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The Roker Ramble: Appointing Redknapp Would Be England's "O'Neill Moment"

The England Manager. Everyone's talking about it, and so are we.
The England Manager. Everyone's talking about it, and so are we.

I've been known in the past on these pages (and in reality) to bemoan international football, notably the England national team as they labour towards not even a quarter-final exit from a major tournament, but more recently group stages or the second round if we're lucky.

It shouldn't be like that. It all used to be so different. I used to like watching England. Well as much as the next person anyway. There's similarity with our beloved SAFC for me. No matter how often they failed you still stuck with them and believed that the good times would eventually come.

In more recent times both have been managed (or mismanaged) by an overpaid lummox, who didn't give much of a toss, playing uninspired football, and couldn't get the best out of a talented squad. So whilst I make a lame Bruce/Capello comparison, I'm about to make an even bigger one... Whilst England go through a change, I genuinely believe that appointing Harry Redknapp to the position would be a good thing, and it could be The FA's "Martin O'Neill Moment"...

If we could for a moment leave to one side the tired jokes about his finances, pets names and over use of the word "triffic" there's a very good manager there, and he has all the credentials an England manager needs.

Obviously we're in need of someone who can get the public on side, and the public outpouring for Redknapp to be appointed suggests that he's the one we all want.

There's always going to be a nay-sayer or two who think it should be someone else, or they know better and are waiting to prove us Redknapp supporters wrong, but on the eve of a major international tournament, someone with overwhelming public support will be needed. Even if only to ensure the fact that if/when we dismally fail, he's still got enough suport on side to be given a second shot in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.

He's also one of the most media-friendly managers around, perhaps not important for us the fans or public, but certainly so from an FA point of view. He's got his opinions, he has his column in The Sun, he's on Talksport fairly often and I'm pretty sure the electronics in his car windows are bugged, meaning Sky (where his son literally works) are able to grab a soundbite at a moments notice.

This ouf course could be seen as overkill and there's too much Redknapp around. For me, it's a welcome change from the depressing and barely seen or coherent Capello. Our own Marty wasn't too shy with the media either, having previously appeared on ITV and BBC with great authority and analysis.

His record with Tottenham is no flash in the pan either, every club he's been at has enjoyed unprecidented success, if we're defining success by stature of the club anyway. Portsmouth fans might hate him now, but the FA Cup win will live long in their memory. Equally at West Ham United, who arguably haven't been the same since he left, certainly not the solid Premier League side they used to be anyway, and now has Tottenham flying high and title-chasing - it's been quite a while since they enjoyed that.

There's still furher criticisms of his style of management. Many point to the fact he's not so tactically evolved. In fact, that comes by the admission of one of his senior players, Rafael Van Der Vaart...

There are no long and boring speeches about tactics, like I was used to at Real Madrid. There is a clipboard in our dressing room but Harry doesn't write anything on it.

...And so what, its working isn't it? We lauded Fabio Capello's tactical genius, and it got us nowhere. In fact it ended with most of us beginning to hate the national team. Tactics can be crucial, but by the time a player reaches the level of an international, what is there to teach? We just need to get the lads out there and doing what they do best - playing football how they know how to. I'd much rather see the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Adam Johnson, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck among others let loose as opposed to a regimented system.

The all-conquering Spanish side aren't tactical marvels, they're a group of top class players allowed to go out and do what they do best. We obviously don't have as many "world class" players as our Iberian counterparts, but we've a few, and that could take us a long way.

One main talking point might be his relationship, or lack of one, with one of our pivotal strikers, Darren Bent. Famously he mocked Bent in public before he headed to Wearside. Boohoo. If neither Bent nor Redknapp can let things go for the good of the country, I've no problem putting faith in Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Gabby Agbonlahor or even Redknapp favourite, Jermain Defoe. Let alone Wayne Rooney.

The last thing would be some worried about him not blooding young players. Mainly pointing to the fact he was quite keen to bring David Beckham from LA Galaxy to Spurs last year, but he has blooded plenty in the past. Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick and company all made their debuts, whilst he's had the faith to put a relatively untried Kyle Walker a starting spot in a solid Tottenham defence, and blood plenty more youngsters in European competition. It's a thoroughly unfair criticism.

England are in desperate need of unification. We need a relaxed manager, one who can not only allow our more talented players to do their thing, but raise the game of some of the 'lesser' players for lack of better phrasing. We've tried the 'tactical genius' of Capello, we've tried the 'passionate' yet tactically inept approach of Kevin Keegan. Redknapp lands right in the middle, with a blend of both.

He ticks all the boxes. The media-friendly, continually successful, manager who gets along with players, inspires players to play beyond themselves, and is the people's choice as our next leader... All strikingly familiar to our own situation when the depressing Steve Bruce was given his marching orders, and the beacon of light and hope that is Martin O'Neill walked through the doors at the Stadium Of Light.

I'd be happy to support England again with Redknapp in charge. I want him in, and deep down, you know he wants the job too....

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