Jermaine Anthony Jenas (// JEE-nəs; born 18 February 1983) is a retired English professional footballer and current BT Sport pundit, who played as a central midfielder for English club sides Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers, all for whom he scored a career total of 39 goals from 341 league appearances. He also appeared 21 times for the senior England national football team, scoring one goal.
Jenas playing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2011
|Full name||Jermaine Anthony Jenas|
|Date of birth||18 February 1983|
|Place of birth||Nottingham, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|2011||→ Aston Villa (loan)||3||(0)|
|2012–2013||→ Nottingham Forest (loan)||6||(1)|
|2013–2014||Queens Park Rangers||38||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
A promising talent, Jenas made his professional debut at age 17 for his boyhood club Nottingham Forest who were playing in the second tier, before moving to Premier League club Newcastle United for £5 million just over a year later, where he earned his first senior England cap in February 2003 aged 19 and was named PFA Young Player of the Year for the 2002–03 season.
Hampered by several serious injuries, Jenas failed to reach the career heights expected of him, although he remained at the top level, moving to Tottenham in 2005 for £7 million, with whom he won the Football League Cup in the 2007–08 season. While with Tottenham, he travelled with England to the 2006 FIFA World Cup but was an unused substitute; he played his last England match in 2009.
The tail end of his playing career saw loan spells at Aston Villa in the Premier League in 2011 and Nottingham Forest in the second tier in 2012, before a permanent move to struggling Premier League club Queens Park Rangers in the January 2013 transfer window. Relegated with QPR in May, he played for much of the following season before injury finally forced his retirement. While still recuperating from his final injury, he moved into media work as a pundit, a role which he has continued beyond retirement, most recently for the BBC on Match of the Day.
Born in Nottingham, Jenas began his career at Nottingham Forest, then in the First Division. He made his debut aged 17 on 7 January 2001, starting in a 1–0 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup. One week later, again as a starter, he played his first league game, and was replaced by David Freeman in the 68th minute of a 3–0 home defeat to Crystal Palace, his only other game of the season.
In the 2001–02 season, Jenas became a regular and scored his first senior goal on 18 August in a 2–1 defeat at Barnsley. After four goals in 33 games across all competitions, Jenas was sold to Newcastle United for £5 million in February 2002.
Despite an impressive first full season with Newcastle in which he won the 2002–03 PFA Young Player of the Year award, Jenas failed to repeat his initial form with the club and his two subsequent seasons were disappointing considering his early promise. Known for his strong "box-to-box" play and ability to score from midfield, Jenas' last two years with Newcastle were marked by a series of inexplicably bland displays, both goals and energy started to dry up, leading to Jenas starting fewer games. Despite temporarily regaining his form and gaining the vice-captaincy under new manager Graeme Souness early in the 2004–05 season, Jenas' form dipped again with only two goals in 48 appearances. He scored a total of 12 goals in 152 appearances for Newcastle.
Rumours of Jenas' unhappiness were confirmed early in the 2005–06 season by manager Graeme Souness, when he revealed Jenas was not enjoying life at Newcastle, and the player reportedly compared life at the club to living "in a goldfish bowl". He was subsequently sold to Tottenham Hotspur on transfer deadline day – 31 August – for an initial fee of £7 million. Throughout the season, Jenas netted seven goals from midfield as Tottenham qualified for the UEFA Cup. He marked his return from a 13-match absence through injury by scoring the second goal in Tottenham's 3–1 FA Cup fourth round win over Southend United.
Jenas signed a new five-year deal with Tottenham on 29 August 2007, keeping him at the club until 2012. Under Juande Ramos, Jenas' form improved greatly and he initially produced occasional impressive performances, partly due to the new regime but also from some personal words of encouragement from the Spaniard. Jenas played in 1–1 draw and the 5–1 victory over rivals Arsenal in both legs of the semi-finals of the League Cup, scoring the opening goals in both matches. Jenas set up Jonathan Woodgate for the winning goal in the 2–1 League Cup final victory over Chelsea on 24 February 2008.
At the end of July 2008, Jenas added a one-year extension to his five-year contract, keeping him at Tottenham until 2013. A few days later, he was named as Spurs' new vice-captain following the departures of Robbie Keane and Paul Robinson. On 26 December against Fulham, Jenas made his 100th league appearance for Tottenham. He scored the only goal in a 1–0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Aston Villa loanEdit
On 31 August 2011, Jenas joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan deal from Tottenham. He wore the number 8 shirt at Villa, the same number he had while at Spurs. Jenas eventually made his debut for Villa on 5 November, after a series of niggling injuries, coming on as a second-half substitute against Norwich City. Jenas then came on for his second appearance for Villa on 27 November against Swansea City, as a 69th-minute substitute for striker Emile Heskey.
On 3 December, Jenas started his first game for Villa against Manchester United. While playing, he tripped on the Villa Park pitch and suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon injury in a game that saw him, Shay Given and Javier Hernández all leave on stretchers. The injury kept him out for six months, effectively ending his spell at the club.
Return to TottenhamEdit
Jenas returned to Tottenham following his surgery, being given the number 21 for forthcoming 2012–13 season. He finally made an appearance for Tottenham after coming on as a substitute in a 1–1 draw against West Brom on 25 August 2012.
Return to Nottingham ForestEdit
On 28 September 2012, Jenas signed a month-long emergency loan deal with former club Nottingham Forest. He scored his first goal of his loan spell away at Barnsley in a 4–1 win. On 1 November 2012, Forest announced that Jenas' loan had been extended until January.
Queens Park RangersEdit
On the final day of the January 2013 transfer window, Queens Park Rangers signed Jenas on an 18-month contract for an undisclosed fee from Tottenham, to be re-united with former manager Harry Redknapp. He scored his first goal for the club in a 3–1 home victory over Sunderland on 9 March. He scored again in the following game, on 16 March, a 3–2 defeat against Aston Villa. He made a total of 12 appearances for his new club, but was unable to prevent them being relegated with three games to go. After making 28 appearances for QPR in the Championship, Jenas suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a training session in April 2014, which ruled him out for the rest of the season. Although his contract expired at the end of the 2013–14 season, he remained with QPR during his rehabilitation process.
Despite struggling with injury towards the end of the 2005–06 season, he recovered sufficiently to be named in the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, but did not play at the tournament. In the first game, he had got as far as getting changed to be brought on as a last minute substitute, before being thwarted by the final whistle.
His improvement at Spurs earned him a call-up to the England squad for Fabio Capello's first game in charge, a friendly against Switzerland at Wembley Stadium on 6 February 2008; Jenas scored the opening goal in the 40th minute as England won 2–1.
In total, Jenas earned 21 caps at senior level, scoring one goal.
Jenas formally announced his retirement from football on 7 January 2016 on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, having not been unable to fully recover from his knee injury. Looking back on his career in 2014, he cited his PFA award and his League Cup win as his career highlights in terms of personal and team achievements respectively, and detailed his biggest regret as never having been able to play for his boyhood club Nottingham Forest at the highest level. On the question of whether or not he had underachieved in his career given his talent at a young age, he answered "yes and no", arguing that he was happy with what he had done, but that he had been held back both by injuries and the shock of losing Bobby Robson as his manager at Newcastle, which "was bigger [to him] than people think it was". He revealed that he had played while injured for a few years, simply to be on the pitch because he loved the game, even though it "probably took 10 or 20% out of my play". He also expressed regret at not having got the chance to play at a World Cup, describing his relationship with former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson as a "love/hate relationship", given he was the one who gave him his debut, but in his view had not given him a fair chance nor used him properly when he did play him.
After Jenas was released by QPR, he moved into television as a freelance pundit, firstly he was an analyst for ITV Sport's coverage of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League. In November 2014, he joined BT Sport where he regularly features in the studio alongside other pundits to provide analysis on the game.
Jenas presented a BBC Three documentary in April 2017 on knife-crime, focusing on his home town of Nottingham. During Teenage Knife Wars, he recalled an incident in his youth where he was the victim of a knife-point robbery.
Jenas is of mixed Afro-Caribbean and English descent. His father Dennis was born with the surname Genas but had it changed by deed-poll as he wanted the initials "D. J.". Dennis also played semi-professionally with local side Shepshed Charterhouse in the 1980s. He and his family were subjected to racial abuse from neighbours. Jenas was educated at the Becket School, in West Bridgford, Nottingham. He and a friend set up the Aquinas Foundation, which offers football tickets to truant students at disadvantaged schools in Nottingham and London if they can achieve a 100% attendance.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Nottingham Forest||2000–01||First Division||1||0||1||0||0||0||—||2||0|
|Newcastle United||2001–02||Premier League||12||0||—||—||—||12||0|
|Tottenham Hotspur||2005–06||Premier League||30||6||1||1||1||0||—||32||7|
|Aston Villa (loan)||2011–12||Premier League||3||0||—||—||—||3||0|
|Nottingham Forest (loan)||2012–13||Championship||6||1||—||—||—||6||1|
|Queens Park Rangers||2012–13||Premier League||12||2||—||—||—||12||2|
- England score listed first, score column indicates score after each Jenas goal.
|1||6 February 2008||Wembley Stadium, London, England||18||Switzerland||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Queens Park Rangers
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- Nabil Hassan (26 December 2008). "Tottenham 0–0 Fulham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
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- "New signings Hutton and Jenas handed squad numbers". Aston Villa F.C. 1 September 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- "Swansea 0–0 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
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- "Jermaine Jenas: Nottingham Forest re-sign Spurs midfielder". BBC Sport. 28 September 2012.
- "Jermaine Jenas: Nottingham Forest extend Spurs man's loan". BBC Sport. 1 November 2012.
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- "QPR 3–1 Sunderland" BBC Sport. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Aston Villa 3–2 QPR" BBC Sport. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
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- "Jermaine Jenas Q&A: Retirement, Forest & Dyer v Bowyer". BBC Sport. 24 November 2014.
- Stevenson, Jonathan (6 February 2008). "England 2–1 Switzerland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- "Jermaine Jenas announces retirement from playing football". BBC Sport. 7 January 2016.
- "Lille v Everton: Live on ITV4 – Europa League on TV". tvnewsroom.org. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- "Interview with Jermaine Jenas for Time Crashers". Channel 4. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
- BBC iPlayer – Teenage Knife Wars
- Jermaine Jenas reveals he had a knife pulled on him at 19 as MOTD star talks of hometown's blade epidemic – Mirror Online
- "Jermaine Jenas to help students in rough districts of Nottingham". DNA. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- "Future's brighter for 'Gee-nas'". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 3 January 2013.)
- Dennis Jenas – The Football Archives
- "Jermaine Jenas: Keeping truants in lessons with lure of football tickets if they stay in school". The Independent. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
- Flint, Hanna (13 June 2014). "A welcome distraction: QPR player Jermaine Jenas recovers from injury with his wife Ellie in Marbella". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 7 January 2016.[unreliable source?]
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- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Games played by Jermaine Jenas in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Jermaine Jenas". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 17 March 2011.