Harry Redknapp was in Dublin today to promote the launch of eir Sport, and understandably fielded a number of questions relating to England's European humiliation at the hands of Iceland. Redknapp was believed to be the favourite to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager before the job was given to Roy Hodgson, and given the fact he is one of the most successful English managers in the history of the Premier League, the former Spurs manager was bound to be quizzed on England's early departure from France.
Redknapp, in fairness, resisted the urge to chide Roy Hodgson, instead arguing his players let him down. Redknapp was then asked whether the lack of competitive international football hamstrung England when it came to the white-hot heat of major tournaments. Redknapp agreed, citing the bloated European qualifiers as an example, dismissing them in his own, inimitable way:
The qualifying for these competitions is a total waste of time. There's one or two [difficult] teams in there: Ireland with Germany and Poland, that was interesting. That was worth watching. That was fantastic, I loved it.
But who wants to watch England play whoever was in our group...the Isle of Wight or whoever.
That is how the qualifying groups work now. Nine out of ten groups are ridiculously easy.
The Isle of Wight...excellent. While 'wight' may have sounded like something Roy Hodgson may have said in summing up England's qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 - they topped a group featuring Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino - the Isle of Wight have yet to field a senior international team.
Were they to do so, we reckon Robbie Keane would quite fancy the opportunity to add to his remarkable international goal tally.
Redknapp, meanwhile, retains an extremely high opinion of Keane, in spite of an illicit Christmas trip to Coppers.
Harry Redknapp was speaking at the launch of eir Sport, formerly Setanta Sports and the eir Sport Pack. The eir Sport pack includes eir Sport 1 and eir Sport 2; BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport ESPN. The eir Sport Pack is now free to all existing and new eir broadband customers. eir Sport has also secured the rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. eir Sport was formerly Setanta Sports.