Sven Goran Eriksson up to challenge of life at Thailand's BEC Tero Sasana
Ex-England boss insists his short-term deal with BEC Tero Sasana is not just a pay day in the sun
A trip to Thailand may have given Sven Goran Eriksson's career a fillip but it has not always been plain sailing for former football A-listers in the Land of Smiles.
The Swedish ex-England boss seems to have worked his old magic with new club BEC Tero Sasana, who beat TTM Chiangmai 7-1 last week and have only lost once since he joined as technical director in September.
Eriksson - whose cluttered CV includes Notts County, Leicester City and Ivory Coast since he departed the England job in 2006 - has now been mentioned for the vacant Blackburn Rovers post by a senior official at the club.
Big names who have turned their careers around in Thailand are few. Robbie Fowler, Bryan Robson and Peter Reid are also among those who have tried their luck, with mixed results.
Fowler, known simply as "God" to Liverpool fans for his goal-scoring exploits, failed to capture the hearts of Muangthong United during an ill-fated spell in the Thai Premier League.
Robson was appreciated as a solid if unremarkable manager for his two-year spell with the national team that ended last year. But the former England captain is also remembered for undercover documentary footage filmed in a Bangkok bar in which he advises an undercover reporter how to profit out of British football.
Zesh Rehman - the towering defender who was one of the first British Asian stars in England after starting with Fulham - had a better time at Muangthong, winning the fans' affection before moving to Hong Kong champions Kitchee this year.
Eriksson has swatted away suggestions that his two-month contract, which is worth a reported US$100,000, offers little more than a pay day in the sun.
"It is a big challenge. Football is getting better and the interest in football is higher. Of course, they want the level to improve for the national team and at club level also," he said.
Eriksson is in Bangkok at a turbulent time for Thai football after a parliamentary investigation was launched into alleged fraud and illegal profiteering that could bring down the Football Association of Thailand. But such claims have not stopped a steady inflow of foreign talent to the TPL, which recently eased strict quotas on overseas players.
"I love it here. People are friendly and easy going. My wife and son love it too," says Wales forward Michael Byrne, a product of Bolton's youth academy who plies his trade with Chainat.
Eriksson has been welcomed with open arms by the Thai football community, including national team boss Winfried Schäfer. "Sven is an experienced coach and Thai players can learn a lot from him," said the former Bundesliga midfield star.