Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 12, 2005

Becks still leader but needs to improve: Eriksson

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 4:39 am

The News Review:

* Greeks reach fever pitch
* Do the Games deserve to go the distance?
* Rooney covets central role
* Becks still leader but needs to improve: Eriksson
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* England’s learning curve becomes slippery
* WORLD CUP 2006: Terry’s gain is Ferdinand’s pain
* Simonet steps down

Greeks reach fever pitch
Independent Online – Feb 10, 2005
Group 2 leaders Ukraine beat Albania 2-0 to hold a six point lead the Greeks have a game in hand. While they plugged on with their World Cup campaign most of the other key European nations played friendlies and came out mostly with draws. England were held by an under strength Holland 0-0, Germany drew 2-2 at home to Argentina and France went down to their fifth successive home draw with Sweden, the hosts coming from behind to end the match 1-1… AC Milan striker Hernan Crespo showed his killer instinct in front of goal converting a penalty and producing a magestic late chip to deny Germany. Torsten Frings put the 2002 World Cup finalists in front after 28 minutes, before Crespo levelled, and Brazilian-born Kevin Kuranyi restored Germany’s lead until Crespo’s late intervention. The draw means Germany have not defeated a top nation in over four and half years with October 2000 the last time Germany triumphed over one of the big guns. German coach Jurgen Klinsmann, though, was satisfied. “We want to carry on our development and I believe the Argentina game was another good building block,” explained Klinsmann. “We want to orientate our game around attack and I think that showed once again. ”

Alberto Gilardino and Simone Barone scored after coming on as second-half substitutes to give Italy their victory over Russia in a lively match.

Do the Games deserve to go the distance?
Financial Times – Feb 11, 2005
Why else would gaggles of Britons cluster screaming around their office television sets over a mixed doubles badminton match? And the roar that thundered around the Athen’s main stadium as it became clear that Fani Halkia, the Greek hurdler, was indeed going to win her gold could have emanated from Mount Olympus. The great thing about the Olympics in this respect is that they are so huge and so diverse that nearly everyone wins something. The British TV television audiences for individual events last summer, even the torment of Saint Paula [Radcliffe], could not match England’s progress in the Euro 2004 football tournament. But whereas the fateful Lisbon penalty shoot-out left a nation (like 14 of the other 15 competitors) wracked with grief, we had no shortage of Olympic heroes to lift our spirits, be it Kelly Holmes, Matthew Pinsent, or, seemingly, the entire track cycling squad. It is not a bit of no wonder if the Olympics are popular with governments. It is all but impossible, moreover, not to see the Paralympics as, on the whole, a force for good. While indeed any event in any field that fosters understanding between countries and nationalities has something to be said for it.

Rooney covets central role
Calcutta Telegraph – Feb 12, 2005
In his MUTV commentary for the Middlesbrough game, Crerand quite rightly cited the example of Saha?s nod-down for Rooney?s phenomenal volley. Rooney?s best position is marauding from a support-striker?s role. Euro 2004 confirmed that. Eriksson refused to accept that Rooney had been emasculated on the left. The coach does not do public displays of emotion, but even his inscrutable face flickered with a trace of animation on Thursday when the accusation was made that it was a ?waste of talent to play Rooney wide and out of position?. ?Absolutely not,? Eriksson countered. By the Swede?s non-confrontational standards, this was an emphatic retort.

Becks still leader but needs to improve: Eriksson
Times of India – Feb 10, 2005
But for the first
time, England’s head coach has dropped a hint that the Real Madrid
midfielder will have to improve on recent performances in the national shirt if
he is to retain his position as both captain and an automatic choice. Beckham will turn 31 in the month before the finals kick off in
Germany and his position has been subject to increasing scrutiny in the wake of
his below-par displays at Euro 2004. Shaun Wright-Phillips’
emergence as a serious alternative on the right of midfield has sharpened the
debate over whether Beckham is a spent force. When asked to talk
about the issue, particularly in front of the television cameras, Eriksson
affects an air of bemusement that the question should even arise. “All these
discussions about David Beckham not being the captain, not playing with the team
or being finished with England — I never understood, that I must say,”
Eriksson said ahead of Wednesday night’s friendly against Holland at Villa
Park. Yet in virtually in the same breath the Swede was voicing his
confidence that Beckham would use Wednesday’s friendly to prove he was
still worth his place in the side — a suggestion containing an implicit
recognition that there was some substance to the criticism the captain has
received of late… Shaun Wright-Phillips’
emergence as a serious alternative on the right of midfield has sharpened the
debate over whether Beckham is a spent force. When asked to talk
about the issue, particularly in front of the television cameras, Eriksson
affects an air of bemusement that the question should even arise. “All these
discussions about David Beckham not being the captain, not playing with the team
or being finished with England — I never understood, that I must say,”
Eriksson said ahead of Wednesday night’s friendly against Holland at Villa
Park. Yet in virtually in the same breath the Swede was voicing his
confidence that Beckham would use Wednesday’s friendly to prove he was
still worth his place in the side — a suggestion containing an implicit
recognition that there was some substance to the criticism the captain has
received of late. “I suppose that David has had even bigger nights
than a friendly against Holland but I’m sure he will want to demonstrate
that he’s not finished as a player — and of course he’s
not.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Feb 12, 2005
We clocked up over 400km in total, with Tiago (Monteiro, Jordan?s second driver) starting off the day and handing over to Narain later on. ?Its positive that weve had good reliability and were able to cover plenty of mileage, and we are very impressed with how quickly both drivers have got back into the groove of driving racing cars after a couple of months out of them. ?They are both comfortable with the car and they are being sensible and not pushing to the limit at this stage. To be honest I think they are both enjoying it immensely. ? afpSecond seed Nalbandian out of Marseille Open MARSEILLE (France): Second seed David Nalbandian crashed out of the Marseille Open on Thursday, losing in the second round to American Taylor Dent. The Argentine held his opponent at bay for a set before going down 7-6, 6-2 to follow top seed and compatriot Guillermo Coria, beaten in the previous round, out early. Winning the tie-break 7-3 put Dent on a roll and the American steadily imposed his attacking game in the second set… Croatia?s Ivan Ljubicic, seeded 8th, and sixth seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain also made it to Friday?s quarter-finals. reutersEngland skipper David Beckham thanks his loyal fans LONDON: England skipper David Beckham has publicly thanked fans for keeping faith in his talents despite his recent lacklustre performances. The Real Madrid star had a poor Euro 2004 tournament which led to many observers questioning his automatic starting role in Sven-Goran Eriksson?s line-up. ?Of course, there was extra pressure in the sense of what was being said about me and I don?t think the criticism has been unfair,? said Beckham who was roundly applauded at Wednesday?s 0-0 friendly draw against Holland in Birmingham. ?If you play well, then you take the good things that are said about you so you?ve got to accept what is said if you are playing badly. ?Sometimes it is slightly harsh but when you are performing at a high level, that?s what you have got to take. ?But I didn?t feel under any pressure myself because you know this is what I love doing.

