Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 7, 2004

Mad Brit Diary Those lovely Swedes need Larsson to return.

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 9:17 am

The News Review:

* EURO 2004: Croatia
* Fed up with football?
* Spurs appoint Santini
* Mad Brit Diary Those lovely Swedes need Larsson to return.
* Russian life: Royal treatment in the ‘Real’ Russia
* Public disgust over English soccer’s disgraceful image
* Silvestre slams defensive lapses
* England put in the hard yards
* FIFA World Cup – News & Features
* McLeish: the buck stops here
* Fairway to heaven for good sports
* My Greek party | Athletics | Other Sports | Sport | Telegraph
* England boost for Thompson
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Out-of-sorts Germany building for the future
* Goal delight: Traianos Dellas, right, is joined by team-mate Angelos…
* Football Ireland

EURO 2004: Croatia
Squarefootball – Mar 6, 2004
Hard to believe then, that going into Euro 2004 they are not expected to get out of the first round group. This is partly due to the presence of England and France in Group B, but also to the decline in Croatian football since the likes of Suker, Prosinecki and Boban illuminated the national team. Since that third place finish in 1998, Croatia have not progressed beyond the first stage of any major tournament. They were desperately disappointing in both Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup, a downturn of form which has seen expectations fall accordingly. This time around, their opening fixture against Switzerland will be crucial if they are to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages of Euro 2004.

Fed up with football?
Online Recruitment – Mar 6, 2004
However, not everyone is in love with the beautiful game, which is why recruitment experts Kelly Services has produced a survival guide for those who want to avoid the football frenzy. The guide, available from Kelly?s website and branches, provides a selection of good ideas on how to avoid getting caught up in the football and take advantage of those quiet times when most people will be glued to their screens. Advice includes:A new you – The three weeks of the championships provide an opportunity to improve your life. Get fit, get your finances in order, catch up with old friends, transform your home, work on the tan and maybe make a start on the overlooked garden.

Spurs appoint Santini
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 6, 2004
“I am delighted to get the opportunity to join Tottenham Hotspur,” said Santini, who guided France to the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal, but was not offered a new deal by the French Football Federation. “I am an ambitious man and it has always been a dream of mine to coach a big English club in the most exciting league in the world. “Daniel and Frank have outlined their vision and I share their ambitions. “I am determined to help the club return to its place amongst the elite and look forward to joining after Euro 2004. “Levy met with former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri earlier this week, and other names to have been linked with the White Hart Lane vacancy include Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni and former Real Madrid manager Carlos Queiroz.

Mad Brit Diary Those lovely Swedes need Larsson to return.
SoccerTimes – Mar 5, 2004
Yes, forget all those heavy psychological Igmar Bergman films. The unemotional, but lovely, Swedes are up in arms these days over soccer star Henrik Larsson, who changes his hairstyle nearly as often as David Beckham. Larsson, who helped Sweden reach the semifinals of the 1994 World Cup in the United States, says he will not come out of international retirement to play for Sweden at Euro 2004 in Portugal. Larsson, 32, has been a goal-scoring machine at Glasgow Celtic in recent years. This season, he leads the Scottish League with 21 goals for Celtic. In Sweden, over 125,000 signatures have been collected to get Henrik to don Sweden’s glorious yellow jersey once again. Europe’s soccer boss, Lennant Johansson, himself a jovial Swede, has begged the player to change his mind, even offering him a private plane toferry Larsson’s family to Portugal for the finals… King Carl XVI Gustaf, who had a mean left foot when he played alongside the Mad Brit at Sigtuna Boarding School, when he wasn’t skiing, would love to see Henrik be a good boy and live up to the King’s motto: “For Sweden — With the times. ” But Larsson, like England’s Alan Shearer, is digging his heels in, with his “been there, done that, got the T-shirt” philosophy. In fact, the real reason why these guys won’t be at Euro 2004 is because the Mad Brit has offered them both a free fishing trip to Alaska. I’m sure they will both accept — no really!And speaking of Sweden, whatever happened to Tomas Brolin, famous for that sneaky free-kick goal against Romania at the 1994 World Cup. Didn’t I see him coming out of Blockbuster recently with a “Fanny and Alexander” DVD? Seriously, old tubby Brolin, who once cost Leeds United a bundle of cash, got himself into some problems. I kid you not, but he ended his career after spells with Nasvikens IK, GIF Sundsvall, IFK Norrkoping, Parma, Leeds United, FC Zurich, Parma, Crystal Palace, and Hudiksyallas ABK, playing as agoalkeeper in the in the Swedish third division. Then he became an entrepreneur, opening a nightclub in Stockholm called “Undici” and invested in vacuum cleaner parts and shoes.

