Friday, October 06, 2006

Terry Venables the monkey on McClaren's back?

Let the guessing games begin..

When it was announced that Terry Venables was to assist Steve McClaren, I really didn't know what to make of it. The thing is, Venables has always come across as a bit of a wide boy, and his managerial record isn't that great. He's never stayed anywhere long enough to really make himself stand out in the way that great coaches have done down the years, I'm thinking of Busby, Shankly, Clough, Stein and Ferguson. Venables isn't in that class of manager. So why do British journalists rave about him so much? I don't honestly know the answer to that. But they recently reported that during an England training session it looked like TV was the England manager in waiting.

And another thing, at the press conference where TV was unveiled, he said that his lordship and SM would work as a team and that he'd give 'hints' about this and that and then it's up to SM 'to work it out'. IT was along those lines at any rate. IT was as if he was going to give McClaren some clues about what action was needed - hardly the type of advice you'd expect from a much valued assistant. The last thing you need in the heat of a battle or in the pre-match tactical think-tank, is a game of Cluedo with your assistant...

England are of course going to adopt this much talked about 3-5-2 formation, of which much has been made by the press on the run-up this weekends game. Now the thing is, who will take credit if all goes well?... I suspect it will be TV, but let us not forget McClaren has deployed this formation with some success while at Boro, they beat Man Utd 4-2 not so long ago at the Riverside playing 3-5-2.

It remains to been seen what the future holds for Steven McClaren. No doubt the press will see him off in time honoured fashion, it will be death by several thousand poisoned words as opposed to being bludgeoned over the head in the library with a solid silver candlestick. TV will live to fight another day though, of that I'm sure....

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