Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 16, 2004

City diary | | Guardian Unlimited Business

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 7:19 am

The News Review:

* Hakan Yakin gets cracking
* Political fallout likely to embolden al-Qaida | Special reports |…
* Fergie hoping for Rio return
* City diary | | Guardian Unlimited Business
* Owen needs spot check
* Upson frets over Euro 2004
* Big break: FA chief executive Mark Palios and England head coach Sven…
* Players must be liable for their actions
* Your verdict: Donkey derby
* SFA defend Hampden Park stewards
* FA at risk of Eriksson own goal
* An Old Lady in trouble
* All the latest football talk from Sunday’s newspapers
* ENGLAND: Will United and Arsenal ruin Englands next friendly?
* Kerr shares pain with Kavanagh
* Dublin date for Executive Committee
* Letter from Thessaloniki
* Team of the Week
* ESPNsoccernet – Europe – Anelka apologizes to French coach

Hakan Yakin gets cracking
uefa.comUEFA.com – Mar 16, 2004
Thanks to medical support and sheer determination, Yakin managed to take the field that day. Obviously not fully fit, he none the less managed to dribble past Irish goalkeeper Shay Given and open the scoring after six minutes, paving the way to a 2-0 win and a trip to Portugal. Torrid situationIt was the cue for wild celebrations at Saint Jakob Park, the stadium which Yakin called home during his time with FC Basel 1893, and for once it seemed the forward would be commanding headlines for his brilliance on the field rather than his torrid situation off it… Thanks to medical support and sheer determination, Yakin managed to take the field that day. Obviously not fully fit, he none the less managed to dribble past Irish goalkeeper Shay Given and open the scoring after six minutes, paving the way to a 2-0 win and a trip to Portugal. Torrid situationIt was the cue for wild celebrations at Saint Jakob Park, the stadium which Yakin called home during his time with FC Basel 1893, and for once it seemed the forward would be commanding headlines for his brilliance on the field rather than his torrid situation off it. But his spell at the club – and his relationship with coach Vahid Halilhodzic – was to be brief and explosive. Quick exitAccused of being out of shape by the coach as he was being presented to the press, Yakin infuriated Halilhodzic when his personal doctor, Heinz Bühlmann, insisted that he undergo a groin operation which the club considered unnecessary.

Political fallout likely to embolden al-Qaida | Special reports |…
Guardian Unlimited – Mar 16, 2004
Portugal was meanwhile strengthening border controls with Spain and planning tighter security for this summer’s Euro 2004 football championships. These major sporting occasions have already joined a long list of potential targets for Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida or one of its satellite groups: the Nato summit in Istanbul, the US presidential elections, Britain at any time… Asa Hutchinson, the US undersecretary of homeland security, signalled that Washington was convinced of an al-Qaida link. “It clearly shows increased ability on their part and certainly it is going to cause the international community to take it even more seriously than in the past,” he said. Mr Hutchinson said his department had not seen anything to indicate that America would be hit next with a large attack. But Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qaida, one of the most detailed accounts of the organisation to be published, predicted that al-Qaida would be intent on launching an attack in the US during the presidential election campaign. “They realise it will be difficult but they will try to do it. A group like al-Qaida has the ability to infiltrate,” he said. Speaking from Singapore, Mr Gunaratna estimated that al-Qaida had become weaker over the past two years.

Fergie hoping for Rio return
iAfrica.com – Mar 15, 2004

Ferdinand, 25, was banned for eight months by an FA tribunal in December after driving away from United’s training ground in September without taking a drugs test. If the ban is upheld, Ferdinand will be barred from playing until September 20. But with England due to begin their Euro 2004 campaign against France in Lisbon on June 13, Ferdinand knows he would be clear to play if his suspension is halved. However, no diminishment of his punishment would rule him out of the remainder of United’s season, Euro 2004 and the start of the 2004-05 campaign, including England’s first two World Cup qualifiers in Austria and Poland. Ferdinand has vowed to provide a hair-sample which he claims will prove he never took drugs. But as the central issue at stake is the fact that he missed a test rather than whether he did or did not take drugs, it is believed that this is unlikely to prove a key factor in rescinding the ban. In the meantime Ferguson, who did not sign a defensive replacement for Ferdinand during the transfer window and has experimented with the likes of Gary Neville, Wes Brown, John O’Shea and even captain Roy Keane at the back, knows his side must tighten up if they are to have even a glimmer of a chance of overhauling Arsenal… Ferdinand has vowed to provide a hair-sample which he claims will prove he never took drugs. But as the central issue at stake is the fact that he missed a test rather than whether he did or did not take drugs, it is believed that this is unlikely to prove a key factor in rescinding the ban. In the meantime Ferguson, who did not sign a defensive replacement for Ferdinand during the transfer window and has experimented with the likes of Gary Neville, Wes Brown, John O’Shea and even captain Roy Keane at the back, knows his side must tighten up if they are to have even a glimmer of a chance of overhauling Arsenal. “We’ve got to eradicate these silly errors,” he said. He added that surpassing Arsenal would be “very difficult” but said: “The most important thing is to get our form back.

City diary | | Guardian Unlimited Business
Guardian Unlimited – Mar 16, 2004
of our dour friend from Dumferline”. Still, that has not stopped the spread bookie from setting a few odds for the big day. The spread for time Gordy’s on his feet is 54-57 minutes; the number of times “tax” comes up (“without derivatives”) is set at 75-79; while the coinciding St. Patrick’s Day should even get a mention one or two times… Taxing ciggies and booze is not the way forward – what we all want to see tomorrow is sin tax (and that’s nothing to do with good grammar). Or – as they so delicately put it – the Chancellor should use household waste and fast food to plug his black hole. · Forget Euro 2004 – June’s unmissable European event should be when Paris hosts Batteries 2004. The three day conference (June 2-4 at the Sofitel for those of you still to book) is the place to be seen for “raw materials suppliers, electronic devices suppliers, battery manufacturers, environment and recycling specialists, battery users and wireless network providers”. An email generously promises “more than 60 international speakers” for the 150 delegates, but Batteries may not be fully charged.

Owen needs spot check
BBC News – Mar 16, 2004
I have no worries about Owen long-term for either Liverpool or England, who will want him firing alongside Wayne Rooney when Euro 2004 gets under way. But the penalty kicks are a different matter. He should not be taking them – it’s as simple as that. If you have got Michael’s record of missing 10 out of 23 it means only one thing, that you are not a good penalty taker. Some have said it is difficult to take penalty duties off your main striker and a player of Owen’s reputation and stature… I have no worries about Owen long-term for either Liverpool or England, who will want him firing alongside Wayne Rooney when Euro 2004 gets under way. But the penalty kicks are a different matter. He should not be taking them – it’s as simple as that. If you have got Michael’s record of missing 10 out of 23 it means only one thing, that you are not a good penalty taker. Some have said it is difficult to take penalty duties off your main striker and a player of Owen’s reputation and stature. It is not difficult when he’s missing them. They have been crucial penalties as well, in the the FA Cup tie at Portsmouth and again at Southampton at an important stage of the game.

Upson frets over Euro 2004
BBC News – Mar 15, 2004
The Blues defender wants to resume his normal position at centre-back. “Sooner or later I am going to have to look at it and say, ‘if I am going to Portugal then I need Sven watching me at centre-half,’” said Upson. “I don’t think he looks at me as a person who could play at left-back and I’m not convinced he will look at me as a player who could play two positions. ”

Upson last played for England in the 3-2 friendly defeat to Denmark in November… The Blues defender wants to resume his normal position at centre-back. “Sooner or later I am going to have to look at it and say, ‘if I am going to Portugal then I need Sven watching me at centre-half,’” said Upson. “I don’t think he looks at me as a person who could play at left-back and I’m not convinced he will look at me as a player who could play two positions. ”

Upson last played for England in the 3-2 friendly defeat to Denmark in November. He has slipped down the England rankings behind the likes of Spurs’ Ledley King after spending the early part of this year on the sidelines because of injury. “I want to go to Portugal but, because I have been injured since January, I think my chances within the national media seems to have gone down quite a lot,” said Upson. “In addition Ledley King came in and played well at centre-half in the friendly against Portugal and also scored.

Big break: FA chief executive Mark Palios and England head coach Sven…
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 16, 2004
The likelihood is that there will be a 13-day break in the first half of January. The players will have a seven-day holiday followed by a six-day training preparation for the return to action. Eriksson, who attended yesterday’s council meeting, said he was “confident it would go through”. Having been disappointed by last week’s knock-back Eriksson said: “The FA council were very supportive and it’s a will not just from me but from all the players, managers and chairmen in the Premier League. I see no reason why we shouldn’t have it if the will is there… “Of course I hope,” said Eriksson. “I don’t know what will happen but if he has less punishment I’ll be happy. “If it’s fair or not I’ll leave to people to decide. Missing Rio is bad for the team.

Players must be liable for their actions
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 16, 2004
The lesson of this eccentric season is that individual responsibility matters, that defenders cannot miss tackles and blame poor cover, that professionals cannot skip drugs tests and transfer culpability. Nor can well-paid athletes go drinking at a training camp and not risk censure for unprofessional behaviour… Henry, meanwhile, has been seizing control of matches so spectacularly that he now eyes a treble of trophies and double of individual honours. In another disappointing season for Liverpool, at least their captain, Steven Gerrard, has kept going, striving to push an inconsistent team into the Champions League places. Whatever frustration Gerrard may feel at Liverpool’s underachievement, at least the summer should shine on him as England’s midfield spark at Euro 2004. Gerard Houllier has spent more than £100 million yet his most important players, Gerrard and Michael Owen, cost nothing. Talking of taking responsibility, Owen could have ducked penalty duties following recent misses but he stepped up again at Southampton on Sunday. Owen failed again but the time to worry about this tough little striker is when he rejects the responsibility. Owen will always have the support of Sven-Goran Eriksson, a coach who knows that form is temporary, class is permanent.

Your verdict: Donkey derby
go.com – Mar 15, 2004
Michael Owen must be the laughing stock of the football world and Houllier the circus ringmaster. A few months ago Owen threatened to leave Liverpool if they did not reach Europe at the end of the current campaign. It was a case of Liverpool being desperate for Owen. Now he cannot even score easy chances that some one else could have been taking if he were benched! How is Liverpool going to make it to the Champion’s league if our main striker cannot score goals?I know this sound like hatred to a player who has done well over the years for Liverpool. But Owen felt he had become bigger than Liverpool FC. Houllier assisted him by signing his “friend” Heskey as his ideal partner… I find it especially frustrating for the players like Gerrard, Kewell, Carragher, Murphy and Hyypia who work hard only to have their efforts go to waste. Jamie McClureI really couldn’t give a monkey’s about Liverpool but I hope Houllier persists with Owen until he gets back to his best for England’s sake. Euro 2004 is only a couple of months away and when he is in top form Owen is our best, and most experienced, striker by far. James ChewThe buck stops with Houllier. The ineptitude and arrogance of the man is staggering. He has spent an absurd amount of money on third-rate rubbish. Liverpool are an awful, awful team, aimlessly pumping long balls forward.

