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Sven-Goran Eriksson says he signed to replace Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2002 when the Scot great first announced he would retire before having a change of heart. Warren LIttle / Getty Images
Sven-Goran Eriksson says he signed to replace Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2002 when the Scot great first announced he would retire before having a change of heart. Warren LIttle / Getty Images

Eriksson claims he was set to replace Ferguson and Allardyce wants show of responsibility

Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England manager, says he signed a contract to replace Alex Ferguson at Manchester United when the Scot announced his intention to retire in 2002

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X-Manchester United

Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England manager, says he signed a contract to replace Alex Ferguson at Manchester United when the Scot announced his intention to retire in 2002. Ferguson stepped down after 27 years in charge at Old Trafford at the end of last season but had previously indicated that he would quit in 2002, a decision he later reversed. Swede Eriksson says in his forthcoming autobiography, serialised by Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper, that he accepted a deal from former United chief executive Peter Kenyon to replace Ferguson while he was in charge of England. “I knew it would be tricky,” said Eriksson, 65, now coach of Chinese Super League team Guangzhou R&F. “I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract. But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United. A contract was signed – I was United’s new manager.”

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X-Fulham

Fulham have suffered three defeats in the space of a week, but Martin Jol does not fear losing his job. It has been a difficult start to the campaign for Fulham, with fans losing patience. “Jol out” was chanted on several occasions during Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United, which came on the back of losses at Southampton and second-tier Leicester City in the League Cup. “I have no fear,” Jol said defiantly. “In the past they used to say ‘have no fear, Martin is here’. I don’t fear.”

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X-West Ham United

Sam Allardyce wants his West Ham side to start showing the same collective responsibility they displayed last season when it comes to goalscoring. West Ham have scored just eight goals in 10 matches and a goalless draw against Aston Villa highlighted how much they are missing the injured Andy Carroll. Allardyce said: “The problem is our goals were shared out last year. All the players scored. Kevin [Nolan] got 10, Andy [Carroll] got eight and everybody else got two, three, four, one, whatever it might have been and that’s why we finished 10th. At the moment none of those players are scoring.”

X-Stoke City

Stoke’s Asmir Begovic celebrated joining an elite group of goalscoring Premier League keepers but left the Britannia Stadium disappointed. The Bosnia international’s wind-assisted long punt down field took a huge first bounce over Southampton counterpart Artur Boruc after just 14 seconds on Saturday, but the game finished 1-1. “I definitely meant it,” joked Begovic after becoming only the fifth goalkeeper to score in the Premier League. “I’ve never scored a goal. It was a little bit surreal, but the ball got caught in the wind and carried a distance. It was a shame we couldn’t carry it on and get a second goal.”

X-Manchester City

Pablo Zabaleta, the City defender, believes the axing of teammate Joe Hart is a reminder of the high standards expected at the Etihad Stadium. The England goalkeeper paid the price for a series of recent errors by losing his place for Saturday’s 7-0 thumping of Norwich City to Costel Pantilimon. Zabaleta said: “We know in this team now the performance of everyone should be good, week in, week out, because we have two players in each position who can play. Sometimes mistakes might cost the place, but we are a big squad and we need to try to do well to keep the place in the team.” ]

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X-Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, said a positive from Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Premier League leaders Arsenal will be keeping a sense of perspective to ambitions this season. Liverpool headed to the Emirates Stadium on the back of an impressive 4-1 defeat of West Brom and with aspirations of usurping Arsenal at the top of the table, but they came away empty-handed. Rodgers, though, said things are moving in the right direction – if not perhaps as rapidly as some fans may be hoping. “We have still got a long way to go before we are ready to compete consistently,” he said. “If you win one game, like we did against West Brom, everyone is looking at you and talking about your front two. Then against Arsenal we weren’t quite firing as we would want to be, so with that expectancy I am sure people will ... be a bit more realistic. But for us, the ambition is to be up there and fighting to be in that top four.”

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