Perhaps one of the most famous speeches in English literature is that of King Henry V encouraging his men to storm the French town of
during the Hundred Years War. The speech, penned by Shakespeare in approximately 1599 is
perhaps best known for King Henry V calling his troops to charge “Once more unto the
breach”, but it was his final rallying cry – “Cry God for Harfleur
and Saint George” – which struck me as most pertinent. The besieging English
army was in a precarious position, although 10,000 strong it was ravaged by
sickness, had no strong foothold on the continent and faced the prospect of
having to fight off a relieving French army, Harry, England
The current state of the English national team is not too dissimilar… The squad hasn’t yet left for the continent but is already demoralised by internal conflict, ravaged by off the ball issues and with no leaders left to make stirring speeches. The rudderless ship that is the English football team looks like it might not even make it to Harfleur in 2012, let alone
Poland and . What
we need is a new Henry V – or “Harry”, as he was affectionately known. Ukraine
Fortunately we have our very own Harry more than able to unite the English dressing room and steady the ship on its way voyage to Euro 2012. The fans want him, the players want him, and the critics want him, but the question remains… will he heed
Harry Redknapp is nothing if not a patriot, but the Spurs manager is continuing to perform miracles in the Premier League. With almost 2/3 of the season gone, Tottenham are in the Champions League places, riding high in 3rd – 7 points ahead of Chelsea and a massive 10 points ahead of bitter rivals Arsenal – and, as a football fan, you could understand if not forgive Harry if he turned a deaf ear to his country’s cries. On top of that, Tottenham have been very supportive of Harry, particularly during his court case for fraud and you do have to question whether any sane man would swap that kind of steadfast support for the poisoned chalice that is the job of
So will Harry take the job? Although he’s made a few telling comments – describing it as “the ultimate job for an Englishman”, and assuring us the FA will do “the right thing for the country” (I wonder what that would be…) when appointing Capello’s successor - of far more significance is what he hasn’t said. He’s placated Spurs, praising the support he received from them, he’s also said “It wouldn’t be right to focus on anything else but Tottenham” (quite right too - he is their manager!), but he hasn’t said he doesn’t want to be considered for the job (as Pardew and O’Neil already have), and he hasn’t said he wants to stay at Spurs. His silence is deafening.
At 64 you have to ask how many more years Harry has in the game, particularly given his health problems. It is very possible that this will be his only chance to manage
and, for someone who has
always spoken of that job as the pinnacle for any English manager, I can’t see
him turning it down. England
Looking at it from a brutally pragmatic stance, he will also ask himself how much further he can take Tottenham. They’ve had a fantastic three seasons under Harry but without splashing the cash in the way that other top clubs are doing, and by sticking to their rigid wage structure (a stance which has much to commend it), you can’t help but think that what goes up must eventually come down. That’s not to have a pop at Spurs fans – they’ve got enough to worry about without supporters of rival teams (if West Ham can even be called Spurs’ rivals anymore…) sticking the boot in – I just can’t help but think that in the past Harry’s shown he’s too shrewd a football man to stay at an overachieving team (and they are, considering the money they’ve spent). This is especially the case when he has the opportunity to seize Immorality with England.
I’m putting my neck on the line here, but Harry will take the
job, possibly managing the national team alongside his responsibility at Spurs
until the end of the season. England
We all know what Harry will bring to the table and there’s no question that he’s the best man for the job – especially when you consider the collection of rather uninspiring English alternatives! – but, who will be his captain? I’d suggest he could do a lot worse than give the armband to Scott Parker.
Parker is a player who would give absolutely everything for the cause, like Harry, he seems to appreciate the importance of the national team to English football fans in a way that isn’t always evident in the current crop of players. He’s also likeable, a rare commodity in the
squad, a real leader on the pitch and is absolutely bursting with integrity.
Following the Terry captaincy debacle we need a leader who both the fans and
players can respect and get behind. Can you honestly say that Wayne Rooney,
Ashley Cole or Rio Ferdinand are worthy of the armband? England
Give it to Scott. Give the managers job to Harry. Lets get the feel good factor back in English football. Let’s have a team that the fans deserve and can get behind. I’m not saying we’ll win Euro 2012 or the World Cup in 2014, but at least
would give it a bloody good
go and show some passion for a change. So fill your lungs, pull on your England England top and Cry God for
and Saint Scott!! Harry, England