Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 17, 2005

THE INDIE ARE NOT SO SURE

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 7:18 am

The News Review:

* Mourinho is our enemy, Uefa says
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Pires questions his France…
* Meier backs Frisk quit decision
* THE INDIE ARE NOT SO SURE
* shanklygates.co.uk – Story
* Zenden in Europe or quit threat
* Smith hands Douglas vote of confidence
* Bust estate agency Chesterton sold
* After failing in Europe, Arsenal and United have only one target
* Thugs cannot win this battle
* channel4.com – French Football
* Mostovoi makes a comeback
* Hugh McIlvanney: Dirty trick defaced a classic

Mourinho is our enemy, Uefa says
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 14, 2005
“I will never go on to the pitch again,” he said. “There have been things done to me that I could never even imagine happening to someone. “Urs (Meier) decided to continue after Euro 2004, but I can’t. Quite simply, I dare not. You don’t know what these type of people can do and I have been afraid of what these people could do to my children. ” Having feared for his own wellbeing in the months after Euro 2004, Meier said that he fully understood Frisk’s decision. “In both cases, the problem has started in England,” he said.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Pires questions his France…
BBC News – Mar 17, 2005
My love and attachment to the national team are the same,” he said. “I am not going to commit suicide because of it even though this is a hugedisappointment for me. ”

Pires has had a poor relationship with Domenech, who took over the national team after Euro 2004. The 31-year-old, who has 79 caps for Les Bleus and played an integral part in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 successes, has not been called up to the national side since the 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Cyprus on 13 October.

Meier backs Frisk quit decision
BBC News – Mar 13, 2005
He told the Swedish media that the last 16 days had been “the very worst”. “I was surprised but I can understand him. He is afraid,” Switzerland’s Meier, who had death threats following Euro 2004, told BBC Radio Five Live. Meier added: “I was a little bit shocked because he is 42-years-old. “I was 45 and that’s why, for me, the career was in the end… He has kept that to himself. “But most of this is coming from England. ”

Meier was forced into hiding after receiving death threats following his decision to disallow Sol Campbell’s goal for England in the quarter-final against Portugal at Euro 2004. His personal telephone number and e-mail address were published in some English tabloid newspapers.

THE INDIE ARE NOT SO SURE
Redissue – Mar 13, 2005
At the San Siro, there was no Gary Neville, which meant the deployment of the injury-prone Wes Brown at full-back. However, he is an England international. Ruud van Nistelrooy played, but arguably should not have. He appeared sluggish by his own standards, and did not bring the best out of Wayne Rooney. But if we ignore Brown and Van Nistelrooy, what of the remainder? Rio Ferdinand? Mika?l Silvestre? Gabriel Heinze? Paul Scholes? Roy Keane? Ryan Giggs? No matter what their ages are compared with those of Carlo Ancelotti’s team, these are hardly striplings plucked from the youth team. These are all quality, experienced internationals. Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo are still teenagers, but they are scarcely callow youths… Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo are still teenagers, but they are scarcely callow youths. Rooney boasts 21 England caps, with nine goals already. Both played in Euro 2004. There willbe more to come from that pair, as Ferguson bullishly predicts, and both were cruelly reminded by their lack of impact in Milan that there will have to be. Nevertheless, there remains a fallibility about United, the result of the failure effectively to replace Keane and Peter Schmeichel, and a dearth of the kind of talent that emerged with the Beckham-Neville-Scholes generation from United’s academy. Word has it that the gimlet eye of Ferguson is focused on Lyon’s 22-year-old Ghanaian Michael Essien, who scored twice in the 7-2 defeat of Werder Bremen on Tuesday, as a prospective long-term replacement for Keane. Gattuso, the former Rangers man, and the Brazil-based Argentinian Javier Mascherano could also be part of United’s summer harvest.

shanklygates.co.uk – Story
Shankly Gates – Mar 13, 2005
Finally, and with some sense of disbelief,
talk is starting to turn to Liverpool actually winning the Champions
League — no one necessarily expecting it, but offering a case
of why not?Why not indeed? I certainly don’t think there’s less talent at
Liverpool than there was at Porto last season. I don’t think the club
has an inferior manager, either. A bit of long-overdue luck, and who
knows?

