Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 18, 2004

Eriksson issues Owen alert

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 2:13 pm

The News Review:

* Last great cast for Eriksson
* Portugal ‘is a Brazil test for England’
* ‘Golden generation’ need silverware
* Eriksson issues Owen alert
* Disguise the only answer as Eriksson is left in quandary
* England hooligans ‘escaping bans’
* Saha makes case for impressive France
* Euro contenders seek clues on day of 70 internationals
* Sub Ramelow sinks unlucky Croatia
* England versus Portugal; Svens squad
* Desailly in Euro 2004 pledge
* Viana dreaming of golden future
* Eriksson stands firm on changes
* Police stop ‘fans’ travelling
* Sparkling Estádio Algarve faces rocky outlook
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Becks plays the wide boy
* Eusebio: The agony of ’66
* Bridging the generation gap

Last great cast for Eriksson – Feb 17, 2004
“I hope the rule on substitutes will not be changed next week. It’s important to see new players in friendly games. In the games on June 1 and 5, all of my coaching colleagues with other countries will all use many substitutes as they prepare for Euro 2004. ” Not if FIFA decree otherwise. Those England dates, respectively against Japan and Iceland, plus next month’s friendly with Sweden will see less frantic clearing of the benches if Blatter has his way.

Portugal ‘is a Brazil test for England’
Independent Online – Feb 18, 2004
“It will be good to see other players but then we are a little bit unlucky that Ferdinand, Terry, Campbell and Jonathan Woodgate are all out and of course they are four extremely good defenders. ”
But the Swede was also worried that this would be the last friendly game where he would be allowed to make multiple substitutions if proposals from Fifa chief Sepp Blatter were adopted next week at a meeting of the international board. Looking ahead to Euro 2004, Eriksson was optimistic about England’s chances even though they have not won a major trophy since lifting the World Cup on home soil back in 1966. Eriksson also warned his Euro 2004 rivals to beware the goal threat of striker Michael Owen. Eriksson said he believed Liverpool forward Owen’s injury-enforced break this season would leave him fresh for international action at the end of what would otherwise be a long domestic season. “It helped Michael to have had a break,” said Eriksson. “For the World Cup, we had some players not playing – Gary Neville and Steven Gerrard – and some others – Michael Owen and David Beckham – who were not 100 percent fit,” the Swede added.

‘Golden generation’ need silverware – Feb 17, 2004
There is the first prickle of summer heat. What unites the two combatants in Faro tonight is an urgent need to convert reputation into reality. Euro 2004 is four months away, and here comes a declaration: there is more reason to be optimistic about England’s chances of winning one of the next two major tournaments than at any time since Euro 96. Ten years ago, Gareth Southgate made his international debut against a Portuguese side that contained Luis Figo, Rui Costa and Fernando Couto – the three young cavaliers who were born to bring Portugal in from the wilderness. The Brazilians of Europe were about to cease being the dilettantes of the world game… In age, Owen and Gerrard (both 24) are entitled to look more to the 2006 World Cup in Germany as the likely peak of their careers. Ashley Cole and John Terry (23) may gaze even further ahead. Not that Eriksson hides behind the convenient shield of inexperience. His strategy as a coach has been to identify a core of players who could walk through fire together. This is the only substantial link to.

Eriksson issues Owen alert
Independent Online – Feb 17, 2004
Eriksson, speaking ahead of England’s friendly away to Euro 2004 hosts Portugal in Faro on Wednesday, said he believed Liverpool forward Owen’s injury-enforced break this season would leave him fresh for international action at the end of what would otherwise be a long domestic season. “It might help Michael to have had a break,” Eriksson said on Tuesday. “For the World Cup, we had some players not playing – Gary Neville and Steven Gerrard – and some others – Michael Owen and David Beckham – who were not 100 percent fit,” the Swede added… Eriksson, speaking ahead of England’s friendly away to Euro 2004 hosts Portugal in Faro on Wednesday, said he believed Liverpool forward Owen’s injury-enforced break this season would leave him fresh for international action at the end of what would otherwise be a long domestic season. “It might help Michael to have had a break,” Eriksson said on Tuesday. “For the World Cup, we had some players not playing – Gary Neville and Steven Gerrard – and some others – Michael Owen and David Beckham – who were not 100 percent fit,” the Swede added. But when you talk about David Beckham and Michael Owen, I think that I should do it again. “They are two important players for the national team.

Disguise the only answer as Eriksson is left in quandary – Feb 18, 2004
In some games – or some halves of games – Eriksson has adapted by using a diamond formation in midfield, with Scholes at the tip, Gerrard at the base and Lampard further infield than a conventional left-winger would be. This offers no permanent solution to England’s problem, because: 1, Gerrard is not a defensive or ‘holding’ midfielder; 2, The narrowness of the diamond formation exposes the England full-backs to oncoming pace, and; 3, This is not the way any leading Premiership team play. This is Euro 2004, not Euro 96. Eight years ago, in England, Terry Venables was able to call on McManaman and Darren Anderton to provide width and pace. You could argue that Eriksson has no natural wingers because Beckham almost never sprints round defenders and is steadily drifting inside at Real Madrid. It’s unlikely that Eriksson has ever faced such a troubling tactical conundrum in his coaching career. With a club, a manager can reach for the chequebook and fill the void.

England hooligans ‘escaping bans’
BBC News – Feb 17, 2004
“They know it’s much better to prevent the trouble happening in the first place than to try and clear up the mess. ”

About 2,500 tickets have been made available to English fans for the “high-risk” fixture in Faro. The authorities in England and Portugal are treating it as a dress rehearsal for England’s opening matches of the Euro 2004 championship in Coimbra and Lisbon in June… Afterwards, Ms Blears said: “We will do everything we can to
ensure those with banning orders do not travel and that the banning orders
are enforced. ”

But the statement also said English police would monitor all England supporters travelling to Portugal. And any individual not banned but against whom there was evidence they posed a risk to public order in Portugal would be intercepted, prevented from travelling and face banning order court proceedings. “We are absolutely determined in England to do
everything we can to make sure that people in Portugal enjoy the football,” Ms Blears added.

Saha makes case for impressive France – Feb 18, 2004
Some of his touches, lay-offs and control had to be seen to be believed. Zidane played from the left rather than on the left flank, drifting inside when the mood took him to create havoc in the Belgian defence. England tend not to man-mark, but how to limit Zidane’s impact will no doubt occupy much of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s thoughts as Euro 2004 approaches. One can only wish the Swede success in surely the most demanding tactical task a coach can face. It was Zidane who was at the heart of all of France’s best moves. A minute before half-time France scored when Zidane threaded the ball to Saha, who was tackled by Vincent Kompany so clumsily that referee Mark Halsey might have been tempted to award a penalty. Halsey played the advantage and the ball broke to Govou, who marked his first appearance for France with a goal, a rising shot from 10 yards.

Euro contenders seek clues on day of 70 internationals – Feb 17, 2004
The last time the teams met, in 1987, Ireland won 1-0 in Dublin. In another Europe v South America encounter, another of the Euro 2004 favourites, Spain, take on Peru in Barcelona. Of the other finalists, Greece and Bulgaria meet in Athens, Switzerland visit African Nations Cup runners-up Morocco, Sweden travel to Albania and Denmark head for Adana to face World Cup semi-finalists Turkey who did not make it to Euro 2004. Elsewhere Australia, who are without a host of Europe-based players for one reason or another, travel to Venezuela, one of the teams they may have to meet in a play-off to reach the 2006 World Cup. Lawrie Sanchez takes charge of Northern Ireland for the first time against Norway and in Belfast his main goal will be simply to score — Northern Ireland have not hit the net in their last 13 games, a European international record.

Sub Ramelow sinks unlucky Croatia
CNN – Feb 18, 2004
Ramelow’s shot from 20 meters took a vicious deflection off midfielder Jerko Leko, to beat keeper Stipe Pletikosa. Croatia had levelled four minutes earlier with a header from Mato Neretljak after piling on the pressure in the second half after Miroslav Klose put Germany in front on 34 minutes. “Everything was not perfect but it was important for us to win, especially after that heavy defeat by France (3-0 in November),” said German coach Rudi Voeller. “They put us under a lot of pressure and we suffered during the first 20 minutes but after that we played better,”Croatia looked insecure at the back in the first half and Germany took advantage when Klose struck after a pass from Kevin Kuranyi – the only score from several good chances for both sides. It was Germany’s first away win in a friendly since they beat Hungary 5-2 in Budapest in August 2001. “It was certainly not a great game but it’s a nice to way to start the year. We have a lot of work to do before we can challenge the real top teams but this is something we can build on,” said Bayern keeper Oliver Kahn, who made several fine saves.

