Wednesday 21 February 2018

Redknapp backs English talent as he launches manager bid

Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Harry Redknapp gave the failed England players of Euro 2016 a vote of confidence for the future - and now he must wait to see if the FA include him on their shortlist of candidates to replace Roy Hodgson.

Redknapp (69) publicly launched his bid for the England manager's job in Dublin yesterday and started by praising the talent available to whoever takes over.

"Yeah, it's a job you'd take if you had the opportunity, for sure," he said.

"I read people saying the players aren't as good as we think they are but I'm the exact opposite. I think they're an outstanding group of players. They really are."

The man who reckons that Wales talisman Gareth Bale would be the world's best left-back if he had stayed with that position, came close to landing the job four years ago only to see Hodgson take over from Fabio Capello.

This is his last chance and he is up for the challenge, willing even to consider working as an assistant to a younger man.

"I would love to get involved, if it happened," he said. "I would love to work with a young manager, either as a manager, or working with a young manager."


In that context, Redknapp name-checked a number of former internationals as possible candidates for a role in the England camp, including Tim Sherwood, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Alan Shearer and Steven Gerrard.

Speaking at the eir Sport event to announce a range of sporting events following the company's acquisition of Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Ltd, Redknapp looked forward to tonight's Wales v Portugal Euro 2016 semi-final.

Bale's stock with the Welsh fans has soared in the last couple of weeks, but his former manager reckons he can do more.

"When he was at Tottenham he was incredible, running teams ragged. He would have been the best left-back in the world, no doubt," he said.

"I didn't make him into a player, but I thought we could get more out of him pushing him forward. Then I moved him off the left wing and played him like he plays now, late on in my last six months at Tottenham.

"I don't think we've seen the best of him in this tournament. If he's on his game he can win it for Wales."

Meanwhile, former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler - attending the same media event as Redknapp - is backing Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for the England job.

"I am not one of these ones that think there should be an English manager, I just want the right man. One of the names that shone out for me straight away is Arsene Wenger," said Fowler.

Irish Independent

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