Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

April 9, 2004

Eriksson’s plans end in disarray

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 11:10 am

The News Review:

* Fletcher tackles that sinking feeling
* SOUTHGATE INJURY DISRUPTS SVEN’S PLANS
* Euro 2004 fails to hit tickets goal
* Eriksson’s plans end in disarray
* Bellamy played through pain
* Bruce backs Upson for Euro 2004
* Sporting Life – OpinionGeoff McClure – www.theage.com.au
* Woodgate out to impress
* Stay of execution for Eriksson
* James is hungry for more
* BBC SPORT | Football | Irish | Carsley opts out
* Brown has England class
* Sutton and Thompson offer clues to future of O’Neill
* Bitter-sweet revenge for Morientes
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Don’t take Wes, Fergie asks Sven
* Wiltord boost for Gunners
* Who should sing the England footie song?

Fletcher tackles that sinking feeling
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 9, 2004
Vogts insists that friendly games should be treated as experiments but, aside from Friday’s encouraging 1-1 draw in the prematurely-ended encounter in Spain, there have been times – a 4-0 defeat by Wales in Cardiff in February and a 3-0 beating by Hungary at Hampden earlier this month – when it seemed as though the laboratory had been taken over by a mad professor. To make matters worse, not only must Scotland face Italy in their qualifying campaign, they have to deal with Croatia, Norway and Slovenia, all of whom are higher in the FIFA rankings table. “For me Italy were the best team at Euro 2004 and I could not understand how they dropped out,” Vogts says. “In our Euro 2004 qualifying group we took one point against Germany but dropped two in the Faroe Islands and three in Lithuania. If we had taken full points from these teams we would have qualified and Germany would have been in the play-offs. That’s why I wanted to start at home against Slovenia. Forget Italy – a point against them will be something special.

SOUTHGATE INJURY DISRUPTS SVEN’S PLANS
4TheGame – Apr 7, 2004
Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole, as well as David Beckham, will now be given exactly the rest they need ahead of the Euro 2004 finals after the elimination of Arsenal and Real Madrid from the Champions League. All three have recently suffered injuries which ruled them out of the friendly in Gothenburg, with Campbell’s persistent groin problem being a particular concern to Eriksson. However, Arsenal’s elimination from not only the FA Cup but also the Champions League means their season will now come to a close at the end of the Premiership season on May 15. That is four weeks before England’s opening Euro 2004 game against France – exactly the preparation time for which the Swede has campaigned for all his players. Beckham, meanwhile, will still be involved with Real until the end of Spain’s La Liga season on May 23, but could still join the rest of the squad for their training camp in Sardinia the following week. Chelsea, of course, could still be involved in the Champions League final on May 26 if they can overcome Monaco and they now boast a sizeable England contingent. But however well Frank Lampard and Wayne Bridge played last night at Highbury, Terry remains their only likely England starter this summer, while Joe Cole could also travel to Portugal… All three have recently suffered injuries which ruled them out of the friendly in Gothenburg, with Campbell’s persistent groin problem being a particular concern to Eriksson. However, Arsenal’s elimination from not only the FA Cup but also the Champions League means their season will now come to a close at the end of the Premiership season on May 15. That is four weeks before England’s opening Euro 2004 game against France – exactly the preparation time for which the Swede has campaigned for all his players. Beckham, meanwhile, will still be involved with Real until the end of Spain’s La Liga season on May 23, but could still join the rest of the squad for their training camp in Sardinia the following week. Chelsea, of course, could still be involved in the Champions League final on May 26 if they can overcome Monaco and they now boast a sizeable England contingent. But however well Frank Lampard and Wayne Bridge played last night at Highbury, Terry remains their only likely England starter this summer, while Joe Cole could also travel to Portugal. None of them has had recent injury worries and, as an added bonus, Terry must have impressed Eriksson with his displays against Thierry Henry over recent weeks, especially given that England’s opening Euro 2004 game is against France.

Euro 2004 fails to hit tickets goal
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Apr 8, 2004
A last-minute sales push is being planned in Portugal, the competition’s host nation, but the original target will not quite be reached, Kallen confirmed. “The target of 95 per cent is a very high one,” he said. “Anything over 90 per cent is good because there are always matches in which people are not so interested. It runs from June 12 to July 4.

