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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 02:49 GMT
Eriksson's England era
By Ian Hughes

Sven-Goran Eriksson
Eriksson has had a turbulent time as England coach

Sven-Goran Eriksson's reign as England coach will end after this summer's World Cup finals in Germany.

The decision was mutually agreed by the Swede and the Football Association on Monday following a meeting which was called after a series of damaging reports in the News of the World Newspaper.

Here, BBC Sport charts some of the highs and lows of Eriksson's six-year tenure.

BREAKING NEW GROUND

In January 2001, Eriksson left Italian side Lazio to become the first foreign coach to be given the England manager's job.

The Swede came with a decent reputation, having won an Italian league and cup double, the Uefa Super Cup and European Cup Winners Cup with Lazio, the Uefa Cup and Swedish title with IFK Gothenburg and three Portuguese titles with Benfica.

Despite his pedigree, Eriksson's arrival in England was greeted with mixed opinions, with some people unhappy that a foreigner was in charge of the national team.

RECORD START

He soon won over many of those critics by winning his first four games in charge - the most successful start of any England coach in history.

After that came the stuff of folklore, when in September 2001, Eriksson steered England to a 5-1 victory over Germany in Munich, which helped his side qualify for the 2002 World Cup finals.

England's place in Korea and Japan was secured after a dramatic 2-2 draw against Greece.

OFF-THE-FIELD PROBLEMS BEGIN

Ahead of the 2002 World Cup, newspapers disclosed that Eriksson had been having an affair with TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson, even though the England coach was still with his Italian girlfriend Nancy dell'Olio.

Eriksson became the subject of many headlines in the weeks before the England team left for Japan but the Scandinavian kept his cool and managed to rescue his relationship with Dell'Olio.

SVEN'S KEY MATCHES
Germany 1-5 England
Owen's a hat-trick hero
England 2-2 Greece
Beckham saves the day
England 1-0 Argentina
Joy in Japan
England 1-2 Brazil
World Cup dream dies
England 2-2 Portugal
Penalty woe
Denmark 4-1 England
Copenhagen calamity
N Ireland 1-0 England
Bemused in Belfast

Back on the field, Eriksson led England to the quarter-finals - recording a victory over rivals Argentina along the way - but saw his side go out to 10-man Brazil.

Then in 2003, Eriksson was back in the papers for all the wrong reasons after being photographed going into Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's home.

It was suggested that Eriksson wanted to take over as Chelsea coach and there were angry comments in some quarters regarding his loyalty to England.

However, the FA's reaction was to hand Eriksson a new 4m-a-year-deal, extending his contract until 2008.

Eriksson's popularity dipped and was further dented when England were beaten in a friendly by Australia and did not make the impact expected of them in Euro 2004 - again exiting in the quarter-finals.

SCANDAL AT THE FA

In July 2004, news broke of Eriksson's second affair - once again while he was with Dell'Olio - this time the Swede was seeing FA secretary Faria Alam.

She sold her story to the newspapers and it emerged that Alam had also had an affair with FA chief executive Mark Palios.

Although it led to the resignation of Palios, Eriksson was eventually told he had "no case to answer" about his relationship with Alam.

The Swede had managed to hold on to his job once more.

A PENETRABLE DEFENCE

As long as results went Eriksson's way on the pitch it appeared he was safe in his position - and then the football side of things started to falter.

In August last year, England suffered their worst defeat since losing to Wales in May 1980 when they were humiliated by Denmark 4-1 in a friendly.

If the embarrassment could somehow be dismissed as nothing but a blip in a meaningless fixture, worse came when they played a match that definitely mattered.

A month later, England succumbed to a 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat in Belfast - the first time they had lost to Northern Ireland since 1972.

Now was the time for Eriksson to get his head down and concentrate on the job in hand - and he did manage to secure England's place in Germany as they eventually topped their qualifying group.

But then he was stung by the News of the World, which reported that the England coach had told their undercover reporter - posing as a Sheikh - he could quit the England job after the World Cup and divulged information about players.

The following week, the paper quoted the Swede as saying that three unnamed English Premiership clubs are riddled with corruption, relating to illegal payments in transfer deals.

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

It proved too much for the FA and after a meeting on Monday it was mutually agreed that Eriksson would no longer be the England coach after the World Cup this summer.

But that decision may prove to be the best thing that could have happened for England and Eriksson, leaving their build-up to Germany clear of controversy over off-field issues.

And should England win the World Cup, England will rejoice and Eriksson's misdemeanours might just be excused.


SEE ALSO
FA to begin hunt for England boss
24 Jan 06 |  Football
Exit will help England - Butcher
24 Jan 06 |  Internationals
Reaction to Eriksson's decision
23 Jan 06 |  Football
Eriksson to quit after World Cup
23 Jan 06 |  Football
Silent Eriksson leaves FA meeting
23 Jan 06 |  Football
Sven's swansong
24 Jan 06 |  Football
Who will fill Sven's shoes?
24 Jan 06 |  Football


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