Redknapp favourite to replace Capello ahead of Slovenia showdown

SPURS boss Harry Redknapp has been installed as the favourite to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager ahead of today s make-or-break World Cup clash. Capello has refused to comment on his future as the Three Lions prepare...

By Ben Pearce

SPURS boss Harry Redknapp has been installed as the favourite to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager ahead of today's make-or-break World Cup clash.

Capello has refused to comment on his future as the Three Lions prepare to take to the field against Slovenia in Port Elizabeth.

But speculation is mounting that the Italian could quit if the Three Lions fail to secure their passage into the knockout stages, even though he recently negotiated a two-year extension to his �6million-a-year England contract.


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Failure to qualify from a group which contained USA, Algeria and Slovenia would represent one of England's biggest ever disasters, leaving Capello - by far the best-paid manager at the World Cup - in an untenable position.

The 64-year-old has also seen his authority challenged this week, with John Terry suggesting that senior players are unhappy with their manager's methods, team selections and tactics.

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Bookmakers Victor Chandler last night ranked Tottenham manager Redknapp as the 2/1 favourite to be the next permanent manager of the national side, with fellow English boss Roy Hodgson next at 5/1.

And Skybet agree with the top two candidates, listing Hodgson as the 9/2 favourite and Redknapp second in line at 6/1.

Should Capello leave his post this week, the Football Association would strongly consider backing an English manager for the job, and Redknapp and Hodgson are the outstanding candidates.

Hodgson won the League Manager's Assocation Manager of the Year award after taking Fulham to the Uefa Cup final, while Redknapp took the Barclays Premier League manager award for guiding Tottenham into the top four in his first full season in charge.

Importantly, Redknapp has built a reputation for motivating players and building confidence, vital qualities which were clearly lacking in England's woeful goalless draw with Algeria on Friday night.

Tottenham's players have repeatedly stated that Redknapp's arrival in October 2008 - when Spurs were bottom of the league with two points from eight games - gave them an instant injection of confidence, and a sense of belief which diminished their inhibitions.

Should England fail to reach the World Cup knock-out stages for the first time since 1958, the FA may well ask Redknapp to work his magic with the national team.

Redknapp is currently looking forward to his first tilt at the Champions League with Spurs and recently dismissed interest from Liverpool, stating that he would happily sign a new contract with Tottenham since his current deal only has one year remaining.

However, the chance to manage his country may prove too much for Redknapp, who will probably only have one shot at the England job.

The main sticking point to an approach from the FA would be that the 63-year-old is currently on bail as he faces charges of evading tax and national insurance contributions due between 1 April 2002 and 28 November 2007.

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