Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 10, 2005

WORLD CUP 2006: Irish seek improvement, not luck

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 1:11 pm

The News Review:

* Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper – Sport
* Job done, but doubts remain
* So are they good or not?
* WORLD CUP 2006: Irish seek improvement, not luck
* Sports | Columns | Luis Bueno | PE.com | Southern California News |…
* ‘Spoilt’ fans decide Crouch carries the can
* England World Cup tickets in short supply
* BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Man Utd | Scholes refuses to concede…
* Riordan to step in as Scotland plug gaps
* Six more European teams go through
* Beckham the enigma is a victim again
* Scolari will leave after World Cup
* FIFA World Cup – News & Features
* Eriksson prefers Campbell to Ferdinand
* WORLD CUP 2006: Duel in Zagreb as Spain fear for fate
* Round-up of World Cup qualifiers

Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper – Sport
Gulf Times – Oct 8, 2005
They may also qualify as one of the best runnersup or via the playoffs. n David Beckham has stepped down as England?s penalty taker and any spot-kicks awarded during today?s World Cup qualifier against Austria will be taken by Frank Lampard. Beckham has not taken a penalty in any competitive match since Euro 2004, when he failed from the spot against France and in the quarter-final shoot-out against Portugal, which England lost. England?s head coach, Sven Goran Eriksson confirmed on Friday that Beckham had informed him of his intentions several months ago. ?The fact is David has not taken a penalty in a match for a long, long time,? Eriksson said. ?I don?t think he ever did it for Real Madrid, so that means the last one was for the national team (at Euro 2004), and Frank (Lampard) always takes them. ? Beckham also missed a penalty in England?s final qualifier for Euro 2004, against Turkey in Istanbul, where he blamed loose turf for an effort that he sent flying high over the bar.

Job done, but doubts remain
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 9, 2005
Two years later, at Euro 2004, his negativity, and unfathomable substitutions, again saw his team eliminated at the quarter-final stage in a competition won by Greece. Have lessons been learned? Are England set up to do better this time? The signs are not encouraging. Genuine World Cup contenders don’t lose competitive matches to Northern Ireland, nor do they select centre- forwards without a goal to their name, and they tend to know when they are playing Argentina (Eriksson said on Friday it was in October; it is on November 12). Too many of the man’s decisions are reactive, rather than pro-active. Advised time and again that he needed a Plan B, the conservative Swede flirted briefly with 4-5-1, only to go straight back to good old 4-4-2 when it didn’t work.

So are they good or not?
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 10, 2005
Both are celebrating qualification for next summer’s World Cup finals in Germany and wondering what the tournament will bring, but whereas one is happy that England have achieved the necessary results over the past 13 months, the other is querying the manner in which the team have flopped over the winning line. After a summer of exhilarating cricket, I was longing to be charmed by Sven-Göran Eriksson’s players on Saturday. It is so long since an England football performance in a competitive match was genuinely thrilling — the second half against Croatia at Euro 2004 perhaps, Denmark in the last World Cup maybe, but to be certain, you have to go back to that surreal night in Munich more than four years ago and that improbable 5-1 win over Germany. Saturday dawned eerily in Manchester. It was uncommonly bright, but a slate-grey sky was pregnant with rain; the sort of unsettling weather that preceeds an apocalyptic storm — perfect for a day of reckoning. Here was an England match that really mattered and after the stumbling early-season performances, the portents were not good. The manager was entering the sort of choppy waters that had sunk Graham Taylor, who was alongside me in the commentary box at Old Trafford, and that had nearly shipwrecked so many others who had been in that office.

WORLD CUP 2006: Irish seek improvement, not luck
noticias.info – Oct 10, 2005
Given they are also without the talismanic Roy Keane, who is injured, then the so-called luck of the Irish will be called into question. However, the Republic of Ireland coach is looking for no favours: only for hard work, commitment and a better standard of display from his talented squad. Almost three years to the day, Ireland lost their proud home record to Switzerland in a UEFA EURO 2004 qualifier. They had not lost at Lansdowne Road for 18 competitive matches but substitute Fabio Celestini’s 86th-minute winner ended that impressive sequence. Now Kerr’s men have the chance not only to gain revenge for that night, but also keep their dreams of travelling to Germany alive. The desire is there, the belief is there and the passionate Dublin crowd will be there.

