Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sven Finally Gets Fired Up

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sven Finally Gets Fired Up

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

England's big-name stars were given a furious dressing down by coach Sven-GUran Eriksson as they prepare for their World Cup second round clash with Ecuador in Stuttgart tomorrow.

Eriksson has been a picture of contradictions in Germany, relaxed and philosophical one day and angry and forthright the next as he attempts to end his five-and-a-half year reign as England manager by remedying the nation's 40-year wait for a World Cup triumph.

And while his behaviour has come as a pleasant surprise to many, John Terry has admitted their coach's change in character has come as a major shock to the players ( none more so than when a fuming Eriksson waited for them in the dressing room after some woeful defending at set-pieces gifted Sweden a point in their final group game.

"Over here Sven has been a lot more aggressive with his thoughts," said the Chelsea captain, whose shoulders are broad enough to accept the blame for Sweden's last-minute equaliser when Henrik Larsson toe-poked in a long throw-in.

"He has been demanding. Everyone deals with things in their own way and Sven has his. I'm not talking about shouting or screaming ( he is just a lot more aggressive with how he has reacted to things and how he has put those views across.

"We have not beaten Sweden in so long and we were so close on Tuesday night. He will never knock tables over or scream in your faces, but he has certainly been saying a lot more.

"He's not that kind of manager but he has been certainly raising his voice a bit more. That's the one thing that stands out that has changed with him and it has been a bit of a surprise in the dressing room.

"He knows we have a very good side and he knows this is his last chance to win something with a very good group of players. He wants to make sure he gives it everything." Nevertheless, given England's nervy defensive display in the second half in Cologne, Terry insists the players deserved to be on the end of a Sven tongue-lashing.

England are the overwhelming favourites to progress against Ecuador into a quarter-final meeting with either Holland or Portugal but Terry was quick to underline that another weak defensive display will cost them now they are in the knockout phase. …

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