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article imageOp-Ed: Why Harry Redknapp must not take the England coach role just yet

By Kev Hedges     Feb 9, 2012 in Sports
Wednesday was one of those days that come along only once in a decade or so. A major headline in the merry go round of English football is followed by another major scoop, all within the same day.
Harry Redknapp and his former partner Milan Mandaric were both found not guilty of tax evasion following a three-week long trial at Southwark Crown Court. This news immediately had England fans, players, media and speculation scrambling to appoint Redknapp as natural successor to Fabio Capello when the Italian was due to end his tenure as England boss after Euro 2012.
Then a few hours later Fabio meets with his bosses at the FA headquarters to attempt to diffuse the situation where he was at odds with the FA (Football Association) over his disagreement with stripping John Terry of the England captaincy. The meeting ends with Fabio Capello resigning his post and the FA quick to accept his resignation. With four months to go until the beginning of the Euro 2012 Championships England has no captain or manager. With Redknapp being cleared of all tax evasion charges it would seem his name goes straight in the frame as ideal man for the job.
However the scramble for appoint Redknapp has overlooked some specific points. Harry Redknapp is manager at Tottenham Hotspur, a club third in the table and pushing for a title, the club's first real chance of winning the top flight league since they did so in 1961. Even if Tottenham fail to take the title, as seems likely, they will certainly be sure to finish cleanly inside the top four, a Champions League qualification place.
So what does next season hold for Harry at Tottenham? Champions League football, almost certainly, and a real push for a title that looks to be heading for Manchester this season at least. Or does he take on the England job now and spend the next 18 months attending Premier League matches and watch potential England stars of the future from the stands and coach the odd England game as the national team seek qualification for Brazil 2014 World Cup Finals?
There is no question Harry is the right man for the England role but not yet. England will contest the Euro 2012 as a nation in transition and the real test begins not until 2013 when qualification needs to be secured for Brazil.
If Harry takes the England job now he would be sitting on his hands for the next 18 months. Yes he will be a richer man for it but money has never been an object in the multi-million pound world of football coaching.
One can also see why every fan of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester Utd and City are banging the table calling for the FA to "get Harry". Everyone, that is, except Tottenham fans themselves. The north London outfit have not known times at the club as good as this in several decades. They are well above Chelsea and Arsenal and the balance of power has put Tottenham in the frame as top London club. All this from bottom of the league back in 2007 when he was appointed to the club's lofty status now. Small wonder Tottenham's opponents want Harry out of the way at Spurs and into the England role.
It is of course inevitable that one day Harry will take the job, but when should he take the role?
Takes the job now
Harry would be a fool to give up his role at Spurs and manage England right now. Everything he has built at the club could be compromised after getting them so close to a possible title. Stuart Pearce is more than adequate to manage England in their friendly against Holland later this month.
Takes the job at end of the season
Redknapp would be better off starting with a clean slate for the World Cup qualifiers, rather than risking his reputation should they suffer an early exit from Euro 2012.
Stays at Tottenham and turns down the role
With more investment in the summer promised, they could make a far stronger challenge for the title next term and they are bound to be in the Champions League again. Harry would enjoy the day-to-day running of club, involve himself in transfer deals and pick the cream of the best playing staff in the world, a luxury he could not afford when managing a national side.
The England job can be a poison chalice. If it does not go to plan Harry's career may one day flounder like Sven Goran-Erikkson, Steve McClaren and Kevin Keegan's did after their tenures were poisoned.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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