Eriksson’s plans end in disarray
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 9, 2004
After a disappointing exit from Euro 2004 and a series of lurid tabloid newspaper tales about his private life, Eriksson badly needed to get his side back on track on the pitch where it really mattered. Ten weeks had elapsed since England suffered the heartbreak of losing to Portugal on penalties in the Euro 2004 quarter-final in Lisbon. By their own admission England under-performed during the tournament with Eriksson coming under fire for being too negative in his approach. Eriksson was forced to make three changes to his starting line-up from the team that played against Portugal. Ledley King and Alan Smith replaced the injured Sol Campbell and Wayne Rooney respectively… Owen had the chance to add to England’s tally shortly before half-time as he sped onto to a long ball. But Manninger managed to block the Real Madrid recruit’s shot despite appearing to be oustide his area. Luckily for Manninger, the referee did not spot the error on this occasion, otherwise he could well have been sent off. England continued on top on the resumption and Alan Smith should have done better when Gerrard and Owen set him up. Gerrard then showed Smith how to finish with aplomb midway through the half as England confirmed their dominance. Smith made the opening as he laid the ball off to Owen whose clipped pass was met first-time by the Liverpool captain and rammed right-footed into the roof of the net. It was all going so smoothly for England as they dominated possession.

Bellamy played through pain
BBC News – Apr 7, 2004
“My game plan had been to help Wales qualify for Euro 2004, then have my operation and come back in time for the Championship,” he told BBC Sport. “It was a bit silly because I was only half fit and never in good enough condition to play for Wales. “I had tendinitis in my left knee and just could not get rid of the pain. “It’s been a career dogged by injury and I’ve now had five knee operations… “My game plan had been to help Wales qualify for Euro 2004, then have my operation and come back in time for the Championship,” he told BBC Sport. “It was a bit silly because I was only half fit and never in good enough condition to play for Wales. “I had tendinitis in my left knee and just could not get rid of the pain. “It’s been a career dogged by injury and I’ve now had five knee operations. “But even when I’ve felt down I’ve never doubted my own ability.

Bruce backs Upson for Euro 2004
go.com – Apr 7, 2004
Upson had been a regular member of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s squad until hesuffered damaged ankle ligaments during the FA Cup clash with Blackburn in earlyJanuary. That forced him out of the friendly against Portugal in February when LedleyKing made his mark with England’s goal in a 1-1 draw. Then former Arsenal player Upson was not chosen for last week’s match inSweden when Tottenham’s Anthony Gardner won a first cap. But Bruce believes there is sufficient time remaining for the central defenderto book a place in the final 23 for Portugal which will be announced inmid-May. Bruce told PA Sport: ‘There is still time for Matty. There are still nearly acouple of months left before the finals and things change quickly in football. ‘I think he was unfortunate with the timing of his injury because he wasplaying really well at the time.

Sporting Life – OpinionGeoff McClure – www.theage.com.au
The Age – Apr 9, 2004
Well, it would seem now that we are not the only ones who share this view. Skip directly to: Search Box, Section Navigation, Content… It is unique in the way that the people get caught up in the atmosphere. ” Sport ’til you drop The ripper Observer series lists some spectacular events, from world cups to grand slam tournaments to BASE jumping to bull running but, outside our Test match and cup, our favourite was the one that sports fans everywhere can enjoy free of charge without even leaving their living rooms. In fact, it’s yet to even happen – the weekend of July 3-4, 2004 – which the Observer describes as “the perfect television marathon”, starting with Wimbledon’s women’s and men’s finals and soccer’s Euro 2004 final. But there are also one-day cricket internationals featuring England, the West Indies and New Zealand, a Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Darwin, the opening stages of the Tour de France and the final rounds of golf’s European Open. What we in Australia can add to that sporting smorgasbord, of course, is a weekend of AFL footy that a check of our draw shows starts on the Friday night with a good old-fashioned suburban tribal clash between Essendon and the Kangaroos. Overall, a weekend of sport-’til-you-drop if ever there was one.

Woodgate out to impress
BBC News – Apr 8, 2004
Woodgate, 24, is cruising back towards top form after a stomach problem which has hampered him since last summer. “My form is not bad, but I can play miles better than I am,” he said. “There’s a lot more to come. I have got to be a lot more consistent than I have been, but I will hopefully keep playing well and get better and better. ”

Woodgate, who lines up against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday, is keen to finish the season strongly and claim a place in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England squad for Euro 2004. “I am doing all right, but it is not really good enough because I want to be
the best I can in every game,” he added… “There’s a lot more to come. I have got to be a lot more consistent than I have been, but I will hopefully keep playing well and get better and better. ”

Woodgate, who lines up against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday, is keen to finish the season strongly and claim a place in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England squad for Euro 2004. “I am doing all right, but it is not really good enough because I want to be
the best I can in every game,” he added. Robson will hope for another top-class performance from Woodgate at the
Philips Stadium as the Magpies attempt to put themselves in a position to
earn a semi-final clash with either Inter Milan or Marseille and a chance to end
their 35-year wait for a trophy. Woodgate reached the semi-finals during his time at Leeds, but having seen the Yorkshire club knocked out by PSV two seasons ago, he knows just how difficult the Magpies’ task will be. “I know they are a good side and they have got some good players,” he said.

