Cometh the Hour

By , Posted on 12th February 2012 - Posted in: News

So, in the wake of Fabio Capello’s resignation from the post is Harry Redknapp now the right man to lead England? Based on the groundswell of public opinion, it seems he is. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and all that.

It’s rare for a single candidate to be so overwhelmingly popular amongst supporters, yet I find it curious that a 64 year old man who has been in management for 25 years is suddenly considered ‘de-rigeur’. You’d have been laughingly dismissed as an idiot had you suggested Harry for such a position as recently as three years ago.

So what’s changed?

Nothing has really. It’s simply the same old same old as far as how we select England managers. The candidate least like the departing manager is always the one chosen to be the next and this time round Harry is clearly the stand out guy. Other than there being a single outstanding candidate for the job there’s no fundamental change of recruitment process going on we haven’t seen before.

After the oddball lunacy that was Glen Hoddle we embraced the ‘people’s choice’ in Kevin Keegan with his up and at ’em three-lions-on-their-chest roar. When that dismally failed we realised what we needed was someone who actually knew some tactics and had a modicum of worldly sophistication – so we went foreign and brought in Sven Goran Erikkson.

But of course Sven was cold and passionless (in his football persona at least) so the best thing to do was go English again though naturally Steve McClaren. The Wally-with-the-Brolly, left us in no doubt that we really did need foreign nouse after all, etc etc etc.

And as Harry potters over whether or not to take the job he needs to remember that he too will ultimately be slaughtered by the press, those self same journos who are presently imploring him to take on a job he hasn’t actually been offered yet. Where the press leads the fans quickly follow.

In six months time we’ll all be wondering what the Hell we were thinking.

We reckon we’ve pulled Heidi Klum when in actual fact we’ll spend the morning fishing Pat Butcher’s smalls out of the bidet. Even though we know we’re wearing beer goggles we’re powerless to counter the inexorable, overwhelming urge to give it a go with H. We convince ourselves it’ll be different this time. It really will.

It won’t.

Naturally he’ll be given time to prove himself; right up to the kick off of his first game seems reasonable enough, but it won’t be long before the knives go in. Then, with all the ingredients firmly in place (the barrow boy persona, the self professed illiteracy, the full array of nervous ticks and twitches) the press will mercilessly slay him in the most personal and vindictive manner possible. What they did to Graham Taylor will seem like innocent banter.

The fact it’s the worst job in the world isn’t reason enough to turn it down of course. Who can refuse when their country comes calling, but even as we clamour for his appointment we know all too well it’s going to end badly. If he’s being honest, Harry knows it to. And yet, what can a man do?

Looking ahead, who is the anti-Harry figure we’ll be searching out in the aftermath? Well it’s not rocket science. A suave, polished, dictatorial, younger man, able to speak splendid English, with nice teeth, utterly beyond reproach in all his business dealings. I should imagine he’ll be Portuguese. He probably walks amongst all already.

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