Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Feelings Are Mixed on Harry Snub; Spurs Boss Still Free to Prise Away North East Talent

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Feelings Are Mixed on Harry Snub; Spurs Boss Still Free to Prise Away North East Talent

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

EITHER side of the rivers Tyne and Wear there will be disappointment that Harry Redknapp has been overlooked for the England job.

Not because Redknapp holds a North East mandate to take over the Three Lions - he was never the people's choice, despite the narrative pursued nationally - but because it means he is free to continue talking up Tottenham's interest in our region's best players.

Anyone forwarding the case that Redknapp carried public opinion with him would be best advised to survey the bars and offices of this region, where mention of the Spurs boss usually draws a venomous response.

Just before the England job become available, Redknapp committed the cardinal sin of revealing Demba Ba's contract release clause. Although a particularly busy agent had been circulating details to anyone who would listen for weeks, it was the Tottenham boss who made news of that public.

He did that on January 8, the point at which Ba had hit 16 goals for Newcastle. The Senegal striker has scored once since, and his future has been the subject of constant speculation. Sunderland know this tactic only too well, for it was a similar story when Kenwyne Jones was wanted by Spurs back in January 2009. Redknapp revealed a bid had been put in and the Black Cats, troubled by relegation, battled to hang on to a player who never quite regained form or focus.

Football fans don't tend to forget these things and maybe, as we consider the FA's likely appointment of Roy Hodgson, the same is true of the game's power brokers.

The FA have gone for the safer pair of hands in Hodgson - and in doing so have taken in a wider set of interests than who might deliver the best press conference soundbites.

For while Hodgson is an underwhelming appointment, he comes with little baggage. Liverpool fans might not rate him but for the rest of us, there is a clean slate. He is not the polarising force that Redknapp would have been. …

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