After a fourth place run at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, England fans were ready for bigger and better things in 1994 under new manager Graham Taylor who took to the sidelines in charge of the Three Lions for the first time on this day in soccer history in 1990.
The appointment was not greeted with universal support with some claiming Taylor was too tied with the ‘long ball’ style of play while others pointed that he had never led a team to any silverware while managing at the club level.
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The Football Association was not deterred and seemed to be proven correct when Taylor opened with a 1-0 win against Hungary. Taylor wanted to keep some consistency and his first XV that day included 8 players who started in the FIFA World Cup semifinal loss to Germany. He did hand the captain’s armband to Gary Lineker. The captain scored the lone goal in the 1-0 win over Hungary and the Three Lions went on to loss just once in the opening 23 matches.
But the life became much more difficult for Taylor as the England national team struggled to narrowly qualify for Euro 1992, a on again off again spat with Lineker took the focus off the team with the final straw coming as England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States.
The press had been hounded the manager for years with it starting in full in by The Sun who compared the manager’s face to a Turnip with the headline ‘Swedes 2 Turnips 1’ after a lose to Sweden at Euro 92.
In one of his last matches in charge, a World Cup qualifying loss to Holland, Taylor was said to have run down a linesman yelling, “Hey! Hey! -Tell your pal that he’s just cost me my job” in reference to Ronald Koeman not being sent off from taking down David Platt. Koeman went on to score the winning goal to sink England chances to qualifying for the World Cup.
But it was his classic line, “Do I not like that!” while being filmed for a documentary that stuck in the minds and lexicon on fans and is still quoted in reference to silly managerial moves.
Graham Taylor Soccer Quotes
“In football, time and space are the same thing.”
“Being an ex-England manager, one that failed to qualify for the World Cup, is like being a dead politician.”
“Shearer could be at 100 percent fitness, but not peak fitness.”
“Very few of us have any idea whatsoever of what life is like living in a goldfish bowl – except, of course, for those of us who are goldfish.”
“That’s a goal, isn’t it, but what a good save!”
“It's the only way we can lose, irrespective of the result.”
“Well, I think Arsenal will either win or lose the championship this year.”
1964 – Dieter Hecking, German footballer
1976 – Maciej Żurawski, Polish footballer
1977 – David Thompson, English footballer
1980 – Fernando Cesar de Souza, Brazilian footballer