Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

April 13, 2005

Beckham good in anchor role but needs to face top players

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 11:15 am

The News Review:

* Goalkeeping Pope beats polo-playing prince
* It’s time to decide on middle England
* Sport on TV: The Milan derby was a dream – the kind you get after…
* Beckham good in anchor role but needs to face top players
* Late goal denies Scotland a rare victory
* Zidane pressured to rejoin ailing France
* Home Office says fight against football hooliganism is working
* France step up Zidane campaign
* FOOTBALL EUROPE: Centre-backs take centre stage
* Valencia confirm Baros interest
* Barthez must play waiting game
* Packed agenda for Tallinn

Goalkeeping Pope beats polo-playing prince
Financial Times – Apr 8, 2005
The players then hugged, prayed, joined the crowd in singing Poland’s national anthem and abandoned the match. Charles inspires less devotion. He is not a regular guy and part of the problem is polo. Not only does he play the world’s most exclusive sport, he practically lives it. Polo has shaped his image: an iconic photograph of him, sold in countless souvenir shops, shows him adjusting his genitals beneath his polo kit. Princess Diana even claimed that the induced birth of Prince William was scheduled so as not to clash with Charles’s matches. “We found a day that Charles could get off his polo pony for me to give birth… The last prince of the pre-media age, he wasn’t brought up to charm subjects. He is slowly learning. When he visited the Channel Islands during the Euro 2004 football tournament, a subject asked him: “Did you watch the football, your royal highness?” Charles, briefed beforehand, was able to come back with something like: “That chap Rooney’s done rather well. ” His sons have to do better than that. In a written interview just before turning 18, William said: “I enjoy water polo, football and rugby – mostly team sports,” and added that he liked “watching football and rugby matches”. Somehow he omitted to mention polo. Yet he had intended to spend his year after school playing it in Argentina, a plan vetoed as too decadent by advisers and his father.

It’s time to decide on middle England
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Apr 11, 2005
Ask one of them to act as the screen in front of the back four, and immediately you’re emasculating them. Listeners to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Fighting Talk on a Saturday morning will be familiar with the entertaining observations of Greg Brady, an American sports broadcaster. During Euro 2004, Greg and I — with the help of several salt and pepper pots and bottles of Rioja as tactical aides — debated this point long into one night. Greg’s a huge Lampard fan but I maintained then and still do that it’s hard to accommodate both players in the same England team. In the France game in Euro 2004 both were disciplined, with one always making sure he held the position in front of the back four if the other was attacking, but that didn’t get the best out of them. It was an uneasy compromise. It might have worked against Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan, but when it comes to the sharp end of the World Cup, the best-balanced teams are the ones who will prosper… Who complemented Zidane’s artistry in France’s all-conquering teams of 1998 and 2000? The original water-carrier himself — Didier Deschamps. It is not the best 11 players who will win the World Cup but the best team. That’s the same in any sport, not just football. France had problems in Portugal trying to play Zidane, Henry, Trezeguet and Pires. Jacques Santini wasn’t brave enough to leave one of them out. There are several candidates for England’s holding midfield position: Butt is just returning from injury but has the benefit of experience.

Sport on TV: The Milan derby was a dream – the kind you get after…
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 13, 2005
But the odd – and perhaps most disturbing – thing is, like a cheese-driven nightmare, that sort of yobbery can easily be stopped. The solution is simple. At Euro 2004, every spectator was searched as they went into every stadium and potential missiles were confiscated; I had a tube of sun cream taken from me, giving grounds, presumably, to sue the organisers in 10 years time when I am coated in melanomas. In Britain, the chances of getting a small flag into most grounds is zero, as you will be relieved of it at the turnstile. In Italy, though, fans arrive at games loaded up with more incendiary devices than the Royal Artillery. This wasn’t a small minority hurling stuff on the pitch. As Drury pointed out, quite a number of Inter fans were involved… As Kevin Geary quipped on BBC News over footage of their first goal: “Frank Lampard has had so many lucky in-offs lately he could win the world snooker championships. “Luck, though, didn’t come in to it during the climax of the Masters (BBC2, Sunday), when Tiger Woods produced what may be the greatest golf shot of all time on the 16th. What will have pleased him most is not that the ball, after appearing to be travelling into another state, suddenly veered towards its target as if magnetically attracted. No, it was the way it hovered for an age on the lip of the hole, allowing the Nike tick on its side to be picked up by every camera in the vicinity. Kerching: another juicy endorsement payment on its way. • My apologies to Matt Lorenzo, of Sky Sports News, for confusing him with his colleague, Dave Clark, in last week’s column.

