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.

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own