Sven-Goran Erikkson comemorates the end of his tenure as England manager by a) blasting the press, b) defending Cheryl Tweedy and c) suggesting he didn’t wasn’t provided enough talent to get the job done. From the Independent’s Andy Hunter.
Eriksson, who will begin considering new offers of employment from today, revealed: “I am disappointed, not angry, and disappointed because of the reason. The reason was a newspaper coming out with lies. Nobody knows what was true in that – I know, and that is why I have sued the newspaper. It has cost me a lot of money but I am sure I will get the money back. I don’t think the Football Association, or a government, should listen to a newspaper that much.”
The 58-year-old denied that he had been too lenient with his players in Germany and that the high-profile presence of the “Wags” had been an unnecessary distraction.
“I don’t think the wives had anything to do with the penalties,” he said. “The players never had two days off, never, they only ever had one day off after a game.” He also dismissed suggestions that three quarter-final exits in three successive tournaments was a poor return for a manager with a salary of almost £5m.
Eriksson insisted: “I am not the best paid manager in the world and why shouldn’t a national manager be paid the same as a club manager? If you want people to do this job out of honour, or whatever, then you will find it very difficult. I don’t know if three quarter-finals are good enough. The first two, I think so, but this was not good enough. If you see the other teams in the semi-finals then we should be there and I am sorry.”
Before leaving England’s training camp in the Black Forest for the last time, ahead of a vacation, Eriksson also defended a selection policy that was exposed as fundamentally flawed in Germany once Michael Owen suffered a cruciate ligament injury against Sweden.
“I don’t regret taking [Theo] Walcott,” he declared. “You forget one important thing; where are the other big strikers in England? Where are the other strikers who can score at this level?”
When it was put to Eriksson that Jermain Defoe offered a more proven alternative to the untested Arsenal teenager, he replied; “I don’t think so. If I thought that I would have picked him and I have seen him 15 or 20 times this season.”
The Mirror claims that Wayne Rooney had to be restrained from entering Portugal’s changing room after Saturday’s match, presumably hoping for a meeting between Cristiano Ronaldo’s face and his fist. The tabloid discounts the possibility that young Rooney might simply have gone through the wrong door or had difficulty reading the signs.
Acclaimed expert on the paranormal Glenn Hoddle has left Wolves after a particularly short tenure. Larry Brown would really like to see Hoddle settle down one of these days.