Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 17, 2002

Sven sticks by Seaman but press want blood

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 11:46 am

The News Review:

* Euro 2004 qualifiers review
* … .com – Soccer – Welsh stun Italy 2-1 in Euro 2004 qualifier …
* Black players to look at European boycott
* Sven sticks by Seaman but press want blood
* Win or bust for McCarthy and Ireland
* Baros shines as Czechs win second Euro 2004 qualifier
* European press review
* Scotland back on track?
* Football the new rugby in Wales?
* Latin loyalties tested in valleys
* Pick England’s starting XI
* Heskey not fit for England
* FA show solidarity with Eriksson’s management
* Eriksson applauds apology for monkey chants
* Giggs ends myth of lost England chance
* Raul shows strain of punishing workload
* Italian coach’s job is on the line
* Slovak officials ask fans to behave

Euro 2004 qualifiers review
BBC News – Oct 16, 2002
Romania were beaten by Norway on Saturday but bounced back away from home with a 7-0 drubbing of Luxembourg. Viorel Moldovan scored twice in the first six minutes, while Cosmin Contra grabbed a hat-trick with Mirel Radoi and Tiberiu Ghioane also getting on the scoresheet. Group 3

Holland did not qualify for the World Cup but moved to the top of the group on goal difference thanks to a 3-0 win in Austria. Clarence Seedorf, Philip Cocu and Roy Makaay scored for the Dutch and Austria’s disappointment was compounded with the dismissal of Martin Hiden. Group 4

Hungary had to wait until the second half before breaking down San Marino and, in the end, it was a Zoltan Gera hat-trick which saw them to a 3-0 victory. Group 5

A Miroslav Klose winner saved Germany’s blushes as they beat the Faroe Islands 2-1. Michael Ballack put the home side ahead from the penalty spot, but an Arne Friedrich own goal levelled the score before Klose’s winner… Iceland took advantage of Lithuania being down to 10 men after Deividas Cesnauskis was sent-off. Heidar Helguson put Iceland ahead and Eidur Gudjohnsen’s brace saw them to a 3-0 victory. Group 6

Northern Ireland have not scored in their last five games, but they earned their first point in the group with a goalless draw against Ukraine at Windsor Park. The first goal came from a header after just two minutes and, although Greek keeper Antonis Nikopolidis had to make two important saves, Nikolaidis wrapped up the points for the home side with a 61st minute chip. Group 7

England went behind to Macedonia when Artim Sakiri scored straight from a corner prior to David Beckham’s equaliser.

… .com – Soccer – Welsh stun Italy 2-1 in Euro 2004 qualifier …
SI.com – Oct 16, 2002
“They were delighted in the dressing room,” he said. “I imagine they will have a good time when they go back totheir clubs on Thursday — they’ll all probably go in wearingtheir shirts,” he joked. Wales’s next Euro 2004 qualifier is away to Azerbaijan inNovember, while Italy do not play until March 2003 when theyhost Finland. SummaryWales 2 Italy 1 – resultEuro 2004 Group Nine qualifierScorers:Wales – Simon Davies 12, Craig Bellamy 71Italy – Alessandro Del Piero 32Halftime: 1-1; Attendance: 70,000Wales: 1-Paul Jones; 2-Mark Delaney, 4-Andy Melville,5-Danny Gabbidon, 3-Gary Speed; 10-Simon Davies, 7-RobbieSavage, 6-Mark Pembridge, 11-Ryan Giggs; 9-John Hartson, 8-CraigBellamy (15-Nathan Blake 90)Italy: 1-Gianluigi Buffon; 2-Christian Panucci, 6-AlessandroNesta, 5-Fabio Cannavaro, 3-Luciano Zauri, 11-Damiano Tommasi,4-Luigi Di Biagio (16-Gennaro Gattuso 64 mins; 18-MassimoMarazzina 85 mins), 8-Massimo Ambrosini, 10-Andrea Pirlo;7-Alessandro Del Piero, 9-Vincenzo Montella (17-MassimoMaccarone 70 mins)Referee: Gilles Veissiere (France) Related informationStories.

Black players to look at European boycott
The Age – Oct 16, 2002
The move follows the baiting of England’s Emile Heskey and Ashley Cole during the Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia in Bratislava last Saturday, and follows similar abuse against black players from Ipswich, Fulham and Arsenal during UEFA and Champions League matches this season. Heskey said the abuse in Bratislava was the worst of his soccer career. “It was not one section of the ground but the whole stadium in this case,” he said. Reports in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper said that several black players had contacted soccer’s anti-racism campaign, Kick It Out, to say that European soccer’s governing body was not doing enough to combat the racists. “This is not (just) about what happened over the weekend… I’m Welsh, end of story,” he said ahead of Wales’ Euro 2004 qualifier against Italy in Cardiff tomorrow morning, Melbourne time. Giggs is a former England schoolboy international, but does not qualify to play for England at senior level because he was born in Cardiff of Welsh parents and grandparents. The family moved to Manchester when he was a boy. “I’d rather go through my career without qualifying for a major championship than play for a country where I wasn’t born or which my parents didn’t have anything to do with,” Giggs, 28, said.

Sven sticks by Seaman but press want blood
Independent Online – Oct 17, 2002
It’s a pity of course, bad luck and well taken by Sakiri. “But David Seaman has not lost his place in the team. “I have not that opinion today, absolutely not. He made a very good save in the second half. ”

The national tabloid Daily Mirror, under a back page banner headline “Sea Sick”, said “On one of English football’s most embarrassing nights, no one had a redder face than Seaman. ”

In an editorial, the paper said: “After 75 appearances as his country’s goalkeeper, the time has come for Sven-Goran Eriksson to bid farewell to David Seaman.

Win or bust for McCarthy and Ireland
Irish Independent – Oct 16, 2002
What was, on the face of it, a handy home fixture for the returning World Cup heroes against the third-ranked team in Group 10, has been transformed into a potential time-bomb following the manner of Ireland’s 4-2 defeat by Russia last month. It wasn’t just that Ireland lost, something they’ve only experienced seven times in 39 competitive games under Mick McCarthy, but the way they capitulated, conceding four sloppy goals and defending like novices. Was it a mere blip or an indication that something deeper is amiss? The answer will unfold over the course of 90 minutes this evening where nothing less than a win will fan the flames of Ireland’s Euro 2004 ambitions. To add to the mix of intrigue surrounding the game has been the uncertainty of McCarthy’s position who has acknowledged the “gloss has gone off the job. ” Linked with Sunderland last week, he has since formally stated his intention to quit once Ireland’s involvement in the Euro 2004 championship is over and return to club management. To his media critics, that could be as soon as this evening as a home defeat would leave the Irish between the proverbial rock and a hard place in the group. But McCarthy, who has moulded the Irish into a formidable force, especially at fortress Lansdowne where they are unbeaten in all 17 competitive games under his tenure, has been pounding a positive message to his players this week… “The team has to remain focused and believe in themselves. I reiterated that to the players this week, reminding them what they’d achieved over the last few years, and the results they’d had. “They shouldn’t allow anybody plant a worm of doubt in their heads, that eats away at you, because it shouldn’t be there, absolutely not. ” As has become his wont before competitive games, McCarthy won’t reveal his hand until an hour before kick-off but the manager will play his loyalty card and keep faith with the side which were rumbled in Russia. Nine of the team that started in Moscow last month are available for selection and can expect a vote of confidence from McCarthy while Gary Kelly and Colin Healy are ear-marked for roles at right-back and on the right-side of midfield respectively, in place of Steve Finnan and Jason McAteer, who are injured. Although he’s only 28, Kelly is the most experienced player in the squad with 51 caps and two World Cups on his CV. Unlucky to miss out against Russia, Kelly is a natural right-back unlike John O’Shea, who is built to be a centre-half.