Russian life: Royal treatment in the ‘Real’ Russia
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 7, 2004
capitalgainstaxhead H1. Our trip was ambitious. We criss-crossed five of Russia’s nine time zones, visiting four Russian cities – Moscow, St Petersburg, Perm in the Urals and Krasnoyarsk in eastern Siberia – in five days. Our itinerary took in the world’s second biggest aluminium smelter, Russia’s first privatised water facility, its second biggest dam, one of its first private medical clinics, Perm’s state opera house and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Prince Michael of Kentski Throughout our odyssey, Prince Michael of Kent – or “Prince Michael of Kentski” as he was called by his Russian hosts – never lost his royal equilibrium, appearing in an immaculate suit with a regulation Windsor knot tie and a look of keen interest in whomever he was meeting… While the hotels were clean, some Soviet habits died hard (our hotel in Perm employed a babushka to sit at a desk on each floor, noting our arrival and departure in an exercise book). My early morning call at the Hotel Octyabrskaya in Krasnoyarsk was not a polite “Morning, Mr Hope, this is your wake-up call”, but a shrill “Get up, get up”, before the line went dead. Vodka makes the meal go down The pace of the trip – at one point the shifting time zones meant that we landed in St Petersburg at the same time as we left the Urals – was bewildering (luckily our hosts taped England’s Euro 2004 matches so we could watch them when we landed – with Russian commentary). We were often fed six times a day. The meals always started the same way – a cold buffet of blini (pancakes), fish, caviar and ham. Waiters would start to pour the drinks – always vodka first, and then wine. The early arrival of vodka was important – it allowed our hosts to begin the first of many toasts which would periodically interrupt our repast.

Public disgust over English soccer’s disgraceful image
Irish Independent – Mar 6, 2004
Across the city of Leicester the consensus view was that, shocking as yesterday’s developments were, the players should be viewed as innocent until proved guilty. But by the statue in the heart of the city, erected to mark the success of Leicester’s football, rugby and cricket teams, one fan of 30 years, said: “If they are found guilty they should melt that down. ” As England prepares for the Euro 2004 tournament this summer in Portugal the disgrace attached to the lastest incident could not have come at a worst time. For decades it was the behaviour of the English fans that brought the game into disrepute. Now it is the behaviour of the players which is further adding to that bad reputation. In stark contrast to the behaviour of the soccer stars England’s rugby players are held as true sporting ambassadors for the nation. Rugby with only a fraction of the money available to soccer has always been in a different league socially as well as financially.

Silvestre slams defensive lapses
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 5, 2004
“Silvestre was United’s best performer on the day Blackburn secured their Premiership status. Brown’s display alongside him in central defence lacked authority. It did not bode well for his prospects of aiding England’s cause at Euro 2004. Stead’s sixth goal in 11 games did, though, give further credence to England assistant manager Tord Grip’s assertion last week that the gangly Yorkshireman is one of the country’s three most promising talents along with Leeds United’s James Milner and David Bentley, of Arsenal. The England Under-21 international’s winning strike, confidently despatched beyond Tim Howard from a narrow angle, was, he admitted, “definitely the highlight of my career” since he left Huddersfield for Blackburn in January for £1. “It was a weakened side but it’s still Manchester United and to score against them is fantastic,” Stead added.

England put in the hard yards
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 6, 2004
England would come good, Beckham stressed. “We deliver in the big games,” he said. As in the run-in to the 2002 World Cup, England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has called in Ivan Carminati, a martinet with a stopwatch who used to put Eriksson’s old Lazio glitterati through their long-distance paces. The plan is to exhaust the players now, making them run lap after lap of the training field, before easing up 10 days before the tournament… “We trained the day of the Japan game, which would never happen in other games. I have only done this sort of running in pre-season. We do need it because our fitness levels were not as high as they should have been. It is starting to calm down now. Next week it will just be football. “Eriksson’s pre-tournament script, of which he is altering not one word, differs rather from the ’92 tale of Denmark. Their players were strolling along beaches, rather than sweating around practice pitches, days before being called into the Euros as replacements for the suspended Yugoslavia.

