If not Harry, maybe the Special One?

As the country confidently expects Harry Redknapp to be the next England manager, FA chief David Bernstein was insisting that the governing body are keeping an open mind on Fabio Capello’s successor.

The new England manager might not even be English, Bernstein suggested. In the unlikely event of Redknapp deciding he wants to stay at Tottenham, the alternatives amount to a rather short list:

Jose Mourinho is reportedly discontented at Real Madrid, enjoys English football, and is respected by most players. Whether the Special One would accept FA interference in his squad selection and captain is somewhat doubtful. He also has a rather too close connection to John Terry.

Roy Hodgson was the best-placed English candidate 2 years ago. Since then, a disastrous spell at Liverpool has dented his credentials, although he has considerable international experience.

The Dutch manager Guus Hiddink has impressive experience and was a great success as Chelsea’s caretaker manager. Unfortunately, unlike Harry Redknapp, he has a conviction for tax evasion. He was given a 6 month suspended sentence in 2007 for avoiding 1.4 million euros in Dutch taxes.

Rafael Benitez has a house on the Wirral and Steven Gerrard’s direct line. The former Liverpool manager still pines for English football, and his record at Anfield looks better with hindsight. His loathing for Manchester United might not endear him to the United players in the England squad.

Stuart Pearce is the caretaker for the Holland friendly. A scintillating performance in that game might kickstart a campaign for Pearce to be given the job permanently.

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