Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

August 28, 2004

‘Benitez was the main factor in my decision to stay’

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 5:19 am

The News Review:

* BBC SPORT | Football | Premiership | Man Utd up Rooney bid
* ‘Amazing’ Rooney target for United
* ‘England’s emphasis is on getting the ball forward quick’
* ‘Benitez was the main factor in my decision to stay’
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Arsenal looks to extend record unbeaten run
* The serious buzz in Athens
* Johansson salutes passion play
* Tottenham hold on to winning streak
* Viduka quickly off mark
* Dispatch Online – Your premier Eastern Cape news site
* Iraq, South Americans salvage Olympic soccer
* Argentina rise to non-occasion
* Vieira, Giuly back in French squad
* Deco likely to take over from Figo
* Coach Aragones retains same squad
* Scots pair face Portuguese
* No Defoe blow for Spurs
* Comment: One way road for Rooney
* Boumsong bid rebuffed

BBC SPORT | Football | Premiership | Man Utd up Rooney bid
BBC News – Aug 28, 2004
The difficulty is getting the medicals but at the moment it is not at the
stage where we are talking about it. “We are waiting for an agreement before doing anything else. “Rooney’s a fabulous player – he showed that at Euro 2004 – and is a young player. “He’s not the finished article yet, but we’ve got experience of bringing young players to the club and bringing them on.

‘Amazing’ Rooney target for United
CNN International – Aug 26, 2004
"We would like to have the boy," revealed Ferguson after United had tabled a reported 20 million pounds ($35. United face competition from Newcastle who have also made Everton an offer for the England Euro 2004 hero. Ferguson, who groomed the likes of internationals David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes as youngsters, told MUTV: "He’s 18 years of age and I think we’ve got experience of bringing young players to this club and progressing them on. "He’s not the finished article, but he’s an exciting young player. "Though Everton boss David Moyes previously said he had no intention of parting with Rooney, the tone changed on Wednesday when he indicated the striker could be sold for a fee in excess of the 24 million pounds paid by Chelsea for Didier Drogba… United face competition from Newcastle who have also made Everton an offer for the England Euro 2004 hero. Ferguson, who groomed the likes of internationals David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes as youngsters, told MUTV: "He’s 18 years of age and I think we’ve got experience of bringing young players to this club and progressing them on. "He’s not the finished article, but he’s an exciting young player. "Though Everton boss David Moyes previously said he had no intention of parting with Rooney, the tone changed on Wednesday when he indicated the striker could be sold for a fee in excess of the 24 million pounds paid by Chelsea for Didier Drogba.

‘England’s emphasis is on getting the ball forward quick’
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 27, 2004
Anyone hoping for England to adopt the possession game or unleash dribblers will be disappointed. UEFA’s conclusion into an uninspiring Euro 2004 is that sudden breaks and set-pieces bring success… “Functionalism threatens to replace flair. Grip loved watching George Best, even attending a Manchester United training session at The Cliff in the early Seventies and standing spell-bound on the sidelines as Best weaved his magic. Yet wingers do not feature in the grand design of the Swedes running the England national team. Opponents are to be beaten by 30-yard passes not dribbles. Eriksson and Grip are realists, aware that the frenetic nature of the English domestic game rarely breeds those like Best who enjoy time on the ball. Impatient crowds like their football fast and furious with none of that fancy keep-ball stuff. “I went to Charlton against Aston Villa on Tuesday and it was a typical Premiership game: very quick and very aggressive,” recalled Grip.

