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Redknapp to succeed Capello?

Harry still has eyes for England

September 11, 2009
By Harry Harris

England have qualified for the World Cup in style under Fabio Capello, the world looks rosy as the nation heads to South Africa, but can Harry Redknapp still be part of England's future?

Fabio Capello
GettyImagesFabio Capello wants an England v Italy World Cup final

Redknapp has the Three Lions on his mind as he confesses that he still passionately wants to be England manager one day, and if he can make a success of Spurs, then the FA door might just be pushed ajar.

• Harris: Redknapp is an Arsenal fan

As Tottenham take on champions Manchester United in the match of the weekend, live on ESPN, the arduous task of revitalising Spurs can also provide Redknapp with a platform that could, finally, elevate him to a candidate for the England job. All Spurs fans hoped he could do that, and like other Spurs players, Alf Ramsey and Glenn Hoddle, go on to manage their country.

Redknapp was in the frame to become England manager when Steve McClaren was sacked. Personally, I never thought he was on the FA's short list and my FA contacts confirmed that at the time. Redknapp is not convinced either that he was being taken seriously by the FA while he was still Pompey boss, despite the media hype at the time.

However, there was a momentum growing in the media, where the Portsmouth manager at the time was hugely popular - just like Terry Venables.

Redknapp tells me: "I didn't really see myself getting that job, anyway. I thought that after what happened to Steve McClaren that the FA would go for a big name foreign manager. It was inevitable. They hired Capello and that was the right choice, everyone can see that he has done a fantastic job."

But perceptions about Redknapp can change. He is convinced that moving to Spurs will help. He explains: "You never know about the England job in the future. For sure I would love to be England manager one day. I am definitely not ruling it out. It depends on if I'm doing a good enough job at Spurs, and I plan to do a good job here.

"There is no doubt that Capello will move on, probably sooner rather than later. I don't see him here forever, and he's doing a pretty good job. But I am 61 and once my job is done here at Spurs I still think I would have time left to be England manager. If that opportunity should ever arrive - fantastic. It would have meant that I would have taken this club forward."

Redknapp is passionate about the England team and the necessity for an English coach in the Wembley dressing room. "Of course we should have an English manager. We produce so many great players, and so many great coaches, surely there is somebody out there good enough to do the job from our country. It's crazy to think that at the moment there isn't. It doesn't make sense to me. We definitely have enough capable coaches from which to select an English England manager, for sure we do."

Harry Redknapp
GettyImagesHarry Redknapp: Has got the best out of Aaron Lennon.

Redknapp confessed to me that he does suffer from an image complex. But he feels that Spurs can be the perfect rehabilitation centre. He responded, "Yeah, your right, I do have an image problem. But that's because people don't know me.

"They think I'm Jack the Lad, but that image couldn't be further from the truth about who I am. I have been married 40 years, and Sandra and I just love the quiet life. There is nothing flash about me, even though people think I live in a big house on Sandbanks, but I spend every spare minute of my life with the wife, or walking the dogs on the beach. But people think I spend all my life ducking and diving, but that couldn't be furthest from the truth. I live a very quiet, probably even boring life."

Harry doesn't seem to have any deep lying psychological hang up about being overlooked for the England job, or even that he is wrongly perceived to be something he is sure is not the real him.

With Redknapp in charge Tottenham, fans are beginning to feel more optimistic for the future, and there would only be one job that would lure him away from the Lane - the call from the FA.

And with Capello's contract running only until 2012 with a break off point in 2010, a call might come sooner than anyone expects - if he succeeds at Spurs.