Baros shines as Czechs win second Euro 2004 qualifier
radio.cz – Oct 17, 2002
After themud-bath of Moldova on Saturday, the Czechs took the chance to display abit more style in Teplice on Wednesday, when they played host to Belarus. After only six minutes, Milan Baros put Karel Poborksy through with aperfect pass – the Sparta player showing his experience as he put it inthe net with clinical precision. A quarter of an hour later, Baros gavethe home spectators a taste of what Liverpool fans have been getting usedto lately, when – in a great burst of individual skill – he cut inside aBelarus defender in the box and scored his seventh goal for the CzechRepublic; surely the twenty-year-old will be a pillar of the Czech teamfor many years to come. With two goals in the bag, and Belarus not looking too threatening, theCzechsdidn’t over-exert themselves in the second half of Wednesday’s game… After only six minutes, Milan Baros put Karel Poborksy through with aperfect pass – the Sparta player showing his experience as he put it inthe net with clinical precision. A quarter of an hour later, Baros gavethe home spectators a taste of what Liverpool fans have been getting usedto lately, when – in a great burst of individual skill – he cut inside aBelarus defender in the box and scored his seventh goal for the CzechRepublic; surely the twenty-year-old will be a pillar of the Czech teamfor many years to come. With two goals in the bag, and Belarus not looking too threatening, theCzechsdidn’t over-exert themselves in the second half of Wednesday’s game. CoachKarel Brueckner said the players were tired, while some Czech fans booedtheir team towards the end. Still, you can’t argue with six points in twogames. Novak reaches top ten in ATP rankings for first timeAfter four years, the Czech Republic again has a player in tennis’s topten. In the latest ATP rankings Jiri Novak is placed at ninth in theworld, the highest ranking of the 27-year-old’s nine-year professionalcareer.

European press review
BBC News – Oct 15, 2002
Under the headline “What a disgrace” Bratislava’s Novy Cas says “the England players were shocked and the whole of civilized Europe is embarrassed” by the abuse directed mainly at England striker Emile Heskey and defender Ashley Cole from the stands. “This in a country aiming to get into the EU,” the papers exclaims. The paper goes on to criticise the authorities for not acting to stop the “booing idiots” during the match. “We didn’t act quickly enough and now we’ll have to take the consequences. ”

Blackout probe

A football game is also having implications off the pitch in Russia. The floodlight failure that abruptly cancelled Russia’s Euro 2004 qualifier with Georgia attracts widespread interest in the country’s media. The daily Gazeta reports how Georgian police began their investigation into the incident by tracking down two stadium mechanics, who turned out to be “not entirely sober”… “We didn’t act quickly enough and now we’ll have to take the consequences. ”

Blackout probe

A football game is also having implications off the pitch in Russia. The floodlight failure that abruptly cancelled Russia’s Euro 2004 qualifier with Georgia attracts widespread interest in the country’s media. The daily Gazeta reports how Georgian police began their investigation into the incident by tracking down two stadium mechanics, who turned out to be “not entirely sober”. However, despite feverish police activity, no evidence that the blackout was politically motivated has so far been uncovered. But, even so, as the government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports, the Georgians seem to have found a “scapegoat”. They are saying that the cause of the blackout was a Turkish-made stabiliser or transformer.

Scotland back on track?
BBC News – Oct 16, 2002
Benny Mackin, Australia

Hopefully now the fans and the media will get off Berti’s back. Before we started the Euro 2004 campaign we would have settled for four points from the first two games. That’s what we’ve got – albeit not the way we were expecting. This will now give Scotland some breathing space and it does put us in a good position for at least a play-off. Berti is going to have a very tough time trying to rebuild a squad and needs all the help (and time) he can get. It’s now up to the rest of Scotland to get behind him – this includes the clubs.

Football the new rugby in Wales?
BBC News – Oct 17, 2002
Has rugby been usurped by football in the hearts of the Welsh people? Or maybe you’ve always been a football person?

This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below. The rugby v football argument just should not exist as far as I am concerned – plain idiocy! I am a football man through and through but I still enjoy and admire a good game of union. Most of my closest friends are union lovers but that does not stop them appreciating football also. It’s this type of small-minded attitude that holds our country back. With a bit of luck the WRU and players can take some inspiration from Sparky and co (I know I did!) and turn around the ludicrous shambles that bestows the union game in Wales. I have just submitted my application for tickets to Wales’ games in the RWC ’03 despite the fact that to the Australians our team is a laughing stock and we are regarded as canon-fodder.

