Bond backs Harry for England

Long-time disciple and Spurs assistant Bond reckons Redknapp could

easily step into Fabio Capello’s shoes when the Italian quits the

national team job in two years’ time. Redknapp, who is the

bookmakers’ favourite to do just that, is on the record as saying

he could not turn down the chance to manage his country. And Bond

was unequivocal today over whether his mentor was up to the

challenge. “I definitely think that he can do it,” said the

53-year-old. Few in football have a better understanding of what

makes Redknapp tick than Bond, who has known the man 10 years his

senior since playing under him at Bournemouth more than 20 years

ago. The pair, who went on to forge a coaching relationship at

Portsmouth which has since been cemented at White Hart Lane, now

share a car from the south coast to Spurs’ training ground.

Redknapp leaves Bournemouth to pick up Southampton-based Bond at

6am, and during the 90-minute drive to Chigwell, they talk almost

nothing but football. “Harry is a winner,” said Bond, who revealed

he used to beat Redknapp at golf, but no longer. “He can be

difficult when things aren’t going well. He doesn’t like getting

beaten and when we are not getting results. “We sit in the car for

hours and if we talk about something other than football, within

five minutes, we will be back to it. He absolutely lives for it.

“He is all-consumed by the game – his wife will tell you that – and

he won’t change.” Bond insisted he and Redknapp do not speak about

the England job but is in no doubt of the qualities the latter

would bring to the role. He said: “The qualities that he has

brought here: played players in their best positions, where

possible, gets the best out of them.” Redknapp’s stock has never

been higher, with last week’s Champions League win over Inter Milan

making him an even bigger favourite to succeed Capello. But an

injury crisis that could leave Spurs without an entire team for

Saturday’s Premier League clash with Blackburn is threatening to

undermine all his good work this season. They have taken just two

points from the last four matches and go into the weekend five

points adrift of the crucial final Champions League qualifying

spot. With a run of six domestic and European matches against the

likes of Arsenal, Werder Bremen, Liverpool, FC Twente and Chelsea

coming up, it could be a decisive period in the campaign. But Bond

said: “What will shape our season is where we finish at the end of

the season after the 38 games that we play. “Don’t get me wrong:

every game is vitally important, and it is a difficult run of

matches. “But we can only get on with Blackburn, do the best we

can, hopefully get a positive result against Blackburn, and then

we’ll put our thoughts towards Arsenal next week.” Tottenham proved

last season they could bounce back from disappointment when they

beat Arsenal and Chelsea back to back after losing the FA Cup

semi-final to Portsmouth. Helping Redknapp mastermind those

victories during those long drives to and from training was the

highlight of Bond’s two years at Spurs. “We were all bitterly

disappointed when we lost at Wembley against Portsmouth in the FA

Cup semi-final,” he said. “We wanted badly to get through to the

final, we didn’t and then we were faced with Arsenal and Chelsea

after that, two almighty games that could have shaped our season.”

Bond and Redknapp’s car-sharing journeys have not prevented the odd

blazing row between the pair. Bond said: “It would be no good if he

said that we should play this way and we all said, ‘You’re right

Harry’. “I don’t know what that is going to get you. “Everyone has

an opinion, not just me. “We lose our heads and then it is all

right again.”