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Friday, 26 April, 2002, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Does Sven-Goran Eriksson's private life matter?
Talking Point: Sven-Goran Eriksson
The Football Association is said to be worried that media speculation over Sven-Goran Eriksson's private life will affect England's World Cup bid.

The England Manager has been a front-page fixture since The Mirror alleged he is having an affair with TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson.

However, England's assistant coach Tord Grip says "This has nothing to do with our preparations for the World Cup.

"That is going on as planned because it has to."

According to the Daily Telegraph, Eriksson has assured the Football Association he will continue in his post despite "great discomfort" at the intense media intrusion into his personal life.

Do you think that Sven-Goran Eriksson's private life will affect England's chances in the World Cup? Is the media coverage warranted? Does it really matter?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction

Come on people, get a life and affairs of your own.
Andreas, Greece

Who cares?
Maria, UK

To the Swedes who object to our discussing their compatriots: both Sven and Ulrika choose to live and work in the UK so you can't really complain if we talk about them! However, I think the tabloids' obsession with football is even sadder than their obsession with sex - surely there is something more interesting to write about?
Linda, UK

Has no one in the UK heard of an open relationship? Oh sorry. No sex please we're British!
Edward Motler, UK


Excuses in advance!

Ralph, UK
Excuses in advance! Beckham has been deliberately crocked, Sven has affair with Swede....What is the next excuse going to be? Answers on a post card....
Ralph, UK

Leave the poor guy alone. How come the press seem to take great delight to trash people's private lives? Freedom of speech should be used to report the important things in life, like what is happening in the world. Places like Israel, Bosnia, India, etc. Maybe Sven and Ulrika should do a little "reporting" on the paper people that published the story, then maybe they will understand what it feels like to have someone watching your every move
Peter Sibun, UK

I have never understood why people believe the personal life of an athlete, manager, coach or entertainer will have a bearing on whatever job they perform. Nor do I understand why what they do behind closed doors is vital to me. We have the luxury of those closed doors, they do not, and though they have chosen an arena in which they are in the public eye, that doesn't mean that the public has a right to know all their idiosyncrasies. I certainly don't want my co-worker to know my own peccadilloes, innocent though they may be. There's a reason it's called a personal life.
Marcella, USA

How can Eriksson's private life possibly affect England's performance on the pitch? Only if he gets thrown out of his stride by unnecessary media coverage. How about we all get about our own business and leave Eriksson to handle his own?
Graham, The Netherlands

What a disgrace to the UK Sven is. Not only is he cheating on his long-term partner but he isn't even accepting responsibility by explaining his actions to the public. I think it's time and enough for Sven, Britain's children need a real role model.
Al, Scotland


The media should be concentrating on England's preparations for the World Cup

Stephen Yeghiazarian, UK
Finally England finds the manager that they have been looking for, only for it all to be spoilt by the inconsiderate media. What are you guys trying to do? The last thing we want is to scare Eriksson away from England. Who cares what he does in his private life? The media should be concentrating on England's preparations for the World Cup and should show their full support of the team. By spreading rumours about Eriksson's or any of the England player's private life they could cause insecurity among the team, therefore ruining England's World Cup chances. Keep up the good work Sven! The fans opinions is what really counts.
Stephen Yeghiazarian, UK

I think he is one of the best manager we have had since we won the world cup. I think he has dodgy taste, but his life is his own. Somehow I don't think she will be contributing to the 4,4,2 set up or anything else to do with the game. Leave it alone!
Helen, UK

In Britain, the garden-fence gossip culture has died as we have become an unfriendly, isolated people. So, for example, the latest fix of gossip about Mrs. Jones next door has become replaced by reading tabloids going on about Sven. The only scoring I'm bothered about with Sven is that which his team does on the pitch.
Dan Cook, England

There are people out there that think "So what". The only question that needs to be asked should be "Is he doing his job?"
Caroline Brownlie, UK


By sheer definition of the number of you who have commented it does matter to you

Mel, UK
By sheer definition of the number of you who have commented it does matter to you. You all have an opinion you want to air: and look at the number of you. Personally I couldn't care less about Sven or Ulrika. Roll on the World Cup
Mel, UK

Tabloids are too nosey. They have to leave his private life alone if they want that England to have a chance for the World Cup. Private life has nothing to do with football.
Anna, W/Sussex

I'm not interested in football and I don't approve of marital unfaithfulness, but I fail to understand why in a country where adultery is generally accepted and football is an obsession, why people should choose to pump up this story by buying the scandal rags.
Stephen Hayes, England

Congratulations, we now have a new national game. Why don't we just not go to the World Cup and just all talk about what we think each other is up too. I think it is pathetic that these trash papers are more interested in this 'story' than any other news events. I am ashamed to be English because we have a good team and an even better manager and instead of celebrating this fact and supporting the team we feel the need to destroy everything.
Jason Bardwell, England