Beckham good in anchor role but needs to face top players
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 9, 2005
My main complaint is Sven’s repeated use of Owen Hargreaves as a substitute. He’s obviously got a thing about him. He sees something in the player that no one else can. He’s brought him on in every single game he’s played and it hasn’t worked yet… It’s not really 4-5-1; it’s sort of a flexible 4-3-2-1. Basically, it’s one front man with two widish, forward-type players joining in centrally and trying to get wide. With England’s obvious weakness of not having a natural holding player, it’s a way round being outnumbered in midfield. You can crowd it a little bit with three bodies in there. It also gives Sven options. It gives him a bit more flexibility. He could bring in someone like Michael Carrick, who’s more of a natural holding player, or Scott Parker, if he continues to progress, and still have Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the middle.

Late goal denies Scotland a rare victory
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 9, 2005
Close, but not close enough, it transpired, because with the scoreboard clocks flicking towards full time Italian substitute Fabio Grosso levelled the match when he struck out at a corner kick – the ball had been glanced back by Darren Fletcher and flicked off the line by Craig Gordon – to see it deflect off Jackie McNamara to ricochet into the net. Now Scotland must beat Norway in Oslo on Wednesday to sustain any hope of a World Cup play-off place but at least Smith’s promise of extended progress in the quality of Scotland’s performance was entirely borne out in a first half which saw the Italians repeatedly harassed into making uncharacteristic errors as they were evidently taken aback by the pace and variety of Scottish play. There were bellows of encouragement as Scotland began to make ground in keeping with the Smith formula of getting the midfield players into quick support of Kenny Miller in his role as lone attacker… Hartley’s cross was a striker’s dream, swinging away from the goalkeeper and dropping into no man’s land in the heart of the penalty area. While Zambrotta watched, Miller pounced in classic centre forward style, coming across his defender to glance a header back and beyond Peruzzi and into a net which seemed to ripple with native delight as it welcomed the gift. Energised beyond anything seen in their performance since they beat Dick Advocaat’s Dutch at the same venue in the Euro 2004 play-offs, Scotland took on a new guise as marauders, with Hartley in particular creating trouble on the right, so much so that Zambrotta’s eventful evening extended to a caution for a blatant foul on the Tynecastle man. To sustain such invention for prolonged periods against Marcello Lippi’s side was a fanciful notion, but for a period in the middle of the half Italy were quite simply ragged and uncertain, misplacing clearances and upfield passes and niggling at each other’s efforts. Always, however, at the back of the mind was the realisation that they possessed the class and guile to inflict painful wounds and it took a brilliant full stretch interception by the tireless Hartley to take a delightful Pirlo chip off Zambrotti’s toe. As half-time approached an unwelcome trend was discerned as Italian players went down at will and Lubos Michel was persuaded to award undeserving free kicks. One ludicrous collapse, by Francesco Totti, gave Pirlo the chance to put the Scots under serious pressure inside their box but massed defending again came to the rescue of Smith’s men.

Zidane pressured to rejoin ailing France
The Age – Apr 10, 2005
Zidane has not played for France since Euro 2004 and last weekinsisted he had no plans to return. Frenchman Wenger says the 32-year-old could find the pressureimpossible to ignore.

