Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 4, 2004

Brown boosts his chances of call-up to England squad

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 9:36 am

The News Review:

* AP, NORWICH AND LONDON, ENGLAND AND MADRID, SPAIN
* Beckham Defends Role As England’s Captain
* What the Robben deal means
* Brown boosts his chances of call-up to England squad
* Oakley sets sights on comeback
* Titov handed six-month suspension
* SFA president says Vogts will not be sacked later this week
* Hartson ruled out for season by back injury
* BBC NEWS | Business | Wetherspoon may turn on the telly
* Curbishley happy at Addicks
* McLeish shrugs off criticism
* EU probe Real property deal
* ESPNsoccernet – England – Intertoto no-no from Villa
* All the latest football talk from Wednesday’s newspapers
* Eriksson names date for squad selection
* Henry concerned by fatigue
* Rangers hitman facing knee surgery
* Owen’s goals will come – Houllier

AP, NORWICH AND LONDON, ENGLAND AND MADRID, SPAIN
Taipei Times – Mar 4, 2004
Ronaldo has extended his contract at Real Madrid to 2008. PHOTO: AFP Norwich and West Bromwich Albion fought out a 0-0 tie on Tuesday as the Canaries stayed three points ahead of the Baggies at the top of division one. Norwich defender Craig Fleming was lucky not to give away a penalty at Carrow Road when he stopped a goalbound shot by Delroy Facey with his arm with goalkeeper Robert Green way off his line. But Albion defender James Chambers should have been sent off for upending Darren Huckerby when the Norwich striker was chasing towards goal. The referee ruled it no foul. West Brom’s Welsh international Jason Koumas twice shaved the Norwich post with low shots while Canaries striker Damien Francis headed straight at goalkeeper Russell Hoult from close range. The result gives Norwich 64 points from 33 games with 13 more to play and West Brom 61 from 34… Madrid is bidding for the most impressive haul of silverware in its glittering history with the league title, Copa del Rey and Champions League all in its sights. If Madrid wins all three trophies, it will become the first Spanish team to emulate Europe’s four treble winners — Glasgow Celtic, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Manchester United. Saez ponders defense
Spain coach Inaki Saez is still unsure about which strikers and left-sided defenders to take to Euro 2004. “I’d like to have a goalscoring striker and a left back, but at present I’m unclear about which ones,” Saez said in the sports daily Marca on Tuesday. The coach is seeking a partner for captain and all-time top scorer Raul Gonzalez, with Atletico de Madrid’s teenager Fernando Torres and Espanyol’s Raul Tamudo emerging as strong candidates. But Saez said Monaco’s Fernando Morientes and Malaga’s Salva Ballesta, both of whom have been in scoring form recently, also retain a chance of making his squad, which will be announced in May. “I’m continuing to look at all the candidates and I’m not discarding either Morientes or Salva,” he said.

Beckham Defends Role As England’s Captain
First Coast News – Mar 3, 2004
“The night before we’d been practicing at the other end, and every penalty we took our feet were giving way,” he said. He said England officials had complained about the turf but it appeared nothing had been done. UEFA spokesman William Gaillard said he was unaware of any official complaint, calling the fields at Euro 2004 “outstanding. “”One player had a particular problem with it but not the others,” he said. It was Beckham’s third straight miss on a penalty kick. The others came in England’s 2-1 injury-time loss to France in its opening Euro 2004 game and on June 13 when he slipped and kicked the ball over the bar in England’s 0-0 final qualifying game in Turkey. Beckham has faced criticism for his play in the tournament.

What the Robben deal means
BBC News – Mar 2, 2004
But what are the consequences for Chelsea and the battle for supremacy in English football?

WHAT IT MEANS FOR CHELSEA

Robben’s signing is, on the face of it, a significant coup for Chelsea. Here is a player coveted by Manchester United, rated as one of the brightest young talents in European football and tipped to be one of the breakthrough stars of Euro 2004. To snatch such a player from the clutches of a club who have historically dominated the British game is testament to the growing strength of Chelsea as a global force… Robben, as a similar player and at an age when he is expected to improve, is therefore an exciting addition to the Stamford Bridge ranks. But the deal is not quite as peachy as it might appear at first glance. Roman Abramovich’s hoarding of the world’s football treasures raises serious questions about how the club is run, and therefore how much material success his cash might bring. Chelsea’s first-team squad is now almost 40 players strong. Even taking into account the demands of challenging for three domestic honours and the Champions League, that is still a lot of players to both keep happy and gainfully employed. Where does Ranieri expect to play Robben? Duff can rightly expect to be first choice for the left wing role when fit.