England versus Portugal; Svens squad
Squarefootball – Feb 16, 2004
Recently, England friendlies have endured much criticism, with many feeling that the continued frenzy of substitutions and consistent withdrawal of top players render the games pointless. Though Euro 2004 is approaching fast, and though Portugal are expected to be one of the major forces at the tournament, this fixture again looks set to suffer similarly. It has already been confirmed at the time of writing (February 16) that the latest England squad will be without many regulars. Rio Ferdinand’s exile from the game continues, while Steven Gerrard, Sol Campbell and Jonathan Woodgate will all miss the trip for various reasons… The Swede was accused of sticking by David Seaman for too long and is so far showing no signs of opening himself up to similar criticisms with Martyn. The England career of the former Crystal Palace and Leeds goalkeeper looks done and dusted as a result. Further forward, the midfield is not without its fair share of players who have endured criticism this season. They are led by diminutive playground footballer Joe Cole. The former West Ham man has struggled to play a full 90 minutes of football at star-studded Chelsea this season, yet he has managed to keep his place in the England set-up. It is a cliche often trotted out among football’s great and good that players must be playing regular first team football in order to be considered for international duty, but more and more now we are seeing that this is not true. With the amount of foreign talent now gracing the Premiership the England squad will continue to be littered with reserves and squad players from the top clubs.

Desailly in Euro 2004 pledge – Feb 16, 2004
CHELSEA –>Updated: Feb. 16, 2004Desailly in Euro 2004 pledge
PARIS, Feb 16 (Reuters) – France and Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly, who has been hampered by injury problems this season, has said he will be back to his best at the European championship in Portugal later this year. Holders France start their Euro 2004 campaign with a clashagainst England in Lisbon the day after the tournament, whichDesailly has said will be his last major event beforeretirement, opens on June 12. ‘I’ll be at my best on June 13,’ the 35-year-old centraldefender told sports daily l’Equipe. ‘Yes, I’ll be at my bestbut then will it be enough?’Desailly, who has a record 111 caps for France, saidmotivation and a strong will made him confident he would notmiss his farewell competition. ‘How many players are talented?’ he said. ‘A lot, but whatmakes the difference is the will to be the best… ‘How many players are talented?’ he said. ‘A lot, but whatmakes the difference is the will to be the best. ‘Sidelined by a hip injury between October and December,Desailly has not been an automatic first choice for either clubor country this season and competition within the French squadis fierce. ‘I’m 35 and I play less often, I tire out more quickly, butI make up for it by my experience, my position on the pitch andmy vision of the game,’ he said. ‘At the end of the day, if I play 35 games this season, itwill be roughly the same as the average French player and I’llreach a decent form in June. ‘Desailly will again captain his country in a friendlyagainst Belgium in Brussels on Wednesday, but France coachJacques Santini has a range of other players capable of playingat the heart of his defence. Lilian Thuram, William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre, Jean-AlainBoumsong or Philippe Mexes have all proved themselves worthyoptions.

Viana dreaming of golden future
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Feb 18, 2004
The Newcastle United player is part of the new wave of talent that is expected to meld with established — make that veteran — campaigners. Another failure would be the death rattle for the era of Luis Figo, Rui Costa and Fernando Couto. Under Scolari, a succession of non-competitive ties — as hosts of Euro 2004, Portugal were not required to qualify — have been inconclusive. Brazil were beaten 2-1, they have drawn with Holland and lost to Spain and Italy. There have been new players to assimilate and it is only now that the first XI are taking solid shape. Scolari has used the negatives to his advantage and motivation remains his greatest strength. “We were poor in the World Cup,” Viana said, “but since then we’ve changed our coach, our tactics and our mindset, too.

Eriksson stands firm on changes
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Feb 18, 2004
Meetings of the International Board and Fifa executive committee will discuss his proposals next week, but Eriksson was, by his own standards of arch-diplomacy, outspoken in defence of his half-time shuffle when he arrived here last night. “I think it is a big, big mistake if we change that rule,” he said. “It is not perfect for England, but it is better this way. ” The paying public and the millions watching at home would vehemently disagree. Throwing either Jamie Carragher or Danny Mills into central defence this evening — or perhaps both, as Eriksson may have to — is no one’s idea of an England team. A squad of 22 players arrived in Portugal last night and they will hope to be in a better state when they return in June for the European Championship finals. To lose one central defender might be regarded as misfortune, but tonight Eriksson will have to do without five… ” Eriksson said he had no regrets about picking David Beckham and Michael Owen, even if they had not been 100 per cent fit. Scolari would say only that “this is not a competition between me and Eriksson” and he also played down the significance of tonight’s fixture, perhaps mindful that the teams could meet in the quarter-finals this summer. “It has no relevance to Euro 2004,” he said. It could yet be significant for the likes of Alan Smith, though. The Leeds United forward scored his solitary international goal against Portugal at Villa Park, but, a month later, was sent off against Macedonia and began an exile that should end this evening, particularly with Darius Vassell dropping out owing to illness. Wayne Rooney and Owen will start up front. Smith could be one of ten substitutes in what, in terms of replacements, could be the last game of its kind, if Blatter has his way.