Sports | Columns | Luis Bueno | PE.com | Southern California News |…
Press-Enterprise – Press-Enterprise (subscription) – Oct 8, 2005
His 44 goals over seven seasons surely merit a call to the national team, especially given Mexico’s lack of depth among strikers. Franco, however, has been lambasted by media, players, fans and coaches alike simply for the fact that his parents were gauchos and not vaqueros. A native of Argentina, Franco is not welcomed by a large number of Mexicans despite the fact that he became a Mexican citizen earlier this year. "I will never be content with a foreigner taking a spot that should be occupied by a Mexican," said Hugo Sanchez, Mexico’s best-ever player and now coach of Pumas. Some say using foreign talent impedes the national team’s progress. "By using a naturalized Mexican, of course it takes a spot away from a player born in Mexico," said Francisco "Kikin" Fonseca, who will likely start alongside Franco in Mexico’s qualifier against Guatemala today. A national team’s use of a foreign-born player is often seen as a weakness, as if admitting the caliber in the country is low and the team needs talent by all means possible… A national team’s use of a foreign-born player is often seen as a weakness, as if admitting the caliber in the country is low and the team needs talent by all means possible. While that may indeed be the case for some lesser-regarded sides, when a nation like Mexico or Portugal uses foreign-born players, the natives grow restless indeed. In the summer of 2004, Deco was set to be included on the Portuguese national team for Euro 2004. Luis Figo, who has since retired from international soccer, would have none of it. "I don’t think people would be happy in Spain if I became a Spanish national and played for the Spanish side," the then-Real Madrid midfielder said before the tournament. "It’s something that distorts team spirit and I don’t agree with it. If you’re born Chinese, well, you have to play for China.

‘Spoilt’ fans decide Crouch carries the can
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 10, 2005
As always with England, there were no in-betweens, just plain black and white. Meanwhile, our cousins in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland just cannot understand it. On a weekend when it was finally confirmed that not one of their number would be travelling to Germany next June, they labelled England supporters ungrateful and spoilt. Actually, “spoilt” is about right. That’s the whole point. Far too much talent lies within England’s ranks to let this moment pass without doing it justice. That’s why people get so upset when the team malfunction, as they have over the last four games… Hopefully, they won’t. As encouragement, it’s worth taking a quick glance at results elsewhere in Europe. On Saturday Euro 2004 finalists Portugal trailed to the mighty Liechtenstein until two second-half goals saved their blushes. France, still sweating on qualification, could only draw in Switzerland, while Italy “thrashed” Slovenia 1-0 to ensure safe passage – three major forces making hard work of their lot. In qualifying, England did exactly the same. Starting on Wednesday, Eriksson must quickly set about trying to reverse that trend.

England World Cup tickets in short supply
go.com – Oct 9, 2005
The FA will not know the exact number of tickets they will receive for eachgame until after the draw for the finals is made on December 9. But Soho Square stress tickets will only be made available to members of theorganisation ‘Englandfans’ which is the official England Supporters’ Club – aswas the case for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. The membership of Englandfans has already been capped at 25,000 to givemembers a realistic chance of obtaining access to tickets, and no moreapplications to join will be accepted before or during the World Cup. The FA have written to FIFA stating they will be willing to take anyadditional tickets which may become available for England matches, as was thecase for the group match with Croatia during Euro 2004 in Portugal. Supporters can also buy general tickets for the World Cup via the officialFIFA website – but tickets to specifically watch the England team are alreadysold out… The FA will not know the exact number of tickets they will receive for eachgame until after the draw for the finals is made on December 9. But Soho Square stress tickets will only be made available to members of theorganisation ‘Englandfans’ which is the official England Supporters’ Club – aswas the case for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. The membership of Englandfans has already been capped at 25,000 to givemembers a realistic chance of obtaining access to tickets, and no moreapplications to join will be accepted before or during the World Cup. The FA have written to FIFA stating they will be willing to take anyadditional tickets which may become available for England matches, as was thecase for the group match with Croatia during Euro 2004 in Portugal. Supporters can also buy general tickets for the World Cup via the officialFIFA website – but tickets to specifically watch the England team are alreadysold out. The FA are also strongly advising supporters not to buy tickets from any othersources as they are unlikely to gain access to matches.

BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Man Utd | Scholes refuses to concede…
BBC News – Oct 8, 2005
Chelsea – who have won every match so far this season – are 10 points clear of United, but Scholes said his side will not concede the title yet. “I think we’re better equipped to challenge Chelsea this season,” the 30-year-old told United magazine. “We know we’ve got to try to put a bit more pressure on them than last year. ”

Scholes recently suggested United’s title hopes would be over if they failed to beat Blackburn and Fulham.

