Ex-England bosses the big names in 2nd-tier league
Former England managers Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren
will be looking for instant promotion in the first full season with
their respective League Championship teams when they open their
Eriksson, who managed Lazio and Benfica before leading England
from 2001-06, will be under pressure to lead Leicester into the
Premier League after having spent more money than any other club in
the second-tier division.
McClaren, Eriksson’s replacement whose failure to lead England
to the 2008 European Championship cost him the job, took over as
Forest manager during the offseason follwing the departure of Billy
”We have never hidden what we want to do – we want to play
Premier League football as soon as possible.” Eriksson said ahead
of his team’s match at Coventry.
The Swede has engineered some impressive player moves during the
offseason. Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, the son of star Manchester
United ‘keeper Peter Schmeichel, has signed for the team along with
former Liverpool defender Paul Konchesky.
Striker David Nugent, who scored 14 goals in a struggling
Portsmouth side last season, has also joined while midfielder
Michael Johnson has arrived on a season-long loan from Manchester
McClaren has similarly made some astute signings in recruiting
midfielders Andy Reid and Jonathan Greening. Both players have
plenty of Premier League experience and will be key figures for
Forest, the European Cup champions in 1979 and 1980, have been
absent from the Premier League since 1999.
”It is always important to get a good start,” McClaren said of
the first match, at home to Barnsley. ”Not getting the start that
is required puts the team under pressure.”
West Ham begins life back in the football league against Cardiff
on Sunday after having been relegated in May.
Sam Allardyce has taken over from Avram Grant as manager and has
also made some impressive singings, notably Kevin Nolan from
Newcastle. The 29-year-old Nolan scored 12 goals in the Premier
League for Newcastle last season from midfield.
Allardyce has so far managed to hold on to three players with
England experience – midfielder Scott Parker, striker Carlton Cole
and goalkeeper Robert Green – despite some interest from Premeir
Also, promoted Brighton starts against Doncaster at its newly
opened 22,500-seat stadium, newcomer Southampton takes on Leeds at
St. Marys and Hull opens the season versus Blackpool.