That would be confusing to many, but the players would love the motivation of messrs Redknapp and/or Pearce and there may just be a modicum more effort shown this summer. Failing that Alan Pardew would do a fine job.

If Capello stays, and worse still Terry is picked for the squad, expect England to repeat their performance in the Euro ’88 tournament P3 W0 D0 L3. Wayne Rooney may not get a game!

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