With a club playing career at Chelsea, Spurs, QPR and Crystal
Palace and appearances at every level for England, Terry Venables
has the experience to impress pretty much any player in the game.
Add to that his turns in management at QPR, Palace and rather
notably three and a half years at Barcelona, Spurs, Boro (as an
"adviser") and his record at organising and motivating club sides
stands up well. And then there's the small matter of his time as
coach to the England national side - which ended in glorious
failure in a shootout against Germany in the semis of Euro 96.
With all that in his favour, what could anyone have against him
managing their side? Well, after the GG episode you could be
forgiven for being a bit chary about someone whose affinity for the
capital was so strong, and when a High Court judge has less than
complimentary things to say about a person's fitness to run a
business, you can't completely ignore the possible negatives. But
in terms of who's available and willing right now to take charge of
the side, I guess you'd be hard-pressed to find a more experienced
pair of hands, and if he can steady the ship and re-energise some
of the star players who haven't been performing to their fullest
abilities then it will clearly have been a gamble worth taking. If
he tinkers around for half a season and then wanders back down the
M1, there will be plenty of people queuing up at Peter Ridsdale's
door to tell him they told him so.
As a club manager, he's taken QPR to the FA Cup Final and into
the UEFA Cup (quite an achievement!), won the Spanish League title
- but missed out on the European Cup, watching his Barcelona side
lose on penalties to Steaua Bucharest - but picking up the World
Manager of the Year award was some consolation in 1986. He also
guided Spurs to the 1991 FA Cup before falling out with Alan Sugar
and taking over the England job in 1994. I guess that's not much
silverware on the sideboard for such a long career, but he's got
more than most and has shown he still has the appetite and grasp of
the game - of all the talking heads on show during the World Cup
Finals, Venables was the one spouting more sense per sentence than
all the rest.
With his best players being sold from under him, Venables did
nothing to endear him to the Leeds fans by leaving David Batty out
in the cold, and despite surprising early season victories over
Manchester United and Newcastle, he failed to communicate and
organise his players well enough to convert talent into goals.
After further sales and some fairly public comments about the way
the board was selling players behind his back it became clear that
he wouldn't be staying for a second year, but with a disastrous run
of form at the start of 2003, the final straw was the abysmal
performance at Bramall Lane that blew Leeds' remaining chance of
Europe as Sheffield United knocked Leeds out of a cup for the
second time in one season. A final dreadful capitulation at home to
Boro was enough, and when Venables confronted Peter Ridsdale over
his future and the persistent rumours of further player sales, he
was told that his services were no longer required.
Dave Tomlinson says: All the talk of Martin O'Neill and Steve
McLaren got us all hot and bothered about the new man and built up
expectations. The appointment of El Tel then looked a bit of a let
down, but I remember how hopeful I was that Venables would get the
England manager's job before Sven - this man is a wonderful manager
and inspired one of the best England sides of the modern era.
I hope that Venables can bring out the best in the squad and get
them playing for the team again - at least he'll bring some
excitement and colour.
Richard Allen says: you need to sorted out first you need to get
5 minutes you need to get more space you need to get to sorted to
the players and get follow the ball to keep six defeats. get going
and get move it
Lauren and Chris say: Batty! Batty! Batty! Batty! Batty! Terry
time to go.Terry Terry time to go!
luke says: venables out, batty in
mrs smith and mrs ogs says: we love you ell tel!!!! pride of
leeds along with alan smith and eirik bakke (avec his ladies of the
Claire says: As far as im concerned the biggest mistake Venables
has made was dropping Batty!! We need a solid presence in midfield
and Batty provided that. we are very short of players who would do
anything to play in a Leeds United shirt, Batty was one of the few,
he gave 100% of week. BRING BATTY BACK!!
Andrew Rea says: Venables isnt as bad as everyone thinks he is.
I'm forever Venables!!!!!!!
R.O.Fearn says: Does Terry still have his coaching academmy for
Fred A says: I can't communicate vividly the sense of despair
that I felt on hearing that we'd appointed Venables, a sentiment
instinctively shared amongst a few other supporters I know. Apart
from having a track record of financially screwing a number of
clubs he'd been at, the last thing the club needed was a
bulls****ing wide-boy personality in charge. Whilst I have to admit
he was undermined regards as Ferdinand and he chose to let go of
Keane, we'd qualified for the CL without these 2. He first set
about ripping the heart out of the midfield, alienating Batty,
bringing in stooges from his old boys network such as Okon and
Barmby as replacements for Dacourt (tho inconsistent he was a
committed player and often displayed true class). I for one moment
don't believe that Venables has any footballing knowledge that can
be usefully applied to the modern game (as I suspect pointed out by
Dacourt), regardless of what people say about the quality of his
punditry (I never saw it myself). He claimed that his tactical
ideas were too complex for the players so what is saying? That our
bunch of Champions League semi-finalists had transgressed into a
bunch of retards? An effective manager is an effective communicator
but instead, in a mere six months, he transformed us from CL to
relegation contenders for an amount of money that beggars belief
(hold up your hand Risdale). Accordingly my opinion of Venables has
gone from mere contempt to total loathing. Never again should this
man be let near a football club, ever!