Venables needs Gascoigne and `fantasy'

England were accused of lacking "fantasy" and "brains" by Hector Nuez, the Uruguayan manager, after last night's lacklustre performance by next year's European Championship hosts. Paul Gascoigne cannot return soon enough, seemed to be the gist of his message to his opposite number.

Terry Venables, only too aware of his team's shortcomings in the absence of the Lazio playmaker, responded that it was not exactly "Disneyland" football from the South Americans either.

"It's always frustrating when you don't score and of course 0-0 is worse than 2-2," Venables said. "But I thought our team play was pretty good, even if our passing was a little anxious at times and it looked as though we were a little bit uptight. If we could have got that goal it would have released us to play more. We know we can play better than that."

Nevertheless, Venables had to search hard for the pluses other than that of extending his unbeaten run to seven games. "I thought there were one or two good performances. The two centre-halves [Tony Adams and Gary Pallister] were outstanding. Darren Anderton and Barry Venison produced pleasing performances also."

As for the belated introduction of the £7m man, Andy Cole, Venables explained that he thought the Manchester United striker might have more space being brought into the game at a later stage. He remarked that Teddy Sheringham - "he found it difficult early on" - also improved as the second half wore on. Of the effort from Cole which hit the crossbar Venables said: "It was a terrific header back by Adams but it wasn't to be. It was just what Cole needed, what we all needed.''

Gascoigne will be considered by Venables for the summer tournament with Brazil, Japan and Sweden but the England coach admitted: "He's got it all to do. We know what he's capable of. It just remains to be seen how fit he is. He looks fit and couldn't have done more to get himself so. It frightens the life out of the other players listening to the effort he has put into his comeback.''

Uruguay's manager pinpointed midfield as England's major problem. "England are very strong and physical team but they lack certain ability in front of goal," he said. "More importantly, they lack someone to run the team. Barnes was the one in charge but he's not the kind of player to make the whole team play.

"There is a lack of creativity about them, a lack of fantasy and brain in the last third of the pitch, the old Gascoigne, I believe, would certainly find a place in this team."

Despite his critical judgement Nuez finished on a diplomatic note by saying that with home advantage he could see no reason why England should not finish by the first or second in next year's European Championship finals.Venables has just 14 months to formulate a side capable of fulfilling that forecast.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory