Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 18, 2005

Plan A | England | International | Football | Sport | Telegraph

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 5:40 am

The News Review:

* Eriksson draws a familiar foe as England dream
* BBC SPORT | Football | World Cup 2006 | Eriksson appeal over war…
* Familiar foe looks forward to going on strike
* Plan A | England | International | Football | Sport | Telegraph
* The stage is set for a 32-nation friendly mixer
* Profile: Wayne Rooney: The Bash Street kid is ready to take on the…
* WORLD CUP 2006: Group E: Djukovic hoping for an upset
* Inside Sven’s luxury World Cup base
* WORLD CUP 2006: Group D: Lavolpe puts faith in mental preparation
* World Cup: Iran’s Big Guns Upbeat
* Draw brings World Cup to life
* Is it my best chance to win? It’s my last chance
* Germans confident after World Cup draw | FOOTBALL | SPORT | tvnz.co.nz
* FIFA WORLD CUP: Bosnians still harbour hope

Eriksson draws a familiar foe as England dream
Guardian Unlimited – Dec 10, 2005
getElementById( ‘frameId598440’ ). Should Sweden, who have not lost to England in 11 matches since their defeat to Sir Alf Ramsey’s side at Wembley in 1968, be obstructive again, Eriksson’s team would be likely to find themselves, as runners-up, going on to encounter Germany in Munich in the last 16. That would be a hostile occasion best avoided, but clinching Group B merely delays the menace. Though they would expect to overcome Poland, who have already lost twice to them in the qualifiers, that still brings them on to the greatest of trials. Should England proceed to the quarter-finals by either route, it is most likely that Argentina, Holland or Portugal would be lying in wait there. Eriksson has surely had enough already of Luiz Felipe Scolari, who knocked England out of the 2002 World Cup while in charge of Brazil and accounted for them again at Euro 2004 with Portugal… Though they would expect to overcome Poland, who have already lost twice to them in the qualifiers, that still brings them on to the greatest of trials. Should England proceed to the quarter-finals by either route, it is most likely that Argentina, Holland or Portugal would be lying in wait there. Eriksson has surely had enough already of Luiz Felipe Scolari, who knocked England out of the 2002 World Cup while in charge of Brazil and accounted for them again at Euro 2004 with Portugal. Last night, though, was not for regret. A World Cup is supposed to present a stiff challenge and England at least have the benefit of a gentle start, in contrast to Argentina and Holland, who will already have collided exhaustingly in a group match. England, the second seeds, should be grateful to enter the tournament against the team who stand a modest 30th in the Fifa rankings. They face Paraguay in Frankfurt on Saturday June 10.

BBC SPORT | Football | World Cup 2006 | Eriksson appeal over war…
BBC News – Dec 10, 2005
“I think the reputation of the British fans has transformed itself since Euro 2000,” he said. “We have transformed the situation in the UK, legislation is much tougher and 3,200 people cannot travel. ”

There had been just one football-related arrest at Euro 2004, he said. “I would hope that the old stereotypes of 60 years ago are not warmed up again for this occasion. “The people here find it deeply upsetting. They cannot understand why we don’t seem capable of growing up. ”

Policing

The ambassador added: “I would very much hope the 100,000 fans who come here will find out what an amazing and fantastic country this is.

Familiar foe looks forward to going on strike
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Dec 11, 2005
And in a group including Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland and Malta, Sweden were prolific. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored eight times during the campaign, Arsenal’s Freddie Ljungberg contributed seven to a team that scored an average of three goals a game. In case Euro 2004 had not made the point starkly enough, the old stereotype of a predictable, static and stolid Swedish style of football is a little passé. The Larsson-Ibrahimovic tandem at the front of Sweden’s 4-4-2 has something to with that. Lagerback, who has been coaching the senior team since 1997, says: “In Sweden we’ve never had anything like these two. They are at the same level as Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney. ” Sweden are not quite at the level of England elsewhere and are ranked 14th in the world by Fifa.

