Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 20, 2002

Matyus believes Hibs have what it takes

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 8:05 am

The News Review:

* Coaching’s offside trap
* Who should take Seaman’s shirt?
* Welsh football: The new national sport?
* Matyus believes Hibs have what it takes
* Philip on Saturday: FA need a zero-tolerance policy
* Wales: an apology
* Worthy ‘not putting pressure on Kenton’
* Gerrard ruled out of Champions League clash
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Pires says injury made him stronger
* Uefa in racism clampdown
* British sport: Ask Trevor Brooking
* For the Better | News | Other Sports | Sport | Telegraph
* Elvis tipped to lead Scotland
* Kevin is out to break his old firm duck
* Green targets clean-sheet record
* Irish soccer’s offside
* Young gun primed for action

Coaching’s offside trap
The Age – Oct 20, 2002
There are only two types of coaches: those who have been sacked and those who are going to be sacked. These words would hardly be comforting to the likes of Sven-Goran Eriksson and Mick McCarthy at the moment but Dyer’s homespun fatalism about top-level coaching rings equally true in the brutal world of European soccer management. In Britain, however, the power to fire, if not to hire, seems to reside not with ruthless administrators of the late Graeme Richmond’s ilk, but with the acid-penned press scribes. For England boss Eriksson, his pre-World Cup honeymoon is over. Then, he could do no wrong. Feted by press and public alike, the Sven-gali had picked up the tattered reins from Kevin Keegan and unexpectedly guided England into the finals… No matter that until Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat at Lansdowne Road by Switzerland, McCarthy’s teams had never lost a competitive match at home during his six years in charge. No matter that he had steered Ireland through qualification to the World Cup finals and galvanised the squad in the aftermath of the Roy Keane bust-up to make a spirited charge into the last 16. Despite defeat in both of the Republic’s Euro 2004 qualifiers – Ireland lost to Russia last month – McCarthy’s record stands up alongside the best in Europe. But still they want him out. Why? Well, it’s not spelt out, but the subtext is that he’s not really one of them, to be sure, to be sure. The no-nonsense central defender might have won 57 caps and been captain for much of the successful Jack Charlton era, but that was when anyone with a grandmother who drank stout could qualify for the Irish team. McCarthy’s feud with Keane, the country’s best, albeit most volatile, player, is at the root of this relentless anti-Mick press campaign.

Who should take Seaman’s shirt?
BBC News – Oct 18, 2002
Robinson is clearly the best around and Martyn second – can’t see any grounds for discussion. Don Carr,

Seaman has had his day and it’s time for some fresh blood. Robinson should be in net gaining experience for Euro 2004. Please don’t put that donkey James in net!
Max, England

It is annoying that so-called experts in the game are saying Seaman should stay because the alternatives are not there. In sport, you cannot hide and certainly after great service for his country it is painful that the vast majority of the public can see he is passed his best… When are these keepers like Kirkland and Wright ever going to experience senior international football if not now, before it’s too late. Seaman must go now to pave the way for them. James is just not good enough and Martyn will be a good substitute if England should need him. Zed, Malaysia

People all too quickly forget all that David Seaman has done for England. He is a great keeper (coming from a Chelsea fan this is some compliment). However, now is time to move forward – to look to Euro 2004 – give the likes of Paul Robinson a go now so he has time to gel with the team in time for the tournament itself. Lesley, England

England would be crazy to give the place to Wright.

Welsh football: The new national sport?
BBC News – Oct 18, 2002
For a nation long regarded a footballing backwater, manager Mark Hughes’ seven-match unbeaten streak has stirred new hope. Meanwhile, rugby languishes in a prolonged depressed state, with repeated wrangling over the structure to bring national success and First Minister Rhodri Morgan warning the oval ball could soon be overtaken by the round. So do Hughes rejuvenating efforts show football is usurping rugby’s status as the national sport? Are Simon Davies and his other starlets the new “great redeemers” or does the 15-man sport retain its place in the nation’s heart?
This Talking Point is now closed. It is about time that more money was put into ALL Welsh sport… Rugby is my number one sport, but I support everyone who competes in the red of Wales. Rugby is only popular in South Wales, football is popular throughout the country and should therefore be considered our national sport. It is only southern-based media men that have been banging on about rugby for the last 40 odd years. I wish the rugby team well, I want any team representing Wales to win, but the fact is football is played the length and breadth of this country whereas Rugby has always been restricted to the M4 corridor and the Valleys.

