Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 11, 2006

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Nyatanga called up to Wales…

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 1:58 pm

The News Review:

* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Beckham puts off retirement…
* 2008? Just a formality, surely
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Ukraine veto Scots’ Euro…
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Nyatanga called up to Wales…
* Wales get tough Euro 2008 start
* CNN.com – Turkey: Six games at neutral venue – Feb 7, 2006
* McClaren hints at greater flexibility
* Wenger: What I Really Said About Fixture Congestion
* German Soccer | 02.09.2006 Germany Beat Ireland 1-0 in First Euro…
* Turkey to fight Fifa ruling | FOOTBALL | SPORT | tvnz.co.nz
* Barton redeems himself in City win
* Scots hit six past Faroe Islands
* His biggest task is to lift players and fans out of depression
* Staunton backs Ireland to come good
* Chasing the euro cup
* O’Neill hopes for Baros boost
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | N Ireland target Belgium…
* Le Guen confirms talks with Rangers

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Beckham puts off retirement…
BBC News – Feb 9, 2006
He said: “I’m not counting it down but it is a target I want to reach. “I don’t want to reach 100 and say, okay, I’ll retire now. “I’m not sure I’ll get to Peter Shilton’s record of 125 but you never know. “I don’t want to finish before Euro 2008 and I’d love to go on to the 2010 World Cup but I don’t think that will happen because I will be 35 by then. ”

England’s will take on Croatia, Russia, Israel, Estonia, Macedonia and Andorra in their Euro 2008 qualifying group.

2008? Just a formality, surely
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 9, 2006
Let’s face it, we were not going to win anything with that David Beckham in the side. He was never any good. Replace Beckham with Aaron Lennon in England’s World Cup quarter-final line-up and the average age of that team on the day of the Euro 2008 final in Vienna will be 27. The tournament is as good as won. So, no pressure, lads… Let’s face it, we were not going to win anything with that David Beckham in the side. He was never any good. Replace Beckham with Aaron Lennon in England’s World Cup quarter-final line-up and the average age of that team on the day of the Euro 2008 final in Vienna will be 27. The tournament is as good as won. So, no pressure, lads. Sven-Goran Eriksson’s leaving present was a bye of a qualifying group. Once-great Russia, a Croatia in transition, a couple of nations that few GCSE-level geography students could find on a map of Europe, and one that isn’t even in Europe.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Ukraine veto Scots’ Euro…
BBC News – Feb 15, 2006
Scottish FA chief executive David Taylor fears Uefa will have to step in after Ukraine vetoed fixtures agreed by the other six teams in Group B. “The indications are that any additional proposals from Ukraine are not welcome,” he said. “The prospect of a draw is looming larger now. ”

Ukraine rejected the provisional list of fixtures agreed by the other six nations during two days of intensive talks in Paris last week.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Nyatanga called up to Wales…
BBC News – Feb 15, 2006
“Lewin has broken into the Derby team this season, I have seen him a few times and he is certainly one for the future,” said Wales manager John Toshack. “It’s been a bit difficult for him recently with the change of manager at Derby and he has been left out, but we have to give these youngsters a chance. “We know these lads are not really ready yet, but we have to get them into the squad now so that they will be ready when the Euro 2008 qualifiers come around. ”

“Garner did very well in Orient’s cup run. He saved a penalty against Fulham and was outstanding against Charlton. ”

Green, now with Hereford United, who made his senior Wales debut under Bobby Gould at the age of 17 years and 226 days, playing against Malta and Tunisia in 1998. But Nyatanga is on course to beat that record by 31 days if he takes the field against the South Americans in the friendly match in Cardiff.

Wales get tough Euro 2008 start
BBC News – Feb 9, 2006
Toshack met all the other Group D managers in Germany on Thursday to bargain over the fixture schedule. He had wanted to avoid home games in September this year because Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium is unavailable because of a Rolling Stones concert. “It really was a very tense meeting at times, and I honestly thought we would not get a resolution,” said Toshack. “The Slovaks seemed to have the most issued, but also Cyprus, and for a short while the meeting was suspended for everyone to take stock of the situation. “In the end it was agreed to try for one more hour and the Slovaks eventually agreed to change a fixture and it then all fell in to place”. “I am very pleased overall – if you had given me these fixtures at the start of the day, I would have signed-up straight away. “I was keen to take the team to either Germany of the Czech Republic to begin the campaign, and only to have one match in September.