Plan A | England | International | Football | Sport | Telegraph
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 12, 2005
But injuries to full-backs Gary Neville and Ashley Cole in recent months, plus the dramatic collapse in Denmark when Eriksson withdrew many of his star players at half-time, underlined the fact that, once he plucks players from outside his chosen 11, serious cracks appear. He does not have cover for every position. Sure Eriksson can endlessly pick centre-halves out of top hats and produce all manner of midfield players from his cuffs. But when did he last send on a substitute who completely changed a match? When did he last revert to a successful plan B? Normally, when the electronic board lights up to record his changes, it might as well flash an SOS since the whole shape of the team tends to disintegrate. Because Eriksson always starts with his first 11, the understudies also get little chance to demonstrate that they know their lines, as the absences of Neville and Cole showed. Luke Young of Charlton improved at right back after a shaky start but both Wayne Bridge and Paul Konchesky failed their auditions on the left during last month’s 3-2 friendly win over Argentina… Luke Young of Charlton improved at right back after a shaky start but both Wayne Bridge and Paul Konchesky failed their auditions on the left during last month’s 3-2 friendly win over Argentina. Of course they could develop into international players but how many chances are they going to get between now and next summer?The time for experiment is over. In fact, many would say it ended before Euro 2004 in Portugal since Eriksson’s first-choice team has hardly changed since. After one blunder too many, David James lost his goalkeeping spot to Paul Robinson, Sol Campbell’s injury problems have allowed John Terry to get ahead of him, while Joe Cole, who did not feature in Portugal, has become first choice for the problem position on the left. Eriksson controversially toyed with 4-5-1, with David Beckham playing the holding role. But given the less than telepathic understanding between Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in central midfield, it would have been interesting to see if the team dynamic could have been improved by leaving one of them out, something Eriksson has never considered doing. Given our surfeit of centre-halves, 3-5-2 would have been worth a try, too, again something Eriksson has never considered, partly because he believes it would put an excessive workload on 30-year-old Neville.

The stage is set for a 32-nation friendly mixer
International Herald Tribune – Dec 11, 2005
"But over all we are happy with the draw. " "It could have been worse," Eriksson said. The two teams tied, 1-1, in Japan. England will also play one of its former colonies, a theme of this draw, Trinidad and Tobago.

Profile: Wayne Rooney: The Bash Street kid is ready to take on the…
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Dec 11, 2005
Such precocious talent could hardly go unnoticed. Just four months later he made his debut for England as the national team’s youngest player, even if it was an inauspicious start: a 3-1 drubbing in a friendly against Australia in the one sport that the antipodeans were used to losing. Rooney quickly showed his real worth against Macedonia in the Euro 2004 qualifier in Skopje in September 2003 with a goal that not only made him the team’s youngest scorer — at 17 years and 317 days — but also clinched the game and ensured England’s path to the finals and his own ascent to international stardom. His performance in the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal was compared optimistically, if not accurately, to Pele and Best. But he was still the star of the show, the second youngest player in the tournament with a brace of goals each against Switzerland and Croatia. The crunching tackle that caused Rooney to limp off after just 23 minutes of the game against Portugal with a broken metatarsal also put the boot into England’s chances of progressing any further. An outrageously disallowed goal — that won Urs Meier, the Swiss referee, e-mail death threats — left the nation facing the familiar torture of a doomed penalty shoot-out.

WORLD CUP 2006: Group E: Djukovic hoping for an upset
noticias.info – Dec 10, 2005
We shall see who is best on the day. As for Ghana, it would be a big mistake to underestimate them. They?re not known as the Brazil of Africa for nothing. That said, a national team coach should not be afraid of anyone, even the best team in the world. That?s not meant to sound smug in any way. I just mean that as national team coach, you always have to look for the best formula to win any match. I have a lot of experience in this job and that has always been my way of approaching things… You have to be very careful. There’s always a dark horse that comes through and it could be our turn to face them. Nobody gave Turkey much hope in 2002, let alone Greece in Euro 2004 and they went on to win it. I’m going to get the players together for two whole months, and we’ll be speaking non-stop to the players to get them right mentally. The squad’s coming along nicely and I’ve already got 90% of the starting line-up sorted out. They know me and they’re very motivated, but they can’t afford to be complacent. Karel Bruckner (CZE coach)
Am I satisfied with the draw? I?m only ever satisfied at Christmas! There is never an easy group in the FIFA World Cup these days and there are no longer any outsiders as we all pretty much play on the same level, but let me say, you can all write this down ? Italy are the favourites in this group.

