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Monday, 3 July, 2000, 05:44 GMT 06:44 UK
Venables for England?
Kevin Keegan and Terry Venables
Could Venables do a better job than Keegan?
Following Terry Venables' declaration that he would be willing to take on the England job again, is he a better bet than Kevin Keegan as coach?

Keegan's ability to do the job is already being questioned after England's early exit from Euro 2000.

His qualities as a motivator are undisputed, but his tactics and training methods have been criticised.

So would the return of Venables as England manager bring some much-needed tactical nous to the team?

Under Venables in 1996 England were only the width of a post away from their first major final for thirty years.

With many of the same players that Keegan took to Euro 2000, Venables' England side gave the Dutch a lesson in total football before another infamous penalty defeat to the Germans.

Despite beating the Germans this time round, Keegan's team are out after a disappointing campaign.

So with qualification for the 2002 World Cup beginning in September, is a change of coach the best way forward?

Is Terry Venables a better bet than Kevin Keegan as England coach?




Keegan should go, he's had his chance and blew it

Rich, England
Venables I feel is much the better of the two. He demonstrates a clear grasp of the tactics required to match European teams, and appears to enjoy the same level of "acceptance/popularity" as Keegan. My impression of Venebles, after the Taylor wilderness years, was one of relief and wonderment...here was a man who got the England team to pass the ball; here was a man who played five men in midfield to match the midfields of European teams. Please let Mr Venables back in and stop being so short sighted.
Peter Cully, UK

Keegan should go, he's had his chance and blew it. He left out key youngsters such as Ferdinand, Dyer and Joe Cole. He should have gone with Martyn instead of Seaman from the start. I would like to see Venables have another crack at the job.
Rich, England

Obviously the coach is the main influence on the players and although Keegan is amongst the best Englishmen, it takes more than one quality coach. The quality of the backroom staff must be questioned. Look at Holland, with Rijkarrd in charge and Neeskens and Krol by his side. We have got Arthur Cox, Derek Fazackerly and Les Reid. What have they all achieved at international level? Nothing! With respect, this is living in the past. We have got to take stock now of what we have got left. Let's get back to playing the way we know best, with the best English coachs at Keegan's disposal. Venables, Hoddle, and the Robsons should all be involved, ready to help, and be at Keegan's side.
Rob Milsom, England



Take the most gifted, most talented, most creative players and let them play - Keegan, Venables, Zoff, same result

James, Brit in USA
We were outplayed and out-classed by most, and beat the worst German team ever. If our players are inept and from what I saw, gutless, why fire yet another manager? We seem to enter every national game with 'safe' players in 'safe' formations... and the few memorable games are remembered with a passion, but I want more. Take the most gifted, most talented, most creative players and let them play. Keegan, Venables, Zoff, same result.
James, Brit in USA

I think it's rather ridiculous to suggest that Kevin Keegan be shown the door and Terry Venables come in his place. What English people should be thinking about is giving Keegan an opportunity to bring about young individual players who will play and train together, obviously know each others' style of play and, eventually form a team. That is how Portugal, France, Holland and Italy are characterised. Good teams are based on the foundation of continuity not reshuffling the technical bench.
Fidel Makokha, UK

Keegan is tactically inept. He may be the players' best mate, but they don't need a best mate, they need a coach. We need someone who is as tactically astute as the Europeans (Venables?!). And if not Venables, then we should possibly look towards bringing in a foreign coach who has some idea of what he is doing.
Simon Weintroub, England

The plain truth is that England will not achieve anything with Keegan as the boss. The proof is in the last ten games. Venables will turn the team around.
Rob Wakefield, Brit living in USA

Kevin Keegan took on the hardest job in the game and was let down by an England side that has not got the ability to control the ball and lacks the craft of running off the ball.

Kevin Keegan took on the hardest job in the game and was let down by an England side that has not got the ability

Neil Claridge, England
We also seem to lack the fitness necessary to go for 90 minutes or more as was proved against Portugal and Romania. As for beating Germany, the German side was almost certainly the worst side they have produced for many, many years, they lost to everyone, even in their warm up games. We will only cure the malaise by restricting foreigners in our leagues and providing places in English football for young English players to learn and prove themselves.
Neil Claridge, England

Keegan has tried hard but the truth is that he is tactically naive. This will only bring failure on the international stage. We have quite a few very good players, albeit not great ones, and we had a squad that by rights should have qualified for the quarter-finals in second place after the marvellous Portuguese. We have a lack of English managers to choose from, so of course Terry Venables is the obvious choice.
Roz, UK

