Uefa Cup likely for City as exit awaits Eriksson

The most profound irony of an extraordinary week in the history of Manchester City revealed itself half an hour or so after Sven Goran Eriksson had delivered what looked, for all the world, like a last farewell.

Eriksson's side have, despite owner Thaksin Shinawatra's misgivings about him, all but qualified for the Uefa Cup through the Fair Play rankings, a fact which can only compound Eriksson's sense of sorrow that he will probably not be around to see through the "project" which attracted him back to England 10 months ago.

"You've been seeing me twice a week more or less and you know from the press conferences we've had [that] there are no doubts about it," he said when asked if he would like to stay beyond this season. "I like the club, l like the fans I like the players we have, I like the project. But that's it."

Eriksson refused to discuss his future yesterday other than to confirm that his departure was "a possibility" and to reject, in a moment of high farce midway through a distinguished performance, suggestions from a Mexican journalist that that country's football association had been in touch.

True to form, Eriksson had the good grace to say that he did know something about that nation. "I know a little bit," he said. "They played in the last World Cup for example. They were beaten by Portugal weren't they?"

Otherwise, the man whose apparent departure has managed to inspire a fans protest at the club's ground today, could only reflect on the fact that nothing in football really surprises him any more. "You know, football is great and life is great because it's never boring," he said, which is certainly one way of viewing it.

"There's always something new happening. You just have to accept it and see what's coming out in less than a week. [That will be] Sunday evening, Monday, I suppose."

As ever, the thought processes of Thaksin are not clear to him. There are no dates pencilled in for another meeting between the two, though City's tour of Thailand and China, which Eriksson leads next week, will presumably provide an opportunity.

Eriksson is ready to meet the Thai "whenever he wants" but his language suggested he heard plenty when the two met at Manchester's Edwardian Radisson two weeks ago. "One day I will tell you maybe – maybe," he said when asked why he believed Thaksin did not share his view that this had been a reasonable season for his side.

Even Thaksin may have a different perspective if City do make the Uefa Cup as the representative of the Premier League which in 162 matches featuring English clubs that were watched by Uefa delegates between 1 May last year and 30 April this year havesurpassed all other nations for positive play, respect of the opponent and the referee, behaviour of the crowd and team officials, plus cautions and dismissals.

The only team which may pip City to the place tomorrow are Everton, who are 0.5 Fair Play points behind them with a possible 10 points available per match, though a draw against Newcastle will take them into the tournament through a fifth-place finish, leaving City in the clear.

Eriksson has never been willing to discuss this mode of qualification, but his team and officials now seem certain to behave courteously at Middlesbrough tomorrow.

With Eriksson's possible replacement Luiz Felipe Scolari making less than encouraging noises about City yesterday – "I have no agreement with that club. Portugal offers me everything I need," he said – Thaksin may be wondering whether he has been hasty, though any rapprochement with the Swede would appear unthinkable.

Eriksson's only certainty is that he won't be out of the game for long. "Do I still want to go on working?" he said. "I've been in football as a coach manager since I was 27 and I had one year off and that was the worst year I've had in my life so it'll be very difficult to keep me out – I promise you."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil