Harry Redknapp has called for the next national manager to be English, but is his request based on pride? Or sound judgement?

Fabio Capello’s admittance that he will not continue as England manager past the European Championships in 2012 has sent the tabloids into a flurry of speculation regarding his successor.

The camera shy Harry Redknapp has acknowledged that he would be interested in filling the position when the Italian finally departs and given his commendable domestic track record, he would be a serious candidate for the job.

Never one to hold his tongue, Redknapp has also alluded to the fact that he feels the next England manager should be English, but is this a guarantee of success? Or even an important quality for the national gaffer? Or is it just pride clouding his judgement?

Since the turn of the century the role has been divided equally between two Englishman and two from overseas and the success of the four managers has differed drastically.

Kevin Keegan had a win rate of 38.9% and the Wolly-With-A-Brolly won half of his games, where as Sven won 59.7% of his games and Fabio Capello has to date secured a win rate of 71%.

This is far from conclusive evidence that an English manager isn’t suitable, as it could just mean that either the wrong men were appointed, or that there wasn’t a suitable candidate at the time.

However it does call into question the Tottenham managers logic and his desire for the position to be filled by someone born and bred on these shores.

Despite his domestic success, Redknapp’s experience of European football is limited, as are the CVs of other potential candidates Sam Allardyce and Steve Bruce and so the step up to the top job would be even greater and could leave them paddling in water that is out of their depth.

Roy Hodgson is perhaps the most qualified for the job, having tasted European football and also managed on the international stage before and Redknapp believes someone of the Liverpool manager’s nationality is needed.

“This guy [Capello] has a fantastic record at club level. But look, we’ve had a go with it now. When he finally moves on, surely there has to be a young guy or somebody in this country, surely we have to find a manager from England, an English manager” bellowed the Tottenham gaffer whilst standing proudly on a rolling country hillside with a bulldog at his feet and dressed head to toe in the St George’s Cross.

He added: “I’m not talking about a Scottish manager or an Irish manager, I’m talking about an English manager because this is where we’re from, this is our country. We should be able to produce someone who can manage the England football team and let’s be honest, they can’t do any worse than what they [Sven-Goran Eriksson and Capello] have done.”

Despite all of his proud protestations though he couldn’t provide a reason as to why an Englishman would be better, just that they wouldn’t be any worse than any one of them who doesn’t have a British passport.

The best he could offer was that “this is our country” and that we should be managed by an Englishman, irrelevant of whether there’s another more suitable and better skilled applicant from overseas.

Perhaps to encourage those English mangers with just domestic experience of football, Redkanpp has claimed that there isn’t much to this international management lark anyway.

“If you’ve got good players, managing England wouldn’t be that difficult. And we’ve got good players, so I’m sure somebody out there could do it.”

As his rant continues the source of his frustrations becomes clear though, as he adds.

“Why do the English lads waste their time doing their coaching badges and all the rest of the work if they’re never going to get the chance to manage at the top level?

“I want to see an Englishman get the job – whoever it may be – and there are lots of lads out there who could do that job, I’m sure.”

Seemingly less about who is right for the job, Redkanpp is perhaps quite rightly railing against the lack of opportunity afforded to English managers.

If this is the case though, it is perhaps even more reason why an Englishman is not at this time suitable for the position, as Harry states they simply aren’t getting the required experience to manage at the highest level.

With this in mind a manager from abroad appears to be the most obvious solution, unless in the intervening two years the opportunities afforded to Englishman are greatly improved.

Personally the nationality of the manager has never been an issue for me, as it is the team performance that has always dominated my attention.

If success is achieved at the hands of a foreign manager, the joy of it will not be tainted in the slightest knowing that an Englishman has not led his country to glory and in the absence of any obvious candidates with suitable experience, Redkanpp might be forced to continue his proud wishing for an English national manager.

Redkanpp’s hopes of seeing an Englishman in the hot seat might just be the man’s understandable pride talking, but whether his claims take into account who is most qualified, irrespective of their nationality, is another matter entirely.

Tags: Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur

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