Sven-Göran Eriksson as England manager - what's the verdict a decade later?

SCP

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Jack reynolds was the father of dutch school of total football
Inspired Michels yes, but Michels developed it, but the breakup of WM was done by Hungarians.

Di Stefano was perhaps the first total player, could play in any position and routinely did
Yes he was, but Hidegkuti was important when he played as a false 9 who really was an number 10 and finished with WM, of course Di Stefano was great, but Hidegkuti is very underrated in my opinion.

About sven, i think those england teams were overrated and when you look at his record in international competitions, you can't really say he did a bad job. He never had the best team in any tournament, went out twice on penalties, once to the hosts, and once to a superior brazil side
I agree with you, as I said on other posts I do not think their squad was better than the one who was at Mexico 86 or Italia 90, if anything Sven exploited well their potential.

Speaking about formations and squads at the tournament:

Portugal: Ricardo, Miguel, Carvalho, Andrade, Valente, Costinha, Deco, Maniche, Figo, Ronaldo, Pauleta.

The bolded players won Uefa Cup and Champions League with Mou, and we also had an player like Rui Costa who was not at his prime but could come out of the bench to change the match against England.
 

Treble_Winning

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He did well IMO.


As much as I celebrated that World Cup win and think that overall it was a great team overall, I have to be fair, they won a fairly weak WC. I'China, Turkey, Costa Rica is not the most stellar opposition even though Turkey gave us a lot of trouble. You can say it not our fault that the other top team was eliminated and you play who is in front of you and I won't disagree. I don't think the views at that time was stack with quality either considering how bad they were leading up to the tournament. It wasn't until after they won they got rated as high as they are now and I believe that mostly because of the front three.
Yes, I remember that Turkey team. It wasn't the best footballing team but was "annoying" because it was efficient, well drilled, well organized and difficult to break down, much like present-day Atlético Madrid. It also had some really good players like Basturk, Emre and Hasan Sas, I wonder why they didn't do better at club level.

Brazil did have to beat Germany in the final though, and Ronaldo totally dominated that game.

The front three of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho was truly ridiculous. All three of them were truly "crack" players who won the Ballon d'Or / FIFA World POTY. I do honestly think that front three was better than the present-day Barcelona front three. The full backs, Roberto Carlos and Cafu, were also ridiculous.

It was no shame for Eriksson's England to lose to this team.
 

redflair

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But isn't on the manager to install something like that? LVG did it with us, it didn't work out but he did it.
It is. But most English players have technical deficiencies, particuarly in short passing and laying the ball off, that are magnified in a slower, summer tournament that doesn't quite play to their strengths of running hard, pace and a naturalised intensity.

I want England to do well but you either need players with a passing culture ie Bobby Charlton, Scholes, Sheringham, Gascoigne - or you need to develop players with a better grasp of the short game ie patience, recycle the ball, pass and move etc... The players I've mentioned seem to appear once in a blue moon - and the latter is a pipedream with the current bunch we have.

(Although they might still surprise us in Russia).
 

The Outsider

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I always felt watching England under Sven we rarely played as a team and agree that either Lampard or Beckham should have been sacrificed for a natural defensive CM.

I also recall hearing that playing for England Rooney never scored against top international opposition.
 

Champagne Football

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This 532 formation should have been used to accommodate everyone and a better manager than Sven should have been in charge such as a Hoddle, a Lippi, a Hitzfeld or a Hiddink.

--------------------James-----------------
-------------Rio-----Sol-------Terry-------
Neville---------------------------------Cole
------Beckham---Gerrard---Lampard---
-----------Scholes-----Rooney/Owen----
 

SirAF

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He did well enough and actually tried using Hargreaves to offset the problem of Lampard and Gerrard playing together. Suffered from at the time over inflated expectations lead by the media and being a bloody foreigner.

He did well off the pitch too with the women folk, despite looking like some sort of human bird hybrid. Well played.
I never understood that! :lol:

I think he was decent for England though.
 

tonysoprano

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overated in my opinion. Lived off the 5-1 demolition of Germany his whole time in charge. Guilty of playing Scholes on the wing when better managers would have built their team around him in centre mid. Should have won something with the players he had
 

giorno

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overated in my opinion. Lived off the 5-1 demolition of Germany his whole time in charge. Guilty of playing Scholes on the wing when better managers would have built their team around him in centre mid. Should have won something with the players he had
Like what? He went out to a better team in 2002, the host on penalties in 2004 and portugal agsin on penalties in 2006. His fault english players can't win a penalty shootout?

