Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

May 10, 2005

Under pressure

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 9:19 am

The News Review:

* ’Arrivederci!’ Nedvìd abandons national team
* Eriksson and FA remain united in last-chance saloon
* Chelsea warned off Gilardino
* Under pressure
* Heskey’s tour of duty
* Portugal’s best-kept secret for swingers
* Great coaches must do more than just pick the best XI
* Man cleared of neighbour’s murder
* ESPNsoccernet – Europe – Reggina v Bologna Report
* FIFA WORLD CUP: Domenech unfazed by absentees
* WORLD CUP 2006: Portugal on the brink, Swiss and French face off

’Arrivederci!’ Nedvìd abandons national team
Czech Business Weekly – May 9, 2005
At 33, Nedv?d told Br?ckner, he felt he did not have enough power to handle his responsibilities to both teams. ?I thought that his original decision [to withdraw from the national team] was affected by emotions,? Br?ckner said, adding, however, that ?it was a cool-headed decision, so there?s not much we could do about it. ? Nedv?d first announced his intentions not long after the Czech team?s campaign last summer at Euro 2004. Nedv?d suffered a serious knee injury in the semifinal game against Greece, and he did not fully recover for the start of the next Serie A season. Frustrated, Nedv?d then said that he did not feel healthy enough to carry on playing for the Czechs. In 2004, Nedv?d was awarded his fifth Golden Ball trophy for the best Czech football player, while only a year before UEFA, European football?s governing body, bestowed on him the title of top European footballer. Losing such a player was hard to accept for Br?ckner.

Eriksson and FA remain united in last-chance saloon – May 9, 2005
Three tournaments and Sven is out. A school of thought has developed in certain corners of the building that Eriksson will actually resign when England’s tour around the playing fields of Saxony and Bavaria concludes. This would be two years before his contract is due to expire, meaning he would forego a pay-off running into millions but sparing him the ignominy of dismissal. As ever in the wake of a major tournament, the managerial job market will be busy next summer and Eriksson would not be short of offers from clubs… Martin O’Neill enjoys support within Soho Square. Such names will dominate FA thoughts next July. If Eriksson does not walk, the FA may have to pay a settlement of between £5-£8 million, plus compensation to the employers of Eriksson’s replacement. Soho Square is hardly awash with cash, yet not reaching the 2008 European Championship finals would cost English football about £100 million in missed revenue. For now, the FA are united in their support for Eriksson. A decent if overly cautious coach, Eriksson deserves one final chance. So the game’s governors will ride the waves of disapproval lapping at the clay feet of Eriksson and hope, fingers-crossed, touching all the woodwork, the Swede can deliver in the summer.

Chelsea warned off Gilardino – May 10, 2005
We have sold Adriano for ?50million and Alberto, who has done more in terms of numbers, cannot be worth less. ”
Parma are looking to sell their top players to ease their financial problems but not at any price. Gilardino was the most prolific Italian scorer last season in Italy’s top flight with 23 goals but was not included in Giovanni Trapattoni’s Euro 2004 squad. He has since become a regular in Marcello Lippi’s national team, however.

Under pressure
The Observer – May 8, 2005
I had been reading all season that he was no longer the influence of old, that there was something wan and distracted about his performances, and I wanted to see for myself what was going on. ‘Not so long ago Vieira’s meaning in English football was immense,’ wrote James Lawton, in characteristic twilight mode, in the Independent in December, ‘[but] if Arsène Wenger’s expression seems to be permanently haunted at the moment it, no doubt, has much to do with the decline of Vieira’s influence. ‘ Article continues… He’s usually one of the most relaxed and laid-back people you can meet, but this season you could sense the tension within him. ‘Vieira, according to friends, has spent much of the past year in a condition of heightened tension. Last summer, when he returned home to London following France’s disappointing showing at Euro 2004, he knew that, this time, he wanted to join Real Madrid, the club that had first tried to sign him in the summer of 2001. He knew, too, that by leading Arsenal through a whole season unbeaten in the Premiership there was nothing more to achieve at a club that had neither the depth of squad nor the resources to win the Champions League. Vieira longed to act, to become a Madrid player, and yet he could not act. He withdrew deeper into himself, suspended uneasily between a desire to act and the final delayed act of decision itself. He felt powerfully conflicted and recognised the need, indeed the necessity, of talking through the experience of his uncertainty with others.