Brown boosts his chances of call-up to England squad
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 4, 2004
He has excellent positional sense and demonstrated that he has recovered from a poor patch with a display which highlighted his pace, strength and power in the air. In short, he is a class act and, if he keeps himself fit, I would not rule out England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson calling him up for the European championships. There are already doubts about Sol Campbell for Euro 2004 and Brown can also play at right back, which is one of England’s weak positions, Gary Neville notwithstanding. Brown unquestionably had a sticky spell after that long injury lay-off but it is always more difficult for defenders to slip back into a team unnoticed because any mistake can lead to a goal. A midfield player can miss a tackle and a forward can fail to tuck away a chance without any real harm being done. But when a defender makes a mistake, it tends to be costly and make headlines for the wrong reasons… He has excellent positional sense and demonstrated that he has recovered from a poor patch with a display which highlighted his pace, strength and power in the air. In short, he is a class act and, if he keeps himself fit, I would not rule out England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson calling him up for the European championships. There are already doubts about Sol Campbell for Euro 2004 and Brown can also play at right back, which is one of England’s weak positions, Gary Neville notwithstanding. Brown unquestionably had a sticky spell after that long injury lay-off but it is always more difficult for defenders to slip back into a team unnoticed because any mistake can lead to a goal. A midfield player can miss a tackle and a forward can fail to tuck away a chance without any real harm being done. But when a defender makes a mistake, it tends to be costly and make headlines for the wrong reasons.

Oakley sets sights on comeback
BBC News – Mar 2, 2004
Oakley was forced to draw a red line through this season just eight games in when he tore cruciate ligaments. The injury brought an abrupt end to talk Oakley could force his way into England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson’s thoughts for Euro 2004. Oakley was playing the best football of his career at the hub of Southampton’s midfield when he picked up the injury against Middlesbrough in September. Any initial hopes rest would cure his problem were dashed when it became clear the former England Under-21 international had a far more serious injury. “It didn’t feel too bad when I first did it and I thought I might be able to carry on after a rest,” Oakley told BBC Sport. “But it was only after a scan that it was shown that the ligament was literally hanging on by a thread… Under Gordon Strachan, Oakley’s role was the vital link between defence and midfield, the ‘water carrier’ role derided by Eric Cantona, but without which no team can function. It is a role that is only appreciated when it is not working properly. Oakley said: “I have spent years trying to win over a section of supporters who haven’t always been on my side, and it’s taken an injury for them to appreciate what I do.

Titov handed six-month suspension
CNN International – Mar 4, 2004
UEFA suspended midfielder Titov after he tested positive for the stimulant bromantan following Russia’s Euro 2004 playoff match against Wales in Moscow on November 15, when he was an unused substitute. “Titov has been disqualified for six months. This measure does not contradict UEFA or FIFA,” said a Russian Football Union spokesman. The ban has been backdated to start from January 22, which means the 27-year-old will be able to play for Spartak in their Russian league match against Kuban Krasnodar on July 24. Wales, who lost the second leg 1-0 after a goalless draw in Moscow, have appealed to UEFA against the decision not to award them Russia’s place at this year’s European 2004 finals in Portugal as a result of Titov’s failed drugs test… UEFA suspended midfielder Titov after he tested positive for the stimulant bromantan following Russia’s Euro 2004 playoff match against Wales in Moscow on November 15, when he was an unused substitute. “Titov has been disqualified for six months. This measure does not contradict UEFA or FIFA,” said a Russian Football Union spokesman. The ban has been backdated to start from January 22, which means the 27-year-old will be able to play for Spartak in their Russian league match against Kuban Krasnodar on July 24. Wales, who lost the second leg 1-0 after a goalless draw in Moscow, have appealed to UEFA against the decision not to award them Russia’s place at this year’s European 2004 finals in Portugal as a result of Titov’s failed drugs test. Titov was in the team for the return leg in Cardiff.

SFA president says Vogts will not be sacked later this week
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 2, 2004
Used on article pages to rotate the images of a story. Vogt, the Scotland coach, has come in for intense criticism following last month’s 4-0 friendly defeat away to Wales — a result that meant Scotland had conceded 10 goals in their last two matches following a 6-0 thrashing by Holland in their final Euro 2004 qualifier. But McBeth, speaking ahead of Friday’s SFA board meeting, said that the German’s future was not on the agenda and nor was a ‘vote of confidence’ in Vogts. I certainly haven’t heard anything about that, nor would I encourage it. I am very supportive of Berti, although, of course, if we can, we have to produce a better performance for the travelling fans than in Wales.

