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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Eriksson written off

By Andrew McKenzie

Sven-Goran Eriksson

Sven-Goran Eriksson's England reign ended tearfully and trophy-free last July.

Almost a year later and Eriksson is back in work as manager of Manchester City.

His international coaching credentials may leave a lot to be desired, but at club level his trophy collection is impressive.

Eriksson's CV contains league and cup Doubles in three different countries as well as European titles with Gothenburg and Lazio.

But how is he now viewed in the three countries where he cut his managerial teeth? BBC Sport spoke to journalists from Sweden, Portugal and Italy to find out.

SWEDEN

Robert Laul
Sportbladet

"Eriksson started his coaching career at Degefors in the third division but nobody knew who he was before he got the job at IFK.

"They had a good team but Sven was also credited for this because he had a new tactic where his sides pressured the opponent high up the field, which was not common in those days.

IFK GOTHENBURG 1979-82
IFK Gothenburg
After an uninspiring playing career was cut short by injury his first coaching role was at Degefors, where he led them from the third division to the first
Handed the manager's job at IFK at the age of 30 he won the Swedish Cup in his first season there
In 1982 they did the treble of the Swedish league and cup as well as the Uefa Cup

"That kind of play was new - it was a mix between the traditional English football style and the more modern game.

"He got his big breakthrough when they won the Uefa cup in 1982. No Swedish team has done anything like that.

"We followed his progress and he continued to get bigger and bigger and when he took over the English national team and they beat Germany 5-1 he was at the top of his legendary status.

"But his profile has fallen a little bit in the last few years with the side stories outside of football - the womanising and everything.

"And now by joining Manchester City it has fallen a bit more.

"I think Swedes hoped he would pick a bigger team for probably the last club of his career.

"He has been a big coach before and we hoped he would be a big coach again. But apparently not when you see him now.

"Among football trainers he is highly regarded. The Swedish coach Lars Lagerback rates Sven as he doesn't care about his affairs.

"I think he will probably take over the Swedish national team after Manchester City as his last job in his career. Despite everything that has gone on he would be a popular appointment."

PORTUGAL

Alberto da Silva
A Bola

"Eriksson worked for Benfica twice and on both occasions he was loved by the people.

"He is a man of great kindness, a very quiet person who knows a thing or two about football.

BENFICA 1982-84 & 1989-1992
Benfica
Won two league titles and one Portuguese cup in his first spell, before leaving for AS Roma
On his return he proved equally popular, guiding them to a European Cup final defeat to AC Milan in 1990 and then winning the league title in 1991 before Italy called again

"When he came back in 1989 it was after a wave of popularity demanding his return.

"The club wanted him back and he did not disappoint, although they didn't win what they all wanted which was the European Cup.

"That was the moment of truth for him but he lost it and he looked for a different future.

"Benfica won the title the following year and then he was off to Italy again.

"That was a long time ago - now it is a different world.

"Eriksson wanted to come back here this summer but the people at Benfica were not keen on him - that is when he came to the conclusion he should take a club in England.

"He couldn't give Benfica anything else after being manager of England - everyone can see his days are over and he is a man of the past.

"Obviously the hunger has gone - when he was leading England in the World Cup he had nothing to offer any more.

"He would like to go back to Italy but they also don't want him. He had no alternative but to go to Manchester City.

"At Manchester City I don't know what he will do but certainly nothing that we don't already know.

"If there is money to come from the Thai consortium that is what he is now after."

ITALY

Giancarlo Galavotti
La Gazzetta dello Sport

"Eriksson came to Italy with what was at the time quite an innovative 4-4-2 system.

"When he arrived at Roma he was unquestionably the new kid in town.

AS ROMA 1984-87
Roma
Roma finished seventh in Eriksson's first season
In 1985-86 their title challenge ended when they lost at home to relegated Lecce in the penultimate game of the season, but they won the Italian Cup
Then had two disappointing seasons with Fiorentina where they finished eighth and seventh in Serie A

"He was a modern coach in a number of ways and presented himself decently - he had this aura of a professor and a niceness about him.

"He created his own image which has lasted a good few years in spite of the way it ended at Roma.

"The famous moniker that was attributed to him in his final years, before he finally won the title with Lazio in peculiar circumstances, was "il perdente di successo" - the successful loser.

"He was the nearly man in a way. He won with Lazio in his last full season but on a couple of occasions he managed to lose the title despite being in a position of favour.

"They won the title with Pierluigi Collina's help when he let that awful game between Perugia and Juventus go on in spite of the pitch being unplayable because of a storm.

"And how much did he spend? Had Roman Abramovich managed to take him away from England he is the sort of coach who would have gone along with each and every one of his whims - he would not have questioned him like Jose Mourinho does.

"With Eriksson it would have been a feast of galacticos.

SAMPDORIA 1992-97
Sampdoria
In five years with Sampdoria his only silverware was the Italian Cup in 1994
During that time they only managed one top-five finish - in 1994
"When he moved from Sampdoria to Lazio he insisted Roberto Mancini would join him at the earliest and a couple of others followed. He was not the sort of manager who would just do with what he had.

"Sampdoria were the nearly club. Their owner Paolo Mantovani was a gentleman and he got gentleman Sven in as coach, and with Gianluca Vialli and Mancini they were everyone's second club.

"They had some good spells and undoubted quality in the squad. They had an appealing package but Sampdoria were not expected to challenge for the title every year like AC Milan, Juventus or Inter were.

"They were the fairytale team and Eriksson milked such advantages, any success such as a cup or playing in Europe would be a plus rather than concentrating on the failure of not challenging for the title.

"It was good enough for him to keep himself in the picture as one of top managers in Serie A.

LAZIO 1997-2001
Lazio
Won Italian Cup in 1998 in his first season in charge but they fell short in the run-in to the title and lost in Uefa Cup final
Guided Lazio to their first ever European trophy - the Cup Winners' Cup - in 1999 but they threw away a six-point lead in Serie A on the last day of the season
In 2000 he capped his best ever season by winning the Italian Cup and making it an Italian double by winning the league in controversial circumstances on the last day of the season

"It always seems that 90% of his players love him - perhaps because he hardly ever loses his temper.

"He is a chairman's manager and a player's manager, they can express themselves without any dictatorial restrictions.

"Eriksson and Manchester City is a meeting of two parties that have run out of options. City wanted Claudio Ranieri or someone from Europe and he is the only one available.

"Eriksson was still hoping something would happen with Fabio Capello at Real Madrid in the false belief he would be in the picture.

"He hasn't realised everyone has their sell-by date."



SEE ALSO
Eriksson named Man City manager
06 Jul 07 |  Man City
Thaksin completes Man City buyout
06 Jul 07 |  Business
Sven's re-invention
06 Jul 07 |  Man City
Eriksson targets Sweden assistant
26 Jun 07 |  Man City
Eriksson Magpies link played down
09 May 07 |  Newcastle United
Thaksin money 'clean' says Harris
24 Jun 07 |  Man City
Eriksson link to Benfica denied
05 Oct 06 |  Europe
Eriksson eyeing top English club
14 Sep 06 |  Football
Thaksin confirms Eriksson meeting
21 Jun 07 |  Man City
Man City Q&A
21 Jun 07 |  Man City


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