Two Masters Happy To Please
Harry Redknapp could take the England job and keep his Spurs one. Not a recommended course of action from one who tried to combine two jobs in the past
Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Harry Redknapp about the difficulties of trying to combine being manager of a national side and a club side at the same time. Ferguson had the Scotland national manager's role thrust upon him while manager of Aberdeen when, as assistant to Jock Stein, he was the obvious choice to take over when the legendary Celtic manager collapsed and died at Ninian Park in 1985. Ferguson blames the need to divert his time between national and club interests for costing the Dons the SPL title in 1986. Ferguson had to prepare Scotland for the World Cup in Mexico which in itself was an immensely heavy workload. Ferguson's memories of that time may offer a unique insight for Redknapp into what would be being risked if it was decided to balance the interests of Tottenham with those of the national team. Ferguson said: "I enjoyed it with Scotland and it was a good experience but it was difficult for me. I had five or six Aberdeen players in the squad and when I took the job in November we were top of the league and we ended up third. It did have an impact in terms of my appearances at the training ground during international breaks and games. We won the double because we won the two cups but I think we would have won the treble if I hadn't taken the Scotland job." Despite the problems, Ferguson is adamant Redknapp is the right candidate, fulfilling all the criteria he feels must be fulfilled. Specifically, the United manager has always argued the case for experience, believing the entire international scene suits an older person. He said: "It is for someone who has achieved a lot at club level and is at an age where the national team job is more attractive than a club one. There is a tremendous difference in your day-to-day life as a national team manager as opposed to being a Premier League manager. That's why it has always suited someone who is mature, who has achieved a lot and has the experience to handle the pitfalls of international management. There's no doubt Harry's the best man. He has good experience, the personality and knowledge of the game. He's changed the fortunes of every club he's been at. It's the right choice." The one problem Ferguson can see however, is whether Redknapp can be persuaded to leave Spurs at this stage of the season. Never before has Redknapp come so close to a league title, having built an exciting squad that has taken the Premier League by storm and looks set to claim an automatic Champions League place at the very minimum. Ferguson said: "He has a very attractive team and they can win the league. I don't know what is going through his mind at this time but I am sure that is."
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