Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 20, 2003

Robert still feels the cold

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 6:22 am

The News Review:

* Ferdinand to fight ban
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Vogts still ‘proud’ of Scots
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Robert still feels the cold
* On the spot: Steven Gerrard
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Wales v Russia Report
* Van Basten blasts `superstar’ players
* Turkish security ‘hit’ German players
* Ferdinand ban sparks furious debate
* Oldham block N.Ireland-Dowie talks
* ScottishFitba – the definitive Scotland website. Independent news and…
* Keep an open mind as Matt settles in

Ferdinand to fight ban
BBC News – Dec 20, 2003
“The general trend in an appeal hearing – and there are very few that have not ended up in this way – is that the punishment is reduced or certainly remains the same. “I can’t ever remember an appeal hearing that increased a penalty… So England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson will have to do without a player who was one of his star performers at the 2002 World Cup. “I have already made clear my thoughts that the process must be improved and I am pleased that the various reviews are moving forward rapidly to ensure this
happens,” Eriksson told the FA’s official website. “With regard to Rio, I’m sorry for him. I’m sure he will be disappointed to miss football for eight months and I’m sure he will see it as a blow to miss Euro 2004.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Vogts still ‘proud’ of Scots
go.com – Dec 19, 2003
We made a lot of mistakes tonight and you cannotdo that against the Dutch or other big nations. That is not allowed. ‘Vogts tipped the Dutch to make an impact in next summer’s finals next summer. He said: ‘Congratulations to one of the favourites for the finals inPortugal. This team was too strong for us. ‘At the moment we cannot play two matches in four days against such a strongteam. ‘Holland manager Dick Advocaat admitted tonight’s performance was the one histeam should have produced in the first leg… ‘Holland manager Dick Advocaat admitted tonight’s performance was the one histeam should have produced in the first leg. He said: ‘Today we saw the way the Dutch should have played last Saturday -pressing from the start. ‘In the first half on Saturday the players did not do what I asked them to dobut tonight they did and that made all the difference. ‘I made changes in personnel but not in tactics and it is difficult to saywhether the changes were the reason for the win. ‘But I must say the newcomers in the team were excellent. Wesley Sneijder isable to move the game on very quickly and has a fantastic pass to thestrikers. ‘Earlier in the week Advocaat had indicated he might not stay on as managereven if the Dutch qualified but he made it clear he would be picking the team inPortugal.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Dec 20, 2003
?Portugal does not have terrorism and there are no records of attacks in this country,? UEFA?s director of competition operations, Jacob Erel, told reporters while on a visit to Portugal. He added UEFA was ?carefully monitoring the international situation? and the security measures taken so far in preparation for the football finals ?give us confidence?. One in four residents of Portugal fear their country could be the target of a terrorist attack when it hosts the European football championships next year, according to a poll published earlier this month in weekly newspaper Expresso. Portugal said last month it is buying an undisclosed amount of smallpox vaccinations to prepare for the possibility of a biological attack during the Euro 2004 championships, which start on June 12 and last three weeks. The highly contagious disease, which kills about 30 percent of its victims, has been eradicated on a world scale since 1977.

Robert still feels the cold
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 20, 2003
Robert is happy enough when he is at work on Tyneside but, having grown up on an idyllic island in the Indian Ocean, he is distinctly unimpressed with the chilly weather in the North-East. That physical hardship, however, pales into insignificance for the Frenchman when compared to his growing fear that he has been frozen out of his country’s plans for Euro 2004. He has been capped nine times but has not had a look-in since Jacques Santini took over as coach after the last World Cup and is now relying on his compatriots at Highbury to put in a good word for him. In France, people do not really talk about my performances that much.

On the spot: Steven Gerrard
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 20, 2003
I am sure every player has done. That’s not for me at the moment… If Nicky Butt goes forward, I can play the holding role. David Beckham can hold, Paul Scholes can hold. “England can win Euro 2004, Gerrard argues. “The feeling got strengthened in Turkey. We knew everyone was against us over Rio Ferdinand. We decided we were going to stick together over Rio and that showed in our really good performance. If we take that fighting spirit into this summer, we can go all the way.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Wales v Russia Report
go.com – Dec 19, 2003
19, 2003, 12:00 PM UKWales 0-1 RussiaPAWales’ dreams of Portugal were destroyed by the Russian who has become public enemy number one in Wales this week. Vadim Evseev, the full back involved in the uproar in Moscow on Saturday withRyan Giggs, headed what turned out to be a first half winner that sends theRussians to next summer’s Euro 2004 finals and leaves Wales the nearly men. • Yartsev: We doused Welsh fireOnce again they failed at the death to reach a major finals, thisheartbreaking defeat so similar to their World Cup qualifying failure 10 yearsago this week. Wales, after their 0-0 draw in the first leg, were never at their best infront of 73,062 of their countrymen, but they still wasted three gloriouschances that could have clinched this second leg. Their three most experienced men – John Hartson, Gary Speed and Giggs – allfailed at crucial moments, Giggs seeing a shot on the turn hit a post. Wales battled away, lacking creativity to break down a solid Russianrearguard, and it was Giggs who was first down the tunnel when the final whistlesent this bowl of a stadium into mourning… Wales battled away, lacking creativity to break down a solid Russianrearguard, and it was Giggs who was first down the tunnel when the final whistlesent this bowl of a stadium into mourning. He is 30 later this month, and you must fear now that he may never appear inthe finals of a major competition. Boss Mark Hughes had taken Wales so close, but they just could not find theslice of luck or ability to pull this one back. Hughes had asked his players to grab the moment to change their lives but forlong periods nerves and tension got the better of the Welsh side. The atmosphere in the packed Millennium Stadium was electric as Wales fansprayed for an end to 45 years of hurt – it is that long since they have reacheda major finals. And, after the heroics of the Moscow, Hughes stuck with the side that foughtso well in the first leg, but Georgi Yartsev having lost two players throughbans from that match in Sergei Ovchinnikov and Alexander Mostovoi, also left outDmitry Loskov and Dmitry Sychev. In came uncapped ‘keeper Viacheslav Malafeev,Rolan Gusev, Egor Titov and Marat Izmailov.

