Sven remains defiant
Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has insisted he was right to leave Jermain Defoe out of England's 2006 World Cup squad.
The Swede caused a sensation by naming Arsenal prodigy Theo Walcott in the 22-man party, despite never having seen him play. Though Walcott never made it onto the pitch as England crashed out against Portugal in the quarter-finals of the tournament, Eriksson defended his decision.
"Jermain had a very bad season," he reasoned in The Observer. "I don't think he deserved to go to the World Cup. Taking Theo was the right decision."
"Where are the other good English forwards? I saw 100, 120 Premiership games every year and I couldn't find out," he added.
The 58-year-old also claimed that England deserved better than to reach the quarter-finals, where yet further penalty shoot-out misery left their hopes in tatters.
"Maybe I should have taken on a sports psychologist for the taking of penalties. I know many Premier League clubs work with one.
"We shouldn't have lost to Portugal. Even today, I think we should have reached the final," he added.
Despite his team's failure to make it beyond the quarter-finals of the two World Cups and one European Championship during which he was in charge, Eriksson revealed he considers his stint as England manager as somewhat of a success.
"If you look at the whole picture I think it was a good five-and-a-half years. I think we did rather well," he said.