As a Swede it's very interesting to read all your comments. It seems that you Brits really have taken Sven to you're hearts! He has truly made an impact on you all since he came to England last spring and said: 'Hi, my name is Sven!' And it's understandable! Through the years I have truly admired Sven for what he has achieved as a football manager and for the professional way he handles media. He is quiet, cool and kind in almost every situation and that's, I think, the key to his success. And of course we all should respect his point of view. Leave the man alone and let him do what you Brits like him so much for; lead the English soccer team to more victories! (Not against Sweden though).
Jimmy Olsson, Sweden


Reading your tabloid press gives me the impression that it must be very difficult to have sex with the paparazzi watching

Hans Eriksson, Sweden
I just have to ask: are there still babies born in England ? Reading your tabloid press gives me the impression that it must be very difficult to have sex at all with all the paparazzi watching.
Hans Eriksson, Sweden

England will surely blame Sven if they do badly!
Fiachra O Malley, Ireland

Great job lads! How can you be so stupid? You're destroying your own World cup preparations! What if Sven is having an affair with Ulrika, why do you people even care?? Is there even a photo of the two of them together? And what a reliable source? A sad little English man who wanted to make a buck or two..
Lisa, Sweden

I have a question for the British Media. - Do you want England to win? If so, please leave your managers alone!
Corinna, Sweden

Sven might be in the public eye, but this does not give the media the right to intrude on his private life. At the moment he is the public enemy number one. If he leads our National team to world cup glory he will be a hero. So, media, get off his case and let him do his job. Private life is just that - private.
Mrs Gibbs, UK

I wouldn't worry too much about Sven. This clearly is a cheeky ploy to deflect attention from the England squad in preparation for the World Cup. Are the public really that fickle that they can forget what was on our front pages about 10 days ago? Someone's very crusty looking left foot! Sven has quite obviously given the tabloids something to chew over for a few weeks while his relatively young squad (quite unfamiliar to the kind of press attention usually applied to England players in the weeks before a World Cup) can concentrate on how to stuff the Argies, Swedes and Nigerians.
Andre, Derby UK


Leave the man alone!

Mike, UK
I remember shortly after Sven was appointed as England manager, a Swedish friend telling me that within a week or something ridiculous, the British tabloid press had been in touch with family members, old friends and anyone with a remote contact to him, presumably in an attempt to dig up dirt. This was completely new to Sven after being left alone whilst working in Sweden or Italy. Now have we really become such a sad nation as to only care about someone else's private life? Leave the man alone! Let him lead his life in peace and get on with his job.
Mike, UK

Kind of like it! "The group of death" isn't that scary anymoreż Keep it up tabloids!
Urban, Sweden

Sven Goran Eriksson is quite possibly one of the best England managers for sometime. What he chooses to do is his business and his alone. The gutter press should be barred from harassing him. When World Cup fever hits England the Sun etc will be pledging support for 'our boys'; the grief they have given Sven will be long forgotten.
Sara Gray, England

We are all very proud of Sven here in Sweden. He is a great leader, and he treats his players and the media with respect. One might think that he deserves to be traded the same way himself. After all, it's up to him alone to decide who he wants to share his personal life with.
Anelie B, Sweden

I only have one thing to say about the Sven-Ulrika relationship: Who cares? Sven like us isn't perfect so why bother about it? Like us he's only human so leave the man alone!
Lindsay Grant, Scotland, UK


Now the tabloids are doing their best to make sure that we will have another failure and ultimately he leaves

Mats, Sweden
Great! For the first time in decades there is a National Squad worth the name, thanks to Sven. Now the tabloids are doing their best to make sure that we will have another failure and ultimately he leaves. Who will be blamed for the mess? Sven, of course. Who should be blamed? The red-tops! Shame on you!
Mats, Sweden

Unfortunately having seen most comments on this page, I think there is a different issue. Double Standards. Sven himself said that his 'Private life is my private life and that is it', but isn't this the case for footballers, in particular Lee Bowyer. This guy, one of the most energetic midfielders going, is still being punished for an offence he didn't commit, that was also in 'his private life'.
Scott, UK

Boring, boring, boring - and even Radio 4's "Today" programme is joining in the tabloid glee at reporting this nonsense!
Chris, UK

It's only football you know!. Not a priest fiddling with little kiddies. Priorities people, get your priorities right. I've never ever bought a tabloid; never will, as they are just disgusting and vulgar.
Robert, UK

The media should really leave Sven and his private life alone. Bless him. He's just human, one of us and he should be entitled to his privacy. Let's just leave him to do his own thing.
Conne, England

It matters if that woman distracts him from his job which is getting us as far as possible in the World Cup. Frankly I don't care who he sleeps with and anyone who does needs to get out more. In that respect I would say Sven, like anyone is entitled to privacy.
Andy, UK


What saddens me is that people who are addicted to this rubbish no longer pay attention to issues which seriously affect our lives

Stephen James, London, UK
Being one of those weird people who are interested in what is actually happening in the big world out there, I couldn't care less for all the ridiculous tittle-tattle that the tabloids present in lieu of real news. What saddens me is that people who are addicted to this rubbish no longer pay attention to issues which seriously affect our lives.
Stephen James, London, UK

If the public continue to make a big deal out of this, then it will affect him, as it does for everybody that is hounded by the press. Please just judge him on his footballing track record. So far, so good, so please just leave him alone so England stand a chance of doing well in the World Cup.
Gavin Pearson, English in Detroit, USA.

