Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 4, 2003

FA rule out inquiry

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 10:18 am

The News Review:

* Arsenal confirm Cole absence
* Irish rekindle their talent for over-achieving
* Eriksson’s fears for Rooney
* FA rule out inquiry
* Flo gets Norway boost
* Keep the fans out of ‘hell’
* Stop moaning, Scots told
* SOCCER: Thompson eyes Old Firm debut

Arsenal confirm Cole absence
BBC News – Feb 28, 2003
Cole will definitely miss England’s Euro 2004 qualifiers against Liechtenstein on 28 March and Turkey on 2 April, as well as crunch Gunners fixtures. It had been hoped that the defender could return after just three weeks but his Highbury manager has insisted that will not happen. “Ashley is set to be out for six weeks,” said Arsene Wenger. “I don’t know many players who have played before six weeks. He could maybe make it in five, but most players who start too early have a setback… “Ashley needed surgery, either now or the end of the season. “It was very tempting to wait until the end of the season, but I’m not a big fan of playing players who are injured. “I thought it was better to do it straight away. Ashley also wanted it to be done as otherwise he could not play to his full potential. ”

Southampton’s Wayne Bridge is now likely to get the first competitive start for his country in the Euro 2004 games. Arsenal will turn to midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst,
who has previously played left-back for Holland, in the absence of any senior cover for Cole.

Irish rekindle their talent for over-achieving
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 4, 2003
Shay Given produced another exceptional display in Tirana and, even out of position, Duff underlined why he is constantly linked with the Premiership’s big guns. Players such as Breen, Kinsella and Carsley, who have become Premiership fringe players, can pull on the green shirt and play above the level perceived by their club managers. Qualification is back in Ireland’s sights after a poor start, though the opening Euro 2004 defeat in Moscow was not entirely unexpected – Russia tend to win at home and fail on away trips with predictable regularity. Ireland’s record remains impressive, though. Four defeats in their last 32 games, two losses in their last 18 away (not including the World Cup) while the 0-0 draw in Tirana was a rare failure to find the back of the net, the Republic having scored in 29 of their last 32 games. The slip-ups by Switzerland and Russia over the past week means Group 10 is not the two-horse race it appeared.

Eriksson’s fears for Rooney
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 4, 2003
He exuded all the air of someone enjoying a walk in the park, not the victory march of a fearless teenager who had just seized the nation’s imagination. But then Rooney stepped outside, the flashbulbs went off, arms stretched out with autograph books and he met the madding crowd. Now that glorious confirmation has been received that Everton’s young pretender is the real deal, a clamorous public and media must afford this special talent the chance to develop as person and player. “Take it easy with Rooney,” requested Sven-Goran Eriksson, a football man highly familiar with the tall-poppy syndrome… You may say they are silent but they work very hard and are very committed. The players absolutely believe they can win the group – no doubts about that. They think they can win Euro 2004 as well.

FA rule out inquiry
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 4, 2003
And Gareth Southgate, who watched last night’s match from the stands, has claimed in a newspaper column that members of the Turkish squad made throat-slitting gestures to England players. Writing in the London Evening Standard, Southgate said: “There were rumours of a fracas in the tunnel afterwards… And Gareth Southgate, who watched last night’s match from the stands, has claimed in a newspaper column that members of the Turkish squad made throat-slitting gestures to England players. Writing in the London Evening Standard, Southgate said: “There were rumours of a fracas in the tunnel afterwards. I was down there and it was a bit hectic. “‘Wait until you come to Turkey’,” was the shout, with fingers being passed across throats.

Flo gets Norway boost
BBC News – Mar 4, 2003
Flo has not scored this year but Norway’s assistant coach Harald Aabrekk says he is still a prime contender to lead his
country’s attack in their Euro 2004 qualifier against Luxembourg. “I feel bad for Tore Andre Flo, considering the situation he is in at
Sunderland now,” Aabrekk told Norwegian newspaper VG. “Tore Andre was positive.