I mean he managed england, not the 1982 Beazil, ffs
 

Devil81

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Failed with the players he had at his disposal, easily our best squad since 66.
 

12OunceEpilogue

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I assume he meant 'kill' Sven's football career? :nervous: I think Sven kind of did that himself by being not very good.

It just shows you the lack of power club coaches have. Even Fergie had little option but to rant and rave down the phone when he justifiably wanted Rooney to recover rather than play more football.
 

André Dominguez

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He had a good starting 11 at his disposal, but the team lacked a rabbit in top hat from the bench that other teams seemed to have.

But the GK position was a liability TBH and Michael Owen was already physically damaged at 24 y.o. due to a rush recovery he did when he was young that caused him recurring injuries through his whole career, leaving you guys to go with solutions like Heskey, Vassel, Crouch, etc,
 

Samid

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I assume he meant 'kill' Sven's football career? :nervous: I think Sven kind of did that himself by being not very good.

It just shows you the lack of power club coaches have. Even Fergie had little option but to rant and rave down the phone when he justifiably wanted Rooney to recover rather than play more football.
Still think Fergie was somewhat successful in managing to create an "us vs them" culture amongst his players. The likes of Giggs only getting 60 odd caps is proof of that.
 

12OunceEpilogue

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Still think Fergie was somewhat successful in managing to create an "us vs them" culture amongst his players. The likes of Giggs only getting 60 odd caps is proof of that.
Yeah he was well-known for giving regular hairdryers to national team coaches, and I'm sure it was useful for us to have certain managers 'persuaded' to leave our players to recover over international breaks. But what Sven demonstrated is that if you're willing to stay the course not even Fergie can stop you from naming a player.
 

FootballHQ

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Interesting with the debate about how well England played at 2018 world cup....I thought the football England played at 2004 and 2006 was pretty dreadful.

2002 was good though and that was a nice period when he first took charge. Obviously 5-1 in Germany was top class and the high point of his reign. Also at World cup beating Argentina 1-0 and playing really well in that game (remember Sheringham having a volley saved after 20 touch passing move) and then comfortably defeated Denmark who'd just knocked France out and had a really solid team.

Unlucky to then meet Brazil rather than get Germany's path to the final, could've shown a bit more belief once Ronaldinho got sent off (remember Southgate comparing him to Ian Duncan Smith :lol:) but I wouldn't fault him too much.

After that the football gradually got worse. 2004 was really all about Rooney, France didn't have a clue how to handle him in the 1st game and neither did Swiss or Croatia (although that was probably worst Croatia NT I've ever seen).

In the Portugal game IIRC the flow was England scoring very early, Rooney then getting injured and England pretty much 18 yard box defending for rest of the game. In those times England had ridiculous strength at defence and in midfield but not much upfront beyond Rooney and Owen, had Vassell and Heskey getting loads of caps in that period.

From that England moved to just individualism really. No great football but just waiting for any of Beckham, Lampard, Owen or Rooney to pop up with a goal.

Sven was actually getting panned before that World cup. In September 2005 were pretty lucky to beat Wales 1-0 and then lost dismally 1-0 in Belfast to Norn Iron. This is before they got reasonanbly competitive:


At the World cup I remember England scraping past Paraguay 1-0 (set piece own goal), taking 80 minutes to score v Trinidad and Tobago and then Sweden outplaying England.

Then got past Ecuador with another set piece goal (sound familar?) and then it all ended on penalties to bogey team Portugal.

His selection in that World cup was also odd. England only selected 4 strikers, one was just turned 17 and never played (Theo Walcott), Rooney was just coming back from an injury and never looked fit, Owen had his injuries and was declining as top level striker and then did his ACL in Sweden game so were just left punting long balls up to Crouch and he'd only been at Liverpool for a year at that point so had little experience of top level.

For all the talent not even making a semi fiinal was pretty disappointing and I'd certainly rank the first half of his 6 years in charge as much better.
 

FC Ronaldo

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Really enjoyed this interview with him.

 

FootballHQ

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Southgate outperformed him since this thread was made (replies from 2017).

Was surprised watching the Croatia game in 2004 how bad England were at defending crosses, gave away two free headers which lead to goals. Can remember Helder Postiga scoring from a header in the quarter final aswell. This was with Campbell and Terry as CBs.