Stay of execution for Eriksson
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 8, 2004
Sir Trevor Brooking could step into the breach but long-term options are few, particularly if the FA do view Eriksson’s eventual successor as someone who is happily married and English. Steve McClaren fits that bill, is popular with the players but remains inexperienced. The message of Euro 2004 was that the veteran coaches, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Otto Rehhagel, were the ones who prospered. Davies’ role in recent events will also come under scrutiny and he can expect a reprimand, at the very least, for his public espousal of support for Eriksson in the midst of the inquiry. As for Thompson, his critics on the board could issue a vote of no-confidence but it would need the FA Council, who do not meet for two months, to ratify the chairman’s exit. Brooking would make an able chairman. Palios’s departure creates a substantial vacancy… The outstanding candidate, the Premier League’s Richard Scudamore, has ruled himself out. Trevor Birch, an erstwhile Liverpool reserve, should therefore be approached to bring in financial nous – having worked at Leeds United, Chelsea and Everton – a love of the game, and an ability to get on with people. Gibson’s case will not occupy the board for long. Having agreed he must go, they must issue thanks for his brief tour of duty and wish him a speedy and inevitable return to Fleet Street, where he will resume his trade as a fine journalist. In his place, the FA have already turned to Adrian Bevington, a man who will not turn a modest drama into a crisis. A period of calm is now required. Information appearing on telegraph.

James is hungry for more
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 9, 2004
“James made his England debut in March 1997 before the darkness descended at Liverpool and it was three years before he played again. But his rehabilitation as a top class keeper was aided, he says, by focusing on becoming his country’s No 1. Relegation from the Premiership with West Ham two seasons ago threatened to derail those ambitions a second time and he concedes that if he had not moved to Manchester City in January, his form would not have been good enough to warrant his place in Euro 2004. He says: “It was strange going into my first major tournament at the age of 33 because normally, you would have two or three under your belt by then. “But it has definitely increased my hunger for more and I will go on for as long as I feel happy. “He knows he can never completely shake off the Calamity nickname, nor can he ever hope to eradicate handling errors, any more than Michael Owen can prevent himself occasionally blazing gilt edged chances over the bar. But he has quelled his self-doubts with reason, saying: “I know that if I get the fundamentals right, it limits the chances of that being the issue.

BBC SPORT | Football | Irish | Carsley opts out
BBC News – Apr 7, 2004
The Everton player said he did not want to be considered by Republic boss Brian Kerr for the forseeable future. Thirty-year-old Carsley said he also wanted to concentrate on regaining a regular first team place at Goodison. “Lee asked not to be selected until he has re-established himself in the Everton team and I have agreed to that request,” said Kerr. Carsley, who has won 29 caps for the Irish, said he had reached the decision some time ago. “I want to concentrate on Everton and re-establish myself here and if I am going to Ireland to play in international fixtures then I feel that I cannot do it,” said Carsley… Carsley, who has won 29 caps for the Irish, said he had reached the decision some time ago. “I want to concentrate on Everton and re-establish myself here and if I am going to Ireland to play in international fixtures then I feel that I cannot do it,” said Carsley. Kerr’s appointment as manager saw Carsley win a regular place in the Republic side as he started five of Ireland’s Euro 2004 qualifiers.

Brown has England class
BBC News – Apr 7, 2004
Brown’s fortunes and form have been transformed in recent weeks after initially struggling when he returned following a long-term knee injury. And I believe if he stays fit, Brown has the capability not just to make England’s final squad for Portugal, but to go straight into the team. Brown’s ability has been there for all to see in United’s last two games against Arsenal, both in the league and in the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park. He was magnificent in both games. What a contrast it was from his form on his return, when United had been vulnerable defensively

If Brown had been an average player, it is certain Sir Alex Ferguson would have put him back in the reserves and told him to play his way back into form away from the spotlight. But a manager of Ferguson’s calibre knows his players, knows their talent and knows their ability.