Matyus believes Hibs have what it takes
Edinburgh Evening News – Oct 18, 2002
We were in trouble then but since that night things have changed dramatically. It was important in our next game, away to Celtic, that we showed we had the character and, despite the result, I think we did that. “We’ve won our last three games and if the performances have perhaps not been the greatest the results have been more important. I wasn’t at the club at the time but I’m told that in the first couple of games we played better but lost. “It’s better to play badly and win than play well and lose. “Another win tomorrow could perhaps take us into the top half of the table and I can see us ending up fourth or even third. I said as much when I signed because it is a big club and it should always be in the top four at least… “I’ve been working hard with the manager, he’s very good. I can learn a lot from him and he has already taught me a couple of things. It’s been a good start to Euro 2004 for Hungary, we are top of our group, and having played in all of our World Cup qualifying matches I want to be part of this campaign. “We’ve got a number of international players which proves we have a good squad and there’s others who are injured like Freddy Arpinon and John O’Neil whom I haven’t yet seen play and Mathias Jack, who has been injured since the Dunfermline game, to return to the squad. “I think that proves we have a pretty good squad. I’m really hopeful that everything will come right and that a place in the UEFA Cup isn’t beyond us.

Redissue – Oct 18, 2002
Mick McCarthy repeated last night that he would not be driven away from his job as manager but, after another day of bloodthirsty headlines, it is apparent that the chain of events that would lead to Keane’s return is not far away. “Despite his public utterances McCarthy would not dispute in private that, if a Premiership job became available before Ireland’s Euro 2004 qualifying matches against Georgia and Albania next March and early April, he would happily sever his ties with a nation that shows signs of turning against him. “That, in turn, would prompt the Football Association of Ireland to invite Keane back; his adviser Michael Kennedy has acknowledged it is an offer his client would find hard to turn down. However unfair it is on McCarthy, what was a minor possibility a few months ago has become a major probability. ” However McCarthy insisted: “I have got a contract until 2004 and unless someone tells me differently I’ll keep fighting on. “Why should I walk away? Myself and the players have always given everything to this and I don’t think I should change.

Philip on Saturday: FA need a zero-tolerance policy – Oct 18, 2002
Eric Cantona, for one, served eight months on the sidelines for aiming a Kung-Fu drop-kick at a fan, while the legendary Rangers and Scotland centre-half, Willie Woodburn, was banned sine die in 1954 for the now trivial indiscretion of being sent off for the fourth time in his career. “I couldn’t believe my ears,” said Woodburn when sentence was passed. I suspect Keane also could not believe his ears when he was granted such leniency. The Singing Cowboy will be sitting round a celestial campfire a strummin’ and a croonin’ this evening when his beloved Angels (the baseball-playing version rather than the winged variety) play their opening… While David Seaman was humming Over my shoulder goes one goal against less-than-mighty Macedonia (how the pony-tailed lad must have wished he had retired following a similar embarrassment against Ronaldinho in the World Cup), the footballing Red Dragons were outplaying Italy in their Euro 2004 qualifier in the Millennium Stadium. Like the Republic of Ireland under Jack Charlton, the Welsh have few genuine superstars – Ryan Giggs apart, I hasten to add – but have discovered that passion, team-work and sheer hard graft are every bit as important as silky skills, for which much of the credit for Wales’ emergence is undoubtedly due to coach Mark Hughes. During his playing days with Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson rightly described him as “a warrior you could trust with your life”, so it comes as no surprise to see this unheralded Welsh squad playing for their lives under Hughes’s gaze. It is 44 years since a John Charles-inspired Wales reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 World Cup in Sweden and who could fail to be thrilled by the prospect of Giggs performing in the European Championship finals in Portugal two years hence?To this day, George Best regrets he never represented Northern Ireland in a major championship finals and it would be cruel in the extreme if such a fate were to befall Giggs. With Ireland in seemingly inexorable decline, it is sad their wondrous fans may be absent during the festivities in Portugal, but it would be nice to think the massed Welsh choirs will be there to bring a sense of unbridled joy to the occasion.