I agree with most people who have posted a comment here, that is, leave Mr Ericsson alone, he's doing a great job. If the tabloids annoy you as much as they do me, then do as I do. Don't read them, don't buy them, and don't quote them. You'll be amazed how soon they'll disappear.
Jack Burge, England

We should live people alone, to do what they want. Why do we have to invade other people's privacy? Just for cash and publicity. This guy is doing a good job and let him carry on with it if you want good result.
Manjeet Singh, India


Leave our Sven alone!

Magnus, Sweden
Leave our Sven alone! Who cares what he does in his private life. Is England's media at all worried that it is destroying England's preparations for the World Cup. If England is knocked out early from Japan, it's the fault of the media, not Sven's fault. He is from Torsby in Sweden and is naturally calm. Don't destroy him! Remember that he belongs to the Swedes! You only have him on loan! Respect him and take care of him!
Magnus, Sweden

For God's sake! Stop being so bloody childish! It's his personal life and his love life. Not the entire world's. And it has nothing to do with his ability to coach England in the World Cup. Get a grip on reality everyone, please!
Anna, Sweden

If he quits, the FA will never get a high calibre manager in that job again. It will be back to normal, and we can forget about England ever achieving anything again. Well done Mirror you have made the job utterly untenable. Just wait until the players are away in Japan, they will be hounded around waiting for someone to have a shandy with his dinner and be castigated in the press.
Kevin, UK

You UK guys are obsessed today with us Swedes! Today on the BBC website, I read about Eriksson and Ulrika in the headline, Eriksson and Freddie Ljungberg in sports news, Ericsson in financial news and finally, ABBA and Volvo in a daily column! Don't you have anything British to talk about?
Christer, Sweden

I really agree with Christer from Sweden. Don't you have anything more British to talk about? Leave them alone!
Sushie, Sweden

Should we concentrate on winning the World Cup or Sven's private life? The media always seem to be curious. I think that we should ignore the media and realise what is more important. The World Cup, of course. Come on England!
Asif Iqbal, UK

Grief, only we could manage to get a great international manager and then contrive to drag him through the tabloids. His private life has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else. Tabloids are an evil blight. Let's evolve people.
Robin, UK

I couldn't believe even The Times carried this story on its front page. Who cares? Most of us have a private life and if we do or don't it's nobody else's business.
John, Belgium, UK

Is this news? Ms Jonsson is simply a shameless self-publicist and I couldn't care whether she is close to Eriksson or not. I bet the FA are well chuffed with the World Cup just weeks away?
Robert Crosby, Nottingham, UK


His private life must not be considered as a football to be kicked around

Mahesh Chandra Somani, Finland
His private life must not be considered as a football to be kicked around. Any discussion on this matter should stop immediately as it is unnecessary to pry in others personal matters, especially if he is a celebrity.
Mahesh Chandra Somani, Finland

Blaming the 'newspapers' for gossip is like blaming Le Pen for French apathy. It's because people buy these insults to intelligence known as tabloids that they have the power they do.
Chris Cormier, Canada

Why oh why did Piers Morgan & Co. have to open this Pandora's box? True most feel the Sven and Ulrika is irrelevant. But next it will be, "Was Sven honest with Ulrika?" and then "Is Sven too weak to leave his Italian girlfriend ?" etc. etc. Now if that is still playing out in a few weeks then I for one, will blame the tabloids for undermining England. If they leave it now, then we'll be able to forget it with time to spare....
Jonathon Smith, UK

He's not a politician preaching a moral code, and there's no kids involved. So it's his business and should stay that way. The best manager England has had in years, and we are doing our best to drive him away. Great idea.
Ron, England

Am I old fashioned? Isn't everyone entitled to a private life? If we were all subjected to the same kind of intrigue... including the editors paying for the information - we'd all be in the same position - wishing we weren't.
Simon, UK


The fact that the media have dedicated so much resource to Sven shows how low they have become

Robin Chakraborty, England
If the Queen, Prime Minister or a right wing Tory "Family Values" MP was alleged to be having an affair then it might be reasonably interesting and just about worth reporting as a national issue. The fact that the media have dedicated so much resource to Sven shows how low they have become. Gossip, gossip, gossip no matter how trivial. They assume that their followers have an insatiable appetite for it and they are probably correct. Anyone who buys a tabloid is responsible in part.
Robin Chakraborty, England