FIFA World Cup – News & Features
uefa.comUEFA.com – Mar 5, 2004
Last-gasp disappointmentSliškovic’s side went close to qualifying for UEFA EURO 2004™, only missing out after drawing their last match against Denmark when a win would have seen them reach the finals in Portugal. ‘Great improvements’”I am glad to have been given this chance to lead Bosnia’s best team for another two years,” Sliškovic said. “In the qualifiers for EURO 2004™ we showed great improvements in our game, overall attitude and relationship within the national team. ‘Big stimulus’”These improvements are a big stimulus to try and qualify for the World Cup. I believe in my players… ‘Big stimulus’”These improvements are a big stimulus to try and qualify for the World Cup. I believe in my players. Being rated as only fourth favourites in the group does not mean we are not able to book a ticket for Germany. “Tough drawBosnia-Herzegovina have been drawn in World Cup qualifying Group 7 with Spain, Belgium, Serbia and Montenegro, Lithuania and San Marino. They are due to begin their campaign on 8 September with a home match against Spain.

McLeish: the buck stops here
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 6, 2004
It is ironic that just days after Ferguson, Britain’s most successful manager, recruited an equally experienced figure in the shape of Walter Smith — who won nine titles in a row at Rangers in tandem with Graeme Souness — the man who has inherited the task of leading the club that all of them have closest to their hearts, has the loneliest job of all. Yesterday, McLeish broke his silence on the turbulent week and on the eve of the most important game Rangers have faced for several years, declared: the buck stops with me. McLeish knew it would come to this. In fact, he made the prophecy as he stood in the bowels of Hampden Park last May, with the Scottish Cup in his hands, adorned with blue and white ribbons… “I know the reasons why this has been a frustrating season for Rangers,” he said. “I am not stupid. I am well aware that I have made mistakes, but I also made them last season too. You do not win the Treble and then suddenly become a bad manager overnight. This season, we we have probably made more mistakes but the buck stops with Alex McLeish. “I always knew the bulk of the criticism would be directed at the management. That is something that you have to realise when you become manager here and I have to take it firmly on the chin.

Fairway to heaven for good sports
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 7, 2004
To British buyers, Portugal is more Judith Chalmers, who owns a villa there, than Wayne Rooney, although Michael Owen and other footballers have bought on the Algarve. And he has some timely advice for other potential purchasers: “The biggest potential pitfall when buying in Portugal is not to use a lawyer,” he says. “You need someone who understands the red tape. ” Portugal, waking up to the sizeable rental returns being made by foreigners, recently introduced sweeping property tax reforms that must be digested before you put pen to paper. Although draconian at first glance, the changes when the fiscal fall-out is complete should, for most people, reduce the tax burden on buying.

My Greek party | Athletics | Other Sports | Sport | Telegraph
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 7, 2004
Not my word but that of Nikitas Gavalas, the Des Lynam of Greece, as he attempted to articulate the depth of feeling in his country before Otto Rehhagel’s men take the field for the biggest night in the nation’s sporting history. Hysteria and shock. Gavalas, the doyen of Greek punditry on television and in the press, remembers the last time Greek sports fans poured on to the streets when the country confounded the odds to win the European Basketball Championship in 1987, but what happened on Thursday night was on a different scale… Elsewhere, the frenzied celebrations were mirrored the length and breadth of the country. “They stage grandiose fiestas to celebrate their achievements and to mark their great losses.

England boost for Thompson
BBC News – Mar 5, 2004
The Swede will be at Parkhead on Sunday to watch Thompson in the Tennent’s Scottish Cup quarter-final tie with Old Firm rivals Rangers. The 30-year-old Thompson has so far been overlooked for England. But Eriksson said: “We have one more match against Sweden before I name my squad and I can say again that the door is not closed for him or any player. ”

Celtic boss Martin O’Neill is adamant the Newcastle-born midfielder is good
enough to add senior caps to the Under-21 honours he picked up while at Bolton… The Swede will be at Parkhead on Sunday to watch Thompson in the Tennent’s Scottish Cup quarter-final tie with Old Firm rivals Rangers. The 30-year-old Thompson has so far been overlooked for England. But Eriksson said: “We have one more match against Sweden before I name my squad and I can say again that the door is not closed for him or any player. ”

Celtic boss Martin O’Neill is adamant the Newcastle-born midfielder is good
enough to add senior caps to the Under-21 honours he picked up while at Bolton. But Eriksson is unlikely to be able to run his eye over another of Celtic’s potential Euro 2004 squad members Chris Sutton, who is a severe doubt because of an ankle injury. It will be Eriksson’s 72nd match of the season as he continues his
preparations for the European Championship in Portugal this summer. He told the FA’s website: “I am very much looking forward to attending this
game.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Mar 6, 2004
2 million tickets available have already been sold, organisers confirmed Thursday. ?Ticket sales have surpassed our expectations. It?s a huge financial success,? said Portuguese Football Federation president Gilberto Madail. Madail said that even apart from sponsorship deals and the sale of television retransmission rights for an estimated 580 million euros ($707 million) the ?budget is very comfortable?… 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. Organisers added that tickets are still available for 11 matches. Tournament organisers last month warned fans not to buy their tickets through unofficial Internet sites because these were most likely either scams. To combat counterfeiting, the tickets themselves will only be distributed two weeks before the tournament begins.