2002 was his best tournament, England played some nice football and unlucky they got Brazil in quarters compared to the route Germany had.

2006 let's be honest the football was rubbish. Think England only scored in two games from open play. First game v Paraguay was own goal from a free kick and then needed Beckham free kick to break down Ecuador. Also took 80 minutes to score past Trinidad and Tobago.

2004 would've been interesting if Rooney hadn't picked up the injury early v Portugal.

Edit: Was looking at a post above thinking he's making similar posts to me and then realizing I pretty much posted this last year. :lol:
 

FootballHQ

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Should counter that however by saying I thought Capello would be a fantastic pick as England manager but he was a much bigger disappointment than Sven with still most of that squad at their peak.
 

berbatrick

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Their 2006 team would've been worthy winners, all of them at their peak too.

---------------Robinson---------------
Neville---Ferdinand---Terry------Cole
Beckham---Gerrard---Lampard--J.Cole
--------------Rooney---Owen-----------
With hindsight, how should they have set up? Carrick and Hargreaves were both options as the 3rd in midfield. Who goes out? Cole or Owen? And if you can persuade Scholes to return, does he go on the left, or does he replace Lampard? And Rooney and Owen - both unfit/out of form, both unsuited to playing alone. There's a lot of good players but no obvious solution.
 

RyRoc

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Have heard quite a few ex players who played in that era hint that with another manager they would have won silverware - personally I don't share that sentiment. None of the midfield or attacking players IMO hit the heights of their club form when putting the England shirt on with the possibly exception of Rooney. Left wing was also a real problem that never got properly solved.
 

Rooney in Paris

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Have heard quite a few ex players who played in that era hint that with another manager they would have won silverware - personally I don't share that sentiment. None of the midfield or attacking players IMO hit the heights of their club form when putting the England shirt on with the possibly exception of Rooney. Left wing was also a real problem that never got properly solved.
Management could have played a part in that.
 

Gringo

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It's like there wasn't other countries going through their own golden generation or peaks. England had a very good team yes but so did a lot of others.
 

amolbhatia50k

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It's like there wasn't other countries going through their own golden generation or peaks. England had a very good team yes but so did a lot of others.
Yeah. But the football England played was average and they never seemed to be very well coached. Like it has felt often with United post SAF, they seemed to just play games and figure things out as they went. And that's definitely a shame given the talent they had on the pitch.

As for talent, the one thing England lacked at that time was a winger/forward with pace and technique, something they have in abundance now with Sancho, Sterling and Rashford. But they had more than enough to do much better and possibly even win something.
 

RedRonaldo

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Underachieved with the golden generation, but overall did ok consider he got into quarter finals of major tournament multiple times. But with the squad of Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard, Beckham, Rio, Terry, Cole, Owen during their peak etc maybe we should have done it better.
 

Focusmate

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2004 was the one tournament in my life I can say England were clearly the best/strongest team and also Rooney was the best player.
If you cant win penalty shootouts you will fail.
 

thepolice123

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Southgate outperformed him since this thread was made (replies from 2017).

Was surprised watching the Croatia game in 2004 how bad England were at defending crosses, gave away two free headers which lead to goals. Can remember Helder Postiga scoring from a header in the quarter final aswell. This was with Campbell and Terry as CBs.

2002 was his best tournament, England played some nice football and unlucky they got Brazil in quarters compared to the route Germany had.

2006 let's be honest the football was rubbish. Think England only scored in two games from open play. First game v Paraguay was own goal from a free kick and then needed Beckham free kick to break down Ecuador. Also took 80 minutes to score past Trinidad and Tobago.

2004 would've been interesting if Rooney hadn't picked up the injury early v Portugal.

Edit: Was looking at a post above thinking he's making similar posts to me and then realizing I pretty much posted this last year. :lol:
Was the football really good? I seem to recall that for most parts it was turgid as hell. Slow build up, long balls to Heskey, Owen feeding off scraps and non-stop crossing into the box. I remember the Brazil match being particularly fustrating. The Brazilian defence was crap and England created feck all throughout the match. They only managed to score through a mistake by the defender. After Ronaldinho got sent off, they still struggled to create anything of note despite having an additional man.

However, I think the England team in his earlier years was the most balanced and probably defensively the strongest.