“The best teams don’t always win the Champions League,” Jamie
Carragher said following with win against Bayer Leverkusen, with more
than a degree of truth — and we are certainly not the best team in
Europe right now. However, it is equally true that to win it more than once, and
in quick succession (four times in eight seasons, as an example — and
a completely random one, of course), is definitive proof you’re
the best… Last year’s
Champions League is a case in point. There was Porto, and there was
Monaco. (And two months later, there was Greece at Euro 2004). But the
example I am thinking of relates to London. A strange thing happened when Arsenal met Chelsea. The west London
club had bought their way to their best domestic season for 50 years,
but Arsenal were having a remarkable year, and everyone felt that, for
all their domestic domination, the impressive team Wenger had assembled
had to win the European Cup for any of it to mean anything significant. Victory — moral victory — belonged to Arsenal before the game
kicked off, as everyone knew they were the better team.

Zenden in Europe or quit threat
BBC News – Mar 16, 2005
The Dutchman fears he is being frozen out by national manager Marco van Basten and believes a fresh start may boost his international opportunities. “I’ve been surprised and disappointed not to be involved and for me it’s important to be playing in Europe. “I’ve not looked too much into the future but if we’re able to qualify for the Uefa Cup that is something that could influence any decision,” he said. “I am really enjoying my time with Middlesbrough, which is an important factor for me, and is something I can take with me in making a decision – whatever that will be. “But I am still very ambitious. I still want to play at the highest level and for the national team, with my goal to play in Germany in 2006 and I will do everything within my powers to convince the manager I should be there… And he feels a move to a Champions League side may help him play in next year’s World Cup. “I’m only 28, I’ve already played in three big tournaments, and with 55 caps I’ve a certain level of experience I can add to the team, while I also think I’ve done fairly well this season with Boro,” Zenden added. “During my time with the national team there have been five managers – and four that believe in my abilities. “Now we have a manager who prefers players from the Dutch league to give more of a Dutch face to the squad, and there are a lot of youngsters.

Smith hands Douglas vote of confidence
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 16, 2005
He had to shoulder the blame for a dreadful error that allowed Gregory Vignal to score the goal that prompted Rangers’ 2-0 success at Celtic Park. The 32-year-old was also pilloried for conceding ten goals in two games for Scotland, which last year saw Vogts promote Craig Gordon, of Heart of Midlothian, and David Marshall, the Celtic understudy, ahead of Douglas. Douglas has made only one substitute appearance in a friendly since Holland put six past him in the Euro 2004 play-off and the 4-0 friendly defeat in Wales. However, Smith is adamant that Douglas is the right man for the job in the manager’s first game in charge since replacing Vogts — and noted that Martin O’Neill shared his faith. “I was glad that Martin O’Neill stood by Robert after the Rangers game,” Smith said yesterday at Hampden Park. “I must say that, for myself, I had the intention of playing him in this game. Obviously if he hadn’t been playing regularly for Celtic that would have been a problem… He gets his number of goals and that would be necessary for us in the way I would see us playing in Italy. ” However, the Hibernian striking partnership of Garry O’Connor and Derek Riordan were left only half satisfied. O’Connor was named in the squad but Riordan was not, being jettisoned to the Scotland under-21 squad that will face its Italian counterparts the night before. The uncapped Riordan’s form has tailed off for Hibernian recently and O’Connor has greater physical attributes to offer than his Easter Road colleague. “I think a lot of young players reach a stage in a season where they are not playing at the top level over the last few weeks. I think that is the case with Derek. “He hasn’t played many Scotland under-21 games, so has not had much international experience.

