Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 21, 2004

King keeps Portugal in check

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 9:04 am

The News Review:

* King puts name in Euro 2004 frame
* Scots must earn right to start
* King goes back to the future
* King keeps Portugal in check
* SOCCER : Friendlies only serve to create animosity
* International Round-up
* Mad Brit Diary Scholes quietly is central to England success.
* Vassell certain to be Sven’s fourth striker
* Vogts against exceed votes for
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Bridge and Cole can be double act
* Beckham backs Butt to survive
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* A host of reasons why Portugal may miss out
* Fast food firms accused of using sport to attract children
* It’s weird back on the wing, says Beckham
* Kerr plans push to recruit Nolan
* The Agitator #6

King puts name in Euro 2004 frame – Feb 19, 2004
He said: “Alan Smith came on and did very well. It’s very early to say that he will be in the squad but he is closer to it now than he was last week, that’s for sure. “Eriksson dismissed fears about Paul Scholes, who has not scored for England in 25 appearances stretching back to June 2001 and a World Cup qualifier in Greece. Eriksson said: “It’s not a worry about his goals, he’s a big player and he will be ready for the big tournaments. “It’s always difficult in Portugal when you have big players like Figo, Rui Costa and Pauleta – this was a good test for us. “I’ve not decided on my squad yet but it’s good to see players like Ledley come in and do a good job, that’s for sure. Dyer showed a lot of composure.

Scots must earn right to start – Feb 19, 2004
The opposite was true at the other end of the field where the Welsh back four was only intermittently troubled, mainly by Paul Dickov’s tenacity. There was an absence of guile from middle to front in the Scotland team, in contrast to Ryan Giggs’ orchestration of Welsh assaults, at least until the Manchester United man departed to conserve his talents for next week’s Champions League game with Porto. The Welsh are still brooding about their ejection from Euro 2004 by Russia and believe that the use of banned substances by their opponents was not confined to Egor Titov. Be that as it may, they are not likely to have any competitive action until the World Cup qualifiers begin in the autumn, but Wales’ palpable sense of resentment is fuel for Hughes as he attempts to regain the momentum his team displayed in the early stages of the European Championship qualifiers. If indignation has its uses, so too does organisation. It is the first rule of football management that well-drilled teams minimise the risk of damage. Vogts may speak of the scarcity of good players available to him, but Wales are currently 67th in the FIFA rankings – compared with Scotland’s 53rd place – and the Welsh ability to maintain their shape was glaringly superior.

King goes back to the future – Feb 19, 2004
It was about that time that Tottenham’s fortunes began to slide dramatically and their decline brought King down as well. King said: “It shows Sven’s got faith in me by calling me up… “One of Pleat’s first jobs when he took over at Tottenham this season was to rebuild the confidence of King, whose notoriously fragile self-esteem had been wrecked in the fallout from Hoddle’s exit. The former England coach had publicly criticised his defender as his side’s form evaporated through 2003 and King found himself out of the Tottenham first team and far beyond Eriksson’s consideration. Following his return this season, King has agreed, but not yet signed, a five-year contract at Tottenham that will earn him £15,000 a week. A close friend of Ashley Cole, who he grew up with in Stepney in east London, he has not yet quite fitted his original billing as the replacement for Sol Campbell, whose position he took when the defender left for Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer of 2001. “If I’m going to get on to the squad it will be as a defender. I’ve not really thought about getting in as a midfielder – I don’t feel I’m good enough in a midfield position,” King said. “I’m going to have to make a decision soon.

