AS my Aussie mates would say, that Terry Venables is a real whingeing Pom. Venables, of Spurs and Spain and a currently sinking ship in the form of England, has not taken recent reverses on the jaw but rather jawed off in the manner that makes his compatriots such a butt for Australian invective. El Tel does like a whine judging by his comments after England's inept performance against Japan in the current Umbro Cup. He won no new admirers for his verbal performance in the wake of the 3-3 draw with Sweden, a team that has forgotten how to win. Venables, with whom I have had brief dealings in the past, struck me as a hard-nosed Londoner who knew his way around a corner or two but could take the vicissitudes of life in his stride. His financial dealings may have suggested the need for a very good accountant but the image projected was of a man who knew what he wanted, could get it and, above all, could do a job of work with a football team. Well, he isn't doing it, is he? Miraculously, the tabloid terrors of Wapping or wherever the print capital of England is now situated, have not quite done the complete knife job on Terry, I suppose because he has been good with them in the past. That is not, however, a currency in which you can trade over-long with the yellow scribblers. After a late penalty had enabled England to snatch a 2-1 win over their Far Eastern visitors, Venables' excuses were along the lines that we had to remember 'there were four young lads in the defence and it all takes time. It wasn't our full-strength team. And you should also know that this is a very experienced, international Japanese forward line who have played together for some time'. Oh, come on for heaven's sake. It's the same core Japan side that played in Hong Kong at the Carlsberg Cup two years ago and again in the Dynasty Cup in February. And this is England we are talking about. Against Sweden they managed to grab a draw when half the crowd had already left and, presumably, the Scandinavians had failed to believe they could actually be winning a game again. This time Terry was talking about it again not being a full-strength side - one wonders how he will overly change the lineup against Sweden as he clearly does not appreciate Matthew Le Tissier - and that it came at the end of a long, hard season. Oh, yeah? Now, if they have changed the dates of next year's European Championship from the end of the English domestic season, could somebody tell me as I am hoping to be there. Venables is a disappointment not just because of the abject manner in which England are playing - how fortunate they are hosts for Euro '96, they would never qualify - but because he refuses to face the facts and tell it like it is. By and large, the players appearing for England and selected by Venables are under-talented and overpaid. Massive salaries and transfer fees are being tossed around in England for players who are simply not value for a fraction of the money. There is but a handful of England players who are of true international calibre at the highest European level and not one world-class player among them. The new rules in Europe have meant team managers of sides qualified to play in European competitions have had to splash out for English-born players - although, we know well, the Premier League and the FA Cup are won by teams with 'foreigners'. Ask Manchester United bereft of Cantona and Kanchelskis. Of course, some players have been full value for the money - Alan Shearer is a most obvious example. But largely it is a case of good, rather than anything approaching great, players getting into top level teams and, from that podium, getting into the England squad. Venables' tribulations came in a week where Bobby Robson quickly decided to stay in the sunshine of Portugal rather than return to grimy north London and a resurrection job with Arsenal. Robson was England's most successful manager in years but was hounded from the job largely by the press. His obvious abilities, exemplified by England's Italia '90 performances, were carried on with PSV and then Sporting and Porto. The Arsenal job has gone to Bruce Rioch, who departs the northern wastelands of Bolton for Highbury. It's a merry little band of pill-pushing, bottle-swigging roughnecks he's taking over, but one can only wish him luck. JUVENTUS pulled out of their Hong Kong commitment leaving some fans disappointed and a local sports promotion company holding the can for a considerable preliminary outlay. I do not fancy the chances of Pro Events getting their money back and a legal wrangle won't be sorted out very quickly. The HKFA, although they have plenty of problems of their own at the moment, would do well to have a long, hard look at the flurry of 'international' games taking place here. We had a half-strength Anderlecht playing recently and now Juventus have not bothered to turn up. One immediate criteria would be for any club dealing through an agent to ensure that the agent, or sports promotion company, is licensed by FIFA. In that way, there are immediate penalties if a club does not fulfil its contractual obligations.