This media coverage even if true is not justified. Sven has not broken any laws which quite rightly would deserve attention he his just being exploited because he is well known. To hear the Editor of the Sunday People prattling on about how Sven is a role model and what a poor example he his making to others is frankly laughable. The press must be forced to change their ways and the best way is for people to stop buying their malicious views. I will get 10,000 names committing themselves to not buying a paper for a month if others will do the same, how about it?
Peter, UK

Leave the man alone, as he quite rightly said yesterday his private life is private. Let him get on with his job and I suggest to those that even decided to go ahead with this story to get on with some proper journalism not gossip.
F. Adams, UK


He runs a football team for goodness sake, he's not the Prime Minister or anyone of any real moral standing

Georgina, England
No one questions the capability of footballer's skills when they're found having affairs - so why on earth is there all this speculation over whether Sven should remain as Manager. He runs a football team for goodness sake, he's not the Prime Minister or anyone of any real moral standing. So he's had an affair, plenty of people do it. It's not like he's even married so it matters even less.
Georgina, England

I'm more concerned about why he selects the Neville brothers.
Papa

Does no one feel embarrassed that our media does this to people? Sven is a guest of our country and he is changing the face of the England team. He is a decent man with a brain (not something we could say about our last lot of joke managers). Who cares if he is with Ulrika she is just after the attention. Do people not have any respect in our country? I hope we win the World Cup and Sven walks out on us as we deserve it.
Tim, London

I don't care for the feelings or embarrassment caused to men who cheat, or for the half wit women who collude with them. The latter generally enjoy the attention anyway. What I do regret is that in these cases there is an innocent party who has done nothing to deserve the pain, embarrassment and humiliation caused by "newspapers" exposing such activities. Lets face it, it isn't news, its malicious gossip.
Ali, UK


If the World Cup isn't enough pressure...

Nick B, UK
Who cares, it's his life so leave the guy alone. Blimey, if the World Cup isn't enough pressure...
Nick B, UK

Interesting to note that the "newspaper" that is at the forefront of peddling this gossip is the same one that it currently re-branding itself to be taken more seriously. Some hope.
Dougal McKinnon, UK

Sven is entitled to a private life of his own choice in the same way as anybody is. It is unfortunate that this issue has been stirred up by tabloids. I cannot see how his love affair can have any adverse effect on his management of the English team. It seems to me that Beckham's injury, which affects his chance of turning up at the World Cup should be the main issue.
Leo Choi, Australia

Who really cares as long as he does his job. Most of us have more important things to worry about.
Keith Jones, UK

I do not see why it matters whether the England Manager is having an affair or not. After all his 'love life' is not important to whether or not he can motivate all our players enough into believing that they are capable of winning the World Cup and get his tactics right on the pitch. I think the tabloids should stop trying to create a scandal where there is none. Personally I won't bother reading any further stories about Sven and Ulrika. Let's concentrate on what the team can achieve in Japan and Korea and forget about the gossip.
Dawn, England

The only thing I'd question is his taste in women, but that really is up to him.
Steve, UK

The newspapers will be to blame if England get knocked out of the world cup, and if Eriksson resigns. All England fans should boycott the papers until they get the message that his private life is private and should have nothing to do with how he does his job.
Jon, UK


Yet another totally "non news" event

R Lippett, UK
Yet another totally "non news" event. There are major events going on all over the world with "real" people in danger and great distress and what does the great British media have as front page and TV news headlines? A pathetic story about a "possible" relationship between a Swede running the English national team (which is totally absurd anyway) and a publicity seeking c-list media star. Who cares! Call the media vultures off and tell them to do some proper professional reporting on issues the are of consequence.
R Lippett, UK

Isn't there anything else to gossip about?
Sami Young, London, UK

England claims to be the home of the "beautiful game", but can't find a native to coach its national team. If this story is as important as its close-to-top billing on "Talking Point", then Britain is in worse shape than I ever thought.
David Parker, Seattle - US (ex-pat)

He is paid to teach men how to kick a football and not to live as a priest. British journalists should find something interesting to write about. I doubt they have the education though
Muumi, Sweden

Stop buying the Red Top rags and that will put an end to this rubbish pretty quickly. A fall in sales is all they understand. It looked like Johnny Foreigner was going to give an England team to be proud of and our 'patriotic' Red Tops couldn't handle that. Bring him down now!!!
Phil, Brit in USA

Having lived in Thailand for the past 14 months, it is amazing how the Thai press and people love the English game and really want the team to do well in the world cup. It is even more amazing that our own press seem intent to run the English team down and interrupt their preparations in these late stages. The so-called reporters and editors in question have only brought shame on themselves and bemusement from people over here. I think these people need to have a good talk to themselves and get a grip on reality and decide where their loyalties are......probably lining their own pockets!
GS, Thailand


Is Sven really doing that good a job?

