Terry Venables was born in Dagenham in 1943. A successful midfielder throughout his playing career, he became a manager for the first time at the age of 33 and went on to have even greater success in this field, leading Barcelona, Tottenham and England among many other teams.
After a playing career that spanned more than 15 years, and took in golden spells in the sixties with Chelsea and Spurs, it was almost inevitable that Terry Venables would move into management. Following early success with Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers, he was appointed to the plum job of managing Barcelona, one of the biggest clubs in Europe. The Spanish giants had been struggling, but he soon turned them around and brought them trophy success, which inevitably earned him the nickname 'El Tel'. He returned to England to take charge of Spurs, where he helped save the club from financial troubles, and formed an ill-fated partnership with Alan Sugar. Again there was trophy success, as Venables attracted top-rate England stars such as Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker and Chris Waddle to the club, and when the England job fell vacant, he was the obvious choice for the role, leading the nation to the semi-finals of Euro 96 where they lost out on a place in the final after a penalty shoot-out. His spell in charge of England ended soon after, since when he has worked in numerous different roles. Widely viewed as one of football's great tacticians, but with a charismatic and gregarious personality, Venables is out on his own as the greatest English manager of recent years, and his story is sure to fascinate and entertain all followers of the game.
When football legend Sir Stanley Matthews described England's 4-1 defeat of the Netherlands in Euro 96 as 'the best England performance I have seen in years', coach Terry Venables knew he had achieved what he had set out to do. It was his most thrilling experience in football, and a moment that brought the nation together. Football had truly come home, and Venables had plotted the route. After more than 50 years at the top of the game, Venables has developed an unparalleled reputation as one of the most innovative coaches this country has ever produced. He recalls his early days as a player making his way in the Swinging Sixties of London, when showbiz and football first began to mix. But he was always destined for a career in management, and there soon followed a golden period of success. He reveals the secrets behind his methods that took him to FA Cup and La Liga triumphs, along the way becoming the founding father of the modern Barcelona. For all the acclaim he received, there has also been controversy as well, and Venables relives that horrible period when he suddenly became front-page news. In the end, there was always the football to return to and the loyal support of his family. For anyone who wants to understand the story of English football, from the days of Alf Ramsey to Roy Hodgson today, this book is an essential read.