‘Benitez was the main factor in my decision to stay’
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 28, 2004
One problem: this difficult decision, and the inevitable media speculation in tow, landed smack bang in the middle of Euro 2004. Not ideal, but the reasons for his deliberation had nothing to do with money and everything to do with ambition. “It was basically down to the last couple of seasons at Liverpool,” he said this week. “They weren’t good enough, for me personally or for the club. I was frustrated, being out of the title race by January or February.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Aug 28, 2004
The ambition is to put the folds and pleats of classical statuary and newer, more adventurous styles back into the public eye, fashion shows and chic boutiques. ?The old-fashioned label that stuck to Greece has dropped off,? said Georges Eleftheriadis, thanks to the Olympics and above all the spectacular opening ceremony whose costumes were designed by rising star London-based Sophia Kokossalaki. Eleftheriadis, a guru of Greek fashion and owner of a shop in the fashionable Kolonaki district of Athens, says the Greek rag trade has decided to set up an association of creators of fashion. The idea is to take advantage of the commercial fallout of the Games and to put pressure on the government that has never supported our sector, to make use of European funds and to try to set up an academy to train future generations of stylists… She dropped out for a time to concentrate on jewellery design but decided to grab the good present situation to go back to high fashion and is working on a jewel-dress, a pleated blue silk creation, in her home-cum-workshop in the Plaka district of the capital. Everywhere in Athens T-shirts bearing the national flag, spangled or stencilled, are to be seen, the only obvious sign of a boom in the local clothing industry and greeted with a shrug by Valente. ?I very much fear the idea comes from abroad, but why not that rather than the emblems of American universities?? she said, the more so if it inspired local big-spenders, keener on Italian and French designers than their home-grown rivals. The fact that the Games? organisers chose sportswear manufacturer Adidas to design the uniforms of volunteer staff and not locals rankles, though Eletfheriadis concedes ?at least they are not in bad taste. ? He points to the costumes of the Minoan era hundreds of years BC, ?they are really avant-garde, with their A-line and use of nudity. ? Valente cites the heavy embroidered materials Greek Orthodox priests wear in memory of their Byzantine origin, while conceding that their use remains ?a bit taboo? in Greece.

Arsenal looks to extend record unbeaten run
SI.com – Aug 27, 2004
That would match a bid by Newcastle for the 18-year-old player, who was one of the stars of Euro 2004 in Portugal. “He’s a fabulous player, he showed that at Euro 2004 — and is a young player,” Ferguson said of Rooney. “He’s not the finished article yet, but we’ve got experience of bringing young players to the club and bringing them on. He has a great chance, the lad, but you have to remember that he’s only 18. “Everton, which has rejected Newcastle’s bid as undervaluing the striker, was expected to respond to the United offer on Thursday. Ferguson’s team will go to Blackburn without skipper Roy Keane, who is expected to be sidelined for three weeks as he recovers from two cracked ribs.

The serious buzz in Athens
Salon – Aug 27, 2004
British journalist Dan Howden, who has lived here for five years and reported extensively on the doping scandal, said, “It’s a very interesting issue because it goes to the heart of Greek identity. There’s a real chip on the shoulder, a sense that ‘the world is against us. ‘ After Greece won the Euro 2004 [football championship], there was speculation that it might bring to an end some of this crippling fatalism. ” Howden pointed out that lurid conspiracy theories about evil U. plotting have some basis in fact… But another Greek professional I spoke to said that the real Greek anger was directed against IOC head Jacques Rogge, anti-doping honcho Dick Pound and the whole system, not specifically Americans. “They booed the Americans because they were on the screen and because Kenteris wasn’t running, not really because Greeks don’t like Americans. ” He also said that Greece’s everybody’s-against-us trait was fading. “Twenty years ago, if this had happened, there would have been real problems,” he said. “Today there aren’t.

Johansson salutes passion play
uefa.comUEFA.com – Aug 26, 2004
Great clubs”The season that has just kicked off is no exception,” continued Mr Johansson. “It involves many of the great clubs which have made the history of the competition, and others who dream of writing new, equally glorious chapters. Last season’s results, like the outcome of EURO 2004™ in Portugal, nurture and fire their ambitions, proving that the unexpected can happen and that nothing is beyond reach, adding spice to European football and making it even more interesting and fascinating. Dreams and ambitions”The clubs which have not managed to get through the preliminary rounds – to whom we pay homage for doing their best – have realised, however, that dreams do not always come true and that not all ambitions can be fulfilled. ” The UEFA President went on: “But their involvement still matters very much; by taking part, they have also contributed to the success of a season which will certainly offer us many an exciting moment and an abundance of skilful football. Licensing hope”UEFA is proud that this 50th edition coincides with the introduction of one of its most important programmes, the club licensing scheme,” Mr Johansson concluded. “We hope that this measure, which has generally been well received, will gradually contribute to improved club facilities, training and quality on the field itself… “It involves many of the great clubs which have made the history of the competition, and others who dream of writing new, equally glorious chapters. Last season’s results, like the outcome of EURO 2004™ in Portugal, nurture and fire their ambitions, proving that the unexpected can happen and that nothing is beyond reach, adding spice to European football and making it even more interesting and fascinating. Dreams and ambitions”The clubs which have not managed to get through the preliminary rounds – to whom we pay homage for doing their best – have realised, however, that dreams do not always come true and that not all ambitions can be fulfilled. ” The UEFA President went on: “But their involvement still matters very much; by taking part, they have also contributed to the success of a season which will certainly offer us many an exciting moment and an abundance of skilful football. Licensing hope”UEFA is proud that this 50th edition coincides with the introduction of one of its most important programmes, the club licensing scheme,” Mr Johansson concluded. “We hope that this measure, which has generally been well received, will gradually contribute to improved club facilities, training and quality on the field itself. Keeping the spirit alive”In this way, UEFA is keeping alive the spirit of those who founded our organisation and doing everything it can to ensure that its competitions lose none of their passion.