Hartson ruled out for season by back injury
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 3, 2004
Instead, Hartson’s season is over and he will be on the outside, looking in, just as he was last year. Martin O’Neill confirmed yesterday that Hartson has a back injury that requires urgent surgery. It is not just a bitter blow to Celtic, but also to Hartson who missed last season’s Uefa Cup final against FC Porto after his goals had done so much to take the club to Seville. The Celtic manager stressed that the disc that will be operated on this Saturday is not the same one that troubled him last time and that the problem is not career threatening. However, the loss of the robust striker at a crucial point in the season, with Celtic in pursuit of three trophies, has suddenly reversed O’Neill’s usual selection dilemma from too many to too few. Hartson’s discovery has compounded the knee ligament injury to Shaun Maloney last week, which has put the Scotland under-21 player out for nine months. The burden will now be shouldered solely by Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton, who both scored in the… I will not be cutting my Celtic career short. I have one more year left after this and I will see my contract through. ” Despite a petition by 110,000 Swedes and Lennart Johansson, the Uefa president, offering to fly Henrik Larsson’s family out to Euro 2004 should the Celtic striker agree to play for Sweden again, Larsson yesterday said he had made up his mind and he would not come out of international retirement. “It’s flattering that people are interested but nothing has changed for my part,” he said. FK TEPLICE (probable; 4-4-2): T Postulka — V Leitner, E Rilke, M Dolezal, T Hunal — V Ryska, P Verbir, K Rada, J Skala — J Masek, J Kowalik. CELTIC (probable; 3-5-2): R Douglas — B Balde, S Varga, J McNamara — D Agathe, S Petrov, P Lambert, S Pearson, A Thompson — H Larsson, C Sutton. Referee: T Ovrebo (Norway).

BBC NEWS | Business | Wetherspoon may turn on the telly
BBC News – Mar 3, 2004
Pressures build

Managing director John Hutson said the group was still expanding its existing business but faced “a fair amount” of competitive pressure in the managed pubs sector. This was compounded, he said, by tax rises, the slight increase in the minimum wage and downward pressure on prices due to low inflation. He said the group had not made any firm decisions over the launch of TVs in its pubs and said they may not be rolled out in time for the Euro 2004 football championships. “I think it is something that is more likely to evolve,” said Mr Hutson. Previous major football tournaments, he said, had sometimes triggered a short-term dip in sales, but with no long-term implications for the business.

Curbishley happy at Addicks
BBC News – Mar 3, 2004

Curbishley added: “I’ve signed the contract and I’m looking forward to pushing on. ”

The Charlton manager also distanced himself from reports that he would succeed England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson. Curbishley said: “I’ve not really thought too much about it. I think everybody is quite keen for Sven to stay and for him to do well in Euro 2004 and push on for the World Cup. “So I don’t know if there’s going to be a position there anyway. “I’m not actively looking for anything at this moment in time. I’m happy here, doing what I’m doing.

McLeish shrugs off criticism
BBC News – Mar 2, 2004
The Norway international accused McLeish of pandering to the needs of Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat by playing Frank de Boer. But McLeish told The Herald newspaper: “I’m the manager of Rangers and I’ll decide who does or doesn’t play. “Beyond that, I’m not going to comment on what Berg has said. ”

De Boer joined the club in January on a deal until the end of the season. But Berg, who was left out the team for the defeat by Dundee United, believes his manager selects the Dutch international to prepare him for the Euro 2004 finals. “He said he had talked to Advocaat before doing it,” Berg told Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. “I can understand that Advocaat wants to have De Boer fit for Euro 2004… But Berg, who was left out the team for the defeat by Dundee United, believes his manager selects the Dutch international to prepare him for the Euro 2004 finals. “He said he had talked to Advocaat before doing it,” Berg told Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. “I can understand that Advocaat wants to have De Boer fit for Euro 2004. But I disagree with McLeish’s choices. ”

Former Gers boss Advocaat also blasted Berg’s comments as “rubbish”. He said: “If a player isn’t in any team, then who’s fault is it, the coach’s or the player’s?

“Alex would never select any players for Rangers except the 11 men which he thought were the best players for the match. “Berg is talking nonsense if he thinks that Alex has brought in De Boer only for my sake.