King keeps Portugal in check
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Feb 19, 2004
Neither coach will have drawn too many conclusions before the summer, when the heat will be on, literally and figuratively, after a cool night on the Algarve. Friendlies can be misleading, as Ledley King’s performance demonstrated. He was England’s goalscorer and deserving of much praise on his full debut, yet he cannot even be sure that he will be back here for Euro 2004. Barring injuries, the door is almost closed for the fringe players. There is only one more game in which to impress, the trip to Sweden on March 31, because Eriksson must name his squad for Euro 2004 before the mini-tournament in Manchester in June involving Japan and Iceland. There are no great surprises to come from Eriksson or England, as they proved last night with a typically rugged display. Luis Figo’s 100th cap had granted the game some significance and, standing a little awkwardly on a podium, the Real Madrid winger received various mementoes… After it they kicked at his ankles, with Frank Lampard and Nicky Butt dumping one of the game’s greats on the floor. Against a side combining the pace of Figo and Simão with the floating menace of Rui Costa, England were going to have to defend well and it was a surprise that they managed it with such assurance. King was Eriksson’s seventh-choice centre half, but he could not have looked more comfortable. At times the ball seemed to be following him around but, rather than panic, he enjoyed the chance to catch the eye and claimed England’s 47th -minute goal. Awarded a free kick for a debatable foul on Wayne Rooney, England poured bodies into the penalty area. David Beckham’s cross flew over most of them to the far post, where King was challenging Jorge Andrade and, after a ricochet, the ball sneaked past Ricardo.

SOCCER : Friendlies only serve to create animosity
International Herald Tribune – Feb 20, 2004
Its soccer sons are scattered wide, mostly in Europe where the pay and the standards of play are beyond their domestic league. Most are hard workers rather than especially skillful, employed for their energy and work ethic. Flights to raise the Australian flag in Venezuela might not be the ideal way to endear these Socceroos to the clubs who pay their salaries. The richest clubs keep asking FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, why no compensation is paid between country and club for hire of "their" players. But the critical issue here concerns Viduka and the peculiar geographical problems Australia faces. It is hard to imagine that Article 40 of the FIFA regulations — stipulating that a player who does not give good reason why he fails to attend his country's calling shall be ineligible to play for his club within five days — was framed with Oceania in mind. "Different time zones, the difficulty of verifying medical reports and the involvement of many people in the decisions about individual players, contribute to the difficulty," the Australian association acknowledges.

International Round-up – Feb 21, 2004
Yegor Titov has withdrawn his appeal against a one-year UEFA ban which came after the 27-year-old midfielder, who plays for Spartak Moscow, tested positive for the banned substance bromantan after the first leg of the play-off against Wales on Nov 15. This means that Titov will miss this summer’s finals, with his suspension lasting until Jan 21. UEFA also fined him £4,400, and his club £8,700, while asking FIFA to extend the ban worldwide.

Mad Brit Diary Scholes quietly is central to England success.
SoccerTimes – Feb 20, 2004
Euro notesReal Madrid’s star midfielder Luis Figo played in his 100th game for Portugal this week in a 1-1 draw with England in a friendly. Northern Ireland finally ended its goal drought in a 4-1 loss to Norway this week, but not before setting a European record for not scoring in 1,298 minutes of play. The team that the great George Best once played for, had not found net in 15 games over a 28-month period. France looks formidable as Euro 2004 looms this summer in Portugal. The French won their 14th game in a row with a 2-0 victory over Belgium. The Czech Republic extended its unbeaten run to 20 games after a 2-2 tie in Italy. Ireland was unlucky not to beat world champion Brazil in Dublin after Robby Keane headed a potential winner over the crossbar in the 0-0 deadlock.

Vassell certain to be Sven’s fourth striker – Feb 21, 2004
I would not be over concerned if I were Sven, since Owen is world class and Rooney, despite the problems he has had at Everton, always looks the part for England. And there is that sense of anticipation whenever he gets the ball, a feeling that something spectacular is in the offing. On top of that, I fully expect Paul Scholes to weigh in with a goal or two at Euro 2004. A lot of fuss has been made about the fact that he has not scored for England for two years, but that is not all that long for a midfield player at international level. How many games has he played in that time?Again, Scholes is class. All the concerns just emphasise what an important player he is and, goals or not, you would always start with him. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that he has been saving up his goals for the summer so that he can give England a real chance of doing well.