Latin loyalties tested in valleys
BBC News – Oct 16, 2002
Four thousand Italians are in Cardiff for what has been billed Wales’ biggest game in a decade – even though the competition is still in its early stages. If Wales lose, they will still be in with a chance of qualifying. But if they win, their entry to the tournament is not guaranteed either. Confidence is riding high on the back of a six-match unbeaten run under Wales manager Mark Hughes… Divided loyalties
Football writer Mario Risoli’s father, from Calabria, settled in the capital in 1963. “I was always aware of a Welsh-Italian culture – they settled all over south Wales,” he told BBC News Online. With Wales’ upturn in footballing fortunes, qualification for Euro 2004 would mean the first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Risoli’s book When Pele Broke Our Hearts documents that competition. Wales sneaked qualification through a play-off with Israel and left valiantly at the quarter-final to a Brazil goal. High hopes
But the new land of his father is not the one Risoli will support when it comes to the crunch at the Millennium Stadium. “If I have to chose, I’ll be supporting Italy because I grew up supporting Italy – I think a lot of Welsh-Italians will feel the same tonight,” he said.

Pick England’s starting XI
BBC News – Oct 15, 2002
It will be a travesty if Bridge doesn’t start on his home ground. Stephen Yolland, Australia

If the idea is to get Scholes to play in the “hole” you need a quick and versatile midfield that has good motors. While Cole is not the best defender he is more than adequate to do that role in midfield and use his considerable attacking prowess. Michael, Australia

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Sven should canvass the opinion of the teams most proven and dependable performers

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Isabelle Lheureux, Belgium

How about trying Tottenham’s Matthew Etherington on England’s left?
Geoff,
England

Vassel is very unlucky he looked amazing when he came on during the World Cup and I would play him instead of the immature Smith. I think Owen Hargreaves should play on the left. Nahied Mohammed, England

Sven should canvass the opinion of the teams most proven and dependable performers. Who does Scholes, Beckham and Owen think should fill the problematical left side roll?
Isabelle Lheureux, Belgium

Get rid of the loyalty factor and then England can become a challenging nation in Europe.

Heskey not fit for England
BBC News – Oct 16, 2002
Hopes are high in Wales that they can get a good result against the Italians, who have lost a number of players through injury before the match. The Republic of Ireland have a must-win showdown with Switzerland in Dublin, after losing their opening Euro 2004 qualifier 4-2 in Russia. Northern Ireland face another tough match after their 3-0 loss to Spain.

FA show solidarity with Eriksson’s management
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 17, 2002
The draw leaves England five points behind Turkey, the Group Seven leaders, and probably requiring the play-off route to reach Euro 2004, although Eriksson declared that England “will still win the group” and qualify automatically. “The FA’s position is simple: we are hugely supportive of Sven,” said Paul Barber, Soho Square’s director of marketing and communications. “He has done a great job… “He’s got the respect of the players and he’s a terrific person to work with. “Eriksson has a get-together next month – Premiership managers permitting – but must then wait until Feb 12 for England’s next gathering, a home friendly with either Denmark or Australia. Barber emphasised that Eriksson’s itinerary would not change. Eriksson was keen to get going again. “It would be good to have a game again,” said the Swede.

Eriksson applauds apology for monkey chants
Independent Online – Oct 15, 2002
Eriksson also reiterated that he has no plans to quit over the continuing media focus on his tangled private life. The Slovakian Football Association sent a letter of apology on Monday for the monkey chants and other racial taunts aimed at Emile Heskey and Ashley Cole during England’s 2-1 win on Saturday. “It is a nice gesture, that’s for sure,” Eriksson said at a news conference on the eve of Wednesday’s qualifying game against Macedonia. “More has to be done for the future… “It was maybe it was a free-kick and could be yellow card,” the coach said. “But if you comment on every tackle in a football game you would have to talk and write a lot. It was not a correct tackle but how many of those do you see? There was nothing to talk about. ”

Eriksson was again asked about the publication of TV personality Ulrika Jonsson’s kiss-and-tell memoirs about their secret affair earlier this year. There have been widespread reports that Eriksson, who lives with longtime Italian girlfriend Nancy Dall ‘Olio, might quit as a result of the continuing intrusion in his private life. “I have never thought about leaving because I’m a little bit stubborn,” he said. “As long as I can stand it I’ll stay here.

