Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 26, 2003

Cisse’s date with destiny

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 8:16 am

The News Review:

* UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
* England revolt over Bafana game
* Eriksson must be feeling the strain
* Cisse’s date with destiny
* UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
* Eriksson impressed by Jenas
* Wales confirm San Jose date
* UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
* BBC SPORT | Football | Other European | Petrov sinks Stuttgart
* SI.com – Soccer – World: Kerkrade eyes Europe after Excelsior win -…
* Tottenham v Fulham: Preview

UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
uefa.comUEFA.com – Feb 18, 2003
” Unconditional supportThe FSSCG Executive Committee last weekend gave their unconditional support to coach Dejan Savicevic, despite the home draw with Azerbaijan in Podgorica. Stojkovic added: “I told Kezman that he should not feel responsible for the result against Azerbaijan – we all have to be held responsible, me, the coach and all the players. “‘Key match’Serbia and Montenegro play their next EURO 2004™ qualifier against Wales in Belgrade on 2 April. “I do not care if Savicevic calls up Kezman or someone else for the Wales match. I just want a victory,” Stojkovic said. “This is a key match for us as a loss of points would mean goodbye to EURO 2004™ and that would be catastrophic. In that case some heads would have to roll.

England revolt over Bafana game
Independent Online – Feb 20, 2003
But that is the last thing on the minds of England’s top players’ minds. Many of these players would have had an exhausting domestic season that followed last year’s World Cup finals. Their off-season will also be dominated by Euro 2004 qualifiers. Liverpool striker Michael Owen has not had a break since he burst on the scene as a 17-year-old at the World Youth Cup finals in 1997. Beckham’s United teammates Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes as well as Liverpool’s Emile Heskey, Steven Gerard and Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole of Arsenal are others who would rather give the Durban match a miss. The friendly, which was announced last September, is part of South Africa’s 2010 World Cup bid and was envisaged by Eriksson as part of England’s preparations for their Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia on June 11. Following their dismal performance against Australia two weeks ago, Eriksson would have wanted his strongest squad available leading up to the Slovakia game.

Eriksson must be feeling the strain
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 24, 2003
If Ferguson had not decided to stay on, and a secret deal for Eriksson to take over in the autumn had been finalised, do you think that the club, the Football Association and the man himself would have been able to keep it a secret?No chance. England would have gone to Japan with a coach whose long-term goal would have been wresting the Premiership back from Arsenal, not laying the foundations for Euro 2004. The end of the tournament would have signalled a new, tiresome search for an England coach only 20 months after the last. So if Eriksson was prepared to sour the good feeling that accompanied his first year in charge of England, then by now he must feel even more ready to do the same. A quarrelsome bunch of Premiership managers to contend with and a.

Cisse’s date with destiny
go.com – Feb 26, 2003
It’s no secret the Reds wanted to sign Cisse last summer and as Roux confirms, he rarely conducts a conversation with his old friend Houllier without a mention of this prodigious talent. ‘I speak with Gerard every week and he is always trying to get onto the subject of Djibril,’ he smiles. ‘I know he will leave Auxerre at some point, but hopefully not too soon. ‘When the time comes, I’ll make sure he goes to a club that will best suit his game and England would be good for him. He has the pace to flourish in a league where teams tend to defend without sweepers. ‘But I don’t know what this fuss over Cisse is all about. He’s still learning the game and all this showbiz reporting about him being a genius is madness… ‘Cisse’s decision to spend another season under Roux’s guidance rather than cash in on his celebrity suggests he has more about him than that footballing nomad who goes by the name of Nicolas Anelka. Rather than throwing himself into the big time too soon, he has honed his talents in the French league and is now proving himself at international level. After edging out Anelka for a place in France’s World Cup squad, he scored in their Euro 2004 win over Cyprus last September and at the age of 22, is now maturing in the fashion his suitors expected he might. Cisse remains convinced he has made the right move in delaying what seems to be an inevitable switch to England. ‘I still had things to learn last summer and that’s why it was not a good moment for me to leave Auxerre,’ he states. ‘I was missing too many chances last season, but it was still a great year for me. ‘I didn’t think I would be in the first team at the start of last season and by the end, I was in the World Cup squad.

UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
uefa.comUEFA.com – Feb 25, 2003
Elmander doubleDespite struggling with the heat and humidity, Sweden dominated their opening encounter against Qatar, winning 3-2 thanks to two goals from Djurgården IF’s Johan Elmander and another from Malmö FFs Niklas Skoog. Late levellerSkoog was the only player retained for the second game against the Korean Republic, and he got Sweden’s only goal. Pak Young Chol struck eight minutes from time to secure a draw for the Koreans. Tough conditionsCoach Lars Lagerbäck was keen to stress how tough the conditions had been… He said: “The game was a lot like our first one. We got off to a good start, but after a while the players got very tired. The weather is a problem, and the players are not fit to play a full 90 minutes yet. ” Easy winSweden needed a draw in their final game against Thailand to progress to the final, but cut loose in the second half to win comfortably. Having taken the lead through an own goal, further strikes from Alexander Farnerud, Elmander and Danijel Majestrovic sealed a 4-1 victory. “They’re a good side,” said Thailand coach Peter Withe. “They play physical football and are tactically skilful.

Eriksson impressed by Jenas
BBC News – Feb 20, 2003
The England coach was particularly impressed by Jenas and Wayne Rooney when they made their debuts against Australia earlier this month at Upton Park. And he made it clear that both teenagers could keep their places in the squad for
the Euro 2004 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Turkey in just over five weeks’ time. “Jenas did very well against Australia. In that game, we played him on the left-hand side,” said Eriksson’s assistant Tord Grip. “Although I think his best role is in the middle, you can play him in many positions and we are always looking on the left-hand side to find the right solution. “All the players that we have played there, even Kieron Dyer, who does not play there for Newcastle, have wanted to play there because they know it’s an opportunity for them… In that game, we played him on the left-hand side,” said Eriksson’s assistant Tord Grip. “Although I think his best role is in the middle, you can play him in many positions and we are always looking on the left-hand side to find the right solution. “All the players that we have played there, even Kieron Dyer, who does not play there for Newcastle, have wanted to play there because they know it’s an opportunity for them. “Jenas played there when he was at Forest, so he’s used to it.

Wales confirm San Jose date
BBC News – Feb 20, 2003
It could be a late night for fans – the game will be played at 7pm local time, 0200 BST. The match, which will be the first time the countries have met, will take place in the Spartan Stadium, San Jose, California. Wales manager Mark Hughes has been keen to arrange matches at the end of the domestic season to prepare for the closing stages of the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign. Before heading over the Atlantic Ocean, Wales play two crucial qualifiers. First up will be Azerbaijan on 29 March at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, followed by an away fixture against Serbia and Montenegro on 2 April. Wales’ hopes of a positive result in Belgrade have been boosted by the news that one of Serbia and Montenegro’s key players has announced he will not play for his country “in the foreseeable future”. PSV Eindhoven striker Mateja Kezman says he is disillusioned with the national side after last week’s “humiliating” 2-2 draw against Azerbaijan last week… Before heading over the Atlantic Ocean, Wales play two crucial qualifiers. First up will be Azerbaijan on 29 March at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, followed by an away fixture against Serbia and Montenegro on 2 April. Wales’ hopes of a positive result in Belgrade have been boosted by the news that one of Serbia and Montenegro’s key players has announced he will not play for his country “in the foreseeable future”. PSV Eindhoven striker Mateja Kezman says he is disillusioned with the national side after last week’s “humiliating” 2-2 draw against Azerbaijan last week. The 24-year-old has played 27 times and scored 10 goals for his national side. Wales remain 52nd in the latest Fifa world rankings.

UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
uefa.comUEFA.com – Feb 18, 2003
Friendly defeatHis departure appeared imminent after last week’s 2-1 defeat by Latvia in a friendly international in Turkey. Julius Kvedaras, the LFF’s executive director, suggested the coach’s resignation was down to, in some part, to his squad, saying: “The attitude of some of the national team players has influenced Zelkevicius’s decision. They came to the national team unprepared and were not determined to play well. “Slow startHowever, the LFF had indicated they were not happy with the coach’s performance either. Lithuania have picked up only three points from their first three qualifiers in UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 5. Zelkevicius, previously Lithuania coach between 1995 and 1997, returned to the role in December 2000. Liubinskas tippedCurrent Lithuania Under-21 coach Algimantas Liubinskas is tipped to succeed Zelkevicius… They came to the national team unprepared and were not determined to play well. “Slow startHowever, the LFF had indicated they were not happy with the coach’s performance either. Lithuania have picked up only three points from their first three qualifiers in UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 5. Zelkevicius, previously Lithuania coach between 1995 and 1997, returned to the role in December 2000. Liubinskas tippedCurrent Lithuania Under-21 coach Algimantas Liubinskas is tipped to succeed Zelkevicius. Liubinskas was in charge of Lithuania’s senior team when, after a 50-year absence, the country returned to world football after independence in 1992. Ivanauskas involvementThree years later, Liubinskas was sacked by the LFF and replaced by Zelkevicius.

