Saturday, November 5, 2011

5 November 2001 - Manager Of The Year Would've Made Sense, But Personality?

On 5 November 2001, new England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson was named Swedish football's Personality of the Year, beating joint Swedish national team managers Tommy Söderberg and Lars Lagerbäck.

The award was an acknowledgement of Eriksson's job improving the fortunes of England's World Cup qualification campaign. Prior to his appointment in January 2001, the Three Lions had gotten off to a rough start with a loss to Germany and a scoreless draw with Finland. Under Eriksson, England rattled off five straight wins, including a dominating 5-1 win over Germany in Munich.

A 1-1 home draw with Greece secured their qualification on 6 October, thanks to a 93rd-minute equalizer from David Beckham. Eriksson duly thanked Beckham when accepting the Personality of the Year award at the Swedish Football Gala in Stockholm and also thanked Tord Grip, his assistant at Lazio and England.

After quarterfinal exits in the 2002 World Cup, Euro 2004, and the 2006 World Cup, the FA replaced Ericsson with his assistant, Steve McClaren. Eriksson moved on to manage Manchester City (2007-08), Mexico (2008-09), Côte d'Ivoire (2010), and Leicester City (2010-11).

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