Even before the news broke that Fabio Capello had stepped down as England manager, practically the entire country had decided that Harry Redknapp is the only man who can succeed the Italian. He ticks all the boxes: he’s English; he’s experienced; the media loves him; he’s transformed Spurs from relegation fodder into title contenders. The FA would be foolish to do anything other than subscribe to the knee-jerk reaction and appoint Harry. So please guys, let’s have none of this ‘thinking things through’ malarkey.
Let’s face it: there will be mass public outcry if Redknapp is not offered the England job. The FA ought to have had enough egg on its face during the past three or four appointments at least to want to avoid yet another faux pas. It’s high time they did themselves a favour and listened to the supporters. That way, when things inevitably fall apart faster than you can say ‘Nottingham Forest’, at least the hiring committee is in a position to be able to stand proudly and say: not our fault. It’s no use trying to think outside the box and appoint someone who is either a proven winner on the international stage or widely regarded as one of the top three coaches in world football. If they’re not Harry, they’re unlikely to ever be made to feel welcome. Especially if they’re not British.
Since the World Cup, nothing has gone right for Capello. Incidentally, many things went against England and their coach in South Africa, and believe it or not, it wasn’t all his fault that the campaign ended on such a spectacularly sour note. But there was no recovering. Even if he’d have gone on to win the Euros, it’s likely that praise would’ve found a way of eluding the manager. Now Harry Redknapp may well be a decent choice as England manager, just like Don Revie, Kevin Keegan and Steve McClaren were. But appointing him also shields the governing body’s exposure to the raucous cries of ‘we told you so’, also known as the bandwagon everyone jumps on once they’ve had the benefit of hindsight. The FA should accept that whoever they appoint is destined to crash and burn. It might as well be the people’s choice.