Eriksson shows ruthless side as England face 'enormous' risk

The England manager will arrive at Old Trafford this afternoon knowing that victory over Austria, combined with a Dutch triumph over the Czech Republic, would confirm a place at next summer's World Cup regardless of Wednesday's result against Poland. Mindful of the damage England's recent performances against Denmark, Wales and Northern Ireland have caused to his credibility, however, the Swede has told the public to expect not only a show of style from his players in Manchester but a demonstration that he - and not Beckham or any other experienced international - has absolute control over the team and is unafraid of upsetting his highest-profile players.

Rio Ferdinand is now the most vulnerable to Eriksson's rediscovered ruthless streak against the Austrians, one that he revealed to the rest of the England squad this week when he outlined their failings at Windsor Park during a "monologue" in training.

Eriksson said yesterday: "If you asked my friends if I was ruthless they would say, 'Sometimes, not very often, but sometimes'. But why should I show you that side? If you are angry, you can get that message out to one player, other players, by talking to them. It is not necessary you shout at them if you are angry. You can tell them. Every player in the England team, every player I have ever had, knows if I am happy or angry.

"When we have poor performances, as we have done, it was necessary to take a long discussion with them. It was not a discussion really, it was more of a monologue. When things go wrong as they did last time it's not one thing, it's a combination of things going wrong. But I talked to the players about one special thing, although I am not going to say what in public."

Eriksson denied he has encouraged a comfort zone to develop with England, "They all have to play for their shirt. If we don't perform as we can perform the risk is enormous," he said, and confirmed he could not accommodate Ferdinand, Sol Campbell and John Terry in his defence. "Many times I have to take difficult decisions, and this is one of them. If you are not prepared to take difficult decisions, you shouldn't be in this job, especially when the team is not performing as in the last three games."

A window at Eriksson's Regent's Park home was smashed on Monday but he sees no correlation between that act and his waning popularity after the humiliation in Belfast. "It is correct I have had some damage done to my house. That's the third time," he revealed. "I don't think it has anything to do with the England fans."

The England captain Beckham will play despite concerns over the health of his son, Romeo, this week, but he has passed responsibility for penalties to Frank Lampard after the events of Euro 2004.

Eriksson admits the Real Madrid midfielder approached him with the idea almost three months ago, but was unaware the role had formally changed until it was made public yesterday morning.

News
people
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'