FA chiefs meet to consider Capello's successor

Harry Redknapp was back at Tottenham focusing on the club's Premier League title challenge as the English Football Association met Friday to consider making him the national team coach.

Updated: February 10, 2012 17:36 IST
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London: Harry Redknapp was back at Tottenham focusing on the club's Premier League title challenge as the English Football Association met Friday to consider making him the national team coach.

With the European Championship four months away, FA executives will create a shortlist of options if Redknapp cannot be lured away from White Hart Lane immediately as the replacement for Fabio Capello.

The Italian resigned Wednesday in a dispute with the FA, which stripped John Terry of the captaincy as he faces trial on racial abuse charges.

Redknapp was due to address the media on Friday to outline his England ambitions — two days after being cleared of tax evasion charges that had threatened to derail his career.

There is also the option of Redknapp just taking the job for this European Championship before Capello's full-time replacement is hired.

"My family has gone from one storm to another, but I prefer this storm," Redknapp's son Jamie, a former England international, wrote in Friday's editions of the Daily Mail. "My dad has been ill worrying about his case. He has been anxious and angry. Worrying about my mum, who is a gentle and soft person. Worrying about what would happen to her if he ended up with a guilty verdict."

The 64-year-old Redknapp underwent heart surgery in November.

"I don't want to sound selfish, but whatever my dad ends up doing, he has to do what is best for him," Jamie Redknapp said. "I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, it's not meant to, but, after what he has been through for the last five years, it has to be his choice."

Key members of the England squad quickly swung into line with the national mood by publicly endorsing Redknapp, whose Tottenham side is third in the Premier League.

"We of course understand the feeling of the nation and supporters, fans of England are very important when it comes to choosing the right person for the job," FA general secretary Alex Horne said. "But we have to sit down (on Friday) and look long-term and give ourselves as many options as are available.

"We owe it to ourselves to write up the job brief and make sure we sit down calmly and make sure we have an exhaustive list."

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce will take charge of England's friendly against the Netherlands on Feb. 29, with the Euro 2012 opener not until June 11 against France.

Redknapp seems to fit the job description that will be completed on Friday by a four-man board led by chairman David Bernstein.

"The motivational qualities of a future England manager are absolutely vital, to be able to handle big players and motivate and excite both the players and the fans," Bernstein said. "We'd all probably agree that the quality of play and the level of confidence shown at Wembley is not quite where we'd like to be."

But persuading Redknapp to take the job beyond Euro 2012 might not be so clear cut, with another season still to run on his Tottenham contract.

Having been backed by Tottenham during a tax evasion trial which ended with not guilty verdicts on Wednesday, Redknapp might want to remain loyal to a club on the brink of a second season of Champions League football.

The option is open for Redknapp to just coach England at the June 8-July 1 European Championship before returning to Tottenham.

"We are not prepared to restrict ourselves at this stage," Bernstein said. "He might be English. He might be British. He might not be. He might be for the Euros only, he might be long term. We need to look at all the options."

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