The Joe Royle Column

LIKE all England supporters I'm delighted that the Sven-Goran Eriksson saga appears to have settled down. The last thing we needed on the eve of the European Championships was concern about the team manager.

LIKE all England supporters I'm delighted that the Sven-Goran Eriksson saga appears to have settled down. The last thing we needed on the eve of the European Championships was concern about the team manager.

Possibly all the conjecture would not have come into play until after the tournament anyway but we have seen it was more than just rumour.

The way the whole thing was handled was not very good. Chelsea or Sven have not come out of it particularly well and the only man that has, as we have said before in this column, is Claudio Ranieri.

I don't necessarily agree with Sven when he says you have to listen to offers even when you are happy in a job. I have been approached during my career but while I have been happy in a job I just have not thought about it.

That is not to say he's wrong and I'm right, it is just something I would not do.

Perhaps the other side is that foreigners may have a different attitude towards a contract and the job. They don't necessarily see anything wrong in talking with other people, agents or chief executives while they are in a job.

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You will see on the continent that is quite usual for managers to know they are going at the end of the season no matter what.

So perhaps it is a different attitude and we are a little staid in this country.

It is great that the players believe in him and his record of one tournament defeat is brilliant. You won't find too many players having a bad word about him and he is definitely a calming influence

On the couple of occasions when I have met Sven he has come across as a gentleman and commands a lot of respect from the players.

For me the 5-1 victory in Germany will go down as his greatest game. That was the turnaround for England because when we had lost 1-0 at home to Germany in Kevin Keegan's last game and I could not see us qualifying for the World Cup, so that was quite an achievement for Sven.

So the good news is things have settled down, Sven is going to stay and hopefully guide us to success in the Euros.

It is a tall order to win the Euros in Portugal but going a long way in the tournament could be classed as a success.

THE first thing I did when I saw the England squad was to send little Shaun Wright-Phillips a text message to congratulate him.

He has actually got something England need and that is the ability to go past players. There are not many others, apart from Michael Owen, who can do that.

It has become something of a dying art but the best team in the country at the moment have players who can do that – unfortunately they are French.

I'm also a big fan of Kieron Dyer but like many people in Newcastle we are just waiting for him to show a bit more maturity in his life that would allow the player to come through.

I remember the first day that I saw Shaun in pre-season training – this little man thrust himself to the front and ran himself to a standstill. He was so exhausted and full of blisters he could not train for three days afterwards but we knew then that he would never fail for attitude.

I gave Shaun his debut for Manchester City and it was obvious straight away he had a burning desire to be a player. He is a lovely boy, totally dedicated and does not have a fault.

I'm delighted for him and it is good to see the good guys do well.

Shaun actually came to us because we wanted his younger brother Bradley, so when Nottingham Forest released him it made sense to take them both.

Also, at the risk of a full mailbag, the Norwich keeper Robert Green has done well and deserved his call-up.

THE news that the party Wayne Rooney threw for his fiancée Colleen turned into a brawl has made me chuckle for a couple of days.

The thing that makes me smile is that people are surprised.

I have been to similar parties in Liverpool and dances which have turned into the OK Corral. Not that I'm saying all my fellow Scousers are wild or anything but there was obviously alcohol involved and thankfully no one was hurt or arrested.

I probably shouldn't smile but I do.

It is another example of the Rooney phenomena and every thing he does is going to end up in a gossip column.

KEN Bates upset a few people with his remarks last week about no goalkeeper making a good manager. He obviously forgot about Dino Zoff who was successful in Italy, although I would agree that very few others have been.

In this country we have a theory that all keepers are slightly crazy and certainly our goalkeeping coach and Kelvin Davis would subscribe to that theory. Albeit very nicely crazy.

That said Chris Turner has been relatively successful at Hartlepool. Now he has taken on a hard job at Wednesday, dare I say, possibly the hardest since Manchester City went into the Second Division.

Every player looks at Hillsborough and thinks 'I'll have some of this' then when they take their fan base away it becomes the biggest game of the season and believe me it is hard.

I like Chris and they have an outside chance of the play-offs, and I hope he succeeds because Ken is on his case.

I always smile at Ken's quote as he has never been a diplomat and he has managed to upset half of Sheffield even before he has got there. But whatever you can't ignore him.

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