Jermaine Anthony Jenas (// JEE-nəs; born 18 February 1983) is an English pundit and retired professional footballer. He played as a central midfielder for English club sides Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers, scoring 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 in 2015
|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, as well as BT Sport.
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.
In 2002 Jenas joined Newcastle United from Nottingham Forest. Newcastle United, investing in youth, paid a transfer fee of £5 million for Jenas and he became the second most expensive teenager in British football after Robbie Keane. His club transfer record for a teenager lasted for months when, in the following preseason, Newcastle United broke the club record, and the then British record for a teenager, in signing the 2002 Young European Footballer of the Year award winner and Portuguese international Hugo Viana for £8.5 million. After the 2001–2002 season Jenas first experienced international tournament football, when, being in the England squad, he was involved in the U21 European Championships held in Switzerland.
In the 2001–2002 football season, Jenas played 12 games for Newcastle United and Newcastle United qualified for the 2002–03 Champions League. In his first full season with Newcastle he won the 2002–03 PFA Young Player of the Year award. In the 2002–03 season he managed to play 32 games in the Premier League and scored 6 goals. 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. In the 2003–04 season Jenas played 31 Premier League games and scored 2 goals. In the 2004–05 season Jenas played 31 games Premier League games and scored one goal. 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.
At Newcastle United he played alongside international footballers such as, Laurent Robert, Gary Speed, Alan Shearer, Shay Given, Nolberto Solano Patrick Kluivert and Kieron Dyer. In his first three seasons at Newcastle, Newcastle played in European football; twice in the Champions League, in seasons 2002–03, 2003–04 and twice in the UEFA Cup in seasons 2003–04 after failing at a group stage in the Champions League, and for the 2004–05 UEFA Cup his last season at Newcastle. Jenas also won 14 of his 21 caps for England when with Newcastle United. On 31 August 2005 at the age of 22, Newcastle United accepted an offer of £7 million from Tottenham Hotspur.
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 the 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 been unable to recover fully 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. Jenas has endorsed the clothing retailer Jacamo.
Jenas and his wife Ellie have two daughters together, while he has an older daughter from a previous relationship who lives in the United States with her mother. He now lives in Hertfordshire.
|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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- BBC iPlayer – Teenage Knife Wars
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- Dennis Jenas – The Football Archives
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