Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 20, 2005

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | England | Scholes rejected…

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 2:13 pm

The News Review:

* Heskey back in England fold
* Liverpool face date with destiny
* The Big Interview: Anders Frisk
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | England | Scholes rejected…
* Beckham: I can be a winner with England
* Liverpool about to face off against rival Everton
* The Alan Smith interview: Life is so sweet for Everton’s veteran
* Focus: Crisis for the men in black
* Heat is on Lippi’s stuttering Italians
* Sven pleads again to give him a break
* England’s US tour irritates Wenger

Heskey back in England fold
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 20, 2005
The selection of Heskey gives England’s head coach, Sven-Goran Eriksson, plenty of choices up front, particularly as the Crystal Palace striker, Andrew Johnson, will not train in the early part of this week until a slight foot niggle clears up. England, who head Group 6 by one point from Poland, are training at Manchester United’s Carrington complex in preparation for Saturday’s tie against Lawrie Sanchez’s men at Old Trafford. Heskey appeared to have fallen from favour after Euro 2004. The emergence of other contenders such as Johnson, Alan Smith and Jermain Defoe, and the sight of Wayne Rooney establishing himself alongside Michael Owen in Eriksson’s starting XI, pushed him down the pecking order. The discussion was described as “agreeable”, although Eriksson stressed that he would not select players who had any hint of injury… The discussion was described as “agreeable”, although Eriksson stressed that he would not select players who had any hint of injury. After the Northern Ireland game, England move on to St James’ Park to face Azerbaijan on Wednesday. Newcastle’s former Manchester United midfielder, Nicky Butt, will not be featuring at two grounds he knows well after being omitted from the squad. Eriksson talked to the Newcastle manager, Graeme Souness, last week about the fitness of Butt, who had been out with a hamstring problem. Eriksson and Souness agreed that it would make more sense for the player to work on regaining his fitness with his club physios. Also absent are Smith, who has not been starting frequently for Manchester United, and Sol Campbell, who has not recovered from a calf problem. The Manchester United right-back, Gary Neville, returns after injury and will be a welcome presence in the defence protecting Paul Robinson, the Tottenham Hotspur keeper.

Liverpool face date with destiny
BBC News – Mar 18, 2005
They can enjoy themselves if they win. “The defence has never been left alone because the midfieldhas worked well as a filter. “But the whole mentality of the squad has been compact and unified. There’s a desire to sacrifice oneself. And then we’ve got a superb keeper in Gianluigi Buffon. Once again Steven Gerrard will be crucial to Liverpool’s hopes, but the key will lie in how Benitez plots to control Juventus’s attacking talent in the shape of David Trezeguet, Alessandro del Piero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic… And then we’ve got a superb keeper in Gianluigi Buffon. Once again Steven Gerrard will be crucial to Liverpool’s hopes, but the key will lie in how Benitez plots to control Juventus’s attacking talent in the shape of David Trezeguet, Alessandro del Piero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And with Fernando Morientes ineligible, Liverpool must hope Milan Baros recaptures his Euro 2004 form to trouble defenders Fabio Cannavaro and Lilian Thuram. Juventus will be clear favourites – but the great unpredictables of Liverpool may confound the sceptics again. Chelsea, meanwhile, will be confident of succeeding where Arsenal failed when they face Bayern Munich. Jose Mourinho’s side will be brimming with confidence after the sensational win against Barcelona – and he will be confident John Terry and company will not make the same defensive mistakes that blighted the Gunners’ defeat in the previous round.