Riordan to step in as Scotland plug gaps
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 8, 2005
“It also gives them the opportunity to do well enough to ensure they become permanent fixtures in the squad. “Barring call-offs, Riordan will get his chance at some stage. He has an eye for goal and, although he’s not the strongest physically, he has decent pace and can beat a man. “As for Rab, he’s never let anyone down here. Unfortunately, he was injured at the end of last season and Craig came in for him. He did exceptionally well in both games so it’s difficult to tell someone who’s done nothing wrong that he’ll be left out. It gives us good competition in that area and both of them will play next week… “Hearts, who lead the Scottish Premier League on goal difference from champions Rangers, strengthened their squad with two signings yesterday. Goalkeeper Steve Banks, 33, arrived from Gillingham as cover for Craig Gordon while Benfica left-back Panagiotis Fyssas signed a two-year contract. Fyssas, capped 46 times by Greece, was part of the side which triumphed at Euro 2004. “I’m sure he’ll prove to be a good signing,” said manager George Burley.

Six more European teams go through
abc.net.au – Oct 9, 2005
With Ukraine already through to join hosts Germany the remaining automatic qualifiers and play-off berths will be decided on Wednesday. The Netherlands advanced with 2-0 win at fellow Euro 2004 semi-finalists the Czech Republic – a result that had widespread ramifications as it also sent through England, Poland and Croatia kept Romania in the hunt for a Group One playoff spot after their 1-0 win in Finland. The clash in Prague between the top two in Group One lived up to expectations, particularly in an action-packed first half. Edwin van der Sar saved a harshly-awarded penalty by Tomas Rosicky in the 29th minute and a minute later Rafael van der Vaart put the Dutch ahead. Barry Opdam headed the second in the 37th and though the home side made most of the running after the break it was the massed ranks of orange-clad visiting fans celebrating at the end. The victory sent the Dutch to Germany as group winners with a game to spare and left the Czechs needing to win in Finland to pip Romania for second… However, it proved enough once the Dutch won as they and Poland, who were not in action, are guaranteed at least one of the two best-runners-up places. That left their Manchester meeting on Wednesday merely to decide the Group Six honours. Darijo Srna’s second-half penalty secured a 1-0 home win for Croatia that guaranteed them a place as at least one of the best runners-up once the Dutch had won. A point from Wednesday’s trip to Hungary would leave them top of the group. Sweden will also go through as at least the other best runners-up if they draw with Iceland but barring freak results they are as good as there already.

Beckham the enigma is a victim again
The Observer – Oct 9, 2005
What a curious relationship we have with the man. There are those who argue that he shows more invention at the hairdressers than he does on the football pitch, proof of his flightiness and lack of substance. It was always a point of view driven by herd instincts and a refusal to look below the bleach. They will have been quietly gleeful yesterday… But after a penalty in Japan against – who else? – Argentina, he went on to skip out of a tackle against Brazil, 30 seconds before half-time. They scored, England fell to pieces and he was returned to the stocks. Euro 2004 didn’t help. There weren’t that many who bemoaned Beckham’s move to Madrid. Least of all at Old Trafford. ‘Galactico’ – it seemed a name made for the artist previously known as Golden Bollocks.

Scolari will leave after World Cup
CNN International – Oct 10, 2005
Scolari became coach after leading Brazil to a fifth World Cup win in 2002 and took Portugal to the final of Euro 2004 – which they surprisingly lost to Greece. "If the World Cup goes badly, Scolari will not continue, but if it goes well, it will be impossible to keep him," said Portuguese FA president Gilberto Madail. Portugal secured their place in the 2006 World Cup finals on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Liechtenstein and complete their fixtures with a home match against Latvia on Wednesday. They have clinched first place in Group Three with eight wins and three draws from their 11 matches, and are currently the top scorers in the European qualifying programme with 32 goals, having conceded just five. "He will stay until the World Cup," Madail confirmed, "but if it was up to me, he would stay beyond that.

FIFA World Cup – News & Features
uefa.comUEFA.com – Oct 10, 2005
Good precedentFollowing their impressive 1-1 home draw against France on Saturday, the Swiss can virtually guarantee top spot in Group 4 – and progress to the Germany finals – by winning at Lansdowne Road. Unbeaten in 12 games, Jakob ‘Köbi’ Kuhn’s men will be on something of a roll, especially after defeating Ireland home and away en route to UEFA EURO 2004™ and having held their hosts 1-1 in Basle last September. ‘Fighting spirit’”We’ll certainly bear in mind the fact that we beat Ireland the last time we played them in Dublin,” said Kuhn. “But we will also be aware that we’ll be taking on a team who are not easy to beat, who throw everything they have into matches and who possess a great fighting spirit. The atmosphere in Dublin will be like a cauldron, but there will be pressure on the Irish too as they have to win to have any chance of reaching the finals. I think it will come down to which team has recovered best from Saturday’s matches, who has the better stamina and who copes best with the situation… Unbeaten in 12 games, Jakob ‘Köbi’ Kuhn’s men will be on something of a roll, especially after defeating Ireland home and away en route to UEFA EURO 2004™ and having held their hosts 1-1 in Basle last September. ‘Fighting spirit’”We’ll certainly bear in mind the fact that we beat Ireland the last time we played them in Dublin,” said Kuhn. “But we will also be aware that we’ll be taking on a team who are not easy to beat, who throw everything they have into matches and who possess a great fighting spirit. The atmosphere in Dublin will be like a cauldron, but there will be pressure on the Irish too as they have to win to have any chance of reaching the finals. I think it will come down to which team has recovered best from Saturday’s matches, who has the better stamina and who copes best with the situation. ”
Going for victoryUnlike Ireland, Switzerland would be certain of at least a play-off berth as group runners-up in the event of a draw – although Kuhn is playing down any effect this might have on his tactics. “Our primary aim will be to win,” said the coach, who turns 62 on Wednesday.

Eriksson prefers Campbell to Ferdinand
People's Daily Online – Oct 8, 2005
It would be the first time Eriksson has ever dropped 26-year-old Ferdinand for a competitive fixture. Jamie Carragher is poised to replace the injured Ashley Cole at left-back. Eriksson refused to confirm Terry’s selection, but admitted he would not play all three centre-halves. He said: “We have a lot of centre-halves, extremely good ones, I suppose three of them are top class in the world. “If I decided not to play three centre-halves I have to make a decision and play two of them. “If you have to take away one of the best centre-halves in the world it is a difficult one. ”
Ferdinand has been a regular starter at centre-back during Eriksson’s four-year reign as coach… But the Swede was forced to make changes during the Manchester United man’s eighth-month ban in 2004 for missing a drug test. Campbell and Terry became Eriksson’s preferred first-choice pairing and have never been on the losing side after 90 minutes inthe six games they have played together for England. Their only taste of defeat was in the Euro 2004 quarter-final against.

WORLD CUP 2006: Duel in Zagreb as Spain fear for fate
noticias.info – Oct 8, 2005
With three wins and two draws at home and three draws away, Spain have not turned in a really poor performance, but nor have they managed to get the away win against Lithuania or Bosnia-Herzegovina that could have made all the difference. Those results show us a team back to their old ways – playing polished football, as in the first half against Serbia Montenegro, and then inexplicably going missing. Certainly Spain’s attack has not lived up to its reputation, with only 11 goals in eight matches, five of which came against lowly San Marino. But with Fernando Morientes injured, Aragones has decided to back his team to avenge past failures by reinstating the capital-based pair of Raul and Fernando Torres against Belgium. Belgians still believe
Two teams apart from Spain can still claim second place. After a disastrous start to their campaign, which brought just one point from three matches, Belgium are back in the hunt albeit only just: they have to beat Spain by more than two goals, win in Lithuania on Wednesday and then hope that Bosnia-Herzegovina lose in Belgrade. As for Bosnia-Herzegovina, they are just one point behind Spain and believe in their chances too, but will need to win in Belgrade on 12 October, and that is a very big ask… Croatia are eyeing their third consecutive appearance at the FIFA World Cup finals and do not intend to fall at this hurdle. In their four home games they have won three times and drawn once (2-2 with Bulgaria), scoring a small matter of 12 goals. Having succeeded Otto Baric as coach after EURO 2004, Zlatko Kranjcar has coped admirably with the transition to a new generation of players, among them the coach’s own son, Niko, who is the team’s only international playing in the Croatian league. Croatia put in a surprisingly poor performance in Malta last month to draw 1-1, but home fans will hope their minds must have already been focused on Saturday’s match. notas_de_prensa_archivo.

Round-up of World Cup qualifiers
BBC News – Oct 8, 2005
Angola, Ivory Coast, Togo, Ghana and Tunisia qualified from Africa and Ecuador and Uruguay from South America. There are still six World Cup places up for grabs in the European section, with hosts Germany and Group Two winners Ukraine the other sides guaranteed a place so far. In Group Two, three teams – Turkey, Denmark and Euro 2004 winners Greece – are chasing the runners-up spot behind Ukraine, but the issue will not be settled until Wednesday. Serbia & Montenegro are in the box seat in Group Seven but although they beat Lithuania they will have to wait to make certain of qualification after Spain and Bosnia-Herzegovina both won on Saturday.

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