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Now and Sven

Looking at the chart of Sven-Goran Erikkson at the time of a scandal (August 2004).

The national sport here in England is football, in living memory always an obsession for a sizeable chunk of the population, and nowadays much more than that. Football has become a huge circus of mind-blowing wages, flags, face-painting, booms, busts and takeovers. It even makes the headlines ahead of smaller matters such as the Iraq War when something really important happens (like a player being suspended). At the time of writing England's football coach, Sven-Goran Eriksson is feeling the heat as his private life and job prospects are raked over in the media..

Outsiders might think the hardest job to hold onto here might be that of a politician with a small majority approaching an election you are doomed to lose. The locals know better; the position where a person is the bee knees one day, and unceremoniously sacked the next, is the job of English football's head coach. As Pluto ploughs it's merry way through Sagittarius England have done the obvious thing, followed the trend and appointed a foreigner to this post for the first time. Did Sven realize that one fine day he would inevitably become such a huge media target?

It has been interesting to watch the reaction to Sven in the country. He succeeded the passionate, popular northerner Kevin Keegan, who seen as open, honest but ultimately lacking in tactical nous. Sven is the antithesis of Keegan. He says very little, he looks calm, moderate, analytical - even in a vital penalty shoot-out with national pride at stake. And he wears rimless designer specs like some mythic head-designer at Volvo, Saab or IKEA. Faced with such a different prospect and knowing that Sven had a record of actually winning things, the British press backed down and gave this exotic mysterious alien a chance to perform. "Blimey!" they perhaps thought, "don't know what to make of this chap, he looks like he knows what he's doing… certainly doesn't let on if he doesn't".

But now, twice, Sven has failed and England have not salved 'forty years of hurt'*. In 2002, Brazil booted them out of the World Cup, this year Portugal pushed them out of the European Championships. And Sven has been caught having an affair with a glamorous foreign football association secretary. Compounding matters, his boss had a fling with the same woman. Sven also had a thing with TV starlet Ulrika Jonsson a couple of years ago, and this year he was seen talking to Chelsea bosses, flirting with the idea of being the coach at that club. Thus, from being an inscrutable Zen Nordic, Eriksson is increasingly being branded an unreliable coach and love rat. A gradually rising chorus of "Off with his head!" can be heard up and down the land, perhaps he is being brought down to our own level and his dramatic end has only been postponed.

Sven-Goran Erikkson

Astrologically, Sven shows his inscrutable, disciplined nature through the position and aspects of his Sun. Aquarius is aloof, organised and loves designer specs. It's a sign that likes to work with groups of people and for organisations, it's intellectual and analytical, friendly rather than passionate.

His Sun in Aquarius sits opposite a conjunction of Saturn and Pluto. Together, these make for careful and controlled energy and account for Sven's brilliant policy of saying very little to the press, and being meticulous, even perfectionistic in his approach to leadership (though this perfectionism is being eroded by Neptune, read on...). In the chart of a coach, they suggest caution being the main tactic. Such caution has been exhibited in the important games that Sven has lost, with England hoofing the ball upfield and defending in numbers in an effort to hold onto slender leads. Sven and Saturn think the best form of defence... is defence.

The opposition being across Aquarius-Leo, points to the need for great individuals with large egos (Leo) to sacrifice their own glory to that of the team (Aquarius). Contrariwise, it also dictates that the team must let individuals (Leo) do their own creative thing (Leo) so that the group (Aquarius) wins. These are clearly dilemmas that all coaches in sport face and that Eriksson has dealt with admirably for England, considering that he has to deal with players with the media profiles as high as that of David Beckham.

The flirty risk-taking Sven is not found here. This side of the man is seen in the very strong T-square between Venus, Jupiter and Uranus. This is another distinct aspect of the man's personality and is not linked to the powerful Sun/Saturn/Pluto authority complex, so, at first it is less obvious. With Venus being in shy Pisces it is also something the man himself would rather keep private. Venus-Uranus suggests sudden involvements with dramatically different women that tend to just as suddenly break off (Uranus). Jupiter points to these tending to be rather lucky. Jupiter/Uranus points to a lack of convention what it touches and involvements with foreigners. These have all been the case in Sven's life; he has been involved with a string of younger, glamorous women and it is this specific aspect complex shows us where this is coming from in his astrology.

Venus/Jupiter/Uranus also has a lot to do with his financial fortune. Whatever the cause (he had flirted with earning big bucks at Chelsea), Sven has been given a new contract with the Football Association and is now being paid around £5 million per annum. This makes him very difficult to sack, since his compensation payments would be huge, which may have contributed to his being seen as blameless over the whole 'did he lie?' aspect of the Faria Alam affair. Two lucky breaks this year, obviously Venus in tandem with Jupiter/Uranus. But if he is riding his luck, he will continue to be exposed as Pluto transits this area of his chart.

The Future

The press and most of the fans surely agree that the future doesn't look too bright for Sven. His authority and credibility have been undermined and he's earning too much money. The whole 'Sven-gate' phenomena can be traced to the transit of Neptune over his Sun, due to continue until the end of 2005 and the transit of Pluto over his Venus-Jupiter-Uranus T-square, which comes to its most powerful in late 2005 when joined by Saturn. The Neptune transit suggests him losing his way in his job and becoming a 'lame-duck' coach. The lethargy of the England team versus Portugal this year certainly showed that Sven does not have all the answers; the whole team looked like men undergoing Neptune-Sun transits. Though we don't know the exact position of the Sun in Sven's chart, Neptune will be within an absolute maximum of three degrees of it for the next two years. It will be very hard for the man not to drift and find himself at a loss, though there may well be occasional flashes of glamorous brilliance.

Note. This chart shows Sven's chart surrounded by the transits of 0:00am 8th August 2004, the day the UK Sunday press came out full of the lurid confessions of Faria Alam, about her affair with Erikkson, and the day I wrote this piece. Media-wise, this was the peak of the matter. Note the T-square formed as the papers went out, with transit Sun, Moon and Neptune all on his Sun-180-Saturn and Pluto (all in green). The purple rectangle shows Sven's ongoing Neptune to Sun transit, and the purple loop highlights the ongoing transit of Pluto to his Jupiter (and Venus and Uranus). There are many other interesting transits there too, look at the positions of transit Jupiter, Uranus and Mars, for example.

Thus I would expect the pressure on him to continue (easy to predict that one!) and there to be dramas on the way. December this year should be good to him, but September 2005 looks extremely difficult, with Saturn and Pluto bringing unbearable pressure; this suggests financial and emotional change, his morality and love life again undergoing examination. Who are England playing then?

* The only thing the England team have actually won is the World Cup, in 1966. But the British invented the rules, if not the game, which the Greeks came up with. And the British popularised it, so there is a feeling in England that football somehow belongs to this country and we should be winning even if we never have, outside of holding a tournament here.

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