Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roy Suits Burton Better Than Fans' Favourite Redknapp

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roy Suits Burton Better Than Fans' Favourite Redknapp

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley Chief Football Correspondent

[bar] IMING isn't everything after all. Had Fabio Capello left his post immediately after the 2010 World Cup debacle, Roy Hodgson would have been the outstanding candidate to replace him.

Harry Redknapp had just guided Tottenham to their first appearance in Europe's top club competition since 1962 but Hodgson had taken Fulham to the Europa League Final where a valiant extra-time defeat against Atletico Madrid failed to diminish respect for his achievements.

Capello clung on and how things changed. By the time that perfect storm arrived in February when Redknapp was acquitted over tax evasion charges just hours before Capello resigned, there was only one candidate.

Hodgson had since been tainted by a disastrous spell in charge at Liverpool and considered to have found his level at West Brom, where he was affecting the kind of change more suited to his skills -- extracting the best from a limited group of players and helping a mid-table team punch above their weight.

Perhaps the sense of realism surrounding the England team has permeated the Football Association to the extent they believe that is exactly where the national team are at right now.

After all, the common consensus is that England can now only call on a handful of consistently world-class players -- Joe Hart, Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney -- with the so-called golden generation in decline.

Hodgson's tenure at Anfield was a catastrophe but the situation was compromised from the start with the popular choice, Kenny Dalglish, casting a long shadow and a club structure on a hierarchical level undergoing seismic change.

Hodgson would be forgiven for noting deja vu as he arrived in London today. Redknapp is undoubtedly the people's choice with a charismatic charm that would at once lift a nation and a beleaguered group of players.

Teams Hodgson career, three Euro 2012 would suddenly be approached with less dread and the short timeframe to organise England's approach would be offset by Redknapp's galvanising skills and flair for the spontaneous.

But the FA are looking beyond Poland and Ukraine. Far beyond. Tired of endless accusations of short termism and a failure to learn from other nations with greater infrastructure in developing young players, there is a considerable shift towards a long-term plan.

"We want someone we believe can play a really important role at St George's Park," said Club England chief Adrian Bevington when outlining the characteristics of Capello's successor.

managed by a 37-year including national "Not who sets out the coaching philosophy for the organisation but someone who when we're there, can be the senior team manager, who on a frequent basis can go into the Under-17s' dressing room and explain the importance of international football. …

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