Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

April 19, 2005

channel4.com – French Football

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 3:30 pm

The News Review:

* Benitez in full control of unlikely adventure
* RTÉ Sport: Zidane rules out return
* Advocaat quits as Gladbach coach
* channel4.com – French Football
* Vorsprung durch Fussballtechnik
* channel4.com – Football Italia
* Butt out of Toon?
* ABC Sport – Football – Clubs facing expulsion after Melbourne soccer…

Benitez in full control of unlikely adventure
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 14, 2005
Benitez’s reaction to the news that Owen was being courted by Real was not to go down on bended knee. He wanted England’s senior striker to stay, but was unwilling to allow one player’s future to dominate his thinking about how Liverpool could be revived. On his first meeting with Gerrard and Owen, at the England camp during Euro 2004, Gerrard was told that he was doing too many jobs on the pitch and Owen was promised that he would find his best form again under the new regime. There was no deference to the two stars from the new manager. For a shy man, Benitez is blessed with immense confidence in his own ability. No wonder Real Madrid are sniffing around. If one test of a good manager is how many players improve in his care, Biscan, Traore, John Arne Riise and Neil Mellor can raise their hands… In that narrow sense, Liverpool hardly deserve to be where they are. There was also the mistake of fielding a shadow FA Cup side at Burnley. But the disparity between domestic and European form is not hard to explain. Like many foreign luminaries, Benitez was probably disorientated by the idiosyncrasies of the Premiership. Without show or false sincerity, he has reached out to the club’s supporters and embraced the great Anfield tradition. Late on Wednesday night in Turin, he remarked: “I’m delighted, proud and overjoyed to be in the semi-finals, but most of all I am so pleased to be manager of Liverpool – a club with such traditions – and to have been able to add just something to that history. “If Real Madrid can be repelled, Benitez will surely add a lot more before the Spanish sun sets over the Mersey.

RTÉ Sport: Zidane rules out return
rte.ie – Apr 14, 2005
“I have made a decision and I will not reconsider it, full stop,” the Real Madrid playmaker said in a brief statement on his website. The 32-year-old midfielder, who won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European championship with France, ended his international career after they were knocked out of Euro 2004 in August last year. French sports daily L’Equipe quoted him earlier this month as saying he might change his mind. Zidane denied the story but his statement did not stop the debate. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recently said that the pressure was growing on Zidane to resume playing for his country… “I have made a decision and I will not reconsider it, full stop,” the Real Madrid playmaker said in a brief statement on his website. The 32-year-old midfielder, who won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European championship with France, ended his international career after they were knocked out of Euro 2004 in August last year. French sports daily L’Equipe quoted him earlier this month as saying he might change his mind. Zidane denied the story but his statement did not stop the debate. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recently said that the pressure was growing on Zidane to resume playing for his country. France face a struggle to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and could definitely use the skills of the experienced playmaker.

Advocaat quits as Gladbach coach
CNN International – Apr 18, 2005
The five-time German champions have failed to win in their last five outings and are fourth-from-bottom on 30 points, one point above the relegation zone with five games left. Advocaat took over at Gladbach in November 2004, replacing Holger Fach, and despite making seven new signings has been unable to lift the club out of the relegation quagmire. The Dutchman, who led the Dutch to the Euro 2004 semifinals, is the sixth Bundesliga coach to leave his job so far this season. Gladbach beat Bayern Munich under Koeppel’s brief stewardship at the end of October. The five-times German champions and 1975 and 1979 UEFA Cup winners have just seven league victories this season. They also lost in the first round of the German Cup before Advocaat took charge. Moenchengladbach were a dominant force in German football in the 1970s, winning the Bundesliga in 1970 and 1971 and from 1975 to 1977… They also reached the 1977 European Cup Final, losing 3-1 to Liverpool. Advocaat’s contract, originally until June 2007, will be terminated at the end of June. He has signalled he will not seek compensation.

channel4.com – French Football
Channel 4 News – Apr 17, 2005
Ljuboja soon formed an electric partnership with Mamadou Niang and netted 16 top-flight goals in 53 games before joining PSG. Ljuboja’s love affair with France affected him to such an extent that he once revealed his dream was to represent his adopted country at international level. He could not turn down a call-up from Serbia and Montenegro, however, and played a central role in the EURO 2004 qualification campaign.