BBC SPORT | Football | Other European | Petrov sinks Stuttgart
BBC News – Feb 21, 2003
Stuttgart suffered a major blow a minute later when Bordon was shown a straight red card for a professional foul on Stilian Petrov, who was clean away. But this did not prevent the Bundesliga side from taking the lead in the 27th minute. Balakov swung an inviting cross into the box and Kuranyi rose above Joos Valgaeren to head low past Douglas from 10 yards. This spurred Celtic into action and they began to exert pressure on the Stuttgart defence without creating any real clear-cut chances.

SI.com – Soccer – World: Kerkrade eyes Europe after Excelsior win -…
SI.com – Feb 19, 2003
Lithuania appoint Liubinskas as coach VILNIUS (Reuters) — Lithuanian Football Federationappointed Algimantas Liubinskas as new national team coach onWednesday after Benjaminas Zelkevicius resigned earlier in theday. The LFF said in a statement that Liubinskas, who was theunder-21 coach, would be assisted by FBC Kaunas trainer SauliusSirmelis and Valdas Ivanauskas. “(Zelkevicius) has left us at a very bad moment when westill had hope of placing second in (Euro 2004 qualifying) GroupFive,” Lithuanian Football Federation general director JuliusKvedaras said earlier on Wednesday. “But this is no reason to lower the demands for the nationalsquad. The Lietuvos Rytas daily reported that 59-year-oldZelkevicius decided to quit after last week’s 2-1 friendly lossto Baltic neighbor Latvia in Antalya, Turkey. He has remained in Antalya to prepare Kaliningrad’s Baltikaclub, who he also trains, for the start of the Russian firstdivision season. Lithuania, who are 104th in the latest FIFA rankings,followed up a 2-0 loss at home to Germany in September last yearby beating Faroe Islands away 2-0 in October… No deadline has been given for the clubs to recapitalize orlose their license. Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos warned that some teamswould have to close in the new financial climate when heannounced the auditors’ investigation. “Some professional clubs are not going to be able tosurvive,” he said. Greek soccer has been close to bankruptcy since theSeptember 2002 collapse of Alpha Digital that left the majorityof teams with no television income. Ex-champ Ararat thrown out of Armenian league YEREVAN (Reuters) — Ararat Yerevan, Armenia’s mostsuccessful club, have been thrown out of the league afterrefusing to release five players for national team duty on atrip to Israel this month. Ararat president Grach Kaprielyan has said he will appeal aone-year ban imposed on the club by the Armenian soccerfederation (ASF) for preventing one player from the senior teamand four from the under-21 squad to travel to Israel. The ASF’s executive committee will meet later this week todecide on sanctions against Ararat — the only Armenian clubever to win a Soviet championship in its 55-year history whenthey achieved a historic league and cup double in 1973.

Tottenham v Fulham: Preview
go.com – Feb 23, 2003
And that has furthered his international ambitions. Both Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIllroy’s keepers – Taylor and Manchester United’s Roy Carroll – have been infrequent performers at club level. But with Taylor starting again for Fulham at Tottenham, the 31-year-old has the chance to cement his number one status for the Euro 2004 qualifiers in Armenia on March 29 and at home to Greece on April 3. Taylor said: “Sammy McIllroy, as with any international manager, prefers his players to be in their club teams. “Roy Carroll’s in the same situation as me at Manchester United. “If he was at a club playing week-in, week-out, I would have to hold my hands up and accept he would replace me in the side. “Van der Sar was initially sidelined for four weeks but is now six weeks overdue on that target and facing at least another month out… Robbie Keane’s knee injury means Tottenham are without six first-teamers for the White Hart Lane match. Keane looks certain to be replaced by Ireland team-mate Gary Doherty, while Steffen Iversen (back), Jamie Redknapp (toe), Christian Ziege (thigh), Anthony Gardner (hamstring) and Chris Perry (neck) are also out. Winger Matthew Etherington is in contention to start after recovering from an ankle injury, but Kazayuki Toda will not be rushed into senior action. Milenko Acimovic may feature.

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