EU probe Real property deal
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 3, 2004
We believe the Madrid city hall may have overpaid. “Lueder said the Commission decided to look into the issue after receiving a complaint from a third party. In keeping with EU rules, he did not name the complainants, but Spanish news reports have said other leading European clubs have called for an inquiry. If regulators judge the money constitutes a state subsidy, in violation of EU rules, they could order Real to repay some or all of it. Manchester United have retained their position as the world’s wealthiest sports club but Arsenal are making up ground and have overtaken Liverpool in the “rich list” of the top 20 football clubs. The Deloitte and Touche study indicates that United’s turnover of £175 million in 2002-03 keeps them ahead of Italian giants Juventus and AC Milan, as well as Real Madrid. Arsenal’s income was £104… 4 million and, with only £28 million coming from matchday income compared to United’s £70. 9 million, there is plenty of potential for growth once they move to Ashburton Grove in 2006. The Football Association yesterday confirmed England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson would name his squad for Euro 2004 on May 17. Aston Villa manager David O’Leary has ruled out the possibility of his side entering the InterToto Cup this summer. Daniel van Buyten has said he is reluctant to sign a permanent deal at Manchester City. The Belgian defender is on loan from Marseilles until the end of the season. Millwall have been dealt a blow ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Tranmere with the news that Belgian striker Bob Peeters is out for the season with an ankle injury.

ESPNsoccernet – England – Intertoto no-no from Villa
go.com – Mar 3, 2004
Villa have taken part in the much maligned competition on several occasionsand three seasons ago actually qualified for the UEFA Cup. But O’Leary has put his foot down and is adamant the fear of burn-out amongstseveral of his players will mean that Villa will not be entering. Darius Vassell, Olof Mellberg, Marcus Allback and Thomas Sorensen will alreadyhave a shortened break because of their likely involvement in the Euro 2004finals in Portugal throughout June. O’Leary told the Press Association: ‘Will we be entering the Intertoto Cup?No, definitely not. Personally I don’t think it is any good for anyone. ‘I don’t think it will be any good for this squad. Players need a good breakand you need a good pre-season under your belts… Darius Vassell, Olof Mellberg, Marcus Allback and Thomas Sorensen will alreadyhave a shortened break because of their likely involvement in the Euro 2004finals in Portugal throughout June. O’Leary told the Press Association: ‘Will we be entering the Intertoto Cup?No, definitely not. Personally I don’t think it is any good for anyone. ‘I don’t think it will be any good for this squad. Players need a good breakand you need a good pre-season under your belts. ‘Besides, with the European Championships this summer, players taking part inthat wouldn’t get a break at all if we entered the Intertoto. ‘That would rebound on you big time later on in the season.

All the latest football talk from Wednesday’s newspapers
BBC News – Mar 3, 2004
The Birmingham boss believes it improves his chances of signing Chelsea’s on-loan striker Mikael Forssell. (Daily Mirror)

Bruce will not take up a second-year option on Christophe Dugarry unless the Frenchaman proves his fitness in the next six weeks. Bruce fears for the player’s future following a knee injury. (The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Express, Daily Mail & Daily Star)

Alan Shearer has told Newcastle to flash the cash if they want to keep pace with the Premierships’s big three. “You need to spend,” the Magpies skipper said. (Daily Mirror)

Shearer insists he has no “problem” with manager Sir Bobby Robson… (The Sun)

Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier fears Saints striker James Beattie could quit the club to improve his England chances. “It doesn’t seem Sven is going to give Beatts a proper opportunity while he remains at Southampton,” Le Tissier said. (The Sun)

David Beckham believes new Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe could have a role to play at Euro 2004. “He’s doing very well, has been scoring a lot of goals and is capable of playing at the highest level,” Beckham said. (The Sun)

Jay-Jay Okocha is ready to put pen to paper on a new ?35,000-a-week three-year contract within the next 48 hours.