Tottenham hold on to winning streak
Independent Online – Aug 28, 2004
Defoe’s virtuoso effort was his third goal in four games and, with Sven-Goran Eriksson watching from the stands, will have boosted his chances of being picked for England’s World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Poland on September 4 and 8. Jacques Santini, the former France manager who took over at Spurs after Euro 2004, has asked for patience while his new-look side settles. But Santini’s side could not be doing much better as they sit among the front-runners in the Premiership. 75-million-pound move from West Ham last week, was not picked to make his debut.

Viduka quickly off mark
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 26, 2004
5 million striker, one of the many luxuries Leeds could not afford to keep on their wage bill, left Elland Road under a cloud after adding to their relegation misery by being sent off towards the end of last season. Indeed, he had to complete his suspension as this season unfolded before turning out in Boro’s colours. But he rose to the occasion when required, scoring the crucial opening goal that put his new team-mates on course for a much-deserved success. Apart from his close-range strike, Viduka impressed with his hold-up play and his partnership with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has huge promise. Substitute Szilard Nemeth wrapped up victory by prodding in Frank Queudrue’s incisive cross 11 minutes from time… Apart from his close-range strike, Viduka impressed with his hold-up play and his partnership with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has huge promise. Substitute Szilard Nemeth wrapped up victory by prodding in Frank Queudrue’s incisive cross 11 minutes from time. Shell-shocked or not after leaking five goals at Highbury, Boro were at least able to look to Gareth Southgate for reassuring influence as he made his return after recovering from the knee injury that excluded him from Euro 2004 selection. Ray Parlour, another summer arrival, lashed a 25-yarder only a foot or so over as Boro kept up the momentum and Fulham struggled to regain the rhythm of Saturday’s convincing win over Bolton. The hosts were hoping Andy Cole could continue where he left off against Wanderers when his pace and awareness were rewarded with two goals, but he was kept quiet before pouncing on a knockdown at the far post on the half-hour, forcing a hastily conceded corner, following which Moritz Volz had a fierce effort charged down.

Dispatch Online – Your premier Eastern Cape news site
Dispatch Online – Aug 27, 2004
Those are the kind of goals you like to see strikers get. ”
French striker David Bellion’s well-taken 74th- minute strike completed a 3-0 win on the night that put United into yesterday’s draw for the tournament proper, 5-1 on aggregate. Ferguson’s confidence that Dynamo would not block his side’s path to the group stage of the tournament was reflected in the make-up of his bench. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and Louis Saha were all kept in reserve as youngsters Chris Eagles and Jonathan Spector made their first senior starts for the club. It was a calculated gamble that almost paid off inside the first minute, when Eagles got beyond the Dynamo back four and cut the ball back invitingly for Darren Fletcher, whose shot was deflected narrowly wide. That bright start proved to be a misleading indicator of what was to follow however as United laboured to make any headway against equally uninspired opposition before finally upping their tempo in the closing stages of the opening period. Cristiano Ronaldo, making his first start of the season after a summer spent on international duty at Euro 2004 and the Olympics, signalled the change of gear by thumping a a long-range free- kick into the midriff of Dorin Semeghin… It was a calculated gamble that almost paid off inside the first minute, when Eagles got beyond the Dynamo back four and cut the ball back invitingly for Darren Fletcher, whose shot was deflected narrowly wide. That bright start proved to be a misleading indicator of what was to follow however as United laboured to make any headway against equally uninspired opposition before finally upping their tempo in the closing stages of the opening period. Cristiano Ronaldo, making his first start of the season after a summer spent on international duty at Euro 2004 and the Olympics, signalled the change of gear by thumping a a long-range free- kick into the midriff of Dorin Semeghin. Smith was then unlucky not to put United ahead with a diving header that cannoned off the crossbar. As if by way of consolation for that effort, Smith was presented with a close- range tap-in to put United ahead within two minutes of the restart. Dynamo centre-back Adrian Iordache was the culprit, directing Kleberson’s free-kick straight to the feet of Smith. Even the linesman thought the pass must have come from a United player but his offside flag was overruled by German referee Markus Merk.

