Redknapp Heavy Favourite For Toon Job

Last updated : 10 January 2008 By Jim Bonner
Following the departure of Sam Allardyce from Newcastle United yesterday, Harry Redknapp has emerged as the bookies' overwhelming favourite to take the reins at St. James' Park.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley reportedly has his sights on Redknapp and has made him his number one target. Since last night, the odds from some betting firms have been slashed from 20/1 to 4/5 and that may be worrying for Pompey fans.

However, the man himself says he is happy at Pompey, although strictly hasn't ruled out taking the job. He's also said that he has had no contact from Newcastle and that he already turned down a job at a "massive club" (Tottenham) earlier in the year.

Harry owns a mansion in Sandford and would find it very difficult to leave for the North-East as he's settled down south. Reports claim that Harry might find the job too tempting because of the potential and money there is at Newcastle, whilst there's supposedly a lack of funds from Gaydamak this January which Harry finds frustrating.

In my opinion I can't see Harry taking the job for a few reasons.

Job security is the main reason as Redknapp currently has one of the safest jobs in football at Pompey. If he moved to Newcastle he would be putting himself under immense pressure from the start as the over-expectant Geordies will voice their displeasure as soon as there are signs of discontent.

Would Harry be prepared to throw away what he is building at Pompey? He's built a strong squad capable of challenging for Europe and I personally don't think that he'll want to leave the job unfinished and start all over again at Newcastle when he has a better team here.

Sources close to Harry, such as Frank Lampard Snr. have also said that Harry is unlikely to move to Newcastle because he is too settled on the South Coast.

If I had to put my money on someone taking the Newcastle manager role then I'd go for Martin Jol. He did a fantastic job at Spurs until the board undermined him and I think he'd relish the challenge of taking Newcastle higher up in the table if he was given time.

But then the Newcastle job is a poisoned chalice, and anyone who takes the job will be in for some serious stress. Harry won't want that and that's the main reason why I think he will stay at Pompey.

On the other hand, money talks and with Mike Ashley reportedly offering Harry double the wages he's earning at Pompey as well as a huge January transfer kitty, you can never be sure.

Let's hope he does stay, because we would be left with a huge gap to fill if he did leave us for Newcastle.