Football interviews you won't find in any magazine
On Spurs, now…
That club will always be special to me, I started supporting them when I was 8, I played there until I was 29 and went back to manage them. There is a bond between me and the fans.
It was great to see them win the League Cup last season, and this year the key to their success is down to Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate. If they have them fit then they can seriously progress.
How difficult was it to take Spurs to the Uefa Cup final, then watch from the stands as they won the tournament? Did not playing in the final take the some of the gloss off the victory for you?
Ryan Maybury, Hertfordshire
Of course, it did. I had an Achilles problem that needed operating on, and then I had four weeks to get fit for the final, but after 10 days I realised I wouldn’t make it. That was very disappointing. It was a great night when we won it, and I did my part in getting us there. My Achilles was buggered, and after that I didn’t actually start the following season properly and lost some form.
I’d love to know what went wrong at Euro 88. England had a team which had just finished in the last eight at Mexico 86 and would come fourth at Italy 90. Why were the Euros such a disaster?
Grant Man, Peterborough
We weren’t adjusting well to international football well back then. For instance, we might have had two big centre halves who had had great seasons in the old First Division, but that didn’t mean they were right to play against some of these international strikers. We also got outnumbered in midfield in that tournament. Tactically, with the players we had, we could have benefited from coming away from 4-4-2.
We played too much in straight lines in those days for my liking. We didn’t start the tournament well, and had no momentum. We got beat by Ireland and played poorly against Russia. I just felt we were not playing in a system conducive to international football.
Gazza famously pulled down Paul Ince’s shorts in front of the press cameras when you were England manager. What other pranks did he get up to? Did he ever try anything on you?
Lee Grainer, via e-mail
[Laughs]. Paul was a funny, funny guy, he was great around the camp for team spirit, that is why it was very sad not to take him to France. That was Paul’s character. I might have done that myself when I was younger, but Paul was still doing it when he was older! It is sort of things you do in the playground to embarrass him in front of the girls.
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