Belfast Telegraph

Harry Redknapp wanted Brendan Rodgers as England No.2 at Euros

By Stuart McKinley

Liverpool's Northern Ireland-born manager Brendan Rodgers had been lined up to join the England coaching staff just months before he took the job at Anfield.

Harry Redknapp, who was among the frontrunners to succeed Fabio Capello as England boss, has revealed that he spoke to Rodgers about being his assistant at the Euro 2012 finals if the FA handed him the job.

In the end Roy Hodgson was appointed and led England to the quarter-finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Rodgers left Swansea City for Liverpool just days before the tournament started and Redknapp was sacked by Tottenham shortly after missing out on the post.

"If I had become the England manager I would have taken Brendan Rodgers as my number two," said Redknapp.

"My thinking on Brendan was this: if he can do it with players from the lower leagues at Swansea what can he do with Rio Ferdinand and John Terry or Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard?

"So when Tottenham played Swansea on April 1, 2012 I pulled Brendan after the game and said that if all the speculation about me and England was true would he consider coming to the European Championships in the summer as my part-time coach?

"I told him I wanted England to play with as much technical ambition as Swansea. He was up for it.

"Some Tottenham fans might think I was distracted from my club job, but I can assure you the conversation took five minutes. And we beat Swansea 3-1 that day, by the way.

"It didn't work out. On April 1, I was contemplating the way forward for England with Brendan Rodgers – and on April 29 the FA offered the job to Roy Hodgson.

"I'll admit, I thought it was mine. Everyone seemed so certain, everyone I had met from all parts of the game seemed utterly convinced it was my job."

Now manager of Queens Park Rangers, Redknapp reveals his admiration for Rodgers in his autobiography, which goes on sale later this week.

Although Redknapp maintains he holds no grudge against Hodgson, Redknapp is still unhappy at the snub and believes he was the leading choice with the fans and the players.

"I wouldn't trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on it," said Redknapp.

"How would they know? What clubs have they ever run? Who do they speak to who really knows the game?.

"This isn't about them giving the England job to me or Roy Hodgson, but English football being run by people who really haven't got a clue. And they get to pick the England manager!

"Everyone said I was the people's choice, the only choice. All the senior players seemed to be up for me to get the job. I got quite a few text messages at the time from players saying they would love me to manage England – Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.

"But the FA went for Roy Hodgson to be the England manager - a man who is more their cup of tea."

Redknapp believes that the issue of compensation to Tottenham remains one of the reasons why he was never asked.

"Maybe what helped make their minds up was the thought of writing a cheque in the region of £16m to Daniel Levy," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph