Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

September 24, 2003

The back pages

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 1:28 pm

The News Review:

* Confusion over Turkey tie
* Thompson seeks help in fitness battle
* Duffy’s dream facing hostile reality check
* The back pages
* Morgan criticises Milan police
* Blackburn are silenced in calm before storm
* SI.com – Soccer – Big clubs deal with reality in UEFA Cup – Tuesday…
* New National coach appointment shelved as Malta FA plans long-term…
* Levein fighting against history
* Carragher offered improved contract
* Woodgate faces surgery
* INJURY BLOW FOR SOLSKJAER
* Del Piero out until November

Confusion over Turkey tie
BBC News – Sep 22, 2003
However, some are expected to ignore their advice and travel to Turkey anyway. In addition to the advice not to travel the English FA has also decided to ban players’ families from attending the match. FA communications chief Adrian Bevington said: “We have not taken any decisions surrounding this match lightly and hope this continues to send the strongest message that the FA, government and police do not want any individuals travelling to Turkey. ”

Crowd trouble

Meanwhile, Sunday’s Istanbul derby was marred when fans rioted after the 2-2 draw between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce at the Olympic Stadium.

Thompson seeks help in fitness battle
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 23, 2003
It was a tackle from David Unsworth and I took a direct blow to the knee. “When I was up at Aberdeen recently, the same thing happened and then I took a third knock against Dunfermline and that was me out. “But Thompson concedes the injury could not have happened at a worse time with a successful run in the team under his belt and the added bonus of crucial Euro 2004 qualifiers on the horizon. However, the Scotland international is resilient and insists he will approach the specialist in a positive mood: “It was unfortunate timing because I had managed to get into the team and I was feeling quite confident. “I scored a goal and then felt I might get a run in the side but the injury flared up again and that was disappointing. “I was out of the Stuttgart game and I was really looking forward to playing in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time. “It was bad, bad timing but you have to stay positive and that’s what I’ll do… It was a tackle from David Unsworth and I took a direct blow to the knee. “When I was up at Aberdeen recently, the same thing happened and then I took a third knock against Dunfermline and that was me out. “But Thompson concedes the injury could not have happened at a worse time with a successful run in the team under his belt and the added bonus of crucial Euro 2004 qualifiers on the horizon. However, the Scotland international is resilient and insists he will approach the specialist in a positive mood: “It was unfortunate timing because I had managed to get into the team and I was feeling quite confident. “I scored a goal and then felt I might get a run in the side but the injury flared up again and that was disappointing. “I was out of the Stuttgart game and I was really looking forward to playing in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time. “It was bad, bad timing but you have to stay positive and that’s what I’ll do.

Duffy’s dream facing hostile reality check
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 23, 2003
“For the players, it is paramount that they enjoy the experience and learn from it,” stressed the Dundee manager, “and the ultimate aim is to keep the tie alive for the return leg. “The Football Association of Ireland have been warned by UEFA that sectarian booing at international matches must stop. The warning followed an investigation by European football’s ruling body into the persistent booing of a Rangers player – not for the first time at Lansdowne Road – during the Euro 2004 qualifying tie against Georgia. Shota Arveladze was targeted by sections of the crowd because of his links to the traditionally Protestant club. Irish supporters generally support Celtic because of the Roman Catholic connection. The FAI said the booing had to cease if Irish soccer fans were to keep their reputation for good behaviour. FAI chief executive Fran Rooney said: “The booing on a racist basis must stop, before we find ourselves sanctioned by UEFA which can ultimately only have a negative impact on our team.

The back pages
BBC News – Sep 24, 2003
The Daily Star throws up yet another new name in Denmark manager Morten Olsen, while The Sun reports that former Bayer Leverkusen boss Klaus Topmoller has already had talks in London. And continuing the managerial game of musical chairs, a new entrant emerges as the Daily Mail suggests Tony Adams is on the shortlist at Reading. The same paper says Chelsea will enter negotiations with Sven-Goran Eriksson in January over a move to Stamford Bridge after Euro 2004. But all is not lost for current Blues boss Ranieri, who can save his job by winning the Premiership or the Champions League. Frank Bruno’s condition gets sympathy from all quarters, in contrast to some of the early headlines on Tuesday, and The Sun goes as far as starting a fund for the ex-champ on its front page. Meanwhile, The Guardian says that while he may never have been “The Greatest” he was a “true champion”.

Morgan criticises Milan police
BBC News – Sep 23, 2003
Mr Morgan, who was in Milan’s San Siro stadium for the game nearly three weeks ago, said it was clear that police did not take action to stop Italian fans throwing objects down at Welsh supporters in the stand below. He told the first session of the Welsh assembly’s new term that he had spoken to South Wales Police and European football’s governing body Uefa about the violence… Ms Ryder asked: “What inquiries has the first minister made into the treatment of Welsh fans by law enforcement officials in Italy?”

Mr Morgan said: “It appears, from all the evidence I’ve seen, that that the Italian police didn’t make appropriate efforts to prevent Welsh fans being spat on and worse from the tier above. “South Wales Police sent a team to discuss with Italian police what was to happen in terms of crowd segregation and it was understood that the front three rows of the stand above would the Welsh fans would be a sterile zone. “But when we got there, that sterile zone was not there. “Spitting incidents and worse were able to take place and nothing was done to stop them. ”

Fans attacked

Ms Ryder also told Assembly Members of the case of a group of young Welsh fans who she claimed were attacked by Italian supporters when they stayed on in Milan after the game. She said Italian police told the group they would be taken to a place of safety, then locked them in cells overnight. The group was released the next day, but only after their names, addresses, photographs and fingerprints were taken.

Blackburn are silenced in calm before storm
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 24, 2003
We conceded three very poor goals. But the tie isn’t over yet. “At least last night did not add any fuel to the bonfire of enmity between England and Turkey. Mindful that the football associations of England and Turkey meet in Switzerland today to sort out their differences, Gencler had done everything to welcome their visitors. Directors of the club even dispatched belly dancers and supporters bearing Turkish Delight to the airport to greet Blackburn’s fans. Local television cameras filmed a goodwill match between the supporters, an amicable affair Blackburn lost 4-2. “We were given a fantastic welcome,” said one of the Rovers fans… And amid all the bonhomie and local cheers for Tugay, it should be remembered by FA officials seeking to take heart from this untroubled match that Ankara audiences are far more restrained than those in Istanbul. Fenerbahce’s stadium will be an inhospitable place to visit on Oct 11. Tugay, who could damage English hopes in that pivotal Euro 2004 qualifier, was initially central to English fortunes last night in a match watched by Turkey’s coach, Senol Gunes. Applauded by the Turks, the former Galatasaray midfielder was lauded by Blackburn fans as he proved a crucial presence holding together the midfield for 42 minutes. For a while, Tugay stymied Gencler’s forays but the red-and-black tide was growing and, three minutes from the break, it flowed over Blackburn, drowning them in two unstoppable waves. When Brad Friedel raced out of his area to leap above Mustafa Ozkan and head clear, the danger appeared to drain away.

SI.com – Soccer – Big clubs deal with reality in UEFA Cup – Tuesday…
SI.com – Sep 23, 2003
UEFA’s seeding system avoided any major clashes but the draw still provided some interesting match-ups, none more so than the Anglo-Turkish clash between Blackburn Rovers, coached by former Galatasaray boss Graeme Souness, and Genclerbirligi. TENSIONS RUN HIGH Tensions have run high between English and Turkish supporters since two Leeds United fans were killed in Istanbul in 2000. England play Turkey in a decisive Euro 2004 qualifier in Istanbul next month and the English FA have urged fans not to travel for safety reasons. But Blackburn expect to have around 500 supporters travel to Ankara-based Genclerbirligi on Wednesday and say they have not been advised of any special security measures. Two other former UEFA Cup winners feature in this year’s competition, with 1997 champions Schalke, who qualified via the Intertoto Cup, away to Croatia’s Kamen Ingrad in the first leg, while 2002 winners Feyenoord host Austria’s Karnten.

New National coach appointment shelved as Malta FA plans long-term…
di-ve.com – Sep 24, 2003
Addressing a press conference this afternoon, Malta FA president said that no decisions are to be taken in the coming weeks as the MFA official agreed to review all matters concerning the national team first. Now that our commitments for the EURO 2004 qualifiers are over, the National team will be taking a ‘sabbatical year’ before our first qualifier for Germany 2006. “We have planned no friendly matches for the coming months, with our first commitment being the International tournament [former Rothmans tournament] in February”, Dr. The main difficulty dogging our National side is not the appointment of the new coach but the root of the problem lies in the fact that our players are not making the grade. “On my desk I have a bundle of CVs of people wanting to become national coach but that’s not the point”, he said… “We have planned no friendly matches for the coming months, with our first commitment being the International tournament [former Rothmans tournament] in February”, Dr. The main difficulty dogging our National side is not the appointment of the new coach but the root of the problem lies in the fact that our players are not making the grade. “On my desk I have a bundle of CVs of people wanting to become national coach but that’s not the point”, he said. “Under Held, especially in the first year, Malta produced some good performances but failed to gain some points because we failed to score”. “I remember the away game against Cyprus and the home qualifiers against Israel and Slovenia, we paid a high price for not finishing off our chances,” Malta FA president said. In the coming weeks, the Malta FA officials together with the premier league clubs will be looking into the standard of the national team.

Levein fighting against history
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 23, 2003
In 1971-72, St Johnstone beat the Sarajevo side 1-0 at Muirton Park, only to be crushed 5-1 in the return. In 1985, the Yugoslav club reached the semi-finals, and although the intervening years have been disruptive and they lost to Kilmarnock in 1998, Zeljeznicar can boast three Bosnian internationalists and, given that Bosnia can qualify for Euro 2004, that strength cannot be discounted. “They play a short passing game, overload the midfield and probe the box and they’re good at it. They haven’t started their season well, but they will be difficult to beat… Although I’m talking about teams outside the Old Firm, probably if you asked the Old Firm it’s a while – last season apart – since they have done as well as they would have liked or been expected to. “But outside the Old Firm, most of the teams who have qualified for Europe have done so by finishing in third place in the league or by reaching the cup final, in which case they tend to lose good players and find it hard to maintain their league form the following season, never mind improve in Europe. It would be good to find ourselves in a situation where our players could accumulate European experience, but that would mean them finishing third in the table in more than one season, not such an easy thing to do. “It goes without saying that, in such circumstances, Levein would prefer to go into the tie at full strength, but he will almost certainly have to do without Phil Stamp, who has a swollen foot. Alan Maybury, though, will start despite a broken finger and Tepi Moilanen, patched up after bursting a lip in Sunday’s 4-0 defeat by Rangers, will be in goal. Hearts’ discussions with the Scottish Rugby Union about moving to Murrayfield are ongoing but it is unlikely any fixture will generate as much atmosphere as a lively European evening at a tightly-packed Tynecastle. Two years ago, Hearts were edged out of the UEFA Cup on the away goals rule by Vfb Stuttgart, who are now in the same Champions League group as Rangers and Manchester United.

Carragher offered improved contract
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 23, 2003
The deal, which should be concluded within the next few weeks, will keep Carragher, 25, who was born in the Bootle area of Liverpool, at his home-town club for the rest of his career. “I don’t like to talk about individual contract talks, but Jamie knows what we think of him and you can be sure he’ll be looked after,” Houllier said… He never lets you down. “Carragher was called into Sven-Goran Eriksson’s squad to face Serbia and Montenegro and Slovakia after the England team were hit by an injury crisis. Although he made a substitute’s appearance in the second game, he has not been recalled by England this season.

Woodgate faces surgery
BBC News – Sep 24, 2003
“In training yesterday he felt some pain in the lower regions of
his stomach. “We immediately sent him to Manchester to see a specialist who said he must have an operation this weekend. ”

Woodgate’s injury is a blow to England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson ahead of the crucial Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey in Istanbul next month.

INJURY BLOW FOR SOLSKJAER
4TheGame – Sep 24, 2003
” Ferguson is now sweating on Scholes coming through his first week’s training without a problem after finally showing signs of recovery from a long-standing hernia complaint. The United boss is hoping to take Scholes on the Champions League trip to Stuttgart next week, even though he has not been involved in the first-team squad since the win over Wolves at the end of last month. It has already been decided that if Scholes does suffer a setback, he will be forced to undergo a third operation, which would rule him out for a couple of months, a period which includes England’s vital Euro 2004 qualifier with Turkey in Istanbul. With Brazilian World Cup winner Kleberson already sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, the injury problems are mounting up for the Old Trafford outfit, who also have Wes Brown on the long-term sick list after a second cruciate ligament operation. Meanwhile, winger Ryan Giggs has ripped into Arsenal’s over-the-top celebrations which accompanied Sunday’s controversial 0-0 draw. Giggs, who has branded the petulant kick at Ruud van Nistelrooy by Patrick Vieira as `stupid’, claimed you would never see the Red Devils celebrating such a result in a similar manner. “Arsenal came with the intention of not conceding a goal,” Giggs told MUTV… Meanwhile, winger Ryan Giggs has ripped into Arsenal’s over-the-top celebrations which accompanied Sunday’s controversial 0-0 draw. Giggs, who has branded the petulant kick at Ruud van Nistelrooy by Patrick Vieira as `stupid’, claimed you would never see the Red Devils celebrating such a result in a similar manner. “Arsenal came with the intention of not conceding a goal,” Giggs told MUTV. “Apart from Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, everyone else was trying to stop us playing and it showed at the end they were more than happy with the final score. “I don’t think you will ever see United players celebrating like that after a 0-0 draw. We want to win every game and believe we have the players who are capable of doing it. “As for the sending off, Vieira had just been booked and he knows if you kick out you are going to be punished.

Del Piero out until November
SI.com – Sep 23, 2003
“I hope to give myself a nice present and return for my birthday on Nov. 9,” the site quoted Del Piero as saying upon leaving a Turin hospital. If Del Piero does not return until November, he would likely miss seven or eight matches. Besides Juventus’ regular Serie A matches, the Turin powerhouse also has several upcoming Champions League games. Del Piero will also now almost certainly miss Italy’s Euro 2004 qualifier against Azerbaijan on Oct. In his place, Juventus coach Marcello Lippi can at least count on two qualified backups to team with French striker David Trezeguet… If Del Piero does not return until November, he would likely miss seven or eight matches. Besides Juventus’ regular Serie A matches, the Turin powerhouse also has several upcoming Champions League games. Del Piero will also now almost certainly miss Italy’s Euro 2004 qualifier against Azerbaijan on Oct. In his place, Juventus coach Marcello Lippi can at least count on two qualified backups to team with French striker David Trezeguet. After replacing Del Piero on Sunday, Marco Di Vaio notched two goals in 14 minutes. Another forward, Fabrizio Miccoli, is expected back this week after undergoing an appendectomy Aug.

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