Redknapp hints at same old faces for England

Tottenham Hotspur 5 Newcastle United 0

White Hart Lane

Harry Redknapp is unquestionably the people's choice to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager. But if the people anticipate that a Redknapp team will represent a decisive step away from the failures of the past, then they might be in for a shock. Instead of new faces, it could be a case of same old, same old – with the emphasis very much on old.

Redknapp said after Saturday's game that he thought the England squad that failed so badly in South Africa in 2010 had had "the best chance since 1966" of winning the World Cup, and it sounded very much as if he fancied giving some of its members another opportunity. His Tottenham field general Scott Parker remains a candidate to replace John Terry as England captain, but so does old hand Steven Gerrard. And while England fans tired long ago of seeing Gerrard mismatched alongside Frank Lampard in midfield, Redknapp will not rule out his 33-year-old nephew – or 37-year-old Paul Scholes, who retired from international football in 2004.

"Let's be honest, you'd love to have Paul Scholes in the Euros this year," Redknapp said. "He'd be in your team, he's that good. You'd love him to play. He plays like a Spaniard, he can play like Xavi, like Iniesta. He doesn't give the ball away. Frank's still a top player – you write Frank off at your peril. Stevie Gerrard's still a world-class player in my opinion. There are still some good English players in midfield."

How that threesome and Parker would line up together and still provide any of the width that has brought success with style to the Tottenham team is anybody's guess, but few would disagree that Redknapp has a gift for building a team, usually around an experienced core, and, who knows, he may even be the one to finally solve that Gerrard-Lampard conundrum. Fitting in the promising young players Capello was bringing through is another challenge, but one that Redknapp has probably not had time to ponder yet. As he reminded reporters on Saturday, any such considerations are premature in any case.

"Listen, I'm starting to talk about international football and my only focus has got to be on Tottenham and that's the only thing I'm looking at – next week in the Cup, then Man United, then we've got Arsenal – we've just got to keep going. If anything ever comes [from the FA] then it's a different game, but at the moment there's nothing happening."

The Tottenham crowd made it clear they want Redknapp to stay, and there was a very visible precedent on the pitch in the form of Luka Modric, whose transfer to Chelsea last summer seemed a foregone conclusion.

The players feel the same about the manager who transformed them from relegation candidates into Champions League contenders.

Their performance on Saturday was a convincing statement that Redknapp has something special at White Hart Lane, although they know that Modric is an exception to the rule.

"People will always be interested in good players," Ledley King, the Tottenham captain, said. "That is football. As a group of players we love him and hope he will stay. We were bottom when he first came in and the results picked up straight away. He showed his people skills and ability to lift players even when their confidence was low. He has gone from strength to strength, brought in some good, experienced players who know what it takes.

"There was a lot of speculation with Luka, and players wanted him to stay but you can't tell anyone what to do. They have to do what feels right for them and football moves on."

Newcastle were the visitors unlucky enough to face a Tottenham team with a point to prove on Saturday, and while their cause was not helped by key absences in midfield, their full-backs both looked out of their depth. Emmanuel Adebayor was unplayable, scoring one goal and having a foot in the other four, including two for Louis Saha on his first start for Spurs.

"I knew we were going to see a reaction from their fans and players and it couldn't have gone any better for them really," Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, said.

"My team has responded well to setbacks, so we mustn't get carried away when we have been thumped. Today's problems just came from a team that was too good for us.

"I think we would be quite pleased to see that team in an England shirt. Harry has a very tough decision because this isn't a team you want to walk away from."

Match facts

Spurs: FRIEDEL 6/10; WALKER 7; DAWSON 6; KING 7; ASSOU-EKOTTO 7; KRANJCAR 6; MODRIC 7; PARKER 8; BALE 7; ADEBAYOR 8; SAHA 7

Newcastle: KRUL 5; SANTON 4; COLOCCINI 6; WILLIAMSON 4; SIMPSON 4; PERCH 4; GUTHRIE 5; GUTIERREZ 6; CISSE 5; BA 6; OBERTAN 3

Scorers: Tottenham Hotspur Assou-Ekotto 4, Saha 6, 20, Kranjcar 34, Adebayor 64.

Substitutes: Tottenham Lennon 6 (Bale, 67), Defoe 6 (Saha, 67), Nelsen (King, 75). Newcastle United Ferguson 5 (Obertan, h-t), Gosling 4 (Cissé, 68), Lovenkrands (Guthrie, 86).

Booked: Tottenham Parker, Walker. Newcastle Gosling.

Man of the match Adebayor. Match rating 8/10.

Possession: Tottenham 63% Newcastle 37%.

Attempts on target: Tottenham 9 Newcastle 3.

Referee A Marriner (West Midlands) Attendance 36,176.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea