Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

April 1, 2005

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 8:30 am

The News Review:

* Hayward on Football: England’s rich talent dragging Eriksson along
* Owen and Rooney a potent blend
* England won’t learn anything from these trivial pursuits
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Head-2-Head: France anxious to end goal drought in Israel
* Hackett unease at flak for referees
* Rooney investigation dropped
* Chelsea fined, Mourinho banned
* Can ‘one-man’ Ukraine make their mark?
* Scholes happy with England exile
* RTÉ Sport: Figo ready to return to action?
* Zero-tolerance for World Cup hooligans: Stoiber
* Zidane considering France return
* FIFA World Cup – News & Features
* Zidane hints at sensational France return
* Eriksson backs Beckham’s captaincy

Hayward on Football: England’s rich talent dragging Eriksson along
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 31, 2005
This is the only issue: the beginning, the middle and the end of what happened in Manchester and Newcastle. So when the jury purr about Joe Cole’s performance against a Northern Ireland team containing defenders from Crewe and Plymouth Argyle, what they ought to be asking is how he might fare on the left side of midfield against a top-class Italian or Brazilian right-sided partnership, steaming down his flank in a German cauldron. Equally, Beckham’s spirited, tenacious performance on the opposite wing to Cole on Wednesday night has not solved the conundrum of his inability to contribute much at either the last World Cup or Euro 2004. Nor did it vindicate Eriksson’s inexplicable decision to guarantee him the captaincy at a tournament that is still 14 months away. Since this is the only promise Eriksson is offering, it is, by definition, a special dispensation for a player who sometimes needs the heat of media invective to concentrate fully on the job. In England’s winning World Cup campaign, it’s worth pointing out, Sir Clive Woodward appointed his captain game by game. But the spasms of optimism far out-number the doubts… Gary Neville, Beckham, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen are now fully mature internationals. John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole and Wayne Rooney improve with each tick of the clock. Not just in technique and tactical awareness (thank the Champions League for that), but in confidence and conviction. The jaunty train of English talent is now pulling Eriksson along. So much so, that even he is incapable of dampening his team’s urge to play on the front foot, to compress the opposition with slick passing and zestful running. When the sages call Eriksson a ‘lucky manager’ this is what they mean. Like a racehorse trainer with a live Derby contender, his brief now is to not to get in talent’s way.

Owen and Rooney a potent blend
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 30, 2005
With each admittedly one-sided game, the contrasting skills of these two strikers from the great Merseyside academies mesh more satisfyingly. Goals from the forwards, goals from midfield. England are not short of either just now. Although it was Steven Gerrard and David Beckham who broke the deadlock against a hopelessly outclassed Azerbaijan, the basis of England’s attacking potency was the increasingly fluid relationship between Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney. The blue and red of Merseyside are merging into pearly white. As an ‘issue’, or a potential weakness, size can be kicked into the Tyne. Granted, neither Owen nor Rooney is likely to descend with snow in their hair after an aerial challenge, but at this exalted level the big man-little man theory is a depressing myth… That will not diminish the glow surrounding the Owen-Rooney double act, which combines Owen’s line-leading authority with the younger man’s astonishing power and creativity in the ‘hole’ in front of the opposition’s back four. Owen’s finishing was less sharp than it might be if he was starting consistently for Real Madrid and he was later the subject of a withering attack by the Azerbaijan coach, Carlos Alberto, but career statistics protect him. In Portugal at Euro 2004, there was a suspicion that Owen had been sacrificed for the good of team. The technical term for what he was asked to do is “stretching the play”. In layman’s terms, the centre-forward is told to position himself high up the pitch, to force the last defender back towards his goalkeeper, thus creating space for the second, withdrawn, striker to buzz around and make forward runs. Push the argument to its extreme, and you could say that Owen was made to play on his own up front specifically to help Rooney shine. Those days have passed.

