England players should let their feet do the talking

ENGLAND’S footballers need to start taking more time worrying about their performances on the pitch than their contributions on Twitter, according to former Ipswich Town legend, Mick Mills.

The 63-year-old played 42 times for his country, under three different managers, but admits his time with the national team, for whom he also skippered, differed from what today’s current crop of players experience.

Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand have both been vocal in their support of Harry Redknapp as the next England manager but Mills believes that could cause problems.

“Twitter gives the players a chance to offer their opinion and if the person they choose gets off to a good start, then great, but if it is someone else, then they could be put in an unfortunate position,” said Mills, who has backed Redknapp or Glenn Hoddle to take over from Fabio Capello.

“I think they should stay out of it and I find it strange that Wayne Rooney has got involved. Has he not got anything better to do?

“When I was playing, I don’t think we were asked by the media and it (the manager’s job) was not such a major thing then.

“There were articles written but there were not the TV channels and radio stations that needed to fill for 24 hours.

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“It’s time they stood up and were counted. I like the squad we have but if you look at the players, they make the decisions on the pitch and they were hopeless in last summer’s World Cup.”

Redknapp has been installed as the bookies’ favourite and Ipswich Town boss Paul Jewell reckons the former Bournemouth manager would receive the backing of the players, ahead of this year’s European Championships.

“In football there is always a peoples’ choice and I guess Harry (Redknapp) is the peoples’ choice at the moment – apart from Tottenham fans of course,” said Jewell.

“Players, managers, coaches and supporters, everyone seems to be behind Harry. He’d certainly have the respect of the players and the goodwill of the supporters.”

Should Tottenham succumb and let Redknapp leave White Hart Lane for Wembley, questions would be raised over the make-up of his backroom staff.

Would the FA want to see a bright managerial prospect such as Stuart Pearce continue to shadow the top man, like he did Capello?

Or would Redknapp want to bring in members of his current staff, that include Kevin Bond, Joe Jordan, Clive Allen, Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood?

Redknapp would find himself working with a much smaller team and Mills, who played for his country under Sir Alf Ramsay, Don Revie and Ron Greenwood, thinks Bond is a key man.

“Joe Jordan is very Scottish, so would he want to be involved in the England set-up?,” Mills added.

“Harry has got to take Kevin Bond and I think one person would be enough.

“He (Redknapp) knows plenty of people in football and if he was to take a third person, Ray Wilkins would not be a bad shout.”

Redknapp has become accustomed to having a strong number two alongside him.

However, ex-West Ham defender and current Braintree Town assistant, Keith Rowland, who played under the current man of the moment, does not think that should detract from the job he has done.

“Harry had Tony Pulis at Bournemouth and Frank Lampard Snr and Frank Burrows, who was a very good coach, at West Ham,” said Rowland.

“At Tottenham he has Joe Jordan, Kevin Bond, Clive Allen, Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood and he gets people in who he trusts, so he can take a step back.

“But like Martin O’Neill, come match-day he is the main man, the guy that makes the decisions and he has a ruthless side. He must have, to have managed at the top-level for so long.”

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