FA cooling on Redknapp as door opens for Hoddle return

FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION chiefs are cooling on appointing Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp as England manager, with West Brom’s Roy Hodgson and former national boss Glenn Hoddle considered increasingly credible alternatives, City A.M. understands.

Redknapp has been the overwhelming favourite for the top job since last month, when he was acquitted of tax evasion on the same day that Fabio Capello resigned in protest at the FA’s decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

The 64-year-old is on course to lead Spurs into the Champions League for a second time, having made history by masterminding their qualification two years ago, and is a popular choice among fans and pundits alike.

Results at White Hart Lane have slipped since Christmas but it is believed that some at the FA also harbour doubts that Redknapp has the right profile for the role.

That has seen Hodgson and, remarkably, Hoddle considered as viable choices. Both have gone public with their eagerness to take over for this summer’s European Championship.

The FA have delayed a decision until the end of the season, but Capello’s successor will need to be in place before England’s first Euro 2012 warm-up in less than nine weeks’ time.

Hodgson, who has continental experience from spells in charge of Inter Milan and Switzerland, has said the England job would be “an honour”.

Ex-Chelsea and Tottenham coach Hoddle, who was sacked by the FA in 1999 over controversial comments about the disabled, has not managed since quitting Wolves in 2006, but this week put himself forward for an extraordinary return. “If I were to die tomorrow, my life would be incomplete,” he said.

Caretaker manager Stuart Pearce is keen to stay on for Euro 2012 but admits he does yet not have the experience to take the job permanently.

■ FORMER England manager Terry Venables has made a shock return to football as technical advisor of non-league Wembley FC. The 69-year-old’s contract is being bankrolled by beer giant Budweiser, who last week agreed to sponsor the club, who play in the ninth tier. Ex-Tottenham and Barcelona boss Venables said: “If they are willing to learn, I’m willing to teach.”