Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 26, 2004

Spurs must pay a King’s ransom to keep Ledley

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 7:02 am

The News Review:

* Rob Bonnet’s sporting year
* Sport | Telegraph
* Underdogs & controversies in the spotlight
* Spurs must pay a King’s ransom to keep Ledley
* Same old England
* It should have been Henry
* Mark Thompson took over at the BBC during 2004
* The great and infamous
* THIS SPORTING YEAR compiled by Philip Quinn
* With his deceptive movements, Ronaldinho catches opposition on wrong…

Rob Bonnet’s sporting year
BBC News – Dec 24, 2004
Her career, already in decline, hangs in the balance. British number two tennis player Greg Rusedski was also caught up in a drugs issue – but his nandrolone positive early in the year reflected more badly on the Association of Tennis Professionals than on him and once the case was resolved in his favour, he was free to play again. Not that he came anywhere near the astonishing standards of Switzerland’s Roger Federer, who won three Grand Slam events out of four, failing only in the French Open. He finished the year as the world’s number one as fellow-pros and observers of the game marvelled at the versatility of his all-round, all-court game. Already the comparisons are being made with Laver and Sampras, while Tim Henman must know that with Federer now firmly established, that Wimbledon title looks even more elusive than before. 17 year-old Maria Sharapova, meanwhile, beat Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final and delighted the Centre Court crowd both with her speech and her frustrating inability to get through to her mother on her cell-phone to give her the result. Sharapova was one of the three Russian female Grand Slam winners – another sign of the times.

Sport | Telegraph – Dec 26, 2004
1 – Person in the British Olympic boxing team: 17-year-old lightweight Amir Khan, who won silver. 1 – Skeleton bobsleigh title for Kristan Bromley, the first British man to win a World Cup overall title in a snow or ice sport. 1 – Player (Fabien Barthez) who started for France in the Euro 2004 match against Croatia match who played in his country’s domestic league. 2 – Years, the ban for sprinter Dwain Chambers after he tested positive for designer steroid THG. 3 – Questionable substitutions made by Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Monaco. Chelsea lost 3-1 against 10 men before drawing the second leg 2-2. Goodbye Europe and goodbye Tinkerman.

Underdogs & controversies in the spotlight
Hindu – Dec 24, 2004
Greece and FC Porto made it a great year for underdogs. Never having won a game in a major championship, Greece overcame 100-1 odds to win the Euro 2004 title. And 50-1 outsider Porto — not Real Madrid or AC Milan — won the Champions League. The surprises weren’t necessarily a great advertisement for the world’s most popular game. The grind of year-round soccer seemed to wear down the world’s biggest stars and weaken the most powerful national teams and clubs. Greece and Porto were tough to beat, rather than great entertainers.

Spurs must pay a King’s ransom to keep Ledley – Dec 24, 2004
King said: “The key to me staying at White Hart Lane is for the club to be challenging for trophies. We need to be moving in the right direction and as long as we are doing that there won’t be a problem. The moment I feel that we are not is the time when I have to think about my future. “It’s flattering to be mentioned in the same breath as clubs like Arsenal and I can never say never but, at the same time, I don’t want to think about leaving Spurs. As far as I’m concerned, I can achieve all my ambitions in the game at Tottenham. ” King, who has three-and-a-half years remaining on the contract he signed in the summer, is far from being the best-paid player at the club, even though he collects an extra £12,500 for every first-team appearance. England team-mate Paul Robinson picks up £32,000 a week, Robbie Keane more than £30,000 and Fredi Kanoute earns around £25,000… On the pitch, though, no player has made a greater impact as King’s influence continues to grow along with his new-found maturity. One thing is certain: this is not the laid-back Ledley King who joined Spurs as a raw teenager eight years ago, nor the Ledley King who would forget his boots before turning out for Senrab, the East End Sunday side where his talent was spotted. The arrival of his son, born nine weeks prematurely during Euro 2004, has seen to that. King returned home the night before England’s quarter-final against Portugal to be there at the birth. Fatherhood was a huge shock, but he has recognised his responsibilities. Being made captain at Spurs in the absence of Jamie Redknapp has made a difference, too. A natural introvert, King has been encouraged to be more expressive and expansive on the pitch.