Mike, Malaysia
Is Sven really doing that good a job? Maybe his situation has been elevated (or clouded) by the "great defeat of Germany". Lack-lustre draws, and a win over an incomplete Paraguay team does not inspire total confidence to win the World Cup.
Mike, Malaysia

Words fail me, why do people waste their money on such utter drivel in the scum press?
DP, Cambodia

The man's private life is a matter for him and his family. Concentrate your reporting efforts on something that actually matters, please.
Sarah, US

The amount of attention placed on this non-issue is staggering. The England team's biggest opponent is its own press. Sven is the best thing that has happened to English football precisely for that reason. This man is focused on the task at hand, and will waste no time on this non-issue. I expect to hear reports of Sven and Becks parading around Old Trafford in matching sarongs by the end of the month. Please keep me posted.
Robert Fox, USA

If England lose the best manager we've ever had over this, and consequently lose the world cup, I'm not only never going to buy a tabloid newspaper in my life again, but I'm going to start an active vendetta against them, I have a website which has over 10,000 hits a day, I'm sure I can make an impact!!!!
Thomas Yasin, UK


It is stars and their lives that sells papers not good results on the back page

Pete, UK
What Sven has failed to realize is that it is stars and their lives that sells papers not good results on the back page. In a sport that become increasingly family friendly it does not help when it is perceived that the England manager is unfaithful!
Pete, UK

I see no reason for that to be the case although the intrusion of the media certainly would make life more difficult. In fact if media interest and the constant bothering of Eriksson continues it will be their interference which could lead to his coaching of England being disrupted. His private life is his own.
Frank Bierbrauer, Australia

You English have got to get over your fascination with other peoples sex lives.... leave him alone, the people who own the corner shop are probably up to much worse. We don't get our thrills in New Zealand from other people's private lives. Judge him by how he does the job he is paid to do!
Stephen Goodger, New Zealand

So what? Who cares what he's up to in his sex life? Oh yeah...the tabloid press. No one else cares....most of us are up to far worse anyway.
Andrew, Hong Kong

Leave this man alone, he is doing a perfect job, all manager don't have woman in their life what in hell you media people need to know and interfere in his life. It's stupid of British people and your media..
Anonymous


For what reason are the English press trying to remove his reasons for staying here?

Stephen Waterson, England
I've just finished watching 'Mike Basset: England Manager', a funny film that many a football fan can chuckle along to. After seeing these comments made about Sven's private life I thought I was still watching... Its almost comical that the press can find faults in a man that the country needs to get behind and give him our support. This man is doing his job out of a passion for football (a job for a passionate football following country I may add), for what reason are the English press trying to remove his reasons for staying here?
Stephen Waterson, England

Nice one "Mirror", and all those that have followed suit! I'm sure the opposition teams are praising the English media of doing their usual sterling job of dismantling their heroes, but don't we need to start off with xenophobia first and then manager character assassination! That's the usual gutter press, world cup progression. Anyone up for a reincarnated turnip?
Nick Truman, England

England has the best national team coach they have had for years. This side is capable of playing some fantastic football under Sven. Regardless of the results of the pending tournament it is a good idea to keep the same coach until the next World Cup and beyond. So why do the morons in the tabloids always do everything to dismantle and English side prior to the World Cup. Why not report on something worthy and let the team coach get down to the business of the World Cup? Don't give him a reason to start looking elsewhere for a job after the World Cup because he will be very hard to replace.
Justin, Australia


Personally I think Mr Eriksson's private life has nothing to do with the sport

Chris Demellis, Australia
Personally I think Mr Eriksson's private life has nothing to do with the sport, but the extra media attention could cause a strain on his ability to coach England to his full capacity . He should be left alone so he can do his best for England.
Chris Demellis, Australia

I can't believe that the tabloids, who pride themselves on their nationalism and xenophobia, could seek to undermine the England team just before the WC finals. This is treason. The sentence for the editors should be a sound beating from the thugs.
Gareth, Thailand

Is Sven a football manager or did I miss the news that he has been appointed Pope? Does anyone really care who he is shagging? Good luck to the guy. Leave him alone.
Robert, California, USA

Why doesn't the BBC set the example and cease to publish anything further on this irrelevancy? For heavens sake, please stop prying into everyone's private life just for the sake of some cheap news.
David, a Brit in the USA

How to get rid of an England manager. Drag his laundry (dirty or otherwise) out in to the public eye. When he gets fed up with it, he should quit the UK. If we leave his private life to him and anyone involved in it we may just keep him. Leave the man alone.
Stuart Bassett, Leicestershire, England

