Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

January 10, 2005

Prepare for the new Dutch masters

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 10:44 am

The News Review:

* Pitiful, horrible, lost
* Football’s apartheid
* Gordon not a man to run scared
* Prepare for the new Dutch masters
* Klinsmann off to flying start
* AP, LONDONAP, LONDON, BREMEN, GERMANYAND ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
* Sven to coach tsunami charity match?
* Target role for Rooney in England experiment
* Ajax defeat Ajax
* Zidane has no regrets about international retirement
* SI.com – Soccer – Zidane hints at early exit from Real – Sunday…
* Gary Owen Column

Pitiful, horrible, lost
Irish Independent – Jan 9, 2005
Beckham followed this with the not-so-clever booking against Ben Thatcher, though he did produce a magnificent winning goal against Wales, thereby silencing some Old Trafford critics who had been on his back for most of the match. If that was a glimpse of the old Beckham, there have been very few such moments for club or country since the metatarsal injury that threatened his participation in Japan three years ago. In the event Beckham made it to the World Cup but was not influential on the pitch, a sequence repeated at Euro 2004. There is every chance of something similar happening in Germany next summer, assuming Beckham is still in the England team by then. It depends on how things go in Madrid. If Beckham did not see it before, he must realise by now that he did not join the world’s most glamorous team at a particularly auspicious time. Although hailed as the last of the galacticos (before the club started buying mere mortals like Owen and Jonathan Woodgate) Beckham missed the golden era of Florentino Perez’s expensively eccentric signing policy.

Football’s apartheid
Guardian Unlimited – Jan 8, 2005
Henry was the object of racist chanting in an Arsenal game in Greece. Porto fans engaged in monkey chanting against Chelsea’s black players. England fans engaged in mass racist abuse during the Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey. Countless other examples go unreported. It is not surprising that football has become the public crucible of European racism. The traditional arenas of politics are the preserve, for the most part, of polite society, of the great and the good, Westminster being a classic example. Apart from the far right and the xenophobes – Italy’s Umberto Bossi is a case in point – overt racism is rarely heard in the corridors of traditional politics (covert racism, on the other hand, is widespread and endemic).

Gordon not a man to run scared
Telegraph.co.uk – Jan 9, 2005
The 22-year-old, who will win only his ninth cap against the azurri in tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park, was on the verge of being written off as a prospect while still a Hearts youth player. “I was 5ft 9in when I was 15 and I was almost released because it was thought that I wouldn’t be big enough,” said Gordon, whose father and grandfather were also both goalkeepers. “I was in the youth squad and not the first team because there were bigger and stronger guys. It was frustrating because there was nothing I could do about it, so I just worked on my fitness and my technique. ”Some thought it was a waste of time to persist with Gordon but, fortunately for him, the opinion wasn’t shared by Billy Brown, who was assistant to the then manager Jim Jefferies. “My ability wasn’t in question, just my physique, but Billy Brown looked at me and thought I should be given a chance. Then I put on seven inches in a fairly short space of time and I had problems with my knees for a while before things settled down… We still have a long way to go, as the manager has stressed, but we are heading in the right direction. Remember that even if we beat Italy it would guarantee nothing. We beat the Dutch at Hampden in the Euro 2004 play-offs and got nothing out of it. “As for Pirlo, whose searing setpiece delivery cost Scotland both goals in their 2-0 defeat in Milan, Gordon said: “There’s not a lot you can do about him except get your wall right. But he has to miss one sooner or later, doesn’t he?”.

Prepare for the new Dutch masters
Independent Online – Jan 9, 2005
Ajax Amsterdam have, down the years, produced some football greats – and they continue to do so now. Popular names like Marco van Basten, Johan Cruyff, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert, Frank Rijkaard, Clarence Seedorf, Marc Overmars, the De Boer brothers – Ronald and Frank – and Edgar Davids have all worn the famous red and white Ajax colours. Now a new generation of Ajax Amsterdam stars are emerging – players like Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Tomas Galasek, John O’Brien, Nigel de Jong, Maxwell, Bafana Bafana regulars Steven Pienaar and Hans Vonk, and the Dutch club’s latest signing, Angelos Charisteas, the Greek goal-scoring hero of Euro 2004. And they all make the journey to Cape Town this week. Ajax Amsterdam’s dominant presence in the Mother City all started back in 1999 when Rob Moore, the owner of Seven Stars, and John Comitis, then the owner of Cape Town Spurs, thrashed out a deal with the Dutchmen. Stars and Spurs amalgamated to form Ajax Cape Town, a satellite club of Ajax Amsterdam that would be backed by the team from Holland. It was the first example of a soccer club setting up a franchise in a foreign country… Wesley Sneijder