Heskey’s tour of duty
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – May 8, 2005
Used on article pages to rotate the images of a story. Nearly 12 months ago the man they call Bruno was on the ropes, unwanted by Liverpool and dropped by Sven-Göran Eriksson after being blamed for the goal that cost England their lead against France at Euro 2004. Like the fighter from whom he gained his sobriquet, Heskey has never been short of critics (count me in) and has endured constant references to his shortcomings, but he has a big heart, as well an impressive physique, in common with Frank Bruno, and has fought his way back from adversity. By way of reward, he will be feted on Wednesday as Birmingham’s best player this season, and 24 hours later he is due to be included in the 23 that Eriksson will take to Chicago and New York for friendly internationals against the USA and Colombia at the end of the month. His career back on track, this most genial of giants was all smiles on Friday afternoon, when he spoke of his old club’s success in reaching the Champions League final, the help he had received from his new manager, Steve Bruce, and his rivalry with Southampton’s Peter Crouch and Shola Ameobi, of Newcastle, for the target man’s role with England. Life has changed since his £6… It is, he says, like going back to where it began for him, at Leicester, where many believe he played his best football. The man himself contends that the best is yet to come and, still only 27, he may have a point. Any improvement, however, is not going to transform him into the new Alan Shearer. “I’m a 10 or 11 goals a season guy,” he says with a shrug. “My record shows that, and it’s not going to change. ” It was not enough for Liverpool, but it is for Birmingham, where Bruce, the manager who bought him, says: “He’s the best centre- forward of his type in England. He should go (to the US).

Portugal’s best-kept secret for swingers
Irish Independent – May 8, 2005
That is not to disparage the Algarve, which has long and rightly been hailed as one of the most enjoyable destinations for the ‘have clubs will travel’ brigade, but the delights of Portugal are not confined to its sun-caressed southern shores. Far from it, in fact. The Lisbon area offers it all – and at prices which will make you wonder why you bother your backside with rip-off Ireland at all. We visited in April, and while the nights were chillyin a welcoming sort of way, the days were gloriously sunny and perfect for golf. And the warmth is not just confined to the weather… The real golfers will, of course, want to know what the courses are like. Our base was the Praia d’el Rey resort, 75 minutes north of Lisbon, in the heart of the beautiful Oeste region and close to the spectacular walled medieval town of Obidos. The Portuguese and Swiss soccer squads were based here during Euro 2004, and with the Atlantic crashing around the edge it certainly makes for a spectacular setting. Spectacular is a word which could also be easily applied to the course itself. Infuriating is another. Gusting offshore breezes make it a supreme golfing test for the low-handicapper, while the hacker would be quite happy to keep the same ball for a few holes.

Great coaches must do more than just pick the best XI – May 9, 2005
On the subject of Eriksson’s substitutions, however, things become a little more contentious. You could, if you want, have a legitimate pop at the coach’s ability to think on his feet during the heat of battle, at his aptitude for making the right call when the pressure cranks up. Think back to Euro 2004 and the Swede’s calamitous decision in the quarter-final against Portugal to replace the injured Wayne Rooney with Darius Vassell, a figure more ill-suited than most to playing up front on his own. Much to England’s frustration, the ball just kept coming back. Hindsight, I know, is a wonderful thing but Emile Heskey, with his extra physical presence, would surely have proved a better bet. Perhaps Eriksson was put off by the incident 11 days earlier when Heskey actually did replace Rooney in the opener against France, only to give away the free-kick from which Zinedine Zidane scored – another substitution that backfired… Where before composure reigned, uncertainty quickly set in. In a matter of minutes the side fell apart. It all seemed very strange, not to say worrying, after another puzzling substitution proved counter-productive. Just before his withdrawal, Wright-Phillips had begun to really settle down after a first half spent largely with his back to goal. After the break, though, Chelsea’s little winger started hugging the touchline to offer David Beckham a viable target he couldn’t pass up. The grateful recipient was lapping it up, attacking his full-back with genuine menace. So hesitant against Holland in February, Wright-Phillips was finding his rhythm, as proved by the cut inside and pass that led to Cole’s goal.

Man cleared of neighbour’s murder
BBC News – May 9, 2005
Andrew Lammas died on 2 July, 10 days after being assaulted outside his home in Austin Road, Charford, Bromsgrove. A jury at Worcester Crown Court found 34-year-old Andrew Edwards not guilty of murder on Monday. Mr Lammas, 44, who lived with his mother and brothers, was registered disabled and suffered with arthritis and curvature of the spine… Mr Lammas was punched and probably kicked to the ground a few yards from his home. He died in hospital from severe head injuries. Mr Edwards, also of Austin Road, Bromsgrove, was arrested on 27 July last year and charged with murder. He was also accused of witness intimidation and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and was cleared of those charges on Monday.

ESPNsoccernet – Europe – Reggina v Bologna Report – May 8, 2005
Reggina, playing in front of their noisy and loyal fans at the Stadio Oreste Granillo, were stung by the early setback and immediately sought to reply in kind. After 22 minutes Iocomo Balestri created a half-chance for team-mate Emiliano Bonazzoli but the former Verona and Parma hitman headed wide of the target. Reggina were not to be denied, though, and their equaliser came after 31 minutes. Giandomenico Mesto played a long ball which caught Bologna players Juarez and Carlo Nervo out of position and Esteves took full advantage of the collective defensive lapse to beat goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca. Reggina had the better of the closing stages of the first period but were unable to find the net again against some determined Bologna defending. When battle recommenced in the second half it was Bologna who made the brighter start and they could have retaken the lead after 48 minutes. Giunti played in a dangerous free-kick and Nicola Legrottaglie outjumped the Reggina defence but failed to get a header in on goal… At the other end Giacomo Tedesco’s free-kick almost caught out Pagliuca but the former Italian international goalkeeper managed to claw it away for a corner. Reggina almost gifted Bologna a winner after 77 minutes. Marco Zamboni’s clanger allowed Theodoros Zagorakis a clear run on goal but the man who skippered Greece to Euro 2004 glory last summer failed to get in a telling shot. However, chances were few and far between for both sides who probably would not be too disappointed with draws which inch them closer towards another season in the Italian top flight. Reggina could mathematically secure their top-flight status next week when they visit a Palermo side that is not in the best of form. Bologna next face two matches with teams in relegation trouble – Brescia and Chievo – and victory in either of those fixtures should be enough to banish any lingering doubts about which division they will play in next season.

FIFA WORLD CUP: Domenech unfazed by absentees – May 10, 2005
Jurietti chanceTrezeguet too sits out the qualifying double-header ? “I spoke with the Juventus [FC] medical staff and David cannot even walk properly,” Domenech revealed ? while defender Givet added to the coach’s selection worries by pulling out of the squad on Tuesday. His replacement, 30-year-old Franck Jurietti, is uncapped, but according to Domenech, “playing in the best defence in France” at FC Girondins de Bordeaux. Not so easyLes Bleus brushed aside Switzerland 3-1 at UEFA EURO 2004?, but the 0-0 draw at the Stade de France in March might be a more realistic gauge of the strength of the opposition. Strength in depthNevertheless, the coach is undaunted. “Regardless of the injuries, I still have several attacking options,” said Domenech, who has Sidney Govou, Djibril Ciss? and Sylvain Wiltord ready to step in. “I might be missing the two best strikers in the business, but I am confident the players on the pitch will play to their potential. Of course, I would have preferred to have everyone fit, but I put my trust in those who can play.

WORLD CUP 2006: Portugal on the brink, Swiss and French face off – May 10, 2005
Portugal are firm favourites to qualify from Group 3, but a fierce battle for the top spot is in prospect in Group 4. Portugal should book ticketPortugal, five points clear at the top of Group 3, ought to book their ticket to Germany on Saturday when they host Liechtenstein in Aveiro. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men will want to wipe out the memory of an embarrassing away result against the Alpine principality where they squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2, and they are certainly not going to underestimate their opponents again. Qualification will herald a new chapter for the team beaten on home turf in the UEFA EURO 2004 final. Scolari has somehow managed to remotivate a group of players traumatised by that setback, and to successfully blend youth and experience. Portugal have been further boosted by the return of Luis Figo and conducted a near-perfect qualifying campaign of 24 points from ten matches, recording seven wins and three draws and scoring 30 goals and only conceding four. Below the Portuguese, Slovakia and Russia host Estonia and Luxembourg respectively, and cannot afford to drop any points.

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