So what happened at the FA?
This is what happened.
1. Harry was asked to fill out a form. Now we know he’s got the writing of a two-year old so clearly what he scrawled was illegible. Roy Hodgson on the other hand has a fluent hand. Well it’s neat and tidy, if not exactly joined-up, much like the sides he puts out on the park.
2. Someone at the FA has spent months casting his eye over the relative backgrounds of the only two pretenders to the job and has come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly that Redknapp might have more skeletons in his closet than the average anatomy lecturer.
They’ve done this sort of thing before. My guess is that the last rather successful England manager was a bit of a geezer n all. And they don’t like that.
Now I’m not talking brown envelopes here – and I’m sure ‘Arry’s stationery is whiter than white anyway, but it’s fair to say that H has had a lot of flies sniffing round his shit for a few years. And the FA don’t want the slightest whiff of dodgy dealings besmirching the good name (ha!) of English footy.
Hodgson on the other hand is as straight as a dye. And that’s despite the fact he occasionally reminds me of the designer of the daleks, Davros. No Inland Revenue investigations, no potty weather-girls on redial, no barmy proclamations about the disabled, and he's prepared to stand out in the open air during bad weather.
3. The FA must’ve been impressed with the way Redknapp has put together a frequently scintillating team at White Hart Lane, with quality players throughout the first eleven. But do we really want an entertaining national team? No. Do we want a side that is poor at best being encouraged to swap places at the drop of a hat? No we bloody well don’t.
We want someone who can cobble together a ragtag bunch of individuals into a side that knows what it can and can’t do. Woy’s good at telling players of limited ability and grey matter what to do, where to go, and more importantly what not to do. Speaka da English, Gaffer! 4-4-bloody-2.
So there we have it. We’re not going to win owt for a few years any road, so why get so flustered and start pretending like Redknapp’s a latter-day Cloughie (minus the trophies)? Just cos the media got all dewy-eyed about cheeky chappie press conferences wiv the ol’ barrow-boy and his charming faux naivete doesn’t actually mean that the FA have to buy it.
Indeed the fact that ManU’s tweetmeisters instantly rallied to darlin’ Arry’s cause would rule him out for sure. They all loved playing for Capello too. Didn't they?
‘Ah’ I hear you cry ‘but what about Woy’s Liverpool debacle, eh?’ Well, I reply, I don’t really give a toss how bad that was. Compared to Kenny’s team’s League form he did all right. The main problem with this appointment is not that Redknapp’s better qualified (he isn’t) or that no Scouser ever saw fit to scrawl SuperWoy on a bedsheet and spread it across the terraces of the Kop, the main bloody problem is that not only will England not win many more games, they’ll be bloody tedious to watch in the process.
The upside is that Hodgson need not linger over the old guard – in fact very few of them appear to be putting out the bunting for him anyway – so at least he might have the nuts to give some younger players a chance to bed in. And I for one wouldn’t mind a period of plucky honesty from some keen young pups even if it does mean we slide down below Hungary in the world rankings. At least expectations won’t be high.
Not as high as they were for the Manchester derby which I found about as absorbing as a bathroom tile. Mancini, under pressure in the second half, resorted to type and manned the barricades rather than pushing for the winner.
Fergie, bewilderingly, chose Park over Valencia and left Hernandez on the bench. When the crunch came, he wheeled Giggs and Scholes hoping that the two wily old shepherds might muster his flock a chance. England’s bright new dawn shimmered like a lit match in a church vault. One puff from Kompany and Smalling was blown out.
Rooney scowled around like a tethered pit bull. United couldn't bring themselves to fashion a chance and in the end the neutral was left wondering how the best league in the world could come up with these two at the top.
I still reckon three points at Newcastle might be a stretch for Citeh. The Geordies will be eager to restate their case after Moses parted their defence with ease at Wigan.
Spurs still look favourites for 4th which might give Redknapp some solace if indeed he was ever bothered in the first place. And of course we have Chelsea, who the Nation have embraced, albeit with all the warmth of a sunburnt man hugging a cactus, after the epic 2-2 at the Nou Camp.
Di Matteo must get the job, which almost certainly means he won't. Even Torres has started scoring goals, even if it was against no defenders in Barcelona - and less than that against QPR.
Whisper it quietly though. United will still, somehow, win the Premier League.