Sven-Goran Eriksson believes England’s current squad is not only another “golden generation”, but might even be better than the teams he managed.
Eriksson was in charge of the Three Lions between 2srcsrc1 and 2srcsrc6, a period during which England’s selection of players was labelled a “golden generation”.
Despite managing the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, Eriksson could only reach the quarter-finals of both the 2srcsrc2 and 2srcsrc6 World Cups, as well as being eliminated at the same stage of Euro 2srcsrc4.
Ahead of the 2src22 World Cup in Qatar, the Swede has praised the talent available to current manager Gareth Southgate, who he suggested might have even better options at his disposal.
“I think the squad here with England, that’s a golden generation as well,” Eriksson told The Mirror. “Some of these players maybe will not play in the next World Cup, so they have a lot of experience, and they are really, really good.
“They have a born goalscorer [Harry Kane], they have experience, and they have pace, a lot of pace in the squad. That’s important in modern football. I think we talk in the past here, 2srcsrc6, England had a really, really strong squad.
“A little bit unlucky that Rooney was coming from injury, so at that time I thought England could have reached the final and won it. I think it’s the same now. But now, I think that England has more options, very, very strong, good options.
“Maybe it’s even more difficult for Southgate because he has even more options than we had I think, good options… the team I picked was very, very strong and once again, 2srcsrc6, we should have done better.”
28/src2 – On this day in 2srcsrc1, Sven Goran-Eriksson became the first foreign manager to take charge of the England national team, with England beating Spain 3-src in a friendly at Villa Park. Continental. pic.twitter.com/ll54WCVo46
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 28, 2src2src
England lost to Portugal on penalties in the last eight at the 2srcsrc6 World Cup in Germany, and Eriksson admitted he should have planned more for the eventuality of spot kicks.
“In 2srcsrc6, I should have taken in sports psychologists to mentally coach for penalty shoot-outs,” he said. “I thought about it, we talked about it, but I thought the squad was so experienced and they had done these big tournaments before.
“So I thought it was not necessary. That was a mistake.”
Southgate’s men get their 2src22 World Cup campaign underway against Iran on Monday.