Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 10, 2002

Gerrard desperate to repay national debt

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 5:04 am

The News Review:

* EURO 2004: England
* McCarthy unsettled by talk of witch-hunt
* Scotland find their form
* Gerrard desperate to repay national debt
* Bonhof sets out to build for future
* Helen Rollason Award: Jane Tomlinson
* Up close and personal
* Owen rescues England | England | International | Football | Sport |…
* Two fans shot in trouble outside England hotel
* Another big decision looms over Malta FA president Joe Mifsud

EURO 2004: England
Squarefootball – Dec 10, 2002
The truth is that although England always leave their worst results for the finals (since they started entering in 1964 England have only failed to reach the finals once) this squad can travel to Portugal with the best ever chance of success. If England don?t reach the final it should be seen as a failure, there is no outstanding European team and this England line-up has coveted players in every position and barely a weak spot. The team just about picks itself, there may be some competition between Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge for left back, and between Frank Lampard and Nicky Butt for a fourth midfield spot but beyond that the team is happy and quietly confident. If England are ever going to win a major tournament its this one… Behind him Paul Robinson and Ian Walker were both relegated behind dreadful defences ? hardly the biggest morale booster. Its unfortunate that injury problems for Chris Kirkland and Richard Wright have meant they had to miss out, and possibly more crucially that Nigel Martyn turned down the chance to travel to maintain his club place. If James gets injured England will not win the tournament. In defence the loss of the mobile and quick Rio Ferdinand is mostly offset by the pairing of Terry and Campbell. Ferdinand would probably still get into this team ? but he?s not the automatic pick any more. At full-back Gary Neville is very consistent in big games, and there is real competition at left back between Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge. Cole will probably start but Bridge may continue the progress he has made at Chelsea and force his way into the team.

McCarthy unsettled by talk of witch-hunt – Dec 10, 2002
There was an anti-McCarthy lobby even when everything was hunky-dory. But now that he has fallen out, terminally, with Ireland’s greatest-ever player and lost the opener in the Euro 2004 qualifiers – and lost badly, never mind that it was in Russia – they have live ammunition to fire. Worse still, he knows that rolling the Swiss over will not placate them. There is also the small consideration that with a Premiership club he could command a wage twice as big as his present £350,000 salary. Asked if he now had an unsettled manager on his hands, Brendan Menton, the FAI general secretary told The Sunday Telegraph, “I’m not commenting on that. The World Cup situation has lingered on in Ireland for various reasons, but there will come a time when everybody will move on because the most important thing is to qualify for the European finals. “We’re more than happy with Mick.

Scotland find their form – Dec 10, 2002
Vogts had preached the need to start the game positively following the disaster in Toftir, in which a primary school teacher had netted twice in the first 12 minutes. And his instructions were carried out to the letter as the Scots had much the better of the first half and survived some second period pressure to ride out the home side’s threat. Dailly’s early breakthrough was an important settling factor of course and came after careless defending by Atli Edvaldsson’s men. Centre-back Steven Pressley, who was making his first start, had almost got there before Dailly when he connected with a Naysmith corner… Ross played the ball in from the right and the Everton man, with his back to goal, took it down with his right boot before using that “other” leg again to fire past Arason on the turn. It was a first ever Scotland goal for the injury-plagued wing-back, who had had to pull out of almost twice as many games as the eight he has managed to take part in. The 23-year-old had feared beforehand he might not be picked as he had been able to play just one first team game, plus a couple of reserve outings, after coming back from his most recent injury. Misfortune had threatened to strike him even in this match when he was stretchered off in the first half, having apparently become a victim of the uneven surface, but his return was thankfully speedy for the Scots. That goal killed off the home side, who passed up the opportunity of a consolation with four minutes remaining. West Bromwich Albion defender Larus Sigurdsson was the culprit, poking wide with the goal at his mercy following a defence-opening flick on by substitute Marel Baldvinsson, who had come on for Arnar Vidarsson. It was truly a defender’s finish on a day when two of the Scottish rearguard had managed to find the net.

Gerrard desperate to repay national debt – Dec 10, 2002
It’s all ifs and buts. But it wasn’t to be: we ran out of steam. “Refreshed, Gerrard is now concentrating all his efforts and energies on helping England to qualify for the finals of Euro 2004. “Obviously, it’s not as big as the World Cup,” he says of the European Championship. “The World Cup is the biggest competition any footballer can play in. But it’s second best to the World Cup and it’s a good platform. If you can win it, you can take that into the next World Cup.

Bonhof sets out to build for future – Dec 8, 2002
The 24-strong pool he named yesterday for next week’s friendly with Denmark at Hampden Park is intended to suffice for the Scots’ first Euro 2004 qualifier against the Faroe Islands, although it will be an exceptional occurrence if there is not some degree of attrition through injuries. Vogts’ trawl through all available talent has yielded one more newcomer to the international scene in Derek McInnes, who has been drafted in as a midfield reinforcement, but the most notable recruit to the Scottish cause was Rainer Bonhof, who becomes the country’s first full-time under-21 coach. When Vogts was manager of Germany, Bonhof was his assistant for eight years and he revealed that he had been nonplussed by the paucity of resources when he arrived in Scotland. “When I came over to have a business talk with the Scottish Football Association they showed me a team sheet for the game against Lithuania last year and the team had only one goal to its credit. Most of the players are not in their clubs’ first teams… When Vogts was manager of Germany, Bonhof was his assistant for eight years and he revealed that he had been nonplussed by the paucity of resources when he arrived in Scotland. “When I came over to have a business talk with the Scottish Football Association they showed me a team sheet for the game against Lithuania last year and the team had only one goal to its credit. Most of the players are not in their clubs’ first teams. “It’s a great surprise for me to see that the under-21 team hasn’t played a game since last October. “I had a good side in Kuwait with Kuwait Sporting but it’s a different style of life.

