Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 12, 2004

Portugal’s first test

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 4:47 am

The News Review:

* UEFA add fuel to burn-out fears
* Croatia ban Biscan for six months
* Online ticket scam hits Euro 2004
* Portugal’s first test
* Robben keeps Chelsea on a roll
* Eriksson will stand by Owen
* Saha and Peguy called up by France
* Sad tale of shattered dreams
* Vogts departs with sideswipe for his critics
* Reyes is left out of Spain’s squad
* Uncapped Lahm called up by Germans
* Scotland: Does the new Scotland boss get a magic wand to make…
* Baros on brink of Reds return
* TRANSFER TITTLE TATTLE
* Inside Soccer: Sagging Spurs plumb the depths
* Uncapped Klasnic in Croatia squad
* Hansson handed Sweden chance

UEFA add fuel to burn-out fears
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 12, 2004
Germany’s South American tour planned for December 2005 was cancelled yesterday after coach Jürgen Klinsmann expressed fears of “burn-out”. Klinsmann and Eriksson found that their concerns about the stresses engendered by over-playing in an increasingly competitive sport were supported by UEFA. The speed and intensity of the modern game inevitably brought some shuddering collisions at Euro 2004. “Fractures were a real problem during the tournament – six per cent of all injuries compared with two per cent during a league season,” continued Ekstrand, writing in the UEFA publication Medicine Matters, though he stressed that “the total risk of injury was similar to that found in top-level league play”. Rooney’s fractured metatarsal prompted some interesting debate in UEFA medical circles. For reasons of patient confidentiality, the UEFA report does not mention the England forward by name, referring to him as: “Case 3.

Croatia ban Biscan for six months
CNN International – Feb 12, 2004
The midfielder quit on the eve of Croatia’s Euro 2004 qualifier at home to Bulgaria in October — and gave no reason. “Biscan was given the highest possible penalty because he failed to respond to our request that he justify his walkout,” Croatian FA disciplinary committee president, Ante Tomas, said. Two weeks ago Biscan informed the FA by fax that he was not motivated to play for Croatia any more but did not say why he had left the team without explanation. The committee then gave him another two weeks to justify himself. Biscan’s ban starts from December 8, 2003, the day the national team management reported his behaviour to the FA… The midfielder quit on the eve of Croatia’s Euro 2004 qualifier at home to Bulgaria in October — and gave no reason. “Biscan was given the highest possible penalty because he failed to respond to our request that he justify his walkout,” Croatian FA disciplinary committee president, Ante Tomas, said. Two weeks ago Biscan informed the FA by fax that he was not motivated to play for Croatia any more but did not say why he had left the team without explanation. The committee then gave him another two weeks to justify himself. Biscan’s ban starts from December 8, 2003, the day the national team management reported his behaviour to the FA. It will expire on June 8 — four days before the start of the Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal where Croatia are in the same group as England, France and Switzerland. Biscan, 25, had been called into the squad for the Bulgaria match by coach Otto Baric after a two-year absence.

Online ticket scam hits Euro 2004
iAfrica.com – Feb 10, 2004
2 million tickets for the finals, which will be held betwen June 12 and July 4, are available only through the official Euro 2004 website or the national football federations of the 16 participating countries. To combat counterfeiting, the tickets themselves will only be distributed two weeks before the tournament begins. Tournament organisers last month warned fans not to buy their Euro 2004 tickets through unofficial Internet sites because these were most likely either scams. Madail said the Portuguese firms had all bought their tickets before that warning was issued. “These cases were what prompted us to issue the warning,” he said. Dozens of unofficial Euro 2004 sites are offering tickets for the tournament for more than five times their face value of between 35 and 270 euros (44 and 343 dollars). Those caught re-selling match tickets for profit face a jail sentence of up to three years under Portuguese law.

Portugal’s first test
go.com – Feb 12, 2004
As far as England are concerned their fans carry the stigma of being troublemakers and UEFA have already warned the FA that any problems in Portugal could see the national team thrown out of the championships. However, Minister for Sport Richard Caborn is confident that England supporters will be as well behaved in Portugal as they were at the 2002 World Cup. He said: ‘I hope this tournament will be memorable for events on the pitch and not off it. ”As they were in Japan. ‘England will be based in Lisbon for Euro 2004 and play both France and Croatia in the 65,000 seater Luz Stadium. The picturesque university town, not unlike Oxford, is not exposed to the annual mass tourism that much of Portugal enjoys and will offer the organizers the toughest challenge with around 30,000 fans frequenting the cluster of bars around the Praca da Republica.

Robben keeps Chelsea on a roll
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 11, 2004
Chelsea maintained their perfect start to their Champions League campaign and in so doing secured their place in the qualifying stages of the competition with two games left. However, the result allowed Jose Mourinho, Chelsea’s perfectionist head coach, to continue his remarkable love affair with the competition; for now he can dream of lifting again the trophy he collected with Porto last May. Chelsea took their points tally to a perfect 12 with a patient display that will allow Mourinho to rest players in the remaining ties. Mourinho, whose side kept their 12th clean sheet in just 16 games, said: “When we started the Champions League group our objective was to qualify either as the winners or in second place and after four matches it’s done. “But I can promise CSKA that when we play PSG and Porto in the last two games, we won’t change our attitude; if anybody believes we will ease off they are making a big mistake… Maybe he’s not ready for 90 minutes yet but he has brought us a different dimension. ” Mourinho continued his rotation policy by making four changes to the team who had won 4-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Robben, who missed the early part of the season with a foot injury sustained at Euro 2004 with Holland, Glen Johnson, Scott Parker and Ricardo Carvalho were in the line-up. Alexei Smertin had been ruled out with a muscle strain, Wayne Bridge omitted and Joe Cole and Paulo Ferreira dropped to the bench. Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s billionaire Russian owner, appeared to be at home as he watched his team continue their good work. Chelsea, also watched by the country’s former president, Boris Yeltsin, came under pressure in the seventh minute when, from a corner by Rolan Gusev, Jiri Jarosik headed down and wide. Chelsea responded with a Frank Lampard free kick that struck the CSKA wall and Robben was beginning to tease and torment his markers.

Eriksson will stand by Owen
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 10, 2004
I don’t have a timetable but I am concerned when I read that he is concerned. I just hope that when he comes in for Madrid, he gets goals, which would change everything. “Apart from the worrying fact that Owen is not considered good enough to claim a place in a Madrid side who have lost three of their last five matches, he is not getting enough time on the pitch to build confidence and match fitness. He was not even summoned from the bench during Real’s 4-2 Champions League win over Roma in midweek and has played just 97 minutes since England’s win in Poland on Sept 8. Raul’s return to form and favour does not encourage the belief that anything more than an egg timer will be needed to measure his contribution against Deportivo La Coruna tonight, if he gets on at all. Owen, of course, is not the only England player short on playing minutes this season. Ferdinand will be playing only his fourth match, against Middlesbrough today, while his central defensive partner Sol Campbell played his third for Arsenal yesterday… And Wayne Rooney was making just his second appearance for Manchester United today, although when you can knock in a hat-trick in 37 playing minutes, as he did against Fenerbahce in midweek, time on the field is irrelevant. Against Wales and Azerbaijan on Wednesday week, hardly major forces in international football, Eriksson can afford to be kind to Owen, especially as he will be partnered by a man who is such a force of nature. Eriksson smiles when he recalls the moment he told Rooney he would be starting for England for the first time in the vital Euro 2004 qualifier in Turkey last October. He says: “I saw him in practice and it was fair that he should play. My only fear was when I should tell him and what the reaction would be. In such a big game, you would normally expect to see a reaction in a player’s face, so I delayed telling him until just before, or after lunch on match day. He just said ‘okay’, as if he were about to play a game in the park.

Saha and Peguy called up by France
CNN – Feb 12, 2004
But there was no place for striker Nicolas Anelka, who has been angling for a way back into the squad after snubbing a call-up in November 2002. Uncapped Saha, who joined United from Fulham during the January transfer window, has scored three times in his four appearances for the English champions. “We did not wait until he went to Manchester United to have an eye on him,” Santini said. “He and Peguy can seize the opportunity to show they are more than replacement solutions. But he warned Saha against over-confidence adding: “We have to be careful… “As far as I’m concerned, faithful to my principles, I say again that Nicolas Anelka is not eligible for the Belgium friendly,” Santini said, emphasising the spirit and solidarity shown by the current squad. He even added that the debate over Anelka, who said last week he wanted to return to the squad and who received support from former Arsenal team mate Patrick Vieira and Frenchfederation president Claude Simonet, was damaging the squad. “The French group is caught up in these contradictory opinions, some of them surprising as they come from the inside, and has been weakened before this exciting and crucial competition — Euro 2004,” suggested Santini.

Sad tale of shattered dreams
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 10, 2004
This year that number was down to 18. Willesden High School, the only state school in recent times to have produced two England cricketers – Chris Lewis and Phillip DeFreitas – no longer even plays the game. Whereas the England football team boasted five Anglo-Caribbean players throughout Euro 2004, the last four non-white players to represent England at cricket are all of Asian background. Tudor would have been a fine role model to halt this decline. Schofield’s failure means that the search for an English leg-spinner goes on. If you disregard the influence of overseas leg-spinners like Mushtaq Ahmed, Intikhab Alam and Bruce Dooland, the last English wrist-spinner to have a serious impact on our game, and internationally, remains Doug Wright, six decades ago. And yet, with warmer, drier summers, covered pitches filled with hard Surrey and Ongar loams the conditions are now ripe for a leg-spinning revival in English cricket… If you disregard the influence of overseas leg-spinners like Mushtaq Ahmed, Intikhab Alam and Bruce Dooland, the last English wrist-spinner to have a serious impact on our game, and internationally, remains Doug Wright, six decades ago. And yet, with warmer, drier summers, covered pitches filled with hard Surrey and Ongar loams the conditions are now ripe for a leg-spinning revival in English cricket. Like Ian Salisbury before him, it seems Schofield will not be the man in the vanguard of this movement. It is to be hoped that both will get a chance with another county. Mark Butcher, Surrey’s new captain, said he was sorry to see Tudor go since he was “one of the most talented players at the club”. Surely too talented not to be given a chance to let those injuries clear up. If you ignore the expectations raised by Schofield’s England call-up and think of him as an inexperienced young cricketer then his career figures – average 29.

Vogts departs with sideswipe for his critics
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 11, 2004
“I must say that the major factor in this decision has been the disgraceful abuse that I have suffered, especially of late. It has degenerated into a physical nature, especially on recent occasions where I have been spat upon,” said Vogts. “This is not acceptable behaviour in a civilised society and I know that the vast majority of Scots will join me in my disgust at this act by a very tiny minority. The abuse is something that people in public life must get used to but now it is having a serious effect on my home life. “What these actions have proved has been the unacceptable power of the tabloid press to influence its readership. The opinions expressed, mostly by journalists with little knowledge of the game, have certainly had a great effect on some fans. ”The spitting incidents aside, Vogts’s account of the events which brought him to the end of his tenure as Scotland manager, after two years and eight months, is not likely to dilute the criticism, and even scorn, which has been directed at the man who declared, on his arrival, that he wanted to be known as “Berti McVogts”… In August he was adamant that he at last had sufficient players of quality that “we can lose four of five of the lads and we will still be able to do our jobs”. A shambolic 3-0 friendly defeat by Hungary at Hampden was met with the plea by Vogts to be judged by his competitive results, but a goalless draw with Slovenia was followed by a 1-0 home defeat by Norway, in which the manager stuck to his strategy of operating with only one forward until the final 10 minutes, to the loud displeasure of the crowd. And although Vogts could point to the 1-0 Hampden victory over Dick Advocaat’s Dutch in last season’s Euro 2004 play-offs (followed by a 6-0 thrashing in the return), his competitive record was bookended by a farcical 2-2 draw in the Faroe Islands and the scrambled 1-1 draw with Moldova. The most vociferous critics will now turn their ire on the SFA president, John McBeth, and chief executive David Taylor. There was support for Vogts, however, from former Scotland captain Gary McAllister and ex-Germany manager, Franz Beckenbauer. “This was inevitable. There was a massive build-up of pressure in the Scottish press,” said McAllister.

Reyes is left out of Spain’s squad
CNN – Feb 12, 2004
“But he got injured so I didn’t get the chance to see him and that’s why he’s in the squad again. “I want everyone to play in this friendly and that’s why I’ve chosen just 18 and I plan to make the full seven changes during the game. Saez said that although he had not called up in-form Monaco striker Fernando Morientes, the former Real Madrid player was likely to feature in future friendlies before Euro 2004. “We’ve got two more major preparation games to come and if he (Morientes) keeps playing the way he is at the moment he will be sure to figure in the squad. The only other changes to the squad that beat Norway in the playoffs to reach the Euro 2004 finals were the omission of Deportivo Coruna defender Cesar and Real Madrid midfielder Guti… “But he got injured so I didn’t get the chance to see him and that’s why he’s in the squad again. “I want everyone to play in this friendly and that’s why I’ve chosen just 18 and I plan to make the full seven changes during the game. Saez said that although he had not called up in-form Monaco striker Fernando Morientes, the former Real Madrid player was likely to feature in future friendlies before Euro 2004. “We’ve got two more major preparation games to come and if he (Morientes) keeps playing the way he is at the moment he will be sure to figure in the squad. The only other changes to the squad that beat Norway in the playoffs to reach the Euro 2004 finals were the omission of Deportivo Coruna defender Cesar and Real Madrid midfielder Guti.

