Swedish national and former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson will call the shots for the Azkals heading into their biggest stints

By Klyde Manansala | Photo from STR

Ahead of the Philippine national football team’s biggest stints, the Azkals will kick their way into the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup with a new head coach in tow.

Sven-Goran Eriksson, a former England football team manager, will spend some time with the Azkals after inking an initial six-month contract. The 70-year-old seasoned mentor is known for injecting his football knowledge into Italian football clubs such as Roma, Fiorentina, and Lazio national teams.

The England national football team, also known as the Three Lions, is seen as Eriksson’s best coaching performance of his career after he led the squad to the 2004 Euro and 2006 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals. With a veteran coach and manager patrolling the sidelines for the Azkals, what could this mean for the future of the Philippine national football team? Here’s how some of the football fans see the momentous move:

Paulo Gomez

“He focuses on team chemistry and grassroots programs. He aims for cohesiveness. But mainly, he can bring World Cup pedigree. Results will have to depend on his management skills and how the team responds to his adjustments.”

Ignacio Lobregat 

“He managed a few international football teams before but didn’t really have much success. But he’s also handled some of the great players from the previous generation like David Beckham, Paulo Scholes, Steven Gerrard, and Frank Lampard during his tenure with the England football team—so I think he can bring out the best in our young players.”