Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Players Revolt; Trouble for FA as England Stars Give Sven Support

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Players Revolt; Trouble for FA as England Stars Give Sven Support

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER

THE Football Association face a backlash from England's players if they decide to sack Sven-Goran Eriksson following next week's crucial board meeting.

The Swede could be axed from his [pounds sterling]4million a year job if it is found that he lied about his relationship with Faria Alam but today it emerged that England captain David Beckham and the rest of the players are firmly behind him.

It is understood that some senior players have already contacted Eriksson, giving him their support and saying the squad will watch the meeting with interest.

Relationships between the players and the FA have been strained by the organisation's handling of the Rio Ferdinand drugs test affair and the controversy over Alan Smith's ban following a missile-throwing incident.

Beckham has already gone on the record as saying that he hopes to continue to work with Eriksson while Chelsea's John Terry and Frank Lampard today followed suit.

Terry said: "The lads are all behind Sven and we'd like him to stay. He's a very good manager and he's got the full support of each and every player in the squad. We play for him every time we put the shirt on and he knows how to get the lads going. We all speak very highly of him and fingers crossed he'll stay."

Lampard added: "I'd be upset if Sven went and the players would be upset because he's a good manager and we respect him. As far as the players are concerned we're settled under him and want to play under him again.

"We've got good young players in the squad and believe we could have won the European Championship. We're determined to have a good World Cup qualifying campaign and go there and do something."

Eriksson has always shown his players loyalty and it is understood the players are now keen to reciprocate.

The FA face a minefield of problems over this affair, not least in agreeing what they will do if they decide Eriksson must go. …

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