England won’t learn anything from these trivial pursuits
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Mar 30, 2005
And yet, as England’s footballers prepare for the least competitive competitive international of their careers, are we not asking the same question? The qualification process for the 2006 World Cup has been turned into an unwieldy farce by the nature of the modern European confederation, which must now sift through 52 teams (51 in this case because Germany qualify as hosts) in an endless round of mismatches. The only item of interest on the agenda before this evening’s match against Azerbaijan is a preposterous debate over whether England will reach double figures. Is there much more of this? And more to the point, why? Sven-Göran Eriksson, confronted with arguably Europe’s weakest qualifying group, has a problem; it is the same one that afflicted Jacques Santini, the France coach at the time, before Euro 2004. Not that there are no easy matches at international level; rather, there are no hard ones.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Mar 31, 2005
Officers in Manchester, northern England, launched the inquiry after a student said the 19-year-old player had attacked him at a bar in the city centre on March 22. Media reports said Rooney had reacted after being taunted by the 22-year-old student about his controversial 27 million pound ($50 million) transfer from Everton last year. But police said the student had now said he did not want to press charges against Rooney, who shot to fame by scoring four goals to help his country reach the quarter-finals of the Euro 2004 soccer tournament. ?A retraction statement was taken from the man and officers will not be pursuing the matter any further,? police said in a statement. reutersBoonasak cruises into second round of Thailand Open BANGKOK: Defending local champion Boonsak Polsana booked his place on Wednesday in the second round on the opening day of the $80,000 Thailand Open badminton tournament. The eighth seed, who became the tournament?s second Thai champion with his victory last year, took 30 minutes to overcome Keishi Kawanguchi of Japan, 15-10, 15-7. Boonsak, who last year reached the semi-finals of the Olympic men?s singles, will meet another Japanese, Shinya Ohtsuka, in the second round… Officers in Manchester, northern England, launched the inquiry after a student said the 19-year-old player had attacked him at a bar in the city centre on March 22. Media reports said Rooney had reacted after being taunted by the 22-year-old student about his controversial 27 million pound ($50 million) transfer from Everton last year. But police said the student had now said he did not want to press charges against Rooney, who shot to fame by scoring four goals to help his country reach the quarter-finals of the Euro 2004 soccer tournament. ?A retraction statement was taken from the man and officers will not be pursuing the matter any further,? police said in a statement. reutersBoonasak cruises into second round of Thailand Open BANGKOK: Defending local champion Boonsak Polsana booked his place on Wednesday in the second round on the opening day of the $80,000 Thailand Open badminton tournament. The eighth seed, who became the tournament?s second Thai champion with his victory last year, took 30 minutes to overcome Keishi Kawanguchi of Japan, 15-10, 15-7. Boonsak, who last year reached the semi-finals of the Olympic men?s singles, will meet another Japanese, Shinya Ohtsuka, in the second round.

Head-2-Head: France anxious to end goal drought in Israel
noticias.info – Mar 30, 2005
He has netted just once in the qualifying campaign and seems to pose less of a threat to opposition defences with every passing game. Worryingly, much the same could be said for his partner-in-crime David Trezeguet. The Juventus ace has certainly been dogged by injuries, but Trezegol has looked a shadow of his former self ever since Euro 2004. And it is not just the wayward strikers that worry Raymond Domenech. The former Under-21 boss is also scratching his head trying to find an attacking combination that works. The pairing of Vikash Dhorasoo and Ludovic Giuly on the flanks won many admirers against the Swiss, but talented playmaker Camel Meriem also shone after coming on as a substitute. The Bordeaux youngster could yet earn a starting place ahead of Milan star Dhorasoo in a ploy to counter the impressive technique of Benayoun, but, whatever the strategy, the objective for the French remains the same ? to score!

Key match-up: Holding firm at the back
“Football is about scoring one goal more than your opponents,” ?O Rei? Pele has been heard to say in the past.

Hackett unease at flak for referees
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 1, 2005
Carragher was angry that Riley failed to see what seemed a deliberate handball by Chelsea’s Tiago during Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat at Anfield. Hackett believes clubs must use the correct channels to highlight their concerns about referees rather than berating them in public. The Football Association will almost certainly not charge Carragher as he did not doubt Riley’s impartiality or honesty, though England’s Euro 2004 referee is unlikely to take charge of many more high-profile games this season. I have put in place lines of communication where the manager of either club can enter the referee’s room 30 minutes after full-time where he can discuss the performance. “There is also an independent match assessor looking at the technical performance.

Rooney investigation dropped
TVNZ – Mar 31, 2005
Officersin Manchester, northern England, launched the inquiry after astudent said the 19-year-old player had attacked him at a bar inthe city centre on March 22. Mediareports said Rooney had reacted after being taunted by the22-year-old student about his controversial transfer from Evertonlast year. But policesaid the student had now said he did not want to press chargesagainst Rooney, who shot to fame by scoring four goals to help hiscountry reach the quarterfinals of the Euro 2004 soccertournament. “Aretraction statement was taken from the man and officers will notbe pursuing the matter any further,” police said in astatement… Officersin Manchester, northern England, launched the inquiry after astudent said the 19-year-old player had attacked him at a bar inthe city centre on March 22. Mediareports said Rooney had reacted after being taunted by the22-year-old student about his controversial transfer from Evertonlast year. But policesaid the student had now said he did not want to press chargesagainst Rooney, who shot to fame by scoring four goals to help hiscountry reach the quarterfinals of the Euro 2004 soccertournament. “Aretraction statement was taken from the man and officers will notbe pursuing the matter any further,” police said in astatement.

Chelsea fined, Mourinho banned
iAfrica.com – Mar 31, 2005
Chelsea will receive the written verdict on Friday and will have three days to appeal the decision. If they do it will go before the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. The two-match ban means that Mourinho will not be able to coach his side from the touchline when they take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals. And he will be unable to enter the dressing-rooms and talk to his players at half-time in the games. Attending the hearing at UEFA headquarters, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said that the club was pleased with what he called a “full and fair hearing. ”

“We would like to put this incident behind us and we are not likely to appeal,” he told Sky TV, but he said they nonetheless would wait until they had made a fuller examination of the written verdict. UEFA had accused the English Premiership leaders Chelsea of bringing the game into disrepute and “making false declarations” following the Champions League match in Barcelona on February 23… Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon, who has rejected the charges of lying, has said that the London club felt it had little chance of receiving a fair hearing in Geneva. UEFA and Chelsea officials have traded bitter accusations over the incident, with European football chiefs clearly angered by the second case in recent months where an international referee was threatened, probably by English fans. Swiss referee Urs Meier, who was already scheduled to retire last year, received death threats from English football supporters after he disallowed a last minute goal in the Euro 2004 quarterfinal defeat by Portugal. UEFA chief executive Lars Christer Olsson said earlier this month that the latest pressure on Frisk was unacceptable. “We must sanction anyone within the football family who makes inflammatory statements that could jeopardise the security of match officials and their families, and brings the game into disrepute. ”

The Barcelona game ended in a 1-2 defeat for Chelsea but they won through to the quarterfinals by winning 4-2 in the second leg at Stamford Bridge and were drawn against Bayern Munich.

