Sven-Göran Eriksson reveals biggest regret as England manager | inside World Soccer

Sven-Göran Eriksson reveals biggest regret as England manager

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Sven-Göran Eriksson reveals biggest regret as England manager
Photo: Getty Images

Sven-Göran Eriksson has spoken about his greatest regret during his spell as England manager.

The Swede was in charge of England from 2001 to 2006, but despite taking the Three Lions to three major tournaments he was not able to end their trophy drought.

Eriksson guided England to the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup that was being held in Germany, with his side featuring many of the so-called "Golden Generation".

With stars like David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and John Terry in their squad many felt England had their best chance to go all the way since 1966.

England progressed through the group stage with three wins and a draw, before beating Ecuador in the knockout stage.

In the quarterfinal, Portugal beat England on penalties for the second successive tournament as Eriksson's side struggled to deal with the weight of expectation.

In an interview with The Times, the 76-year-old admitted failing to employ a mentality-focused coach for the tournament is his greatest England regret.

My biggest regret is not taking a mental coach [to Germany] but I was very confident and convinced [England would win].

I remember Roberto Mancini phoned me, he said, "Sven, I'm putting my money on England" and I told him, "You are right."

I couldn't - still can't - see any team better than England in that World Cup. We were unlucky with Rooney [being sent off against Portugal] but in my time the pressure was too high.

The expectation when you went to those tournaments - you win and if you don't win it's sh*t.

And too much talk about the Golden Generation. They were good but other teams had good players too. That, and penalties, was England's problem.

Eriksson won 40 of his 67 games in charge of the Three Lions, drawing 17 and losing 10.

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