Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 23, 2002

Van Nistelrooy targets Villa

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 3:54 pm

The News Review:

* England rise in FIFA rankings
* Owen finds perfect riposte
* ‘Everton shock at the root of Arsenal defeat’
* Van Nistelrooy targets Villa
* Houllier ready to act over racism
* Wales leap up Fifa rankings
* Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific
* BBC SPORT | TV & Radio | World Football | Losing streak
* England is ‘nation of hooligans’

England rise in FIFA rankings – Oct 23, 2002
Scotland are now 55th in the table, one place above Euro 2004 rivals Iceland. The upturn is the first time Scotland has not dropped in the rankings since Berti Vogts took over as manager in March. Brazil remain top of the rankings, although France have closed the gap on the World Cup winners to 65 points. Italy’s indifferent form has seen them slip out of the top 10. The Azzurri were sixth at the end of 2001 but have dropped down the rankings to 11th.

Owen finds perfect riposte – Oct 22, 2002
Owen failed to get on to the scoresheet at Anfield three weeks ago as Liverpool, inspired by another England striker, Emile Heskey, thrashed Spartak 5-0 to get their faltering Group B campaign back on track. This second win was more workmanlike but equally impressive as Liverpool refused to let the shock of an early setback shake them from the belief that they had the measure of their opponents. Gerard Houllier, who rested Owen at Leeds on Saturday after an exhausting run of seven matches, was delighted with his striker’s response… “I remember that over a month ago he was getting a lot of stick for not scoring, but he scores important goals for us. “Liverpool could have been two goals in front before Alexander Danishevskiy fired Spartak into a surprise lead midway through the first half after being neatly teed up by Alexander Sonin. Milan Baros, nominated as Owen’s strike partner by Houllier, who chose to deploy the fit-gain Heskey on the left flank, squandered two glorious opportunities, firstly when a Danny Murphy corner landed at his feet inside the six-yard box and then when Owen located him in space on the 18-yard line. Briefly it appeared Liverpool would pay a high price for that profligacy but the Premiership leaders were behind for only six minutes. The equaliser was due to splendid work down the right by Jamie Carragher, who looked up before crossing perfectly on to the head of the unmarked Owen, who directed the ball past goalkeeper Maxym Lvitsky and into the far corner of the net.

‘Everton shock at the root of Arsenal defeat’
Independent Online – Oct 23, 2002
Auxerre’s 2-1 Champions League victory at Highbury on Tuesday followed Arsenal’s defeat by the same score at Everton on Saturday, shattering the all-conquering reputation of Arsene Wenger’s English Double winners. Wenger attributed the Auxerre loss, which left Arsenal still needing a point to guarantee their progress to the second group stage of the Champions League, in part to the Everton defeat, Arsenal’s first in 31 premier league games. “At the start you could see we had not got over shock of Saturday,” the Frenchman told reporters after a miserable 53rd birthday. We paid for it at the start of the game. ”

Arsenal conceded two goals in the first 28 minutes against a slick Auxerre side and striker Thierry Henry, who set up their only reply scored by Nwankwo Kanu after 53 minutes, complained of fatigue… ”


England goalkeeper David Seaman was once again pilloried by several tabloid newspapers on Wednesday, although the 39-year-old could do little about either of Auxerre’s goals. The first was a beautifully struck, curling effort by Olivier Kapo, the second an athletic finish by Senegal international Khalilou Fadiga. After 16-year-old Wayne Rooney’s wonder strike that gave Everton their win on Saturday and Slovakian Artim Sakiri’s goal past Seaman direct from a corner in last Wednesday’s Euro 2004 qualifier, Seaman must be wondering what has hit him. Wenger will stand by his ageing number one although the Frenchman, like England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson, will have to address the issue of finding a permanent successor in goal sooner rather than later. The one bright spot on Tuesday was the encouraging 18-minute substitute appearance of French midfielder Robert Pires after his seven-month lay-off due to a serious knee injury. Pires needs several matches to recover his match sharpness and the good news for him, if not his jaded team mates, is that he will have ample opportunity in the coming month. By the time Arsenal play north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Highbury on November 16 Arsenal will have played an exhausting nine games in 29 days.

Van Nistelrooy targets Villa
BBC News – Oct 22, 2002
The Dutchman has not played since scoring in United’s 3-0 win against Everton on 7 October, but plans to resume training later this week. He missed last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham and the Netherlands’ 3-0 Euro 2004 qualifier win in Austria… The Dutchman has not played since scoring in United’s 3-0 win against Everton on 7 October, but plans to resume training later this week. He missed last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham and the Netherlands’ 3-0 Euro 2004 qualifier win in Austria.

Houllier ready to act over racism – Oct 21, 2002
Maybe one day a club will be banned, though I admit that it can be difficult for clubs if their fans are doing the [racist] shouting. Having rested England’s other main striker, Michael Owen, for most of… Steven Gerrard has not travelled because of the hip injury he sustained on England duty, so the midfield quartet is likely to be the same as at Elland Road, as is the defensive line which is denied the services of Stephane Henchoz after his calf surgery. Houllier wants Liverpool to emulate their last visit to the former Soviet Union a year ago, only days after he had undergone emergency heart surgery, coincidentally after a match against Leeds. “No English team had won away to Dynamo Kiev until we went there and no English club have yet beaten Spartak in Moscow. We want history to be repeated. “History is being repeated.