If any recent England manager deserves a second crack of the whip, it would have to be Glenn Hoddle. Under him, England qualified for the World Cup from an extremely difficult group, and were unlucky to lose to Argentina. In the period up to the World Cup they also played with a modern, attractive style which impressed and surprised all European experts who saw it. Keegan has to go. At this level, football isn't just about motivation, team spirit and loyalty to players. I admire Keegan as a person and a player, but as a manager of any top football team he is out of his depth.
Brian Whitby, Switzerland

I believe we should bring back Terry Venables and keep Keegan there as the number two. He still has a lot to learn such as closing down a game, which was a vital flaw in Euro 2000 and how to get the right type of movement from midfield players in the last third of the pitch. Venables knows the game inside out. He can make sure we qualify for the next World Cup as long as we give some of the younger players a chance such as Gerrard, Ferdinand and Cole.
Alex, England



If any recent England manager deserves a second crack of the whip, it would have to be Hoddle

Brian Whitby, Switzerland
Terry is definitely the best man for the job. The problem is that Lancaster Gate want people who are politically correct. Surely after the Euro 2000 fiasco, we must realise that guts and pride are no match for skill, strategy and technique. Come back El-Tel.
Hamad Lone, Saudi Arabia

I'm fed up of hearing about the Holland game in Euro 96 and how it proves what a tactical genius Venables is. The Dutch camp was torn apart by internal strife, Davids was sent home and they struggled against the other two teams in the group. Remember we drew with Switzerland, were OK against Scotland and lucky against Spain. Yet all we hear about is how wonderful the Holland game was. I'm not denying Venables is a good coach, but so is Keegan - given the raw material available, I'm not sure a Venables' side would have done any better.
Mark, UK

Terry should never have been booted out of the job, he was by far the best manager that we had since Alfie. However, I think that Keegan should be given a chance, Kevin needed Euro 2000 under his belt. I believe that he will do great things with England. If anything Terry should be brought in to advise Keegan.
JP, England



Venables is a good coach, but so is Keegan

JP, England
Venables is the right man for the job, his tactical knowledge of the world game at club and at international level is as good as any coach in Europe. The FA should stand and take a good look at the mess they have created, they should have given Venables the support he so badly needed leading up to the Euro 96 championship and after our exit from the tournament. It is the lack of vision from the FA that has caused this sorry state of affairs for the national side.
Darren Pegler , England

I've always said that Keegan is the best manager the FA are willing to employ. If anyone from the FA is reading this, or Terry himself, please sort out your differences and let the BEST person for the job back in.
Trev, UK

Please bring Venables back. Even if he is brought back as a tactical advisor, bring him back and make sure that Keegan listens to him. He's sly, wily, and knows the game like no other.
Simon Brown, England

Watching the England side was like watching Newcastle under Kevin Keegan. Under Venables we played the best football I have seen. He has been there and done it at all levels. He is by far the best man for the job.
Chris Jacobs, England



Please bring Venables back

Simon Brown, England
The biggest mistake was giving Keegan the job in the first place. A manager who has never won anything in the top division let alone in Europe. Terry Venables took basically the same group of players to the semi-finals and was unlucky not to go all the way. Compare the performance against Holland in '96 to any game this time around. That was an organised team playing clever, attractive football. Now we have a team with no shape, no balance and no tactics. A great motivator? Even that seems to be in doubt now. With a coach like Venables and a motivator like Keegan we could be in a much stronger position.
Steve E, England

Terry Venables is by far the best England manager we have had during the last 30 years. Keegan has the spirit, but not the ability.
Andy Keen, England

Bring back Venables - against Holland at Euro '96 he managed to get the best performance out of an English side since 1966. He just needs to add penalties to the training schedule.
Ceri, USA

Terry Venables is the best tactician English football has ever produced. He has the respect of the players and the fans. Let's appoint him England manager before it's too late!
Roger, Ex-pat in the USA

I don't think Kevin Keegan should

Stop blaming Keegan, we should give him a chance to bring in new talent.

Emma, UK
be blamed for England being knocked out, it should be the players. They didn't play with passion and were giving the ball away at every given opportunity. Stop blaming Keegan, we should give him a chance to bring in new talent and I believe he should be the man to take us to the World Cup.
Emma, UK

Its not Keegan's fault. There are simply too many foreigners in England. Everytime you open the newspaper several top sides have purchased yet another foreign player. Despite EU laws the FA need to campaign to curb the amount of foreigners that can be fielded at each game. It's the only way that England will be able to field a technically skilful side.
James, UK

Keegan should now go off and enjoy his golf. He is undoubtedly a nice bloke, but not a good manager.

His strength is supposed to be as a great motivator but he admits himself that he could not get the best out of his players.

