Talking About Sven

In the end, I spent two hours being interviewed to camera by the team from Mentorn TV for their forthcoming drama-documentary “The Real Sven.” Although some of the questions referred to the points I’d raised in my earlier interview, there were new ones that were to do with the Sven outside football – his love life, his financial dealings and so on. I’m not especially exercised by his pay packet, or by his choice of wives and girlfriends – there are things like that, at whatever scale, on every street. So I was in the position of trying to find things to say.

That’s when you start to say things for the sake of having to open your mouth and allow sounds to come out. You can just feel the bullshit forming up behind your teeth, ready to make a break.

Part of my confusion came from Beckham’s admission the previous day that he was suffering from OCD. This totally upset the profile of the man I’d drawn up for the programme, and blew my ideas about his relationship with Sven sky high. So everything I say on the subject, should it make it onto the screen, is off the cuff.

I get the impression that the production team doesn’t like Sven. I do, and I regret his being forced out of the job for all that he’s said himself that he’s happier in club football with its day to day involvement. I don’t think there’s an English candidate who will be as good as Sven has been, although Sam Allardyce could prove me wrong – neither do I think that any of the foreign alternatives promise as much, pace Martin O’Neill.

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