The BT Sport pundit read recently that he, Glenn Hoddle and Stuart Pearce were being mooted as a Three Lions management dream team and chuckled at the suggestion.
“I thought, ‘That sounds a good team, I could work with that one’,” he said. “Who’d be in charge? Oh, I’m in charge! But yeah, we would’ve done all right if we’d have had the chance.
“Certainly, I love Glenn – he’s fantastic. If Glenn had kept the job when he had it at that time, we’d have gone on and done good things. He had a way of playing. You would’ve have had a style. “What will be interesting for me under Gareth is how England are going to play. What are we about? What is our identity? Have we got one?”
Redknapp accused England of being “bland with no flair” in November and hopes the recall of Barkley for the first time since Euro 2016 can spark a new era for the national team.
“Dele Alli would be a big part of your team if you were managing and with Ross Barkley…there’s some good young players around at the moment,,” he said.
“Play them both. Too often, we’re too wedded to the idea that we’ve got to have a holding midfielder, we’ve got to have a defensive midfielder. Okay, I know Chelsea have got the boy N’Golo Kante who sits in. But why can’t Barkley play?
“Barkley’s 6ft tall, incredible build; Dele Alli’s 6ft 1, whatever. We’re not talking about tiny little kids who can’t defend or can’t tackle or no strength. They’re good players.
“Play your good players. Find a way of playing them. Why can’t they play together? The pair of them can run all day, can tackle, they head it; they’ve got everything.”
Alli also has a fiery side, and while he insists a series of heart-to-hearts with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has turned him into a calmer character, he makes no apology for the a temperament which continues to land him in trouble.
Alli was recently sent off against Gent for a horrendous studs-up challenge on Brecht Dejaegere in the second leg of their Europa League clash, which appeared to be some sort of act of retribution after the referee failed to spot him being fouled moments earlier.
As a result, 10-man Spurs crashed out of the competition and Southgate can ill afford such indiscipline on the international stage.
But while Pochettino has spoken in the past of the “devilment” possessed by Alli, the pair are working together to improve things bit by bit.
“I have so many things to learn from this season,” Alli said. “Everyone makes mistakes and it’s important that you bounce back. I felt horrible straight after it but it’s important I put it behind me and make sure I learn from it and keep improving.
“Thankfully, Mauricio Pochettino knows that’s who I am. We’ve had a few talks and he’s been really supportive. It’s good to have a manager behind me who trusts and supports me as much as he does.
“I have calmed down a bit but I’m never going to take that out of my game. I’m never gonna say sorry for wanting to win or trying as hard as I can.
“Sometimes things happen and you have to learn from them. I’m still young, I’m 20 years old. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs in football, that’s the way it is. It’s important if things don’t go my way and things happen, that I learn from them and keep improving.”
Even though this is still only his second season in the top flight, Alli is already showing he is not afraid to dish out a few talkings-to of his own.
“It’s important we help each other when we can,” he explained. “If something needs to be said, then we aren’t scared to say it.
“That’s the great thing about this team. You feel comfortable telling other players what you need to tell them and they take it as a positive. That’s good.”
In truth, Alli can be forgiven a multitude of sins all the time he is rattling in the goals. His eye for the back of the net is particularly important right now, when both Spurs and England are missing the input of the injured Harry Kane.
Alli took over his team-mate’s penalty-taking duties in the 2-1 win over Southampton on Sunday, scoring his 17th goal of the season and his 24th Premier League goal in only 60 appearances.
“As soon as Harry got injured, we felt it was important that we all stepped up, did our piece and chipped in with the goals now,” said Alli. “He will keep supporting us off the pitch and it’s important we get the points.
“I always want more goals, I’m always hungry. It’s important the team keep scoring and we keep winning games.”
Towards the end of the Southampton game, Pochettino even pushed Alli forward to fill Kane’s position at the spearhead of the attack, but Alli does not see this as a long-term transition.
“I enjoy playing as a No10,” he said. “I am happy to play anywhere in this team. If the manager wants to push me higher in some games, then I am happy to do that for the team. But I think I am a midfielder and enjoy playing everywhere.”
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