Iraq, South Americans salvage Olympic soccer
Independent Online – Aug 27, 2004
Many games have been played at virtually empty stadiums, despite the feel-good factor generated by Greece’s shock Euro 2004 triumph in Portugal. The Greek men’s and women’s teams lost in the first round, compounding the sense of shame the country felt after two Greek sprinters pulled out of the Games after missing dope tests. Greek men’s and women’s teams lost in the first roundFifa president Sepp Blatter voiced his concern, pleading with the fiercely patriotic Greek fans to show an interest. “At some matches, I could have shaken the hand of everybody in the stadium,” he said. “I appeal to the Greek fans to fill the stadiums… More than 90 000 had packed the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to watch the Americans beat China to win the 1999 World Cup. ‘Paraguay is nowhere and famous for nothing’With Greece and co-favourites Portugal failing to advance to the quarter-finals of the men’s tournament, the focus switched to Argentina and Iraq. Argentina have not won an Olympic gold medal since the 1952 Helsinki Games but the soccer players are strongly fancied to end that barren run in Athens. The Argentines, who brought a squad largely unchanged from the one which finished runners-up to Brazil in last month’s Copa America, face Paraguay in the Olympic final on Saturday. Boca Juniors playmaker Carlos Tevez has been the player of the tournament with seven goals, and Argentina have scored 16 without reply in five matches. Satirical writer PJ O’Rourke wrote: “Paraguay is nowhere and famous for nothing. ” But the Paraguay football team have made history for the isolated South American country.

Argentina rise to non-occasion
BBC News – Aug 28, 2004
But you can be sure that if they had been allowed to choose the setting for their historic
triumph, it would not have been a half-empty stadium at 10 o’clock in the morning. While millions of fans in Argentina and Paraguay tuned in to watch the first Olympic final
between South American nations for 76 years, most of Athens was having a Saturday
morning lie-in. Not even pleas from Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Greek Football Association chief
Vassilis Gagatsis to fill the stadium could pull in the punters. It might have been different if the home nation had not suffered an early exit from the
competition, or if Iraq had not lost to Paraguay in the semi-finals… ”

The build-up to the Games had been marred by an unseemly row between Fifa and the
World Anti-doping Agency, which at one point threatened to see the football competition
called off. In the end there was an uneasy truce as Fifa signed up to the Wada code, still indicating
that it would follow its own interpretation of the rules. When the tournament began, the expected wave of post-Euro 2004 enthusiasm failed
to materialise.

Vieira, Giuly back in French squad
CNN International – Aug 26, 2004
New coach Raymond Domenech also called up Patrick Vieira, who has not played for Arsenal this season and could also miss this weekend’s match because of a thigh injury. "Our team need leaders. Patrick’s presence is very important even if he is not fully fit. As far as I know, he has been training hard and is available," said Domenech who took over from Jacques Santini after Euro 2004. Makelele will be on standby to fill Vieira’s shoes as a defensive midfielder… "Our team need leaders. Patrick’s presence is very important even if he is not fully fit. As far as I know, he has been training hard and is available," said Domenech who took over from Jacques Santini after Euro 2004. Makelele will be on standby to fill Vieira’s shoes as a defensive midfielder. The Chelsea player was left out of the first squad named by Domenech for a friendly against Bosnia on August 18 as were Barcelona’s Giuly and Trezeguet of Juventus. Domenech dropped four players who took part in the 1-1 draw, defender Anthony Reveillere, midfielder Rio-Antonio Mavuba and strikers Pierre-Alain Frau and Sydney Govou. "There is a fierce competition for a striker’s berth and (Angola-born) Mavuba is still waiting for the official confirmation of his French citizenship," Domenech said.