Keep the fans out of ‘hell’
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 4, 2003
Accompanied by heavy security, David Beckham and the team will have to travel to the Ali Sami Yen cauldron for the final tie of Euro 2004 qualifying Group Seven but the Football Association must ensure no supporters follow them. There is too much bad blood between the countries’ fans without any more being spilled. Two Leeds United devotees were murdered in Istanbul. Arsenal fans were attacked by Galatasaray supporters before the UEFA Cup final in Copenhagen; English hooligans, along for the ride and the ruck, hit back. Manchester United followers endured tense trips to the Ali Sami Yen, the home of Galatasaray expected to stage England’s visit… Some will still want to go, the majority driven by a desire to support the team and country they love. A violent few will go intoxicated by the possibility of mayhem. Given the aggressive behaviour of England fans towards the Turks on Wearside, the FA should also consider that they have a duty to their Istanbul hosts not to bring in more trouble-makers. The team should fly in, hole up, play the game and fly out. But leave the fans at home. For everyone’s benefit.

Stop moaning, Scots told
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 4, 2003
Scotland’s Euro 2004 qualifying Group Five is now back in the melting pot after Jackie McNamara was punished for a fractional, and obviously unintended, contact with Darius Macielevicius, who easily plunged to earth in the penalty area. Scotland manager Berti Vogts labelled the referee’s award of a penalty a mistake but Edvaldsson pointed out: “A crazy refereeing decision cost us a penalty kick at 1-1 in… “As a succinct summary, Edvaldsson’s words are hard to beat. Apart from anything else, Lithuania are an eminently beatable team, as Iceland demonstrated, even if the Scots and Germans have not, and had Scotland made the most of their outfield dominance Vogts’s team would be clear on top of the group. Instead, the manager’s endless tinkering with his forward line frustrates those who believe that Steve Crawford or Kenny Miller must be partnered with a physically capable attacker like Don Hutchison who is able to get on the end of supply from Paul Devlin wide on the right. It was Devlin whose cross found the towering Wilkie for Scotland’s winning goal against Iceland and it was Devlin who slipped Hutchison the delightful pass which released the West Ham man inside the box for the Scots’ best chance in Kaunas. Vogts, though, rations their time together on the park and persists with employing Crawford and Miller – two peas from the same pod – with Hutchison lying off them in a role which appears to disperse his natural aggression into areas where it does least damage. Using Vogts’s approach, it is by no means a given that the Scots will go through, whether automatically or through the play-offs, even with the advantage of three home games from their four remaining qualifying fixtures.

SOCCER: Thompson eyes Old Firm debut
U.TV – Feb 28, 2003
“However, Thompson is definitely destined to miss two of the biggest games of the season. He is cup-tied for the CIS Insurance Cup final clash with Celtic next month as he had played in the competition for previous club Dundee United. And he is suspended for Scotland`s vital Euro 2004 qualifier with Iceland the following month. He said: “I`m missing two very important games but I`m at Rangers for three-and-a-half years and I`m sure there will be an awful lot of important games coming up as well. “I`m not too down-hearted about that. The Scotland game is very disappointing because you want to be involved in all of them and Stevie Crawford and myself had done quite well in the previous qualifiers. “But what is important is that we get the result that is needed… And he is suspended for Scotland`s vital Euro 2004 qualifier with Iceland the following month. He said: “I`m missing two very important games but I`m at Rangers for three-and-a-half years and I`m sure there will be an awful lot of important games coming up as well. “I`m not too down-hearted about that. The Scotland game is very disappointing because you want to be involved in all of them and Stevie Crawford and myself had done quite well in the previous qualifiers. “But what is important is that we get the result that is needed. “Making an impression at Almondvale on Sunday is also a priority and Thompson, who has so far made just two substitute appearances for the Gers, admitted he might have to come off the bench once again. So far he has scored against Dundee doing that and set up Ronald de Boer for a late winner at Ayr United last week as a replacement.

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