Out-of-sorts Germany building for the future
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 5, 2004
Injury prevented several key players travelling to Bucharest, and Voller can expect to have the experienced pair of Dortmund’s Christian Worns and Leverkusen’s Jens Nowotny back for Portugal. Michael Ballack, Bayern’s temperamental but gifted playmaker, and Kaiserslautern striker Miroslav Klose will return after minor injuries and another Bayern midfielder, Sebastian Deisler, back after treatment for depression, could provide further options. Voller names his Euro 2004 squad on May 24, then aims to avoid any further embarrassment in a friendly with Malta in Freiburg three days later. Further warm-up matches against Switzerland and Hungary follow, but Germany must hit the ground running in Portugal where they open against arch-rivals Holland in Oporto on June 15. A tricky group includes the Czech Republic, along with outsiders Latvia. Germany have been plunged into further soul-searching by the failure of their clubs in European competition. The Bundesliga did not have a single representative in the last eight of the Champions League or UEFA Cup… A tricky group includes the Czech Republic, along with outsiders Latvia. Germany have been plunged into further soul-searching by the failure of their clubs in European competition. The Bundesliga did not have a single representative in the last eight of the Champions League or UEFA Cup. Yet despite this slump on the continent, domestic attendances have risen 25 per cent in the last seven years thanks to cheap tickets prices and improved stadiums. Germany expects a £5. 7 billion economic boost from the World Cup. That Germany will host an extravaganza in 2006 seems in certain.

Goal delight: Traianos Dellas, right, is joined by team-mate Angelos…
Cumberland News – Mar 7, 2004
Charisteas has been one of the emblematic figures of the surprise packages’ run to the final where they will play hosts Portugal in tomorrow’s showdown at the Estadio da Luz. He scored a vital equaliser against Spain and the winner against outgoing champions France in the quarter-final and, after yesterday’s silver goal victory over the Czech Republic in the semi-final, he and his team-mates are just one win away from what would be one of the biggest upsets ever in football. Only Denmark’s victory in Euro 92 – they had already been eliminated but were called up to replace Yugoslavia who were expelled for political reasons – could bear any comparison to a Greek win on Sunday. Charisteas said: “I am in a bit of a dilemma because I told my team-mates at Bremen that if we got to the final I would quit as a footballer… Only Denmark’s victory in Euro 92 – they had already been eliminated but were called up to replace Yugoslavia who were expelled for political reasons – could bear any comparison to a Greek win on Sunday. Charisteas said: “I am in a bit of a dilemma because I told my team-mates at Bremen that if we got to the final I would quit as a footballer. “But we are not getting over-excited because there is still one game to play. We took some risks but in the end we got the result we wanted. ”

The final will be a rematch of the tournament’s opening match when the Greeks beat the Portuguese 2-1 at the Estadio do Dragao, also the scene of the dramatic match with the Czechs on Thursday. Charisteas said: “Portugal will not want to fail against us again but in my opinion each side has a 50% chance of winning,” said Charisteas. “We have a great spirit and there is plenty of confidence now and I do not see why we should stop playing now.

Football Ireland
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 7, 2004
His weapon of choice? A mini-decathlon. And as Stack, an ever-present in Arsenal’s run to the League Cup semi-finals, reveals in the latest issue of Arsenal magazine, he is not one to shirk a challenge. ‘I am 22 and he is 34 so he has no chance. I told him he was past it as a runner. But he is so determined to be quicker that he wants to set up a mini-decathlon against me, running 400 metres, 800 metres, throwing and long jump. I said, ‘Jens, bring it on, no problem!’ He just keeps saying he will beat me… Yakin boys in turmoil. Since destroying the piecemeal Irish defence in Basel last October, things have not gone smoothly for Swiss icon Hakan Yakin. The striker followed a disastrous spell at PSG with equally unhappy stretches at FC Basel and Fenerbahce before signing for Stuttgart last month. Then there are the off-field events threatening to unhinge Hakin and Murat, who still plies his trade at Basel. ‘The private lives of the Yakin brothers are under scrutiny,’ reports the latest issue of World Soccer magazine.

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