The Big Interview: Anders Frisk
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 20, 2005
” Frisk expects neither apology nor regret from the Chelsea coach, and insists he would not want one if it was ordered by authority and did not come spontaneously from the man himself. Frisk’s past 12 months have attracted personal insults before. There was Ruud van Nistelrooy, suspended for two games after calling Frisk a “homer” during Euro 2004. There was Francesco Totti, denouncing the Swede as habitually biased because Frisk had sent off a home player of Roma against Dynamo Kiev last September — and then abandoned the match after a cigarette lighter hurled from the crowd split open Frisk’s scalp. There was Claudio Ranieri stating in Valencia, “now I understand why they cut open his head in Rome”, although the former Chelsea and now former Valencia coach had the grace to retract his words the next day and to add: “Frisk is a very good referee. ” Frisk’s 118 international matches abroad have included a World Cup encounter in Lima, Peru, where there was a notice in the tunnel stating that personal firearms must not be carried beyond the dressing rooms. But now in his home city of Gothenburg, where he first became attracted to refereeing street ice-hockey and football games when he was 10 years old, he reached the point where, having disconnected his phone, he could not and would not step back into the limelight he freely admits he basked in… Like me, she is a positive person, living for the now. We talked maybe for one hour, and I explained to her that I had feelings for the first time ever as a referee. I said I did not think I could love it as much as I did before, and that the safety of myself and my family meant more than anything. After this long discussion, we were in agreement, and that was important. ” His daughter “lives in the stables”, he says. “She is working to be a showjumper. ” Niklas, 14, and Alexander, 10, his oldest sons, play football for the same club, and he says, “From now on I can be a more normal father.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | England | Scholes rejected…
BBC News – Mar 20, 2005

Eriksson will name his squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan at 1900 GMT on Sunday. England will virtually make sure of their place in the 2006 World Cup finals if they defeat Northern Ireland at Old Trafford next Saturday and Azerbaijan at St James’ Park four days later. Manchester United midfielder Scholes quit the England set-up after Euro 2004… “If he is not happy, he will not perform as good as he could do. That is why I am not phoning him every week and going on my knees asking him to come back. ”

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand revealed his dream to succeed David Beckham as England captain. “I’d love to be captain of England one day, that would be great for me,” the 26-year-old told the Football Association’s website. “But it’s up to the manager and Becks is going to be around for a long time.

Beckham: I can be a winner with England
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 19, 2005
I know it sounds like an excuse but it is really tough for European teams to play in the conditions we experienced in Japan in 2002. ” What angers the passionate, cock-eyed optimists who follow England to every friendly, let alone major championships, is not defeat, nor even an obvious incapacity to match the likes of Italy and Brazil for technical ability, since even Eriksson takes that as a given; it is when England fail to maximise their traditional qualities of playing a high tempo, physical game and fighting until the final whistle. Against Brazil in the 2002 World Cup quarter-final, they seemed to have nothing left after what proved to be Ronaldinho’s winner five minutes into the second half and in Euro 2004, they were desperately defensive after taking an early quarter-final lead against Portugal. Beckham was clearly struggling for fitness throughout that tournament, an accusation he fiercely denied until it returned in the form of an excuse when England were knocked out. A player who seemed an inspired choice of captain when Peter Taylor anointed him in his one game as caretaker manager, suddenly appeared more of a liability, with both his leadership and his right to play in the team questioned. The more people criticise Beckham, the more firmly Eriksson tightens the Velcro on the captain’s armband, as permanent a fixture, it would seem, as one of his many tattoos. Eriksson, never a man of many words, refuses to even enter a debate on this one… The Wales game last year was like that with the tackles flying in. ” And who could forget Beckham’s own contribution, an attack on Ben Thatcher that brought a yellow card which ruled him out of the following game in Azerbaijan, followed by his nonsensical claim that he got booked deliberately. Eriksson himself seemed more weary than ever last week and not just because news had just broken that a stage play centred on his complicated love life is to open in his native Sweden. He was feeling under the weather and admitted he may not be able to pull English football players from the doldrums that have enveloped them for 39 years. He said: “The risk exists that I finish as England manager without winning anything but I never think like that. “”I think 2006 may be the peak for this group of players and I am very pleased to have them. I’m looking forward to playing in Germany because a European team normally wins in Europe.