Can ‘one-man’ Ukraine make their mark?
Independent Online – Mar 30, 2005
But it will give a chance for other senior players to prove their worth and show their leadership qualities,” added the former Soviet international. At least Blokhin will be allowed to guide his team from the bench after Ukraine’s Appeal Court last week reversed an earlier decision and allowed the former Dynamo Kiev striker to keep his job. Blokhin resigned this month saying he could not combine the coaching post with his other job as a Ukrainian parliament member, but the court said he could do both. Aside from Shevchenko, Ukraine will be missing injured Dynamo Kiev defender Serhiy Fyodorov and suspended Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk midfielder Oleg Shelayev. Denmark, quarterfinalists at Euro 2004, beat Kazakhstan 3-0 at home on Saturday for only their second win in six qualifiers but welcome back Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen from suspension for a tougher assignment in Kiev… Blokhin resigned this month saying he could not combine the coaching post with his other job as a Ukrainian parliament member, but the court said he could do both. Aside from Shevchenko, Ukraine will be missing injured Dynamo Kiev defender Serhiy Fyodorov and suspended Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk midfielder Oleg Shelayev. Denmark, quarterfinalists at Euro 2004, beat Kazakhstan 3-0 at home on Saturday for only their second win in six qualifiers but welcome back Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen from suspension for a tougher assignment in Kiev.

Scholes happy with England exile
BBC News – Apr 1, 2005
Scholes, 30, quit the international scene after Euro 2004 to concentrate on his Manchester United career. “I still feel I’ve made the right decision and I do feel a little bit fresher,” he told MUTV. “It is nice to know you’re still wanted and obviously, when you see the team playing you do miss a little bit of the game, but I have not changed my mind. ”

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson had suggested he would again ask Scholes to reconsider his decision, but the player is sticking to his word. Scholes remained at United over the past fortnight while his former England team-mates have been playing Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan in World Cup qualifiers… Scholes, 30, quit the international scene after Euro 2004 to concentrate on his Manchester United career. “I still feel I’ve made the right decision and I do feel a little bit fresher,” he told MUTV. “It is nice to know you’re still wanted and obviously, when you see the team playing you do miss a little bit of the game, but I have not changed my mind. ”

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson had suggested he would again ask Scholes to reconsider his decision, but the player is sticking to his word. Scholes remained at United over the past fortnight while his former England team-mates have been playing Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan in World Cup qualifiers. Although he had a sluggish start to the season, United benefited from Scholes’ extra rest periods with a run of seven goals in seven Premiership appearances just before Christmas. Scholes scored twice in the recent FA Cup win over Southampton to take his tally for the season into double figures.

RTÉ Sport: Figo ready to return to action?
rte.ie – Apr 1, 2005
“I believe Luis Figo will shortly join the national team, which still has many games to play in this qualification stage,” Gilberto Madail told sports daily Record. Figo, voted FIFA’s World Player of the Year in 2001, left the team after Portugal missed out in the Euro 2004 final to Greece after a 12-year career and 110 appearances. The 32-year-old continues to play for Real Madrid. His contract with the Spanish giants expires in 2006 but has not yet been renewed… Figo, voted FIFA’s World Player of the Year in 2001, left the team after Portugal missed out in the Euro 2004 final to Greece after a 12-year career and 110 appearances. The 32-year-old continues to play for Real Madrid. His contract with the Spanish giants expires in 2006 but has not yet been renewed.

Zero-tolerance for World Cup hooligans: Stoiber
Expatica – Mar 30, 2005
Police can have the hooligans under control before the World Cup. This will already become obvious at the Confederations Cup (in June 2005),” he said. Lennart Johansson, head of Europe’s ruling body UEFA, called for ” close international co-operation” as was successfully practised at the Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal… Johansson said he will announce his decision at the next UEFA Congress June 21 in Tallinn. “The 52 UEFA members should be informed first,” said Johannson, who also called Beckenbauer an excellent candidate for the job. “Why not? Franz was an excellent player, an excellent coach. He was DFB vice-president, is president of Bayern and head of the World Cup 2006 organising committee,” said Johanssen. But the Swede also said he will remain neutral in the race for his succession for which Frenchman Michel Platini has so far announced his candidacy. DPA
Subject: German news.

