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John Toshack
Gender Male
Ethnic Welsh
Job Welsh Football Coach
Desc xxxx


Org xxxx National Team
Club as Coach Real Madrid

2013 10 20 Retrieve

[John Toshack on Gareth Bale] With all the problems that Benzema has been having in front of goal, I would play with Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale in attack. [Bale] could play in the No9 position in my opinion. He is an extraordinary player and I’m confident he would succeed there

2019 06 13 Retrieve

[John Toshack says Gareth Bale’s struggles at Real Madrid have seen things go terribly, terribly wrong] The situation that he’s in at Real Madrid certainly can’t be helping him. It needs sorting out as soon as possible… because when you look at this player, what he’s shown that he can do and look at what he’s producing at the moment, something is going terribly, terribly wrong somewhere.

I would have thought he would have been absolutely banging the dressing-room door down to get out there on the pitch at this particular moment in time, to show people that they’re making a mistake by not playing him. People talk about maybe the fitness levels are not there, but I don’t go along with that 100%. Bale’s performances recently have been disappointing, no question about that. And I think the sooner that things get sorted out for him now the better it’ll be for Wales and for himself because, from what I can see over here, there’s not the brightest future for him at Real Madrid. There’s a bit of a battle going on here between his agent and Madrid at the moment, I think, that needs to be sorted out

2019 07 31 Retrieve

[Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale was panned this week by former Real boss John Toshack for not using Spanish in interviews, with the 70-year-old calling his countryman’s behaviour an insult to to his teammates] It saddens and sickens me. Come out Gareth, do an interview, speak yourself. You’ve been there for six or seven years now, you don’t speak the language. That’s an insult to the people you are working for

2019 10 14 Retrieve

[John Toshack has hit out at Gareth Bale, suggesting he does not play for the team] I remember one day, against Croatia or Greece, we had a free-kick on the right-wing and Bale runs up at the right side of the ball and ‘pam’, with the outside of his boot. I said to him: ‘Hey Gareth, take care with this [technique]. Ligaments, cartilages, take care’. We had another free-kick and he did exactly the same, but it resulted in a goal and I said: ‘See, do what you want!’. But I’ve seen Bale injured, and many times I think these [injuries] are related to this

[He has picked up four Champions League winners’ medals during his time in Spain, but only one La Liga title. But Toshack thinks Bale is too selfish at times] Bale doesn’t take part in the game, for possibly for five minutes he is around the edges of a game but he doesn’t participate, and then suddenly he sprints to come back. With him it is sometimes like playing with 10 players. He is very individualistic

2019 10 17 Retrieve

[It was during his second spell with Los Blancos in 1999, he came out with an infamous quote which prompted his immediate dismissal. Under pressure from the board for his team selections, Tosh blurted out, in Spanish] John Toshack certainly left his mark on Spanish football during his stints as coach at Real Sociedad, Deportivo, Real Murcia and especially at Real Madrid. It was during his second spell with Los Blancos in 1999, he came out with an infamous quote which prompted his immediate dismissal. Under pressure from the board for his team selections, Tosh blurted out, in Spanish

[Toshack chatted about the difficulties he faced while in the Madrid job and looked right back to his childhood, joining Liverpool as a player as well as his thoughts on Gareth Bale, who he has been vocal about in recent months] The first thing I want to say is to ask if you can name a coach who has won Copa, la Liga and the Super cup with three different clubs - ok, Capello, Cruyff… But I won the Super cup Depor beating Madrid in both legs - home and away, the Liga with the record for the most goals and Real Sociedad’s only Copa del Rey in 1987. I learned a phrase which they say a lot in Spain: Flor de un día - the equivalent in English is ‘Flash in the pan’ so I’m proud to be able to say that’s something you can’t say about me. I’m not a flor de un día

[Soon after, in November 1970, Toshack finally accepted a move to Bill Shankly’s Liverpool] I still didn’t have my driving licence, I passed the test in Liverpool. So I travelled up there by train and I remember getting off the carriage at Lime Street station and there on the platform waiting was Shankly wearing his famous trilby and looking like an American gangster. I walked towards him and he said: ‘Welcome to Liverpool, son. You’ve left Sunday school and you’ve come to church…‘

