Sven-Goran Eriksson Backs England For World Cup Semi-Final Berth
Capello has been lauded in the media for steering the Three Lions to South Africa, but Eriksson – who faced much pressure himself in two World Cup campaigns with the British heavyweights – fears that the pre-tournament expections riding on England might be too ‘dangerous’.
“It’s the World Cup and, I suppose, as always, England have already won the World Cup before they have started it,” Eriksson said to The Guardian.
“The expectation is going to be huge. But I really think they can do a great World Cup, get to the semi-finals or the final. England has a good chance and I hope they reach the final and win it. They can do it, for sure.
“But the pressure on Brazil and England is bigger than any of the other countries.
“There is pressure on the Italians. But not like here. The pressure is from a combination of the media and the public. On one hand it’s ludicrous. But it’s dangerous. I wished when I had the job that I could calm it down. Not a chance. When you are going to the big tournaments it’s absolutely fantastic, beautiful. But really a little bit crazy too.”
The Swede also suggested that the strength of the Three Lions lies in the fact that several of their key players are reaching the peak of their careers, and attributed their experience in big tournaments as a driving force for England next year.
Eriksson said: “You have a lot of players in that squad, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, who have done big tournaments before. They’re at the right age, they are great players and they’re still getting better and better. If they all are fit, it’s a great team.”