Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

November 11, 2004

Celebrating a legend

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 11:22 am

The News Review:

* Beckham: I got booked deliberately
* Defoe a ray of light in England’s comfort zone
* Pires sends title warning to Chelsea
* Celebrating a legend
* Petrov needs rest: O’Neill
* Wednesday, 10th November 2004
* FIFA World Cup – News & Features

Beckham: I got booked deliberately – Nov 10, 2004
A man who adores playing for Real Madrid and England, the midfielder is aggrieved he will miss up to five weeks’ action. Beckham is also angry that people do not understand he was being professional, not petulant or irresponsible,. “It was deliberate,” he said… They build you up, [and] bring you down. “Beckham’s desire to deliver for club and country remains resolute. At times, Beckham deserve the criticism, notably for underachieving at Euro 2004 and a poor display in Vienna last month, but he was good against Wales. As well as that terrific strike, he worked hard in midfield and was feeling confident about his football life when he ran into Thatcher. “The frustrating thing about the whole situation is that I have been playing well for Real and was back scoring for England,” he added. “I had stayed away from any trouble in the game and was doing well and then I got injured. Thatcher fouled me.

Defoe a ray of light in England’s comfort zone – Nov 9, 2004
Thus, depressingly, for England’s first competitive game of the season against the Austrians last Saturday, his line-up included all eight of the available players from the quarter-final defeat by Portugal in Euro 2004. He deserved credit for giving Defoe his chance, however belatedly. But will it encourage him to give someone like Shaun Wright-Phillips his head in future games, particularly as that would probably mean dropping Beckham? Judging from Eriksson’s comments, absolutely no chance. We can only hope that, like many a manager, he finds his team evolving through injury and suspension, rather than his own tinkering. Ledley King, for example, thrown in against France in the European Championships through injury, now looks worthy of a starting place even when Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand and Jonathan Woodgate are fit, and he surely ought to have pulled ahead of John Terry… We can only hope that, like many a manager, he finds his team evolving through injury and suspension, rather than his own tinkering. Ledley King, for example, thrown in against France in the European Championships through injury, now looks worthy of a starting place even when Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand and Jonathan Woodgate are fit, and he surely ought to have pulled ahead of John Terry. Defoe would not have got his chance had Wayne Rooney not been injured, though even Eriksson is forced to concede that he is now challenging both the latter and Michael Owen. He said: “If Rooney’s back for the next game, for sure it will give me problems because it’s almost impossible to play all three from the start. Is Owen’s place under threat? If you look at his scoring record for England it must be a record in recent times. “True, Owen, with 27 goals from 63 appearances, remains on course to demolish Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals for England. Yet even though he has maintained that rate over the past 12 months, lies and damned lies come to mind when you actually watch him play.

Pires sends title warning to Chelsea – Nov 11, 2004
He similarly expects Arsenal to recover their momentum after findingthemselves off the top of the table for the first time since January, even ifSol Campbell, Edu and Gilberto Silva will all be missing at White Hart Lane. ‘You can be sure of nothing – except that we have the determination to winthe league again. Although Chelsea have taken over at the top, it is not a greatconcern at this stage of the season,’ he insisted. Pires added: ‘The squad is the strongest I have known since I came here. Wehave cover all over the team and everyone saw how good the young players are inthe Carling Cup matches against Manchester City and Everton. ‘Although people have said we were affected mentally by losing to ManchesterUnited, I do not think that was the case. ‘I think we were affected physically by playing two games a week… Now we have a couple of weeks when we only play atthe weekends and that will help. ‘The Carling Cup `reserves’ have been the only Arsenal side to win in the pastseven games, beating Manchester City and Everton, while the first team have lostto Manchester United and drawn against Panathinaikos (twice), Southampton andCrystal Palace. Pires has, himself, also not been at his best so far this season, although hebelieves that injury and illness, as well as his participation in the Euro 2004finals, have affected him. ‘I know it has not been the real Robert Pires in certain matches, but I’mfine now. I have no injury problems and my health is good,’ he said in aninterview translated in the Evening Standard. ‘What I need now is to play as many games as possible. The more I play, thesooner I will find my rhythm.