Uncapped Lahm called up by Germans
CNN International – Feb 11, 2004
Lahm, 20, is the only uncapped player in a 24-man squad named by Voeller on Wednesday for the friendly international on February 18 in Split. Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Torsten Frings both return to the squad after long injury breaks. Hamann, who could win his 50th cap in Split, has not played for Germany since a 1-1 draw with Lithuania in March last year. A gifted wingback, Lahm is one of several talented players in the Stuttgart team who finished runners-up in the Bundesliga last season and will play Chelsea in the first knockout round of the Champions League. The game in Croatia will be the first of the year for the World Cup runners-up and the first of six warm-up matches Germany will play before the European championship finals in Portugal from June 12 to July 4.

Scotland: Does the new Scotland boss get a magic wand to make…
Squarefootball – Feb 11, 2004
The mere facts of the matter are that developing international star players of the future takes a very long time, and Vogts was never going to be given that time. Like any manager, he has been judged on results in the present day. He is not without responsibility for disasters like the 2-2 draw with the Faroe Islands in qualifying for Euro 2004, or the record 3-0 home defeat recently to the spent footballing force that is Hungary. However, to blame it all on Berti is woefully simplistic, and is a stance which fails to tackle the real issues within the Scottish game. It is doutbful whether even Scottish managerial greats such as Jock Stein, Bill Shankly or Sir Alex Ferguson, three of the best managers that the world has ever seen, would be able to improve the current plight of a team that is frankly out of its depth at the moment. English football, and in particular the England national team, needs to learn the lessons from Scotland’s awful plight. The Premiership is fast becoming a three-team league for much the same reasons as the SPL has lost its competetive edge.

Baros on brink of Reds return
go.com – Feb 10, 2004
LIVERPOOL –>Updated: Feb. 10, 2004Baros on brink of Reds returnLiverpool striker Milan Baros is on the brink of a first team comeback after five months out injured – which will delight both club and country. The young Czech striker is destined to be a key figure for his country in theEuro 2004 finals, while Liverpool need his abilities up front to take theweight off Michael Owen’s shoulders. And now Baros is hoping one more reserve team run-out on Thursday will ensurehe at least makes the Liverpool bench for Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round home tiewith Portsmouth. Baros, who will play in the reserves against Aston Villa, said: ‘There isstill a lot to play for this season. ‘I want to do well for Liverpool in the remaining games and then look towardsthe European Championships in the summer. ‘Baros broke his ankle at Blackburn in September after an innocuoustackle from on-loan Liverpool defender Markus Babbel but believes he is now readyfor a return, having made his initial comeback in the reserves against Newcastlelast week… That decision lieswith the manager,’ he said. ‘I played a reserve game last week and that went well. The conditions werenot good on the night and so that made the match difficult to play in, but I didnot feel any reaction from the injury and that was the most important thing. ‘I have been back in full training for the last three weeks now and I amfeeling a lot better. I am still a little bit scared to tackle but that willcome with time. ‘I do not feel any pain. The last five months have been hard because I havenot been able to play, but I feel fine now.

TRANSFER TITTLE TATTLE
Redissue – Feb 10, 2004
Us Seville-born players are very popular in England,” joked the right-sided midfielder. “I have an extended contract until at least 2008 and it all depends completely on my club. At the moment I am only thinking about doing my best for Betis and going with Spain to Euro 2004 in Portugal. I have had no offer from United and nobody from the club has spoken to me. ?However his old man is reported as saying”United have not been watching my son so much this season just to pass the time of day. They have come to sign him. ” Reports claim that Ajax have told their defender Hatem Trabelsi that he can leave the club for Old Trafford in the summer if United cough up a ?4million transfer fee… At the moment I am only thinking about doing my best for Betis and going with Spain to Euro 2004 in Portugal. I have had no offer from United and nobody from the club has spoken to me. ?However his old man is reported as saying”United have not been watching my son so much this season just to pass the time of day. They have come to sign him. ” Reports claim that Ajax have told their defender Hatem Trabelsi that he can leave the club for Old Trafford in the summer if United cough up a ?4million transfer fee. Walsall boss Colin Lee has excepted defeat in his attempt to sign Manchester United left-winger Kieran Richardon on loan. “I’ve inquired about Richardson.

