Q&A with Sven-Göran Eriksson - Investor vs Football Manager Q&A with Sven-Göran Eriksson - Investor vs Football Manager Q&A with Sven-Göran Eriksson - Investor vs Football Manager

Q&A with Sven-Göran Eriksson - Investor vs Football Manager

Saxo Group

In an exclusive interview, we sat down with former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson to discuss the parallels of investing and football management.

Decision-making is equally important in investing and as a football manager. How much of your work has come down to logic and not emotions and impulse?

“You always need to use logic. Football is an art. You never know what is going to happen in a football match before it starts. You have to use your brain when you pick the squad and when you pick the team. You have to put emotions to one side because with emotions, you don’t win football games. 

On matchday, you have to select your best starting eleven that you think is going to perform the best for certain games. When you work in a company, it’s the same thing. You have to do what you think is right, for the moment both in friendship and relationship, whatever it is, put that away, because that has nothing to do with football and logic.”

In trading, basing your decisions on predetermined knowledge, known as anchoring, or being emotionally involved in a stock can be two of the biggest hazards in making investments. For a manager, an example of this could be making decisions based on players’ egos or prior media perception of players. How does a manager deal with this?

"The manager will try to put out the best eleven and make changes during the game in order to win as many games as possible. If you don't play well and lose too many games, who will get the blame? The manager will be blamed for not winning games. You have to play the best players you think will win the game for you even if it means dropping a big name.”

A recent real-life example of this is the relationship between Cristiano Ronaldo and manager Erik Ten Hag at Manchester United. 

“With Ronaldo, it’s a difficult one. We are talking about one of the best players in the world for many, many, years, scoring goals for fun. The day will come when the manager thinks no. I prefer other players. In this case, I think personally, it's very important that you sell Ronaldo because he cannot stay. I don’t think he should stay at Manchester United if he doesn’t play. He's too big of a name and it will always create these discussions. If results are not good and if Manchester United fail to qualify for the Champions League this season, that's a failure for the club.“

Investors look to take advantage of short trading and long trading positions. In 2002, the England squad you selected was flagged as fairly inexperienced at the time. Like with long-trading, some decisions are made for long-term investment - was that the case here?

“It was always nice to inherit young, talented players, but the balance of a team is extremely important. In 2002, we were not ready to win the World Cup. Brazil went on to deservedly win the World Cup. In 2006, I thought at the time and still today, we had a squad which was not worse than any other team at that World Cup. So yes, I’m sure the experience players gained in 2002 made the team better in 2006. I knew that this was a golden opportunity to win the World Cup but we didn't and we should have done it.”

Risk and reward play a big part in trading strategies, for example; knowing when to sell and how to take advantage of positions. You took a big risk to include David Beckham in your 2002 World Cup squad who was returning from fitness, this ultimately paid off. However, was this a risk you feel you had to make? 

“When David Beckham got injured prior to the 2002 World Cup, he was a key player and my captain. It was my responsibility on whether he should or shouldn’t go to the World Cup. There were a lot of talks with the manager of the club, doctors of the club, doctors of the national team and with the player. If there is a small chance that they can play at any stage in the World Cup, then you have to pick them. You cannot do otherwise. 

This is the same with current England manager Gareth Southgate, he has a lot of players that he can’t afford to lose. If Harry Kane got injured prior to the World Cup, it would be a complete disaster.”



Who could you see winning the World Cup and who do you think will be the stand out player?

"If I were to put money on which team is going to win the World Cup, I would say maybe England but most likely Brazil. I think they have fantastic football players out there with speed, technique and experience with several Brazilians playing in Europe. I hope England will do it but let’s see. I hope Harry Kane will be the stand out player of the tournament, this would be great for England. However, you also have Karim Benzema, Neymar and so many others.”

How do you think the Netherlands could do?

“We're talking about a team who in the past, would be one of the favourites to win the World Cup. They were always in the semi-finals and would occasionally reach the final.  In this World Cup, I can’t see Netherlands reaching the semi-finals. There are other teams that have a stronger chance of winning the World Cup. For example, I think Belgium is better than Holland and then you have Argentina, Brazil, England, France and Spain, who all have a better chance of winning the World Cup.”

There’s been opposing views on Raheem Sterling’s place as a starter for England - what are your thoughts and how much of an effect does form have in the build-up to a major tournament?

“It's a very difficult World Cup because there are no friendly games prior to the tournament. Normally you have the players several weeks before the World Cup starts. You have training and play one or two friendly games. Now, there are no friendly games. There's some days after you play in the Premier League and you don't have as much time for training. I think it's very much dependent on the form the players are in currently. Sterling has incredible pace and one against one he can dribble and win games for England but he can also do this from the bench.”

Do you believe Marcus Rashford is back to his best? How do you rate his chances of starting for England?

“In recent games for Man United, he has played very well and is starting to look like the player he was a couple of years ago. I’m not sure what happened to him in the last few seasons. He looked down for a while. That happens to players, but he looks very confident and he looks very good. He has a good chance of starting. It's good for England and it’s good for Southgate.”

Should James Maddison be starting in England’s first game?

“I think James Maddison is doing extremely well at the moment. There are no big preparations before this World Cup going straight from the Premier League to the World Cup. Southgate can see that he's in great shape at the moment. That is why he’s been selected.”

Jude Bellingham has been a regular starter for England. If he has a good tournament, would moving to a big club in the Premier League be a good move for him at this time?

“He's playing in a great team and he's playing in arguably the second best league in Europe behind the Premier League. This has been the case for many years now. Playing for Dortmund, Bellingham won’t miss any chances to play in the national team. Some of the big Premier League clubs will come in for him. It will be important for him to play well at this World Cup, I'm sure that one of the big clubs in England will try to sign him in the summer.”

Disclaimer

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website. This content is not intended to and does not change or expand on the execution-only service. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Bank Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Bank Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Bank Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)
Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)
Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/legal/saxoselect-disclaimer/disclaimer)

Saxo Bank (Schweiz) AG
Beethovenstrasse 33
CH-8002
Zurich
Switzerland

Contact Saxo

Select region

Switzerland
Switzerland

All trading carries risk. Losses can exceed deposits on margin products. You should consider whether you understand how our products work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. To help you understand the risks involved we have put together a general Risk Warning series of Key Information Documents (KIDs) highlighting the risks and rewards related to each product. The KIDs can be accessed within the trading platform. Please note that the full prospectus can be obtained free of charge from Saxo Bank (Switzerland) ltd. or the issuer.

This website can be accessed worldwide however the information on the website is related to Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. All clients will directly engage with Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. and all client agreements will be entered into with Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. and thus governed by Swiss Law.

The content of this website represents marketing material and has not been notified or submitted to any supervisory authority.

If you contact Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. or visit this website, you acknowledge and agree that any data that you transmit to Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., either through this website, by telephone or by any other means of communication (e.g. e-mail), may be collected or recorded and transferred to other Saxo Bank Group companies or third parties in Switzerland or abroad and may be stored or otherwise processed by them or Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. You release Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. from its obligations under Swiss banking and securities dealer secrecies and, to the extent permitted by law, data protection laws as well as other laws and obligations to protect privacy. Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. has implemented appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect data from unauthorized processing and disclosure and applies appropriate safeguards to guarantee adequate protection of such data.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.