Book of the week: Born to Manage: The Autobiography by Terry Venables
Sunday 01 June 2014
Where to begin with Terry Venables? His own choice here is 18 June 1996, when the England team he was managing hammered the fancied Dutch 4-1 at Wembley in the European Championship, an occasion he describes as “my most thrilling experience in football”, though his managerial reign ended in tears after England were knocked out on penalties in the semi-finals.
It’s not the only time things end in tears in this breezy but partial account of his life. The common view of Venables goes something like: “Good player, even better coach; if only he had stuck to coaching rather than styling himself as a business expert, he could have been one of the greats.” Yet why shouldn’t Venables have aspired to become the owner, full or part, of a major football club, an ambition he achieved at Tottenham and Portsmouth? And why shouldn’t he have pursued other business interests?
The answer in part lies in the way he did it, though if there is a mention in this book of the fact that in 1998 Venables was banned from holding company directorships for seven years, I missed it. The Sun columnist makes many digs at journalists, at one point calling some “traitors”, and wonders why they wished to “delve into my business affairs”. In his heart, I think he knows the answer.
Look at his record as a tactically acute manager, and it’s a brighter story. With England: Won 11, Drawn 11, Lost 2. With Barcelona: a first league title for 10 years, achieved less than a year after his arrival. He took both Crystal Palace and QPR into the top flight, and had some success with Australia, but hasn’t managed since a turbulent nine-month spell at Leeds ended in 2003. Now 71, he says he would manage another national side “tomorrow” given the chance. Who knows, there may yet be another chapter to his colourful career.
Published in hardback by Simon & Schuster, £20
Latest in Sport
Joey Barton joins Burnley: Ex-QPR midfielder signs one-year deal, immediately regrets tweet criticising living the Lancashire town last year
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Manchester City face another struggle to make an impact in Champions League
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: Wolfsburg admit they can't compete with 'astonishing' £200,000-a-week offer as £58m deal nears
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£9464 - £12995 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will ne...
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hull based charity providing except...
£9464 - £10396 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will ne...