Organisation: England football team
Issue: Sven-Goran Eriksson's first match as coach
England football fans' grieving appeared to be over as Sweden's 'Super
Sven' rolled into a freezing Villa Park, along with the frenzied media,
on the crest of a PR wave.
The 'refreshing change' (Daily Express, 1/3) may have won the latest
England coach an extended honeymoon period as he tries to qualify for
World Cup 2002, although - as previous managers have discovered - this
may not last long after defeats and poor performances.
Such press attention is not new to England coaches but, after the
disappointing reign of Glenn Hoddle and dismal tactical output of Kevin
Keegan, the usually scathing press seem likely to allow the 'iceman'
time to rebuild the England team (Daily Star, 2/3).
Not everybody seemed completely convinced by England, with many
commentators critical of a particularly poor and lacklustre Spanish
Internet chat sites, relating to the game (Yahoo! message boards) were
not as gracious as the press, with some fans claiming that England were
poor for long periods against a sub-standard team.
However, not all internet comment was negative; fans flooded other chat
boards to herald the 'new dawn of English football'.
The broadsheets were more pragmatic, seeking to remind readers that it
still remains an incredibly difficult task for England to qualify for
the World Cup.
Aside from the football, Eriksson's relationship with the press will be
Eriksson has said that there will be fewer press conferences than the
amount undertaken by previous England managers - and general contact
with the media will be far from superfluous. Whether this will come back
to haunt him will remain to be seen, as it is unlikely the press will be
so forgiving and supportive should his time in charge ever run into
Graham Taylor, famously described by The Sun as a 'turnip', was
ultimately dragged down by an unforgiving media, while Hoddle's spell in
charge was brought to a premature end as a result of unnecessary remarks
to just one newspaper.
Eriksson will surely hope his 'Overnight Sven-sation' headline (Daily
Mail, 1/3) will stand him in good stead.
Analysis and commentary by Echo Research. More information can be found