Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

May 9, 2004

EURO 2004: Greek win begs the question ‘what has happened to football’…

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 11:05 am

The News Review:

* Linesmen’s performances are seriously flagging
* England managers: Past and future
* Spain Challenges Portugal’s Hospitality
* EURO 2004: Greek win begs the question ‘what has happened to football’…
* Greece brought back to earth
* Robson faces toughest test
* Soccer provides Indonesian poll worries
* Birmingham v Liverpool: Preview
* ENGLAND: Why should Paul Scholes retire now?
* Eriksson should drop Beckham
* GiveMeFootball.com – The Professional Footballers’ Association
* All Together Now for England
* I’m in worst form for five years: Zidane
* ROW team look value at Ascot
* That love affair with Sven is wearing a little thin

Linesmen’s performances are seriously flagging
Telegraph.co.uk – May 9, 2004
As if this were not enough, the pained Spaniard then had to put up with a series of sustained and emphatic nods from the linesman, Glenn Turner, who appeared to be telling him: “Just watch it on the telly tonight son, you’ll see. “It was a particularly unamusing error of judgment, for creative thrills in football are not so abundant we can afford to have their rewards snatched away on a regular basis. Nor does the game pay linesmen to get involved in disputes with players. An occasional lapse of competence is pardonable in us all; impertinence is quite another thing and I am sure Turner, an official of such standing that he represented England at Euro 2004, would not have appreciated it had he been the wronged party… “It was a particularly unamusing error of judgment, for creative thrills in football are not so abundant we can afford to have their rewards snatched away on a regular basis. Nor does the game pay linesmen to get involved in disputes with players. An occasional lapse of competence is pardonable in us all; impertinence is quite another thing and I am sure Turner, an official of such standing that he represented England at Euro 2004, would not have appreciated it had he been the wronged party. Every time you think linesmen are getting the hang of offside – Euro 2004 was generally heartening – they bring you back down to earth. I have always felt the only solution would be to suspend them, like players, for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity (or, in this case, goal).

England managers: Past and future
Telegraph.co.uk – May 8, 2004
A World Cup qualifying defeat to Germany in the last game at the old Wembley proved the final straw, with Keegan quitting in immediately afterwards, admitting he was not up to the job. Contenders for the England job after Eriksson:Steve McClarenThe Yorkshireman would satisfy those who insist the national team coach should be English. He served as an assistant to Eriksson at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, so becoming manager would be a natural “in-house” progression. McClaren would be keen, having already said that managing at the top level is something he aims to do in the future. Alan Curbishley The Charlton manager is tipped to manage the national team at some stage but if the job became available it may be too soon. His club would not be happy about losing the man who has helped establish them in the Premiership without breaking the bank, but it is more likely he would take a big club job before the FA consider him fit to move up to international level. Sir Bobby Robson & Sir Trevor Brooking This experienced duo are already reported to be the double act lined up to replace Eriksson… McClaren would be keen, having already said that managing at the top level is something he aims to do in the future. Alan Curbishley The Charlton manager is tipped to manage the national team at some stage but if the job became available it may be too soon. His club would not be happy about losing the man who has helped establish them in the Premiership without breaking the bank, but it is more likely he would take a big club job before the FA consider him fit to move up to international level. Sir Bobby Robson & Sir Trevor Brooking This experienced duo are already reported to be the double act lined up to replace Eriksson. Robson managed England with varied success from 1982 to 1990 though Newcastle, his current employers, may frown on him taking on any extra work. Brooking is the FA’s director of football development and if he took a more hands-on role further questions would be asked about his lack of formal coaching qualifications. Steve Bruce Bruce has transformed Birmingham from perennial underachievers into one of the most upwardly-mobile clubs in the Premiership.

