Redknapp still unhappy to be overlooked for England

Harry Redknapp had taken a swipe at the Football Association’s senior officials, saying he “would not trust them to show him a good manager if their lives depended on it”.

Redknapp was the outright favourite to take the England job when Fabio Capello resigned last year, but the FA opted to approach Roy Hodgson, then in charge at West Bromwich Albion.

Although Redknapp maintains he holds no grudge against Hodgson, Redknapp is still unhappy and claims he was the leading choice with the fans and the players, suggesting senior members of the national squad like Steven Gerrard texted him to offer their support for him to succeed Capello.

“I wouldn’t trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on it. How would they know? What clubs have they ever run? Who do they speak to who really knows the game?” the QPR manager said in his autobiography, serialised in the Daily Mail.

“This isn’t about them giving the England job to me or Roy Hodgson, but English football being run by people who really haven’t got a clue. And they get to pick the England manager.

“Everyone said I was the people’s choice, the only choice. All the senior players seemed to be up for me to get the job. I got quite a few text messages at the time from players saying they would love me to manage England: Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry. But the FA went for Roy Hodgson to be the England manager – a man who is more their cup of tea.”

And yet, this is the man who, when on trial last year accused of receiving secret payments, claimed: “I can’t work a computer, I don’t know what an email is… I’ve never sent a fax and I’ve never sent a text message.”

If nothing else good came out of that trial, at least Redknapp’s literacy levels soared dramatically.

Redknapp believes that the issue of compensation to Tottenham remains one of the reasons why he was never asked.

“I’m sure the FA would deny they were interested in me anyway, they always like to say they got their No1 choice, but maybe what helped make their minds up was the thought of writing a cheque in the region of £16million to Levy.

“He is known for driving a hard bargain at the best of times; get Daniel on a bad day and I would have ended up more expensive than Capello – and the FA were already getting a lot of criticism over his £6m-a-year salary.

“Of all the reasons doing the rounds for me not becoming England manager, the compensation issue makes most sense.”

That and the small matter of your sullied reputation.

UEFA deny they have plans to extend Euro finals

UEFA has denied a report that it wants to revamp the European championship to include nations from outside the continent in a bid to rival the World Cup.

The Independent on Sunday newspaper had reported European football’s governing body was considering expanding the tournament to have an event that could include Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Japan.

A UEFA spokesman said: “We can confirm that UEFA is not aware of the plans mentioned in the story in the Independent.”

There is precedent for continental championships inviting outsiders, with USA, Mexico and Costa Rica and even Japan having competed in the South American equivalent, the Copa America.

FIFA would regard any such attempt to broaden the format as a threat to the World Cup, which is its biggest source of income.

The European Championships are certainly evolving, with the 2020 event set to be played across a number of different European countries, something which has divided UEFA president Michel Platini and FIFA chief Sepp Blatter.

According to Blatter, holding the tournament across an entire continent will mean that it “lacks heart and soul.”

However Platini, who is reported to be considering challenging for the FIFA presidency when Blatter’s current term ends in 2015, replied: “Everyone has the right to an opinion on UEFA projects.”

Bayer Leverkusen apologise to Bayern Munich over banner

Bayer Leverkusen have apologised for a banner which mocked Bayern Munich officials Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness.

During the 1-1 draw between the two clubs on Saturday, Leverkusen fans displayed a sign criticising the Bayern pair, saying: “Hey, Uli and Kalle! How does it feel to get done by the law?”

The supporters were referring to recent tax travails that the Bayern CEO and president have become embroiled in.

However, Leverkusen officials were quick to apologise for the banner after the game, telling tz: “We did not know about this. We are very surprised and upset.”

The club also explained that Leverkusen supporters had smuggled the banner into the BayArena.

The banner could not tke the shine off Bayern’s performance with Rummenigge, full of praise for Bayern’s dominant performance.

“We top the table and have delivered a super game,” he said. “We continued where we stopped in Manchester [against Manchester City] – a world-class performance.

“Sadly, the Leverkusen goal was boarded up and a good ‘keeper was in goal as well. Otherwise we would have won.

“It is important to play good football and this we do on an absolute top level.

“We are on unbelievably high level. We play wonderful football.”

