Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 31, 2004

Coach Voeller resisting Max factor

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 2:05 pm

The News Review:

* I’m here and I’m happy, reassures Eriksson
* Gerrard handed lead role
* Friendlies round-up
* Coach Voeller resisting Max factor
* England miss absent friends
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Sven: ‘Forgive me’
* ESPNsoccernet – Global – Scotland v Romania Report
* England’s conductor plans time at the top
* Eriksson affair reveals football is post-moral
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Old pals act for Samuel
* Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger
* Eriksson meets his match
* Door opens for Wright-Phillips
* Fiery Smith is prepared to play his natural game
* ESPNsoccernet – US – US aims for first Euro win under Arena
* France can smash world win record
* Republic to face Chelsea new boy
* GiveMeFootball.com – The Professional Footballers’ Association
* Dailly calls for greater aggression from Scots

I’m here and I’m happy, reassures Eriksson
Independent Online – Mar 29, 2004
That looks unlikely. The Swede admitted that he had announced the decision earlier than expected and that clubs both in England and abroad had talked to him to see if he was interested in leaving the England job. ‘Here I am and I’m happy’”In an ideal world I should maybe have liked to wait until after Euro 2004,” he said. “But I think that should have been more or less impossible with the speculation going on so I think this is the best thing. ”

Asked if he was close to joining Chelsea, he replied: “Not close at all. “Chelsea has never offered me anything. I have never had an offer from Chelsea nor from other clubs… ‘Here I am and I’m happy’”In an ideal world I should maybe have liked to wait until after Euro 2004,” he said. “But I think that should have been more or less impossible with the speculation going on so I think this is the best thing. ”

Asked if he was close to joining Chelsea, he replied: “Not close at all. “Chelsea has never offered me anything. I have never had an offer from Chelsea nor from other clubs. I had questions about my future and whether if it was possible or not to take up discussions. That’s what I had with not only an English club but other clubs around Europe.

Gerrard handed lead role
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 31, 2004
The usual vilification of Eriksson’s friendly-day game plan ignores that such non-competitive meetings grant the Swede the chance to make discoveries, like whether Gerrard should assume central midfield duties on a permanent basis. Hopefully, I’ll impress him there against Sweden. I like getting in the opponents’ penalty area, getting shots on target. “Eriksson’s friendlies with their cast of thousands are regularly mocked – and England’s expected starting 11 boast only 116 starts between them – but try telling Gerrard the game is meaningless as he captains England or that the evening’s work is pointless to those seeking to force their way into Eriksson’s Euro 2004 party. Eriksson basically knows his 23 for Portugal but the ill wind of injury could blow his plans apart.

Friendlies round-up
BBC News – Mar 31, 2004
Tomislav Sokota and Darijo Srna both edged Croatia ahead but the visitors struck back and Zafer Biryol and Cagdas Atan earned them a draw. England ensured their miserable run against Sweden continued with a 1-0 defeat in Gotherburg – they have not beaten the Swedes since 1968. The Republic of Ireland eased their hurt at not qualifying for Euro 2004 with a fine 2-1 win over the Czech Republic, Ian Harte and Robbie Keane notching the goals. Romania edged past Scotland at Hampden thanks to goals from Christian Chivu and Daniel Pancu before James McFadden netted a consolation. Wales earned an impressive 2-1 win in Hungary in a fiercely-fought encounter, Jason Koumas and Rob Earnshaw cancelling out Krisztian Kenesei’s penalty. Northern Ireland had earlier ended their 15-match winless streak with a 1-0 victory in Tallinn against Estonia, David Healy bagging the all-important strike. Greece extended their unbeaten run to 15 games with a 1-0 win over Switzerland, Vassilios Tsiartas firing in the winner.

Coach Voeller resisting Max factor
CNN International – Mar 29, 2004
But he will not name Hansa Rostock’s Martin Max as replacement even though he had said he might take the Bundesliga’s top German scorer to Euro 2004. "I haven’t completed my planning yet — Martin Max and (Hanover striker) Thomas Brdaric are still possibilities," Voeller told reporters on Monday. "If these strikers keep scoring in the weeks ahead they definitely have a chance. But it wouldn’t make any sense, in my opinion, to name them for Wednesday," he added. Voeller has come under increasing media pressure to pick 35-year-old Max, who has hit 16 goals this season, the most by a German player.

England miss absent friends
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 31, 2004
The importance to England’s Euro 2004 cause of a fit David Beckham, Ashley Cole, Gary Neville, Michael Owen and Sol Campbell was underlined heavily, although England’s head coach can take heart from some impressive performances from the outstanding Owen Hargreaves, Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe. Otherwise Eriksson learned little, apart from the value of absent friends. Alan Thompson delivered one or two decent passes, using that left foot to occasional good effect, but he looked too one-paced and one-dimensional for international service… Alan Thompson delivered one or two decent passes, using that left foot to occasional good effect, but he looked too one-paced and one-dimensional for international service. England’s chances of finding a real left-sided flier may not arise until Middlesbrough’s Stewart Downing matures. Of equal concern was some of the defending after the break, notably when John Terry and Jonathan Woodgate had been removed after good contributions. Gareth Southgate and Anthony Gardner were both caught out for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 54th-minute poacher’s strike. Phil Neville endured some uncomfortable moments as well. Bizarrely introduced in front of Neville was Alan Smith, who has been relieved of right-sided midfield duties at Leeds United and has been impressing in attack.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Sven: ‘Forgive me’
go.com – Mar 30, 2004
If we don’t do well, I will becriticised. ‘When asked what would, realistically, count as success this summer, Erikssonrevealed: ‘To win the final, for sure. Even reaching the final is not bad. ‘The semi-finals would not be a disaster. But I think it’s very difficult tosay you have to win it or finish second or third as there are so many factors infootball. ‘At the World Cup, we lost against Brazil, who won the World Cup, so I don’tthink that was that bad.

ESPNsoccernet – Global – Scotland v Romania Report
go.com – Mar 31, 2004
For the result we haveto do more. ‘Vogts’ friend Anghel Iordanescu, the Romanian coach, also jumped to Vogts’defence and urged people to judge him after their World Cup qualifyingcampaign. ‘We regret not being in Euro 2004 and I know Scotland also failed toqualify,’ he said. ‘But you shouldn’t judge Berti Vogts until after thosequalifying games. ‘Iordanescu did apologise, however, for Wolves striker Vio Ganea’s terribletackle on John Kennedy in the 15th minute. ‘I am sorry for this moment but I thought it was a normal tackle,’ he said. Vogts also failed to point the finger at the Romanian, saying: ‘It was toofar away so I didn’t really see it.

England’s conductor plans time at the top
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 30, 2004
It was Grip, for example, who did more than anybody to convince Sven-Göran Eriksson that moving to Chelsea would have been a bad move for the England head coach when the storm was raging over the weekend. The two have known each other since they played together in Sweden more than 30 years ago and it was to Grip that Eriksson turned when he was under pressure. When it is not career advice, Grip, 66, is also dispensing football wisdom. Together, he and Eriksson have steadily improved the England team since January 2001 and success at Euro 2004 could be rewarded with the ultimate bus ride — open top, like England’s rugby union world champions, to Trafalgar Square. Grip ranks England as third favourites. “I would put France, Italy and England in that order, although you also have to consider Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic,” he said. “It is fair to expect us to reach the semi-finals… ‘If I am in form,’ he said, ‘it doesn’t matter, I can win everything. ’ If Gerrard is in form, he can play anywhere. ” It is a system that proved too good for Turkey in both Euro 2004 qualifying matches, although whether it will worry a France midfield including Patrick Vieira, Zidane and Robert Pires, is another matter. The England coaches are expecting a tight match, despite France’s kaleidoscope of attacking options. “It’s normal to draw the first matches in championships,” Grip said. “It’s good to play them in the first game. ” With so many senior players absent, tomorrow’s match in Sweden will offer no clues to the summer, but it will give Eriksson a chance to return to Gothenburg’s Ullevi Stadium, where, as a young club manager, he started to forge his reputation.