Spain Challenges Portugal’s Hospitality
This Day – This Day (subscription) – May 8, 2004
Russia are a big team in Europe. They may not be lucky enough to have won in big events though, other teams in the group will have to struggle to pass them. However, a collection of top-class talents and great results at home could not earn them automatic qualification for Euro 2004, but still managed to make the party at the enpense of Wales. A 4-2 win over the Republic of Ireland in their first Group 10 qualifier opened the eyes of Europeans to what they can do. After an abandoned match in Georgia due to light failure, the Russians returned home for a 4-1 thrashing of Albania, but had the favor returned to them in Albania. It didn’t get any better for Russia, as they fell 1-0 in Georgia in their next game, then drew with eventual group winners Switzerland 2-2. In the end, the Swiss pipped Russia by a point, forcing the Russian into the play-offs against Wales.

EURO 2004: Greek win begs the question ‘what has happened to football’…
Squarefootball – May 7, 2004
Then the conventionally ?big? teams in Europe fell, one by one, to the sidelines as the European Champions League final was contested by unfashionable Monaco and Porto. Now, to cap the lot, Greece are European champions. No folks, you did not dream it. Greece really are the champions of Europe. Just what is going on?Has the tide turned completely and irrevocably? Are we to no longer see the really big finals being fought between really big nations and clubs? And will England ever be able to move on from that summer forty odd years back?Greece have won the European title as a team. No superstars, not even a minor star. They have formed, under their progressive coach, a team spirit and unity… “Greece have won the European title as a team. No superstars, not even a minor star”related.

Greece brought back to earth
Telegraph.co.uk – May 9, 2004
Greece looked a shadow of the team who upset the odds to win Euro 2004. They had not won in Albania before and never looked like changing that statistic. Albania have not lost at home since the former German international, Hans-Peter Briegel, took over as coach almost two years ago. The Greeks struggled for most of the first half before coach Otto Rehhagel brought on Stelios Giannakopoulos and Vassilis Tsiartas. The changes paid dividends as Tsiartas crossed for Bolton’s Giannakopoulos to pull a goal back after 38 minutes but the Greeks failed to create any clear chances in the second half.

Robson faces toughest test
BBC News – May 7, 2004
But after losing the Champions League qualifier, Newcastle needed a serious title campaign and Robson’s team has failed to deliver. The Uefa Cup was always a consolation prize and even that brought disappointment. Even Robson is not immune to football’s ruthless nature and any more disappointments will inevitably bring scrutiny. THE SIGNINGS

Sir Bobby Robson’s record in the market is mixed at best and has been used as evidence against him by his critics. Jonathan Woodgate has been a success, while Craig Bellamy was a ?6m gamble that paid off – although he has suffered injuries and turbulence off the field. Jermaine Jenas and Darren Ambrose are a secure part of Newcastle’s future, but elsewhere Robson has problems. Titus Bramble is too accident-prone to seriously justify his ?6m tag, while Hugo Viana had done nothing to suggest he is anything other than an ?8.

Soccer provides Indonesian poll worries
abc.net.au – May 7, 2004
One of the main worries for the electoral commission is that the election has coincided with the Euro 2004 final. There are fears that many voters who stayed out most of the night to watch the result in the football-mad country may not be able to drag themselves out of bed to vote before the polls close at 1pm. The official results will not be in for two or three weeks but the results of a quick count are expected some time this evening. Former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has led all the polls in the lead-up to the election. In other developments:

Rank outsiders Greece have been crowned European champions for the first time after beating hosts Portugal 1-0 in the final of Euro 2004 in Lisbon this morning.

Birmingham v Liverpool: Preview
go.com – May 7, 2004
We have done well to win our last two games but that will count for nothing if we do not win our next two and don’t finish fourth. Steve Bruce has revealed he wants to turn Birmingham into a club able “to push the top five” in the Premiership as he prepares to embark on a summer spending spree. Bruce has admitted all his targets are “proven, established Premiership players and internationals” and he is looking to complete most of the transactions before Euro 2004 gets under way. Liverpool striker Emile Heskey, out-of-contract Leicester midfielder Muzzy Izzet and Chelsea winger Jesper Gronkjaer are believed to be three players attracting the attention of Bruce. Blues are on target to finish in the top 10 in the top flight for the first time in 30 years despite an end-of-season stumble. Bruce has again been given the full backing of chairman David Gold and co-owner David Sullivan to launch a number of raids into the transfer market. But he is also determined not to overstretch the club financially and see them plunge into the kind of financial crisis that ruined Leeds United… Blues are on target to finish in the top 10 in the top flight for the first time in 30 years despite an end-of-season stumble. Bruce has again been given the full backing of chairman David Gold and co-owner David Sullivan to launch a number of raids into the transfer market. But he is also determined not to overstretch the club financially and see them plunge into the kind of financial crisis that ruined Leeds United. Bruce said: “If I were a Birmingham fan I would be quite excited if I knew who they [his targets] were. The people we have earmarked to bring in this summer are all proven, established Premiership players and internationals. “I am not going to bull the Birmingham fans. They have had that in the past too often.