SFA defend Hampden Park stewards
go.com – Mar 15, 2004
It was more the police than thestewards. ‘Who pays if somebody breaks their leg with the rush? It’s not the player butthe stadium people. ‘The issue of heavy-handed stewarding at Hampden came to light when JamesMcFadden was stopped from giving a young fan his shirt after Scotland’s Euro2004 victory over Lithuania in October. But McDougall feels that players have to take responsibility for fan safetyand insisted that the incidents did not overshadow the day. He added: ‘I would suggest that perhaps the league would express theirdissatisfaction at the action of the players following what we agreed at thepre-operational meetings. ‘The League Cup final match instructions detail what they have to do with themedal ceremony because there has to be a bit of decorum to be kept. ‘It’s the same stewarding company… It was more the police than thestewards. ‘Who pays if somebody breaks their leg with the rush? It’s not the player butthe stadium people. ‘The issue of heavy-handed stewarding at Hampden came to light when JamesMcFadden was stopped from giving a young fan his shirt after Scotland’s Euro2004 victory over Lithuania in October. But McDougall feels that players have to take responsibility for fan safetyand insisted that the incidents did not overshadow the day. He added: ‘I would suggest that perhaps the league would express theirdissatisfaction at the action of the players following what we agreed at thepre-operational meetings. ‘The League Cup final match instructions detail what they have to do with themedal ceremony because there has to be a bit of decorum to be kept. ‘It’s the same stewarding company.

FA at risk of Eriksson own goal
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 14, 2004
The FA dismiss criticism that Eriksson may be perturbed by banner headlines screaming about his possible successor. The Swede, already angered by the FA’s damaging decision. The FA’s ill-conceived tactics will prompt bemusement, particularly as next week they aim to sit down with Eriksson to establish his perspective on their offer of a contract extension to 2008… It could even have the opposite effect, sending him into the embrace of Chelsea or Real Madrid. He has already rejected Inter Milan. While understandably craving continuity, Palios should have left all contract talk until after Euro 2004; Eriksson’s current deal has two years to run. But the FA are clearly petrified of him leaving. For all these wonderful names being floated in headlines, the reality is that the FA do not possess a viable Plan B. You can smell the fear.

An Old Lady in trouble
go.com – Mar 15, 2004
Do not accept this drivel: Juventus’ season may be turning sour, but it had all the blueprints for success, at least in the minds of the men who planned it. Those plans were carefully crafted but simply turned out to be wrong. Every step had been taken to give coach Marcello Lippi a first-class squad. Only, it never came to fruition and the fallout will now affect all those involved. Juve can still apply their well-oiled damage-control skills to the campaign by lifting the Italian Cup after the two-legged final against Lazio which begins next week… Juve have cashed in on their best assets in the past – witness Zinedine Zidane’s move to Real Madrid three years ago, which has apparently benefited all parties – and may be tempted to raise money from the sale of Del Piero. The alternative is the sale of Nedved, whose values is at its highest, and that will have Roman Abramovich licking his lips. Currently, the Czech, who’s expected to be one of the stars of Euro 2004, has a higher profile than his Italian colleague, whose huge salary makes it all but impossible for another Serie A to sign him but Del Piero could perhaps enjoy a new lease of life abroad. The money from one or two shock moves would be a blessing for Juventus, whose financial state is still among the best in Italian soccer, but has been deteriorating in the last few months. When the interim financial reports were released last month Juve were shown to be in the red for the first time in years, and their huge off-field commercial activities cannot cover the bad taste left by the lack of income from season and single game tickets. The depressing sight (and sightlines) of the Stadio Delle Alpi certainly does not appeal to fans. The poorly designed stadium gives new strength to the old saying that architects should be forced to live in the homes they design (or to watch football games in the stadia they plan).