Liverpool about to face off against rival Everton
Taipei Times – Mar 20, 2005
His team also has home advantage on Sunday but badly needs to beat its neighbor to trim Everton’s lead to four points. Benitez, who led Valencia to the Spanish league and UEFA Cup titles last season, was furious that his star-studded strikeforce of Fernando Morientes and Milan Baros failed to hit the target in a poor 0-0 tie with Blackburn at Anfield on Wednesday. Czech striker Baros, who was the top scorer at Euro 2004, has scored just three times in his last 16 games for Liverpool. “We know we need to score more goals, but to do that you must create more openings,” Benitez said. “Crosses, set pieces, we tried them all but we know we must win the ball more around the box and that will give us more options. “Milan has played with a strike partner and played well, as well as playing on his own. His problem was that he could not find space… David Moyes’ Toffees have been in the top four for most of the campaign in marked contrast to last season’s relegation struggle. But the Everton manager has been trying to play down the importance of Sunday’s game at Anfield. Everton has not finished above Liverpool since it won the last of its nine league titles in 1987. “I am doing my best to play everything down,” Moyes said. “We are in a comfortable position right now and whatever happens on Sunday we know we will still be in fourth place, the position we have held almost all season. Chelsea is chasing its first league title in 50 years. This story has been viewed 1922 times.

The Alan Smith interview: Life is so sweet for Everton’s veteran
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 19, 2005
Twenty-three caps spread out over more than a decade isn’t much to show for an international career including two World Cups and two European Championships. Even so, a couple of matches always come to the fore. Not for ideal reasons, there was the ill-fated date with Romania during Euro 2000 when Martyn stood in for Seaman at the last minute. “Dave [Seaman] went in during the warm-up because he’d felt a twinge but nobody said he wasn’t playing. All of a sudden Kevin Keegan came up to me and said: ‘Right you’re playing. ‘ It was a mad rush. I was just putting on my shirt as the lads were going out… Being an ex-England manager I thought he’d have understood better than most. I was training with the kids after that. “After an experience like that, no wonder Martyn declined when Ray Clemence rang up towards the end of last season to see if the veteran fancied a crack at Euro 2004. “I’d have been in the same boat – just covering for David James. I didn’t want to flog myself all summer then come back tired for Everton. “For that decision alone, Moyes and his players have cause to be thankful. Their goalie has proved the model of consistency.

Focus: Crisis for the men in black
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 20, 2005
“I won’t ever go out on a football pitch again. It is not worth it. Unfortunately, that is the way football looks in 2005. html”–>Frisk’s sudden retirement — he still had three years to go in football and could have been picked to run next year’s World Cup final in Germany — has led to much hand-wringing within the sport’s governing authorities. But his decision is symptomatic of a wider refereeing crisis that is turning the beautiful game into an ugly spectacle… “This was the worst 16 days of my life,” Frisk told The Sunday Times. Yet this is not the first time that an international referee has been hounded. Last year Urs Meier, the Swiss official who disallowed a goal by Sol Campbell, sending England out of the Euro 2004 tournament, had to receive police protection after a tabloid newspaper published his contact details, triggering a flood of abuse from fans. These are specific cases but, say critics, they are symptomatic of a wider malaise caused by the decline of deference in society. Some teachers squarely lay the blame on the shoulders of players such as Rooney. “Children see Rooney getting away with yobbish behaviour and believe they can do the same. Teachers face it in the classroom and police face it on the streets.