Michael Carroll, England
His strength is supposed to be as a great motivator but he admits himself that he could not get the best out of his players. All the world could see his tactical inability, proving he is also no good as a coach. England need someone who can do both. He's had his crack so should now pass the reign's to someone with these qualities.
Michael Carroll, England

Keegan should stay. In fact, the difference between qualifying and not qualifying was only two minutes. I think part of the problem is the assumption that teams like Romania and Portugal are easier opponents. All the focus was on the game with Germany who weren't really the problem. A lot of the team's planning and motivation seemed to go into that tie rather than into all three games. In order to compete England really need a midfield leader and at the moment that person isn't there. Beckham has talent but hasn't matured enough.
Dave, Canada

I put the blame on England's elimination entirely on Kevin Keegan. Most of his players are world class, yet he was not capable of blending them together as a good team. The English teams under Robson, Venables and Hoddle were much better. I would bring Hoddle back. When he needed a draw against Italy to qualify he got it, and he got it in Rome. If you can't bring Hoddle back, then try a Brazilian coach or Arsene Wenger.
George D'Amato, Malta

Stop blaming Keegan. What the England squad needs is some continuity. Three managers in six years does not give them that. Keegan needs time to bring through new talent.
Serena, England



Keegan has the spirit, but not the ability

Andy Keen, England
True, a manger can only do so much with the players he has but why does he keep these old, slow, past-it players? Give Barmby, Phillips, and the other new boys a chance.
Helen M, England

Blame who you like, obviously Phil Neville is now public enemy number one but at the end of the day the responsibility is Keegan's. He's got the worst record of any England manager ever. Keegan's tactics were tired and predictable and his reactions to what was happening on the pitch were astounding - bringing on Southgate was the final straw! Everybody loves Keegan as a man but nobody can support an incompetent leader.
Chris Jones, England

Where does Keegan go from here? That can be easily answered in three simple words - West Ham United. The only defender comfortable on the ball is Rio Ferdinand, the best box-to-box player and superb under-21 captain is Frank Lampard, the only Englishman who can beat a defender is Joe Cole and the most consistent winger in the country is Trevor Sinclair. Keegan doesn't have to look much further than Upton Park to find the 2002 World Cup winners!
Benjamin Levy, England

Keegan should resign. He is a good motivator but is tactically naive and showed that at Newcastle. When will someone have the courage to come in, retire all the older players, build a young side, go through some tough early years but be courageous enough to stick with it and go on to phenomenal success with a side totally committed to the manager's cause. Hold on, that sounds like Alex Ferguson and Manchester United in the nineties.
Ian Scott, Warwickshire, UK



Bring back Venables

Ceri, USA
Whoever the manager was, the result would have been the same. A manager can only do so much with the players he has. The truth is that England don't have enough top-class players.
John Aruljoth, UK

Keegan should be given the opportunity to qualify for the next World Cup. Most past managers have had a chance to go for the two tournaments - even the hapless Graham Taylor. Lets just see if Keegan can breed a "new" England out of the likes of Kieron Dyer, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole, Michael Owen and Richard Wright.
Neil Shearer, Wales



Whoever the manager was, the result would have been the same

John Aruljoth, UK

Kevin Keegan deserves more time in the job to bring in younger players with some 'fire in their bellies', who really want to play for their country. Too many of our current players are lauded as superstars - Beckham, Shearer and Ince for example - but what did they do in this competition? We are shown up by the real skills of players from countries who have many less individual stars to choose from.
David Gould, Canada

The disaster that was the England campaign shouldn't be blamed on one anyone, but rather everyone. The typically British attitude of cynicism and scape-goating isn't going to get us anywhere, but neither is blind optimism opposing naivety, as Keegan so elegantly demonstrated. It's time to genuinely change the side, change the tactics, change the way the international game is regarded here. Unfortunately, this means changing the manager again - but that's not necessarily a bad thing. We have the players but the best selection is yet to be played. And give the best striker in England - Andy Cole - time to prove he's just that.
David White, England



Bring back Bobby Robson!