Vogts against exceed votes for – Feb 21, 2004
Vogts was not without allies as post-mortem examinations were conducted north of the border and Scottish club managers such as Alex McLeish, of Rangers, Hibernian’s Bobby Williamson and Terry Butcher, of Motherwell, insisted that the beleaguered national team manager needed time to salvage something from the wreckage of the optimism he conveyed when he took over from Craig Brown in March 2002. However, a poll of viewers on Scottish television found that 67 per cent thought the former World Cup-wining full-back should quit immediately, while 33 per cent thought he should continue… ‘ He said, ‘Sorry, but no. ‘ But I hope to talk with him again after the operation. “Vogts’s insistence that the next generation of Scottish international players would thrive only when pitted against opponents of quality began to lose force as the defeats piled up – France, Nigeria, South Korea, South Africa and Denmark won the first five friendlies of his reign – but he argued that the fruits would be seen in the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign. They were – in a shambolic 2-2 draw in the Faroes. Vogts’s protagonists, a diminishing band, argue that he nevertheless achieved the expected play-off place. Against that, though, is an appalling away record which has included defeats by Portugal, Germany, Lithuania, Holland and Wales – the last two to the tune of conceding 10 goals without reply. On the question of packing it in and heading back to the vineyard he maintains at his German home, Vogts replied: “I was thinking about these things but I love to work here with the Scottish players.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Feb 20, 2004
Michael Berloff, a former Court of Arbitration in Sport judge, was defending Chambers. Beloff sat on the CAS panel which ruled at the 1996 Olympics that Russian breaststroke swimmer Andrei Korneev could keep his 200 metres bronze medal because bromantan, the stimulant that Korneyev had taken, was not on the banned list at the time, although it was subsequently added to the list. Bromantan, developed by the Soviet army to help troops counter fatigue in the war in Afghanistan, is back in the spotlight after Yegor Titov tested positive for it during Russia?s Euro 2004 football play-off against Wales. WADA has argued that THG is a steroid-related drug. Don Catlin, the American scientist at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Los Angeles who devised a test for THG, said last year: ?Once you see its chemical structure, you know it?s a steroid. ? He said THG was similar in structure to gestrinone, an anabolic steroid that is prohibited. Last week Chambers? former coach Remi Korchemny was indicted by a federal grand jury in America on charges relating to distributing steroids and growth hormones to athletes… Chambers has argued he unknowingly took THG as a dietary supplement supplied by Victor Conte?s San Francisco laboratory. Conte was one of the four people, along with Korchemny, charged in the US. Significantly for Chambers, the charges do not refer to ?anabolic? steroids. Anabolic is a term which refers to a steroid?s capacity for increasing muscle. But a steroid can be catabolic, which means it would have the opposite effect. No scientific review of Catlin?s findings has yet established what effect THG has. The International Association of Athletics Federations was closely monitoring the hearing as it would be the test case that sets the standard for the four other athletes who have tested positive for THG and are yet to have hearings.

Bridge and Cole can be double act – Feb 21, 2004
One of last week’s most frequent – “Do you know your best 11?” – impelled Sven-Goran Eriksson, after saying he did, to add that it was not set in stone. “When I talk about having 11 in my mind,” he said, “I mean if the tournament starts tomorrow. But it starts in four months. ” If, for example (and he did not say this), David Beckham were to develop a habit of scoring three own-goals in every Real Madrid match, celebrating on each occasion by dropping his shorts and wiggling his bottom at all four corners of the Bernabeu, and were further to perplex admirers by saying he wanted to do the same with… So the main hope now is Liverpool’s Chris Kirkland. If his club were to promote him, his country would surely follow. And if Kirkland were to take James’s shirt in time for Euro 2004, the benefit in terms of the experience he would take to Germany in 2006 would be enormous. It was obvious in Faro that Wayne Bridge is one of England’s best 11, even though Ashley Cole is a near-automatic selection at left-back. Bridge, indeed, has taken over from Beckham as the Premiership’s outstanding crosser; Alan Shearer must have salivated as he watched those beauties whip, swerve and fade in vain. So Eriksson should take my colleague Gary Lineker’s advice and play Cole and Bridge in Sweden next month. He could play Cole at left-back and Bridge left midfield.

