Martin Samuel brands Sven-Goran Eriksson's England claim 'nonsense'

WORLD CUP CONFIDENTIAL: So Sven-Goran Eriksson thinks his Golden Generation didn’t have the options England have now – that’s NONSENSE! If you don’t trust your two centre halves, it’s a big flaw!

  • Martin Samuel has dismissed Sven-Goran Eriksson’s recent England claim
  • Eriksson said Gareth Southgate currently has a better pool of players than he did
  • Samuel pointed out England’s centre-backs as an example of why it is not true
  • He did however suggest England are capable of winning the World Cup in Qatar 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Sportsmail’s Chief Sports Writer Martin Samuel has branded Sven-Goran Eriksson’s claim that he did not have the same quality of players to choose from as Gareth Southgate ‘absolute nonsense’.

Eriksson, who coached England between 2001 and 2006 and led the Three Lions at two World Cups, reaching the quarter-finals in 2002 before losing to Portugal on penalties at the same stage of the 2006 tournament, recently suggested that Southgate has better options in terms of personnel now than he himself had during England’s regularly referred to ‘golden generation’.

World Cup Confidential is the Mail’s daily World Cup video podcast by MailOnline and MailPlus. It appears on MailOnline every morning of the tournament and can be found on our YouTube channel. 

Speaking on the first edition of World Cup Confidential, however, Samuel dismissed the Swede’s claims, referencing Southgate’s centre-back issues as a weak link in his side.

Sven-Goran Eriksson recently suggested that Gareth Southagte has better players to chose form than he did during his stint as England manager

Sportsmail’s Chief Football Writer Martin Samuel has rebutted the Swede’s claims and referenced England’s current centre-back problem

‘Sven the other day said that he didn’t have the options that Gareth Southgate has’, said Samuel. 

‘It’s absolute nonsense when you look at the squad he had. Gareth is doing really well with this group of players. 

‘Five minutes ago we were asking why we don’t have two centre-halves that we trust. It’s a fairly crucial position. If you don’t have that you have a big flaw. You’re as strong as your weakest link.’

Samuel was speaking on the first edition of World Cup Confidential ahead of the tournament

Eriksson was England boss between 2001 and 2006 and led the Three Lions at two World Cups

Eriksson coached what was viewed by many as England’s ‘golden generation’, but failed to deliver any success on the field

Via the Mirror, Eriksson said this week: ‘Maybe it’s even more difficult for Southgate because he has even more options than we had I think, good options. It’s difficult and what should I say. It was the team I picked and it was very, very strong and once again 2006, we should have done better.’

While Southgate may be turning to the likes of John Stones, Ben White and the struggling Harry Maguire in Qatar, Eriksson had a strong partnership of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand to rely on in 2006 and Sol Campbell to call upon in 2002.

There is however hope that Southgate could complete his journey in Qatar and help England lift the trophy thanks to strength in other areas of the pitch. 

Eriksson had a centre-back partnership of Rio Ferdinand (left) and John Terry (right) to rely on during his reign

Samuel did however suggest that England are capable of winning the World Cup in Qatar

The Three Lions’ tournament gets underway on Monday afternoon when they face Iran

‘He’s got a good squad of players, there’s no doubt about that’, Samuel added. 

‘He’s got a squad of players that could potentially win a tournament, we saw how close they came before. 

‘I think he’s batting par, better than par. He’s not below par with this squad of players at all.’ 

England will begin their tournament on Monday at 1pm UK time against Iran before facing USA and Wales in their other group stage games.

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