Van Basten blasts `superstar’ players
Taipei Times – Dec 20, 2003
“A lot will depend of the atmosphere in the squad. Order and discipline, that is often the problem in Holland. Players have to go to Portugal as sportsmen and not as superstars,” Van Basten said. “Some of the players behave like movie stars and that has to be handled directly. You are going for honor and country. Players should convince me that they are only thinking about soccer. ”
Van Basten, World Player of the Year in 1992, helped his country win the 1988 European Championship but he is not optimistic about a repeat victory next year… Players should convince me that they are only thinking about soccer. ”
Van Basten, World Player of the Year in 1992, helped his country win the 1988 European Championship but he is not optimistic about a repeat victory next year. The current team, who failed to make the 2002 World Cup finals, struggled to survive the Euro 2004 qualification campaign before going through with a 6-1 aggregate rout of Scotland in the playoffs. “We have some good strikers and the right players in midfield. But defensively we don’t have a strong team,” said Van Basten, “The only good defender is Jaap Stam while the rest are hardly capable of fulfilling their attacking and defensive tasks. This story has been viewed 889 times.

Turkish security ‘hit’ German players
go.com – Dec 19, 2003
Ugly scenes marred the match itself, with objects thrownfrom the stands hitting players and the referee after BenjaminAuer scored the equaliser for Germany. ‘I have never seen anything like it in any stadium in theworld,’ said Stielike, a former Germany international. ‘Before the game we could not hear the anthems because ofthe loud whistles. ‘This is a lack of respect and it makes me very sad. ‘European soccer’s governing body UEFA said on Wednesday ithad launched a disciplinary inquiry into the incidents. UEFA is already investigating allegations that Turkishplayers clashed with security officers in the players tunnelafter Saturday’s Euro 2004 playoff first leg away to Latvia. Latvia pulled off a surprise 1-0 win in Riga against theTurks, World Cup semi finalists in 2002, and the teams are nowgearing up for the second leg in Istanbul later on Wednesday… ‘This is a lack of respect and it makes me very sad. ‘European soccer’s governing body UEFA said on Wednesday ithad launched a disciplinary inquiry into the incidents. UEFA is already investigating allegations that Turkishplayers clashed with security officers in the players tunnelafter Saturday’s Euro 2004 playoff first leg away to Latvia. Latvia pulled off a surprise 1-0 win in Riga against theTurks, World Cup semi finalists in 2002, and the teams are nowgearing up for the second leg in Istanbul later on Wednesday. Turkey and England were both fined last month after theirplayers fought in the tunnel at halftime in a Euro 2004 groupqualifier in Istanbul. The Turkish FA was fined for the lack of order in the SukruSaracoglu stadium, where missiles were thrown during the game,and was also cited for the behaviour of one of its securityofficers during the tunnel brawl. Your views on this story?.

Ferdinand ban sparks furious debate
go.com – Dec 19, 2003
Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor was besidehimself at the severity of the punishment tonight when he felt Ferdinand couldeasily have been given the ‘benefit of the doubt’. But Dick Pound, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, consideredFerdinand – also fined ?50,000 – had ‘dodged the bullet’ and ought to be verywary of Manchester United’s avowed intention to appeal on his behalf, in casetheir England defender ends up with an even longer ban. As things stand Ferdinand is effectively ruled out of the remainder of thedomestic season as well as next summer’s Euro 2004 campaign, thanks to thedecision by an independent commission under the auspices of FootballAssociation. But the ruling of the three-man panel was greeted with dismay by footballers’union boss Taylor. He said: ‘We knew there would have to be a penalty. ‘But an eight-month ban and ?50,000 fine is, I feel, very draconian. ‘I felt there was every opportunity for the FA to give him the benefit of thedoubt… ‘I felt there was every opportunity for the FA to give him the benefit of thedoubt. ‘There had to be a penalty, bearing in mind the world pressure. But he hasnot been given the benefit of the doubt, quite clearly. ‘United director and solicitor Maurice Watkins immediately announced the clubwill appeal against what they describe as a ‘savage and unprecedented’punishment for Ferdinand, who failed to take the drugs test on September 23. But anti-doping boss Pound warns that may be a dangerous course of action. Pound told BBC News 24 he believes Ferdinand got off lightly, questioning thereasoning of the tribunal – given that the penalty in other sports would mostlikely have been a two-year ban. ‘They (must) have heard something which mitigates the penalty,’ he said.