Beckham backs Butt to survive – Feb 19, 2004
Nicky is a world-class player and he can play in any team. Manchester United are a great team and he wants to stay there. “I don’t think him not playing for United is a problem for England at the present time. He’s not had many games this season but his fitness is great – that’s one thing you get at United, they always keep you match fit. “Although Butt was given.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Feb 20, 2004
They are a very talented team. ? In Split, Bayer Leverkusen?s Ramelow volleyed home the winner in the 90th minute to save the blushes of goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who had gifted Croatia?s Mato Neretljak an equaliser four minutes earlier. Croatia were unlucky not to get a draw but their shaky defence will interest Euro 2004 group opponents England, France and Switzerland. German coach Rudi Voller was furious with his side?s lacklustre opening. ?I am relieved that we got the win especially after the defeat by France – when we were poor. ?We can build on this now. ? Holland, tipped for success in Portugal, dominated a defensive-minded United States team in Amsterdam in a match decided by a single individual goal scored by Arjen Robben.

A host of reasons why Portugal may miss out – Feb 21, 2004
Xavier and two team-mates were suspended for four months, but the lesson went unheeded and in the World Cup two years later Portugal again departed in disgrace, having lost their concluding group match to South Korea after the dismissals of Beto and Joao Pinto, whose reaction was to dig a fist into the Argentine arbiter’s stomach, thereby incurring another four-match ban. So much for the civilising properties of football. It is not too great an exaggeration to state that there was less mayhem involved in the “white handkerchief revolution” of 1975, when the regime of Salazar gave way to something a shade more democratic, than these two sporting disappointments. What Luiz Felipe Scolari wants is a balanced approach. Felipao, as he is known, achieved the necessary blend of determination and discipline while guiding his native Brazil to victory in the World Cup – after Ronaldinho’s dangerous tackle on Danny Mills had reduced them to 10 men against England, for instance, they regrouped impressively – and it may be that the authority that comes with such a track record will benefit Portugal. Tactically, he has gone for 4-2-3-1. But key adjustments are often made shortly before or even during a tournament; Felipao, in the Far East, took several matches to appreciate that he needed two defensive midfielders and then, in effect, he replaced Juninho with Kleberson… Of course there are troublemakers and it’s up to the authorities to stop them coming. What we’re looking for is a great football festival. ” The official Euro 2004 logo has the shape of a heart. But the one in my mind is, as usual, crossed fingers rampant.

Fast food firms accused of using sport to attract children
Guardian Unlimited – Feb 21, 2004
Sport is acknowledged by the junk food manufacturers as an effective means of reaching the crucial youth market. Asked why McDonald’s was sponsoring Euro 2004 by a deal worth £15m, Jeff Wahl, the company’s director of worldwide marketing, said: “It’s important that we build brand loyalty with kids. sponsorships like Euro 2004 are a great way to accomplish this. ” But with obesity and heart disease on the rise – a recent study found that half the 11- to 15-year-olds in England were overweight or obese – there is increasing international pressure to regulate the marketing of products high in fats, saturated fats, sugar and salt: all elements of a poor diet… We are in the business of creating heroes, and if this funding produces a gold medallist, many more young people will be inspired to take up sport and activity, which will do them a great deal of good. ” All the major junk food manufacturers counter criticism by maintaining that the key to tackling obesity is a balance between activity and diet. They maintain that their products are not in themselves harmful. A spokesman for Pepsi said: “We believe the focus should be on promoting a balanced diet and regular exercise”. Related articles06.

