Harry has only just got his life back, FA must give him time


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The Independent Online

As he is prone to do when the pressures of life start closing in on him and football looks like a brutal and unforgiving place, Harry Redknapp was discussing that mythical house in Cornwall again yesterday where he plans to move with his wife Sandra at some stage of his life and, in his own words, "never be sighted again".

"That is how I am," he said. "You know that. And that is how Sandra is. I have said it a million times. I have just ended up in the position I am in and people think away from football that I live my life a certain way."

In case it has escaped anyone's attention, Redknapp has had something of an eventful week and he was in the kind of mood yesterday that suggested that if the Football Association had marched through the door with a contract to manage England he would not have signed it. Redknapp would like all this attention to go away for a while.

If the FA is seeking a way to convince Redknapp then it might be advised – in the age-old advice of marriage counsellors – to give him some space. At Spurs' training ground yesterday, he still had the aspect of a man who had only just got his life back.

He is not going anywhere. Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, will still be just as formidable a negotiator in a month's time as he is now. There is a temporary manager, Stuart Pearce, in place to take care of the England team in the friendly against the Netherlands this month. There is no harm in letting the whole situation calm down for a while.

It is natural that the FA chairman, David Bernstein, and the rest of the Club England committee want to appear men of action. They want to make it clear that they are giving this appointment all their attention. Indeed, Bernstein announced on Thursday they had "cleared the diaries" for yesterday's management brainstorm. One imagines a large flipchart with "Harry" written in the centre of it and not much else.

It would not hurt to give Redknapp some time to ruminate on the idea of being England manager. When presented in stark and immediate terms it can seem like the nightmare proposal. Give Redknapp a few weeks and he will start to think about the possibilities: the players, Wembley, the tournaments... even the time off between games.

Redknapp is the man for the job now. He will still be the man for the job in a month's time. There is no rush.