Paul Parker

Redknapp lacks tactical nous for England job

Paul Parker

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The FA should look closely at Harry Redknapp's tactics as they prepare to appoint the next England manager.

Poor defending from both sides made for an entertaining North London derby, and Arsenal showed some good fight to come back from a bad position.

But maybe Spurs boss Redknapp has shown with his recent decisions that he is tactically not ready for the England job.

He's the popular choice, but that doesn't mean he's the right choice — and the last couple of games should be a cause for concern at the FA.

For some unknown reason against Arsenal he decided to change the way Tottenham have played all season, and went for two up front away at the Emirates.

Most of Spurs' success has come with Rafael van der Vaart playing just behind the striker - why change a winning formula?

Spurs weren't playing especially well but they got themselves into a 2-0 lead, and at that point you should make sure you don't lose it.

But Redknapp changed everything drastically again at half-time, and I couldn't understand the introduction of Sandro, who was all over the place.

Spurs have still got question marks against them when they play the teams that matter in this division so far this season — they have to go to Stamford Bridge soon too, and things could get nervous.

And big tactical changes don't help. Look at the FA Cup game when Spurs played Stevenage — Harry had three at the back.

There was no need to do that, and whatever Redknapp might have had to say about the pitch, Stevenage were playing on the same grass!

If he kept his side as they were and attacked the League One side, surely they'd have won that game? Would Manchester City have changed the formation like that? Would United? Would Arsenal?

There are a lot of Tottenham fans in Stevenage of course, and it was a huge game for them. Harry got that game badly wrong.

Redknapp might be the media's flavour of the month now, but once he's in charge of the national side the press will be watching and judging his every tactical move with more scrutiny.

Those friends in the media will disappear pretty fast if he picks three centre-backs for England.

In fact, you'll probably find people calling for a tactician to come into the job — probably another continental expert!

Meanwhile Tottenham need to be careful, despite their excellent season so far. They're only seven points clear of the battle for fourth place and if they lose to Manchester United next weekend, that could become four. Will they then start looking down the table nervously? Who are the players in that side who are used to those heady heights?

They should still qualify for the Champions League, and that will be a terrific achievement for Spurs. But Harry's focus needs to be on the Premier League and his club job, and if I were him, I'd stay there. For all these tactical question marks he's done great things at Spurs, and the job is not finished.

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