Wales: an apology
Guardian Unlimited – Oct 19, 2002
In 1416, when Owen Glendower mysteriously disappeared, our obituary was not favourable. “Verily, his rebellion brought ruin to his benighted land,” concluded the obituarist under the headline “Prince of Wails”. Thereafter, coverage was patchy: the language was impenetrable; cosmopolitan critics never understood their poets’ preference for long cloaks and large chairs; male voice choirs and Harry Secombe were acquired tastes. Welsh culture was summarily dismissed… Following Wales’s magnificent 2-1 victory over Italy (a result that will be hymned by bards for generations), we must make good these six centuries of vilification. Owain Glyndwr was a heroic leader of an oppressed people; a country that invented the harp has a secure place in any cultural history; ditto a gastronomy that perfected the bakestone; How Green Was My Valley was so good it was rightly awarded the Oscar for best film in 1941 (beating Citizen Kane); Rowan Williams is an inspiration, as to many are Shirley Bassey and Charlotte Church. With England struggling to make Euro 2004, we may all need Mark Hughes’s heroes; we may even need Max Boyce, who will undoubtedly be there. Wales, we salute you.

Worthy ‘not putting pressure on Kenton’ – Oct 19, 2002
There certainly hasn’t been any deadline imposed. “Worthington remains optimistic that talks will have a positive conclusion, adding: “I’m very hopeful Darren will sign a new contract with the club. “Meanwhile, Worthington will be keeping his fingers “firmly crossed” that there are no fresh injury worries when two of his star players take to the Euro 2004 qualifying stage tonight. Key midfielder Phil Mulryne and leading scorer Paul McVeigh are expected to figure again in Northern Ireland’s Group Six match against Ukraine – on the same night that forward Mark Rivers makes his comeback from hamstring trouble in City Reserves’ game against Swindon at Carrow Road (7. Worthington can afford no new injury alarms – with striker Zema Abbey ruled out of the reserve game by a fresh injury and Alex Notman still not ready to return after a month out with ankle ligament damage. Abbey has picked up a slight calf strain in training and will miss the chance to top up his match fitness following his 14-month absence… Key midfielder Phil Mulryne and leading scorer Paul McVeigh are expected to figure again in Northern Ireland’s Group Six match against Ukraine – on the same night that forward Mark Rivers makes his comeback from hamstring trouble in City Reserves’ game against Swindon at Carrow Road (7. Worthington can afford no new injury alarms – with striker Zema Abbey ruled out of the reserve game by a fresh injury and Alex Notman still not ready to return after a month out with ankle ligament damage. Abbey has picked up a slight calf strain in training and will miss the chance to top up his match fitness following his 14-month absence. “It’s one of those typical scenarios – you’re out for 12, 14 months and you get these little tweaks, little bits and pieces like this,” said Worthington. He’s just got a slight calf strain and, hopefully, he’ll be back with us at the start of next week.