The draw with Leverkusen turned out to be a new milestone for Bayern winger Franck Ribery.

Ribery has gone 38 consecutive league games – since April 10, 2012 against Borussia Dortmund – without having been on the losing side.

He has equalled the 30-year-old record of Holger Hieronymus, who had been unbeaten in 38 straight games from September 1981 through to January 1983.

Bayern have currently not been beaten in 33 league games and look on course to break Hamburg’s record of 36 consecutive league games without a loss.

Goal of the Day

The undoubted shock of the Premier League season thus far came at White Hart when Tottenham were trounced 3-0 by West Ham. This marvellous solo effort from Ravel Morrison was the pick of the goals.

Buckingham Palace to stage first ever match

Buckingham Palace staged its first ever football match today, with the Duke of Cambridge, the FA president, warning the player not to break a window.

The competitive fixture involving two amateur clubs was the idea of the Duke, Prince William.

London side Civil Service FC, the sole survivor of the 11 teams that formed the FA on 26 October 1863, are taking on Polytechnic FC, set up in 1875.

”I cannot tell you how excited I am that later today we will be playing football (soccer) on my grandmother’s lawn,” he said before the game. ”One warning, though: if anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her.”

The pitch was easily accommodated in the 39 acres of gardens, which also includes lakes, shrubs and flowers.

The Prince gave medals to 150  volunteers before the game.

Civil Service FC were selected to take part in the game and suggested that Polytechnic, who are also based in Chiswick, west London, would be fitting opponents.

Polytechnic FC manager Geoff Brown said: “We first played 120 years ago – so there’s a fair bit of history between the two of us.

“The organisation up to the day has been absolutely manic. It’s only now we’re getting the chance to soak it all up and get ready for the experience.

“It’s only been this week that I was able to confirm that everybody in the first and second squads will be able to get to the game as well.

Bayern Munich enjoy day out on the beer

Bayern Munich celebrated their return to the top of the Bundesliga with a visit to the city’s annual beer festival.

The European champions, who drew away at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, took the opportunity to mark last season’s treble-winning success of Champions League plus German league and cup, by attending the Oktoberfest.

Among those enjoying the festivities was recently appointed coach, Pep Guardiola, who wore a traditional Bavarian hat to go with the lederhosen and was accompanied by his wife, while players also brought their families to enjoy the annual festival.

Bayern’s chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, told the players: “Celebrate freely. Our next game isn’t for another two weeks. We can enjoy the beer.”

As you can see from this picture, Bayern’s sporting director, Matthias Sammer certainly appeared to have been enjoying the beer, while Guardiola’s wife, Christina, perhaps fearful that she is expected to down the tankard of beer, looks on anxiously.

Quote of the day

“It’s better just to focus on our objective of getting back into Europe, rather than talking about the Scudetto and disappointing our supporters down the line. And please don’t talk about a revolution. That’s an important word in France.”

Coach Rudi Garcia tries to dampen expectations among supporters, after a Francesco Totti-inspired Roma maintained their 100 per cent record with an impressive 3-0 win at Inter.

Jack Wilshere vows to stop smoking

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has admitted he made a “mistake” after being photographed smoking a cigarette outside a London nightclub last week.

The England international’s behaviour drew some criticism, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger publicly berating his player.

“I disagree completely with that behaviour,” Wenger said last week. “I don’t know what has happened and I will have to have a chat with him about that.”

But Wilshere, who scored Arsenal’s equaliser during Sunday’s 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion, says he knows he was in the wrong.

“Players make mistakes,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “I am not a smoker. I spoke with the boss and he asked me what happened, I explained to him and we sorted it out.

“He put me in the team and hopefully I repaid him. I am not a smoker so I think that will be my last [cigarette].”

England manager Roy Hodgson also got involved prior to Wilshere’s admission, but said the issue was Arsenal’s responsibility.

He said: “I trust Arsene to deal with that situation.”

Lest we forget, this was a cigarette Wilshere was caught smoking, not a crack pipe.

Arsenal fans, who unlike their manager, could see the funny side of the situation, sang “He smokes what he wants” during Sunday’s match at West Brom.

“Love the new song for me today! Ha Ha,” tweeted Wilshere after the game. “The fans were incredible again!”