Another 20-year-old rising star at Ajax Amsterdam. Sneijder made his international debut for the Netherlands at the age of 18, an indication of his obvious pedigree. Not only is he able to prise open defences with skill and deception, his two-footedness makes him even more potent. To add to that – making Sneijder an even more complete football package – he is deadly from dead-ball situations outside the penalty area. He is another player Ajax will struggle to hold on to for long. Tomas Galasek

At 31, Galasek is one of the old men in the team, but he is nevertheless one of the stalwarts. The Czech midfielder plays the anchor role at Ajax, tackling and distributing, thereby allowing the flair players to do their business.

Klinsmann off to flying start
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Jan 10, 2005
Jürgen Klinsmann is back in football, in the biggest way imaginable, coaching Germany as they prepare to host the 2006 World Cup. He has zero managerial experience and has spent the past few years working primarily on his tan in southern California, but he nevertheless managed to secure one of the most high-profile jobs in international football. The stakes could not be higher. In recent years, Germany’s record in international competition is distinctly mediocre, at least by their standards. They have not won a match at the European Championship finals since Euro 96. In fact, since 1990, they have won just twice in eight World Cup matches against European or South American opposition. Do not be fooled by the fact that they reached the 2002 World Cup final, a feat that owed more to the heroics of Oliver Kahn, the goalkeeper, some poor refereeing and the mediocrity of the opposition… Another lacklustre performance as the host nation of the World Cup finals would be simply disastrous to the collective ego of the German game. That is why the German FA, having dismissed Rudi Völler after their poor display at Euro 2004 in Portugal, was originally planning to play it safe by appointing either Ottmar Hitzfeld, the former Bayern Munich manager and the most successful manager in the game today apart from Sir Alex Ferguson, or Otto Rehhagel, who engineered Greece’s shock win at the European Championship finals last summer. Both, however, turned them down and the German FA was left scrambling, until inspiration hit it in the form of a newspaper article.

AP, LONDONAP, LONDON, BREMEN, GERMANYAND ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
Taipei Times – Jan 9, 2005
“We will have a look at the pitch and the dressing rooms, that’s all. Not the trophy room. ”
Liverpool’s FA Cup clash with Burnley was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch on Friday. The third-round tie at League Championship side Burnley’s Turf Moor ground was called off by referee Mark Clattenberg after torrential rain in the area made it impossible to play on the pitch. Player loaned to Bremen
Egyptian international Mohamed Zidan was loaned out Friday to Bundesliga champion Werder Bremen, which hopes the 23-year-old forward can replace departed Euro 2004 star Angelos Charisteas. FIFA organizes charity
Soccer’s world and European governing bodies are organizing a charity soccer match to raise funds for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, FIFA said Friday. Copyright © 1999-2007 The Taipei Times… ”
Liverpool’s FA Cup clash with Burnley was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch on Friday. The third-round tie at League Championship side Burnley’s Turf Moor ground was called off by referee Mark Clattenberg after torrential rain in the area made it impossible to play on the pitch. Player loaned to Bremen
Egyptian international Mohamed Zidan was loaned out Friday to Bundesliga champion Werder Bremen, which hopes the 23-year-old forward can replace departed Euro 2004 star Angelos Charisteas. FIFA organizes charity
Soccer’s world and European governing bodies are organizing a charity soccer match to raise funds for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, FIFA said Friday. Copyright © 1999-2007 The Taipei Times. All rights reserved.

Sven to coach tsunami charity match?
go.com – Jan 10, 2005
If you win matches, you are popular and youstay in the job. If you don’t, then you are out. But that is not just as Englandcoach, it is the law wherever you are. ‘Eriksson has lost just three competitive internationals, although two of thosesetbacks – against Portugal on penalties and against Brazil – spelt the end ofthe national team’s chances at the Euro 2004 and 2002 World Cup finalsrespectively. The other defeat in his 27 competitive games so far was against France lastsummer, although there have also been six draws and 18 victories in thosematches. His overall record, meanwhile, is 26 wins, 13 draws and nine defeats in 48games in charge, with his best moment having been the 5-1 success in Munich inSeptember 2001. ‘You can beat Germany away but you shouldn’t be able to beat them 5-1… If you don’t, then you are out. But that is not just as Englandcoach, it is the law wherever you are. ‘Eriksson has lost just three competitive internationals, although two of thosesetbacks – against Portugal on penalties and against Brazil – spelt the end ofthe national team’s chances at the Euro 2004 and 2002 World Cup finalsrespectively. The other defeat in his 27 competitive games so far was against France lastsummer, although there have also been six draws and 18 victories in thosematches. His overall record, meanwhile, is 26 wins, 13 draws and nine defeats in 48games in charge, with his best moment having been the 5-1 success in Munich inSeptember 2001. ‘You can beat Germany away but you shouldn’t be able to beat them 5-1. We didit and it was an historic result,’ he added.

Target role for Rooney in England experiment
Telegraph.co.uk – Jan 9, 2005
Such developments will precipitate conjecture that Eriksson is dancing to the players’ tune, as he did before the Switzerland game at Coimbra during Euro 2004, yet it remains unclear who proposed the 4-5-1 trial – a strategy the Swede deployed during his Lazio days. Beyond dispute yesterday was the fact that England assessed a variation of the system being used successfully by Chelsea and Manchester United. The back four started with Charlton Athletic’s Luke Young surprisingly on the right before Phil Neville was installed, with Rio Ferdinand and Jamie Carragher in the centre and Ashley Cole at left-back… Information appearing on telegraph. uk is the copyright of Telegraph MediaGroup Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see.

Ajax defeat Ajax
BBC News – Jan 10, 2005
Even though the South African side looked the brighter of the two in the first half of the unusual meeting between two clubs with the same name, owners and club colours, Ajax Cape Town lost 3-0. Ajax Amsterdam’s comfortable victory started with a first-half strike from new signing Angelos Charisteas, the striker who helped steer Greece to Euro 2004 success in Portugal. Julien Escude and the Brazilian Maxwell got the other two goals after the interval as the Africans lost concentration at set pieces ands were mercilessly punished by the Dutch side. Nonetheless, Ajax Cape Town coach Gordon Igesund said the match had its positives and gave his players invaluable experience against quality opposition. “We did not disgrace ourselves and we learnt a lot,” he told BBC Sport. “I think we did very well tactically in the first half and could have been in the lead but silly mistakes cost us the game… Julien Escude and the Brazilian Maxwell got the other two goals after the interval as the Africans lost concentration at set pieces ands were mercilessly punished by the Dutch side. Nonetheless, Ajax Cape Town coach Gordon Igesund said the match had its positives and gave his players invaluable experience against quality opposition. “We did not disgrace ourselves and we learnt a lot,” he told BBC Sport. “I think we did very well tactically in the first half and could have been in the lead but silly mistakes cost us the game.

Zidane has no regrets about international retirement
Jamaica Observer – Jan 8, 2005
In an interview with France Football magazine yesterday, Zidane said that after Euro 2004, he was ready to hand over his spot to a younger player like Camel Meriem. “I leave the scene to the young, and I admit I would appreciate that Camel Meriem pick up the torch,” Zidane said. Bordeaux’s promising Meriem, 25, made his first appearance for France against Poland last year. “They wanted me to become a relay, a guide for the upcoming generation. But I never had the soul of a leader,” Zidane said.

SI.com – Soccer – Zidane hints at early exit from Real – Sunday…
SI.com – Jan 9, 2005
"I don’t want to carry on just for the sake of it. I will know in the very near future what I’m going to do. " Zidane said he had no regrets about ending his international career after champions France were eliminated by eventual tournament winners Greece in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals. However, he is ready to wear Les Bleus colours again if a match is organised for the tsunami victims in South East Asia. "I’ll make myself available for such a game. I’m waiting for someone to set things up," he said.

Gary Owen Column
manchesteronline.co.uk – Jan 9, 2005
People nationwide are now realising what a good player he is, but anybody who regularly watches the Blues knows he has been a good player for years now. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Sven-Goran Eriksson must have a problem with his glasses or a problem with his judgement if he cannot see Wright-Phillips is the best man for the wide-right position. The decision not to take Shaun to Portugal for Euro 2004 still baffles me, as does his failure to start the City winger in any of the friendlies or World Cup qualifiers since then. Everybody knows picking Shaun would give Sven a problem with David Beckham. Kevin Keegan said before the Manchester derby at Old Trafford that he went through hundreds of different formations and tactics to try and stop United but decided the only way was to pick his best 11 players – and it worked. That’s what Sven has to do, and at the moment that means Shaun instead of Becks.

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