[Toshack decided a clear-out was needed with the old guard (Mijatovic, Suker, Seedorf, Raúl and Guti) on his black list. Madrid broke the Spanish transfer record to bring in French striker Nicolas Anelka for 33 million euros (5.600 million pesetas) in a summer which also saw the arrivals of Steve McManaman, Elvir Baljic and Geremi Njitap] Let’s see, I’ve got to be careful about what I say because all of this happened a long time ago. I remember Wenger was manager at Arsenal and I had a conversation with him because Anelka wanted to leave, but something strange happened. When I saw what Madrid had paid for Anelka, it wasn’t the figure that I had understood initially. I was astounded… The fee I’d agreed was far lower than that amount. Something strange went on there…

[Toshack changed the system as soon as he arrived at Real Madrid, playing with three at the back. Then president Ramón Mendoza was less than impressed. Toshack recalls his reaction] ‘John, this… is Real Madrid, not Real Sociedad’. So I told him, don’t talk to me about Real Sociedad who had won 4-1 here. And (Fernández) Trigo (one of the top members of the board) who was like a sergeant major barked: ‘Hey Welsh, come here’. Trigo, who was coaching the Under-17s or something like that, asked me why I was playing this player and not that player… And so I said: ‘Don’t give me that cr*p..’. I fielded exactly the same team in the next game and we put six past Valencia. Then after that… 5-0, 4-0, 6-0 finishing the league on 107 goals. (…) I remember when the league was over Mendoza turned to me in the celebratory dinner and said: ‘Not bad for a defensive team, 107 goals’…

[Fast forward to the current Madrid side and Gareth Bale, Toshack is adamant that his fellow countryman has everything he needs to succeed in Spain and only needs to take more care of himself to avoid getting injured and learn a bit of the lingo] First of all he has extraordinary talent. He made his international debut with me when he was still 17 - which I’m sure you’ve seen. In any national team, if you get to make your senior debut when you are 17, it’s for something. He was playing at Southampton then, as a left-back and that was one of the reasons I picked him. He came in handy for us at that time and he just exploded from the first moment - Ramsey started at the same time. I remember Bale fouling players (..) He didn’t take part in the game as much - maybe he’d get involved for five minutes and that was all. He’d occasionally make a run then drop back. He’s a very individual player

[Toshack’s theory on Bale’s injury problems] I remember one game against Croatia or Greece. We won a free-kick out on the right and Bale got the ball, sprinted up the wing and boom - he shot with the outside of his boot. So I called him over and said: ‘Hey Gareth… be careful doing that eh? Ligaments, cartilage… be careful’. We get another foul and Gareth does exactly the same, gets the ball and scores. So I said, ‘Look, do what you like’. But, if you look at the injuries that Bale has had, and I think he’s had too many, I’ve often thought that explosive style he has could have something to do with it

[As for Bale’s apparent inability or reluctance to express himself openly in Spanish, Tosh says he has no excuses] I never had Spanish lessons. People said that I spoke poor Spanish, that I couldn’t speak the language properly but little by little, after trying to speak, to read, making an effort… I’d still get all the verbs wrong and get mixed up… But for Bale, to be in a country like the one he’s in, in my view he has to speak the language. Sometimes, I’d just like to know what he’s thinking. And that’s not me being overcritical with him. Even if you get things wrong or make mistakes, you can still express yourself in another way. It’s like a challenge or a little battle

2020 02 06 Retrieve

[John Toshack says Gareth Bale’s performances when fit for Real Madrid are impossible to criticise] All I see is that Bale has suffered with injuries. In Madrid they always look at you with a magnifying glass, they always criticise someone and Bale, for one reason or another, has not done many interviews but his performance is impossible to criticise. You have to take into account his bad fortune with injuries, but you see his numbers in Madrid in terms of goals per game and titles and they are unbeatable

It is very difficult to criticise Zidane. I am not an expert at Real Madrid but I do feel that criticising Zidane seems like a mistake. With what he has done, he has already proved so much

[Toshack added on the Blancos’ chances of completing a clean sweep] You only have to see the few teams that have won all three titles in one season, it is very difficult. But if there is a team that can do it then it is Bayern Munich in Germany or Real Madrid or Barcelona in Spain. There is a lot of accumulation in matches and it is a huge test for any team, which is why almost no team has done it