CNN.com – Turkey: Six games at neutral venue – Feb 7, 2006
CNN International – Feb 7, 2006
The sanctions, which apply to official matches and not friendlies, are among the most severe handed out to a national association and will hit Turkey’s chances of qualifying for the next European championship in 2008. Switzerland won November’s two-legged playoff to qualify for the 2006 World Cup starting in June at the expense of Turkey, semifinalists in 2002. Huggel’s ban means he will be suspended for all of Switzerland’s World Cup matches in Germany, unless they reach the final, and is also likely to miss games at Euro 2008. Ozdilek has been ordered to stay away from soccer for 12 months for his part in the incidents. He resigned after television pictures showed him attempting to trip a Swiss player as they left the pitch. Television pictures showed defender Alpay kicking Swiss forward Marco Streller in the players’ tunnel after the game. "Very surprised""We are very surprised at the seriousness of the punishments, but we don’t want to compare our punishment with the Turkish punishment," said Pierre Benoit, spokesman for the Swiss FA.

McClaren hints at greater flexibility
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 9, 2006
Other than Beckham and David James, the squad, with a little bit of tinkering, stays the same, which is good news, and the team selection of Steven Gerrard to play pretty well a free role from his wide position on the right side of midfield gives the England team a fluidity that they did not possess when they played a rigid 4-4-2 formation. I now wait for when we see a 3-4-3 or a 3-5-2 formation being played as I remain adamant that, against the very top teams, we cannot allow ourselves to be outnumbered in midfield. Where are the very top teams in England’s European qualifying group? There aren’t any, and since the break-up of eastern Europe, it is unlikely that any of the so-called big nations will not qualify for Euro 2008. So if we are going to try a new formation, I hope Steve makes proper use of the friendly against Holland in November. The farcical use of friendlies under the previous regime has to end, and if England are to show a consistent fluidity to their game to seriously challenge for tournament honours they may just need to practise different formations. That is what friendlies can be used for and I am sure England supporters will accept that. No mention of Andorra or Macedonia? It is not being either complacent or arrogant, but if McClaren and the England players get it right on both occasions then we should be talking about a maximum six points to the start of the qualifying campaign.

Wenger: What I Really Said About Fixture Congestion
Goal.com – Feb 12, 2006
But he was unahppy at the way his comments were presented, and used his press conference ahead of the Spurs derby to clarify his views. “What I said and what has been made of it is completely different,” he said. I just said that it’s normal when you organise a championship that everybody plays on the same date. “Chelsea and Manchester United played [in midweek] yes but when did Tottenham play? You have to make sure that if one team plays three times in a week that everybody does. Some teams don’t play at all.

German Soccer | 02.09.2006 Germany Beat Ireland 1-0 in First Euro…
Deutsche Welle – Feb 9, 2006
But Germany’s real difficulties were getting shots on goal on the other side of the field. Strikers lost in the penalty box

In addition to Klose’s attack on the crossbar, Bastian Schweinsteiger also put a notch in the aluminum, though the German strikers also have to credit Irish goalkeeper Shay Given for a series of impressive saves. Schweinsteiger flicked a long cross on to Klose for the best chance of the first half on a header to the bottom corner saved by an outstretched Shay Given. That would be just the beginning of Given’s work when minutes later Podolski and Germany captain Michael Ballack each missed opportunities close to the Irish goal.

Turkey to fight Fifa ruling | FOOTBALL | SPORT | tvnz.co.nz
TVNZ – Feb 9, 2006
Swissmedia said Turkey had been let off lightly – there had beenspeculation the team could be banned from the 2010 World Cupqualifying campaign after the violent scenes. Mass daily”Blick” said: “Verdict is ridiculously soft”. Thesanctions, which apply to official matches and not friendlies, areamong the most severe handed out to a national association andTurkish papers said they unfairly punished fans. In effectthey mean Turkey must play their entire qualification programme forthe 2008 European championship abroad. They are with Europeanchampions Greece, Norway, Bosnia, Hungary, Moldova and Malta inqualifying Group C. “What isthe spectator’s crime? An unjust punishment from Fifa,” the dailySabah newspaper said in a front-page headline. The paperpublished Fifa’s phone and fax numbers and called on readers tosend a protest letter to Fifa president Sepp Blatter, providing asample letter in English… The paperpublished Fifa’s phone and fax numbers and called on readers tosend a protest letter to Fifa president Sepp Blatter, providing asample letter in English. “It isclear that you don’t like to see our country in Switzerland at Euro2008 but I am sure we will succeed in qualifying for the finals. Wewill be there,” the letter said. Fifabanned two Turkish players, Alpay Ozalan and Emre Belozoglu, forsix matches and Switzerland’s Benjamin Huggel who admitted kickingTurkish assistant coach Mehmet Ozdilek. Turkeywere also fined $NZ227,000. A number of other players and officialsfrom both teams received fines and suspensions.