Having been out of the country for nearly 18 months and looking forward to the world cup - you have to wonder what the British Press are really like? Why interfere with a man who has done more for English football in the last 10 years! No wonder people will always look down at our tabloid press - they turn on our own! Go England and go Sven - both on the field and in the bed!
Hugo Wareham, Sydney, Australia


Leave the man alone

Phil, England
Everyone is entitled to privacy and, as a journalist, I deeply regret these revelations. The most likely outcome is that England will lose their best manager in 20 years. And yet you cannot help but question the man's judgement - Ulrika Jonsson is hardly the shy retiring sort when it comes to the media spotlight. Eriksson must have known that any liaison with her would result in these headlines. If he has been "playing away", that's his business. But with Ulrika Jonsson? What was the man thinking of? That's the real issue here.
Tony, UK

Leave the man alone. He's doing a good job which is what he's being paid for. It is this kind of thing that earns the title of "gutter press" and leaves people disrespecting journalists as much as they disrespect politicians.
Phil, England

Why don't they leave the poor guy alone? He's human, not some God. His proven record managing football teams will be what he is judged on. What does one's personal life have to do with his ability to run the English national team? Leave him alone to live his life, and just watch and see how his managerial skills shine through.... (Oh yeah, and there may be just a hint of jealousy from those who'd love to be seeing Ulrika??)
Iain, a Scot in Texas, USA


I personally wish the boys all the best

Paul Donnelly, Belgium /Brussels
It really does sadden me to constantly read that the media always interferes in the private lives of football players and managers. When will they ever learn? I personally wish the boys all the best and to forget what is being said. Remember there are millions of real supporters behind you all the way.
Paul Donnelly, Belgium/ Brussels

Does his private life matter? No. Does his public life matter? Even less. For heaven's sake let's ditch football and concentrate on a real game, like cricket. Even tiddlywinks is more interesting.
Edward, UK

The tabloids only care about selling papers not the impact of the content. This is only half the issue however. Maybe the people who spend money on this rubbish should shoulder some of the responsibility.
TH, UK

It was a matter of time before the press found something to cling on to regarding Sven. Quite honestly, it does not matter as he is focused guy and he clearly can handle pressure. Looking at Sven and Ulrika, I would say that he has done well to get anywhere with her and I am sure he has gained more respect from ordinary guys who would not mind dating her!
Steve Speroni, England


It sounds like the English "excuses" machine is already gearing up

Jamie, Scotland
Who really cares, but I must admit, it sounds like the English "excuses" machine is already gearing up for when you are put out of the World Cup in the first round!!!
Jamie, Scotland

This is typical behaviour by the tabloid press. They have found no reason to complain about his work so far, but now have an excuse to crucify him if England don't win the World Cup, even though it will be through England not being good enough and not that Sven has had his mind on other matters.
Andrew Clowes, England

Do the tabloid editors really think that now, just before the World Cup, is the right time to cause Sven any more stress?! As far as I'm concerned, let him do what he wants! He could rob the Bank of England as far as I care!
Ben Sharp, Nottingham, UK

It's to do with football and therefore irrelevant by definition.
Stephen Smith, UK


Our self-appointed and ludicrously hypocritical moral guardians have heavily misjudged the public's mood

Darren, UK
Our 'beloved' media have always had an uncanny ability to ruin England's preparations for important championships. It would be nice if they got behind the team for a change, instead of distracting and disrupting England, and then launching into tirades blaming everyone but themselves for our consequent dismal performances.

Sven is not a priest, politician or deity, nor is he married, and he should be allowed to enjoy his affair in private. The Press, our self-appointed and ludicrously hypocritical moral guardians, have heavily misjudged the public's mood if they think we want them to ruin another World Cup for England.
Darren, UK

We all know that Sven is a deeply private person when it comes to his personal life. If the press speculation causes him to quit, the journalists are going to have no-one else to blame but themselves when we get knocked out of the world cup in the group stages.
Michael, England

I don't think it will affect him all that much. He is a very experienced manager who has coached teams at the very highest level, he should be able to remain focused as any professional should. Is the media attention warranted? No, I don't think it is. It took up so much of the Press this weekend that you would be forgiven for thinking that nothing else was going on. At the end of the day both Sven and Ulrika are adults, neither are married so they can do what they want. And fair play to the lad! Like most Englishmen, I'm jealous!!
Steve, UK

Surely it's only of interest if he picks her for the left side of midfield.
S Mc, Madrid

The media will force him to be distracted just as Bill Clinton was. He is fully capable of doing his job if the media will let him get on with it.
Alan dale, USA


No sooner do we get a manager to be proud of than we try to drive him away.

