Harry Redknapp has dismissed claims that he was disrespectful towards England manager Roy Hodgson after criticisms in his recently released book labelling those who appointed him as Fabio Capello’s successor as “people who haven’t got a clue”.
The book, Always Managing: My Autobiography, has received wide-spread coverage since its release earlier this week, and it has come in for criticism by ex-Football Association chairman David Bernstein after he said the Queens Park Rangers boss was “disrespectful”.
But Redknapp has responded to Bernstein’s claims, claiming he is the biggest fan the national side has and that he fully backs Hodgson in the role.
"No-one was disrespectful to Roy or anybody else," QPR boss Redknapp said.
"What effect will that have on the England team? Not the slightest. I'm the biggest England fan of all and I think they will win the games this week, and Roy has done an excellent job. I have absolutely no problems with Roy Hodgson at all.
"Everyone said I was the people's choice, the only choice. All the senior players seemed to be up for me to get the job.
"But the FA went for Roy Hodgson to be the England manager - a man who is more their cup of tea."
Redknapp didn’t hold back though when talking about Bernstein.
"[Bernstein] can call himself a football man but in all honesty he may think he's a football man, but what he probably knows about football is not an awful lot,” expressed Redknapp.
England face two campaign deciding matches against Montenegro and Poland over the next five days, knowing that to victories will be more than enough to see them book their place in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. Bernstein however, feels that Redknapp has picked the worst possible time to release the book, becoming an unnecessary distraction for the team as it is currently being serialised in the Daily Mail.
“To come out and effectively criticise a process and another manager - because that is what he did - at this particular time where we had two crucial international matches coming up was something that I thought someone like Harry would think better of,” Bernstein said while speaking at the Four Four Jew exhibition at the Jewish Museum in London, which delves into the untold story on the relationship between Jews and football.
Redknapp, who at the time of Capello’s departure was in charge of Tottenham, responded by admitting he had no control over the timing of the release date.
"I don't decide when the book is going to be released. That is nothing to do with me - that's down to the publishers,” claimed Redknapp.
Bernstein defended the FA, of which he was chairman during the selection process of Capello’s successor, and along with a panel which included Sir Trevor Brooking, FA general secretary Alex Horne and managing director of Club England Adrian Bevington, feels they did “a very thorough job” in identifying Hodgson as the next England manager.
"First of all, it's quite simply inaccurate," said Bernstein when responding to Redknapp's claim that the FA and their selection process was 'clueless'.
"There were four people who made this decision. One of them was myself - and I've been involved with running Manchester City for 10 years and chairman of that club for five years.
"[There was also] Sir Trevor Brooking, who has a lifetime in football; Adrian Bevington, who has huge football knowledge, amazing football knowledge; and Alex Horne, the general secretary.
"We spoke to up to 20 people within the game: other managers, players, all sorts of people with great, great knowledge."
Bernstein finished by refusing to comment on whether Redknapp was in contention for the role, although it is widely thought that both he and Hodgson were the two main candidates in contention to take over the Three Lions.
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- Fabio Capello
- Nonfiction Literature
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- Trevor Brooking