James Rowe interviewed Dagenham & Redbridge manager Peter Taylor, discussing his new challenge managing Dagenham & Redbridge, his time as England under 21 manager, and his playing career.
You became Dagenham & Redbridge manager this summer. What attracted you to the club?
If I was to be honest, it was the challenge and two things really.
The challenge of the job, because I knew it was not going to be easy and it was also a club that I had known over the years.
I went to watch Dagenham & Redbridge many times over the years and every time I went away from the club I always said to myself what a good club it is.
I always had a good feeling about the place so when I knew that they were in a bit of a jam I actually fancied my chances to help them.
Your next National League fixture is at home to Salford City. What are your thoughts on the upcoming match?
We are having a difficult season so far because the budget is low and we have had to sign young players.
Unfortunately for us the young players are getting tested every week because they are having to make experienced decisions and they have not got the experience yet, so it has cost us a little bit.
We are playing against Salford City this weekend who are one of the favourites to get promotion simply because they have got the lot. The budget, a very good football club that is getting bigger and bigger, and then can afford experience.
Everything they have got we would like but at the moment we are going to get on with what we have got.
Due to the strength of the National League this season if we make a mistake there is a fair chance that we will get punished and it is difficult for the players to keep their confidence up.
The most important thing is that I want the players to carry on believing but when you are not winning sometimes it’s a hard job to do that.
Dagenham drew 0-0 with Salford on September 1st
You are well known for your time as England under 21 manager. How do you look back on your time in that role?
I look back on my time as England under 21 manager with a lot of pride. The times that I have worked for the FA I feel as though I worked as hard as I possibly could to help the youngsters grow and get into the senior squad.
I can only look back with a lot of pride with the players that have moved on not only in the senior squad but also in the Premier League.
The highlights for me would always be the record that we had at under 21 level. I think we got beat more in friendlies that we did in qualifying matches and they regularly qualified for major tournaments.
To see the likes of James Milner, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand really kick on and have fantastic careers, you feel that you have been a part of that career, then it is a good feeling.
You are well known as an established manager, Peter, but I also wanted to ask you about your playing career for Crystal Palace, Southend United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Leyton Orient. How do you look back on your playing days?
I was very pleased with my career. I probably should have done a bit better. I was a little bit unlucky at Tottenham Hotspur where I got an injury that kept me out for nearly two years, but overall I regard myself as lucky.
I joined Southend United when I was 17, and I retired at the age of 32 but I have been involved with football all the time.
I am pleased to say that my whole working life has been in football. I also think I probably would have done even better if I was playing in the modern game, with all the help that the players get these days.
Are they any particular players you played alongside or managers that you played under that helped you in terms of advice or influence?
Steve Perryman was an absolutely outstanding captain for Tottenham Hotspur.
There was a gentleman called Roy Barry at Crystal Palace who was captain as well so I have been lucky enough to play with some very good captains who have been brilliant influences and taught people the right things and who were just honest with people.
I was fortunate to play alongside Glenn Hoddle, who was the best player I ever played alongside, and I am quite pleased to have been around when they were around.
What made Glenn Hoddle such a special player. His reputation speaks for itself and I personally admire what he did at AS Monaco to go abroad and be so well respected. As someone who played alongside him what made him so good?
I was very lucky in that I was a left footed right winger so it meant that I was out there on that right wing and I needed someone to find me in order to do damage to the opponent.
Glenn Hoddle could find you. He knew exactly where you were and he had the ability to play 40, 50, 60, 70 yard pass with his right or left foot.
He was just so knowledgeable. The nice thing I thought I had is that I could read what he has going to do.
He could be looking over to the left but I knew he was going to pass to the right and he would give me early service which would give me an extra few yards to work with.
He was an outstanding talent. He should have played for England many more times. If he was playing now he would have accrued a lot more caps that he actually won.
We have spoken about players, Peter. What about managers you played under, for example you played under Malcolm Allison at Crystal Place. What were his qualities as a manager?
I met Malcolm Allison in 1973 when I was at Southend United and he paid a lot of money for me at that time to go and play for Crystal Palace.
He was a manager that was well ahead of his time. He used to speak about the back five which they speak about now.
He used to speak about fitness coaches. He stopped players eating steak as everybody used to eat steak at 12 o’clock on a match day. He put players on cereals and that is what the players eat now.
He also had Terry Venables as his coach so you can imagine how lucky am I to be a young player having Malcolm Allison and Terry Venables as coaches, and I am sure that I took so much on board from them which I implement as a manager now.
Check out this line up Paddy Mulligan Peter Taylor Alan Whittle Derick Possee Don Rodgers Div3 1974 @CPFC #cpfc #cpfcfamily ❤💙❤💙❤💙❤💙and of course old big head Malcolm Allison pic.twitter.com/cnLYAFZ1SA
— Andy davis (@Ukhilal1957) April 21, 2018
Finally Peter when you look at the clubs that you managed and your playing career did you every receive any overtures from any European clubs at all?
Only as a player, once. As a player I nearly went to Germany when I was at Tottenham Hotspur. I think it was Hamburger SV, I can’t really remember, but I nearly went to a German club.
My Mother was Dutch and I was always interested in playing in the Netherlands, but it never happened.
The only thing I would say about my own career is that it has been very different levels. Lots of promotions as a player and a manager, and some relegations as a player.
But I have enjoyed every bit of it, even in the respect if it is such a low level, even in the National League now.
I love the level and I respect the level, so if it means that you have not got the best equipment you get on with it and you make do with what you have got.
If it means you are managing Leicester City or England you have got the best players and the best equipment then you are grateful.