Author Topic: 20 Years Ago  (Read 4872 times)

martin@

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20 Years Ago
« on: May 27, 2010, 03:33:32 PM »
I'm backing Jo '90 (August 1990)

JOSEF VENGLOS wants to be known as a ''tracksuit manager'', but his first day in the job as Graham Taylor's successor with Aston Villa was not one for sweaty synthetic fibres. It was the Midlands' hottest since 1911, forcing the English First Division's first foreign manager into T-shirt and shorts as he supervised a work-out in the noonday sun.

Dr Venglos - a doctor of philosophy from Czechoslovakia - attracted a three-figure crowd of mad dogs and Englishmen to Villa's training retreat in rural Warwickshire. For fans and media men alike, it was a case of seeing is believing, and Venglos was easy to spot: a chunky, surprisingly mobile figure in black, conjuring operatic images with his exhortations to get into the ''penalty aria''.

The players looked a little bemused when Venglos shouted: ''Okay, next modification.'' Those who shot wide were ordered to do five press-ups, and Paul McGrath was soon on the deck. ''Vinning goal'' was easy to understand, however, and the squad appeared happy enough after changing into garish surfing gear which someone half-seriously suggested was Villa's new away kit.
David Platt admitted to some surprise at Venglos's appointment, but denied any apprehension. ''First impressions are that he's very much like the gaffer - Graham Taylor - bright, keen and very knowledgeable.''

Doug Ellis, one chairman we can believe when he says there is a Czech in the post, introduced the 53-year-old Venglos, by now perspiring profusely in a dark suit, to the press.

He was, Ellis claimed, ''the most experienced manager in the whole of Europe'', and his appointment would stand Villa in good stead for 1992 and the anticipated movement of players between European countries. Venglos modestly protested at being called ''Dr''; he preferred to be known as Jo. In excellent English - as well as coaching the Czechoslovak national team and Sporting Lisbon, he worked in Australia - he said he felt privileged to be working for such a famous club.

''I want to continue the family atmosphere created by Graham Taylor, and his friendly, hard-working attitude towards the game,'' he added. ''I respect the players - they are proof of Aston Villa's coaching policy. I'm not coming here to change their football, but I will try to add something.''

He has wisely kept on Taylor's assistant, John Ward. His knowledge will be particularly important in the games against Bohemians in Dublin on Tuesday and at Wembley next Friday against Arsenal.

Villa finished second last season and, as one questioner pointed out, the fans expect a lot. ''I think,'' Venglos replied with a mixture of charm and bluntness, ''they are correct.''

By PHIL SHAW - The Independant 04/08/90

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