Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

I'd take England job, says Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp last night said he would not turn down the England job if the Football Association came calling in two years' time.

Tottenham manager Redknapp is the bookies' favourite to succeed Fabio Capello, who has confirmed he intends to step down after the 2012 European Championships.

Redknapp revealed he would not be put off by the kind of abuse often suffered by England managers but insisted he was not counting down the days until Capello quits his £6million-a-year position.

Asked if he would turn down his country, Redknapp said: "No, but I don't want to start saying I want the England job.

"It's not something that I push myself for."

He added: "Whoever takes it gets absolutely slaughtered.

"Probably the only person who has escaped it has been Terry Venables in Euro 96.

"But, since then, everybody's had it, haven't they? Probably even the great Bobby Robson.

"He got slaughtered at one stage - made his life a misery.

"People will always take it because, if you're English, it's the pinnacle of your career if you're in management.

"You've got to take the job if you get offered it."

The FA have previously indicated Capello's successor would be English, despite the apparent lack of suitable candidates.

But Redknapp is adamant a homegrown coach could not fare any worse than the incumbent.

"I would like to see an English guy get the job when Capello calls it a day," said the 63-year-old.

"There's a lot of good football people out there who never get the opportunity to manage at a higher level, who would be just as good and just as clever given the chance. I really believe that."

He added: "If you can't produce someone who can manage the country then what we should do is send them all over to Italy to do the coaching badge.

"There is somebody out there, a younger guy, who can do that job. They are not taking over a team that has done so fantastic, that has won World Cups.

"It can't be any worse, can it?

"We have got a great manager now. But it hasn't worked so far in terms of the World Cup.

"I want to see an English boy have a go."

Redknapp even claims the FA should not discount a name from the lower leagues.

"Sit down with John Still at Dagenham and he would talk common-sense to you about football, knows the game inside out," he said.

"Never gets a chance of managing at the top level.

"The lad going to Southampton today, Nigel Adkins, you have only got to listen to him. He's bright as a button.

"Look at the job he has done at Scunthorpe, keeping them in the Championship. There has got to be one of those boys out there somewhere. Give them a chance.

"I will probably be too old. If Capello is too old, I will be too old."

If Redknapp does become England manager, he may end up having to field questions about the kind of scandals Capello has found his players embroiled in during his tenure.

Wayne Rooney is the latest star name to have been the subject of lurid headlines about his private life, while Spurs striker Peter Crouch was also recently on the front pages for the wrong reasons.

Redknapp left no doubt about what, and who, he felt was to blame, saying: "There's one common problem - I've said it all along. It's called drink.

"These things don't happen unless people have a drink 99% of the time.

"People have a drink; we all drink.

"I'm not sitting here saying I never have; of course I have. I've liked to drink all my life."

He added: "These lads now, everyone's got a camera.

"I'm the only person in the country who's got a phone without a camera on it!"

Redknapp insisted players are paid well enough to be expected to resist the temptations of fame.

"They shouldn't be putting themselves in that position," he said.

"If they dedicate themselves for 10 years, they come out of it with so much money, they never have to work again.

"They can live a fantastic life.

"They've got to be super-fit now."

Redknapp was today waiting on the verdict of a specialist to determine whether he will be without Jermain Defoe for longer than six weeks.

The striker was on crutches this afternoon and was wearing a protective boot after injuring his right ankle in England's European Championship win in Switzerland on Tuesday night.

Redknapp said: "Even if it's a bad sprain, they're still talking about six weeks, because it's a nasty one."

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