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
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
Andy Murray tells how coach Amélie Mauresmo revealed her pregnancy
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Everton 3 Manchester United 0 player ratings: Who scored lower - Marouane Fellaini or Radamel Falcao?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£15000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to ...
£12 - £14 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are looking for someone to join a s...
£15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...