Daniel Levy cost me the England job, Harry Redknapp kinda-sorta claims

Michael Regan

The ex-Spurs boss has finally spoken his mind about the flurry of events that many believe sunk one of Tottenham's strongest campaigns in decades tow years ago.

Normally, I don't like to make a habit of writing formally about managers and players that have moved on from the club-  however, I felt that one particular newsbomb dropped into the media this morning was too interesting an insight into a situation, which Spurs never really got any closure on to overlook.

Remember how our former manager Harry Redknapp was nailed on to take over as England manager in early 2012 after the stunning resignation of Fabio Capello? Remember how the FA went on to appoint Roy Hodgson instead, leaving our season to slowly wither away and die as we narrowly missed out on a secure Champions League place, claiming that the former West Brom man had been their No.1 candidate the whole time? Well, according to 'ol Harry, things went down a little differently to how they were reported at the time, and in extracts from his forthcoming autobiography (serialised in the Daily Mail this week), he has sensationally (not really) re-ignited his feud with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy by laying the blame for the missed job opportunity at his door.

"I'm sure the FA would deny they were interested in me anyway, they always like to say they got their number one choice, but maybe what helped make their minds up was the thought of writing a cheque in the region of £16million to Levy.

"He is known for driving a hard bargain at the best of times; get Daniel on a bad day and I would have ended up more expensive than Capello - and the FA were already getting a lot of criticism over his £6million-a-year salary.

"Of all the reasons doing the rounds for me not becoming England manager, the compensation issue makes most sense."

Slightly inconsistently, Redknapp also reiterates his longstanding claim that the posisbility of taking up the England gig was never a distraction from his day job with Spurs; yet he also throws the following snippet in right alongside this claim:

"I'll admit, I thought it was mine. Everyone seemed so certain, everyone I had met from all parts of the game seemed utterly convinced it was my job."

If there was any lingering doubt that the FA directly or indirectly turned Harry's head that season, let it be laid here to rest. Closure at last.

Oh, and one final little interesting tidbit to come out of this story:

"If I had become the England manager I would have taken Brendan Rodgers as my number two," he added.

"My thinking on Brendan was this: if he can do it with players from the lower leagues at Swansea what can he do with Rio and Terry or Rooney and Gerrard?

"So when Tottenham played Swansea on April 1, 2012 I pulled Brendan after the game and said that if all the speculation about me and England was true would he consider coming to the European Championships in the summer as my part-time coach?

"I told him I wanted England to play with as much technical ambition as Swansea. He was up for it.

If the top brass hadn't messed the situation up as badly as they did that year, we might not not be dealing with Liverpool becoming yet another top-four rival this season. Thanks FA!

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