Sutton and Thompson offer clues to future of O’Neill
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Apr 8, 2004
“The boys have done exceptionally well here, especially in the European arena,” reflected O’Neill. “Chris lost a bit of confidence at Chelsea while I felt Alan was a terrific player at Bolton and I thought his move to Aston Villa would cement him as an England player. He did not perform there the way he should have but I am delighted he has done it here. Like many of the senior players, they have been terrific and I think I have treated them all with respect, even though they might not agree with everything I say. ” Few, though, can deny the special chemistry that O’Neill has created with this group of players, who now have a second successive Uefa Cup final appearance in their sights after eliminating Barcelona. The only cloud on the manager’s horizon is the departure of Larsson at the end of his contract — Spain is the most likely destination — though O’Neill urged the prolific striker to listen to the pleas of his compatriots and return from international retirement and play for Sweden at Euro 2004. “I think he should do it,” said O’Neill… Like many of the senior players, they have been terrific and I think I have treated them all with respect, even though they might not agree with everything I say. ” Few, though, can deny the special chemistry that O’Neill has created with this group of players, who now have a second successive Uefa Cup final appearance in their sights after eliminating Barcelona. The only cloud on the manager’s horizon is the departure of Larsson at the end of his contract — Spain is the most likely destination — though O’Neill urged the prolific striker to listen to the pleas of his compatriots and return from international retirement and play for Sweden at Euro 2004. “I think he should do it,” said O’Neill. “I don’t think he should concern himself about his decision to call it a day. He will be welcomed by everyone (in Sweden) and the chance to play in a major competition like this does not come often. ” O’Neill, though, does not see Larsson following Sutton and Thompson and taking up the offer of a new contract that Celtic put on the table over a year ago.

Bitter-sweet revenge for Morientes
go.com – Apr 7, 2004
Monaco captain Ludovic Giuly completed the scoring with thesecond of two superb volleys to give his team a 3-1 victory overthe 2002 champions and send them through on away goals (5-5aggregate) but for Morientes the evening was even more special. ‘Fate forced me to play against friends. It hurt to beatthem but I must not think about it too much,’ he said after thegame. ‘But I’m a professional and I’m now fighting for Monaco’scolours’, he added. Morientes, released on loan after spending most of lastseason on the bench, had also scored in Monaco’s 4-2 loss in thefirst leg, an away goal that ended up making a big difference. His recent form must have given Real coach Carlos Queirozserious regrets. Morientes, 27, has been impressive since the start of hisexile in the principality, scoring nine goals in Ligue 1 andseven in the Champions League… SomeReal fans in the Monaco stands held banners reading: ‘Selectionfor Moro’. Morientes was recalled by Spanish manager Inaki Saez for afriendly international against Denmark last week and scored thefirst of his country’s two goals. ‘Moro’, as he is dubbed, has an impressive record for Spain,having scored 21 goals in 31 appearances and Saez hintedrepeatedly that he was counting on him for Euro 2004. The Spaniard has won two Liga crowns and three ChampionsLeagues with Real. ‘We’re going one step a time now and we keep dreaming,’ hesaid about Monaco’s future. He admits he owes a lot to Monaco manager Didier Deschampsand the principality club. ‘I’ll never forget that Monaco gave me the chance and joy toplay again after a year of suffering,’ he said last month.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Don’t take Wes, Fergie asks Sven
go.com – Apr 9, 2004
MAN_UTD –>Updated: April 9, 2004Don’t take our Wes, Fergie asks SvenMANCHESTER, England, April 9 (Reuters) – Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has urged England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson not to consider defender Wes Brown for his Euro 2004 squad. Brown, who won the last of his seven caps as a substitute inthe 2-1 defeat by Australia in February 2003, has recentlyreturned to form following lengthy injury breaks. He was initially criticised after replacing the suspendedRio Ferdinand in United’s defence in January, though has sincemade 15 appearances and performed admirably in the recentmatches against Arsenal with United achieving a 1-1 draw in theleague and a 1-0 FA Cup semi-final victory. ‘The boy is maybe going to need a break during the summerafter going through what he has been through,’ Ferguson toldreporters on Friday. ‘You have to remember he has had two cruciate ops and abroken ankle as well, so he has been through a great deal.

Wiltord boost for Gunners
BBC News – Apr 9, 2004
Wiltord has been missing since December with an ankle injury, but wants to help his side’s title push as well as win a place in France’s Euro 2004 squad. “It has been extremely frustrating for me to watch matches as it broke my heart that I couldn’t play but I am ready now,” the forward said. “We have a lot of matches coming up in a short space of time so it is important to make yourself available. ”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: “Sylvain is fit and ready to play again. He can play a part for us this season as he can play out wide or up front… “I have always said that I would love to stay at Arsenal. I would like to play more but that, at the moment, has not been possible,” he said. “Talks have not started again yet because we are entering the final stages of a very important season but I am sure we will start talking after the season ends.

Who should sing the England footie song?
BBC News – Apr 9, 2004
They would be joining the likes of Ant & Dec and Baddiel & Skinner who’ve all recorded England footie anthems. But who would be your choice to sing the official song?

Do you want Blazin’ Squad or somebody completely different?

E-mail us your suggestions!

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

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