Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

January 16, 2005

And the cupboard was bare…

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 2:06 pm

The News Review:

* Maradona praises Greece’s Euro 2004 ‘miracle’
* What a creation …
* Big deals for big legend Diego
* And the cupboard was bare…
* – Story
* Battle of wounded Lee
* Six Nations preview: A team effort
* Bolton 1 Arsenal 0: Stelios shoots down Gunners

Maradona praises Greece’s Euro 2004 ‘miracle’
Independent Online – Jan 14, 2005
Looking extremely overweight and tired, Maradona did not say how long he would remain in Greece. “I am just happy to be back in Greece after so many years,” he said before getting into a car. Maradona played in Greece only once when Napoli met PAOK Salonika during the 1988-89 Uefa Cup tournament which his former Italian club went on to win.

What a creation …
Guardian Unlimited – Jan 15, 2005
The idea is roughly this: for a fee of £2m – payable in random instalments – private benefactors are handed effective control of brand new state schools, although the taxpayer meets the lion’s share of both building and running costs (which tend to involve an initial sum of at least £20m, and annual payments of around £5m). The relatively small size of their contribution has little bearing on the sponsors’ clout: they can appoint the majority of the school’s governors and thereby have the crucial say in the appointment of senior management, and shape the school’s practices without having to worry about the national curriculum. Stranger still, academies are not bound by national agreements on teachers’ pay and conditions. Among those who had got in early was Sir Peter Vardy, a millionaire car dealer and evangelist from Durham. Under the auspices of the Thatcher government’s not entirely dissimilar City Technology Colleges Programme, his Vardy Foundation, run by his brother David, had already seen to the opening of a school called Emmanuel College in Gateshead. Thanks to the City Academies initiative, September 2003 marked the arrival of a second school, the King’s Academy in Middlesbrough. The following March, it was ceremonially opened by none other than Tony Blair, who was presented with a Middlesbrough FC shirt bearing his surname… By the start of July, the parents’ group had gathered close to 1,000 signatures on an anti-Vardy petition, and the local authority had held three consultation meetings, one for parents with children at Northcliffe and two for the general public. No other option – such as a strategy for keeping Northcliffe open and getting it out of Special Measures – was up for discussion, and the meetings followed a strict pattern: inquiries from the floor received a single answer from an assembled panel, with no comeback to the questioner. At the parents’ meeting, attendance was rather compromised by the fact that the event had been scheduled for the same night as England’s Euro 2004 match against Croatia. “There was a line of men in suits,” said Tracy. “John Burn was there. David Vardy, Peter Vardy’s brother, came to the parents’ one. There were representatives of the City Academies programme from the DfES, various lawyers, and Mark Eales, the Doncaster director of education.

Big deals for big legend Diego
The Age – Jan 16, 2005
The hero of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup title, who received drugtreatment in Cuba in 2000 and managed to return to the Caribbeanisland last (northern) autumn after a relapse confined him to apsychiatric ward in his native land, has reportedly lined upinterviews with local media, both in Athens and Thessaloniki, forhandsome fees. Reports said the controversial figure’s rates for televisioninterviews stood at $105,300, while newspaper and radio sessionswere priced at $40,000 and $31,600 respectively. Despite his setmedia deals, Maradona, severely overweight and barely recognisableupon his arrival at Athens Airport, did not hesitate to offerreporters comments on a variety of questions, including Greece’ssensational triumph at Euro 2004. “Miracles always occur and Greece produced a miracle by winningat the European championships,” Maradona said. “Greece defeated allits rivals, and that’s good for soccer when small teams win titles. That shows that this country possesses great players. The peoplemust maintain their passion for soccer… The peoplemust maintain their passion for soccer. “Greece’s accomplishment is truly magnificent. There are lots ofbad things in soccer, but the outcome at Euro 2004 is a big dealfor all of us. – Reuters Top of Page Page Tools.

And the cupboard was bare… – Jan 15, 2005
Those in the know from the North West press pack were happy to tell anyone who would listen that the Manchester United manager has fallen out with the club’s chief executive, David Gill, over the lack of transfer funds at his disposal during this January transfer window. Gill has already gone on record to suggest that Ferguson’s insistence on spending close to ?30million to sign Wayne Rooney from Everton in August means he will be limited in his dealings at this point in the campaign, but word has it that he was keen to have a piece of the action as Thomas Gravesen left Everton this week. It is hard to believe the world’s most profitable club could not match Real Madrid’s offer of ?2. 45m for Everton’s tough tackling Danish midfielder, yet the men who make those headlines suggest his lack of financial support is testing Ferguson’s patience to a dangerous point. He has long said that the decision over when he retires will be made by him alone, but weeks like this may just help him make up his mind sooner rather than later. Ferguson’s need to plug the gap that will be created when Roy Keane hangs up his boots is his most pressing concern and whether Gravesen was the man to fill such a massive void is open to question. But on a day when the resources of his squad were stretched to the limit again as he lost Alan Smith and Rio Ferdinand due to injury, his need to extend his options became obvious… Outshone by Saha and the ever willing Paul Scholes in the attacking third, Rooney looked to be a player lacking in confidence. Many of his passes went astray and his constant protestations towards referee Bennett suggested he was looking for help to revive his flagging spirits. His bustling run after 62 minutes was a flash of the Rooney that lit up Euro 2004 last summer, but when he got into the danger zone, his fluffed cross was a disappointment. Looking a little like a racehorse lacking the kick finish he needs to carry off a classic, Rooney is searching for his form. Then there is that fragile temperament, which so nearly got the better of him as he lashed out at Luis Garcia, with referee Bennett giving him a yellow card and a stern talking to all at once. Wes Brown’s dismissal for a second yellow card should have set up a Liverpool revival in the final 20 minutes, but other than a desperate injury time save from Roy Carroll from Jamie Carragher, they rarely came close to finding an equaliser. ‘We tried everything we could to get at them, but they have an experienced team and controlled the game for long periods,’ admitted Rafa Benitez. – Story
Shankly Gates – Jan 14, 2005
If Alonso and Morientes are anywhere near
as successful as Henry and Pires, we’ll be laughing; and Alonso’s form
before injury, and Morientes’ style and pedigree, suggest they will be. The best thing about Morientes is this: he is a big game player; he
will not fail because he’s at a big club and couldn’t handle the
pressure, nor will he freeze in the spotlights (more commonly known as
floodlights for night games) of the big occasion. Some – but not many –
of Houllier’s signings knew what it was like to play under such
pressure and intense scrutiny; Rafa has now signed four (out of six)
players from Spain’s big three: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Rafa is signing winners (Pellegrino and Morientes have some medal
collection between them), and he is signing players used to the big
occasion; not raw and young potential ‘chokers’. Morientes has been there, done it all. However, unlike some players
looking for a big pay day and to laze on the beach, he’s merely hungry
for more medals. His comments about joining Liverpool were manna from
the heavens… Success has played a big part in his career; he can
certainly be a significant step towards making us great again – even if
he is not that irritatingly-overused ‘final piece of the puzzle’. He’s
just the latest key element. Since his international debut in 1998, Morientes has played in three
major tournaments for Spain and has scored five World Cup goals (2 in
1998 and 3 in 2002) and one in Euro 2004. He’s won two La Liga titles,
several domestic cups, and has played in no less than four Champions
League finals, and been on the winning side three times. Last season he
scored home and away against both Real Madrid and Chelsea while with
Monaco, and finished top scorer in the competition. Not bad, huh? He
also helped Raul grab most of the headlines in Spain; since Morientes
fell out of the first-team picture at Madrid, Raul has waned
dramatically. In his first six months Benitez has also had to make some low budget
signings – perhaps stopgaps, or minor gambles.

