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Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 14:30 GMT
Tabloid gave Sven 'biggest shock'
By Simon Austin

Tord Grip and Sven-Goran Eriksson
It's not nice - you can't trust anybody and you don't trust what they are writing either
Tord Grip (left)
Sven-Goran Eriksson's right-hand man has said the weekend's tabloid revelations gave the England coach the biggest shock of his career.

Tord Grip told BBC Sport: "He has been through a lot of things but this was something very special, because it was a real set-up.

"But I know that Sven is OK and he's fully committed to the job."

Eriksson was exposed by the News of the World on Sunday after revealing information to an undercover reporter.

He was quoted suggesting he would be prepared to become manager of Aston Villa as part of a takeover.

He also divulged thoughts of David Beckham and Michael Owen, and gave away opinions about Rio Ferdinand and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Grip says the News of the World's revelations came as a particularly big surprise even though he has been exposed by newspapers in the past.

"It was a shock for him, this one. It's not nice, because then you can't trust anybody and you don't trust what they are writing either," Grip said.

"You never know if it is true or not. It's strange that they do things like that. They had planned it for several months.

"He was a little bit shocked when he realised it was a set-up but now it's OK."

Grip, who has known Eriksson for more than 30 years and was also his assistant at Lazio, insisted the story would not damage the England coach's relationship with his players, or even the media.

"He has spoken to them (the players) and he's rather relaxed about the media," Grip said. "It's no problem at the moment."

Football Association sources said the governing body opted not to come down heavily on Eriksson because they did not want to disrupt the England team ahead of the World Cup.

Eriksson has been no stranger to controversy since he became England manager in 2001.

Details of affairs with television presenter Ulrika Jonsson and Football Association secretary Faria Alam were made public by the newspapers.

And he has been caught out in negotiations with prospective employers on three occasions - twice with Chelsea and also with Manchester United.

Interview: Sven-Goran Eriksson's agent Athole Still

Interview: Former England player Chris Waddle

Interview: Former Scotland boss Craig Brown

Alan Hansen's column
16 Jan 06 |  Internationals
Eriksson - victim or fair game?
16 Jan 06 |  Football


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