October 22, 2020

Redknapp plays down England talk

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Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp is the hot favourite to take over from Fabio Capello as manager of England.

The Italian quit Wednesday – the same day Tottenham Hotspur boss Redknapp was found not guilty of tax evasion charges.

But despite being the number one contender, Redknapp insisted he has “not even thought about” the England manager’s job left vacant by Fabio Capello’s resignation.

He said he was “shocked” at Capello’s resignation but played down calls for him to take the England job, insisting that his “only interest” was Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United defender Ferdinand, who played under Redknapp at West Ham, wrote on Twitter: “I think we need an English manager now, we don’t need anything else lost in translation… Harry Redknapp would be my choice by a distance.”

Rooney wrote on Twitter last night: “Gutted Capello has quit. Good guy and top coach. Got to be English to replace him. Harry Redknapp for me.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron has said he was “sorry” to see Capello resign.

He said on a visit to Sweden: “I think he was a good coach and a good man. I don’t think he was right about the John Terry issue. You can’t be captain with that question mark that needs to be answered.

“England now needs a new coach and a new captain and I hope we can get on with that and make the best of the opportunity this summer.”

Mr Cameron sidestepped a question about whether Redknapp should take over, telling reporters: “The day when the Prime Minister picks the England coach will be a very bad day for football but I am sure we will find someone really good and I am sure that we will play well when the time comes.”

Spurs non-executive director Sir Keith Mills said it was “not a foregone conclusion” that Redknapp would be approached by the FA.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “If he is, then clearly Harry has a big decision to make. I know he loves the club, he’s managing a top three team in the biggest league in the world.”

Sir Keith played down the prospects of Redknapp being allowed to do a jobshare, even if it were temporary.

“Clearly that’s not an ideal scenario. Clearly, trying to do two jobs is going to be a stretch for anyone,” he said.

England under-21 coach Stuart Pearce will take charge of England’s exhibition against the Netherlands on Feb. 29.

Capello and the England soap opera page 22

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