England coach is behind David Beckham and Paul Scholes - for differing reasons..
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has backed Manchester United duo David Beckham and Paul Scholes - for differing reasons...
Sven feels David deserves an OBE while he feels Paul deserves a goal for his services to the England team.
Asked about David Beckham receiving an OBE, he said: "I'm very happy for him if that's the truth.
"I think he deserves it -- captain of England, doing very well and a lot of titles won with Manchester United. He's extremely popular and an extremely good footballer."
"I'm sure he will phone me and (stand-in skipper) Michael Owen to say 'good luck'," Eriksson said, referring to Wednesday's showdown with Slovakia. "He doesn't have to be there."
Meanwhile, Beckham's team-mate for club and country, Paul Scholes, has not hit the net for England since June 2001. But the England manager is not worried at all.
"It is absolutely not a problem for me," he said.
"Of course, if he does score for England then it is very good but if he doesn't manage that then in no way is it a concern for me.
"You can talk about when he scored his last goal - but in the time since then I wonder how many assists he has been responsible for or how many goals he has played a leading part in the build-up.
"He is a fantastic football player. He plays in other players and he makes the team tick. Many times when we do the tactical work we want Paul to have the ball."
"We do that because we know when he gets the ball things normally happen and I am very, very happy with him and his contribution to England."
Looking forward to Wednesday's sell-out match at the Riverside, he said: "Wednesday we have to win -- and that's the most important thing.
"It would be a pity if we gave away first position in the group now.
"Things depend on us and, hopefully, we can go to Turkey (for their final qualifier in October) with this position."
The Swede was also pleased to see England fans had responded to calls for good behaviour in England's last match against Serbia and Montenegro.
"People realise that it's serious," Eriksson said. "No England fan would like to see England out of Europe because of that reason. That would be crazy.
"We have behave, all of us, otherwise we might not see international football for a while. For a football country like England it would be a disaster."