Harry Redknapp reflects on nearly becoming England manager
By Tom Gott
Harry Redknapp has insisted he has no regrets about never managing the England national team, although he admitted he would have loved the chance to represent his country.
Then the Tottenham manager, Redknapp was the favourite to replace Fabio Capello in 2012 but he ultimately did not take the job, allowing Roy Hodgson to move into the Wembley dugout while Redknapp himself took over at Queens Park Rangers.
Appearing alongside Joe Cole on BT Sport's The Joe Cole Cast, the duo reflected on Redknapp's discussions with the Football Association and how the boss had even vowed to bring Cole back into his national team setup.
"I hadn't played for England since 2010," Cole began. "I don't know if you remember this, but I bumped into you in a restaurant. I was playing in France but we had the day off, and it was around the talk of you becoming England manager.
"You thought you had the job. I remember you telling me: 'I think I'm going to get the job, and you're going to be back in, Joe'.
"We went back to the table, you spoke to my mum and dad, and we had a glass of champagne to celebrate. The next morning, it was Roy who had the job!"
Redknapp recalled: "Everyone was ringing me. The FA, the League Manager's Association, saying: 'You've got the job, Harry. It's your job'. My decision was, do I stay at Tottenham where I've got a good team, or do I take the England job?
"In the end, it didn't happen. At the end of the season, I lost my job as Tottenham manager. Finished fourth but then, with Chelsea winning it, we didn't qualify."
Asked whether he regretted passing up on the England position, Redknapp stressed he enjoyed a glittering managerial career even without the chance to work for his nation.
"I'd have loved to have done it. It would have been a great opportunity for me," he admitted. "But listen, I've been lucky. I've managed so many good teams, good clubs and good players."
The Joe Cole Cast is part of a new series of free podcasts and audio documentaries from BT Sport Pods. Episode 5 featuring Harry Redknapp is available from Saturday 24th September. For more info, please visit: btsport.com/pods