All the latest football talk from Sunday’s newspapers
BBC News – Mar 14, 2004
(News of the World, Sunday Mirror, Daily Star Sunday, Sunday Express, The Observer)

Arsene Wenger is the top choice to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson if the Swede quits as England coach after Euro 2004. (Sunday Mirror)

Martin O’Neill is allegedly the top choice to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson if the Swede quits as England coach after Euro 2004. (Sunday People)

Manchester United are planning a double raid this summer in a bid to strengthen their squad, with Fernando Torres and Carles Puyol top of their wish list. (Sunday Mirror, Daily Star Sunday)

Steve McManaman will leave Manchester City and move to play football in America if he can agree a fee. (Sunday Mirror)

Deportivo La Coruna are lining up a summer bid for Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel, with Alberto Luque moving in the opposite direction… (News of the World)

Steve Bruce is considering a bid for Real Mallorca striker Samuel Eto’o. (News of the World)

Birmingham City have joined Rangers, Blackburn and Fulham in the race for Wolves midfielder Alex Rae. (Sunday Mirror, News of the World)

Juan Pablo Angel and Gareth Barry will leave Aston Villa if they are not given long-term deals soon. (News of the World, Daily Star Sunday, Sunday People)

Tottenham have put Porto coach Jose Mourinho as their main alternative if they fail to reach agreement with Giovanni Trapattoni. (Daily Star Sunday)

Christian Ziege launched a bitter attack on Spurs after David Pleat said he had no future at the club, saying they ‘lacked quality’. (News of the World)

Leeds United have been pulled back from the brink of administration after a ?20m survival package was agreed. (Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday)

Barcelona have made an audacious swoop for Arsenal hitman Thierry Henry.

ENGLAND: Will United and Arsenal ruin Englands next friendly?
Squarefootball – Mar 14, 2004
Kanoute got his way and scored a few goals in the tournament. Unfortunately for him while he was gone Tottenham signed Jermain Defoe and he has since struck up a pretty lethal partnership with Robbie Keane. Perhaps holding his place down in the Spurs first 11 may not seem as easy as Kanoute might have first imagined. England?s last friendly before the squad for Euro 2004 is finalised is against Sweden on Wednesday March 31st this is bang in between two vital fixtures both concerning Manchester United and Arsenal who play each other on the Saturday before and the weekend after this fixture in the league and FA Cup respectively. Yet again it seems that club football will be seen as more important than a last chance for players to concrete and prove their place in the all important squad for Portugal… Unfortunately for him while he was gone Tottenham signed Jermain Defoe and he has since struck up a pretty lethal partnership with Robbie Keane. Perhaps holding his place down in the Spurs first 11 may not seem as easy as Kanoute might have first imagined. England?s last friendly before the squad for Euro 2004 is finalised is against Sweden on Wednesday March 31st this is bang in between two vital fixtures both concerning Manchester United and Arsenal who play each other on the Saturday before and the weekend after this fixture in the league and FA Cup respectively. Yet again it seems that club football will be seen as more important than a last chance for players to concrete and prove their place in the all important squad for Portugal.

Kerr shares pain with Kavanagh
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 15, 2004
After missing Cardiff’s last two games, he underwent surgery on a damaged ankle yesterday and, in addition to some important club fixtures, is out of the remainder of the Republic’s World Cup warm-up programme. At a time when he is examining all his options in midfield, it is a blow for Brian Kerr in his attempt to rebuild after the disappointment of failing to qualify for Euro 2004… After missing Cardiff’s last two games, he underwent surgery on a damaged ankle yesterday and, in addition to some important club fixtures, is out of the remainder of the Republic’s World Cup warm-up programme. At a time when he is examining all his options in midfield, it is a blow for Brian Kerr in his attempt to rebuild after the disappointment of failing to qualify for Euro 2004.

Dublin date for Executive Committee
uefa.comUEFA.com – Mar 16, 2004
IFAB feedbackThe committee will hear feedback from the recent International Football Association Board meeting. Among the decisions taken, national-team coaches will only be allowed to use six substitutes in friendly matches from next season, the golden goal and silver goal will be abandoned, and knockout matches will be decided by 30 minutes of extra time and, if necessary, penalties. The rulings will not come into effect until 5 July, the day after the UEFA EURO 2004™ final. This summer’s UEFA European Championship will still use the silver-goal rule, as will all UEFA competitions this season. UEFA CupOn the club competition front, the Executive Committee will discuss final plans for the introduction of the new format in the UEFA Cup from next season. The decision to revamp the competition came after lengthy consultation between UEFA and Europe’s major clubs.

