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15 April 2024

Redknapp would consider 'ultimate' England job

Harry Redknapp has a tough decision to make. (FILE)


Harry Redknapp said on Friday he would consider taking the England manager's post if offered the chance to succeed Fabio Capello in the "ultimate" job in football.

Redknapp, currently in charge of Premier League high-flyers Tottenham Hotspur, said: "It wouldn't be easy (leaving Spurs). It would be very difficult.

"I'm happy, but if the opportunity comes, and I get asked, I'll have to consider it."

The 64-year-old Englishman is the odds-on favourite to succeed Capello, who resigned on Wednesday in protest at the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

No manager has won a major trophy with England since Sir Alf Ramsey guided the team to their lone World Cup title, on home soil in 1966.

Nevertheless Redknapp, asked at Tottenham's training ground on Friday if managing England was the "ultimate" job, replied: "It has to be.

"But you also have to understand what a tough job it is.

"No-one has a magic wand and the list of top-class managers who have all gone in full of hope, people like Kevin Keegan, who did a fantastic job at Newcastle, and they all found it very, very difficult.

"It's certainly not an easy job. Whoever takes that job has a real job on their hands," Redknapp said.

Capello's resignation left the FA looking for a new manager just four months before England compete at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

The Italian's decision was announced just hours after Redknapp was cleared of tax evasion charges. The verdict removed what many believed was the last remaining obstacle to the Englishman taking charge of his country.

FA officials have suggested they could opt for a caretaker coach for Euro 2012, allowing whoever was then in charge to combine the England post with a club role.

However, Redknapp - who has guided Tottenham to an impressive third in the Premier League - was wary of doubling up.

"It is hard enough managing a league club let alone managing your country, it's two very difficult jobs," he said.

"I can't take my eye off the ball at Tottenham at the moment because we're looking to get Champions League football, we're still in the FA Cup and I owe it to them to continue to keep completely focused on the job I'm doing here.

Redknapp was backed as the "best man" for the England job by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, British football's most successful boss.

"He has good experience, the personality and knowledge of the game," said Ferguson. "It's the right choice."

Ferguson, Scotland manager at the 1986 World Cup after the death of Jock Stein while still Aberdeen boss, warned against doing two jobs at once.

"I tried it myself with Scotland in Mexico. I found it very difficult."

Capello resigned after the FA stripped Terry of the England captaincy without consulting him as the Chelsea defender prepares to contest a charge of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand at a trial which will take place in July - after Euro 2012.

In his first public comment since issuing a brief statement on Wednesday, Capello told an Italian TV show Friday: "I didn't flee, I left because there was a misunderstanding.

"I felt great but sometimes you decide to leave."

Former England defender Stuart Pearce, the current Under-21 coach, will manage England in a friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley on February 29.

There have been suggestions that Redknapp could manage England at Euro 2012 before making way if he chose to stay with Tottenham.

"That is a possibility," FA chairman David Bernstein said on Thursday when asked if a caretaker coach could lead England in Poland and Ukraine.

"It might not be the case, but all options are open. I'm only talking common sense - we're not prepared to restrict ourselves at this stage."