Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 7, 2005

Fletcher in no mood to say goodbye to Keane or World Cup

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 11:08 am

The News Review:

* Beckham steps aside to push the spotlight on Lampard
* Katsouranis keeps believing
* Ruthless Eriksson turns his back on Ferdinand at last
* Fletcher in no mood to say goodbye to Keane or World Cup
* RTÉ Sport: Swiss don’t fear French, says Kuhn
* Gerrard goes on the defensive in search of redemption
* Parma value Gilardino at over £34m
* Dutch coach warns Van Nistelrooy | FOOTBALL | SPORT | tvnz.co.nz
* Sol to answer England call
* Plavi restore lost pride
* FIFA World Cup – News & Features
* FIFA World Cup – News & Features

Beckham steps aside to push the spotlight on Lampard
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 7, 2005
Beckham approached Lampard last season after failing to score in critical matches against Turkey, in England’s final qualifier for Euro 2004, and against France and Portugal during the tournament. He had insisted that he would continue but, having consulted Sven-Göran Eriksson, the head coach, he offered Lampard the chance to take the spot kicks. England have not been awarded a penalty since Euro 2004 so Lampard, who has an excellent record from 12 yards with Chelsea, has yet to be tested since taking over the duties. However, he did score in the shoot-out defeat by Portugal. Beckham, famously, lost his footing with England’s first effort, which flew into the stands off the outside of his boot. It remains to be seen whether that will be his last penalty for England but, if it is, his record will read five successes from eight attempts. The most famous of the goals was against Argentina in the 2002 World Cup finals at the Sapporo Dome in Japan.

Katsouranis keeps believing
uefa.comUEFA.com – Oct 7, 2005
Denmark encounterAlready Ukraine have ensured the automatic qualification place from Group 2, and if Greece do not win in Denmark, even a play-off place is likely to be beyond them. Indeed, if it were not for two late goals in Kazakhstan last month, Otto Rehhagel’s side would already be as good as out. Familiar lineupThe side that has played in qualification is largely the same as the lineup that produced that stunning run of results on the road to UEFA EURO 2004™ and then in Portugal. Among those is AEK Athens FC captain Konstantinos Katsouranis, the anchor in midfield. com spoke to him as he prepared for Saturday’s crucial game in Copenhagen… com spoke to him as he prepared for Saturday’s crucial game in Copenhagen. com: Why has the superb EURO 2004™ form been so hard to recapture?
Konstantinos Katsouranis: In Portugal, our performances took our opponents by surprise. Now, the element of surprise is gone. Everybody wants a shot at the European champions and they are more prepared for us. I also believe that a qualifying stage for a big competition such as the [UEFA] European Championship or the World Cup is perhaps more difficult and demanding than the final stage. From match to match, the circumstances change dramatically and club engagements take a toll on the players’ fitness, readiness and concentration.

Ruthless Eriksson turns his back on Ferdinand at last
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 7, 2005
Beckham has proved his humility in passing on the spot kicks, while, in dropping one of the big names hitherto regarded as untouchable, Eriksson has at last bared his teeth. Omitting Ferdinand from the side to face Austria at Old Trafford tomorrow might be regarded as one of the easier calls for a head coach given that the centre half has shown such slackness since the 2002 World Cup finals, when he was outstanding. The eight-month ban for failing to take a drugs test was by far the most remarkable episode, costing him a place at Euro 2004, but there have been dozens of misadventures, mostly self-inflicted. Socialising with Peter Kenyon, the Chelsea chief executive, in the midst of contract negotiations with United epitomised the arrogance of a footballer who has been indulged for far too long by Sir Alex Ferguson. The United manager’s only sanction has been to deprive Ferdinand of the vice-captaincy. Extraordinarily, it has taken Eriksson to administer the sort of sizeable shock that just might force Ferdinand to question his priorities (he went nightclubbing on the eve of the FA hearing into his drugs test). Forced to choose between John Terry, Sol Campbell and Ferdinand for the first time since the latter was banned, Eriksson went on form… Extraordinarily, it has taken Eriksson to administer the sort of sizeable shock that just might force Ferdinand to question his priorities (he went nightclubbing on the eve of the FA hearing into his drugs test). Forced to choose between John Terry, Sol Campbell and Ferdinand for the first time since the latter was banned, Eriksson went on form. That has not always been the top of his selection criteria but Terry has made himself undroppable, while Campbell has impressed in his five matches for Arsenal since coming back from injury. Campbell will be hugely relieved.

Fletcher in no mood to say goodbye to Keane or World Cup
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 6, 2005
This is now growing-up time. With Scotland, it is great being in the midfield and working with quality players like Barry Ferguson, Paul Hartley or Nigel Quashie. ” The goal against Lithuania, of course, took Scotland to the Euro 2004 play-offs against Holland and Fletcher believes that can be repeated again if the Scots take six points from Belarus on Saturday and then away to Slovenia next Wednesday. “The excitement is starting to get to everyone now,” he said. “The fans are telling us we’re going to Germany and the players are having to tell everyone to relax and just focus on one game at a time. “Belarus are a quality side. I am surprised they are not up there in the mix for a play-off spot.

RTÉ Sport: Swiss don’t fear French, says Kuhn
rte.ie – Oct 6, 2005
“I don’t think my players will have any inferiority complex to deal with when they step out on the pitch on Saturday,” Kuhn said. “Particularly when you consider that we held France to a draw in the away match. “We know not to overestimate the importance of that 0-0, because France certainly had more of the match in Paris – and more of the goal chances. But I think we also sold ourselves pretty well that night. ”
Profiting from the emergence of young players like 20-year-old Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos, 20-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta and Breda’s 19-year-old striker Johan Vonlanthen, the Swiss go into Saturday’s match on the back of an 11-game unbeaten run. Their last defeat came at Euro 2004 – against the French, although Kuhn argues that the nature of that 3-1 loss can also help inspire his players ahead of their rematch in Bern. “We played really well against the French for 75 minutes in Portugal, before being caught cold by two late goals… But I think we also sold ourselves pretty well that night. ”
Profiting from the emergence of young players like 20-year-old Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos, 20-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta and Breda’s 19-year-old striker Johan Vonlanthen, the Swiss go into Saturday’s match on the back of an 11-game unbeaten run. Their last defeat came at Euro 2004 – against the French, although Kuhn argues that the nature of that 3-1 loss can also help inspire his players ahead of their rematch in Bern. “We played really well against the French for 75 minutes in Portugal, before being caught cold by two late goals. ”
The 61-year-old Swiss trainer, who last month signed a two-year extension to his contract, said his team would not be getting carried away by the absence through injury of top French strikers David Trezeguet and Thierry Henry. “I don’t think it will have any effect on the French team, and that’s not meant as disrespect to either of those players,” Kuhn said. “It’s just that France have three, four or even five other possible players they can call on, whether it’s (Djibril) Cisse, (Sylvain) Wiltord or whoever.

Gerrard goes on the defensive in search of redemption
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 6, 2005
Used on article pages to rotate the images of a story. Yesterday, he appeared more downbeat than ever, but, sitting in an England tracksuit, he had good reason. “My performances of late have been very average,” he said. It was a remark that could have come from any number of Sven-Göran Eriksson’s squad and, sadly, no one was rushing to disagree. Claiming that he had begun to fear for his place — “I think it was in every players’ mind… “Me and Frank have been kicking lumps out of each for the past week and now we have to be best of mates and improve this relationship in the middle of the park. ” Their effectiveness together has been patchy and Gerrard candidly conceded that more than half of the blame should lie with him. The on-off move to Chelsea took its toll on him during Euro 2004, when he spent the time in between matches fretting over his club career. “Frank’s form was really good in the tournament,” he said. “Everyone knows I had distractions. I am not using those as an excuse, I wasn’t good enough. The idea for me is to get the team to the World Cup and hopefully you will see a different player in Germany.

Parma value Gilardino at over £34m
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 5, 2005
“Parma who are suffering financial problems may need to sell their top players to ease their debt but clearly will not sell 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 but has since become a regular in Marcello Lippi’s national team.

Dutch coach warns Van Nistelrooy | FOOTBALL | SPORT | tvnz.co.nz
TVNZ – Oct 7, 2005
Van Bastenwill travel to Prague with a 20-man squad. “Weplanned to travel with 19 players but because (Jan) Kromkamp isdoubtful I added an extra player,” he said. “IfKromkamp is not able to play Nigel de Jong will be his logicalreplacement. Van Bastenis unbeaten in 14 matches as national coach since he took over fromDick Advocaat in 2004, but he says the Czechs will be dangerouseven with five players missing through injury. “Withalmost a complete second team they beat Germany in the final groupmatch at Euro 2004, so they are still able to reach a high level,”said Van Basten. “Butmissing the two physical strikers, (Jan) Koller and (Vratislav)Lokvench, might give them some problems because they had a systemadjusted to these players for three years now. Netherlands have 28 points from 10 matches with the second-placedCzechs on 24… “IfKromkamp is not able to play Nigel de Jong will be his logicalreplacement. Van Bastenis unbeaten in 14 matches as national coach since he took over fromDick Advocaat in 2004, but he says the Czechs will be dangerouseven with five players missing through injury. “Withalmost a complete second team they beat Germany in the final groupmatch at Euro 2004, so they are still able to reach a high level,”said Van Basten. “Butmissing the two physical strikers, (Jan) Koller and (Vratislav)Lokvench, might give them some problems because they had a systemadjusted to these players for three years now. Netherlands have 28 points from 10 matches with the second-placedCzechs on 24. The Dutch finish their qualification campaign againstMacedonia in Amsterdam on Thursday.

Sol to answer England call
go.com – Oct 5, 2005
The former Tottenham defender then dispelled any doubts regarding his match fitness with a stalwart Champions League performance against Ajax in the Amsterdam ArenA. The Gunners’ defence has looked shaky in his absence, as has the England rearguard, and the Newham-born player’s return to fitness gives Eriksson a selection headache. According to a senior figure in the England camp Campbell will renew acquaintances with Chelsea skipper John Terry, who teamed up with the Gunner at Euro 2004 whilst Ferdinand served his eight-month ban for missing a drugs test. Campbell – who has 65 caps – won a place in the team of the tournament following England’s exploits in Portugal, an accolade he also achieved following World Cup 2002, but Terry’s contribution to Chelsea’s current dominance and his invaluable leadership skills means that the one-time fall guy has made himself virtually indispensable. Blues manager Jose Mourinho has hailed Terry as the most complete player he has ever worked with (a compliment at which the player no longer shifts with embarrassment) and the 24-year-old was an ever present as Chelsea scooped the league and Carling Cup double last term – weighing in with a series of important goals. And while goalscoring is not the modus operandi of a central defender it is worth noting that while both Terry and Campbell weigh in with goals for their clubs, Ferdinand has never scored for Manchester United. The former West Ham trainee’s current dip in form at Old Trafford follows the barracking he received from irate fans after he appeared to be stalling on signing a new contract… Campbell – who has 65 caps – won a place in the team of the tournament following England’s exploits in Portugal, an accolade he also achieved following World Cup 2002, but Terry’s contribution to Chelsea’s current dominance and his invaluable leadership skills means that the one-time fall guy has made himself virtually indispensable. Blues manager Jose Mourinho has hailed Terry as the most complete player he has ever worked with (a compliment at which the player no longer shifts with embarrassment) and the 24-year-old was an ever present as Chelsea scooped the league and Carling Cup double last term – weighing in with a series of important goals. And while goalscoring is not the modus operandi of a central defender it is worth noting that while both Terry and Campbell weigh in with goals for their clubs, Ferdinand has never scored for Manchester United. The former West Ham trainee’s current dip in form at Old Trafford follows the barracking he received from irate fans after he appeared to be stalling on signing a new contract. Supporters were booing the centre-back for his procrastination, despite the vast wages on offer. Consequently the 26-year-old’s performances began to slip and Ferdinand has been unable to get himself out of cruise control ever since. In his last match for United the defender failed to make two relatively simple clearances that led directly to goals.