Zidane considering France return
cbc.ca – Apr 1, 2005
Zidane, affectionately known as ‘Zizou,’ quit the French national team after Les Bleus were knocked out of Euro 2004 by Greece in the quarter-finals, but hinted at a comeback in an interview with sports daily L’Equipe. "I’ve already said the French team was the most beautiful thing that happened to me. It would be nice for me to come back, but I do not want to talk about it," said 32-year-old Real Madrid midfielder… Zidane, affectionately known as ‘Zizou,’ quit the French national team after Les Bleus were knocked out of Euro 2004 by Greece in the quarter-finals, but hinted at a comeback in an interview with sports daily L’Equipe. "I’ve already said the French team was the most beautiful thing that happened to me. It would be nice for me to come back, but I do not want to talk about it," said 32-year-old Real Madrid midfielder. (AP File Photo) "The biggest risk (in the qualifying campaign) is the game in Dublin against Ireland.

FIFA World Cup – News & Features
uefa.comUEFA.com – Mar 31, 2005
Youth medalAs if lifting two European Champion Clubs’ Cups was not enough with Juventus FC and BV Borussia Dortmund, Sousa also has the pleasure of polishing both Italian and Portuguese league winners’ medals whenever he is feeling a little low. If the former Portuguese international was pushed into a decision, however, he will tell you that it was perhaps the first medal of his career – the FIFA World Youth Championship title he celebrated back in 1989 – which gives him the most satisfaction. ‘Golden generation’”That was the start of great things for me,” Sousa told uefa. “We had an incredible team back then who earned the nickname the ‘golden generation’… He is a very special person and a man who gave me the best football education. ”
Future success?Sousa was an integral part of the Portuguese side who, sadly, flattered to deceive at UEFA EURO 96 before reaching the final four at UEFA EURO 2000™. But, with the ‘platinum generation’ now coming to the fore, what does he make of the latest band of Portuguese stars who came so close to success at UEFA EURO 2004™?. “[Luiz Felipe] Scolari has done a wonderful job bridging the gap between the two generations.

Zidane hints at sensational France return
eleven-a-side.com – Apr 1, 2005
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Zidane hints at sensational France return
April 1, 2005
Real Madrid galactico Zinedine Zidane has indicated that he may be willing to return to the France national squad for the World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland of Ireland in Dublin in September. Zidane was one of several top-rank players to call time on their international careers after last summer?s Euro 2004 finals. Defenders Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly and Bixente Lizarazu all opted to end their careers after the finals in Portugal, while Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele followed suit in the autumn. But, in a development that is sure to put fear into the hearts of the Swiss, Irish and Israelis, Zidane has admitted he may not yet have made his swansong for Les Bleus. He told French sports daily L?Equipe: “Return to Dublin, play before 50,000 Irish, win and leave, that would do me good. ?
France are currently top of the Group Four table, ahead of Israel on goal difference… Zidane was one of several top-rank players to call time on their international careers after last summer?s Euro 2004 finals. Defenders Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly and Bixente Lizarazu all opted to end their careers after the finals in Portugal, while Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele followed suit in the autumn. But, in a development that is sure to put fear into the hearts of the Swiss, Irish and Israelis, Zidane has admitted he may not yet have made his swansong for Les Bleus. He told French sports daily L?Equipe: “Return to Dublin, play before 50,000 Irish, win and leave, that would do me good. ?
France are currently top of the Group Four table, ahead of Israel on goal difference. However, Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland, who each have a game in hand on the leading duo, are just one point further. France coach Raymond Domenech, who has been under growing pressure after his side?s struggles continued with draws against the Swiss and the Israelis over the past seven days, admitted he would welcome Zizou?s return.

Eriksson backs Beckham’s captaincy
People's Daily Online – Mar 30, 2005
Beckham’s value to the England cause has often been questioned in the British media since Euro 2004, but Eriksson refused to doubt the Real Madrid’s player’s ability. “I feel embarrassed talking about whether he should be in the squad, in the team and whether he should be captain,” Eriksson said. “He’s in the squad, he’s in the team and he’s the captain. I think the expectations that are put on him are extremely high… But it’s not fair to expect that every time. And from there to saying he shouldn’t be in the squad or the team is going very far,” he added.

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