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Sven-Goran Eriksson on Football Hardcover – 1 Jun 2001
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In On Football England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson delivers his thesis on how to win--and he doesn't mean sticking a big lad up front, keeping it tight and playing for the set-pieces. This is an exploration of the average footballer's least celebrated organ--the mind--and how to nurture it to improve sporting performance. In the company of sports psychologist, Willi Railo, Eriksson analyses his experience of building winning teams--in particular the 2000 Italian champions Lazio--and addresses the key psychological issues that have to be managed if individuals and groups are to fulfill their potential. Traditionally British football managers have struggled with this sort of thing--performance analysis swiftly reduced to shouting about giving 110 per cent--and for fans reared on the blood and thunder ethos of the Premiership, some of it is going to read like pretty revolutionary stuff:
Eriksson: I spend a lot of energy taking the aggression out of my players. All a player has to do is begin to argue with the referee, play dirty or quarrel with the opposition for there to be a danger that their performance will sink like a stone.
Anyone who has ever endured an extended session of corporate team-building exercises will be familiar with a lot of the language used here, but incredibly, On Football manages not only to render ideas about "winning cultures" intelligible, but also genuinely interesting. This is not a dry, unapproachable work--the overall style is conversational, there are plenty of colour photographs and illustrations, and the authors have taken care to root relatively intangible ideas in actual big-name examples. Anyone who plays or watches sport will find this book enhancing--and challenging--their understanding of what is happening on the pitch. This is an intriguing, intelligent work, made astonishing (think Kevin Keegan) in that it's been written by the man who is actually shaping the fortunes of the English national team. --Alex Hankin
'Everyone wants to know the secret behind Sven-Göran Erikssons transformation of the England football team.' -- Daily Mail
For players wishing to be part of his set up it is required reading. -- The Observer
I thought it was excellent. -- Free Kick
The book that has lit up the world of football -- Sunday People
This book will challenge the way you look at sport but perhaps more crucially, it will leave you assured that the England team is in safe hands. -- Four Four Two
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A brilliant read.
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