And Now The Distractions (And Excuses) Are Gone

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Manager Harry Redknapp of Spurs gives instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers at White Hart Lane on April 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Here is Tottenham Hotspur's league form between the resignation of Fabio Capello and the hiring of Roy Hodgson as England manager: WLLLDDWDLLW. That's 11 points from 11 matches. That's relegation form. If Tottenham played the entire season with that points per match ratio, they would finish on 38 points, and they would probably get relegated.

When Fabio Capello stepped down, Harry Redknapp was dubbed the obvious favorite for the job. He was the obvious favorite for the job come July even before Capello stepped down. The public and media wanted an Englishman, and he was the English manager whose team was in the best form. It was a no-brainer. Harry was asked about the job repeatedly, and repeatedly, he said his focus was on Tottenham.

I don't doubt that he was trying to focus on Tottenham. Anyone who thinks that Harry Redknapp was sitting in his office, twiddling his thumbs, daydreaming about what it would be like to tell the Steven Gerrard to 'f--kin' run around a bit' is a presumptuous jerk. Harry Redknapp likes the club and has some pride in his job. He probably really wanted to carry on.

Of course, he didn't. He got distracted by the prospect of being the manager of his country, and there's nothing wrong with that. If someone told me that I was the leading candidate for a job at the BBC, I'd probably do really crappy work here for a few weeks until I got a job offer or someone else got hired for the position, even though I'd try to carry on doing my work here. I think this is perfectly understandable.

It's also perfectly understandable that Harry Redknapp would convince himself that he wasn't affected by the speculation, when in fact he was very strongly affected by it. I thought this quote in the Guardian was an interesting one and it probably sums up his mindset well. Here's what Harry said when he was asked whether or not the England vacancy had an effect on his work with Spurs.

"Some people will feel it has, people who work with me think it's definitely had an effect but I don't know really, I'm not sure."

Haven't we all been in this place? We think we're just getting on with our job or schoolwork when our mind is elsewhere, and we thing we're doing a good job of just getting on with it, but everyone notices that something's wrong? Harry Redknapp is a human being. It's okay that he tried to think about Tottenham while he was distracted by England, and it's okay that he failed to completely shut it out of his mind.

Redknapp continued:

"It's dragged on a bit, I suppose. That's the only thing. Other than that I've got no problems. They choose whoever they want to choose. So I'm very lucky to be managing such a great club with great players. It's not something I thought about or I haven't spent the last six weeks thinking: 'Oh my God, what's the squad I'm going to take [to the Euros], what am I going [to do]?' I've just been concentrating solely on Tottenham and that's not changed."

That's what he has to say. That he's been thinking about Tottenham and not England. It's a half-truth and everyone knows it. That's fine.

But now, it's over. Harry Redknapp is the manager of Tottenham Hotspur and will not be the manger of England in the near future. Roy Hodgson has that job and excuses will be made for him even if England lose all three of their group stage games. He's going to have the job at least through World Cup qualifying, and since England's group is easy, at least through the 2014 World Cup. The England job should be literally none of any manager's concern, besides Roy Hodgson.

The excuses are gone. I understand that Harry's head was turned by England and I understand that the players struggled to give 100 percent effort when they thought their boss was walking away from them at the end of the season, but the England job is no longer vacant. Harry Redknapp is under contract with Tottenham Hotspur and there is no bigger team that is after him. He's not going to get fired at the end of the year unless the team fails spectacularly in their final three games.

Three games remain against Bolton, Aston Villa and Fulham. Two away games against relegation-fodder teams and one at home against a mid-table side. That should be nine points, period.

No one should concern themselves with Newcastle, Chelsea, the Champions League final, or Arsenal's two remaining games. Three games. Nine points. F--k the rest.

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