Harry Redknapp is most people’s number one candidate to take over from Fabio Capello when he supposedly steps down as England boss after the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine next year. Given the fact that the Italians reign has largely been seen as a failure by many fans, pundits and journalists alike – is Redknapp the man to step into his shoes and bring back the glory days?
Many people will only look at the Spurs boss’ outer shell and come up with the old spiel that he’s English, he’s experienced, won a major trophy and brought relative success to White Hart Lane then try to use these reasons as justification to argue that he is perfect for the England hot seat. Steve McClaren had exactly the same attributes and success but failed miserably due to one glaring weakness. What a large majority of football fans fail to do is actually look deeper and see the frailties and flaws in Redknapp’s tactical knowledge that would be exploited at international level. I’m sure Spurs fans will pay testament to the fact that whilst he his a good man manager and can wrangle a good transfer deal – his on the field strategies leave a lot to be desired.
Redknapp has never been the most tactically gifted manager the game has ever seen but seems to get results at club level by using his man management skills to boost a players confidence and squeeze an extra 20% out of them every week. Gareth Bale is the prime example of a player who has flourished due to ‘Arry’s stimulating words and leadership. But at international level it is a whole different world with the prospect of new faces nervously treading around the Wembley dressing room when a game crops up every few months. This is where a skilled tactician is needed and Redknapp doesn’t have that in his locker to make it as England boss.
Redknapp in my opinion is one of the more old fashioned English coaches who puts the emphasis on attack. I’d compare him to Kevin Keegan and the swashbuckling Newcastle United side of the mid-nineties who went on to the field with the instruction of ‘if they score one we score two’ meaning they attacked at a ferocious pace and left the defence to pick up the pieces when possession was surrendered. I always remember people complimenting Keegan on his man management skills and getting the best out of his attackers but also slating the defence, which was notoriously fragile. He tried to implement that same system with England to no avail. That’s how I perceive Redknapp to set his team out and it’s not a feasible approach that will work effectively to deliver success that the country craves for their national team.
Against world-class opposition that setup will be exploited time and time again. Having the midfield and attack push on in the search of goals will leave the defence stranded and vulnerable to being stretched on the counter attack which is what happened to Keegan’s Magpies and Redknapp’s Spurs side many times. Long story short Redknapp is suited to club management. His style of man management, methods and tactics are all honed to operate on a day-to-day basis in the aid to drive his players on to a performance on a Saturday afternoon. If he does take the England job I’d advise him NOT to buy an umbrella!
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