ENGLAND: Why should Paul Scholes retire now?
Squarefootball – May 8, 2004
Any professional worth his salt would have baulked at the very idea, and very probably re-affirmed his commitment to his country and to winning as many caps as possible. There are still those who adopt this stance such as David Seaman, but with more and more club football played throughout Europe relatively early retirements from international football are becoming common. The latest to announce a premature end to his patriotic commitments is Manchester United’s Paul Scholes as he seeks to extend his club career for a few more precious years. This trend was set by Alan Shearer after Euro 2000 who, only 29 at the time, decided that he could no longer subject himself to the demands of a full domestic and international football programme… The omens for that are good, as on each of the three occasions that the Red Devils have lost their title in the Premiership era they have regained it the following year. The other man who might be just a tad pleased about this development is Frank Lampard. The Chelsea midfielder lived long in the shadow of Scholes at international level, until it was finally decided at Euro 2004 that the two could play together. Even then it was a less than convincing, square pegs and round holes scenario and the former West Ham man could now make that central midfield berth alongside Steven Gerrard his own. He will face stiff competition from Pele’s favourite Nicky Butt, but Lampard’s form for Chelsea in recent seasons merits a decent run in the team now that Scholes has moved on. Scholes’ family are also among those who benefit from his announcement. He recently suggested that all of the extra travelling with England in addition to European jaunts with Manchester United were having an effect on him.

Eriksson should drop Beckham
Telegraph.co.uk – May 9, 2004
And that is not meant as any kind of slight. They need firm boundaries in place to make the rules clear. We’re not talking Football Association rules either; rather the laws of engagement, the standards expected from each individual and the ramifications if those standards aren’t met. Step out of line and action will be taken. Underperform and your place is in danger… As a result, he wasn’t in the best position, or the best frame of mind, to lead from the front when David James’s howler allowed Austria back into the game. He lacked the form and the confidence to drive England on. So what happens from here? At what point does Eriksson try out someone else? Well, the Swede said it himself after an avalanche of criticism following Euro 2004. “Find me quality replacements,” he said, “and I’ll give ’em a go. “A bit of paraphrasing here, obviously, but those were the basic sentiments from a manager who claimed not to see any alternatives. Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of that statement, few would deny that there now exists a clear choice for Eriksson as far as the right side of midfield is concerned. Shaun Wright-Phillips was going to start in the Ernst Happel Stadium if Steven Gerrard hadn’t shaken off a groin injury.

GiveMeFootball.com – The Professional Footballers’ Association
GiveMeFootball.com – May 7, 2004
I disagree with what Martin Tyler, Andy Gray and Glenn Hoddle said about Jesper Gronkjaer's splendid goal. My description, not the pundits. I remember thinking, as he cut inside and lined up his left foot on the ball 'he's going to try and curl this one in at the far post' simply because of the intense concentration he put into the way he addressed the ball, knowing he was trying with his weaker foot. As for comments that he didn't even look up and was intending it as a cross, that's balderdash. He knew where he was in relation to the goalposts, and they weren't going to move, so his aim, and I think he was going for goal, was true and so was the desired result of pulling a goal back.