Inside Sven’s luxury World Cup base
Guardian Unlimited – Dec 18, 2005
Ominously, perhaps, a large German imperial eagle looms over the courtyard. If the European Championships in 2004 are anything to go by, Eriksson will have a relatively relaxed view to players’ partners joining their husbands. At Euro 2004 in Portugal, wives, girlfriends and children were allowed to stay at the squad’s luxurious base at the Solplay Hotel outside Lisbon, but only for the night after each of the team’s four matches. The rest of the time they stayed at another hotel. David Beckham and his team-mates will check into the castle hotel in early June, ahead of England’s opening match against Paraguay. They will not be the first celebrity guests. Germany’s post-war Chancellor Konrad Adenauer used to visit for holidays and Boris Becker and Germany’s goalkeeper Oliver Kahn got married there (both are now divorced)… Founded by the Romans, Baden-Baden is now something of a pensioners’ paradise, where rich old people from across Germany live out their declining years among the town’s elegant classical villas. Unlike much of the rest of Germany, Baden-Baden is still conspicuously prosperous, with low unemployment and old ladies in fur coats. But was it ready for an influx of ticketless England fans, some of whom might drink too much German beer? ‘I’m not afraid. We are very optimistic,’ Sigrun Lang, Baden-Baden’s mayor, told The Observer. ‘Personally, I’m more interested in riding than football – but as mayor you have to be interested in everything,’Like some 260 towns and cities across Germany, Baden-Baden will show World Cup matches on a giant city-centre screen. Most locals take a laid-back attitude to the prospect of English hooliganism, pointing out that Germany also has troublemakers. ‘We have big boys in Germany who can deal with your England boys,’ Heinz Huber, a 67-year-old retired caretaker said.

WORLD CUP 2006: Group D: Lavolpe puts faith in mental preparation
noticias.info – Dec 10, 2005
Bearing in mind what could have happened, our group is not that bad. We’ll take it step by step and try to pick up as many points as we can. Bearing in mind what could have happened, our group is not that bad… You have to be very careful. There’s always a dark horse that comes through and it could be our turn to face them. Nobody gave Turkey much hope in 2002, let alone Greece in Euro 2004 and they went on to win it. I’m going to get the players together for two whole months, and we’ll be speaking non-stop to the players to get them right mentally. The squad’s coming along nicely and I’ve already got 90% of the starting line-up sorted out. They know me and they’re very motivated, but they can’t afford to be complacent. Branko Ivankovic (IRN coach)
Before the draw, I didn?t have a particular choice of who we would play as no sides are easy.

World Cup: Iran’s Big Guns Upbeat
Iran Sports Press – Dec 14, 2005
” Fellow Bundesliga-based colleague, Hashemian, shared the feelings of the Bayern Munich star. “I can say that our group is hard and easy. Portugal were runners-up in Euro 2004 but their performances were not consistent, they do not play at the same level every time,” said the Hannover 96 striker. “I saw Mexico when they played in the Confederation’s Cup in Hannover. They have very technical players and are very strong on the ground. However, they are not as physical as South American teams. “We have a very experienced team and can beat Angola.

Draw brings World Cup to life
abc.net.au – Dec 10, 2005
Hosts Germany will get the ball rolling in the 64-game tournament when they play Costa Rica in Munich on Friday June 9 – exactly six months to the day after the draw at the Neue Messe exhibition centre in Leipzig. World champions Brazil will not be in action until the fifth day of the competition on June 13 when they face Croatia at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, the venue for the final on July 9. By the time that match is played the hopes and dreams for most will be over but almost every coach appeared optimistic about their chances on Friday. As well as facing Costa Rica, who they have never previously met, Germany will also play Ecuador for the first time in their history and Poland, who have never beaten the Germans in 14 previous meetings. German coach Juergen Klinsmann seemed relaxed. “It could have been worse… “They are difficult games, of course, but I am happy. ”