Simon, UK
The focus on this issue is shameful. No sooner do we get a manager to be proud of than we try to drive him away. If he walks away after the world cup (instead of staying and doing the team justice) everyone who has been involved in this chasing should be extremely ashamed of themselves. What is it with this country that we feel the need to harm someone who is not only doing well for himself but doing well for us too?
Simon, UK

So, Graham Curry (UK), it is 'adult' and mature to be a promiscuous, cheating slut? I don't care what Sven does that's outside of football, but I was just thinking the other day how he seems to have escaped the same flak that most other England managers get, presumably because of his nationality.
Andrew, New Zealand

In defence of Sven and Ulrika. Having lived and worked for some years in Scandinavia (Denmark) I feel that I have to explain the Scandinavian attitude towards sex. Sex is an adult activity, and once they become adults they deal with it in an adult manner (unlike the English who snigger and titter whenever it is mentioned). To mock Sven and Ulrika for the rumours is to uncover the English attitude towards physical relationships as something 'smutty' or regrettable, whereas to the Scandinavians it is usually not a matter for embarrassment. It did take me some years to completely understand and accept this attitude, but 'free love' is an expression best applied to British behaviour rather than the Swedish way of life (and love). So come on - grow up and take an adult approach to Sven and Ulrika.
Graham Curry, England

The media do a great job in showing up people who ought to be setting a better example. It makes for a better society if wrongdoing is difficult to hide. If Sven is cheating on Nancy then that is wrong. The paparazzi step over the line sometimes when they impede free movement etc, and the press sometimes misreport and sensationalize, but apart from that I support what the media does wholeheartedly.
Brad, UK

Once again the tabloid press try and destroy something good that comes England's way. Who really cares what he, or anybody else for that matter, gets up to in their relationships? He's a good manager for England, and that's all that matters to England fans.
Andy, England


His performance could well be compromised

Nick Allpress, England
Sven is a vital member of the England squad and if he is not completely focused on the job in hand then his performance could well be compromised. On one hand the British media love to get behind the team and the other hand they seem to want to destroy it! It happens every time that a championship is near! It's about time that the media made their mind up whether they are going to support the team or not!
Nick Allpress, England

The only reason why his judgement would be called into question is if he does choose a person who is plainly out to inject some life into her flagging career by means of very dubious publicity and plainly has no sense of discretion.
Baz, London UK


If England fail at the World Cup, the tabloids will blame the Eriksson household

Phil, UK
It obviously matters to the editors of Talking Point and to me as I am commenting on it...cynicism aside, Sven began his stint as England coach amidst comedy racist comments about true football supporters never supporting England as long as they have a foreign manager, before all those idiots were silenced after England qualified for the World Cup.

Now, in the absence of any worthwhile news stories, we have another attempted character assassination of an England coach who actually has been doing rather well. Anybody remember the slating dished out to Bobby Robson before Italia '90? Luckily, Sven-Goran is an intelligent man with a passionate hatred of the tabloid press, so I do not think it will matter. No doubt, if England fail miserably at the World Cup, the tabloids will lay the blame at the door of the Eriksson household.
Phil, UK

Typically intrusive, bored media who are only interested in creating sensationalism to sell their grotty cheap publications. Show me a man who has not been seen with a woman who is not his partner, this happens the world over every day. His private life is exactly that and unrelated to the World Cup. The only reason it will affect our chances in the World Cup is because of the media.
Nick, England


This is a strategy to inspire the team as to his red-blooded leadership

James, UK
The man is a class manager and a human being. He must have known the publicity that could surround an affair with Jonsson, and I am convinced that this is part of a strategy to inspire the country and the team as to his red-blooded leadership credentials.
James, UK

It's sadly typical of the UK that this non-story generates such interest. Yesterday, the Observer reported that for decades, part of the UK population were unwittingly subjected to toxin trials by the Ministry Of Defence. This becomes page 5 news in one paper. What kind of priorities do we have? We seem to be descending into deliberate ignorance.
Ben Smith, UK

I agree 100% with Martin Ball. As an expat I am continually being asked about the English attitudes to sex. People in the UK really should know that it is stories like this that have led to the UK being regarded as an irrelevance on the world stage when the national news headlines are what the rest of the world see the UK as being most interested in. In the year 2002 isn't it about time sex was taken away from the back of the bike sheds and also that the national press in the UK grew up, no wonder they are held in such low regard, even lower than politicians, and that's saying something. As a Scot I wish I could ask Sven to come and manage Scotland, but it probably wouldn't change anything. Sven, tell the press in no uncertain terms that if he reads anything in a national newspaper about his private life that he will ban that papers sports reporters from press conferences and all the other advantages that the press enjoy in regard to access to the players. John
JohnG, Scotland / Thailand


Stop embarrassing the nation with your immature peeping tom storylines

Martin Ball, UK
This is just more of the UK media's obsession with sex and celebrity. People are dying in Israel and the media couldn't give a damn. So two unmarried Swedes had sex, so what? Swedes don't have any hang up over this sort of thing, I doubt whether the average Brit does either. Guess what, UK media, millions of unmarried people are having sex every single day all over this country! Get over it, and stop embarrassing the nation with your immature peeping tom storylines.
Martin Ball, UK