Celebrating a legend – Nov 10, 2004
It may be wise to detach our attention from the whirlwind of games and take time to celebrate one of Italy’s true football heroes, Gigi Riva. His 60th birthday, last Sunday, with the plethora of newspaper stories and TV clippings it spawned, gave younger fans an opportunity to go back in time and witness an era that, for some of them, seems centuries old. The black and white TV footage widely seen in a number of programmes brought back memories of a time when one could remember each and every match that was broadcast live, because there were so few of them you took each one to heart as a precious gem and you counted down the days, or the weeks, before the next one, not the hours or minutes like now. And few of those who were at least partially conscious during the Sixties and Seventies could ever forget what Gigi Riva did, for his team and for his country. The nickname the late, legendary journalist Gianni Brera gave him, “Rombo di tuono” (Rumble of thunder), may sound a tad baroque but it certainly helped define Riva as the best Italian striker of his generation, at a time when the nation’s football was going through a controversial phase (on the other hand, when exactly hasn’t it?). Riva was born in 1944 in Leggiuno, near Varese in Northern Italy, and it must be said an entire generation of football fans knew the existence of a place called Leggiuno only because it was Riva’s birthplace. Since it has been known for nothing else… It’s a position he’s held for the last seventeen years. His gravelly voice reveals his penchant for smoking, something which he never stopped doing while he was a player, and he’s candid about this and other habits his contemporaries had. While trying to defend Francesco Totti after he had spat at an opponent during Euro 2004 he actually said that although it was despicable act, Totti shouldn’t be brought in front of the firing squad. He added, in open contrast to his former Italy teammate Gianni Rivera who’d criticized the behaviour of today’s players, that stars from his own era behaved much worse. ‘We’d smoke like crazy, waste all of our money and kick each other to a pulp on the pitch,’ Riva explained. ‘Only there were fewer TV cameras that could catch that. ‘ This frankness – he also added he can barely watch today’s football, which has become a non-contact sport – has earned him a number of invitations from left-wing and right-wing political parties to join them but he rejected all advances, because he wants to be able to speak his mind without constraints (which tells you something about politics in general).

Petrov needs rest: O’Neill – Nov 10, 2004
O’Neill’s small squad has been depleted by injuries this season and the Hoops’ gaffer admits that Petrov needs some time off to recuperate from the shoulder injury that he has been carrying for the past few weeks. The Bulgarian international is rated doubtful for tonight’s CIS Cup clash with Rangers at Ibrox and O’Neill points to the fact that the 24-year-old has not had much of a break during the summer because of Euro 2004. “The concern is his shoulder,” he confirmed. “He is one of our players who has played constantly. He played in Portugal, and every time there is an international he is there. “He hasn’t been called up for next week’s Bulgaria get-together because he asked for the time off – and he needs it.

Wednesday, 10th November 2004 – Nov 10, 2004
But Sir Bobby Charlton believes that Rooney, van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo and Scholes’ personal successes in Euro 2004, plus the Reds’ form in the Champions League this season, could mean the trophy returning to Stretford. “All our players who’ve been nominated have made a big impact in Europe over the year and that is vital,” he says. “I am not surprised that the likes of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo have been chosen. It’s nice to have players from United in there. I think it is flattering for the club. “It’s hard to say how the vote will go but I think we have a strong chance and it would be excellent if one of our players was recognised again. “If we don’t get it this year, however, I am convinced with the calibre of player we have, particularly the young ones, then a United player will eventually receive the honour again… His success, brought to an abrupt end by his broken foot in the quarter finals, accelerated Sir Alex Ferguson’s desire to land the teenager. A United hat-trick debut against Fenerbahce in the Champions League for the striker will also have raised his profile with the voters. Van Nistelrooy’s personal contribution to Holland’s Euro 2004 adventure that ended in the semi-final has been added to with seven European Cup goals for the Reds this campaign, including his four-goal stunner against Sparta Prague. Euro 2004 hosts Portugal’s trip to the final in the summer was inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo. The winger’s growing reputation last season at Old Trafford was sealed with a brilliant FA Cup final display. In contrast, Arsenal’s contenders, while posting outstanding Premiership credentials, have failed to do it in the Champions League again, and Henry and Vieira were unable to rouse France’s European Championships in Portugal. Who should win this year’s Ballon d’Or? Have your say.

FIFA World Cup – News & Features – Nov 10, 2004
“At the moment I am not training at full force, despite the recovery going very well,” he said. “But it seems I will be fit for the match against Latvia. ”
Two games unbeatenCoach Martin Andermatt has chosen 18 players for the match in Vaduz, which sees Liechtenstein trying to make it three consecutive games unbeaten in qualifying Group 3 after a 2-2 draw at home against Portugal and a 4-0 win in Luxembourg. However, Andermatt will be without Martin Tesler (suspension) and Fabio D’Elia (leg fracture), although the latter has been included.

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