Daniel Shaw, England

This is no knee-jerk reaction asking for Kevin Keegan to step down. His tactics were flawed, although I agree that some blame has to be laid with the players. I have until this point been pro-Keegan but I cannot carry on supporting a manager who is tactically inept in 'big' games. If Keegan does leave I believe that the FA should break with tradition and go foreign as there are no proven English managers in the game at present and a certain Mr Ferguson would do very nicely indeed.
Mike Bourke, England

Keegan inherited a poor team from Glen Hoddle. Somehow we got through to Euro 2000, but that was more fluke than talent. Keegan should be given time to develop younger players who are comfortable on the ball and able to pass and move like the team Keegan played in at Liverpool. We also scored five goals which is impressive against the quality sides in our group.
Peter Brook, England

Keegan should stay. He is the best manager we have at the moment and should be given time to build a good squad and be judged on England's performance in the World Cup qualifiers. Its time we realised that England are not the greatest side in the world and we should lower our expectations. Keegan should now build a squad on the youngsters that are coming through and he should not be frightened to look in the Division One.
Philip Topp, UK

This is not a time for long knives and retribution, it is time to take a breath and look around and say 'where do we go from here?'. Let's be thankful we are not Germans and start with keeping Kevin Keegan and let him rebuild on the strengths he has. His objective now must be World Cup qualification, not finding a coaching post somewhere else.
John Murray, Canada



Keegan should stay. He is the best manager we have at the moment

Philip Topp, UK

In recent history, only one manager has shown that he has the ability to extract the best from his players and at the same time understand the technical and tactical requirements of the game and that person is Terry Venables. Whatever happened in the past should stay in the past, England expects to win and with Terry we will.
Keith Jones, Australia

England need an Alf Ramsey as manager and a Roy Keane in midfield. Both of these men were and are ruthless in their pursuit of winning and motivated by pride, not money. That's the key.
Richard Sherman, USA

England failed in Euro 2000 due to defensive weakness and an inability to pass or keep the ball. The solution to this problem lies in spending more time on defence and possession during training and not in sacking yet another England manager. Keegan is no expert in defensive play, he should seek to appoint an assistant who is and work together to develop an all-round effective, more elegant football team.
Diarmuid, Ireland

Keegan is the best manager England have had for years and shouldn't take the blame for players that quite clearly didn't have the bottle or spirit to win a playground match. How some of them can go back their clubs and continue drawing their astronomical salaries is beyond me. The manager picks the players who have shown they have the ability to win in the national leagues - once they are on the international pitch it is up to them.
Kris, England



England need an Alf Ramsey as manager

Richard Sherman, USA

Keegan is the right man for the job but he needs to change his outlook and look for the younger players to take us in to the future. Players such as Dyer, Joe Cole, Lampard and Woodgate should be brought in as soon as possible so that they can get used to the pressure of international football before the next World Cup.
Lee Smith, England

There is no doubt in my mind that Kevin Keegan has given 110 percent to the cause of England. Sadly, the team he has created looks far too much like the Newcastle he left. The philosophy of 'doesn't matter how many you let in as long as you score more than that' may be exciting but is no good at this level. I do not think that he should be replaced as of yet as it has been far too short a period of time for him to build his own team and also with the exception of Venables and John Gregory, there are no suitable candidates that I think could turn this around before World cup. Come on Keegan learn from this and show us what you've got.
Greg, England

Team performs badly, so sack the manager. When will the lesson be learned that a manager needs time to build a team, and the players to build the team with. Keegan did the best he could with what he had, I wonder if some of those playing could honestly say the same?
Max, England

Keegan is just too stubborn for his own good. Sure, he shouldn't have changed the team just because of tabloid pressure but it's been obvious since he took over that something had to change. It didn't - and we're out.
Chris, England



When will the lesson be learned that a manager needs time to build a team?

Max, England

Stick with Keegan. Any manager needs time and Keegan will prove us right if we keep faith in him. The squad is in a state of flux at the moment with the likes of Shearer and Adams - the 'backbone' of the side - on the way out and youngsters like Dyer and Ferdinand and Owen on the way in. England need a period of growth and stability but changing managers is not the answer.
Stowboy, England

At least we took the Germans with us. Keegan kept the teams head up after the 3-2 defeat against Portugal. That showed in the match against the Germans and the result was good for us.
Luke Macauley, England

If England lack the technical skills or ability to play a passing game, would it not be wise to employ a coach who is experienced in creating teams that posses these skills to assist Kevin Keegan? One coach who springs to mind is the ex-Liverpool manager Roy Evans. He's not renowned for his man-management (one of Kevin Keegan's strengths) but has a proven track record for creating a team that can play a passing game and retain possession of the ball.
S. Morris, UK

For anyone who watched the post-match interview with Keegan, there was no doubt that he gave his all and was simply gutted. As a Scot I will not say this often, but I rate Keegan as the best England manager your country has had for many, many years. His commitment and disappointment, as witnessed in the interview, brought a lump to even my throat. If there is any blame to be administered, let us look at some of the truly dreadful efforts of the players. But most of all let us recognise, as the Germans must, that the 'little' teams, like Portugal and Turkey, are no longer anyone's fools.
Steve Beat, Scotland



