LONDON (Reuters) – Former England manager Terry Venables wants Premier League managers to stop dictating national selection of players and says footballers should not turn their back on international call-ups.
Liverpool have been in the spotlight recently after media reports suggested manager Brendan Rodgers asked England boss Roy Hodgson to rest Raheem Sterling for England’s Euro 2016 qualifying fixture against Estonia last week.
Rodgers denied those claims and played down any club-versus-country row, but writing in the Independent on Sunday, Venables said Hodgson should not have to consult Premier League managers when selecting players.
“I am sick of Premier League managers dictating who should, or who shouldn’t, play for England,” writes Venables. “Country comes before club, end of.
“There are no conversations to be had with club managers trying to stop England picking their players.
“When I became England manager I never experienced any player saying to me: thanks for picking me boss but I don’t fancy it this time, maybe next game perhaps,” wrote the 71-year-old.
“If I had, then that player would never, ever, have been part of my England squad again, no matter how important he could have been.
“To be selected for England is the ultimate accolade. I was the first footballer to play for England at every level possible – schoolboy, youth, amateur, under-23 (as it was then) and full.
“Can you imagine how proud I feel today just thinking about that? Nothing would have stopped me playing in any of those games.”
Venables, who guided England to the semi-finals of Euro 1996 where they were knocked out on penalties by Germany, said he never came under pressure from managers during his two-year spell in charge.
“I never tolerated a situation where managers were telling me publicly who I could, or could not, select,” the former Tottenham Hotspur manager added.
“That would have totally undermined my position and made the job of running England impossible.”