CLARETS boss Eddie Howe feels the time is right for Harry Redknapp to become England manager.
Howe was Redknapp’s first signing in his first spell in charge of Portsmouth, moving from Bournemouth for £400,000, and believes his man-management and tactical nous would be a major asset ahead of Euro 2012.
Fabio Capello resigned on Wednesday night amid the furore over the FA stripping John Terry of the captain’s armband, and Spurs chief Redknapp was immediately installed as the fans’ players’ and media’s favourite to take over.
Howe concurs: “I’ve thought for a while he’d be a great choice.
“Playing for England should hopefully be enjoyable for any footballer and I think, looking from the outside, Harry would definitely give them that enjoyment factor back.
“I think players would love to play for him, I think he’s proved that down the years so I think he’d be a great choice.
“I know a lot of people are punting him so fingers crossed he gets it.
“He has a way of motivating and inspiring players to play probably beyond their level, which I think he did for a number of years.
“Now he’s got top players to coach and manage, he’s shown he can handle that, which isn’t easy in this day and age, and Tottenham are probably having one of their best seasons in recent history.
“Hopefully he’ll get the opportunity to show he can do it (for England).”
Like many, Howe was taken aback at Capello’s decision to step down on a point of principle, and added: “I thought Fabio Capello would lead England into the Euros so I was surprised
“But in some respects I think if Harry gets it, it would be a great move.”
Spurs would be loathe to let Redknapp go, should the FA come calling, but Howe thinks he could combine both roles: “I think Harry being Harry probably could. I think he’s probably the only man that could.
“He has this way that he doesn’t really get too bogged down with politics, he just wants to get out on the pitch and coach the players.
“I think he could.
“Whether England or Tottenham would be happy with that, that’s a different matter.”
He has first-hand experience of working with Redknapp, although his impact at Pompey was cruelly cut short by injury: “I didn’t have a lot to do with him unfortunately because I was in the treatment room looking out of the window wishing I could be out there playing.
“But you speak to the players that have played for him and see what he did for the team, transforming Portsmouth from a lower mid-table Championship team to promotion contenders, and then managing to stabilise them in the Premier League.
“It was a terrific achievement really, and he’s done the same at Tottenham when he took over and they were bottom of the league.
“I don’t think there’s any doubting his ability to do the job so I hope he gets it.
“I feel he’d do a great job and hopefully inspire England to do well this summer.”