It is crucial that Kevin Keegan be allowed the time and space to learn from these mistakes and implement changes

Ian Hankin, England

Bring back Bobby Robson!
Daniel Shaw, England

Kevin needs more time but his tactics were poor and his choice of playing Heskey who doesn't get many goals was also a poor one when you have Fowler sitting idle. As for playing Neville on the left and leaving Barrie out...we don't need to discuss that one do we! Roll on 2002!
Mark Vickers, England

Hoddle or Venables should be re-appointed as manager. Kevin Keegan is one of the nicest men in football, but he is not in tune with modern football. He got a second bite at the cherry when we qualified for the tournament through the play-offs but he still could not improve England after that.
Andrew Irvine, N. Ireland

The real problem is more deep-rooted than problems with Keegan's tactics, it lies with the way the Premiership is run these days. Chairmen greedy for quick success and the financial rewards it brings mean that foreign 'superstars' are bought in on ridiculous wages, and young home grown talent are deprived the opportunity to play in key positions.
Simon Newing, England



Keegan would be out of his depth in a puddle

Jim, England

In Keegan's own words, with the players we've got we should have had a chance of winning the competition. But the team he created was so much less than the sum of its parts. That is the real disappointment, it is such a missed opportunity and it's Keegan's fault. He is just not up to the job and is tactically inept. He should never have been appointed and should go immediately.
Ron, UK

Keegan should go. He may have been an excellent player but his managerial record is full of failure. His Newcastle team could score but not defend - just like his England team. He gave them up saying he didn't know how to take the team any further. His success with Fulham was based on buying players better than Division Two standard and walking out on them. He should definitely go.
Jon, England

Keegan should accept the fact that he is currently not up to the job and resign. When will the FA accept the fact that Terry Venables is the only man for the job and put English football before their personal feelings.
Samantha, England

We've gone from one of the best in Europe to the worst team in the competition in just four years and in that time more good players have come in than left. What we need is a manager who knows how to manage. Keegan would be out of his depth in a puddle.
Jim, England



Of course he should go - right now would be a good time.

Steve, England

No, he should not be the fall guy. He inherited Hoddle's legacy and has had little time to build the great team he is no doubt capable of creating.
Will, Scotland

Keegan's teams can never defend, and his England one couldn't even pass. Of course he should go - right now would be a good time.
Steve, England

Why does some foolish pundit always propose we remove our coach the minute something goes wrong? It's too simplistic and short-term an approach but that's symptomatic of the British disease in all walks of life. It is crucial that Kevin Keegan be allowed the time and space to learn from these mistakes and implement changes. Our situation is not as dire as Germany's but will remain so as long as fools are allowed to influence with knee-jerk reactions.
Ian Hankin, England

It's time to bring in young players who have got fire inside them and have got something to prove, and someone to lead them who understands the game of football as an art and science - not someone who is the so-called 'peoples choice'.
Steve Hitch, England



Keegan will still be loved by every England fan who is half-decent

Claire, England

Keegan should stay. It's not his fault the best players in England couldn't be bothered to play a real game of football; they should be ashamed to show there faces. Keegan will still be loved by every England fan who is half-decent. It's the players that need to be punished as they were the ones humiliating England on the pitch.
Claire, England

Don't blame one particular person. Blame the strategy of all clubs as most of your Premiership teams are made up of foreign players. Buying names/good players is all you can do in England. Don't think the good results from English club teams in the Champions League and UEFA Cup is the result of the English football players. The big stars in your competition come from the rest of Europe!
Rene, The Netherlands

Keegan should stay for two reasons. Firstly, his tactics didn't lose the matches, they actually almost snatched unlikely results against better opposition. The England team is poor not because of tactics, but because the standard of player is poor. Secondly, who in their right mind would take the job. When a good coach is appointed, the media hound them out. Look at Bobby Robson or Terry Venables who were hounded out when obviously the most talented coaches in the English game. Once Keegan goes, who's left, and how long before they too fall victim to the tabloid frenzy for headlines?
Martin McEvoy, Northern Ireland

It was nothing to do with getting the best out of the players. What let us down was poor tactical planning and the inability to react to things going on the pitch. Keegan relied too much on Shearer and, as predicted, he was let down. Keegan's problem is that he is living in the past using a system and players that used to be effective but we have stood still while the rest of the world moved on a long time ago. If he can't look forward then unfortunately he will have to give way to someone else.
Paul Wilson, England

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See also:

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Venables hints at England return
28 Jun 00 | England
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20 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Keegan refuses to make excuses
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England v Romania clockwatch
20 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
England v Romania in pictures
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