Wales leap up Fifa rankings
BBC News – Oct 23, 2002
The famous 2-1 victory over Italy in the Euro 2004 Group Nine qualifier has moved Wales up 15 places to 61st position. But the result at the Millennium Stadium has cost Italy their place in the top 10. The Azzurri have dropped one place to 11th. For the second successive month, Wales are the most progressive side in the top 100. Group 9 fixtures and results


Sept 7: Azerbaijan 0-2 Italy, Finland 0-2 WALES

Oct 12: Italy 1-1 Yugoslavia, Finland 3-0 Azerbaijan

Oct 16: WALES 2-1 Italy

Nov 20:Azerbaijan v WALES


Mar 29:WALES v Azerbaijan, Italy v Finland

Apr 2: Yugoslavia v WALES

Apr 30: Azerbaijan v Yugoslavia

June 7: Finland v Yugoslavia

June 11: Finland v Italy, Yugoslavia v Azerbaijan

Sept 6: Azerbaijan v Finland, Italy v WALES

Sept 10: WALES v Finland, Yugoslavia v Italy

Oct 11: Italy v Azerbaijan, WALES v Yugoslavia

Said manager Mark Hughes: “I can’t really take credit for the jump up in places because in the past I haven’t really taken much notice of the rankings… John Hartson, who is struggling for a place in the Celtic team, has reportedly attracted interest from two Italian Serie A clubs. “I know John is frustrated at not playing but he loves Celtic Football Club,” Hughes told BBC Sport Online. “I think it’ll take a lot for him to move. In an ideal world all our players would be playing week-in-week-out. “It can be very hard when you’re training all week but have nothing at the end to play for.

Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific – Oct 23, 2002
No discouragementLeotar, champions of the country’s Serbian enclave last season, have made a strong start to life in the 20-team competition which unites Bosnia’s two ethnic groups. Mile Jovin’s side were obviously undeterred by their defeat by FK Zeljeznicar in the national cup tournament last term – and more than any team seem determined to make a success of the joint league which has been brokered by FIFA and UEFA. Fast-track to the topThe club from the town of Trebinje are one of six new Premier League members and have responded by winning eight of their first 12 games. The fast-tracking of a team which spent 30 years in the old Yugoslavian second division has not surprised football watchers in Bosnia, however… Somehow this makes this season even more interesting because at the end six clubs will be relegated. Because we are favourites, there will not be an easy game for us with everyone wanting to beat us. ”
National recognitionNor has Leotar’s progress gone unnoticed by Bosnia-Herzegovnian national coach Blaz Sliškovic, who handed a first call-up to midfield players Branislav Krunic and Sinisa Mulina for the recent EURO 2004™ qualifier against Norway and friendly international against Germany. They were the first players from the Serbian community to play for the country. Football feverNot surprisingly, Trebinje now finds itself in the grip of football fever. By then the local heroes might even have become national ones.

BBC SPORT | TV & Radio | World Football | Losing streak
BBC News – Oct 22, 2002
“The problem is that at the moment even the worst, smallest countries beat us” said another. “We don’t expect to qualify, but at least at home we should win or get a 0-0 draw”. Not many supporters come to watch Luxembourg, but there are a few. I asked them what makes them keep coming back for more. “I come because I am a fanatic – one of the last in Luxembourg… “No, no” said another. “When we lost at home against the Faroe Islands – that was terrible!”. Luxembourg’s qualification campaign for Euro 2004 began in Copenhagen. A single bus was laid on to transport the media, the football federation and all the fans to the ground. And there was plenty of room for everyone. Luxembourg don’t take many fans away – and for good reason. Of the 182 qualifying matches they’ve ever played, they’ve won just six.

England is ‘nation of hooligans’ – Oct 23, 2002
Frantisek Laurinec said he had taken exception to reports which branded his countrymen racist following the the taunting of Ashley Cole and Emile Heskey during the Euro 2004 qualifier in Bratislava on Oct 12. “I don’t agree that we are a nation of racists, but if we are we would have to label English people as a nation of hooligans,” he said. The court in Vienna heard that engineers Nathan Barras, 27, and Peter Dyer, 43, as well as welder Daniel Allot, 21, factory worker Andrew McNee, 18, and student Paul Hartley, 18, – all from Burnley – had all admitted destruction of public and private property but escaped assault charges as none of the police they clashed with were hurt… The court in Vienna heard that engineers Nathan Barras, 27, and Peter Dyer, 43, as well as welder Daniel Allot, 21, factory worker Andrew McNee, 18, and student Paul Hartley, 18, – all from Burnley – had all admitted destruction of public and private property but escaped assault charges as none of the police they clashed with were hurt. All five said they could not remember the incident but admitted they had been drinking heavily and had woken up in police custody the following morning.

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