FREDDY POWELL on the England succession.
This time will be different. I promise.
Obviously it should be Redknapp. I mean, it’s not like the FA have made rash decisions in the past, pressured by public opinion or overly reflexive in response to previous failures in managerial choices.
Clearly such mistakes are a thing of the past. Clearly there will be no knee-jerk transition from the ice-cool Sven to the pally Maclaren. Clearly the disciplinary deficiencies of the latter will not be superseded by an authoritarian Italian.
Could Redknapp be the man for England?
For one thing, a ‘shortlist’ is being considered. Imagine that: a list of names. Real names. Of people. (Hopefully this list isn’t as short as the last one, Fabio the sole feature).
To be sure, Harry has plenty going for him. He’s not a crook, as the media are suddenly at pains to tell us. He also isn’t a hamster. Or a dog. Or a long list of other, equally unemployable organisms.
It helps that he’s likeable, earning him a healthy dose of media good-will. His competency at Spurs probably wouldn’t harm his CV either. But let’s face it, he’s not a stand-out candidate, and he’d be assuming a poisoned chalice – one which no sane or ambitious type would ever contemplate.
You see, part of the problem is the national psyche. There has long been a belief – perhaps dating back as far as 1966 – that the time will come again. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. But the public expects, and all players since have been shouldered with that expectation.
Fat Les and the crowd that sung Vindaloo are guilty of a fatal error: they wrongly assume that nationalistic devotion to an all-but-hopeless cause can militate against the failures that will invariably arise from a sub-optimally managed and less-than-talented squad.
But history cruelly demonstrates that shouting loudly is no indication as to the validity of those claims. Just ask Balotelli for further information about that one.
Ultimately, while 14K per day is a big number, I don’t envy Fabio’s successor, because only a world cup will satisfy the fans. And winning a world cup, well, it ain’t easy.