Harry Redknapp has accused the Football Association of being clueless and said he “would not trust them to show him a good (England) manager if their lives depended on it”.
The Queens Park Rangers manager was an odds-on favourite to replace Fabio Capello as England manager last year while he was in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, but the FA decided to appoint Roy Hodgson instead.
“I wouldn’t trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on it,” Redknapp said in his autobiography which is being serialised by an English newspaper this week.
“How would they know? What clubs have they ever run? Who do they speak to who really knows the game?
“This isn’t about them giving the England job to me or Roy Hodgson, but English football being run by people who really haven’t got a clue. And they get to pick the England manager.”
The 66-year-old said he held no grudge towards Hodgson, who leads England into their final two 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland with a place at the tournament in Brazil still uncertain, but said senior players wanted him to get the job and he had already approached Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, then in charge of Swansea, about being his assistant at the 2012 European Championship.
“Everyone said I was the people’s choice, the only choice. All the senior players seemed to be up for me to get the job. I got quite a few text messages at the time from players saying they would love me to manage England: Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry. But the FA went for Roy Hodgson to be the England manager – a man who is more their cup of tea.”
He said that Hodgson was more of an “FA man”, having come through their system, and that the governing body may have been put off by a potentially large compensation demand by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
“I’m sure the FA would deny they were interested in me anyway, they always like to say they got their No 1 choice, but maybe what helped make their minds up was the thought of writing a cheque in the region of £16 million to Levy.”
Redknapp was sacked by Spurs at the end of the 2011-12 season, with some fans saying he had become distracted by the speculation amid a poor run of form, and claims of disloyalty at his public comments about the England job after the club had supported him during his tax evasion court case, both of which he disputed.
Meanwhile, Ashley Cole will miss Friday’s World Cup qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley, the Football Association has confirmed.
Cole complained of a rib problem during Chelsea’s Barclays Premier League victory at Norwich on Sunday and went for a scan yesterday morning which has confirmed the full-back will not be able to play in the first match of England’s double header at Wembley.
While the left-back could be available for the following Tuesday’s game against Poland, it does seem unlikely the veteran will be involved.
Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs has been added to Roy Hodgson’s squad, while Everton’s Leighton Baines is set to start.
Although the injury itself is not a complete disaster, with Baines in outstanding form – which brought interest from Manchester United this summer – it does add a complication Hodgson could have done without ahead of such a massive week.
England might qualify with four points, but to be certain of reaching next summer’s Finals in Brazil they need to beat Montenegro and Poland.
Montenegro will miss captain Mirko Vucinic and at least three other players through injury.
Goalkeeper Mladen Bozovic, centre back Marko Basa and midfielder Miodrag Pekovic have also been ruled out, while central defender Miodrag Dzudovic is doubtful with a back injury and a hamstring strain.