Heat is on Lippi’s stuttering Italians
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 20, 2005
While for Smith’s side that means anything resembling respectability in their performance if not the scoreline, for the Azzurri the demands are more concrete. They head Group 5, two points ahead of Norway and Slovenia, but wholesale engagement with Lippi’s regime has been conspicuous by its absence. The 56-year-old filled the slot vacated by Giovanni Trapattoni last summer after Italy’s plodding elimination at the group stages of Euro 2004. In two spells at Juventus, Lippi reached four Champions League finals and won five scudetti, but has yet to convince an unforgiving nation that his rule will avoid a similarly flaccid end. A diverse set of results from initial efforts do not constitute a convincing response. Italy, granted, have won three of their four qualifiers to date, yet only in a single recent friendly did they hint at drawing together their disparate strands of talent into a functional whole. Against Russia a month ago, their proclaimed attacking trident finally set sail, Francesco Totti scheming behind Christian Vieri and Vincenzo Montella… The 56-year-old filled the slot vacated by Giovanni Trapattoni last summer after Italy’s plodding elimination at the group stages of Euro 2004. In two spells at Juventus, Lippi reached four Champions League finals and won five scudetti, but has yet to convince an unforgiving nation that his rule will avoid a similarly flaccid end. A diverse set of results from initial efforts do not constitute a convincing response. Italy, granted, have won three of their four qualifiers to date, yet only in a single recent friendly did they hint at drawing together their disparate strands of talent into a functional whole. Against Russia a month ago, their proclaimed attacking trident finally set sail, Francesco Totti scheming behind Christian Vieri and Vincenzo Montella. Alberto Gilardino, the Parma prodigy already headhunted by Juventus, came off the bench to score the opener in a 2-0 win. Alessandro Del Piero, reared and doted on by Lippi in Turin, could not even find a place in the squad.

Sven pleads again to give him a break
go.com – Mar 19, 2005
But that wish could be thrown into doubt now the FA’s own cups committee havevoted against scrapping replays in the FA Cup – the concession to the demandingfixture programme needed to allow Eriksson his way. The onus will now be on the main FA board who face the embarrassing prospectof having to over-rule the cup committee when they meet next Thursday. Eriksson has always believed that inadequate preparation time was a factor inEngland failing to progress past the quarter-final stage in the 2002 World Cupin Japan and Euro 2004 in Portugal. He admitted: ‘With an extra week to prepare we have more possibility to befitter in Germany than we were in Japan for the last World Cup and in lastsummer’s European Championships. ‘It seems strange for some people out there but that extra week is extremelyimportant. You don’t need to finish the FA Cup and the next day fly out to atraining camp. ‘You can give the players one week off and say `I don’t want to see you’before you start preparing for the finals… but The pressure is coming from all the country. This is abigger job. ‘But if you are not prepared to have pressure on you, then you should changework, absolutely. It is better to have the pressure than not to have it. ‘ England will virtually make sure of their place in the finals if they defeatNorthern Ireland at Old Trafford next Saturday and Azerbaijan at St James’ Parkfour days later. Eriksson has always maintained the current set of England players would peakin 2006 and believes they are capable of tournament glory although he knowsthere is a thin dividing line between success and failure. He said: ‘I think we can go better than the quarter-finals.

England’s US tour irritates Wenger
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 18, 2005
Wenger said: “Physically it doesn’t make any sense, though financially it does. Half the team will pull out and the other half will have played 55 games. “I am not at all happy to lose Ashley [Cole] and Sol [Campbell]. It would be better for the players to get a rest this year to recover well going into the World Cup year. “There is a big debate at the moment about having four weeks’ rest before the World Cup finals because FIFA think that is the best way to protect the quality of the competition. It would be welcome as well to have a good rest this summer. “Lubos Michel, of Slovakia, and Spain’s Manuel Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez are the leading contenders to referee Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final ties against Bayern Munich… It would be welcome as well to have a good rest this summer. “Lubos Michel, of Slovakia, and Spain’s Manuel Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez are the leading contenders to referee Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final ties against Bayern Munich. Mejuto Gonzalez, who refereed the Chelsea v Arsenal Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge last March and Paris St-Germain v Chelsea last September, will also be in the frame. Bayern have admitted they are interested in signing Chelsea defender Robert Huth, who is establishing himself as a Germany regular despite being a reserve at Stamford Bridge. The League Managers’ Association and the Premier League have agreed a clampdown on what they perceive as unfair criticism of match referees. A joint statement said: “Both organisations have agreed to develop specific measures to achieve the required elimination, including the introduction if necessary of appropriate sanctions.

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