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Sven and the New Man City

Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune interviews former England coach Sven Goran-Eriksson, who's now leading a revolution at Manchester City, thanks to a cash infusion from exiled Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the club's new owner. Following England's disappointing quarterfinal exit at the 2006 World Cup, Eriksson was forced to sit on the sidelines for one year, collecting $26,000 per day while waiting for his England contract, which had been canceled by the Football Association, to run out. "One year without football was the most stressful time of my life," he said.

It may be hard to feel sorry for a man getting paid so much to do nothing, but Eriksson points out that like many soccer team managers, he thrives on stress, and is absolutely miserable without it. He also relishes the challenge of rebuilding a club like Manchester City; so far, Eriksson has spent nearly $100 million of Thaksin's money on new talent-and that's after the Thai businessman poured $172 million into acquiring the club.

All along, Eriksson says he had a pretty good idea about whom he would bring to a new club. He's already bought nine players, and could soon add another goalkeeper in either Andreas Isaksson or Marco Amelia of Livorno. All but one of Eriksson's transfers (Matthew Mills) have come from outside Britain, as the wily Swede believes British players are overpriced. The rest come Italy (Rolando Bianchi), Brazil (Elano, Geovanni), Croatia (Verdan Corluka), Switzerland (Cape Verdean native Gelson), Spain (Javier Garrido) and Bulgaria (Martin Petrov and Valeri Bojinov). If his transfer is approved, Australian striker Mark Bresciano could complete a full starting lineup of new players for City.

Read the whole story at International Herald Tribune »

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