Vorsprung durch Fussballtechnik
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 16, 2005
So I’ve decided: if you can’t beat them, join them. “Don’t throw your weight back like that – keep your body leaning forwards. That way you keep control,” says Hans-Jürgen after my first effort soars over the bar in a manner all too reminiscent of David Beckham’s fateful kick against Portugal (Euro 2004). “Also, pick your spot, then try using the side of your foot. It may have less power, but it will be more accurate… This is getting to be fun. The idea of being instructed in the art of penalty-taking by a qualified German football coach has an irresistible appeal. I may not be called upon to demonstrate my skills in next year’s World Cup (being staged in Germany) but I may occasionally find myself being drawn into a “Dads v Boys” match at my son’s school, and I still hang my head in shame at a shocking miss in the penalty shoot-out last time around. And it’s not only penalty-taking that needs a bit of work. My football skills reached their peak about 30 years ago and are, to put it mildly, rusty. That’s why I am in Bavaria, one of the great engine rooms of the German footballing machine (and home to that other rather fine piece of Teutonic craftsmanship, the BMW motor car). I’ve enrolled at a “fathers and sons” football camp with my 12-year-old boy, Anton, to enjoy what I hope will be some real quality time with him – and to rekindle the love of the game that made me believe, when I was his age, that there could be nothing greater in life than to play for Chelsea.

channel4.com – Football Italia
Channel 4 News – Apr 18, 2005
But five goals in his last two League games have given some substance to the claims that Juventus have indeed signed the new Marco Van Basten. Ibrahimovic has enjoyed a splendid first season in Serie A since his £11m move from Ajax on transfer deadline day in the summer. Although he had been linked with the Turin giants for some time and had caught the eye with that back-heeled stunner against Italy at Euro 2004, not too many expected the Swede to be so super. It can even be argued that he arrived at the Delle Alpi as third choice attacker behind David Trezeguet and Alex Del Piero. That statement seems laughable right now because the youngster is undoubtedly the first name down on the team-sheet when Fabio Capello ponders his offensive options. Who knows where Juve’s Scudetto bid would be without him? Ibrahimovic seems well on the way to becoming a complete striker. He’s got power, some great technical ability – which is a hindrance at times seeing as he does overindulge in the sublime – and now an eye for goal.

Butt out of Toon?
go.com – Apr 18, 2005
The following week, Tottenham exposed Butt’s leisurely approach as he was robbed in key positions at either end of the pitch. And if he avoided criticism for the UEFA Cup quarter-final against Sporting Lisbon, it was because the former Champions League winner was an unused substitute in both legs. So where, as George Best was once asked, did it all go wrong? In 2002-3, Butt was not the only World Cup star to endure an anti-climactic return to club football. Though Sir Alex Ferguson regularly fielded two defensive midfielders, Phil Neville’s enthusiastic harrying kept Butt on the sidelines. The following season, an influx of central midfielders restricted him to a bit-part role again. Eriksson regarded him as a first choice for longer than Ferguson, which some might consider evidence of greater indecisiveness. But for the knee injury that ruled him out of Euro 2004 and, it has been suggested, the intervention of Steve McClaren, he may have been preferred to Frank Lampard; with the benefit of hindsight, pitting a fading force against perhaps Europe’s most complete midfielder is an unequal contest… The following season, an influx of central midfielders restricted him to a bit-part role again. Eriksson regarded him as a first choice for longer than Ferguson, which some might consider evidence of greater indecisiveness. But for the knee injury that ruled him out of Euro 2004 and, it has been suggested, the intervention of Steve McClaren, he may have been preferred to Frank Lampard; with the benefit of hindsight, pitting a fading force against perhaps Europe’s most complete midfielder is an unequal contest. Instead, Butt’s England career may have ended in miserable anonymity in Madrid in November where the cultured passing of Xavi and Xabi Alonso exposed his limitations. The duopoly of Gerrard and Lampard is one cause, but Eriksson favoured younger alternatives in his squad for the Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan games. And in the meantime, he had become the second of Fergie’s Fledglings to leave Manchester United. David Beckham may feel himself upwardly mobile at the Bernabeu, but presenting Butt’s move as progress is tougher.

ABC Sport – Football – Clubs facing expulsion after Melbourne soccer…
abc.net.au – Apr 18, 2005
It was a lot of flares thrown at each other,” he said. “The police were fantastic, they moved in very quickly to quell the disturbance. But it’s not what I want to see at a soccer game in Victoria. ”

Acting Superintendent Chris Duthie said police had been unable to obtain reassurances that the clubs could stop their fans from fighting. “I’m not totally satisfied with the result, however there’ll be further talks with the Federation and with each of the soccer clubs,” he said. “I wasn’t satisfied with the fact there was no guarantee that they could control the behaviour of their fans. ”

South Melbourne president George Donikian admitted there was long-standing tension between fans of the two clubs… But it’s not what I want to see at a soccer game in Victoria. ”

Acting Superintendent Chris Duthie said police had been unable to obtain reassurances that the clubs could stop their fans from fighting. “I’m not totally satisfied with the result, however there’ll be further talks with the Federation and with each of the soccer clubs,” he said. “I wasn’t satisfied with the fact there was no guarantee that they could control the behaviour of their fans. ”

South Melbourne president George Donikian admitted there was long-standing tension between fans of the two clubs. Mr Donikian said both clubs had worked together to put extra security measures in place, such as removing provocative banners. “We had the unfortunate occurrence a couple of years ago when we played them in a charity match, which turned out to be anything but charitable,” he said.

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