England due to play this week? Must be time for another Sven story then

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 27 March 2004

It is a lucky co-incidence how this media story always re-surfaces just as England are about to play a match, but there was simply astonishing stuff from The Sun today over Sven and England. It seems trivial to point it out...but I can't resist moaning.

From Steven Howard - "Euro bid left in tatters"

"They gave him a job which, with it, brought a certain responsibility towards the millions of fans who forget their tribal wars at the drop of a hat to provide England with the sort of support other countries can only dream of."

Hmm, the support that meant UEFA threatened to throw us out of Euro2000? And that we are the only country to be excluded from European competition because of the behaviour of our fans?

From Jimmy Greaves - "Clear offski, Eriksson"

"I do not want you in charge of England this summer.
I do not want someone who has sorted out a new job working in their old one. Can you honestly say you will be fully focused on England? Whether you can or not, I’m not interested.
Coming up is perhaps our best chance of winning a major tournament since 1966 and you have now put that in jeopardy."

and the Sun Says comment was - "Get out Sven"

"Does he expect his players to fight for him or our fans to support him if they think he is walking out on England whether we win, lose or draw?"

Sadly both Jimmy and the Sun's editors appear to have forgotten that England's best performances in recent tournaments (reaching the 1990 World Cup semi-final, and reaching the Euro96 semi-final) both happened under the guidance of managers who had already announced that they would be departing after the end of the tournament.

In suggesting that: "I can only wonder what Sir Alf would make of it. I believe this is worse than Don Revie’s walkout" Jimmy also appears to be suffering from a short memory syndrome. Remember, Sven ended up with the job because Kevin Keegan quit after losing a match against Germany with the team facing another World Cup qualifier a mere 4 days later.

England are currently joint sixth in the FIFA rankings. Sven has so far only lost one competitive match - against the eventual winners of the 2002 World Cup.

Potential successors include Steve McClaren (no european management experience), Trevor Brooking (been caretaker-manager for West Ham for about 15 matches), and getting Howard Wilkinson back....

Just let him get on with it - after all, if we don't win Euro2004, The Sun will be demanding he gets the sack anyway.

3 Comments

I think your list of potential successors is a little exaggerated, the sort of salary the FA are chucking around it'd be more like Capello or Martin O'Neill.

"clear offski"?!

where the f*&# do they think he's from? he's SWEDISH not RUSSIAN. if they wanted to be culturally inept and offensive, they achieved it. if they wanted to make a weak joke based on his mother tongue, then i suggest something more like "Clδr εff, Svenska!". It's pronounced in Queen's English (clear off = clair orf), and what's more, there's a pun on the name "sven", to make it into the swedish word for "swedish".

the sun.

f&%@ing idiots.

shooting's too good for 'em.

(can you tell i've got links to sweden?! heh heh)

Actually, James, with the benefit of hindsight, it turns out I was 100% spot-on with who would follow Sven

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