Police stop ‘fans’ travelling
BBC News – Feb 18, 2004
Courts will now decide whether each of the 10 will be subject to banning orders, a spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said. But they will not be allowed to travel to Portugal and there is no evidence anyone already banned has made it over. All 10 were stopped as part of tightened security at UK airports and ports ahead of the game in the Algarve. Dress rehearsal

About 2,000 known hooligans have already been stopped from travelling to Portugal through banning orders. It is unclear where any of the 10 were stopped. The police operation which began on Tuesday will continue at UK ports and airports until Wednesday night, the Acpo spokesman told BBC News Online… On Wednesday a 39-year-old man appeared before magistrates in north Somerset, after police spotters stopped him boarding a flight from Bristol to Faro the previous afternoon. Paul Lumber was banned by magistrates from travelling abroad within five days of any England international, or attending any domestic match for the next two years. The authorities in England and Portugal are treating the friendly as a dress rehearsal for England’s opening matches of the Euro 2004 championship in Coimbra and Lisbon.

Sparkling Estádio Algarve faces rocky outlook
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Feb 18, 2004
Plans have been drawn up to remove sections of the stands after Euro 2004, reducing the stadium to a 20,000 capacity and us ing it for pop concerts and football tournaments for foreign teams. However, there are serious doubts that these will even cover the running costs. Suggestions that Farense and Louletano should combine to make one team have not been popularly received. The official inauguration in November was a relatively low-key affair in which the only footballs kicked were by politicians.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Becks plays the wide boy – Feb 17, 2004
17, 2004Becks happy to be wide boyDavid Beckham says he is happy to revert to a right-sided midfield role to help bring England success at Euro 2004. The England captain has developed his game in a more central position since he joined Real Madrid from Manchester United last summer, but will play wider in the formation favoured by national team coach Sven Goran Eriksson. Beckham said: ‘I’m not sure whether I’ll get that role for England but I’menjoying it there for Real Madrid because it’s different to what I’d been doingfor the past 10 or 15 years at Manchester United. ‘It’s a different story with the national team, because my position is on theright just out of the middle. ‘If I’m put in the middle then great, but I’m happy on the right and Ihaven’t got a problem with it. ‘Beckham is again set to be on the right side in England’s friendly with Euro 2004 hosts Portugal tomorrow as part of a midfield quartet also including Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard. With Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney up front, John Terry should partner GarethSouthgate in defence.

Eusebio: The agony of ’66
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Feb 16, 2004
On this day, MasterCard have invited him to share his views on football and Euro 2004, something he does with poise and measure. Bring up 1966, however, and the dignified diplomacy of being an institution goes out the window. England’s greatest footballing moment conjures up painful memories of injustice in Portugal. But that’s football: while events such as the World Cup provide fans with a common history, the way those very same events are remembered can differ greatly from country to country. In a sort of Rashomon effect (the Akira Kurosawa film), where each participant has different recollections, we view the past through our own lenses.

Bridging the generation gap – Feb 16, 2004
The original kids on the block are the likes of Luis Figo, Fernando Couto and Rui Costa. The young ones snapping at their heels are players like Hugo Viana, Ricardo Quaresema and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo. For the fabled Portuguese ‘Golden Generation’, this tournament may have come too late, as most of them are past their peak. Euro 2000, in which their campaign collapsed amidst shameful scenes in the semi-final, now seems like their best chance of senior honours to go along with the twin World Youth Championships of 1989 and 1991, especially when the disaster that was World Cup 2002 is taken into account… Couto, whom Figo will join as a cap centurion in the England match, remains at cash-strapped Lazio, never having been quite the top level performer he could have been. Rui Costa, a true star of Serie A in the last decade, now often finds himself playing second fiddle at AC Milan to Brazilian wunderkind Kaka and Italian midfield general Andrea Pirlo. With the tried and perhaps not so trustworthy on the wane, Scolari has chosen to look to the future. But for the new bloods, the tournament surely comes too early in their development. Viana, Europe’s Young Player of the Year when he signed for Newcastle United in 2002, cannot find a first-team place at St James’ Park. The time seems right for Viana to hone his talents somewhere other than Tyneside and his lack of Premiership participation may yet cost him a place in the summer.

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