Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Eriksson jets in to take charge

Sky Sports are breaking news that Sven-Goran Eriksson is Manchester bound ahead of taking his first training session tomorrow on the day that the players return back to the club for the first day of pre-season training.

Although the deal which will see Shinawatra get to the magical 75% ownership has not quite been completed, Eriksson's agreement in principle looks to have quashed any rumours of his Spanish 'get out option' that certain newspapers were trying to stoke up earlier this morning.

One area that I think Eriksson will benefit the club is in creating a 'Keegan' effect, whereby Keegan's high profile (and infectuous enthusiasm) catapulted the club in terms of media profile and undoubtedly this attracted 'name' players to the club (Schmeichel, Anelka, Berkovic) with the development of some younger talent (Wright-Phillips, Barton and Dunne). Eriksson is apparantly enthused with the work of the Academy and hopefully this will augment well with the players he brings in.

I am interested to see the calibre of players he does attract. There were rumours today that he wanted to create 'Team England' with the likes of Crouch and Defoe arriving, whilst the likes of Yakubu, Anelka and Wright-Phillips continue to be linked. His name should be big enough both here in England and throughout Europe to make players sit up and take notice of us in terms of players being attracted to join the club.

Much has been made of Eriksson's supposed tactical frailties, pointing out his rigidness to the 4-4-2 with England, but one aspect players have always held Eriksson in high regard in is his coaching ability, and how he relates to players - and these are players at the top of the game both at club and international level. Eriksson is believed to bring with him Ronald Andersson and Tord Grip - again figures who are well respected in the game.

As the transfer window has now opened, Eriksson has his work cut out to assemble a squad in a relatively short space of time and there have plenty of news stories over the past week or so linking all and sundry with a move to Eastlands. I don't doubt that Eriksson will have a list of 'targets' he would like to bring in, but how close to reality some of the players that have been linked are is still up for debate.

There has to be a note of caution in this however, and despite talk of a £50 million pot being made available it will be hard to manage expectations especially in the first season. Look at how much Tottenham have spent over the past couple of seasons on players and yet they have still struggled to crack the top four and achieve the holy grail of Champions League football.

I have liked the fact that Shinawatra seemingly has a realistic approach to things, and that too much should not be expected during the first season in particular. But, on a more positive note, and despite the loss of Distin and Barton in addition to losing squad depth there is a base of talent there both with the young players who are beginning to make their name in addition to more senior players who are worthy of their place regardless of new arrivals.

Expectations are going to be high, and I'm sure most fans would look for us to be a top ten side minimum, with the hope that European qualification could be attained, but a degree of patience will be needed.

I have backed the appointment of Eriksson since his name was first mentioned as a possibility and believe that with the backing of Shinawatra's money he has what it takes to move the club forward - something that became only too apparant Stuart Pearce could not do.

vote it up!


Anonymous said...

We all awaite with baited breath... As a loyal blue I think I speak for most of us by saying that after the last 2 possibly 3 years of dross this is exactly what our club needs to excite the fans again!!!
God we deserve it!!!

Anonymous said...

Just seen on SKY him getting off the plane and walking thru terminal 3...
Reminds me of when Fowler joined hope doesn't turn out to be another false dawn like him.

Anonymous said...

So it is really happening!!!!!! Thank goodness my fears of Neil Warrnock or some other rubbish like that were misplaced. Perhaps we have the FA to thank because Thaskin probably got away with paying Sven very little thanks to the genorosity of the FA!

Anonymous said...

Almost there now. 73% at close of play today. You know everyone is going to be against him of course? All the press, all the other team's fans. So it's down to us to make him and the team fly.

City fans have always been good at that (except for the total dross we saw against West Ham in the Cup season before last, and against Blackburn this season). So they know we'll back them to the hilt when they try, but won't stand any nonsense when they don't.

In my opinion, they couldn't ask for fairer than that!!

Anonymous said...

According to Fox Sports they've hit the 75%