Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 29, 2003

Versatile Sutton and Thompson worth a call

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 1:25 pm

The News Review:

* Eriksson rumours turn the tables on FA
* Mad Brit Diary Wish list for 2004.
* 2003 was a year filled with shock and aah
* Versatile Sutton and Thompson worth a call
* Jump off World Cup bandwagon
* Row over Rio
* FA cast eyes at Hitzfeld’s record
* Hu-go told to stay by Robson
* Parker belongs in the big time
* Charlton strike it rich against Chelsea
* UEFA diary: August

Eriksson rumours turn the tables on FA
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 27, 2003
And for why? As Eriksson himself says: “If we do not do well in Euro 2004, who wants me?”. But it is remarkable that for the first time in English football history, it is the FA, not the manager, living in fear of the sack.

Mad Brit Diary Wish list for 2004.
SoccerTimes – Dec 28, 2003
Also on the MB’s wish list:That Michael Owen recovers quickly from yet another injury. That Rio Ferdinand finally learns his lesson: drug testing is serious business. That David Beckham continues on his current form and proves to all those Euro-snobs that Mad Brits can play pretty football and not just kick and rush. That if the English team fails at Euro 2004 in Portugal, the Dutch team will finally get its act together and win some silverware. That Thierry Henry finally wins “Footballer of The Year” as he should have in 2003. He was robbed by Zinedine Zidane. That America’s women’s pro soccer league rises from the ashes and continue to carry the banner for the girls’ game worldwide.

2003 was a year filled with shock and aah
Irish Independent – Dec 28, 2003
Other areas of Government responsibility which caused public anxiety include the handling of clerical abuse, traffic congestion and the jailing of bin protestors as well as the college fees controversy and political corruption. But people were also depressed by matters outside State control. Our failure to qualify for the Euro 2004 soccer tournament was number four on the list of feel-bad factors. However, the gloom was lifted by the huge spectacle of Ireland hosting the Special Olympics. Over 50 per cent singled this out as the best thing for them in 2003. While many can rightfully feel proud of the part they played in this wonderful event, no one can claim credit for the next most cheering event – the good summer weather. Mind you, the appearance of Mickey Harte – National Song Contest winner and unsuccessful Eurovision representative at Number three on the list, suggests it was an uneventful year… While many can rightfully feel proud of the part they played in this wonderful event, no one can claim credit for the next most cheering event – the good summer weather. Mind you, the appearance of Mickey Harte – National Song Contest winner and unsuccessful Eurovision representative at Number three on the list, suggests it was an uneventful year. While 2004 will not be an easy year for Fran Rooney, the newly-appointed whizz-kid at FAI headquarters, his potential stadium partners, the IRFU, can enjoy the knowledge that they made many happy with their brave performance in this year’s Rugby World Cup by coming fifth on the list of what people felt good about. The GAA will take great comfort from the knowledge that Tyrone only had to make the journey to Dublin and win the Sam Maguire in 2003 to secure them recognition – sixth place on the list. But, as always, the public were divided on some issues. The Spire in O’Connell St had the distinction of making both lists at number 10, indicating that it had annoyed as many people as it inspired. As for Ireland’s role in the war in Iraq, the protests against the war were number nine on the list of cheerful things, with, conversely, the attacks on aircraft at Shannon making the same number on the feel-bad list.

Versatile Sutton and Thompson worth a call
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 28, 2003
“But there is a strong argument for Sven-Goran Eriksson to consider Sutton and Thompson, especially with Euro 2004 in mind. I’m not saying that he necessarily has to have both players in his squad, but each would bring something valuable. “Sutton is, quite simply, so versatile that, in point of fact, you’re getting three players for the price of one. He doesn’t play as often for Celtic up front as he used to, because Henrik Larsson and John Hartson are such a good partnership, but he keeps on getting goals. OK, some of the defences he plays against in the SPL aren’t the strongest, but he does it in Europe, too.

Jump off World Cup bandwagon
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 27, 2003
Where were you during the lean times, eh? Where were you when rugby was dismissed as a public school affectation, as a game played by men with funny-shaped balls? Oh, how you sniggered at all those stereotypes. We’ll stiffen the upper lip, clasp you warmly by the hand and acknowledge that we had nothing whatsoever to do with it, that all morality tales about rugby’s team ethos versus football’s individual petulance are simply hot air, and that sport is sport, not homily nor metaphor. In other words, we won’t trespass on your territory – so get off ours. Let’s also get real with Ireland. They are not a great side.

Row over Rio
This Day – This Day (subscription) – Dec 27, 2003
“I didn’t expect eight months – that’s a long time,” he said. “We will try to support him and the best thing to do is to win every game now. ”
Effect on England
As the ban placed on Ferdinand continues to generate mixed reactions from various quarters, the English team preparing for the Euro 2004 in Portugal will also have to bite a pie in the loss of Manchester United defender. Coach Sven Goran Errikson was forced to leave the player out of the last journey to Istanbul for the last group match in Euro qualifying series against group rival, Turkey. While England would secure the ticket with a draw, Turkey in the second position needed a win. This therefore translated that a compact defence formation was needed to do the dirty work of warding off Hakan Sukur-led forward. Although the mission to Istanbul was accomplished, it was not without a fight… While England would secure the ticket with a draw, Turkey in the second position needed a win. This therefore translated that a compact defence formation was needed to do the dirty work of warding off Hakan Sukur-led forward. Although the mission to Istanbul was accomplished, it was not without a fight. The team really felt the absence of Ferdinand. Before their departure from England, some of the team members accused the FA of disturbing the harmony that existed in the team by handling Ferdinand’s matter inappropriately. They even threatend to boycott the match. Sympathy for the defender even extended to team officials.

FA cast eyes at Hitzfeld’s record
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 29, 2003
Soho Square officials hope the Swede will sign a contract extension to 2008 but if he departs after Euro 2004, as many expect, the FA will set their sights on luring Hitzfeld. Since taking over at the FA, Palios has talked about the need for a “contingency plan” in case Eriksson leaves, which is standard practice in the business world where Palios has spent the last 20 years. Hitzfeld’s qualities and track record make him an obvious candidate… Palios is prepared for the FA to go foreign again, particularly with Eriksson having been such a positive influence. While the FA’s ambition in seeking to recruit the most respected coach in European football is admirable, many obstacles lie in their way. A principled man not given to breaking contracts, Hitzfeld’s Bayern deal expires in 2005 with talks on a one-year extension expected next spring. The feeling in Germany is that Hitzfeld wants to succeed Rudi Voller as Germany coach after the 2006 World Cup finals. Other problems for the FA include Hitzfeld’s poor grasp of English. The FA would also need to gauge domestic reaction to a German managing England. Hitzfeld’s nationality is less of an issue to Palios, who simply wants to recruit the best, while England’s players would be presented with the opportunity of working with an accomplished coach feted by their own club managers.

Hu-go told to stay by Robson
Independent Online – Dec 27, 2003
The 20-year-old Viana joined the English premier league club in July 2002 for P8,5-million (R94-million) but has been unable to force his way into the first team on a regular basis, a situation that could damage his chances of representing Portugal at Euro 2004. “I know he would like to go on loan but I’m staying firm in keeping all the quality players here at the club for what is ahead of us this season,” Robson told reporters. “We will review the situation at the end of January but he does not have a cat in hell’s chance of leaving before then… The 20-year-old Viana joined the English premier league club in July 2002 for P8,5-million (R94-million) but has been unable to force his way into the first team on a regular basis, a situation that could damage his chances of representing Portugal at Euro 2004. “I know he would like to go on loan but I’m staying firm in keeping all the quality players here at the club for what is ahead of us this season,” Robson told reporters. “We will review the situation at the end of January but he does not have a cat in hell’s chance of leaving before then. “In principle I don’t see that situation changing. Who knows what might happen here in the next four or five months in terms of further injuries we may incur?

“We have six players injured at the moment and I cannot let Hugo go.

Parker belongs in the big time
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 29, 2003
If he was consistent last season, his performances this term have taken him on to an entirely new level, a level that has produced England recognition and provided a more than decent chance of making the squad for the finals of Euro 2004. His contribution to the Boxing Day win against Chelsea was typical. Carrying a groin strain – though you would never have known it – the 23-year-old Londoner was marvellous in midfield, pushing his side on to a memorable win. The story yesterday, however, during Charlton’s rather fortunate win at Spurs, wasn’t quite so spectacular. For most of the first half, Parker, still feeling his injury, was largely pegged back, forced to do most of his work on the edge of his own penalty area… But a loan spell at Norwich two years ago helped cure that on the way to toughening up Parker in general so that he could deal with the rigours of the big time. And the big time, it seems, is where Parker belongs – which, if we are being absolutely honest, rules out any move to struggling Spurs. Yesterday’s events conclusively proved his worth: not in a spectacular way but in a dedicated, workmanlike fashion when his team desperately needed every hand on deck to eke out a result. Parker can do that just as well as the good bits, making him the type of midfielder that everyone covets.

Charlton strike it rich against Chelsea
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 27, 2003
Scott Parker outshone Frank Lampard and Joe Cole in midfield and strengthened his case for inclusion in England’s Euro 2004 squad, especially as Tord Grip, assistant to England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, was among the 26,768 crowd. Parker came close to joining Chelsea six months ago and Curbishley said: “When they were talking I don’t think Chelsea had two pennies to rub together because it was before Abramovich arrived. It was great for Scott when he then won an England cap but even more significant for Charlton, proving he can do it with us. “The match provided the sort of stage Paolo di Canio relishes and the Italian did not disappoint, having a role in three goals. “It was probably his most influential performance for us,” said Curbishley… Parker came close to joining Chelsea six months ago and Curbishley said: “When they were talking I don’t think Chelsea had two pennies to rub together because it was before Abramovich arrived. It was great for Scott when he then won an England cap but even more significant for Charlton, proving he can do it with us. “The match provided the sort of stage Paolo di Canio relishes and the Italian did not disappoint, having a role in three goals. “It was probably his most influential performance for us,” said Curbishley. Chelsea recently ended a seven-game run without conceding a goal and yesterday collective and individual errors underlined the reason why they are trying to bring Roberto Ayala from Valencia. “Will Ayala come? I don’t know,” said manager Claudio Ranieri, whose team have lost two of their last three matches. “It was unusual for us, conceding four.

UEFA diary: August
uefa.comUEFA.com – Dec 27, 2003
The project is aimed at helping UEFA reach a decision on whether to allow competition matches on artificial turf in the coming years. 19 AugustA meeting of the UEFA Artificial Turf Experts’ Panel at UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland hears that UEFA has opted for the more challenging option of testing artificial turf for its possible future use at the very highest European levels – thereby hoping to set an example for the artificial turf industry. “It is not bombastic to say that we are dealing with the future,” UEFA competition operations director Jacob Erel tells the gathering of medical and technical experts who are supporting UEFA’s studies into artificial turf. “Decisions that may be taken by UEFA will have a definite influence on football. “21 AugustUEFA Chief Executive Gerhard Aigner says that there is every reason for optimism at the start of the new European club competition season. Writing in the latest edition of the official UEFA publication uefadirect, published on the eve of the Monaco gala and UEFA Super Cup match which herald the start of the new campaign, Mr Aigner comments: “The new season promises to be an exciting one for a number of reasons. There is of course the new UEFA Champions League format, with just one group phase, followed immediately by direct knock-out matches… ], the three per cent increase in disciplinary cases is not excessive,” the report explains. One particular reason for the slight increase was the number of hard-fought UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying matches. However, despite the higher number of disciplinary cases, the number of appeals has continued to fall. 29 AugustUEFA rules that teams from Israel cannot stage European competition matches on home soil for the time being, but the situation will be reviewed again in October. The UEFA Emergency Panel comes to the decision after discussing the issue in Monaco, where UEFA activities are taking place to herald the start of the new season.

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