14 September 2006

Eriksson: "I want you to want me, I need you to need me"

Eriksson eyeing top English club

I hate to even comment on news possibly made up by the paper that shall not be named (don't worry, I'm certainly not linking them), but this is just too good to pass up.

"I need to get back into coaching," Eriksson told The ***.

"Arsenal? Liverpool? Manchester? They are all big clubs, but I don't have any ambitions for a particular side. Any of those would be good.”

Sven thinks he can walk right into a top job in the Premier League? Where, pray tell? Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham all have managers that seem to be sticking around for a while. Besides, I can’t see any of these clubs hiring Eriksson even if the unimaginable happens, and Mourinho, Benitez, Wenger, or Jol leaves. Any of them would have their choice of managers to cherry pick from smaller clubs. Who knows how long Ferguson will last, my guess is it won’t be that much longer (relatively speaking…), but I'm pretty sure even the Glazers aren't dumb enough to hire Sven.

Let's go through the rest of list, just for kicks:
Aston Villa (Martin O'Neill), Blackburn (Mark Hughes), Bolton (Sam Allardyce), Charlton (Iain Dowie), Everton (David Moyes), Fulham (Chris Coleman), Man City (Stuart Pearce), Middlesbrough (Gareth Southgate), Newcastle (Glenn Roeder), Portsmouth (Harry Redknapp), Reading (Steve Coppell); Sheffield United (Neil Warnock); Watford (Aidy Boothroyd); West Ham (Alan Pardew), Wigan (Paul Jewell).

Not considering the awful, awful performances that England put in under SGE. Not considering the atrocious tactician he is, or the fact that his name is in the papers, and not in the sports section, more than his players. Not even considering he’s currently a laughing stock in England, end of. There are maybe two jobs available to him even if he were a qualified candidate.

This is a weird season for the sack race. There aren’t really any good contenders. Last year, people were falling over themselves to bet on Souness getting axed from Newcastle, and it took until February to happen. This year, other than Chris Coleman and maybe Glenn Roeder, there's really no one. Would you take Eriksson over Pardew, Moyes, Hughes, Allardyce, Pearce or O’Neill? Or even any of the managers at the smaller clubs?

Newcastle is a pseudo-big club. They have an enormous and rabid fan base, and Shepard’s willing to throw money at any problem in the hopes of fixing it. While Fulham has historically struggled, has recently been perennial relegation candidates, and can't even be considered a big club, Fayed has the resources if he desired to spend them, and Fulham is in London. But I’m utterly positive neither are what Sven meant when he said “big club.”

I don’t think Roeder will be fired, as he’s righted the ship on Tyneside, is rehabilitating his reputation, is getting results, and Shepard went to the mat for him this off-season when the League Managers Association tried to prevent him getting hired, as he doesn’t have his UEFA badges. I hope Chris Coleman isn’t fired; he’s done wonders keeping Fulham up the past two seasons on a shoestring budget, and I have a soft spot for him and Fulham, as it was the closest team to where I lived in London, and I saw a few games when they were ground-sharing at Loftus Road. Hopefully both will stay far far away from Svennis.

Needless to say, Eriksson's is a pipe dream, and one I hope is embarrassingly played out in public. I want to continue to see him beg and plead for a club job, and continue to be denied, until he’s forced to take a job as manager of Djibouti or somewhere similarly far-flung and futile. That's how much I resent the past five years, and the squandering of an incredible generation of talent.

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