• Sweden edition
 

The Englishman who took Sweden to the World Cup Final

Published: 19 Jun 2006 12:48 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Jun 2006 12:48 GMT+02:00

Sven-Göran Eriksson is apparently a keen student of history and England will be hoping he can have the same impact on their football team in his swansong at the World Cup as an Englishman had on the Swedish team in 1958 - the sole difference being that they win it.

George Raynor, a typically no-nonsense Yorkshireman, guided Sweden to the World Cup final on home turf having been recommended to the Swedes very kindly by the English Football Association.

Despite the plethora of countries willing to hire foreign coaches to secure success, they have a remarkably poor record with just Raynor and Austrian Ernst Happel, in charge of the Netherlands at the 1978 edition, guiding their teams to the finals - both losing to Brazil and Argentina respectively.

Dutch master Guus Hiddink has been the closest since, taking South Korea to the semi-finals in 2002.

If Eriksson is looking for a good omen both he and Raynor share another similarity on their CV's as they both coached Lazio - though in Raynor's days they were not the rich force they were when the Swede took them to the Italian title.

However that is from where Raynor arose to take charge of the Swedish side, coming off a moderate record of played 19, won six, lost eight and drawn five - a club record that would have seen most managers sacked rather than handed the managerial post at a national side.

But Raynor proved to be a master stroke in headhunting as he used the nucleus of the Swedish side that won the 1948 Olympic title to form a formidable side that even gave the rampant Hungarian side of the era a run for their money.

"If we win I'll paint Stalin's moustache (on his statue) red," vowed Raynor prior to a friendly in Budapest in 1954 - thankfully the Hungarian prison cell he would have been bound for had he carried out his promise was left unused as they drew 2-2.

Back then though the English FA must have been looking enviously over to Scandinavia when two weeks later their side under Walter Winterbottom was whipped 7-1 by the Hungarians.

Unlike Eriksson and his preparations for the World Cup, Raynor had to cope with a huge debate over whether he could select the professional players playing in Serie A as the Swedish league was amateur at the time.

Finally he was given the green light and in a short space of time had managed to gel the team into a formidable force.

However, even keen students of history do not always learn from previous misjudgements.

Such was the case for Eriksson in the 2-1 defeat in the 2002 quarter-final against Brazil - in which England had opened the scoring.

"If Brazil go a goal behind in the final they will panic," said Raynor confidently in 1958 - they did then too - but Pele, Mario Zagallo and their team ran out 5-2 winners.

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV
Grossed out Ica woman at Easter dinner. Screengrab from Ica

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV

A Swedish supermarket has decided to withdraw its Easter commercial, after Christians complained it made a mockery of communion - "They crossed the line." Sweden's advertising watchdog will now look into the case. READ () »

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut
The search and rescue operation in northern Sweden. File photo: TT

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut

The 22-year-old man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in northern Sweden had his sentence reduced on Wednesday, in part due to his "peculiar personality". READ () »

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

An elementary school in southern Sweden was evacuated on Wednesday and dozens of pupils were taken to hospital after the smell of gas spread through the rooms. READ () »

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock
The Flymen Church weathercock in all its newly gilded glory. Photo: TT

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock

A Swedish churchwarden has reacted with joy upon finding out the parish has Sweden's nicest weathercock. READ () »

Greens push rich tax to finance schools
Per Bolund of The Greens. File photo: TT

Greens push rich tax to finance schools

Sweden's third largest party The Greens revealed its shadow budget on Wednesday, targeting schools and youth employment. High earners would have to pitch in more. READ () »

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'
Ibiza, you say? File photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'

Mythbusting Swedish researchers have found no link between gushing about your upcoming holiday online and returning to an emptied house. They told The Local that a trip to Ikea could be much more dangerous. READ () »

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft
The people in this picture are not those from the story. Photo: TT

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft

A woman in Gothenburg who accused a beggar of robbing her has been charged with fraud and false accusations. READ () »

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Photo: Kungahuset

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess

Sweden's royal family has set the date for the baptism of Princess Leonore. READ () »

The Local List
Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

With Swedish Game of Thrones fans frothing at the mouth at the season four premiere, The Local revisits its list of ten reasons why the hit books and show are (probably) based in Sweden. READ () »

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers
The Kockums Malmö shipyard and FMV headquarters. Files: TT

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers

After the Swedish military raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp, a military expert tells The Local why recent Russian aggression means Sweden's Saab needs to take control of national submarine production. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Advertisement:
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Society
'Blondes have more brains': Swedish study
TT
Society
VIDEO: Leaked 'Save Slussen' film goes viral
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching, March 28-30
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

742
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com