An Arsenal fan’s tribute to ex-England boss Sven Goran Ericksson and his glorious legacy

David Beckham’s free kick against Greece, his redemption vs Argentina and of course the incredible 5-1 in Germany. Sven Goran Ericksson gave us some special memories as England manager. While Southgate over the years took us further in tournaments, it was under the Swede when you last truly believed we were good enough to win a major competition.

He, of course, was in charge of our ‘golden generation’. Some felt he underachieved, being knocked out of the quarter finals in two World Cups and a Euros. Yet history tells us the grass wasn’t greener.

2002 was when David Seaman watched a Ronaldinho cross sail over his head, 2004 saw Rooney hobble off, 2 years later he was sent off, both times the Three Lions playing heroically in adversity only to lose on penalties.

Don’t take those fine margins for granted. Steve McLaren, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson never had glorious failure …. just failure.

We sadly reflect on the 75 year old’s legacy after confirmation that he may have a year left to live. Heartbreakingly, that’s his best-case scenario.

Only those who have faced such news can relate. Since being diagnosed with cancer, Mr Ericksson is humbled by every sunset he witnesses, is grateful for each morning he wakes still feeling healthy, and is humbled by being surrounded by a loving family.

It’s charm that saw a nation adopt him like they never could Fabio Capello.

We were managed by such a personality that fans turned the other cheek when he was being tapped up by Chelsea, the FA let him get on with being a womaniser. Stories that made the news, but that Sven had the personality to be accepted along with his flaws.

Even tactically, he’s forgiven for relying on Owen and Rooney too much, not fixing the Gerrard/Lampard issue, and being infatuated with David Beckham.

Only he could get away with being the boss, yet bringing shirts for his own players to sign. Not ideal, yet charisma that ensured you could never be angry.

He managed 4 nations (never his own), went to 3 World Cups.

He managed in 5 different countries, winning trophies in Sweden, Portugal and Italy.

Yet as he stares death in the face, money isn’t what he thinks about. Not the materialistic things he bought or who he slept with.

The irony being that wealth, sex, employment and lifestyle is something most worry about daily.

Yet considering his mortality there was zero mention of fortune, fancy cars, places he visited, women he wooed, talent he worked with,
or cultures he experienced.

When he addressed Swedish radio, he only spoke of; ‘Home’, ‘Friends’ and ‘Children’. He now fights to enjoy every ounce of that.

Part of a sport that some take too seriously, this is another reminder that football is a beautiful game, but it is just that …. a game.

On behalf of the JustArsenal family, ‘Stay strong’.


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  1. Really sad to hear. Cannot imagine what he’s going through. I just hope he can really experience new things whilst he still can.

    I always liked him, but he really failed with England. Never even got to a semi-final with the golden generation. Very goo club manager though, and won a lot of trophies across Europe.

  2. Life is precious and having heard him speak on the radio earlier this week, I was impressed by acceptance – however difficult it was to come to terms with – of his desperately sad circumstances. I hope he is able – in more ways than one, to manage a Liverpool charity match.

  3. Was privileged to see and hear him speak at David Dein’s book signing evening in London.
    He seemed very close to David and Arsene and he was quite happy to laugh at himself regarding the different women in his life.
    I still cannot understand why he took such a young Theo Walcott to the world cup and the pressure it put Theo under from then onwards.
    I hope he finds solace in his remaining days.

  4. Always a sad moment learning someone facing such adversity and one that has been a member of the football fraternity.

    Hope’s he has accomplished all he has set out to achieve, seems such a respectable character.

  5. My best wishes for Sven and his family. You brought so much quality in Serie A in the 90s. Never forgotten the abomination that the evil English media did to you. God bless you sir.

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