Bust estate agency Chesterton sold
Guardian Unlimited – Mar 12, 2005
Their combined personal fortune is believed to be about £400m. Although less flamboyant than his brother, Vincent, 46, shares a reputation as a Mayfair playboy with a flair for gambling. Last year he pocketed £1m on a bet that Greece would win the Euro 2004 football tournament, just days after scooping £250,000 betting on the Greek victory in the semi-final. Rotch’s investments include 3,200 pubs, 100 office blocks, 80 government buildings, 180 petrol stations and 25 university buildings. The brothers also boast the biggest yacht at the property industry’s annual jamboree in Cannes. However the Chesterton deal is believed to be his first foray into estate agency. David Taylor, who became Chesterton’s managing director in 2003, will continue to lead the residential division… When Chesterton went into receivership 300 of the 700 staff were made redundant. Chesterton is based in London and Bristol with 36 branches across the country. Those not sold will be closed.

After failing in Europe, Arsenal and United have only one target
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 12, 2005
However, the most testing problem for Arsenal and United is to overcome the crushing sense of disappointment that greeted their midweek exits from the European Cup. Neither can make any pretence of injustice while their aspirations to greatness are so consistently exposed as delusions. “Not up to expectations” was how Manuel Rui Costa, the AC Milan midfield player, described United. It cut through the chaff. “The players face a competition against themselves,” Carlos Queiroz, the United assistant manager, said yesterday… Today, with no distractions, Wenger cannot afford to be so ambivalent. United, too, will give it everything. They also started the season flushed with hope and the hype that came courtesy of Wayne Rooney’s performance at Euro 2004. They bought big and thought likewise. Where Wenger has had to adopt a thrift-store mentality — José Antonio Reyes and Gilberto Silva being the only big-money buys of the past four years — Ferguson has topped £70 million in two seasons. Confidence was high, but they lost on day one to Chelsea, took five points from their opening five games and handicapped themselves for the rest of the season. By the time they hit their stride, it was too late.

Thugs cannot win this battle
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 13, 2005
Hooligans using the anonymity of e-mail, letters, phone calls and faxes convinced Anders Frisk that, for the safety of his children if not for his own, he should not referee another match at any level of the sport he has represented around the world in 118 international games. At Euro 2004, mostly English callers, again translating intimidating behaviour through the internet, shook Urs Meier, the leading Swiss referee, into quitting. After 16,000 vile messages that prompted armed protection at his Zurich grocery store, he told Uefa officials that he could not bring that sort of hatred to himself or his girlfriend again. During last night’s FA Cup tie between Southampton and Manchester United there was another example of the sort of behaviour that must be stamped out when a so-called supporter threw a lighted flare on to the pitch at St Mary’s. Mercifully, nobody was injured, but it came perilously close to Southampton goalkeeper Paul Smith. CCTV pictures appeared to identify the culprit and United promised to act… CCTV pictures appeared to identify the culprit and United promised to act. “The club hopes television evidence will identify him,” United said in a statement. “Once that has happened, we will take action to make sure he will not be able to stain the club’s reputation in such a way again. ” We face anarchy around the so-called Beautiful Game. The unbeautiful cretins are now creatures of the net. Their new game has consequences as alarming as paedophiles or porn merchants who use the expansion of instant communication for ends worse than foul. What is to be done to arrest this trend? We all, commentators, journalists and officials alike, must think before we add to the mindless ritual of blaming the arbiter for every decision that goes the wrong way.

