Bloomberg News

England Manager Shouldn’t Be Foreigner, Ex-Manager Venables Says

March 29, 2012

England’s search for a new soccer manager to replace Italian Fabio Capello shouldn’t include foreign names, according to Terry Venables, the coach who led the team to the semifinals of the 1996 European Championships.

Capello quit in February after a disagreement with the Football Association over its decision to remove Chelsea defender John Terry as captain of the national team. He was the second overseas manager after Swede Sven Goran Eriksson. The F.A. has yet to find a replacement three months before it begins the latest European finals in Poland and Ukraine.

“It’s like what went on in wars -- you can’t trade generals, you have to go for your own,” Venables told an audience at the Soccerex conference in Manchester. “I would rather lose with our own people.”

Venables, 69, quit England after leading the team to the last four of a tournament played on home soil following a disagreement with the F.A. over a new contract.

He criticized the governing body for the delay in finding Capello’s replacement. The F.A. has said it may name a temporary coach for the Euros before hiring a permanent manager. Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp is the favorite among bookmakers and critics for the post. Stuart Pearce, England’s under-21 manager, led the senior team in a 3-2 home loss to the Netherlands last month.

“I don’t see any benefit at all in coming in at the last moment,” said Venables, who’s also coached Tottenham and Barcelona. “He’s got to know those players not just from he has seen but how they talk and what they feel is important, really getting into the individuals.”

Venables said he too favors Redknapp for the job.

“What’s good is the fact that everyone wants him to take the England job - he’s the popular vote,” he said. “The fans shouldn’t be making the decision but it is a good thing that the country are behind him.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in Manchester via the London newsroom at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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