Deco likely to take over from Figo
CNN International – Aug 26, 2004
Portugal play Latvia in Riga on September 4 and are at home to Estonia four days later in Group Three, which also includes Slovakia, Russia, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. The 31-year-old Figo has announced he is taking an indefinite break from international football after leading his team to the final of Euro 2004, where Portugal lost to Greece. Figo’s decision to take a break followed midfielder Rui Costa’s retirement from the international game, leaving Fernando Couto as the only survivor of the so-called "golden generation. "Couto was not named in the squad, however, due to injury. Brazilian Scolari kept faith in goalkeepers Quim Silva and Ricardo Pereira, leaving out former number one Vitor Baia, who won the Champions League with Porto. Defender Marco Caneira, who has joined Valencia on loan from Bordeaux this season, earned a recall, along with forwards Luis Boa Morte of English Premier League Fulham and Porto’s Hugo Almeida… The 31-year-old Figo has announced he is taking an indefinite break from international football after leading his team to the final of Euro 2004, where Portugal lost to Greece. Figo’s decision to take a break followed midfielder Rui Costa’s retirement from the international game, leaving Fernando Couto as the only survivor of the so-called "golden generation. "Couto was not named in the squad, however, due to injury. Brazilian Scolari kept faith in goalkeepers Quim Silva and Ricardo Pereira, leaving out former number one Vitor Baia, who won the Champions League with Porto. Defender Marco Caneira, who has joined Valencia on loan from Bordeaux this season, earned a recall, along with forwards Luis Boa Morte of English Premier League Fulham and Porto’s Hugo Almeida. Squad:Goalkeepers: Ricardo Pereira (Sporting), Quim Silva (Benfica)Defenders: Miguel Monteiro (Benfica), Jorge Andrade (Deportivo Coruna, Spain), Marco Caneira (Valencia, Spain), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea, England), Nuno Valente (Porto), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea, England), Rui Jorge (Sporting)Midfielders: Deco (Barcelona, Spain), Armando Petit (Benfica) Francisco Costinha (Porto), Maniche Ribeiro (Porto) Tiago (Chelsea, England)Forwards: Simao Sabrosa (Benfica), Luis Boa Morte (Fulham, England), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, England) Helder Postiga (Porto), Hugo Almeida (Porto), Pauleta (Paris St Germain, France).

Coach Aragones retains same squad
CNN International – Aug 26, 2004
Midfielder Xabi Alonso also remains in the squad after completing his 16 million euro ($19. 32 million) move from Real Sociedad to Liverpool. Uncapped defenders Asier del Horno and Aitor Lopez Rekarte, who were called up for the last match but did not play, get another chance to make their first international appearances. A below-form Raul retains his place up front together with Real Madrid team mate Fernando Morientes, Fernando Torres of Atletico Madrid and Espanyol striker Raul Tamudo, who scored twice against Venezuela. "Raul is a very important player because he is the captain," Aragones told a news conference on Thursday. "The national team is very close to his heart and he always wants to win. He needs the support of the national coach right now and he’s going to get it… "The national team is very close to his heart and he always wants to win. He needs the support of the national coach right now and he’s going to get it. "Aragones, who replaced Inaki Saez as coach after Spain’s disappointing first-round exit at Euro 2004, will have a final opportunity to settle on his first-choice side in the friendly against Scotland in Valencia on September 3. Five days later his side play Bosnia in their first World Cup qualifier. The two teams are joined by Belgium, Lithuania, Serbia and Montenegro and San Marino in Group Seven. Squad:Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Santiago Canizares (Valencia)Defenders: Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Ivan Helguera (Real Madrid), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Michel Salgado (Real Madrid), Juanito (Betis), Asier del Horno (Athletic Bilbao), Enrique Romero (Deportivo Coruna), Aitor Lopez Rekarte (Real Sociedad)Midfielders: Juan Carlos Valeron (Deportivo Coruna), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool, England), Ruben Baraja (Valencia), Vicente (Valencia), David Albelda (Valencia), Joaquin (Real Betis), Victor (Deportivo Coruna)Forwards: Raul (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Morientes (Real Madrid), Jose Antonio Reyes (Arsenal, England), Raul Tamudo (Espanyol).