Home Office says fight against football hooliganism is working
24dash.com – Apr 11, 2005
Mr Goggins said: “These statistics are extremely encouraging – with an 11% decrease in the number of football-related arrests and an average of just 1. 21 arrests per game it is clear that the tough legislation to stamp out football hooliganism together with targeted policing and enforcement is continuing to be effective. “I am particularly pleased to see that only six arrests were made at overseas England and Wales international matches, building on the generally excellent behaviour of fans attending Euro 2004. “This is reassuring, particularly in the run up to next year’s World Cup. We are committed to continue working hard to tackle football hooliganism both domestically and internationally, wherever English and Welsh teams are playing. “However, we are not complacent. Football hooliganism is still a lingering menace, albeit among a small minority of supporters, and we will not tolerate it… We are committed to continue working hard to tackle football hooliganism both domestically and internationally, wherever English and Welsh teams are playing. “However, we are not complacent. Football hooliganism is still a lingering menace, albeit among a small minority of supporters, and we will not tolerate it. “We continue to work closely with the police, football authorities and fans’ associations and that is why I am today launching the new frontline UK Football Policing Unit. “It will provide a direct link between intelligence, policing operations and banning orders to better meet the needs of the policing specialists in local forces. ”
The new policing unit brings together various strands of the policing football infrastructure, including the Football Banning Orders Authority, the National Criminal Intelligence Service football intelligence section, UK National Football Information Point and the ACPO policing football support team. UKFPU will help ensure delivery of English and Welsh policing operations at local, national and international level.

France step up Zidane campaign
Irish Independent – Apr 9, 2005
Zidane has not played international football since France was eliminated from Euro 2004 and this week he insisted that he had no plans to reverse that decision. However, Wenger believes that his 32-year-old compatriot, who plans to retire from club football in 2007, may find the pressure impossible to ignore. “It looks like the (France) coach is open to it, and there is a big pressure in France, linked with the fear that we will not go to the World Cup, to call him back,” said Wenger. “There is so much money now on the World Cup qualification that there is great pressure for Zidane to come back. Is it too late? Is it good? I don’t know frankly.

FOOTBALL EUROPE: Centre-backs take centre stage
noticias.info – Apr 11, 2005
Ferdinand concernCentral to his dilemma is Ferdinand, who has looked out of sorts this season and attracted recent criticism from press and fans alike. Two of the goals at Middlesbrough resulted from Ferdinand’s hesitancy, and at the Stade de France on Wednesday, Matt Moussilou’s clever run pulled the centre-half out of position, allowing Milenko A?imovi? to score Lille’s winner. Sir Alex has not commented at length on Ferdinand’s recent performances, although perhaps it was telling that, in the continued absence of captain Roy Keane with a broken metatarsal – as well as Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville – the armband has not passed to Ferdinand. Incentive to impressIn many ways, the fortunes of Terry and Ferdinand over the past 12 months have mirrored those of their respective clubs. Whereas the Chelsea captain has grown in stature and is now an indispensable figure for club and country, Ferdinand’s lustre has steadily faded since his return from an eight-month suspension imposed after he missed a drugs test – resulting in the defender sitting out UEFA EURO 2004?, in which Terry performed creditably in his place. Perfect momentFerdinand has undoubtedly been singled out to an extent; what was once seen as composure and assurance is currently viewed as over-confidence and lack of concentration. Ferdinand, however, is a top-class footballer who will doubtless bounce back… Sir Alex has not commented at length on Ferdinand’s recent performances, although perhaps it was telling that, in the continued absence of captain Roy Keane with a broken metatarsal – as well as Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville – the armband has not passed to Ferdinand. Incentive to impressIn many ways, the fortunes of Terry and Ferdinand over the past 12 months have mirrored those of their respective clubs. Whereas the Chelsea captain has grown in stature and is now an indispensable figure for club and country, Ferdinand’s lustre has steadily faded since his return from an eight-month suspension imposed after he missed a drugs test – resulting in the defender sitting out UEFA EURO 2004?, in which Terry performed creditably in his place. Perfect momentFerdinand has undoubtedly been singled out to an extent; what was once seen as composure and assurance is currently viewed as over-confidence and lack of concentration. Ferdinand, however, is a top-class footballer who will doubtless bounce back. Having been linked with Chelsea prior to signing a lucrative new United contract in the summer, he would dearly love to begin to answer his critics on Sunday. datos de la noticia

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Valencia confirm Baros interest
World Soccer – Apr 8, 2005
"We are negotiating with the Czech (Baros) and with four or five players of the same quality," he told Radio 9. "These players are from Europe and South America and we are trying to do things in plenty of time, both with Baros and with the others. "

Baros was the leading scorer at Euro 2004 but has struggled this season and scored 13 goals for Liverpool. Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, who ironically led Valencia to the Spanish league title last season, has been linked with several players from his former team including Pablo Aimar and Ruben Baraja. However, Soler refused to discuss the possibility of any of his players leaving – arguing that any speculation could distract the team at a crucial stage of the season. "Some of the players who are coming are going to replace those who are already here, so it is for the best that we do not speak too much about the subject," he said. "I don’t want the team to lose concentration as we aim for our objective of returning to Europe… Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, who ironically led Valencia to the Spanish league title last season, has been linked with several players from his former team including Pablo Aimar and Ruben Baraja. However, Soler refused to discuss the possibility of any of his players leaving – arguing that any speculation could distract the team at a crucial stage of the season. "Some of the players who are coming are going to replace those who are already here, so it is for the best that we do not speak too much about the subject," he said. "I don’t want the team to lose concentration as we aim for our objective of returning to Europe.

Barthez must play waiting game
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Apr 10, 2005
He requested a delay and the FFF disciplinary commission will set a new date, with Thursday week the likeliest. Barthez’s posture has been confusing. He did not seek out El Achiri later that day, or subsequently, and is yet to issue an apology. His only public statements have hardly been designed to ingratiate himself with the football authorities. At a press conference ahead of France’s past two World Cup qualifying fixtures he made clear his intention to retire should he receive a year’s ban, and then attacked “a profession (football) that gets more and more rotten”. He also expressed concern about travelling to play in Israel with the national team because of the political situation there. In the meantime, he had two fine games for France, who are struggling to reach next year’s World Cup finals… In the meantime, he had two fine games for France, who are struggling to reach next year’s World Cup finals. The possibility of a year-long ban for Barthez is genuine. Italy’s Francesco Totti and the Swiss player Alexander Frei collected three-match bans from Uefa for spitting at opponents during Euro 2004, but the same offence against a referee earned the Yugoslavia international Mehmed Bazdarevic a 12-month suspension from all football in 1991. Barthez’s advisers hope the context, a friendly match, and the record of a long career full of eccentricities but no reputation for malevolence will count in his favour. At 33, his intention to retire if he receives the maximum ban should be taken at face value. He spent half of last season absent from competitive football after being dropped by Manchester United at the end of the 2002-3 season. He joined Marseille, where he won the European Cup in 1993, in the January 2004 transfer window, helping them reach the Uefa Cup final.

Packed agenda for Tallinn
uefa.comUEFA.com – Apr 12, 2005
Tallinn weekUEFA’s supreme executive body gathers on Tuesday and Wednesday, ahead of the XXIX Ordinary UEFA Congress, Europe’s football parliament, which is meeting in Tallinn on Thursday. EURO qualifiersEuropean football’s governing body is studying which format to use for the qualifying phase for the EURO final round in Austria and Switzerland in three years’ time. The format for UEFA EURO 2004™ involved ten group winners qualifying for the final tournament in Portugal, along with the host country and the winners of five qualifying play-offs staged over two legs on a home-and-away basis. Final venuesThe Executive Committee will also discuss and decide on the stadiums that will host the prestigious Champions League and UEFA Cup finals in the coming two seasons. CandidatesAmong the Champions League candidates are: Stade de France, Paris (2006 or 2007), Olympic Stadium, Athens (2006 or 2007), Luzhniki, Moscow (2006), Wembley Stadium, London (2007) and the Olympiastadion, Berlin (2007). The UEFA Cup hopefuls are: Karaiskaki, Athens (2006 or 2007), Hampden Park, Glasgow (2006 or 2007), Philips Stadium, Eindhoven (2006 or 2007) and Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, Seville (2006). Istanbul and LisbonThis year’s Champions League showpiece will be staged at the Atatürk Olympic stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on 25 May, while the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon, Portugal hosts the UEFA Cup final on 18 May… The ‘B’ list will also continue to exist – involving an unlimited number of Under-21 players who have been at the club for two seasons. UEFA’s concernUEFA is concerned that some clubs are not training enough of their own players, but simply taking them from elsewhere. The proposed measures have the objective of creating a better balance in domestic competitions, preventing clubs from simply ‘hoarding’ players in squads and creating a system whereby locally-trained players would be given a greater opportunity to play regularly in club sides – ensuring a large reservoir of talent for national teams. Strategy and assistanceDelegates at the Tallinn Congress will also hear how UEFA views the coming decade in terms of its overall strategy as European football’s umbrella body, and an update will be given on the progress of UEFA’s ambitious HatTrick assistance programme for its member associations and the overall benefit of the European game.

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