Eriksson affair reveals football is post-moral
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 31, 2004
Stay with it just long enough to read the following anecdote, which comes from Bates’s new newspaper column in The Sun. In his role as a member of the Football Association’s Challenge Cup committee, the former Chelsea chairman was cross-examining Eriksson on his support for a winter break when he “looked into the eyes” of the England coach and said: ” ‘You are asking us to do this to help you win the World Cup in 2006 but will you actually be leading England into that competition?’ He glanced at me the way he does, sort of sideways over the top of his glasses, and said, ‘I have a contract until 2006. ‘ “I said, ‘Sven, thank you for answering a question I didn’t even ask. I will now repeat my original question… Back then, it seemed to be pushing the envelope too far to say that the arrival of so many Eriksson favourites in SW6 (Crespo, Veron) was more than just a coincidence. In effect, an enterprising freelance photographer who followed Eriksson religiously for two weeks and snapped him talking business at Kenyon’s flat has altered the course of English footballing history. Some of us would stake our houses on the belief that Eriksson was planning to join the Abramovich revolution the moment England came home from Euro 2004. “In the end,” Bates asserted, “he probably thought the aggro was not worth the extra money. ” His conclusion was withering: “This is not someone you would want in the trenches with you.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Old pals act for Samuel
go.com – Mar 29, 2004
As youngsterswe didn’t think we would all come through the ranks. ‘It is very rare for that to happen but it would be a dream if we could allplay for England one day. ‘Not that Samuel will be carried away by his sudden elevation onto the fullinternational stage and he is aware his game still needs to develop. He said: ‘There is a lot to improve still in my game and I just want to getbetter with each game I play. ‘The Villa side is full of internationals all over the pitch and I get a lotof help from people. ‘It is the attacking part of his game which Samuel has improved greatly thisseason and he has linked up well with Gareth Barry down the left flank. He said: ‘First and foremost I am a defender and in the early days you don’twant to expose yourself too much going forward and get caught out… He said: ‘The jury was out on Jlloyd when I came here and people were urgingme to try someone else in his position. ‘But he is a very good player. He has been a revelation this season and hasnot missed a training session, yet alone a game. There is a lot more in him aswell. ‘Your views on this story?.

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger
go.com – Mar 30, 2004
Yet it all seemed so pointless, as everything thathappened after an hour was tainted by Harald Schumacher’s sickening yetunpunished foul on Patrick Battiston. In brief: you just have to bear withme, since those four weeks in Spain left a deep impression that I have neverbeen able to forget or suppress. Among my close friends,there is only one who really supports the national team, and he is some tenyears older than I am. The rest of us want Germany to win if they derserveit (or, in my case, if they are playing Brazil… Next, the current team and Euro 2004. I’m aware there’s this faint chancewe’ll witness 2002 all over again, when a German side short on talent andhealthy players gnawed its way into the final. But the chance is so faintyou shouldn’t even risk a fiver. For one, the European Championships are amore difficult tournament than the World Cup. There’ll be no Saudia Arabiafor Germany to hammer and build confidence, there’ll be no (with all duerespect) Paraguay, USA and South Korea in the knock-out rounds.

Eriksson meets his match
BBC News – Mar 30, 2004
As he attempted to pull the rug from under his own country, he should bear in mind that England plays host to more Swedish moles than live under the lawns of the Gothenburg Bowls Club. We seem to have a liking for Swedish things in this country. And to a list that includes Ikea furniture, Volvo and Saab cars, Crispbread, Smorgasbord, The Cardigans and Abba you can add Eriksson and Swedish footballers. Swedes have become the player of choice for many English clubs… On his day, Svensson is mercurial, a quick-witted and quick-footed player. At times the Premiership seems a bit too much for him, but he gave a glimpse of what he can do with his fantastic strike against Argentina in the 2002 World Cup, and he could be one of the stars of Euro 2004. Tobias Linderoth has put injury problems behind him to start to demand regular selection at Everton and is what English managers expect from Swedish midfielders; competitive, energetic and box-to-box. You do not expect a country which observes a policy of strict neutrality, and which is big on social tolerance to produce warriors. But England’s strike force on Wednesday can expect a tough time against Michael Svensson and Olof Mellberg. Svensson arrived at Southampton in 2003 from Troyes with the nickname Killer and a reputation for a readiness to kick his granny if she was between him and the ball.

Door opens for Wright-Phillips
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 29, 2004
Sven-Goran Eriksson has searched far and wide for a left-sided midfielder but he has never ventured as far as the Scottish Premier League before. Yesterday, Thompson hardly exuded the confidence of a player who believed that he has a real chance of playing at Euro 2004, but after Martin O’Neill resurrected his career four years ago following a disastrous move to Aston Villa it is probably more than he could have wished for. The call came while he prepared for Sunday’s game against Rangers. The status of the Scottish domestic league, Thompson admitted, had not helped his international career. “I think it’s difficult because everyone knows that it is not the standard of the Premiership but we have done reasonably well in Europe which has been a big plus,” Thompson said. “It’s difficult because, with no disrespect to the other teams, we play a league game against Dundee United one week and then it’s Barcelona at the Nou Camp the next… Yesterday, Thompson hardly exuded the confidence of a player who believed that he has a real chance of playing at Euro 2004, but after Martin O’Neill resurrected his career four years ago following a disastrous move to Aston Villa it is probably more than he could have wished for. The call came while he prepared for Sunday’s game against Rangers. The status of the Scottish domestic league, Thompson admitted, had not helped his international career. “I think it’s difficult because everyone knows that it is not the standard of the Premiership but we have done reasonably well in Europe which has been a big plus,” Thompson said. “It’s difficult because, with no disrespect to the other teams, we play a league game against Dundee United one week and then it’s Barcelona at the Nou Camp the next. It’s a totally different class of opposition. “I don’t think Martin O’Neill has done a great deal different with me other than give me a bit more confidence.

Fiery Smith is prepared to play his natural game
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 30, 2004
If you don’t you’re the villain. But nine times out of 10 I would still have to go for it today. “That’s not the bravado talking, just an honest assessment of the temperament of a 23-year-old striker who will have to turn in one of the. In the meantime he is the last-man standing at Leeds, a serious local hero as well as a teetotaller, who the club hope will save them from relegation… In the meantime he is the last-man standing at Leeds, a serious local hero as well as a teetotaller, who the club hope will save them from relegation. “It is difficult when your team are struggling and no one wants to be in a team who are bottom of the League,” he said. “But if we are struggling, and I am playing well, then it probably does get picked up more than if you are playing in a good team every week. Although sometimes it does have a detrimental effect on you.

ESPNsoccernet – US – US aims for first Euro win under Arena
go.com – Mar 30, 2004
coach won’tspeak for his players. “We’re not on a revenge thing, but the players remember theyspanked us at the World Cup,” Arena said. Nine players on this team were on the U. roster, and six wereon the field, for the 3-1 loss to Poland. Arena is more interested in getting one of his last looks at histeam before World Cup qualifying starts June 13, the first of twolegs against Grenada… Reigning European champ France faces Netherlands, going for arecord 15th straight victory and eighth consecutive shutout. France last lost in February 2003, dropping a 2-0 decision tothe Czech Republic. Before the streak, France also won eightstraight Euro 2004 qualifying games; the loss to the Czechs came inan exhibition game. Other matchups involving Euro 2004 finalists scheduled forWednesday have Portugal against Italy, Sweden vs. England inGoteborg, and Spain taking on Denmark in Gijon. The Czech Republic, which has a 20-match unbeaten streak, playsIreland. Germany hosts Belgium.