Giggs ends myth of lost England chance
Independent Online – Oct 15, 2002
I’m Welsh, end of story,” Giggs was reported on Tuesday as saying in Cardiff ahead of Wales’s Euro 2004 qualifier at home to Italy. “It’s the question that’s bugged me more than any other over the last 10 years,” added Giggs as he spoke to reporters from British national newspapers in Cardiff to cover Wednesday’s Group Nine match. The 28-year-old, however, was born in Cardiff but moved to Manchester with his family when he was a boy… The 28-year-old, however, was born in Cardiff but moved to Manchester with his family when he was a boy. He could not even qualify to play for England as both his parents and grandparents are Welsh. As if to rub in the point, Giggs said: “I’d rather go through my career with out qualifying for a major championship than play for a country where I wasn’t born or which my parents didn’t have anything to do with. ”

Giggs admitted that it does bother him to see Manchester United teammates of other nationalities reach and play in World Cup of European championship tournaments with their countries because he would love to do the same. This time, his hopes appear to have increased as part of a strong and balanced Welsh team given good chances of gettIng through to the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal, at least through a playoff.

Raul shows strain of punishing workload
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 16, 2002
Coach Inaki Saez had already stressed that Raul was not required in Logrono, but it was just as well that he was keen to try out some of the younger generation. Raul may be only 25, but in the last few months, worrying signs have emerged that Spain’s favourite son is suffering from burnout. It was all too obvious as he limped out of Madrid’s Barajas airport on Sunday morning. The Real Madrid striker’s absence was considered the main reason Spain failed to beat South Korea in the quarter-finals of last summer’s World Cup. A niggling groin strain sidelined him in Gwangju, and the injury has recurred this season… His latest disappointment came last Saturday, on what was supposed to be a day of celebration. With Northern Ireland in the role of sacrificial victims, the stage was set in Albacete for Raul to mark Spain’s second Euro 2004 qualifier with a 30th international goal which would have taken him to the top of his country’s scoring chart. Instead, he limped off in the second half with a thigh strain. Spain won easily enough, and should stroll through qualifying Group Six to take their place in Portugal in June 2004, but against the best defences in Europe a striker of Raul’s quality is a commodity they cannot do without. Real Madrid may have invested heavily in the best foreign talent, as the recruitment in successive seasons of Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo has shown. But Raul is still their greatest asset.

Italian coach’s job is on the line
Independent Online – Oct 15, 2002
Rudi Voeller’s team won 2-0 in Lithuania in their Euro 2004 campaign opener and will be without injured Dortmund defender Christoph Metzelder, although midfielders Michael Ballack and Dietmar Hamann return. Defender Christian Woerns was also given the green light to play after being sent off in Germany’s friendly at Bosnia. The other group match sees Lithuania travelling to Iceland. After their 2-1 weekend win in Slovakia, England will be full of confidence when they welcome Macedonia to Southampton. English coach Sven Goran Eriksson is expected to tinker with his midfield with Kieron Dyer possibly playing for Nicky Butt… Italian coach Trapattoni, on the other hand, is facing all sorts of problems ahead of his team’s tough Group Nine match in Wales. The veteran boss was met with massive criticism – headlines like “Enough Trapattoni! Bring back (former coach Dino) Zoff” (Corriere dello Sport) – after Italy were held to a 1-1 home draw against Yugoslavia. Not making his cause against Wales any easier is a rash of injuries – the latest which sees striker Massimo Maccarone replacing in-form AC Milan ace Filippo Inzaghi, out with a left foot injury.

Slovak officials ask fans to behave
Independent Online – Oct 16, 2002
It called on soccer officials, players, referees and fans to prevent “individuals hidden in a crowd from doing what is foreign and unacceptable to the majority of citizens of our country. ”

The appeal also said everyone should realise that soccer is a sport involving people “without difference of color, religion or political convictions” and urged referees to help stop such phenomena at stadiums… The Slovak soccer association has already apologised to its English counterpart and condemned racism at soccer stadiums or outside of them. On Wednesday, the association’s general secretary, Dusan Tittel, said what happened was done by a group of individuals, “it was not the whole stand, nor the whole stadium. ”

As a result, Tittel said, Slovakia as a country should not be judged based on the behavior of a group of people, the same way as England is not judged based on soccer hooligans there. Uefa, the European soccer body, scheduled a hearing on November 21 to consider what sanctions to impose on the Slovaks.

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