It’s weird back on the wing, says Beckham – Feb 19, 2004
He said: “We haven’t played for three months and it’s very good to come together. “And I learned that Ledley King is ready. He had an excellent performance, was not nervous at all and his defensive play was very good. “He showed today he’s ready for the big match. “Alan Smith came on and was very good as well and even though Nicky Butt hasn’t played that much he seemed to be match fit and that’s good to see. “It was a good friendly game. “The Portuguese authorities’ “softly, softly” approach to the English fans appeared to have paid off last night as the match passed off without major incident… But, in a result that augurs well for the European Championships this summer, the night passed off peacefully. While there was undoubtedly some drunkenness and boisterous behaviour among the English followers, it never threatened to spill over into violence. Last night both supporters and the Portuguese authorities hailed the event, seen as a test run for Euro 2004, as a great success. “Yes, the majority of us are all a bit drunk,” said Steve Smith, 25, a civil engineer from Sheffield. “But it’s all been done in the best possible taste. It has been handled so well I have not heard of one complaint from anyone. If the Portuguese stay the same for this summer it will be a wonderful tournament.

Kerr plans push to recruit Nolan – Feb 19, 2004
Kerr wants to select Nolan for the friendly against the Czech Republic in Dublin next month following FIFA’s decision last month to allow players to switch nationalities providing that they have not represented their first country beyond Under-21 level. Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has admitted being puzzled at Nolan’s continued absence from the England picture, especially considering the player’s standing as the club’s top scorer this season. Allardyce said: “I’m surprised that Kevin wasn’t involved with the Under-21s this week, but that’s life. It is David Platt’s choice and he is responsible for that team, but I’m not concerned about it and I don’t think that Kevin is. “Kerr is likely to hand Nolan his first international cap against the Czechs if he can persuade him to commit himself to Ireland and he admits that experimentation will be the keyword in the remaining friendly fixtures this season… Kerr has already begun the rebuilding process by promoting youngsters such as Andy Reid and Liam Miller to the senior squad, but Newcastle centre-half O’Brien may yet emerge as one of the new generation after an impressive performance while winning his eighth full cap. O’Brien said: “I am never going to take for granted that I am going to play for Ireland, but I have played in the Champions League with Newcastle for the past two seasons and I have over 120 first-team appearances at the club, so that will always stand me in good stead with Ireland. “I only played about five minutes in the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, but I would obviously like to play more if possible.

The Agitator #6
Squarefootball – Feb 20, 2004
Manchester City want Sam Allardyce (Mirror), but will he tear up his 10 year deal with mid-table Bolton to sign the traditional 10 minute deal at relegation threatened City? Arsenal may get to keep the FA Cup (Sun) ? presumably to save the FA the cost of running a competition with a dead cert running. Reports of tedious takeover bids at OT. WEDNESDAYEverton boss David Moyes insists Wayne Rooney is not for sale as speculation mounts that Manchester United and Chelsea are interested (Star). The Star has the cheek to reprint the same article with one extra quote as they did on Monday, I know that re-use is very ecological ? but there are limits. Ronaldo wants to move to Chelsea (Star), so his pay negotiations have clearly reached an impasse and need a laxative. Pavel Nedved has announced that he is retiring in two years (Guardian), a novel way to entice a quick bid from Chelsea. Management specious: Manuel Pellegrini may join Man United as No… 2 (Express), Giovanni Trapattoni has denied he will move to Spurs as No. THURSDAYThe FA are looking to get some money from Chelsea when he joins the club after Euro 2004, apparently up to ?25m (Express) ? unless that includes SGE?s pay as well. And Chelsea?s second rumour du jour concerns a ?20m+ bid for Betis winger Joaquin (Times). Somehow they have moved ahead of another team (Manchester United) who have also not bid for the player. Chelsea are set to sign 17-year-old Uruguayan striker Jorge Garcia from Danubio (Independent) in a rumour that is so dull that it might actually be accurate!Rupert Lowe is still targeting Hoddle (Guardian) and not in a ?chucking him in the air and shooting him? way ? no that?s the players.

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