Sven Backs David!

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Sven Andersson says that David James is the best goalkeeper England have got.

Sven, returning to Sweden to plan the next stage of his career after a break in England, says of his erstwhile team mate: "First of all, maybe he will not be playing, but if he does he will do well because maybe he is the number one in England.

"But I understand why David Seaman is playing in the World Cup - because he has played there before and he has got great experience in these sort of games."

And, looking ahead to his country's World Cup opener against England, he says: "I think Sweden will do well against England; we say in Sweden that England is a good team to meet for a Swedish team.

"Sweden haven't lost to England for many years, but of course England are the favourites.

"I haven't talked to so many people in Sweden yet but when I go home they will certainly ask me about England and the West Ham players."

Sven hopes that Joe Cole gets a run out in the tournament, and adds: "I don't think he is in the starting 11 but if he plays he can do real well because he is the kind of player who can change the game completely if it is the right day for him.

"He is a great talent, but maybe the next World Cup can be the really big one for Joe Cole - and even for England."

As for his compatriots' loyalties on Sunday when England face Sweden with, of course, a Swedish manager in charge, Sven says: "I think they hope England will do very well in the World Cup and everyone is very happy for Sven and what he has done for England.

"During qualification everyone watched England on Swedish TV, and it is big there, but of course the Swedes still want to beat England."

Sven, who was signed on a short term contract when Craig Forrest became unavailable after being diagnosed with cancer, says of his time at Upton Park: "It has been real nice and I know I have learnt a lot from it that I can use in the future.

"It is important to have more than just two goalkeepers in case something happens. At the start of the season West Ham had four goalkeepers and two got injured, so you never know what will happen.

"I couldn't say I was disappointed not to play because when I came over. I knew David James and Shaka Hislop were there before me and that I might return home without playing any games.

"You always learn when you are at another team and another country. Most things are the same in any country when it comes to football, but you always learn something."

Sven confirms his retirement, and concludes: "I will not play on next season. I think I will go back to Helsinborgs as a coach - it is not 100% but I think I will go back there."