Scots pair face Portuguese
BBC News – Aug 27, 2004

He estimated that it could mean up to ?3m for the club, compared to the ?8m predicted had Rangers qualified for the Champions League group stages. Hearts head coach Craig Levein told BBC Sport: “We are aware that they finished fifth in the Portuguese league and will be no mugs at all. ”

Levein does not know much about Braga but intends researching the opposition in the coming days. “It will be a very difficult fixture for us, but it will be a tie that will excite the fans,” he said. Hearts must play their home tie at the nearby national rugby stadium because their own Tynecastle Stadium no longer meets Uefa requirements for European football. Braga, who finished two spots above Maritimo, play at the impressive 30,000-seater Municipal de Braga Stadium, which featured in this summer’s Euro 2004. The stadium has only two stands, with one facing a huge wall on the hillside that holds the largest screen in Europe… “It will be a very difficult fixture for us, but it will be a tie that will excite the fans,” he said. Hearts must play their home tie at the nearby national rugby stadium because their own Tynecastle Stadium no longer meets Uefa requirements for European football. Braga, who finished two spots above Maritimo, play at the impressive 30,000-seater Municipal de Braga Stadium, which featured in this summer’s Euro 2004. The stadium has only two stands, with one facing a huge wall on the hillside that holds the largest screen in Europe. Hearts and Rangers were seeded in Friday’s draw, as would have been Dunfermline Athletic had they not surprisingly lost to Hafnarfjordur in the third qualifying round. Braga and Maritimo start their domestic league campaigns on Monday. The first legs will be played on 16 September, with the second leg two weeks later.

No Defoe blow for Spurs
go.com – Aug 26, 2004
He is unlikely to start against Birmingham, leaving Santini – who only has thethree front-line strikers in his squad – with the conundrum of who shouldpartner Frederic Kanoute in attack. ‘I don’t know how close Robbie Keane is to starting, although he played agood 20 to 25 minutes against West Brom,’ said the Spurs head coach. ‘He’s not the same Robbie Keane as before his injury – had he been fit hewould have scored against West Brom – but that is a normal situation. ‘ Defoe is not the only person to be feeling the pace of a gruelling start tothe season with Santini himself finding life hectic at White Hart Lane. His busy schedule has prevented him from finding a place to live since hisarrival after France’s Euro 2004 campaign and the 52-year-old is having to workpunishing 15-hour days. ‘At the moment there is so much work that needs to be done – for each player,for my assistant coaches, for the team and for my apartment,’ he said. ‘I’ve missed much of the Olympic Games… ‘He’s not the same Robbie Keane as before his injury – had he been fit hewould have scored against West Brom – but that is a normal situation. ‘ Defoe is not the only person to be feeling the pace of a gruelling start tothe season with Santini himself finding life hectic at White Hart Lane. His busy schedule has prevented him from finding a place to live since hisarrival after France’s Euro 2004 campaign and the 52-year-old is having to workpunishing 15-hour days. ‘At the moment there is so much work that needs to be done – for each player,for my assistant coaches, for the team and for my apartment,’ he said. ‘I’ve missed much of the Olympic Games. I know the results of last night’sPremiership matches but have seen no highlights because I have not had the timeto watch them. ‘I have no Sky TV in my hotel so I can’t watch any games on television when Ifinish the day at 10 or 11pm.

Comment: One way road for Rooney
manchesteronline.co.uk – Aug 27, 2004
He knows it, and his advisers, Wilmslow-based Proactive Sports, also know it, and have told Rooney so. Plan to play alongside Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, or in a team which will lose Alan Shearer and its manager in nine months’ time, and is showing no signs of finding its feet. It should not require too much thought on Rooney’s part. No-one should get too carried away with what Rooney did at Euro 2004, although his displays made the hairs on your neck stand on end. The next two or three years will be critical in his development, and a ravenous news media already intent on devouring the teenager’s unsavoury past. He is already in storm-tossed waters with revelations about his private life, and no manager on earth is better-equipped at handling young players, and guiding them through the media minefield, than Sir Alex. Is Rooney worth ’25m? Have your say.

Boumsong bid rebuffed
BBC News – Aug 28, 2004
Boumsong has warned that he will leave Rangers should they sack under-pressure manager Alex McLeish. That appears to have stimulated Newcastle’s interest in the 25-year-old, who was part of the French squad for Euro 2004. But Rangers have told Newcastle that he is not available for transfer. Boumsong joined Rangers during the summer after coming to the end of his contract with Auxerre. Newcastle may have hoped that Rangers’ midweek exit from the Champions League would have left the defender restless. But he has publicly voiced his support for McLeish, saying that the manager was one of the reasons why he joined the Glasgow club.

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