Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 9, 2004

Why Eriksson should realise that size really does matter

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 5:17 am

The News Review:

* Your view: England players shun the media
* Tiny Liechtenstein stun Portuguese
* ‘Bargains’ abound as Olympics hopes rise
* Why Eriksson should realise that size really does matter
* Rio did a dog’s job
* CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – Italy
* Germany win in front of huge crowd
* CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – Portugal
* Ferguson ignores Berti talk and insists there is Norway Scots can…
* CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – France
* CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – Croatia
* Bergkamp: French style does not suit Thierry
* FIFA will run inaugural World Cup pre-event show
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Aragones refutes race slur
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Chewing the fat with Norman
* CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – Ukraine
* CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – England
* Solskjaer injury could spark Rooney deal
* EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Gerry Armstrong – “Spurs are not good…

Your view: England players shun the media
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 9, 2004
Margaret, Bath Oh, joy unconfined. Does this mean that footballers are henceforth going to play and not speak? Please, please let it be so. Ann Hood, Greys Green farmAstonishing! England did not play well in Euro 2004 and not brilliantly against Austria either. They seem to feel they are quite immune from critiscism and are behaving like spoilt children. Predictably, Gordon Taylor supports their position but, bearing in mind this is the second example of union style behaviour shown by this group, a clearout of these so-called professionals might be a good idea. This is the England football team, for god’s sake, not an industrial dispute. P Hull, ChichesterI hope that if England qualify for the World Cup that every football journalist that has said that they will not qualify under Sven will resign on the grounds of incompetence – or be sacked.

Tiny Liechtenstein stun Portuguese
CNN International – Oct 9, 2004
Russia move on to four points from two games, Luxembourg remain pointless after four matches. Russian coach Georgy Yartsev blamed the absence of key players through injury for his team’s poor start. "We were not good in the first half. After halftime, we made the needed adjustments and were able to play faster which was costly to Luxembourg. "I was very satisfied with Sychev, who was superb in scoring three goals but I was also impressed by the excellent performance of Andrei Arshavin. "I was criticised when I included him in the squad as he was inexperienced on the international arena but he proved very effective. " Luxemburg frustrated the visitors with their defensive tactics in the first half but Sychev’s first strike on 55 minutes broke the deadlock… We had studied Latvia’s players thoroughly and, except for the quick goal, they did not surprise us with anything," said Slovakia coach Dusan Galis. Latvia, who surprisingly reached the Euro 2004 finals, arrived without several players due to injury. "Slovakia deserved to win today. " said Latvia coach Aleksandrs Starkovs.

‘Bargains’ abound as Olympics hopes rise
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 7, 2004
“Euro 2004 was proof that we can do something,” said Calli Travlos, director of the Athens Convention Bureau, the body charged with attracting visitors to the Olympics. “The gods are on our side. Unexpected things can happen and I think the Olympics are going to be a great success. ” The bureau predicts that more than a million people will visit Athens for the Games, which open on Friday, August 13. However, bookings have been slow and flights, accommodation and tickets for events are still available… “The normal clientele is not interested in such events. “Mr Josephides also criticised Athens hotels for “unreasonable price rises”. Panos Argyros, director of the Greek National Tourism Organisation, defended the hotels. “Prices are higher than normal but not expensive,” he said. Due to a lack of demand, “hotels have now dropped prices considerably”, he added.

Why Eriksson should realise that size really does matter
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 9, 2004
Other pundits (the great Martin Samuel, for instance) have long ago concluded that there’s nothing there. But I always assume that silent types are strong and that what is hidden must be depths. Is there any way of working out who is right? Is Eriksson just a turnip with the accent of a Swede? Some people regard England’s dismissal from Euro 2004 as conclusive proof that the head coach is useless. But this is ridiculous. To start off with, England actually did reasonably well in Euro 2004. People thought that England stood a great chance of winning the tournament but the calculation of the Fink Tank’s Stott and Morton was that England’s chance was just 2 per cent and that there was a 63 per cent chance of England being eliminated by the quarter-finals. For some, this changes the argument only very slightly… People thought that England stood a great chance of winning the tournament but the calculation of the Fink Tank’s Stott and Morton was that England’s chance was just 2 per cent and that there was a 63 per cent chance of England being eliminated by the quarter-finals. For some, this changes the argument only very slightly. Eriksson’s uselessness may not be proven by England’s elimination, but it is by the national team’s low initial chance of winning. Yet this view, too, is ridiculous. England’s low chance of winning the tournament proves nothing. There ought to be some way of comparing how good England are with how good they ought to be. So Fink Tank has been considering one measure of precisely this.

Rio did a dog’s job
ic Newcastle.co.uk – Oct 7, 2004
Basically, he has the lot. “Ferdinand is not the only returning England man Neville reserves high praise for. The 29-year-old was almost equally effusive about Wayne Rooney, who has not been seen on the international scene since he broke his foot in the Euro 2004 quarter-final defeat to Portugal. By that point, Rooney had already established himself as one of the finest teenage talents on the planet. The £27m capture from Everton only added to his reputation with his devastating debut-day hat-trick for the Red Devils against Fenerbahce last week. Said Neville: “Everybody in the country was excited by his performances during Euro 2004 and everybody who has a ticket for Saturday will want to watch him play. “That is why Manchester United couldn’t afford to let him go anywhere else.

CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – Italy
cbc.ca – Oct 9, 2004
Although Lippi insists the scandal won’t affect his team, you have to wonder whether or not the Italians will be able to concentrate in Germany. Pressure – As one of the favourites, Italy has a lot of pressure to deal with. Millions of soccer-mad fans back in Italy – not to mention the constant scrutiny of the demanding Italian media – demand positive results. Anything less than winning the World Cup will be viewed as a disappointment. Its shocking second-round loss to South Korea in 2002, coupled with its anaemic showing at Euro 2004, means Italy will be playing under a constant, self-imposed pressure cooker in Germany. Jinx factor – Italy has been eliminated in the past four World Cups in penalty shootouts (1990, 1994, 1998) or in extra time (2002). The shameful defeat at the hands of South Korea four years ago still haunts the team – as does its first-round exit at Euro 2004… Millions of soccer-mad fans back in Italy – not to mention the constant scrutiny of the demanding Italian media – demand positive results. Anything less than winning the World Cup will be viewed as a disappointment. Its shocking second-round loss to South Korea in 2002, coupled with its anaemic showing at Euro 2004, means Italy will be playing under a constant, self-imposed pressure cooker in Germany. Jinx factor – Italy has been eliminated in the past four World Cups in penalty shootouts (1990, 1994, 1998) or in extra time (2002). The shameful defeat at the hands of South Korea four years ago still haunts the team – as does its first-round exit at Euro 2004. If Italy can’t win its games in regulation, it will be faced with the daunting task of having to go to overtime or, worse still, the dreaded shootout. Players to watch: Luca Toni – The most lethal striker in the world today.

Germany win in front of huge crowd
CNN – Oct 9, 2004
Iran were hosting a major world football power for the first time in decades and as well as a huge crowd in the stadium there were another 150,000 fans outside who could not get tickets. Iranian women were not allowed to see the match after the football federation on Tuesday upheld a ban on them entering stadiums even though women are the Islamic country’s most passionate fans. German women were allowed to attend. Recovering from their dismal winless showing at Euro 2004, a rejuvenated Germany under the charismatic retired striker put in another sparkling performance on the heels of an inspiring 1-1 draw against Brazil and a victory over Austria. Germany’s reserve goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, given a chance by Klinsmann to audition for the 2006 World Cup, made a series of spectacular stops to keep out Iran’s dangerous attack and stake his claim on the job held by 2002 World Cup hero Oliver Kahn. Having already qualified for the 2006 finals as hosts, Germany used the friendly to experiment, with Klinsmann giving not only Arsenal’s Lehmann a chance but also testing Chelsea defender Robert Huth and Aston Villa’s Thomas Hitzlsperger… Iranian women were not allowed to see the match after the football federation on Tuesday upheld a ban on them entering stadiums even though women are the Islamic country’s most passionate fans. German women were allowed to attend. Recovering from their dismal winless showing at Euro 2004, a rejuvenated Germany under the charismatic retired striker put in another sparkling performance on the heels of an inspiring 1-1 draw against Brazil and a victory over Austria. Germany’s reserve goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, given a chance by Klinsmann to audition for the 2006 World Cup, made a series of spectacular stops to keep out Iran’s dangerous attack and stake his claim on the job held by 2002 World Cup hero Oliver Kahn. Having already qualified for the 2006 finals as hosts, Germany used the friendly to experiment, with Klinsmann giving not only Arsenal’s Lehmann a chance but also testing Chelsea defender Robert Huth and Aston Villa’s Thomas Hitzlsperger. "We gained a huge amount of experience here, standing firm in front of an amazing crowd of over 100,000," Klinsmann said. "We had a very young team.

CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – Portugal
cbc.ca – Oct 9, 2004
) but didn’t make it out of the first round. During 2006 World Cup qualifying, they routed Russia 7-1, but were held to a 2-2 draw by lowly Lichtenstein. At Euro 2004, they beat the Dutch and Spain, but lost twice to unheralded Greece. Portugal can’t afford to blow hot and cold in Germany. Pressure – Expectations from Portuguese fans and media is high, especially after the team made it to the finals of Euro 2004, and anything less than an appearance in the semifinals will be viewed as a massive disappointment. Coach Scolari has even said he expects his club to reach the quarter-finals. Can Portugal deal with this kind of pressure? Past performances at the World Cup clearly suggest it can’t… Germain (France) Helder Postiga Forward Saint Etienne (France) Head Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari ^ Back to top Scouting Report Style of play: Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has experimented and tinkered with Portugal’s lineup, but is expected to use an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation in Germany. Scolari has instilled pragmatism and defensive muscle to the side, anchored by the strong central defensive pairing of Ricardo Carvalho and Fernando Meira. The left and right fullbacks, Miguel Monteiro and Nuno Valente, sometimes move forward down the wings, but generally stay back. The back four are protected by two central defensive midfielders, Armando Petit and Maniche, who act as the link between defence and the attackers. In front of them is the dynamic attacking midfield trio of Deco (in the middle), Luis Figo (on the left) and Cristiano Ronaldo (on the right) who are the team’s creators.

Ferguson ignores Berti talk and insists there is Norway Scots can…
Edinburgh Evening News – Oct 7, 2004
I guess they would play centre-back and we have Gary Naysmith and whoever plays right-back, perhaps Gary Caldwell or Russell Anderson. So we are all right. We are a bit thin but we should not be using that as an excuse. “It’s part and parcel of international football, you are always going to have call-offs or players struggling with injury. ” Saturday will see Ferguson win his 25th cap and pick up a silver medal from the SFA to go with it, the 26-year-old admitting he’d probably be approaching his 50th appearance by now had it not been for injury, the latest being a seriously damaged knee which put him out of action for months. As such Ferguson joins Naysmith and Stevie Crawford as the most experienced players in Vogts’ squad – in stark contrast to the day the former Rangers star made his international debut against Lithuania six years ago, when he could count players such as Jim Leighton with 90 caps, Tom Boyd (58), Ally McCoist (59) and John Collins (52) among his team-mates. Ferguson agreed the difference in experience was striking but added: “That’s the way Berti wanted to go, blooding a lot of youngsters… ” Ferguson’s debut came just after Scotland had played in the World Cup finals in France, the game in Vilnius being the opening exchange in the qualifying campaign for Euro 2000, a tournament the Scots failed to make just as they have been absent from the finals of the two major competitions since, the 2002 World Cup in the Far East and Euro 2004. It’s a record Ferguson is desperate to correct although he believes the World Cup in 2006 was a more realistic target than this summer’s European Championship in Portugal. He said: “I thought that Euro 2004 was asking a bit too much although we did well enough to reach the play-offs. But now we have to qualify, for a couple of the lads it might be their last chance to get to a major tournament. “I am certainly desperate to do so. That’s the one thing I am missing in my career, playing in a major tournament for my country – it’s something I’d love to do. ” After facing Norway, Scotland have the prospect of an unappetising trip to Moldova, the game having already been switched from Tiraspol in the Transnistria region to the capital Chisinau which is considered a much safer venue.

CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – France
cbc.ca – Oct 9, 2004
Tough group – It might not look like it on paper, but France is in tough in Group G – African first-timers Togo aside. Switzerland held France to two draws in the qualifying round and only finished two points behind the French in the final group standings. South Korea is one of the best teams in Asia and capable of upsetting any nation in the world, a point it proved emphatically at the 2002 World Cup. France will not have an easy time of it. Recent poor form – France hardly looked impressive in the qualifiers… Recent poor form – France hardly looked impressive in the qualifiers. The French should have dominated a group that included Israel, Ireland and Switzerland but struggled to finish in first place (they won five and tied their other five games). The French meekly bowed out to Greece in the quarter-finals of Euro 2004 and are also still dealing with the trauma of their disatrous first-round exit at the 2002 World Cup. Players to watch: Zinedine Zidane – It’s no coincidence that after Zidane came out of international retirement that France got its act together in the qualifiers and won its group. He is the spark that drives France’s attack, a midfield maestro whose inventiveness and creativity on the field reeks of genius. Set to retire at the end of the tournament, Zizou will be looking to go out on a winning note. Claude Makalele – One of the most underrated players in soocer today.

CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – Croatia
cbc.ca – Oct 9, 2004
Croatia will have a much harder time against Brazil, Australia and Japan. Recent history – Croatia has stumbled badly at the last two major soccer tournaments. The Croats finished a disappointing third place in their group at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, failing to advance beyond the opening round. Both times they entered the competition with great expectations and full of promise, and both times they failed to deliver. The Croats seemed to have developed a bit of a mental block. Players to watch: Niko Kranjcar: The son’s coach is a starter but nepotism isn’t at work here. Kranjcar is the creative fulcrum of the team, serving as the main playmaker who directs the attack… Croatia is an attack-minded side whose players are always working, always running and who always display fighting spirit. It will serve them well in Germany. The Croats should not take Japan and Australia lightly – both sides are very hungry and eager – because if they do, they’ll drop points and could find itself it a real fight for survival in Group F. All things being equal, the Croats will finish second in the group, behind Brazil, and though they won’t match the amazing semifinal run of the 1998 team, an appearance in the quarter-finals in Germany is not out of the question. ^ Back to top Road to the World Cup Current FIFA Ranking: #23 1st round matches: June 13 vs. Brazil in Berlin June 18 vs. Japan in Nuremburg June 22 vs.

Bergkamp: French style does not suit Thierry
eleven-a-side.com – Oct 9, 2004
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Bergkamp: French style does not suit Thierry
October 9, 2004
Legendary Arsenal and Holland forward Dennis Bergkamp believes the style of play adopted by the French national side is detrimentally affecting the international form of World Player of the Year favourite Thierry Henry. Bergkamp and Henry have formed a lethal double-act at Highbury for the past five years, with Henry?s scintillating displays making him one of the most revered stars in world football. However, he has often failed to translate that form onto the national stage, and has managed just two goals in his last 10 games for France ? both coming against Switzerland in Euro 2004. And, as France prepare to take on Ireland in Paris tonight (Saturday), Bergkamp admitted his belief that Henry is just not suited to the French team. He said: ?Thierry is not happy with the system France use. Our system at Arsenal is entirely based around Thierry?s skills, but this is not so with France. His form also depends on the balls that come his way, and he can?t play well if the team?s passing is poor… However, he has often failed to translate that form onto the national stage, and has managed just two goals in his last 10 games for France ? both coming against Switzerland in Euro 2004. And, as France prepare to take on Ireland in Paris tonight (Saturday), Bergkamp admitted his belief that Henry is just not suited to the French team. He said: ?Thierry is not happy with the system France use. Our system at Arsenal is entirely based around Thierry?s skills, but this is not so with France. His form also depends on the balls that come his way, and he can?t play well if the team?s passing is poor. He?s just not confident for France at the moment. ?

Today’s Ireland international headlines:.

FIFA will run inaugural World Cup pre-event show
Expatica – Oct 8, 2004
Under Thursday’s agreement, FIFA takes over the EUR 22 million budget originally set aside by the government, but at the same time can generate a large income from marketing and other rights. The show, similar to Olympic opening ceremonies a day before the competition starts, is to feature international show top acts such as British pop star Robbie Williams and American rapper Eminem. It is organised by Austrian artist Andre Heller, who did not want to reveal details Thursday beyond saying that the 90-minute event was to present the history of football and to “highlight the (various) cultures of the world. ” Blatter welcomed the German governments initiative: Football is all about teamwork. Figuratively speaking, FIFA has picked up a through ball from the German government and now has the opportunity to score a goal that will echo far beyond the 2006 World Cup in Germany. “This is not a celebration as an end in itself but a football fiesta designed to create an appropriate atmosphere for the biggest single-sport event in the world. It should take place with ageless symbols justifying a great tradition… The 2006 edition is the first World Cup for which the defending champion is not automatically qualified. The statement came a few weeks after new Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann said that would rather want Brazil than his team to play the opener which in the past has seen plenty of surprises. At the 2002 World Cup holders France were ambushed by Senegal and Euro 2004 saw hosts Portugal losing to later surprise champions Greece. DPA
Subject: German news.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Aragones refutes race slur
BBC News – Oct 7, 2004
“I know when he is joking and when he isn’t. He was shouting and also speaking to me in a low voice, so I can tell you he was joking,” said Reyes. But Reyes’ Arsenal team-mate Robert Pires, on French international duty with Henry, hinted the matter could result in legal action. “I have not had the opportunity to talk about that with Thierry but it could be necessary to
take him (Aragones) to court… He is famous for his fiery temper and outspoken comments and has made the headlines on several occasions during his career for public confrontations with players. He took charge of the national team following Inaki Saez’s resignation after Spain’s disappointing performance at Euro
2004.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Oct 9, 2004
French transition: France, World Cup winners on home soil in 1998 before becoming European champions two years later, are going through a period of transition following the international retirement of many of the players that brought them their double success. New coach Raymond Domenech urged his players this week to ?turn the page? on the past and has also named an experimental midfield for their Group Four match against Ireland in Paris on Saturday. Ireland have not won any of their four matches in Paris since 1937 but the men in green are likely to give the French a very hard match on Saturday. Victory is not beyond the visitors ? especially as their 30,000 fans are likely to be more inspirational than the unusually reserved home crowd at the Stade de France. While the Irish are making the short trip to Paris, many of their English Premier League colleagues will be doing battle in an intriguing match at Old Trafford where England play Wales in the 98th full international between the old British rivals ? but their first since 1984. Wayne Rooney, who exploded on to the international scene with four goals in three games during Euro 2004, returns to the England side after injury and is one of a legion of past and present Manchester United players involved in the game. The former United men include current Wales boss Mark Hughes, who scored the winner when Wales beat England 1-0 20 years ago… Victory is not beyond the visitors ? especially as their 30,000 fans are likely to be more inspirational than the unusually reserved home crowd at the Stade de France. While the Irish are making the short trip to Paris, many of their English Premier League colleagues will be doing battle in an intriguing match at Old Trafford where England play Wales in the 98th full international between the old British rivals ? but their first since 1984. Wayne Rooney, who exploded on to the international scene with four goals in three games during Euro 2004, returns to the England side after injury and is one of a legion of past and present Manchester United players involved in the game. The former United men include current Wales boss Mark Hughes, who scored the winner when Wales beat England 1-0 20 years ago. Eriksson debate: A similar result will re-ignite the debate about Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson?s position as England boss while kick-starting Wales? campaign after two draws in their opening Group Six games. Such is the competitive nature of the European qualifiers that only four teams who have played more than one match ? Romania, Italy, Croatia and Portugal ? have yet to drop a point. Romania will be seeking a fourth straight win in Group One but face a tough task against the Czech Republic in Prague; Italy will be looking for a third victory away to Slovenia in Group Five; Croatia will be looking for their third success against Bulgaria in Zagreb in Group Eight, while Portugal should have no problems also making it three out of three when they travel to tiny Liechtenstein for their Group Three match.