Eriksson names date for squad selection
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 4, 2004
The decision means that there is just one friendly left before that date, against Sweden in Gothenburg on March 31. Eriksson has already said that he is certain of most of his 23-man party, with an expected format of three goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfield players and four strikers. After last month’s friendly in Portugal, he said: “If I should pick the team and the squad today for Euro 2004, with everyone fit, it wouldn’t be that difficult. ” The official deadline is not until June 2, after the friendly against Japan at the City of Manchester Stadium, but Eriksson is keen to gather his intended party together as early as possible, before a training camp in Sardinia and then the mini-tournament against Japan and Iceland. An FA spokesman said: “Although Sven is naming his squad on May 17, the official deadline from Uefa is June 2, so there is still room for some flexibility, if required, until then. ” Eriksson will be able to use up to 11 substitutes against Sweden because new Fifa rules limiting the number of substitutes in friendly matches do not apply until next season… After last month’s friendly in Portugal, he said: “If I should pick the team and the squad today for Euro 2004, with everyone fit, it wouldn’t be that difficult. ” The official deadline is not until June 2, after the friendly against Japan at the City of Manchester Stadium, but Eriksson is keen to gather his intended party together as early as possible, before a training camp in Sardinia and then the mini-tournament against Japan and Iceland. An FA spokesman said: “Although Sven is naming his squad on May 17, the official deadline from Uefa is June 2, so there is still room for some flexibility, if required, until then. ” Eriksson will be able to use up to 11 substitutes against Sweden because new Fifa rules limiting the number of substitutes in friendly matches do not apply until next season.

Henry concerned by fatigue
iAfrica.com – Mar 2, 2004
At the 2002 World Cup so
many great teams went out early. “The likes of Italy and Argentina, as well as France, looked like they
couldn’t play the ball, they were all so tired. “The team who can win Euro 2004 will be the one with the freshest players. It makes such a difference in this kind of competition. ”

Henry also hopes Manchester City and former Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka
will be included in the French squad. Anelka has recently revealed his desire to return to the international fold
after being isolated following his falling out with coach Jacques Santini. Henry said: “I know Nicolas and I know what a shame it is for his career
that he is not in the national team… ”

Henry also hopes Manchester City and former Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka
will be included in the French squad. Anelka has recently revealed his desire to return to the international fold
after being isolated following his falling out with coach Jacques Santini. Henry said: “I know Nicolas and I know what a shame it is for his career
that he is not in the national team. “I don’t know what is going to happen but I hope they sort it out between
him and the coach. Things look quite good.

Rangers hitman facing knee surgery
go.com – Mar 3, 2004
‘The knee problem has also prevented the former Ajax man from signing acontract extension. Benes added: ‘Shota wants to see how his knee is before he commits himself. ‘He is not the type of player to sign up and then sit on the treatment table,taking the money. ‘Rangers also want to be sure everything is right, which isunderstandable. ‘Meanwhile, Gers boss Alex McLeish has indicated he will pick Henning Bergagain despite the defender’s outspoken comments. The Norwegian accused McLeish of pandering to Holland boss Dick Advocaat byplaying Frank de Boer ahead of him so the Dutchman could get fit for the Euro2004 finals. Your views on this story?… ‘Rangers also want to be sure everything is right, which isunderstandable. ‘Meanwhile, Gers boss Alex McLeish has indicated he will pick Henning Bergagain despite the defender’s outspoken comments. The Norwegian accused McLeish of pandering to Holland boss Dick Advocaat byplaying Frank de Boer ahead of him so the Dutchman could get fit for the Euro2004 finals. Your views on this story?.

Owen’s goals will come – Houllier
go.com – Mar 2, 2004
LIVERPOOL –>Updated: March 2, 2004Owen’s goals will come – HoullierMichael Owen has Gerard Houllier’s full support as he battles to emerge from a run of only two goals in the 11 games since his comeback from injury. The concern is not only over Owen’s failure to find the net with his usualregularity but the number of chances which have come his way and gone begging. Against Levski Sofia in the UEFA Cup last week he might have scored five goalsin one 15-minute spell; then at Leeds in the Premiership on Sunday another host of openings came and went. But Reds manager Houllier will – without a second’s thought – have Owen as hisnumber one striker in Bulgaria tomorrow when Liverpool bid to reach the last 16of the UEFA Cup, already 2-0 ahead from the first leg of their third-round tie. In fact, Houllier contends that Owen’s blossoming partnership with Milan Baroswill help him re-discover his scoring touch. ‘Michael Owen is going through a spell when he could score lots of goals withjust a little more luck,’ he said… ‘Baros’ return from injury in such electric form is a godsend forunder-pressure Houllier. He said: ‘Milan can have a fine end to the season. He goes to the Euro 2004finals with the Czechs – and if they get through their group stage they will bea real danger. He is their key man, back on form and fit. ‘Houllier’s squad is without defender John Arne Riise (groin), striker FlorentSinama-Pongolle plus midfielders Salif Diao (calf) and Vladimir Smicer. After the improvements in the past week – the first-leg win over Sofia and thecompetitive, attacking display to draw against a revitalised Leeds – Houllierwould seem unlikely to change his first choice XI. Your views on this story?.

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