Eriksson pleased to have no limits
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Eriksson has spent the entirety of his tenure affected by bans on players - with first Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate disqualified, and latterly Chelsea's John Terry in the same boat.
However, with Woodgate having served his sentence for affray, and Terry and Bowyer acquitted of all charges, Eriksson can now make his choice purely on footballing matters.
"It would be wrong to judge a player without having him in the squad - and a friendly is a good time," said Eriksson.
He said: "Now I am a free man. I can pick whoever I want.
"I was not able to do it before because I agreed not to pick them because there would have been a lot of confusion around the national team."
Eriksson has highlighted some of the players he expects to feature in his future squads - and names three Leeds players as ones to watch, as well as Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Danny Murphy.
"Alan Smith has a temperament which is good, although sometimes it can be too much," adds the England boss.
"You can see that he lives for football. He is a winner. He hates to lose.
"He is also a good player. He can play up front, outside right and even outside left.
"[Paul] Robinson did very well for the Under-21s and is playing very well for Leeds.
"We missed Gerrard at the World Cup because he is an extremely good midfielder - one of the best.
"He's strong, talented and technical. A good runner and a good passer and I hope he stays fit.
"Nicky Barmby is coming back too. He was unlucky. After last Christmas I don't think he played a full game.
"But now he's playing again and in the game I saw at Leeds he scored a marvellous goal. Danny Murphy seems to be fit again too and that's good."