Helen Rollason Award: Jane Tomlinson
BBC News – Dec 8, 2002
2121 GMT: Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams admits he would jump at the chance to manage the Gunners but adds he is not ready for the role yet. Have your say

Simon Braschi, England”Wenger’s cool, intelligent and positive approach to football has brought real entertainment to all”

The Frenchman gets his hands on yet more silverware, lifting the Coach of the Year award… And he dismisses continued rumours that he has been close to walking out on the job. “I never thought about it. I am extrememly happy and proud,” he confirms. 2158 GMT: Former Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy says he is “not chasing” jobs in club football and that he is happy having a “bit of a break” for the time being.

Up close and personal
The Observer – Dec 8, 2002
But, as a man who never met a question he would not answer, the opposite is the case. His stance is that, while he will not discuss ‘the man’, he will talk about the situation. ‘I’ve said openly that this is the thing I will always be remembered for,’ says McCarthy, with Keane’s portrait peering over his shoulder. ‘I will be walking down the street as an old man, carrying a walking stick, no hair, no teeth, and someone will say, “There’s that bollix who rowed with Roy Keane… I guess from the last World Cup you couldn’t get a better example [than me] of somebody in the media spotlight. ‘ The media, indeed, played a crucial role in McCarthy’s departure from the Ireland manager’s job. Within weeks of being greeted by 100,000 cheering fans in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, Ireland had given impoverished performances in defeats against Russia and Switzerland in Euro 2004 qualifiers and a McCarthy witchhunt had begun. ‘That disappointed me, that it became a personal thing,’ says McCarthy. ‘Let’s make no mistake, with a few of them, I’m not saying everybody, it was personal. But the support I’ve had from the Irish public has been immense. ‘Honestly, I should have gone in the summer, but in the summer that was the wrong decision.

Owen rescues England | England | International | Football | Sport |… – Dec 10, 2002
Owen struck twice in the second half after Middlesborugh’s Slizard Nemeth had deservedly put the spirited Slovakians ahead midway through the first period. The winner, an impudent near-post header from Paul Scholes’s cross, came just nine minutes from time… Neville, who missed the World Cup finals with a foot injury, could easily have suffered similar damage and the late challenge deservedly earned the impressive frontrunner a booking. Such was England’s lack of penetration that only eight minutes remained of the first half when they forced their first corner. The ball was not convincingly cleared and, when Scholes floated it back in, Southgate could not get enough power behind his header and Miroslav Konig fisted it away. As Erikkson’s team at last mounted some sustained raids on the field, problems arose off it. Segregation in a small ground was always going to prove difficult and police wielding batons waded in as scuffles broke out. Eriksson needed to take stock at half-time and consider his options. His answer was to start the second period with Scholes, who had looked uneasy in England’s problem position on the left, pushed further forward into a centrol role just behind the front two.

Two fans shot in trouble outside England hotel – Dec 10, 2002
Some witnesses said they were hit by shots from a passing car during fighting on the eve of the Euro 2004 qualifying match in Bratislava. One man was shot in the throat and was lying in a pool of blood when police arrived at the Carlton Radisson hotel. Other England supporters claimed that they were attacked by locals with guns as they left a bar… The man with throat wounds was said to be talking to police and his injuries, though severe, were not thought to be life threatening. The embassy spokesman said: “We will visit them in hospital and contact their families. We do not have any more information at the moment. “The 4,500 England fans started arriving yesterday afternoon with many heading for the multitude of bars in the old part of town where a pint of beer costs only 55p. Some of the bars, anticipating trouble, had boarded up their windows but the majority had remained open. There were running battles and scuffles throughout the evening, with a heavy police presence. It seemed to be a repeat of the violence which has scarred England trips for years at locations throughout Europe.

Another big decision looms over Malta FA president Joe Mifsud – Dec 10, 2002
Scotland and Ireland’s joint bid has emerged as one of the favourites in the race to host football’s European Championships in 2008. di-ve sport?s Paul Cachia assesses the arguments in FAVOUR and AGAINST the bid of the SCOTLANDIRELAND ?08. AGAINST? Austria-Switzerland bid

Austria missed out on staging Euro 2004 after putting forward a joint bid with Hungary, and have decided instead to team up with Switzerland. Switzerland is home to both Europe and world football governing bodies Uefa and Fifa. The countries are well-versed in staging major winter sporting events but the last football showpiece hosted was the 1954 World Cup. The first ever international was played in Scotland… Scotland and Ireland declare themselves as distinct countries. However, the bid would be tipped as the favourite were it not for the proximity of the 1996 European Championship in neighbouring England as UEFA intends to broaden competitions throughout Europe. IN FAVOUR?Champions League final

Scotland have shown Europe at the 2002 Champions League final that they are able to orgainse similar events. Scotland’s chances of hosting Euro 2008 have been
enhanced by the success of this year’s Champions League final. UEFA was delighted with the role Glasgow, in particular, and Scotland, in general, played in making the 2002 final a success. AGAINST?Ireland?s role

Against the bid could be Ireland?s inability to come up with two Stadia to stage major matches.

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