Svengali Sven builds the art of gamesmanship, brick by brick

It's all a ruse, of course. The mind games have started. England's football coach is using architectural subterfuge to confuse his German counterpart into assuming that he has delusions of grandeur. Swedes, of course, only have delusions of minimalism.

Mr Eriksson, the thin-lipped, perma-coiffed antidote to Our Blundering Kid with the Mullet, Kevin Keegan, is using the aura of Georgian refinement to suggest that our boys will play a classic game based on a proportionate, self-defeating formation: four-two-four, protected at the back by a Euclydian goalkeeper familiar with the esoteric powers of the Golden Section.

In this scenario, decorative play would be allowed, provided that it adhered to predictable patterns which concluded with repeated failures, though in the best possible taste.

But what will the interior of Mr Eriksson's positively Moriartyish charade in bricks and mortar really be like? His penchant for the one-touch counter-attack is likely to show itself in his selection of furniture: Arne Jacobsen "Christine Keeler" chairs in his team-talk room, whose one-piece seats and backs in steamed wood are as beautifully bent as a Beckham dipping curler.

The walls will almost certainly be stripped of their fusty plaster, dado rails and sugar-ice cornices and replaced with panels of birch plywood almost as smooth and shiny as Mr Eriksson's face.

And there will, of course, be other pieces by the ultimate master of glacial minimalism, Alvar Aalto: furniture that's still so tomorrow it hasn't quite arrived yet, just like England's future in the World Cup – or perhaps Mr Eriksson's secret plan to foil even the shrewdest of German playmakers.

Oh, and a word in Sven Goran's designer shell-like. Junk those videos of the German team's past matches – totally irrelevant. Study footage of the past two or three homes lived in by the German coach instead.

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