The "Golden Generation" went full blown after the 2002 WC. The football remained crap and became even more disjointed. Felt like almost every player was out there just playing for himself. There were so many partnerships not working throughout the team. Rooney-Owen, Rio-Terry, Gerrard-Lampard.

Gerrard-Lampard was the obvious one but Rooney-Owen hardly worked as well. Both of them needed a forward with physical presence to play off and none of them were that kind of player. Rio-Terry seemed like a dream partnership but every time they wear the jersey, there's bound to be some defensive feck up somewhere.
 

FootballHQ

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Was the football really good? I seem to recall that for most parts it was turgid as hell. Slow build up, long balls to Heskey, Owen feeding off scraps and non-stop crossing into the box. I remember the Brazil match being particularly fustrating. The Brazilian defence was crap and England created feck all throughout the match. They only managed to score through a mistake by the defender. After Ronaldinho got sent off, they still struggled to create anything of note despite having an additional man.

However, I think the England team in his earlier years was the most balanced and probably defensively the strongest.

The "Golden Generation" went full blown after the 2002 WC. The football remained crap and became even more disjointed. Felt like almost every player was out there just playing for himself. There were so many partnerships not working throughout the team. Rooney-Owen, Rio-Terry, Gerrard-Lampard.

Gerrard-Lampard was the obvious one but Rooney-Owen hardly worked as well. Both of them needed a forward with physical presence to play off and none of them were that kind of player. Rio-Terry seemed like a dream partnership but every time they wear the jersey, there's bound to be some defensive feck up somewhere.
It was better than 2006. Blew away Denmark in round of 16 in the first half. I also thought they played really well in the 1st half of the Argentina game (second half was more backs to the wall).

Brazil was just a bit of a mental block and also shock at way the Ronaldinho goal was conceded. First half was pretty even.
 

GuybrushThreepwood

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In the 2002 World Cup, I remember we were only capable of playing well for 45 minutes per match, i.e were were excellent in the first half against Sweden, and awful in the 2nd half.

Gerrard and Neville missed that tournament through injury which didn't help, and of course we were sweating over Beckham's recovery.

In the 2006 World Cup, I definitely didn't think we could have won (had we got past Portugal, I'm sure France would have beaten us in the semis), but of course not taking Defoe when our striking options included Owen and Rooney who weren't fully fit and were struggling from injuries and a 17 year old Walcott who hadn't played a single minute of Premier League football, was a crazy decision.

I remember being frustrated at how he wouldn't use Hargreaves properly, often bringing him on as a late sub when you can't expect a player in that position to impact a guy with so little time left.
 

Lay

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It was better than 2006. Blew away Denmark in round of 16 in the first half. I also thought they played really well in the 1st half of the Argentina game (second half was more backs to the wall).

Brazil was just a bit of a mental block and also shock at way the Ronaldinho goal was conceded. First half was pretty even.
I don't think England were great against Sweden and Nigeria, the latter was unbelievably shit.
 

FootballHQ

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I don't think England were great against Sweden and Nigeria, the latter was unbelievably shit.
Wasn't Nigeria just a typical last game where a draw gets you through and England played out the 0-0 pretty comfortably? Nigeria had excellent squad at time with Taribo West and Okocha aswell.

Performance was worse v Sweden in 2006 imo, were battered second half in that game, think Sweden hit the woodwork three times.
 

hasanejaz88

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I don't now how much you can blame him when he got knocked out twice by penalties and the managers after him, one of which was Capello, did even worst than he did.

You can say he had a better squad than Capello had but christ that 2010 performance was not deserving of the squad they had even then.

Ultimately, he couldn't manage the massive egos in the squad and therefore had to play both Gerrard and Lampard together whenn every single person could see they would not work.

I don't think any manager couldve won with that bunch, add to the fact that they took their domestic rivalries to the national team as well. As if other big teams like Spain and Germany don't have the same domestic rivalries but can't manage to put that aside for their country.
 

RalphMilneSuperstar

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Southgate outperformed him since this thread was made (replies from 2017).

Was surprised watching the Croatia game in 2004 how bad England were at defending crosses, gave away two free headers which lead to goals. Can remember Helder Postiga scoring from a header in the quarter final aswell. This was with Campbell and Terry as CBs.

2002 was his best tournament, England played some nice football and unlucky they got Brazil in quarters compared to the route Germany had.

2006 let's be honest the football was rubbish. Think England only scored in two games from open play. First game v Paraguay was own goal from a free kick and then needed Beckham free kick to break down Ecuador. Also took 80 minutes to score past Trinidad and Tobago.

2004 would've been interesting if Rooney hadn't picked up the injury early v Portugal.

Edit: Was looking at a post above thinking he's making similar posts to me and then realizing I pretty much posted this last year. :lol:
Your posts are basically spot on. In 2006 England were awful. There was no chance they would have won that. Even a lot of the media was suggesting SF would be a fair result, which they weren't far off. Rooney was in great form that season but his and Owen's injuries meant we were toothless. The attack England has today (Sancho, Kane, Rashford, Sterling) is light years ahead of the options in 2006.

2004 was the chance. Rooney getting injured was a killer blow, he was rampaging through teams like Ronaldo in the 1998 World Cup. Beckham was pretty mediocre and missed a penalty to put us 2-0 against France, who we outplayed for 70 minutes with Leadley King (now there is a real quality player who is forgotten) screening the defence like a charm.

The defence of Cole, Campbell, Terry and Neville was pretty much as good as it got. Owen was out of form but showed a nice touch against Portugal in the QF. Rooney was on fire. Lampard, Hargreaves (who was Bayern player of the year iirc), Scholes and Gerrard were all at their peaks. We lacked a winger but should have been more creative tactically.

Sven was given a good set of players and showed an inability to try and select a formation that worked. Glenn Hoddle and Terry Venables were both superior in recent history. Southgate clearly as well given the SF with a pretty average team using a 3-5-2 of sorts for a change!
 

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One of the highlights of the our World Cups under Sven was the performances of Ferdinand.

Ferdinand was our best player at the 2002 tournament in my opinion, and the fact that Campbell made the tournament all-star team and he didn't was ridiculous. That's not to say that Campbell didn't play well himself at that tournament, but Ferdinand played better.

And you can argue that he was our best player at the 2006 tournament as well alongside Hargreaves. Our worst defending from memory came against Sweden after he went off injured and Campbell replaced him.
 

FootballHQ

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Yes England were actually very good defensively in 2006 bar the second half v Sweden. That was the only half of football goals were conceded. Can't remember Portugal having a serious chance in the quarters even with playing 10 men for last half hour.

Ashley Cole was superb in 2004 and 06, another contender for team of the tournament.

Pool of CBs was just so much stronger in that period if you add in guys on the fringes like Woodgate who had loads of injuries. Now the options are pretty mediocre. Rio Ferdinand was banned for euro 2004 through the missed drugs test punishment.
 

JohnnyKills

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Complete charlatan. His managerial record in the big leagues is mediocre apart from with Lazio, where he spent ridiculous money.

Thank God he never came to United.
 

thepolice123

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One of the highlights of the our World Cups under Sven was the performances of Ferdinand.

Ferdinand was our best player at the 2002 tournament in my opinion, and the fact that Campbell made the tournament all-star team and he didn't was ridiculous. That's not to say that Campbell didn't play well himself at that tournament, but Ferdinand played better.

And you can argue that he was our best player at the 2006 tournament as well alongside Hargreaves. Our worst defending from memory came against Sweden after he went off injured and Campbell replaced him.
TBF both were very solid and I think the defence looked the best in that tournament. Campbell probably got it because he had a slightly higher profile than Rio back then. Both the Argies and Brazilians really struggled to break them down. Shame the attack was pretty crap. After 2004 Campbell was essentially washed up.
 

caid

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I'd say he did as well as could be expected with the teams he used. Going out in the quarter finals on penalties is a pretty good by any standards and losing on penalties is a pretty fine margin away from being one of the top 4 teams in the world. Penalties seem like a mentality and psychological thing. If England ever had it its long, long gone and will take a while to rebuild. No one would bet on you in a penalty shoot out tbh.
You had lots of talent but you were unbalanced and weak in a few areas. Rooney and Owen weren't an obvious combo, though they did pretty well together in fairness to them. They didn't help hold the ball up much and get you out of defence though, neither was really built for it. Based on you having 10 players around the edge of your box for large parts of the later games that would have helped.
Left wing was pretty weak, no midfield of any consequence and a mediocre keeper who tended to undermine the outstanding defence. They were never obvious tournament winners.
And then there was getting the talent you had on the pitch and fit for tournaments which wasn't always straightforward.