Same old England – Dec 25, 2004
Compared to the activities of David Blunkett, all behaved with decorum and self-restraint. Football supporters being more discerning than most FA officials, their concerns were more about Eriksson’s activities in the daylight hours, when he was supposed to be grooming England’s most talented crop of young players to Euro 2004 glory. And how could be fail… Step forward David James, whose two late howlers turned a 2-0 lead into a 2-2 draw and another round of Eriksson baiting. England recovered just to beat Poland a few days later after a fantastic strike by Jermain Defoe, only for the petulant players to turn victory into a moral defeat by deciding unanimously (ie told by Beckham and Gary Neville), not to speak to the media. It says everything about the modern game that the reaction was led not by the FA but by their sponsors. Beckham, of course, even when he is not courting publicity, cannot seem to evade it for long. And after foolishly getting himself booked in the closing minutes of a facile win over Wales at Old Trafford, he even more foolishly announced that he had deliberately got himself a yellow card so as to miss the following week’s game in Azerbaijan, presumably because he considered it one of England’s easier fixtures. As it turned out, England struggled to a 1-0 victory in atrocious conditions and those of us who risked hypothermia to witness it began to wonder if Beckham was brighter than we thought. That ended England’s World Cup commitments for the year, leaving them comfortably in control of their group before they resume in March.

It should have been Henry
Pakistan Dawn – Dec 26, 2004
During the interval Arsene Wenger tried detachment, saying little while leaving the squad to rouse itself, and Patrick Vieira attempted forceful oratory, but it was the flair that Henry tapped within himself that was the most galvanizing quality of all. He scored twice after half-time, beating Didi Hamann and Igor Biscan for a superb second goal of his hat-trick in the 4-2 win. Andrij Shevchenko, who recorded 24 Serie A goals in a campaign for the third time, bears comparison with Henry, but Milan did not have to survive the ordeal that Arsenal underwent to become the champions of Italy. There is still insufficient appreciation in the world at large of the Highbury striker?s prowess. It is too readily taken for granted that he has all but invented an athletic, faintly eccentric style that lets him plunder goals while starting so many incursions from a spot on the left wing. It is being suggested that Henry, runner-up for a second consecutive year, was marked down for the anti-climaxes of Arsenal in the Champions League and France at Euro 2004. That would normally be a solid argument against him, but this time there genuinely is no one else who has surpassed him… The electors now comprise representatives of Fifpro, the global union for professional footballers, as well as the captains and managers of international sides. An enigmatic period left them with no easy answers. Greece won Euro 2004 and everyone else slunk away to hide their shame in the shadows of the close season. The Copa America was also unforthcoming when asked to highlight the greatest figures of our time. Brazil won it, but only with a semi-experimental line-up. Ronaldinho was one of the men excused service in Peru. Somehow, though, he still walked off with the ultimate prize! He and the club he joined in the summer of 2003 have in common a charisma that is independent of results.

Mark Thompson took over at the BBC during 2004
BBC News – Dec 26, 2004
But ITV was pleased enough with talent show The X Factor to commission a second series – despite Simon Fuller complaining that it was a straight copy of Pop Idol. A different kind of real-life story attracted millions to BBC Two – Who Do You Think You Are? followed famous faces as they tracked down their family histories, and encouraged viewers to do the same. Sporting hits

Euro 2004 football and the Olympics proved once again the pulling power of sport – although it was viewers in the Middle East who heard Ron Atkinson’s fateful criticism of Chelsea’s Marcel Desailly after a Champions League game, which led to him resigning from ITV in disgrace… It will be tied into the announcement of the main Top 40 singles chart – which itself will be revamped on Radio 1 under rising stars JK & Joel. And while behind the scenes British broadcasting is in the throes of a tough time, those behind it will be hoping the strain will not show to viewers in a tough year ahead.

The great and infamous
The Age – Dec 26, 2004
The Olympics don’t suckAs it turned out, the best thing that happened to the AthensOlympics was the negative publicity. When sceptical athletes,officials, media and fans arrived to find fully functionalstadiums, good transport and a vibrant, clean city, they were sorelieved they lavished the Greeks with praise. It was not, officially, “the best Olympicsever’’. It fell somewhere between the excellence ofSydney and the disaster of Atlanta. But given the forecasts of doomand the obligatory security warnings, it was a grand effort. Greece wins Euro 2004When Greece beat the host Portugal 2-1 in the opening game of Euro2004, it seemed the type of quirky result that typifies the earlystages of major tournaments… But given the forecasts of doomand the obligatory security warnings, it was a grand effort. Greece wins Euro 2004When Greece beat the host Portugal 2-1 in the opening game of Euro2004, it seemed the type of quirky result that typifies the earlystages of major tournaments. After all, Greece had never before wona match in a European championship or World Cup. So when the Greeks conquered the same team 1-0 in the final,they had caused perhaps the greatest upset in soccer history. Superbly drilled by German coach Otto Rehhagel, it was a victoryfor organisation rather than flair — the first of twooccasions in 2004 in which the Greeks were to overcome theirlong-held reputation for chaos and ill-discipline.

THIS SPORTING YEAR compiled by Philip Quinn
Irish Independent – Dec 24, 2004
Editor’s decision is final. 1: He’s black and white and won the cup in England. And he’s definitely not a Newcastle Magpie. Who is this canine superstar? 2: Which two Leinster counties took a chill pill and opted out of the 2004 All-Ireland senior hurling championship? 3: Which born-again Swede was Bernhard Langer’s assistant captain at the Ryder Cup? 4: Who was the sole Ulster player on the Irish rugby XV that started against England at Twickenham? 5: Shot-shy Dublin only scored two goals in this year’s Allianz NFL, both in the same match. 6: Wales appealed unsuccessfully to UEFA to have which team removed from the Euro 2004 finals? 7: Two Greeks were barred from taking part in the Olympics for missing a drug test. One was Kostas Kenteris… Where did the race take place? 17: Which team knocked out the star-studded United States en route to capturing the basketball gold medal at this year’s Olympic Games? 18: Which Welsh rugby union club briefly employed Declan Kidney before he left to take up the reins at Leinster? 19: Which stalwart of the 2002 World Cup finals captained the Republic of Ireland against Jamaica in the Unity Cup? 20: Who was the only Ireland player, son of a famous dad, to win a match in the Davis Cup tie against Ukraine in Donetsk last July? 21: Which Irish TV station won the rights to show Formula One in 2005? 22: Who was an unlikely top jockey at the Galway Festival? 23: Which Ryder Cup star branded Americans as stupid? 24: Which American lady did Sebastian Coe replace as the chairman of London’s 2012 Olympic Games bid? 25: Which English League Division One club raced into administration and had ten points deducted? 26: Which teams won the AIL Division Two and Division Three titles? 27: Which top snooker player pocketed Britain’s richest poker tournament worth £260,000? 28: Which Marseilles player with a Manchester connection was sent off during their UEFA Cup final defeat by Valencia? 29: Whose return to the Cork fold was justified when he scored the final point of the All-Ireland senior hurling championship? 30: Who wore the green jacket to bed on the Sunday night when Phil Mickelson won the Masters? Was it (a) Mickelson, (b) Jim ‘Bones’ McKay (his caddy), or (c) Amy Mickelson (his sister)? 31: Which team from the Balkans did Shelbourne defeat in the second qualifying round for the Champions League? 32: Which former member of the ‘Royal’ family has taken over as Carlow’s football manager? 33: What country won the most medals in the Athens Olympics (a) United States, (b) Russia or (c) China? 34: At one stage this season, Bohemians had three Republic of Ireland internationals in their first XI. Who were they? 35: Who scored England’s try in Ireland’s 19-13 victory at Twickenham? 36: Which outspoken US TV golf analyst said: “In every event, they give you fruit and water on the tee, at the Ryder Cup they give you fruit, water and barf bags. ” Was it David Feherty or Johnny Miller? 37: Which is the only last 16 tie for the 2004-05 Champions League involving two reigning champions? 38: Who captained UCD’s ‘true-blue’ hurlers to the Evening Herald Dublin SHC title? 39: A late field goal from Adam Vinatieri gave which team a thrilling 32-29 win over Carolina at Super Bowl XXXVIII? 40: Outside of Cian O’Connor’s gold medal in showjumping, what were the two best Irish results in Athens? 41: Who became the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam final, beating fellow Russian Elena Dementieva in the French Open? 42: Many remember David Beckham’s missed penalty in the Euro 2004 defeat to Portugal, but who also missed from the spot for England? 43: Which former Irish full-back left London Irish to take up a top development post with the English RFU? 44: Name Dermot Weld’s two Derby winners. 45: Which former All-Black is coaching Italy? 46: Why was Cameroon stripped of six World Cup qualifying points by FIFA following the African Cup of Nations? 47: Which four high-profile scalps did Fermanagh take while qualifying for the All-Ireland football semi-final? 48: In basketball, which team won the men’s Irish Senior Cup? 49: Who was the Philips Manager of the Year? 50: Dublin City also had three internationals in their team this season but none of them were from the Republic. Who were they? 51: Who was the leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival? Was it (a) Ruby Walsh, (b) Barry Geraghty or (c) Richard Johnson? 52: How many medals did American swimmer Michael Phelps win at the Athens Olympics – six, seven or eight? 53: What was the specialist subject of Shaun Wallace, this year’s Mastermind champion – (a) Bare-knuckle boxing since 1670, (b) Epsom Derby since 1970, (c) County Cricket Championship since 1870 or (d) FA Cup finals since 1970)? 54: What Aussie Rules club announced a second Ó hAilpín signing? 55: Which team qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League with the fewest points? 56: Who became the first spin bowler to take 500 Test wickets? 57: Munster lost to Wasps in the Heineken Cup semi-final, but who lost to Toulouse in the other semi? 58: Which two Americans lost a play-off for the US PGA at Whistling Straits? 59: Which TV pundit had to resign after making unguarded comments about Chelsea’s Marcel Desailly? 60: What Irish racing classic did Vinnie Roe win for the fourth time this year? 61: Who ‘walked the line’ in a hard-hitting GAA autobiography? 62: Robert Howley scored a last-gasp try to give which English club the Heineken Cup with a 27-20 win over Toulouse? 63: “I thank the media and the fans for pushing Hal Sutton to pick me but I think it kind of pissed him off. ” Who missed out on a wild card for the Ryder Cup? 64: Who did the LA Lakers lose to in the NBA finals? 65: The Mayo manager and the county’s two current All-Stars share the same native club. Name all three – and the club.