Gerrard ruled out of Champions League clash – Oct 20, 2002
He will be sorely missed at Wednesday’s tie in Moscow, a game Liverpool realistically have to win to ensure they have any hope of qualifying for the last 16 of the competition. However, there was some good news for manager Gerard Houllier as Emile Heskey and Vladimir Smicer have both been passed fit to play. Heskey missed the Euro 2004 qualifier against Macedonia with a groin strain and was not even named in the substitutes yesterday but he has been declared fit enough to travel to Moscow. Smicer has also fully recovered from a broken toe. Despite the injury problems, Houllier is confident Liverpool can get a result. “A good result in Moscow would be history – no British team has won there against Spartak. It is like when we went to Kiev at the same time last year and became the first British side to win there.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Oct 18, 2002
Defensive frailities, particularly those of 39-year-old keeper David Seaman, returned to haunt England as the hosts twice trailed a country ranked 90th in the world. With midfielder Steven Gerrard carried off on a stretcher and striker Michael Owen?s only strike being disallowed, all it needed to complete a dismal night for England was a red card. Striker Alan Smith duly obliged in the closing minutes, clattering needlessly into an opponent to collect a second yellow card. The result at St Mary?s left England with four points in Group Seven after Saturday?s comeback victory in Slovakia ? five adrift of Turkey, who have played a game more… Striker Alan Smith duly obliged in the closing minutes, clattering needlessly into an opponent to collect a second yellow card. The result at St Mary?s left England with four points in Group Seven after Saturday?s comeback victory in Slovakia ? five adrift of Turkey, who have played a game more. Though England?s backs are not yet against the wall, their hopes of qualifying automatically for Portugal are already fading just five days into a year-long campaign. Eriksson?s warning: Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson had warned on Friday that England should not take the smaller teams lightly, saying dropped points against them ? rather than in the head-to-heads with Turkey ? could decide who finish top of the group and who go into the play-offs. That warning may yet prove prophetic as, on this form, England will struggle to get more than two points from their home and away encounters with the World Cup semi-finalists. Eriksson remains upbeat about England?s chances but there are clear signs that the media, whose antagonism has proved fatal for previous England managers, are turning against him. ?It was a bad result for us, but life goes on,? the Swede told reporters.

Pires says injury made him stronger
Independent Online – Oct 19, 2002
“He will then be at his best mentally and physically. I mean to talk to the manager about it pretty soon,” Wenger said. But Pires said he was ready to return and play a leading role in France’s Euro 2004 campaign. France’s next qualifier takes place in March but the French will play at least two friendlies in the meantime, which Wenger would obviously like Pires to miss. “If I must become a leader in France’s squad, it will happen naturally and slowly,” Pires said. “It’s not my style to come and destroy everything. But I intend to have my say in the life of Les Bleus,” he added… But I intend to have my say in the life of Les Bleus,” he added. Wenger said Pires had also been badly missed by Arsenal but that his absence had spurred the rest of the team into trying even harder. “Robert has not had to deal with doubts in recent months. His return will be very positive for France. “It’s different with Arsenal. With us, Robert was even more important than he was with France. “But his absence multiplied everybody’s fighting spirit.

Uefa in racism clampdown
BBC News – Oct 20, 2002
Europe’s governing body has come under severe criticism from some quarters in the past week for not dealing with the problem seriously enough. “Punishment for life is a definite thing and doesn’t give any chance of anyone correcting their way of behaving,” said Uefa chief executive Gerhard Aigner… “Although players or officials may have made declarations to the media after the game when it comes to witnessing and providing evidence there is little response. “So we cannot just base it on media reports. ”

Aigner added that it was not only the football authorities that had to take action. “We will do what we have done in the past and hope that the government and the police forces will continue to support us,” he said. “But we also have to acknowledge there seems to be a lack of education among young people in society.

British sport: Ask Trevor Brooking
BBC News – Oct 18, 2002
In some of the European countries that British clubs have visited and then the English team – I certainly heard the chants, particularly in the second half against Slovakia. I think we’re a little bit fortunate in this country from the point of view that we had that problem quite a few years ago and have worked hard to reduce it. I’m not trying to kid anyone that it’s eradicated even over here but it has been significantly reduced. A lot of players feel very strongly about it. I was very lucky at West Ham, when I was a youngster, we had three or four black players – Clive Best in particular who came from Bermuda and was one of the first black players in this country. It’s worrying and frustrating – I think this year abroad it’s been more noticeable in large sections of the crowd – not just isolated shouts. Newshost: Justin Edison, London: All my friends who watched the live telecast of England v Slovakia last week commented that neither you or John Motson mentioned the racist abuse directed at our black players… But probably the big argument is – who with and because nobody has put themselves forward as the obvious replacement, they’ve hesitated about making the change. But I think now the momentum will build up for the next game. The next person will have to get in place and get the confidence because if you do qualify for Euro 2004 you’ve got to go in with somebody who has a few games under his belt. Newshost: News 24 have been running a online vote on whether it’s time for a new keeper – 28,000 votes cast – 80% in favour of a new goalie, 20% think England should stick with David Seaman. My thanks to our guest Trevor Brooking and to all of you for all your questions.

