Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson explains Paul Scholes decision

Ex-England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has explained why he chose to play Paul Scholes on the left wing.

Scholes starred in the centre for Manchester United for two decades, lifting an incredible 11 Premier League titles.

However, Eriksson decided to pick Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in his central midfield.

Despite shining for Liverpool and Chelsea respectively, the pair often seemed to struggle playing alongside one another.

The Swedish boss, who was in charge of the Three Lions between 2001 and 2006, thinks the two did work well together though.

He told Sky Sports Monday Night Football: “At that time, this was the best four midfielders we had in England. I could not put one of these [Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard, Scholes] on the bench.

“I picked because I was convinced these four were the best. I was always convinced Gerrard and Lampard could play together. You could have put Gerrard on the left maybe and Scholes to the middle.

“Maybe Rooney could play wide but the only one who was not used to play in this position was Scholes, but he always came inside.”

Despite having never featured under him for his country, Eriksson made a surprise selection in goal for his best England XI.

He added: “Joe Hart, I never had him in the national team but I had him with Manchester City .

“During my time as a manager in England he was the best goalkeeper but he was not ready for the big tournaments.”

Eriksson picked Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Ashley Cole as his preferred back four.

The 72-year-old provided an amusing anecdote about Neville.

“Gary Neville, he always had opinions about everything before training, after training,” he said.

“One day we were leaving training and he complained about something, at the same time Beckham said don't listen to him, he's born like this and he will die like this, but he's a good man.”

He selected Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney as his strikers, with United and England’s record goalscorer praised in particular.

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