More England questions

FA should have interviewed Harry at the very least, says Richardson

Last Updated: 06/05/12 12:29pm

'Flattened' Harry Redknapp deserved at least an interview for the England job, said John Richardson of The Sunday Express.

"This is the England job. Ok, if it affects clubs I couldn't care less because this is the pinnacle. That should come first in our football."

John Richardson

Quotes of the week

The Tottenham manager was widely tipped to become Fabio Capello's successor but the Football Association instead chose to spring a surprise and appointed former West Brom boss Roy Hodgson to the role on Tuesday.

The 64-year-old will begin his reign with pre-Euro 2012 friendlies against Norway and Belgium but Richardson told the Sunday Supplement he can't help feeling that the FA has missed a trick.

"My first choice would have been Harry Redknapp., although I'm not against Roy Hodgson at all," he reflected.

"I think Roy Hodgson, as everybody says, is a fantastic football man; he's got a great CV, he's managed internationally before, he's been successful with Switzerland.

Issue

"But I have an issue with the FA. I thought that Harry should have at least been given an interview. They said they were going to compile a shortlist; I expected people on that shortlist to have interviews.

"I just think you've got to give a person a chance. Harry, I think, has been absolutely flattened by this because we [the media] were saying he was going to be the new England manager and most of the country wanted him to be the new England manager.

"You go round my local pubs and nobody's jumping up and down about Roy Hodgson being appointed, I'm afraid. They wanted Harry.

"I just think that Harry would have brought a feel-good factor to the whole country; I think we are a bit flat with England at the moment. I think Harry would have lifted the whole situation.

"Roy, I think, will do a good job. But I would just like to have seen what would have happened with Harry. Now we'll never know. For me, it's another Brian Clough moment where he was overlooked."

Galvanises

Richardson admitted that he was baffled by how long the FA had taken to name their man after chairman David Bernstein said the four-man selection committee had made up their minds to go with Hodgson a month ago.

"I don't go along with the FA treading on egg-shells," said Richardson. "This is the England job. Ok, if it affects clubs I couldn't care less because this is the pinnacle. That should come first in our football.

"I know fans will be disagreeing because they think it's all about their club and I can see that argument.

"But what galvanises the country? It's England at European Championships, at World Cups. It's a huge job.

"The FA should have gone, months ago, for the man they wanted not pussy-foot around basically. They should have named him.

"We're big enough now. In industry people put in 12 months' notice and carry on working. It doesn't affect their work. All this about 'we can't trouble Spurs, we can't trouble West Brom'. Why not? England for me comes first."