Oldham block N.Ireland-Dowie talks
go.com – Dec 19, 2003
Ireland-Dowie talksSecond Division Oldham have blocked the Irish Football Association’s bid to talk to manager Iain Dowie. IFA president Jim Boyce pointed out they only wanted to interview him, notoffer him the Northern Ireland job. The Irish have been without a manager since Sammy McIlroy left to joinStockport at the end of the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign. Dowie has gained much respect for the way he has run Oldham in difficultfinancial circumstances. Now the IFA will step up their search and hope to have the new man installednext month when the international committee reconvene. That will give him time to prepare the squad for the friendlies against Norwayin February and Estonia in March. Boyce says there is no front-runner for the post, adding: ‘We only wished tointerview Iain Dowie, along with other interested parties.

ScottishFitba – the definitive Scotland website. Independent news and…
Scottish Fitba – Dec 18, 2003
Liverpool

Gunners star hails Gerrard

Story by Chris Maxwell
18 December 2003

Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira expects tough-tackling Liverpool counterpart Steven Gerrard to prove his undoubted talent on the international stage in next summer’s Euro 2004 tournament. Vieira will pit his wits against the 23-year-old Liverpool midfielder when France begin their defence of the European Championships against Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England side in June. While most eyes will be focused upon the likes of Thierry Henry and Michael Owen ahead of the highly-anticipated clash, Vieira admits that he is eagerly awaiting his key confrontation with a player he feels has improved greatly in the last two years. Vieira said: “I am a big fan of Steven Gerrard. We play in the same position and he’s a very talented player… “He has all the things he needs to be one of the best – strength, range of passes and tackling. He has improved a lot in the last two years and becoming captain has helped as well. “He is not afraid of the responsibility and he can be one of the big stars in the finals next year.

Keep an open mind as Matt settles in
Edinburgh Evening News – Dec 20, 2003
Madness to restrict ourselves given that the Brazilian team which won the latest football World Cup drew players from far and wide – and certainly well beyond Rio? Or an inspirational move knowing that only severe measures will do to cope with the threat from you-know-who over the border and their disinclination to do Scots any favours (here I’m talking sport, remember)? Only time will tell what is the right course and, meantime, it is essential that Matt Williams, notwithstanding stakes are high, is given a chance and I say that for one reason alone. Namely, Williams had the guts to set out his stall and signal crystal-clear communications that are paramount in these fly-by-the-seats-of-your-pants times; he deserves huge respect for this transparency no matter what the future holds. Bear in mind, too, that while Scottish football’s sad demise in Euro 2004 qualifying at the hands of the Dutch masters provoked intense disappointment I have detected, still, only realisation that Berti Vogts took necessary measures that only a non-Scot would have had the gall to tackle. ‘Might as well go down 6-0 giving it a go as bow our with something called dignity but at the end of dismal rearguard effectively only keeping the score down’ was how it was put to me and I agree. Aussie Williams may turn out to be the rugby equivalent of German Vogts in shaking up the system – and that can’t be a bad thing. I doubt it while recognising there is much merit in the remarks attributed to one ex-internationalist who told me that the controversy provoked by Williams at this stage in his tenure is something the game could have done without simply to allow the balm of optimism provided by head acting chief executive David Mackay to heal some of the many wounds of the pro era. But in standing Williams alongside Vogts that is where comparisons between the two sports must end… But in standing Williams alongside Vogts that is where comparisons between the two sports must end. That’s because those who copy simply end up as pale imitations and if there is one matter above all others that the outgoing “regime” at Murrayfield can take pride from it is, surely, that they have refused to be drawn into emulating other professional sports preferring to borrow ideas and incorporate them here and there. If rugby’s bosses had gone down the Xerox route then there would not be unprecedented numbers following rugby today most notably on the small screen and through the media. Honestly, ask yourself just how many people have mentioned rugby to you recently who haven’t previously shown any interest? And what is the benefit of rugby’s go-it-alone-for-better-or-worse policy? Why, the best news for me this week is the steps football is taking to COPY rugby, that’s what. You see, by turning pro. as recently as 1995 rugby might have had a lot of catching up to do (and still has) but it also had a blank sheet of paper to chart its future. Consequently while football carries the baggage of pro.

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