Inside Soccer: Sagging Spurs plumb the depths
nwsource.com – Feb 10, 2004
For the moment, I’ve only spoken to him for five minutes. I want to come back, to be an international again. ”
Although Arsenal’s Thierry Henry and Juventus’ David Trezeguet will probably start for France in Euro 2004, Santini needs cover after an injury to Auxerre’s Djibril Cisse. Anelka has gotten support from French captain Marcel Desailly and Gunners captain Patrick Vieira. “Before I talk about the man, I judge the player,” Vieira said. “I think that he’s back to his best and that he has the qualities to join the squad. ”
SVEN FOR CHELSEA: For the first time, Sven-Goran Eriksson has admitted he might be joining Chelsea… ”
Man U manager Alex Ferguson, on his team blowing a 3-0 lead to Everton on Saturday before recovering to win 4-3. QUOTE OF THE WEEK, PART TWO: “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings. As far as I’m concerned, she’s not even started warming up yet. In fact she hasn’t even stood up yet. When I hear her voice, that’s when I’ll start getting worried. ”
Leeds United forward Mark Viduka isn’t worried about relegation — yet. PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Uncapped Klasnic in Croatia squad
go.com – Feb 10, 2004
Dinamo Zagreb’s 19-year-old attacking midfielder NikoKranjcar was also called up as Baric continues his search for aplaymaker capable of setting the pace and feeding the strikerswith usable balls. The uncapped Kranjcar was in the squad for Croatia’s Europlayoff against Slovenia in November but did not play. Baric said he would try not to make too many substitutionsduring the game against the Germans as he is looking for onlyone or two additions to his basic squad. Croatia have four more warm-ups: Turkey at home on March 31,away to Macedonia on April 28, Slovakia (home) on May 29 andDenmark (away) on June 5. Squad:Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Shakhtar Donetsk), TomislavButina (Club Bruges)Defenders: Dario Simic (AC Milan), Igor Tudor (Juventus),Robert Kovac (Bayern Munich), Boris Zivkovic (VfB Stuttgart),Josip Simunic (Hertha Berlin), Stjepan Tomas (Fenerbahce), MatoNeretljak (Hajduk Split)Midfielders: Niko Kovac (Hertha Berlin), Milan Rapaic(Ancona), Jerko Leko (Dinamo Kiev), Marko Babic (BayerLeverkusen), Niko Kranjcar (Dinamo Zagreb), Darijo Srna(Shahktar Donetsk), Giovanni Rosso (Maccabi Haifa)Forwards: Dado Prso (Monaco), Tomo Sokota (Benfica), IvicaMornar (Portsmouth), Ivica Olic (CSKA Moscow), Ivan Klasnic(Werder Bremen). Your views on this story?.

Hansson handed Sweden chance
uefa.comUEFA.com – Feb 10, 2004
‘Show what he can do’”Petter has developed very well at Heerenveen and we thought it was time that he was given the chance to show what he can do at this level,” said co-coach Lars Lagerbäck of the 27-year-old, who won his only previous cap in 2001. Few surprisesOtherwise, the 20-man squad contained few surprises, although several players were included who are having trouble holding on to a first-team place at their clubs, such as Teddy Lucic, Marcus Allbäck and Rade Prica. “Some players are not playing regularly, while others are injured,” said Lagerbäck. “Even though we think it is important that players play on a regular basis, we must also consider their experience and skill as a whole… ‘Show what he can do’”Petter has developed very well at Heerenveen and we thought it was time that he was given the chance to show what he can do at this level,” said co-coach Lars Lagerbäck of the 27-year-old, who won his only previous cap in 2001. Few surprisesOtherwise, the 20-man squad contained few surprises, although several players were included who are having trouble holding on to a first-team place at their clubs, such as Teddy Lucic, Marcus Allbäck and Rade Prica. “Some players are not playing regularly, while others are injured,” said Lagerbäck. “Even though we think it is important that players play on a regular basis, we must also consider their experience and skill as a whole. “Missing duoTwo players were not included for personal reasons. Michael Svensson of Southampton FC is expected to become a father next week, while Anders Andersson of CF Os Belenenses has been given time off to settle into his new club. Tour duo includedJust two players are included from the recent Hong Kong tournament, Djurgårdens IF’s Johan Arneng and Andreas Isaksson, but Lagerbäck insisted that other players on this tour still have a chance of fighting their way into Sweden’s plans for Portugal.

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