Picture
Ambitious. Sven has his eyes on the Premiership
Sven Goran Eriksson, a failed international manager, unexpected lothario and the butt of many a joke ,yet this is the same man who has the uncanny ability to find himself working in 'projects' that others could only dream.  

This is a man who has managed the England national side taking them as far as many had done previously and was at the forefront of a foreign managerial boom. The same man who took on the project of trying to get League Two Notts County to the English Premier league.
 

Whilst there he convinced Sol Campbell and hot prospect Kasper Schmeichel to leave the lofty heights of the EPL to join him in league Two. Following a flit with Mexico and the Ivory Coast, Sven now finds himself back in the East Midlands with Leicester City where it looks like he has again managed to find people willing to pay him and back his dreams of fulfilling footballing success.

This isn’t a person who has waded through the backwaters of football, Sven has managed all over the world with some top clubs, Portugal’s Benfica, Italy's Roma, Fiorentina, Sampdoria and Lazio and Man City in England. This isn’t a “this is your life” moment, this is all about how a man ridiculed in some quarters always finds someone to buy into his ideas and trust him to deliver.
 
Now I'm not saying Sven is only in football for the money, some would disagree thinking of his England contract, which, pales in comparison to Mr Capello's that's another issue, I digress. I believe he is someone who wants to have that option at his disposal, his safety blanket to go with his self-belief in his abilities to make the most out of the project at hand. He had substantial backing at City and was obviously burnt with the situation at Notts County and quickly departed when he was left with his Nottingham penthouse bill, so his next moves would be crucial.

Sven is just about to embark on his first full season in charge at Leicester City where he already managed quite a feat in his time in charge last season. After taking over at the foxes who were deep in relegation trouble at the time, he would go onto lead the club to a respectable 10th place finish.

That doesn’t really tell the whole story, what is missing is how in the short time he had been in charge, the board at Leicester had seen enough in him to know this was their man for the future. On top of his hefty wage he was receiving he was trusted with more money to spring board the team to within a few games of securing a play-off place and potentially the Premiership.

The way he went about this was to use his contacts, connections and friends of which he is accredited with many and get in quality loan signings and a few permanent deals to strengthen a recently promoted League One club with subsequent squad. There was of course the link with him and “His David” something I don’t think even the die-hard Fox fans thought was a real possibility but Sven had bought the magic and excitement back to Leicester in ways that has not been seen since Gary Lineker did his last crisp advert.

What he did bring in was recognised quality at Championship level and hot prospects from some of the Premier leagues biggest clubs. Whilst money was behind some of the moves and eased the movements he managed to bring in Yakubu from Everton, Kamara from Fulham, the Chelsea lads Bruma and Van Aanholt and Spurs’ Kyle Naughton, players that reshaped the team and made them a real force under Sven during their time at Leicester.

What makes this a situation different from any other bank rolled Championship club is the ability in Sven to convince, to persuade those above and whom he deals with that he can be trusted with young talent and big players alike to pull in the same direction and achieve goals with money made available. Sven is someone who isn’t afraid to take a gamble, everyone will remember the Walcott situation, and how his critics reflect on that now! But don't be fooled into thinking anything he does is a blind leap of faith.

He is never short of offers for jobs when he does decide the time is right to move on or the decision made for him in some cases, he always does he research to make sure those who want him can realistically fulfil his ideas and ambitions.

With all that said it will be interesting to see how Leicester start the season after a predictably busy summer already with Sven playing the pipes that release the purse strings from his Thai bosses. In the short time the window has been open the Foxes have already been some of the biggest spenders in the league and whilst spending doesn’t always guarantee success, ask any manager and they would much prefer the option to spend and fail than not, and struggle.

With offers like the £5million for Reading’s Matt Mills and being in the Hunt for players like Mackail-Smith, at odds of 9/2 and joint promotions favourites, I'm sure even without the likes of “Mr David” at the King Power stadium, Sven will keep smiling and I'm sure, charming.

                                                                               Matt Wells
Picture
 


Comments




Leave a Reply