Harry Redknapp considers future with Tottenham
Harry Redknapp returned yesterday from his break in Dubai still not certain that he would take the England manager's job if it was offered to him by the Football Association over the next two weeks.
There remains a genuine dilemma for the 64-year-old Tottenham manager, who is still tempted by the prospect of staying at Spurs and potentially extending his contract. Despite being the clear favourite among players, supporters and pundits to succeed Fabio Capello, he remains undecided as to whether it would be the best move for him.
It is not yet clear what length of contract would be on offer but, should it only be a deal that takes Redknapp to the end of the next World Cup finals in the summer of 2014, it might not be enough to tempt him to walk away from the success he has had in building a title-challenging team at Spurs.
Much will depend on the kind of offer the FA puts in front of him and the nature of the pitch the Club England committee makes. Despite comments made on Abu Dhabi television over the last few days that it might be possible to work just for this summer's European Championship, Redknapp is keener either to take the job permanently or not at all.
The Tottenham manager, who has one more season after this one on his existing deal with Spurs, is due to give his weekly press conference at Tottenham's training ground this morning. They play League One side Stevenage in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday. Once again the England job is likely to be high on the agenda. While on his break this week, Redknapp said that it was "possible" for a manager to take charge for Euro 2012, although it is anticipated he will either take the job – if offered – on a full-time basis or not at all.
"In the long term it's not possible to manage a club team and manage a national team," Redknapp said. "It's so difficult, it's a full-time job. It's difficult enough managing in the Premier League without having to worry about managing the England team as well. You want to be watching the England players play, you want to be watching the opposition.
"Whoever they give the job to could only do the one job. Maybe for the Euros is not such a problem but once the new season starts in England, then the manager has to either be a Premier League manager if he [already] manages in the Premier League, or the England manager. To do the two jobs would be impossible.
"I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't the popular choice. I know I am. It's been in every paper every day. But it's not easy. I have a good job, I work with good people, I have a good team and the fans have been fantastic to me. So just to walk away now when we're in such a good position wouldn't be fair on Tottenham. I have to keep focusing on Tottenham. It's an important time."
The FA announced yesterday that Stuart Pearce, the interim England coach for the Netherlands friendly on 29 February, will name his squad for that game on the preceding week on 23 February.
This break with tradition, which will take the form of an announcement at Wembley, is expected to coincide with the launch of a new England home kit for Euro 2012.
FA backs England quick-change kit
The Football Association has defended the decision to change the England home kit after only eight matches.
When it signed a new eight-year deal with Umbro just after the World Cup, it was made clear in the contract that kits would be changed roughly every 18 months, rather than the two-year cycle previously in operation.
However, it has been confirmed that England will be wearing a new shirt for the friendly against Netherlands at Wembley on 29 February.
"As a sportswear company with great history and expertise they are best placed to take decisions on kit cycle, and we support them in their long-term strategy," said an FA spokesman.