For the Better | News | Other Sports | Sport | Telegraph – Oct 18, 2002
With all the speculation about David Seaman and whether it was his last game for England, Ladbrokes significantly offer 2-1 against Seaman starting in goal in the next qualifier, away to Liechtenstein next March. The performance of the week in European football was that of Wales, who are still third favourites in their group at 11-4 behind Italy, the 5-4 favourites despite the loss in Cardiff, and Yugoslavia, who few have mentioned as serious challengers in this group. Nevertheless, Wales, who have won their first two games, have a great chance of reaching the finals.

Elvis tipped to lead Scotland
Edinburgh Evening News – Oct 19, 2002
” Boss Craig Levein said Pressley’s recall was fully justified. Since I have been here Elvis has been our most consistent player,” he said. “To his credit he didn’t say a word about not being selected for Scotland in the past and showed a lot of dignity in the situation. “He was determined, though, to prove himself on the park and answer those who felt he was not good enough at international level. He produced two great displays last week and hopefully he will now be one of the first names on Bert Vogts’ team sheet. ” Levein, meanwhile, will welcome back goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie from injury for tomorrow’s clash with Celtic.

Kevin is out to break his old firm duck
Edinburgh Evening News – Oct 18, 2002
“Celtic are the kind of team who can really pump teams on their day but we have the players to compete with them but we all know that everyone of us has to perform on Sunday if we are to stand a chance of taking anything from the game. ” This weekend sees the SPL return to business following the break for international commitments. And while he watched on television on Saturday as Tynecastle team-mates Steven Pressley and Scott Severin helped Scotland get their Euro 2004 qualifying bid back on track with an impressive victory in Iceland, McKenna himself was back in the thick of the action on Tuesday when the Scots took on Canada at Easter Road in the second part of a quickfire double-header. However, Dunfermline star Stevie Crawford made sure it was a miserable night for the Canukes, his brace alongside Steven Thompson’s strike helping Berti Vogts record his second successive victory with a 3-1 win. Although disappointed with the outcome, McKenna felt the friendly was a useful exercise. But he wants to help make up for the setback by helping the Jambos continue their good start to the season against the Parkhead outfit. “I enjoyed the Scotland game although losing three goals wasn’t the nicest experience,” he said… But we have made some changes and despite the result I think we can take a few positives from the game. “It was a bit strange playing against Elvis and to be honest it sometimes didn’t feel that competitive a match. I enjoyed the atmosphere if not the result. “But that’s in the past now and it’s time to concentrate on the Celtic game. It will be good to get back into league action again and we’ll be looking to continue our form at home which has been pretty decent this season. ” If Craig Levein’s side can reproduce the sort of display which pushed Rangers all the way at Ibrox last month, there is every reason to believe his players may take something from Sunday’s encounter. Despite eventually going down 2-0, the Jambos tested their Govan hosts to the full with a display which suggested they had finally perhaps shrugged of the inferiority complex which tends to afflict teams when they tackle the Old Firm superstars.