Plavi restore lost pride
uefa.comUEFA.com – Oct 7, 2005
A 2-1 defeat by Azerbaijan all but ended their UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying hopes, ended the reign of Dejan Savićević, and was frankly a humiliation. World Cup hopesLittle more than two years on, everything has changed. Serbia and Montenegro lead FIFA World Cup qualifying Group 7 with two games remaining, ahead of the likes of Spain and Belgium. Indeed, under Savićević’s replacement, Ilija Petković, they are yet to lose a competitive game. Until a 1-1 draw with Spain last month the ‘Plavi’ had not even conceded a goal in their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign… Serbia and Montenegro lead FIFA World Cup qualifying Group 7 with two games remaining, ahead of the likes of Spain and Belgium. Indeed, under Savićević’s replacement, Ilija Petković, they are yet to lose a competitive game. Until a 1-1 draw with Spain last month the ‘Plavi’ had not even conceded a goal in their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign. Recovery from troublesSo, with victory in Lithuania on Saturday and against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday, Serbia and Montenegro will reach their first major tournament since the then Yugoslavia played at UEFA EURO 2000™. More than that, it would mean everything to a nation whose troubles in recent years are only too well documented. Sporting passionSerbia and Montenegro is not a rich country and for the people sport is everything. Despite recent successes in basketball and other disciplines, football remains the No1 sport and should qualification be achieved people will speak of little else for six months.

FIFA World Cup – News & Features
uefa.comUEFA.com – Oct 5, 2005
Weight of historyFrance visit Switzerland on Saturday knowing a victory against the Group 4 leaders, whom they trail on goal difference only, would secure top spot in the section and a place in the Germany finals. However, not since 1986 have the national team successfully negotiated a World Cup qualifying tournament, and if they are to scratch that itch, they will have to do so without a number of key players. On the sidelinesMissing from action in Berne this weekend will be Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet and Gaël Givet, all of whom are injured, plus the suspended Willy Sagnol and Fabien Barthez. In addition, Lilian Thuram is struggling with a knock and Zinedine Zidane only returned from a three-week lay-off on Sunday… 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 Cissé 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.

FIFA World Cup – News & Features
uefa.comUEFA.com – Oct 6, 2005
“But the best will come on Saturday. Decisive matches”In the past we have played very well at home in ‘must-win’ games,” he added. “We achieved automatic qualification for [UEFA] EURO 2004™ by beating the Republic of Ireland 2-0 two years ago. I’m sure we can be stronger than France, maybe not in the long run but certainly on the day. ”
Yakin absentThe 26-year-old remains confident of a notable Swiss success even though Hakan Yakin has not been called up. The playmaker’s absence may harm the supply lines to Frei, but he insists Jakob Kuhn’s side can do without the talented Yakin. “We have played without him before,” he shrugged… Decisive matches”In the past we have played very well at home in ‘must-win’ games,” he added. “We achieved automatic qualification for [UEFA] EURO 2004™ by beating the Republic of Ireland 2-0 two years ago. I’m sure we can be stronger than France, maybe not in the long run but certainly on the day. ”
Yakin absentThe 26-year-old remains confident of a notable Swiss success even though Hakan Yakin has not been called up. The playmaker’s absence may harm the supply lines to Frei, but he insists Jakob Kuhn’s side can do without the talented Yakin. “We have played without him before,” he shrugged. Swiss celebrityHowever, it was always going to be Frei rather than Yakin that the French would be nervous about.

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