All Together Now for England
Guardian Unlimited – May 8, 2004
But what appears to be the most highbrow football track ever sounds reassuringly like any other. The remixed version of All Together Now by The Farm may lack the vocal talents of any England players, but its sing-a-long chorus has won the vocal backing of many football fans… “It’s a fantastic honour to have our song chosen to be the official England anthem. ” Despite rumours of a comeback, there is no place in the song for the John Barnes rap, the legendary vocal interlude from New Order’s 1990 World Cup song, where the England winger extolled the virtues of getting “behind the back”. An FA spokesman said: “Not being music experts, we were happy to leave the decision about whether to include a rap to The Farm and DJ Spoony. They decided not to include a John Barnes-style rap – that is best left as a treasured memory for football fans. ” But the lyrics cover familiar ground for those who have sung the opening lament of Skinner & Baddiel’s Three Lions. At some point in June, England fans will surely find themselves singing along with feeling.

I’m in worst form for five years: Zidane
Hindu – May 7, 2004
Just over a month before Euro 2004 kicks off and near the climax of the Spanish league season France and Real Madrid midfielder Zinedine Zidane has conceded that he is playing his worst football for five years. “For the last month and a half I have been going through a bad period,” the World Player of the Year said at a news conference after training on Wednesday. “Without a doubt these are the worst days I’ve had since joining Real Madrid (in 2001). The plain truth is I’m playing badly and these things have to be said out in the open. “I think it’s a mental problem… It happened to me back in the 1998-1999 season when I was at Juventus after France won the World Cup. I felt equally bad then. ”

Zidane is not the only player at Real to have lost form in recent weeks, club captain Raul and England midfielder David Beckham have also under-performed, but the Frenchman has been the only one to talk publicly about his problems. “It is time to stand up and be counted,” he said. “The rest of my life is perfect but on the pitch I’m not performing. I’m not going to talk about the rest of the team because each player will have his own opinion about their own form but as a team we are having a bad time. ”

In the last two months Real has suffered a succession of setbacks that has left it facing the prospect of ending the season empty-handed for the first time in five years.

ROW team look value at Ascot
Telegraph.co.uk – May 8, 2004
30 with an Andy Townsend soccer master class for children, and conclude with a concert by the Sugarbabes. Racing’s only team competition will pit the best home-grown jockeys captained by Fallon against some of the best in the world. Though I thought Ascot, following Greece’s victory in Euro 2004 and the impending Athens Olympics, were missing a trick this year in not inviting the six-times Greek champion jockey Panos Dimitsanis they nevertheless have a talented ROW team – managed by Australian spin bowler Shane Warne. Captained by Frankie Dettori, it includes Yutaka Take from Japan, Dario Vargiu, the new ‘Frankie on the block’ from Italy who rode Falbrav during his Italian career, Gerald Mosse from France, Damien Oliver on a three-day visit from Australia and the exotically named South African Weichong Marwing. It will be a second visit to Ascot for Marwing, 34. Half-Chinese and half-South African Marwing has really sprung to international prominence in the last fews years, riding in Hong Kong and doing particularly well for Mike de Kock, the pioneering South African trainer, in Dubai during the winter. He had his first and only ride at Ascot when partnering Firebolt for Ivan Allen in the King’s Stand Stakes.

That love affair with Sven is wearing a little thin
Telegraph.co.uk – May 8, 2004
Only now, inside the FA, is the magic wearing off. Though the players are standing resolutely by him, there is a growing sense in the football community and the country at large that he is something of a busted flush. Distance from Euro 2004 lends disenchantment. In his report on the Portugal campaign, Trevor Brooking put his finger on the one inescapable truth. England were negative instead of positive. Like a misdirected army, they fought on the retreat. Eriksson’s substitutions and his tactical choreography took momentum away when he should have been putting it in… Is the current England manager deserving of £3-4 million a year? Is this a sensible use of resources? Even more saliently, can we be confident Eriksson will realise in time for the 2006 World Cup that international tournaments are not the same as the Italian league he won with Lazio? Tactically, he has started to look dated – a conservative Nineties Man, unable to adapt. While Eriksson steps over the executive bodies, it’s accurate to say that the FA’s reputation is in shreds. Not because there are office romances inside Soho Square or because lovers are apparently passed on. That happens in all corporations. No: the problem is that some of the most powerful men in English football apparently tried to oust an England manager through a cynical and clumsy plot. Having locked themselves into an obscene salary and compensation package (star-struck, you see), they tried to remove him on the cheap. Five years ago, they sacked Glenn Hoddle on the grounds that he had offended the disabled.

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