Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 17, 2004

Rooney v SWP: Who’s the best?

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 8:41 am

The News Review:

* SOCCER : The season to forget teams and reward stars
* Event Concept fails to deliver
* TSN : SOCCER – Canada’s Sports Leader
* Rooney v SWP: Who’s the best?
* SOCCER : European clubs will fight plan for quotas
* BBC overwhelms its rivals in strong year for televised sport
* SI.com – Soccer – German keepers to take center stage in Champions…
* Germany serious before Christmas test
* Tabloid victim Meier retires
* Fears over Reds burn-out
* donga.com [english donga]
* Ronaldo sent on Christmas break

SOCCER : The season to forget teams and reward stars
International Herald Tribune – Dec 15, 2004
It is also warmer and sunnier in Barcelona, than during the long, gray winters of the French capital which may also explain the way the Brazilian has bloomed in by the Mediterranean. Deco is now at the same club as Ronaldinho, but he has won more because he shared in Porto's hard-won Champions League trophy last May. With Portugal, Deco came only second in the Euro 2004 championship for nations. And since that was Europe's most important tournament in 2004, maybe a Greek deserved the Ballon d'Or? On a global scale, Carlos Tevez, who had superb back-to-back events for Argentina in the Copa America and the Athens Olympics, should have merited serious considerations for World Soccer's global award. But the fans voted for Ronaldinho, then Thierry Henry of France, then Shevchenko. For the Ballon d'Or, the creation of France Football, journalists from 52 countries were polled. Their judgment was: Shevchenko, Deco, Ronaldinho, Henry, and the Greek captain Theordoros Zagorakis in that order… He did it by being a team player in a side constructed solidly around team virtues. There is Nothing wrong in that, except that it means individuality is submerged in the plan. Similarly, Deco does not transcend the sides he represents, rather he sublimates his craft to the team purpose. That makes him a good player, a coveted man, but not necessarily an eye-catching individual star. Coaches, who strive to fit individuals into formations, appear to think more in accord with the fans — and even the journalists — than with Platini. The coaches of 200 countries vote for FIFA's Player of the Year, to be unveiled at a grand gala in Zurich on Dec.

Event Concept fails to deliver
The Age – Dec 15, 2004
While the company did not comment on the reasons the guaranteehad been called in and did not return phone calls from The Age, ithas previously acknowledged that sales at the event were lower thanexpected. And while a $301,000 loss from Euro 2004 has already beenrealised in the previous financial year, a further loss of $625,000has been identified. The company’s shares last traded at 10¢, after falling froma high of 72¢ earlier in the year. Interestingly, the company’s website showcases a research reportwritten by Wilson HTM in mid-June that recommends the stock as abuy at 50¢. The website does not, however, refer to thefollow-up research note by the broking house that downgrades therecommendation to a speculative hold… While the company did not comment on the reasons the guaranteehad been called in and did not return phone calls from The Age, ithas previously acknowledged that sales at the event were lower thanexpected. And while a $301,000 loss from Euro 2004 has already beenrealised in the previous financial year, a further loss of $625,000has been identified. The company’s shares last traded at 10¢, after falling froma high of 72¢ earlier in the year. Interestingly, the company’s website showcases a research reportwritten by Wilson HTM in mid-June that recommends the stock as abuy at 50¢. The website does not, however, refer to thefollow-up research note by the broking house that downgrades therecommendation to a speculative hold. Concept Sports shares were still suspended last night, pending afurther announcement.

TSN : SOCCER – Canada’s Sports Leader
TSN.ca – Dec 15, 2004
”Euro 2004 was a successful event, not only in terms of its preparation and organization but also – and this is not always the case with such projects – in averting possible negative effects, especially financial ones, in the aftermath,” said the joint report published Wednesday. Portugal lost to Greece in the July 4 final of the three-week tournament but the host country triumphed off the pitch, hitting all its targets, the report said. The report scotched initial misgivings about the lavish outlay on holding the 16-country tournament in one of the European Union’s smallest and poorest members. Euro 2004, the biggest event ever staged in Portugal, enabled a modernization of stadiums and other sports facilities, provided a positive image of the country abroad and boosted tourism.

