Harry v Hodge
Well, well … is the FA putting Roy Hodgson’s name forward for the job of England manager so that the selection of H Redknapp doesn’t seem like a done deal? Or has someone at headquarters had second thoughts and realised that Harry, while a popular choice with fans, does not have the experience needed to take on Europe, never mind the rest of the world?
Harry’s stock has diminished in the last couple of weeks as his Spurs have shipped eight goals in two games while Roy’s West Bromwich have punched above their weight, most recently taking the scalp of Chelsea while effectively giving AVB the coup de grace.
The FA and the fans have apparently been only too delighted to find an Englishman who wants the job but a dispassionate look at Redknapp’s CV is less than convincing. His greatest achievement was in the Champions League when he took Tottenham to Milan last year and won 1-0 in a packed San Siro.
More telling is his quote regarding the game plan for that match – “We’ll ‘ave a right go … shutting up shop is a non-starter”. You can take the boy out of the East End but he’ll never have the eloquence of, say, Jose Mourihno.
As a manager, Harry has covered a fair spread of southern England. In fact, he has never managed further north than Oxford City (assistant to Bobby Moore) or further south than Bournemouth. It was a couple of spells at Portsmouth where he over achieved that put his name in the minds of the public and the Tottenham board.
Compare that with Hodgson, who has managed in Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, the UAE, Finland and several English clubs including Liverpool. He is fluent in Norwegian, Swedish, Japanese, German and Italian and has a smattering of Korean, Danish, French and Finnish. In fact, he is so intelligent that he probably wouldn’t consider the England job.
OK, there is a school of thought that would suggest the only language needed to manage an English side is English but a deeper understanding of the footballing world is an obvious advantage.
Now, here’s my radical solution to the problem. Why not let them job share, splitting the enormous wage – and, ultimately, the blame? We might win nothing but we would certainly be entertained and finally have some value for the money.