Green targets clean-sheet record – Oct 18, 2002
Another shut-out against Millwall tomorrow and the youngster will have set an all-time City record of eight in 13. But as a member of the goalkeeper’s union he remains well of aware of how the fortunes of the man between the sticks can fluctuate, and felt for the veteran England star as he watched Artim Saliki’s 11th minute corner fly over his head and into the back of the net. “It’s a one-off mistake and I’m sure he’ll bounce back from it,” said Green, part of a huge armchair audience for the Euro 2004 qualifier at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium. “It’s just one of those things that happens from time to time. It’s never happened to me personally and hopefully it never will. ” Green, whose clean handling has been one of the features of his excellent start to the season that has seen him concede just seven league goals, realised Seaman was in trouble as soon he saw him slightly out of position – and has a number of theories as to why he got it wrong. “I don’t think people realise just how hard some players strike corners nowadays,” he said… On four previous occasions in the club’s 100-year history one of his predecessors has kept seven clean sheets in 12 games, most recently in the 1996-97 campaign when Bryan Gunn was in goal, but each time 13 has been an unlucky number. The 22-year-old stopper certainly hopes that won’t be the case this time around. “It’s not something I knew about to be honest but it would be nice to get it,” he said. “Last season I was one game away from getting the record number of clean sheets in a row (five matches) and missed out when I let in a penalty so hopefully it will work out differently this time. “But it’s not something that’s too important – if we win 2-1 on Saturday I’ll be happy enough. “Having said that Green admits that keeping the opposition at bay gives him a buzz – and was quick to praise the role of his outfield colleagues in making the Canaries such a tight defensive unit this season. “I’d certainly like to beat the number of clean sheets we kept as a team last season which I think was something around 18.

Irish soccer’s offside
The Observer – Oct 20, 2002
And the maxim applies equally to North as to South. Last Wednesday in my local pub I happen to notice a couple of Northern Ireland supporters watching the Republic’s Euro 2004 qualifier against Switzerland. Some of these fans are unionists with a small u, and one happens to be sympathiser of the Progressive Unionist Party. Yet here they were in a bar full of Republic supporters when instead they should have been cheering Northern Ireland on in their European clash with the Ukraine at Windsor Park… These refuseniks all had something in common – they are Glentoran fanatics, and, as I only learned recently, the Glens hardcore don’t like to spend money at Windsor Park, except when their side is playing there, of course. Windsor is home to Linfield, a team the Glenmen appear to hate more than Cliftonville, Celtic or possibly even Crossmaglen Rangers. Rather than add to the gate receipts for international games, some of which ends up in Linfield’s bank account, some Glens fanatics boycott home matches. One Glentoran supporter I know, who shall just be called ‘Pootsy’, told me: ‘I’d rather go on a winter holiday to watch Northern Ireland in Cyprus than give money to them Linfield b******.

Young gun primed for action – Oct 18, 2002
“I’ll assess it but it’s maybe a little bit too soon,” he said. “In saying that he did very well for the reserves, but after being out for four or five weeks he really does need some fitness work inside him. “Some good news for City fans is that both Paul McVeigh and Phil Mulryne came through Northern Ireland’s Euro 2004 qualifier with Ukraine with a clean bill of health. McVeigh played 65 minutes of Wednesday’s goalless draw in Belfast before being replaced by Hearts’ Andy Kirk while Mulryne came off in injury time – but neither substitution was down to injuries. “I spoke to the two boys this morning and they are fit and well,” said their club manager yesterday. City’s reserve side against Swindon: Crichton, Sutch, Heckingbottom, Woodrow, Fleming (Shackell, 60 min), Crane, Rivers (Self, 75 min), Henderson, Llewellyn (Hayes, 72 min), Sinclair, Batt. Sub (not used) Lee-Barrett… “I spoke to the two boys this morning and they are fit and well,” said their club manager yesterday. City’s reserve side against Swindon: Crichton, Sutch, Heckingbottom, Woodrow, Fleming (Shackell, 60 min), Crane, Rivers (Self, 75 min), Henderson, Llewellyn (Hayes, 72 min), Sinclair, Batt. Sub (not used) Lee-Barrett. The last remaining home tickets for tomorrow’s game with Millwall have been snapped up, making it seven straight sell-outs in league matches at Carrow Road this season. With the visitors expected to bring around 1000 supporters with them a crowd of around 20,500 is anticipated.

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