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This make me laugh - and give me nightmares too :eek:

From: The Times.

Nightmare at Old Trafford: the tale of Eriksson the Red

The former England head coach will lead Manchester City for the first time today, but it could have been so different if he had taken a job across town, says Tom Dart.

Christmas, 2001. Sir Alex Ferguson is retiring at the end of the season and behind the scenes the Manchester United board and chief executive, Peter Kenyon, work feverishly to find a successor. They settle on the nation's darling: Sven-Göran Eriksson, the England head coach, the genius who has just beaten Germany 5-1 and is sure to lead the team to glory in the 2002 World Cup finals. Who better to replace one of the greatest managers of all time and lead United into a new, but no less successful, era?

Of course, the handover never happened. Ferguson performed an abrupt U-turn and Eriksson stayed with England. But what if the Scot really had called it a day? What would have happened to United and England?

July, 2002: Soon after England's 2-1 defeat by Brazil, Eriksson takes the reins at Old Trafford on a five-year, £10 million deal. He is replaced by Steve McClaren, who battles off the challenge of Alan Curbishley. Eriksson immediately gives the squad the entire month off. “A two-week preseason will avoid the fatigue we saw in Japan,†he says. David Beckham replaces Roy Keane as captain.

August: The season starts with a 5-1 win over Zalaegerszeg in the Champions League qualifiers. United fans are impressed.

January, 2003: Murmurs of discontent after United score only five times in 15 games. The fans call for more flair. Eriksson signs Trevor Sinclair.

May: United finish third in the league, losing in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and Champions League. Rumours that David Beckham is set to join Real Madrid prove false. “David is the captain, he is a key player,†Eriksson says. Beckham signs a new ten-year deal. There is a mysterious cut above Eriksson's left eye and he is wearing new glasses. Speculation surfaces that an angry player flung a boot in the dressing-room that hit him. Roy Keane departs for Real in a shock transfer. Unveiled at the Bernabéu, he launches an attack on his former manager, criticising training as “effing boringâ€.

“The departure of Keane is not a problem,†Eriksson says. “We have Nicky Butt.â€

August: United are strongly linked with teenage wonderkid Cristiano Ronaldo. Eriksson dismisses the idea: “We have David Beckham on the right of midfield.†Ronaldo joins Chelsea.

October: United are thrown out of the Carling Cup after Eriksson uses six substitutes in a tie against Leeds United. “We must not tire the players in meaningless games,†he says.

April 2004: A tabloid scandal as Eriksson is pictured leaving the Lowry Hotel with the actress who plays Leanne Battersby in Coronation Street.

May: United finish fourth, losing in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and Champions League. Rumours swirl that Eriksson will return to Sweden to coach Djurgarden after he is seen leaving the meatballs café at Ikea in Warrington with a tall, blond man and Pini Zahavi. Negotiates lucractive new contract until 2015 with United board. Still simmering at his treatment by United, who refused to let him change his mind about his retirement, and determined to show the club what they lost, Ferguson takes over at Manchester City.

June: Steve McClaren is sacked as England manager after England fail to advance from the group stages of Euro 2004. The FA appoints Luiz Felipe Scolari.

August: United are strongly linked with teenage wonderkid Wayne Rooney. Eriksson signs Darius Vassell. Rooney goes to Chelsea.

October: The pressure mounts as United lose at home to Arsenal. “If you look at the temperature, it was 17.7 degrees,†Eriksson says. “It is not easy for the English to cope with such an unseasonal heat. Arsenal's players are all foreign.†Tord Grip, Eriksson's assistant, leaves to become a PE teacher in a Stockholm suburb. No one notices.

February, 2005: Eriksson is pilloried after United lose to AC Milan on penalties in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. David Beckham plays the entire game despite breaking a metatarsal only two weeks previously. “Beckham is only 25 per cent fit,†Eriksson says. “But Beckham at 25 per cent is not bad.â€

May: Ferguson's City win the Premier League. United are fourteenth. “Vell. . . the first half of the season we were good,†Eriksson says. “Second half ... not so good.†The Glazers take control at Old Trafford. Eager to court popularity with a hostile fanbase, they sack Eriksson.

July, 2006: Scolari's England win the World Cup on penalties.

January, 2007: After a long period of unemployment, Eriksson finally finds a job – head coach of the LA Galaxy. Signs David Beckham.

Season's greetings

“If Sven has s*****d your wife, clap your hands.†- Manchester City supporters roll out the red carpet for their new manager during a preseason friendly
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