England’s learning curve becomes slippery
Independent Online – Feb 10, 2005
Eriksson used the friendly to change the 4-4-2 system which brought the best out of striker Wayne Rooney and midfielder Frank Lampard at Euro 2004 to 4-3-3, allowing him to select winger Shaun Wright-Phillips up front. The Swede insisted to a sceptical press that England had added another string to their tactical bow, but there was little to celebrate in the performance. Eriksson considered the experiment a successFor the second time in a year, Eriksson was faced with a tactical switch to accommodate a new player who had been setting the Premier League alight. At Villa Park, Eriksson wanted to see if he could play the scintillating Wright-Phillips without dropping captain David Beckham, whose place on the right is considered sacrosanct by the Swede… At Villa Park, Eriksson wanted to see if he could play the scintillating Wright-Phillips without dropping captain David Beckham, whose place on the right is considered sacrosanct by the Swede. Big night nerves on his much-hyped first start for England seemed to undermine the 23-year-old, though he is bound to be in the squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan. The tactical switch also gave Beckham more freedom to roam, while Gerrard rose to the occasion with a fine performance. However, a downside of the switch was that the ever-willing Rooney spent a lot of time on the left wing, often tracking back deep into his own half to help out the defence. “He works too hard,” Eriksson conceded.

WORLD CUP 2006: Terry’s gain is Ferdinand’s pain
noticias.info – Feb 11, 2005
The likely presence of Crespo in the Argentine forward line will give Terry the opportunity not just to win a battle of wits against his Chelsea team-mate but also to underline his credentials as England’s outstanding central defender. In the star-studded Chelsea lineup, Terry stands out not simply for being the sole homegrown regular; together with fellow Londoner Frank Lampard, he provides the pulse at the heart of Jose Mourinho’s expensively assembled squad. Terry is the pivotal figure in a defence that leaked just 15 goals in 38 Premiership games last season, when his prowess earned him the English Footballer of the Year award. He also scored eight times and according to former England defender Jack Charlton, the 24-year-old is now “probably the best centre-back we’ve had since way back”. Charlton, one of England’s heroes of 1966, is lavish in his praise of Terry. Speaking after his induction into the English National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame last month, he told FIFAworldcup… Or it ought to do provided Ferdinand, who turns 27 next week, rediscovers his form. According to Charlton, “Rio Ferdinand has had a lot of bad press for a couple of games and he’s a much better player than that”. Besides his hesitant defending in England?s recent embarrassing defeats by Denmark and Northern Ireland, Ferdinand ? who missed UEFA EURO 2004 because of a ban imposed after his refusal to take a drugs test – has also made several high-profile errors in the red of Manchester United this season. When on top of his game, his languid-looking, ball-playing approach has made him one of the first names on Eriksson’s team-sheet, but now it seems that he will have to prove himself once again. Campbell, like Terry, may have less quality on the ball than Ferdinand but he is, in Charlton’s words, “more solid”. Speaking of the Arsenal stopper, the former Republic of Ireland coach said: “Sol Campbell is not as mobile but he is a bit more solid. He doesn’t run too far, he doesn’t commit himself to too many things but he’s a very good player.

Simonet steps down
World Soccer – Feb 11, 2005
Asked for his best memory, Simonet, 76, told l’Equipe: "1998, of course. It was extraordinary to see France so full of joy and brotherhood. "

The 19998 success was in stark contrast to his early months in the post which coincided with France’s failure to reach the 1994 finals. The failures of the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 campaigna persuaded Simonet not to run for office again.

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