With his deceptive movements, Ronaldinho catches opposition on wrong…
Calcutta Telegraph – Dec 26, 2004
Otto Rehhagel guided no-hopers Greece to a fairytale triumph
in Euro 2004, Jose Mourinho?s FC Porto upstaged all European heavyweights to lift
the Champions League. Then, in the last three months, two shocking on-field deaths
rocked the game, both victims being Brazilians (Serginho and Cristiano Junior). But this is not the forum to discuss those tragedies
and their aftermath. My brief is to pick the top three footballers of 2004 and
I can straight away say that I am spoilt for choice. After a close study of my
candidates, I have decided to cast my vote in favour of Ronaldinho… Otto Rehhagel guided no-hopers Greece to a fairytale triumph
in Euro 2004, Jose Mourinho?s FC Porto upstaged all European heavyweights to lift
the Champions League. Then, in the last three months, two shocking on-field deaths
rocked the game, both victims being Brazilians (Serginho and Cristiano Junior). But this is not the forum to discuss those tragedies
and their aftermath. My brief is to pick the top three footballers of 2004 and
I can straight away say that I am spoilt for choice. After a close study of my
candidates, I have decided to cast my vote in favour of Ronaldinho. Yes, I quite
agree with Fifa?s elite panellists who chose the Brazilian as Player of the Year.

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