Harry Redknapp – Should I Stay or Should I Go?
With the England managers job about to be offered to Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, we look at the decision Harry has to make. Will he stay or will he go?
Football is essentially a game of decisions. The difference between defeat and victory can be as small as the decision to shoot or lay it off, to stay on the goal line or rush out and smother. Players have decisions to make, referees have decisions to make.
One could argue that Spain winning the World Cup in 2010 was not the result of good fortune, a good group of players, but the result of hundreds maybe thousands of good decisions, the first of those being the appointment of Vicente Del Bosque, a proud Spaniard with an outstanding track record and absolutely nothing to lose.
Del Bosque snapped up the job like a toddler snatching a biscuit. Two years later he became their Alf Ramsey, the only person to guide his nation to football’s ultimate prize. Now, the English FA is at another one of those crossroads which could lead to something memorable, and just as easily to something forgettable.
The FA will, after the standard period of deliberation, decide to whom the top job is offered. But you could be forgiven for thinking that there is only one decision to be made: the decision belonging to Harry Redknapp. Should I stay or should I go?
Six years ago his management skills were grossly underestimated; he was nothing more than a wheeler-dealer. Now he is the clear favourite to be the next England manager. As he has proved with Tottenham, he is more than football’s answer to Cocoon –he’s capable of more than taking wrinkly thirty-five-year-olds and making them play like teenagers again. In almost the entire nation’s opinion, he is the one that can salvage something from Fabio Capello’s lucrative little vanity project.
Before Portsmouth’s FA Cup Final against Cardiff, Redknapp told a middle-aged Nwankwo Kanu to “Go out there and do your stuff”. “You’re the best,” he said. The outcome? Kanu scored the only goal of the match, and Harry Redknapp had brought silverware to a club whose supporters had to pay in cash to see their team this weekend. Had Capello been in charge that day, he would have sat Kanu down and shown him thirty diagrams, uttered some unintelligible and very specific instructions, and Kanu would have gone on the pitch a confused man. He would have been marking the corner flag.
It is no secret that players love playing for Harry. The question is, how much does Harry Redknapp love managing Tottenham?Because the England job will undoubtedly soon be put on a plate for him, the biggest, sweetest biscuit he will ever see. History says that he will go; he left Portsmouth twice and yet will always be remembered as one of the best managers they ever had.
If Tottenham fans are concerned that their leader is about to abandon them, leave them listing like an Italian cruise ship, they should remember one thing. In football, Harry usually makes the right decision.
Thanks to Simon Harwood for submitting this guest blog post.
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