Letter from Thessaloniki
Kathimerini – Mar 15, 2004
Nobody, least of all the outgoing Spanish government, appears to know where the bombers have come from and when or where they might strike again. ?Of course, it was ETA!? was the first official remark, referring to Spain’s Basque Homeland and Liberty separatist guerrillas. It does not seem to be so. Yesterday, in a videotaped message, Al Qaeda claimed it carried out the Madrid train bombings. ?We declare our responsibility for what happened in Madrid two and a half years after the attacks on New York and Washington. ?What are the measures you consider appropriate?? he was asked… There are no doubt many ways for an elegant solution, enforced by the international community to dampen the Arab-Israeli conflict. While fewer Greeks are worried about terrorism (4 percent) than the average EU citizen (12 percent), Greece officially asked NATO to help provide security during August’s Olympic Games in Athens. Meanwhile Portugal, which hosts the Euro 2004 football championships in June, stepped up border controls and said it was considering installing metal detectors at stadium gates. In actual practice, northern Greeks find themselves in a highly troubled neighborhood. It has frequently been said that there are still followers of Osama bin Laden, at their most forbidding and cruel, throughout the Balkans. A good deal of information on their activities must be known to Serbia’s Interior Ministry. ?We know who is at the head of the branches of bin Laden’s worldwide organization, which is also present in [the Former Yugoslav Republic of] Macedonia,? former Serbian Interior Minister Dusan Mihailovic declared only a few years ago.

Team of the Week
go.com – Mar 14, 2004
That’s also how John Terry would measure a successful afternoon. And at Bolton that is what he and his Chelsea team mates did. But not satisfied with fulfilling his defensive duties, Terry also popped up at the other end and showed the touch of a striker to open the scoring with a thunderous shot. Damien Duff had a hand in that goal and also bagged one himself in the 2-0 victory. The lay-off with injuries seems to have done little to curb the Irishman’s attacking instincts and he was easily Chelsea’s best performer in what was essentially a smash-and-grab performance. If he is on song for the rest of the season then Chelsea’s Champions League adventure may just continue beyond Highbury. Though it probably won’t… A model pro, Ferdinand continues to put in match-winning performances that belie his advanced years. A player at the other end of his career, and a very different sort of striker to ‘Sir Les’, scored the decisive goal that gave Everton some breathing space at the bottom. Wayne Rooney looks to be regaining the form that propelled him onto the England stage just in time for his country’s Euro 2004 preparations. A clever turn and wonderful strike brightened up a dull encounter at Goodison Park and the youngster came to life after the goal. He perhaps should have added to his tally but he did enough in one moment to win the game. The final position is taken by Manchester City’s own wonder kid Shaun Wright-Phillips. As City piled more misery on rivals United with a sensational 4-1 derby victory, his goal was the pick of the bunch.

ESPNsoccernet – Europe – Anelka apologizes to French coach
go.com – Mar 15, 2004
euroq –>Updated: March 15, 2004Striker hopes to play for France again Reuters PARIS — Outcast striker Nicolas Anelkahas issued a public apology to France coach Jacques Santinithree months before the start of the Euro 2004 finals inPortugal. The Manchester City striker, not considered by Santini sinceturning down a late call for European champions France ahead ofa friendly against Yugoslavia in November 2002, has been dubbedFrance’s most ineligible player. However Anelka, who won the last of his 28 caps againstRussia in April 2002, has now said he is sorry for hisbehaviour. “Those who know me, know that despite our differences I havealways had the greatest respect for the French team,” the24-year-old said on his personal website on Monday. “This is why I feel it is necessary to make a public apologyto Mr Jacque Santini and to the French team.

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