France can smash world win record
CNN International – Mar 30, 2004
"The French winning run, all squeezed into exactly a year, began on March 29, 2003 with a 6-0 thrashing of Malta in a European Championship qualifier. They will have their work cut out against the Dutch after coach Dick Advocaat said he plans to try a forward line of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roy Makaay. With the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal three months away, Advocaat is struggling to find a happy combination between Manchester United’s van Nistelrooy, Bayern Munich forward Makaay and Patrick Kluivert of Barcelona. Van Nistelrooy and Kluivert have been the normal attacking duo but with the latter absent, Advocaat said he would try pairing the men who have scored a total of 37 league goals between them this season. But his plans hinge on van Nistelrooy passing a fitness test on a knee injury just before the match. "I could test out van Nistelrooy with Roy Makaay, which I’ve hardly ever had the chance to do in the past," Advocaat said on Tuesday. "But van Nistelrooy will certainly not play the whole match so I will be able to try out other combinations… But his plans hinge on van Nistelrooy passing a fitness test on a knee injury just before the match. "I could test out van Nistelrooy with Roy Makaay, which I’ve hardly ever had the chance to do in the past," Advocaat said on Tuesday. "But van Nistelrooy will certainly not play the whole match so I will be able to try out other combinations. "Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires are missing from the French lineup – but Advocaat said they would be a formidable test. "Above all else I am expecting my players to produce a great performance even though I am unhappy at how many players have dropped out," he said. "I know that the pressure is rising among my players. Everyone wants to go to Portugal.

Republic to face Chelsea new boy
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 30, 2004
Cech was not in the original squad but has recovered from injury to take his place in the team with the longest unbeaten record in European football – 20 games. Little is known about Cech, 21, who has established himself in the national team over the last 12 months, but Czech coach Karel Bruckner has no doubt he will excel in the Premiership. “Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham believes the Czech Republic will pose a bigger test than world champions Brazil who drew 0-0 here last month… “Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham believes the Czech Republic will pose a bigger test than world champions Brazil who drew 0-0 here last month. While the Czechs fine-tune their preparations for Euro 2004 Ireland continue their build-up to the start of the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign in September. Cunningham said: “This game does not have the same magical appeal as the Brazil game but I think they will be a sterner test. “Ireland manager Brian Kerr said he would use no new faces from the start, though Liam Miller, the Celtic midfielder, Nottingham Forest defender John Thompson and Tottenham’s versatile Stephen Kelly can expect their first taste of international football at some stage. REP OF IRELAND (probable): Given (Newcastle); Carr (Spurs), Cunningham (Birmingham), Doherty (Spurs), Harte (Leeds); Reid (Nottm Forest), Holland (Charlton), Kilbane (Everton), Duff (Chelsea); Keane (Spurs), Morrison (Birmingham). CZECH REP (probable): Cech (Rennes); Grygera (Ajax), Bolf (Banik Ostrava), Ujfalusi (Hamburg), Jankulovski (Udinese); Sionko (Graz AK), Galasek (Ajax), Nedved (Juventus), Stajner (Sparta Prague); Baros (Liverpool), Koeller (B Dortmund).

GiveMeFootball.com – The Professional Footballers’ Association
GiveMeFootball.com – Mar 29, 2004
I am very proud to have this job, it is a massive job, and I am pleased to sign until 2008. That is how long I will be here. "

Palios added: "The important thing is that Sven will be with us for Euro 2004, the 2006 World Cup and beyond, not the minutiae of his contract. It's great news for the England fans, the England team and the FA. "I'm not surprised that Sven, with his record in the job, has interested other clubs and that he has talked to them. We have to be realistic about things. "

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Dailly calls for greater aggression from Scots
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 30, 2004
Used on article pages to rotate the images of a story. The Scotland captain believes that his players need to become more aggressive in order to gain success at international level, not least after the 6-0 capitulation to Holland in Amsterdam in the Euro 2004 play-off. And after the miserable 4-0 defeat by Wales in Cardiff last month, it has been a dismal picture for Scotland fans recently. Romania may not be of genuine world class but with the absentees from the Scotland squad for tomorrow’s friendly international at Hampden Park, it could be a struggle again — hence Dailly’s concern. “We have got to approach it right,” the West Ham United player said. “There’s obviously not going to be the biggest crowd there, not like the crowds that were there for the German and Holland games.

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