Chewing the fat with Norman
The Age – Oct 8, 2004
I’m quickly introduced to Cook, who’s tanned and dressed down for the occasion in shorts, a T-shirt and thongs. He bounds up and down the stairs, cracking jokes and posing for the Japanese crew on the beach, self-consciously grinning and giving me the two fingers up while I’m watching the photo shoot from inside. The two whitewashed houses are vast but not extravagant. There are Polaroids stuck to the fridge in the kitchen showing Cook (wielding an acoustic guitar) and Ball indulging in a hearty singalong with friends, plus other casual shots of Norman with Ball and Woody. I’m the last cab off the rank on day two of the three days of press for the new record, so the silence is deafening when the last reporter leaves. Cook visibly relaxes, offers a beer or tea, and hunches over a laptop computer to watch the crazed video of his new single, Slash Dot Dash, directed by veteran British video director Tim Pope (Talk Talk, the Cure, Soft Cell). He’s delighted with the result, laughing uproariously, and then beckons me upstairs to a stylish recording studio lounge, where the french doors open out to a massive outdoor balcony overlooking the glistening English Channel and the stony, graceful beach… Cook visibly relaxes, offers a beer or tea, and hunches over a laptop computer to watch the crazed video of his new single, Slash Dot Dash, directed by veteran British video director Tim Pope (Talk Talk, the Cure, Soft Cell). He’s delighted with the result, laughing uproariously, and then beckons me upstairs to a stylish recording studio lounge, where the french doors open out to a massive outdoor balcony overlooking the glistening English Channel and the stony, graceful beach. Despite the questions Cook has faced over the past couple of days, and the slight difficulty he has in talking after breaking his nose and injuring his mouth in a nasty sleepwalking accident in Portugal two months earlier (where he was DJing as part of the Euro 2004 football tournament), he’s relaxed, warm, friendly, humorous, enthusiastic and talkative. New album Palookaville is similarly fun, funky and frivolous. After the darker tones and the more caustic bangers of his last album, 2000’s Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, this LP sees a looser, baggier Fatboy Slim. It took a few attempts to get it right, though. Cook began two different albums but scrapped both, realising his best work is when he "kicks back and has a laugh".

CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – Ukraine
cbc.ca – Oct 9, 2004
Ukraine players made up the backbone of successful Soviet squads for decades, but success did not come when Ukraine earned independence in the 1990s. Even though it boasted one of the best players in the world in Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine stumbled at the last stage, the playoffs, as it attempted to qualify for the 1998 and 2002 World Cup. Qualification for Euro 2004 never materialized, as well. Midfield – Ruslan Rotan is an effective midfielder that drives the attack, but the rest of Ukraine’s midfield is pretty pedestrian. Oleg Gusiev and Andriy Vorobei offer very little, while defensive midfielder Andriy Husin lacks speed. The other defensive midfielder, Anatoly Tymoshchyuk, is dangerous when going forward in attack, but often stays back to cover for Husin. Injuries – Ukraine is a pretty banged up team, especially in some key areas on the field… Tymoshchyuk is a solid defensive midfielder, but is also dangerous when going forward, launching Ukraine’s attack with his simple distribution of the ball from the centre of the field. Physical and relentless in the tackle, Tymoshchyuk is a real midfield dynamo. The star striker has been sidelined with minor knee ligament damage for about a month and there are some doubts as to whether he will recuperate in time for Ukraine’s opening game of the tournament. The Ukraine suffered a big blow when central defender Serhiy Fyodorov, originally named to the team, had to withdraw because of a hip injury. Olexander Yatsenko was called up as his replacement. Starting goalkeeper Oleksander Shovkovsky recently returned to action after being sidelined for several months with a broken collarbone.

