Ronald Koeman: Former England boss Graham Taylor was 'unlucky' against Holland

13 January 2017 02:53

Ronald Koeman has admitted Graham Taylor was "unlucky" in the match which came to define his England reign.

Taylor died on Thursday at the age of 72, with Everton manager Koeman joining the tributes to a man who made his name in club management with Watford and Aston Villa before taking on the national team job in the summer of 1990.

England were unable to go beyond the group phase at Euro 92 in Sweden in Taylor's first tournament in charge but stood a chance of reaching the World Cup finals in the United States when they faced a Holland team featuring Koeman in Rotterdam on October 13, 1993.

The pivotal moment of the match arrived early in the second half when Koeman pulled back David Platt as he raced clean through on goal. England called for Koeman to be sent off for a professional foul but German referee Karl-Josef Assenmacher only issued a yellow card.

Salt was rubbed into England's wounds when Koeman scored with a twice-taken free-kick at the other end, and Dennis Bergkamp added a second to leave England's qualification hopes in tatters. Taylor resigned in November of that year after the team's failure to qualify had been sealed.

A documentary showed Taylor berating the German officials on the touchline during the Holland match, and famously asked the fourth official after Assenmacher's failure to send Koeman off: "What sort of thing is happening here?"

In the closing minutes he said to the linesman: "The referee has got me the sack. Thank him ever so much for that, won't you?"

Koeman, speaking at an Everton press conference on Friday, said: "It is sad news for everybody that he has passed away. Seventy-two is too young.

"I have read all the comments about him, really great comments about the man, the manager.

"I didn't know him very well, but I know the story about his life - and, of course, what happened that day in Holland, in the qualification game.

"Okay, I was part of it - and he was unlucky at that time."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Pos Team Pld Pts
- Belgium 0 0
- Panama 0 0
- Tunisia 0 0
- England 0 0