Is his private life important? Of course not, but it is far more interesting than any of ours, so let's hear more of it!
Alistair Strachan, Northern Ireland

It's every red-blooded male's dream, and if you hound him he will quit and we will end up with somebody like Mike Bassett, and get much the same results. Who he sleeps with is nothing to do with us. Let him get on with the football, when it has mattered we have not lost a game.
Kevin, England

It's not in the best interests of the country to reveal the private life of quite possibly one of the best England managers just before a World Cup. It's about time this country had laws to prevent private personal information not related to a person's role being published. People have been having affairs for thousands of years, so why on earth this is breaking news I don't quite understand!!
Mike Todd, UK

We can always rely on the great British media to dig the dirt. It's a sad indictment of our society that we cannot allow people to conduct their private lives without shoving long lenses at them and even sadder that the public promotes this activity by buying the papers.
Graham, London


Isn't he displaying double standards?

V, UK
I think if he is stopping players joining the squad because of not handling their private lives correctly, isn't he displaying double standards?
V, UK

Let's face it, the tabloids are only interested in selling papers, and any football-related story has a good chance of doing that. It's not exactly news, but if the papers persist with it, it may unsettle our Sven and in turn impact on the team. But why all the fuss anyway ? He's not married, so can do what he likes. There's no such clause as "being faithful only unto her" when you're just living with someone.
William Waller, Belgium

Who cares? He is a soccer coach, not the Archbishiop of Canterbury.
Deepak R, Canada

If it's likely to sell newspapers to the Great Unwashed then Fleet Street will pounce on it. Last week it was Beckham's bad foot; this week it's Eriksson's intimate social liaisons. What will next week's tabloid scoop be? Will Victoria Beckam's grocery shopping list influence the outcome of the World Cup? Do I care? Not at all!
Chris B, England


If he gets us into the World Cup finals he can have my missus as well!

Raph, England
Not only has Sven turned round England's fortunes, trounced Germany 5-1, modernised England's approach on and off the pitch but we also find out the man is a "player" with a girlfriend and a mistress. From a man's point of view (and I'm sure the squads) it can only add to the cool cult of Sven! For our World Cup chances, the only opinions that matter are the English players, and can anyone seriously say that this incident will reduce their chances of winning?! I think ability, tactics and injuries may prove to be more relevant. If he gets us into the World Cup finals he can have my missus as well!
Raph, England

Well, well, it's the same old media story in the UK isn't it; raise someone up onto higher ground, only to try and knock them down again. It's very sad to say the least, as Sven has achieved historic results with our boys on the football field. Let Sven get on with his job. And so what if he's seeing Ulrika? Most guys in Britain would do the same thing, given half a chance. Keep up the good work Sven and good luck in the World Cup. All the Brits in Iceland, as well as most Icelandic supporters will be behind our lads every step of the way.
Steve , Iceland


Sven is a shambles, shame on him

GDO, Hong Kong
Ulrika is shameless. Sven is a shambles, shame on him, England and Sweden. He needs to take role-model lessons from his Captain. Sack him now, despite what he says he cannot give 100% to England whilst he's seeing Ulrika. SOS to El Tel.
GDO, Hong Kong

What happens in Sven's personal life is not deserving of so much coverage in the media. Maybe it might be of some interest in a showbiz column but since when did the England managers' liaisons become national property? He is not the prime minister!
John W, Liverpool, UK

It's totally disgraceful behaviour for a man who should be setting an example to the nation - but to be honest I'm just jealous.
Stef Worsley, UK


Good luck to him I say!!

Susan Goff, UK
Absolutely not! He was doing OK in his job as manager. Now everyone knows about this, it mysteriously becomes a problem to the World Cup...what nonsense; an affair usually makes people happier and more content than otherwise. Good luck to him I say!!
Susan Goff, UK

Forget Israel and Palestine, forget France's election, forget Dubya's latest target - THIS is important - Swedish plot to undermine the English football effort in Japan!
Peter H, NL

It doesn't matter an iota, but everyone loves the gossip don't they?
Yusuf Desai, UK

Sven is a world-class football coach. You want him to have a spotless private life as well? One man can only do so much!
Guy Chapman, UK


An upset, angry and embarrassed manager will have a harder time giving 100%

S Luker, UK
Surely the newspapers (especially the red-top tabloids) must realise this cannot be beneficial to England's chances in the World Cup? An upset, angry and embarrassed manager will have a harder time giving 100%. For papers which continually purport to be the bastions of England's support, they have a funny way of showing it. But people must be interested in this pointless gossip or they wouldn't keep buying these glorified rumour rags. While Eriksson is doing a good job, which he is, I don't even care if the allegations are true.
S Luker, UK

See also:

22 Apr 02 | England
Eriksson in 'England pledge'
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