channel4.com – French Football
Channel 4 News – Mar 12, 2005
His debut match, as with much of his career with the national team, was not plain sailing. The Czech’s loss to Slovenia was a huge disappointment and much of the blame found its way to Bolf’s doorstep. He would not wear his county’s colours again for nearly two years. Bolf returned to Banik in January 2001 where he remained until Auxerre came calling, signing off with a second championship medal, and establishing himself as the country’s most consistent defender in the interim. A member of the Czech Republic team that crashed out of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, Bolf was the only defender to escape the axe and was quickly established as the foundation upon which Coach Karel Bruckner would rebuild his defence. Another national team disappointment was waiting in the form of Euro 2004, but despite conceding five goals in as many games – once again – Bolf emerged with his reputation intact. Renowned for his aerial strength and immaculate timing Bolf has played 26 times for Auxerre scoring 4 goals… Bolf returned to Banik in January 2001 where he remained until Auxerre came calling, signing off with a second championship medal, and establishing himself as the country’s most consistent defender in the interim. A member of the Czech Republic team that crashed out of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, Bolf was the only defender to escape the axe and was quickly established as the foundation upon which Coach Karel Bruckner would rebuild his defence. Another national team disappointment was waiting in the form of Euro 2004, but despite conceding five goals in as many games – once again – Bolf emerged with his reputation intact. Renowned for his aerial strength and immaculate timing Bolf has played 26 times for Auxerre scoring 4 goals. Ernesto Chevanton: Every striker that signs for Monaco in the next few years will be measured – almost exclusively – against the mythical Fernando Morientes and the indelible mark the Spaniard’s nine Champions’ League goals made in the principality’s fairytale run to the Final. But in Ernesto Chevanton, Monaco couldn’t have found a striker further from the mould. While Morientes is masterful in the air and boasts an elegant first touch and canny positioning, Chevanton’s success is based entirely on an explosive turn of pace and frightening tenacity.

Mostovoi makes a comeback
noticias.info – Mar 12, 2005
Mostovoi, 36, will spent the rest of the campaign with Alav?s and then has the option of another year if they win promotion. Mostovoi, 36, will spent the rest of the campaign with Alav?s and then has the option of another year if they win promotion.

Hugh McIlvanney: Dirty trick defaced a classic
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 13, 2005
It was, beyond all argument, illegal. There is no conceivable interpretation of the laws of football that could avoid defining what Ricardo Carvalho did to the Barcelona goalkeeper, Victor Valdes, in the 76th minute at Stamford Bridge as a foul serious enough to invalidate the scoring header with which John Terry shaped the outcome of an epic contest. To say the goal shouldn’t have stood is not to rail against the eventual fate of a Barcelona team capable of breathtaking creativity (with Ronaldinho in their ranks that is a given) but also characterised by lurches into laughably chaotic def-ending. Nor does it imply under- appreciation of the depths of skill and tactical organisation, of athleticism and psychological strength that have left Chelsea firmly installed, with Manchester United’s conquerors Milan, as joint favourites to win the ultimate club competition. Sadness comes from the feeling that a match of such unforgettable excitement and quality deserved to claim its place among the greatest of its European predecessors without an accompanying odour of skulduggery. And regret is compounded by the willingness of so many to shrug off Carvalho’s hugely influential dirty tricks as a minor element in the drama of the two-leg tie. It was horribly difficult for observers on the sidelines, even experienced match reporters, to grasp immediately amid the hectic action just how calculated and significant the offence was… For me, the latter term would be a fair des-cription of Carvalho’s antics in midweek. Anybody who thinks I am over- reacting should try to imagine the tabloid-led uproar that would have engulfed us if a goal as blatantly illegal as Chelsea’s fourth at the Bridge five days ago had knocked an English club out of the Champions League. When England were dismissed from Euro 2004 by Portugal, a xenophobic fury was generated by the crucial decision of a Swiss referee, Urs Meier, to disallow a late goal by Sol Campbell on the grounds that Terry had fouled the goalkeeper. Meier was vilified to a degree that must have made people in the rest of the world wonder if our nation had become one vast psychiatric ward. The Sun revealed details of how to communicate hatred to the poor man, poisonous messages (including death threats) poured in by the thousand, he was hounded by reporters and driven into hiding for weeks. Yet, while it was easy to disagree with Meier’s ruling, the circumstances were at least ambiguous and Uefa belatedly backed his judgment. In the Carvalho case right and wrong were unmistakable.

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