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PICK OF THE DAY; Sven: the Coach, the Cash and His Lovers ITV1, 10pm.

IT'S the calm before the storm, writes Steve Palmer.

The World Cup starts tomorrow so this evening it is probably wise to have a relaxing cup of cocoa, a stress-relieving warm bath, five minutes of gentle sexualintercourse and an early night.

Before all that, though, plenty of football fans will no doubt be tuning in to tonight's satirical documentary about Sven-Goran Eriksson on ITV1.

It's typical of this country, isn't it? Just when we should all be uniting in our common cause to win the World Cup, Britain's second biggest terrestrial television channel dedicates an hour and five minutes to explain what a slimeball scumbag the England manager is. That's really going to help.

It's time to leave Eriksson alone. The criticism is fuelled by jealousy. Yes, he has spent the last six years trousering millions of pounds (on the rare occasions when he has kept his trousers on) for doing one of the easiest jobs in the world, and yes, he has been philandering (that must be in the top five words in the English language) with Swedish weathergirls and Football Association secretaries while the ever-devoted Nancy is at home doing the dishes.

So, he's a lucky man. Sven's been having a great time. We're all envious, but let's try to get over it.

We Brits seem to love a martyr. That's why Charlie Fairhead - that chap on Casualty - is so popular. He has spent his whole life cheerfully cleaning up sick and earning peanuts.

More fool Charlie, I say.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 8, 2006
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