The majority of players in Trinidad’s squad play their football in England and Dwight Yorke, currently with Sydney FC, won the Champions League with Manchester United six years ago. Familiar foes

Familiar foes and neighbours France and Switzerland, who met in Euro 2004 and then came through the same World Cup qualifying group unbeaten, were drawn together again in Group G, opening their campaigns against each other in Stuttgart on June 13. France, who went out in the first round as defending champions four years ago, will then meet South Korea in Leipzig before playing African debutants Togo in Cologne on June 23. The France-Togo match will be something of a family affair too as many players in Togo either play in France or have close links with the country and the tie brings back uncomfortable memories for the French. They met Senegal, almost all of whose players were with French clubs, in the opening match as defending champions in 2002, lost 1-0 and went home at the end of the first round. Ukraine begin their first World Cup finals against Spain in Leipzig on June 14 in a Group H game with Tunisia and Saudi Arabia completing their section.

Is it my best chance to win? It’s my last chance
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Dec 10, 2005
The draw last night was certainly pretty kind to us, although I was chatting to some of the lads at the Manchester United training ground yesterday and I said that the one team I was keen to avoid was Sweden. They always seem so resolute, so hard to break down. The fact that we have not beaten them since 1968 is proof enough of that. We seem to be better against teams that have greater ambitions to beat us but, that aside, we have to be happy overall, particularly when you look at a group such as Italy’s. I would expect them to go through but it may not be a comfortable ride. It would be fantastic if we could go into that last group match against Sweden already qualified but, even if that is the case, we would almost certainly want to beat them. We have seen in the past that failing to finish top of the group can bring about all sorts of complications… Conceding those two late goals against France at Euro 2004 meant that we faced Portugal before we would have wanted. On both occasions, we went out. We have to assume that Germany are going to win group A and, while we would not fear them, you don’t want to be facing the most powerful countries in the first knockout round. I have not looked beyond that and I don’t think you can start plotting the quarter or semi-finals. Of course you would happily avoid Brazil because they deserve to be regarded as favourites, but we can’t start guessing that far ahead.

Germans confident after World Cup draw | FOOTBALL | SPORT | tvnz.co.nz
TVNZ – Dec 13, 2005
The seededGermans had feared a possible clash with the Netherlands or othertop-ranked opponents but ended up with Costa Rica, Poland andEcuador, respectively 21st, 23rd and 37th in the world. Accordingto a poll by sports news agency SID, 92. 1 percent of Germansbelieve the national team, which failed to get past the group phasein Euro 2004, will reach the last 16. The SIDpoll showed the public broadly expected German participation to endin the quarter-finals or semi-finals. 6percent think Germany will be crowned world champions for a fourthtime, although the figure is slightly higher than it was beforeFriday’s draw. Almosthalf of Germans believe Brazil will successfully defend theirtitle, with Germany second favourites followed by Argentina, theNetherlands, Italy and France.

FIFA WORLD CUP: Bosnians still harbour hope
noticias.info – Dec 10, 2005
Harsh lessonThe fact this vital game is against neighbours Serbia and Montenegro has made the build-up all the more tense. However, coach Sli?kovi? believes his side will thrive on the pressure after the harsh lesson they were given in similar circumstances by Denmark two years ago. New levelOn that occasion, Sli?kovi? believes, a lack of experience cost them a place at UEFA EURO 2004?. “We just couldn’t cope against the Danes,” he said. “The players and fans took it very badly, but now we have more experience I think we can take our performance to a new level. Mental strength”It will be an extremely difficult match, especially from a mental perspective,” he added. “Anything is possible, and yes, I think they are favourites, playing in front of their own supporters… If they don’t win, they are still in the play-offs, but we can be satisfied only with a win. Barbarez returnIf Bosnia-Herzegovina want a reason for optimism they need look no further than the return of key forward Sergej Barbarez. Word was that Barbarez would not recover in time from a rib injury – but the Hamburger SV favourite was adamant he would play in this game regardless of his physical condition. Big success”Miss the match in Belgrade – are you joking?” said Barbarez. “For a month now I’ve been thinking about this game, just like my team-mates. We could achieve a great success and I’m not going to give up so close to the finish. I have never been fitter or better prepared mentally for a match.

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