Battle of wounded Lee
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Jan 16, 2005
Of the two heavyweights, it is Wilkie who has the pedigree, but he was still ring rusty. Last weekend, Garry O’Connor got the drop on the Scotland defender, robbing him of possession for a free run on goal that he couldn’t make count. It will take time for the 6ft 4in centre-back to become the player that broke into the Scotland side and, at his peak, shut out Ruud van Nistelrooy at Hampden in the first leg of the Euro 2004 playoff. He breaks the last 12 months of it down. The battle to get his injured knee to move, to recover his fitness levels, to regain confidence and to relearn skills. He is at the last stage.

Six Nations preview: A team effort
The Publican – Jan 14, 2005
Tetley?s, the official beer of England rugby, is expecting ?the most closely-fought Six Nations in recent years” and has put in place a programme of activity to ensure its on-trade customers capitalise on an increasing interest in rugby union. ?The special position Tetley?s holds as official beer to the world champions gives us a fantastic platform to continue the momentum that?s been building since England won the World Cup,” says Doug Clydesdale, managing director of brands and sales at brewer Carlsberg UK. The company?s Beer and Sport Report, which came out after the Euro 2004 football tournament, highlighted the importance of atmosphere in building sports events in pubs, with 61 per cent of consumers saying a good atmosphere was their prime reason for selecting an outlet to watch a game. Its theme for the tournament ? ?Tetley?s ? at the heart of rugby” ? will appear on point-of-sale items including window stickers, fixture posters and pump wobblers in more than 2,000 pubs and clubs. Carlsberg UK?s major customers will be offered a variety of tailor-made activities including the chance for drinkers to win a picture of an England shirt with their name on the back hanging alongside the shirts of England greats… In selected outlets drinkers will receive a mini rugby ball for every five pints of the ale they buy and will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 15 signed rugby shirts. Charles Wells will also be repeating the TV ads for Bombardier first aired on Sky Sports during the Investec Challenge rugby series in November and upweighting its poster campaign for the matches. Scottish pubs are not being left on the touchline either. The Famous Grouse whisky, which last year secured sponsorship of the Scotland side until the 2007 Rugby World Cup, is making a special effort in the on-trade aimed at bringing the Six Nations to life for licensees and their customers. Running in 550 sports-led pubs through the tournament, a promotion called ?Get One Over the Bar” will give drinkers the opportunity to win a mini rugby ball when they buy three measures of Grouse during the match. Distributor Maxxium UK will also be taking the opportunity to offer free samples to consumers at home games.

Bolton 1 Arsenal 0: Stelios shoots down Gunners
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Jan 16, 2005
The home side deserved this victory. If the title does end up with Chelsea, this will go down as one of the days on which it was won. Stelios Giannakopoulos, Bolton’s Euro 2004 winner, had proclaimed beforehand: “If (Arsenal) don’t score in the first 20 minutes, they will get nervous. ” The Londoners started full of positive intent, launching a series of attacks down the left side through Robert Pires, but when it got to 5. 35pm with the score still goalless, it was time to test Giannakopoulos’s theory. The home fans had cackled as Thierry Henry and then Patrick Vieira speared shots high into the stands, and with the young Dutch striker Robin Van Persie booked after losing his cool during a joust for possession with El-Hadji Diouf, it seemed frustration was already starting to unhinge Wenger’s side. Bolton were always going to test Manuel Almunia’s handling of the high ball, and when Giannakopoulos lofted in a long, diagonal cross from the left-hand side, Arsenal almost cracked… He had support from Diouf but went for glory and, with Almunia alert this time and coming off his line quickly, he tried to chip the goalkeeper but spooned the ball into the stands. Diouf then went on a solo charge and burrowed all the way to the edge of the box before beating Almunia with a shot which just rolled wide. Arsenal were still not getting a grip on the game and brought on Dennis Bergkamp and Jose Antonio Reyes for the two youngsters, Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas. It was to no avail. STAR MAN: El-Hadji Diouf (Bolton) Player ratings.

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