CBC.ca – Sports – World Cup 2006 – Teams – England
cbc.ca – Oct 9, 2004
Eriksson made several questionable picks, but the selection of 17-year-old striker Theo Walcott, who has yet to play a single game in the Premiership, simply defies logic. Midfielder Aaron Lennon is another baffling choice, as is Calgary-born midfielder Owen Hargreaves and defender Wayne Bridge. The Swede also did not pick Chelsea winger Shawn Wright Phillips, a player who offers speed down the right side. Another notable absentee is defender Ledley King, who impressed for England at Euro 2004. Eriksson did select striker Peter Crouch, even though he’s an inconsistent player who doesn’t really belong on the team. The Swedish coach should have instead picked Jermain Defoe, Andrew Johnson or Darren Bent, the top-scoring Englishman in the Premiership this past season – Bent scored 18 goals, three times as many as Crouch. Forward Michael Owen missed most of the season with a broken foot and is just now getting back into game shape… Midfielder Aaron Lennon is another baffling choice, as is Calgary-born midfielder Owen Hargreaves and defender Wayne Bridge. The Swede also did not pick Chelsea winger Shawn Wright Phillips, a player who offers speed down the right side. Another notable absentee is defender Ledley King, who impressed for England at Euro 2004. Eriksson did select striker Peter Crouch, even though he’s an inconsistent player who doesn’t really belong on the team. The Swedish coach should have instead picked Jermain Defoe, Andrew Johnson or Darren Bent, the top-scoring Englishman in the Premiership this past season – Bent scored 18 goals, three times as many as Crouch. Forward Michael Owen missed most of the season with a broken foot and is just now getting back into game shape. Third-string goalkeeper Robert Green was originally named to the team but suffered a groin injury in a recent exhibition game.

Solskjaer injury could spark Rooney deal
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 8, 2004
Sources at United are adamant that no offer for Rooney, who is also injured, will be made before January. How long it will take Rooney to recover from the broken metatarsal bone in his right foot he sustained against Portugal at Euro 2004 is still not clear, although the striker has already been ruled out of England’s World Cup qualifiers on Sept 4 and 8. With that injury sure to reduce Rooney’s price, United have resolved to wait until he is fit. Although Solskjaer’s role had diminished last season after he suffered the injury during a match against Panathinaikos on Sept 16, he is still highly prized by Ferguson, who signed him from Molde for £1. He remained a central part of the Scot’s plans this summer to build a group of four strikers along with Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha and Alan Smith.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Gerry Armstrong – “Spurs are not good…
Squarefootball – Oct 9, 2004
A big disappointment for me though is the amount of diving in the game nowadays. ?Gerry was one of the first of a hand full of players to ply his trade abroad and David Beckham followed his career path by going to Spain to join the ranks of the Galaticos at Real Madrid last season. After a promising start the England captain has been under intense pressure from the fans and the press regarding his indifferent form towards the end of La Liga and through Euro 2004 but Gerry is sure that Beckham will prove his doubters wrong. ?I think he was sensational in the first five or six months but due to a lack of strength in depth the team went downhill but I believe that David will be back bigger and stronger this season and will do fine. ?In the summer the England number 7 was joined at the Bernabeau by England teammates Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate who Gerry believes will do a good job at Madrid. ?Both will do well, are good additions to the Real Madrid squad, and improve the squad. I would say from a competitive point of view the signings of Woodgate and Walter Samuel are good as it will allow Helguera to play in the centre of midfield… They?re going to have a better season with Jacque Santini in charge but they are not good enough to finish in the top eight, six, or seven, as they haven?t got the strength in depth. ?However Tottenham?s North London rivals Arsenal have started the season in devastating form scoring at will, and after going last season unbeaten, Gerry says that they are clear favourites for the title. ?I do not think that any club in the Premiership can match them. They are the team to beat and I don?t think anybody can. Chelsea and Manchester United will be their main challengers and Liverpool, depending on how quickly Benitez can sort it out, but they are the four clubs I expect to see in there. ?Many critics claim that Arsenal can?t lay claim to being a truly great team until they win the coveted Champions League but although Gerry believes they missed their chance last year thinks that Patrick Vieira could be the key to this years assault. ?They could have done something last year but they blew it.

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