Rooney v SWP: Who’s the best?
manchesteronline.co.uk – Dec 16, 2004
He went on to become the country’s youngest-ever international scorer at 17 years and 317 days. Reacting to the clamour for Rooney’s elevation to the national side, England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson applied the adage that `if you are good enough you are old enough’. When a less vociferous debate arose over whether SWP should go to Euro 2004, the Swede was comfortable with his decision that the City player wasn’t yet good enough to break up a recognised squad for Portugal. Superstar That tournament elevated Rooney to superstar status as he tormented the continent’s best defences with four goals and helped persuade United to part with ’30m for his services. The Scouser immediately began to repay that fee with a stunning Champions League debut hat-trick against Fenerbahce. By contrast, Wright-Phillips was unable to make a major impact in last season’s UEFA Cup against a set of Welsh part-timers in TNS and unknowns from Belgium and Poland. Had SWP been the ’25m-plus jewel that Wardle reckons he is, surely he should have been able to steer City single-handedly through such nondescript European matches… While the expensive Reds purchase is heavy artillery, a striking broadsword, Wright-Phillips is the rapier, rapid attack force capable of hurting the opposition from virtually anywhere on the pitch. And when it comes to goals there is nothing to choose between the two Manchester favourites. Wright-Phillips was not a natural goal grabber in his early days and it took him what seemed an age to get off the mark in the first team, but the Blues star is a real grafter and, with help from others, has made himself into a regular marksman. Spectacular Not only is he now a spectacular goalscorer but he is also frequently a scorer of spectacular goals. His first for England against Ukraine at St James Park, Newcastle, was as good as anything Rooney has produced for his country – and there would be more if only Eriksson would give the lad the chance. Six goals this season from midfield has the durable and ever-present Wright-Phillips joint top of the Blues’ goal charts and makes him as prolific as the teenager across town. Threat Tag those on to a double figure return in front of goal last season and it is easy to see why other teams regard Wright-Phillips as such a threat and double mark him in virtually every game.

SOCCER : European clubs will fight plan for quotas
International Herald Tribune – Dec 17, 2004
These are all laudable aims, you might think. But the elite clubs, especially those with the wealth to dominate UEFA's money-earner, the Champions League, do not agree. The European Commission will take some persuading that this is not designed to circumvent European laws on employment. There, on the European Union playing field, is where this game will ultimately be won or lost. The game is about players, but the vision has to come from administrators brave enough and persuasive enough to rough it in the political minefields. "Some clubs are fielding teams with 11 foreigners," Per Ravn Omdal, a senior UEFA vice president, said in July when the debate started to pick up momentum during Euro 2004. "We have to ask ourselves whether this is a development that is wanted in football… There, on the European Union playing field, is where this game will ultimately be won or lost. The game is about players, but the vision has to come from administrators brave enough and persuasive enough to rough it in the political minefields. "Some clubs are fielding teams with 11 foreigners," Per Ravn Omdal, a senior UEFA vice president, said in July when the debate started to pick up momentum during Euro 2004. "We have to ask ourselves whether this is a development that is wanted in football. " Omdal heads the working group trying to bring these proposals through the clubs, the leagues, the national associations and the players unions. He also speaks for UEFA to the EU. "For individual, selfish reasons there will be opposition," he said.

BBC overwhelms its rivals in strong year for televised sport
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Dec 17, 2004
These were the best domestic figures for any sports event since the 1998 World Cup and also the highest for the quadrennial competition since the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) began its present system of ratings in 1981. The greatest UK audience for any sports programme remains the peak of 27 million who saw the penalty shoot-out between England and Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, on ITV. What is equally impressive about Britain’s interest in Euro 2004 is the number of people who were viewing games when the home country was not involved. For instance, an average of 8. 3 million people saw the whole of the Germany v Czech Republic fixture.

SI.com – Soccer – German keepers to take center stage in Champions…
SI.com – Dec 17, 2004
Kahn has made a series of blunders for Bayern this season and Lehmann recently lost his place at Arsenal to Spaniard Manuel Almunia. No one will be more keen than Klinsmann to see Lehmann restored in time for the tie — with the first leg in Munich on February 22 and the return in London on March 9 — but Kahn is playing down the importance of the personal battle. "Given the draw, I think it’s clear that the two of us will not be ignored," Kahn said. "Of course this is being built up but it’s Bayern against Arsenal, not Kahn against Lehmann. There are 10 other players on each side who will decide the tie. " Klinsmann will be desperately hoping that Kahn’s last statement turns out to be true. The last thing he wants is for the tie to be decided by another goalkeeping blunder, after seeing so many already this season.

Germany serious before Christmas test
go.com – Dec 15, 2004
‘We have a blend of young and experienced players so Iexpect the competition for places to be fierce. ‘ Klinsmann’s injury-hit squad also face South Korea andThailand on their tour. Three-times World Cup winners Germany have won three matchesand drawn one since Klinsmann took over from Rudi Voellerfollowing their disappointing exit from Euro 2004. For Oliver Kahn, Thursday’s match will be an opportunity toexorcise his World Cup demons. A mistake by the Bayern Munich goalkeeper in the 2002 WorldCup final in Yokohama led to Brazil’s first goal in their 2-0win over Germany. ‘Returning here is very positive,’ Kahn said. ‘Perhaps itwill help us get over what happened.

Tabloid victim Meier retires
rte.ie – Dec 15, 2004
Meier was the subject of personal abuse from the English tabloids after he disallowed a goal by Sol Campbell – adjudging that John Terry had climbed on Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo – in the last minute of the quarter-final clash which Portugal ultimately won on penalties after it finished 2-2. Meier received threats by phone and e-mail, his company was flooded with calls from England, and his private life – in the case of leaving his wife and setting up home with his mistress, who is also a referee – was spread all over the tabloid press. Quite apart from being accused by the ‘Sun’ of stealing the match for the Portuguese, he had a flag of St George draped on the lawn of his home. Meier, who refereed his last match last Saturday in the Swiss championship, remained defiant to the end… I was alone and that was very hard. ”
Meier also revealed he had declined an invitation to go on to British television. “I am not ready for that,” he confessed.

Fears over Reds burn-out
manchesteronline.co.uk – Dec 16, 2004
Manchester United’s number two has coached Portugal at youth and senior level and also steered South Africa to the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan. But as Sir Alex Ferguson’s sidekick in two stints, and as Real Madrid’s boss last term, he has witnessed the damaging effect of football’s saturated calendar. He argues that shock finalists in both last season’s Champions League final and Euro 2004 in July point to a harmful trend. This term the Reds have had to suffer losses from injuries sustained on international duty and have had to closely monitor individuals playing programmes to avoid burn-out. Old Trafford teenager Cristiano Ronaldo is currently on a Christmas breather following his punishing schedule. Argentine full-back Gabriel Heinze is also being considered for an extended break after he played virtually non-stop during the summer in the Copa America for his country and then in the Olympics, where he won a gold medal in Athens. United’s pre-season preparations were sent into confusion when most of the big names couldn’t fit in the tour to America after finishing Euro 2004… “After one training session they would be expected to play in La Liga on a Saturday afternoon, followed by a Champions League match on a Tuesday! “There are many examples of players picking up an injuries because of this foolish situation. Accidents can happen but this is a nonsense that no-one wants to stop and think about. “European Championship players were coming back three or four days before the season began and immediately they were involved in eight or nine games in 25 days when they were not ready to compete. “The players need and deserve to have the right preparation. Football is changing and when you have a situation that has changed you can’t apply the same old routines and answers. For different problems we need new solutions. Do you think too much is asked of United’s players? Have your say.

donga.com [english donga]
donga.com – Donga.com – Dec 17, 2004
Bonfrere formed a team for this match with homegrown, young players with the exception of two playing abroad: Cha Doo-ri (24, Frankfurt) and Cho Jae-jin (23, Shimizu). Coach Klinsmann, the new man in charge of the ?rusted tanker? which failed to win even one game in Euro 2004 held in June, seems to have the same thing in mind. The average age for the Korean team is 24. 3, while German?s mean age stands at 25. Four new players earned a chance to make their debuts in an A-match between national teams… The ?Killers? Showdown? between Cho Jae-jin and Kuranyi, in particular, is expected to offer quite a spectacle. It is a chance for Cho to come out from the shade of his senior players, Ahn Jung-hwan and Lee Dong-guk. Though he demonstrated a superior talent for shooting at the Olympics, leading the team up to the quarterfinal for the first time in Korean Olympic Team history, he did not show much action on the national team. He is more than ready to make an impression on Coach Bonfrere. Kuranyi, with the power of European soccer and Latin American technique, is a powerful new striker, who scored nine goals in 18 A-match games. He always had, however, two super giant strikers, Miroslav Klose (26) and Gerald Asamoa (26), to overcome, so this game should prove to be a good chance to tryout his capabilities. Kim Doo-hyun, the player who scored the winning goal versus Maldives, is determined to win the face-off against Germany?s superstar Michael Ballack (28) to become the ?commander of the midfield.

Ronaldo sent on Christmas break
manchesteronline.co.uk – Dec 16, 2004
His debut campaign in England – following his move to the Reds from Sporting Lisbon in August 2003 – was followed by a demanding international programme. After his success with United in last season’s FA Cup final, he was almost immediately on duty with Portugal in their European Championship training camp. Inspired Ronaldo then inspired the Euro 2004 hosts to the final of the competition and outshone Luis Figo. He was playing from June 12 right through the last whistle in the final defeat to Greece in Lisbon on July 4. Fergie had planned a full month of vacation for all his Euro 2004 players immediately after the tournament, but Ronaldo was then surprisingly called up for Portugal’s Olympic squad for Athens. Much to Fergie’s annoyance, he had to let the 19-year-old go to Greece – and he was not back at Old Trafford and ready for action until late August. Since then he has appeared in 21 of United’s 26 matches… He was playing from June 12 right through the last whistle in the final defeat to Greece in Lisbon on July 4. Fergie had planned a full month of vacation for all his Euro 2004 players immediately after the tournament, but Ronaldo was then surprisingly called up for Portugal’s Olympic squad for Athens. Much to Fergie’s annoyance, he had to let the 19-year-old go to Greece – and he was not back at Old Trafford and ready for action until late August. Since then he has appeared in 21 of United’s 26 matches. Last Christmas, the Reds manager sent Ronaldo home for 18 days, but he has already said he might just get a 10-day breather this time. That would mean he could return to action against Aston Villa in the Midlands on December 28, or at Middlesbrough on New Years’ Day. Should Ronaldo be give a Christmas break? Have your say.

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