Barton redeems himself in City win
rte.ie – Feb 12, 2006
The effort allowed City to hold off a late rally from the visitors after Marcus Bent had pulled them back into a contest which erupted with four goals in 21 thrilling minutes at the start of the second period. And it gave Stuart Pearce valuable bragging rights in the battle of the home-grown contenders to succeed Sven-Goran Eriksson as England boss. If Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick follows the demand of Sam Allardyce and chooses an Englishman to lead the Three Lions into Euro 2008 combat, it is a fair bet, for all the Bolton boss’ claims, one of two protagonists at Eastlands will be it. It is easy to see why both Pearce and Alan Curbishley would be an attractive proposition, yet the drawbacks are just as obvious. Were it possible to mix the pair’s plus points, Barwick would not have much of a choice to make. As it is, Pearce’s managerial inexperience and Curbishley’s lack of exposure to international combat, either as a player or during his time at Charlton, mean the red warning lights will continue to flash. There was little in the opening 45 minutes that offered a decent clue either way as to whom might be the best man for the job from this particular duo… If Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick follows the demand of Sam Allardyce and chooses an Englishman to lead the Three Lions into Euro 2008 combat, it is a fair bet, for all the Bolton boss’ claims, one of two protagonists at Eastlands will be it. It is easy to see why both Pearce and Alan Curbishley would be an attractive proposition, yet the drawbacks are just as obvious. Were it possible to mix the pair’s plus points, Barwick would not have much of a choice to make. As it is, Pearce’s managerial inexperience and Curbishley’s lack of exposure to international combat, either as a player or during his time at Charlton, mean the red warning lights will continue to flash. There was little in the opening 45 minutes that offered a decent clue either way as to whom might be the best man for the job from this particular duo. The first half could best be described as cagey, with City supplying most of the sporadic attacking threat. A trawl through the record books takes you back to April 2005 for the last of Richard Dunne’s three previous strikes for City.

Scots hit six past Faroe Islands
Ireland Online – Feb 9, 2006
Boyd had been compared to goalscoring icon Ally McCoist and he stretched his international record to four goals in three caps in Scotland?s biggest win since an 8-0 humiliation of Cyprus in 1968. But Miller must have been the most relieved man inside the ground when Boyd stepped aside, after converting an early penalty, to allow his team-mate to score the fourth after 14 games without a Celtic goal. By that time the Group B whipping boys, who lost 6-0 at home to Georgia last month, were dead and buried after early goals from Darren Fletcher and James McFadden. There was even time for substitute Garry O?Connor to come off the bench to round of the win… The midfield promised goals with Manchester United?s Fletcher and Hearts? Paul Hartley behind. Everton stalwart David Weir captained the side on his 49th international appearance. The Scotland supporters did not have to wait long for the first goal. Miller cut past Pauli Hansen and pulled the ball into the centre for Fletcher to force the ball over the line from five yards. Goalkeeper Jakup Mikkelsen thought he had done enough to keep the ball from going over the line but referee Igor Egorov pointed to the centre and the Old Trafford man was mobbed by his jubilant team-mates. Suddenly the Faroes were staring another hammering in the face after McFadden doubled the lead in the 10th minute. Miller again showed his lack of Celtic goals had not affected his confidence with a clever spin away from his marker.

His biggest task is to lift players and fans out of depression
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 8, 2006
After prattling on incessantly for the past few years about the golden generation, about 2006 being ‘our time’, we can now get back to some form of reality. England just about belong in the world’s top eight teams but as for taking things further, that prospect still seems well out of reach. As a result, McClaren is not burdened with improbable expectations as he contemplates the best way to approach things from here. It will take a bit of time, for instance, before people regain enough faith to start trumpeting England’s chances in the finals of Euro 2008. A public fairly underwhelmed by his appointment in the first place passively sits back to see what transpires. Helping to shape those events will be the decisions McClaren makes in the near future. Who should be his new captain? Should David Beckham play any part at all? What sort of system should the coach adopt to get the best out of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in midfield, while making the most of Wayne Rooney up front?As a sounding board, Terry Venables will be invaluable if the former England manager is, in fact, assigned as McClaren’s assistant… If the supporters took a heavy hit, so did a squad who truly believed this could be their year. Repairing morale will take time and patience. Fortunately for McClaren, the opening Euro 2008 qualifiers against Andorra and Macedonia should provide welcome breathing space, time when he can hopefully show the full breadth of his character. After Eriksson’s platitudes, a down-in-the-mouth public craves honesty and guile, a leader with passion and foresight to lift their depressed mood. In reality, that is McClaren’s biggest task as he takes over the reins this morning – helping the country to believe again.

Staunton backs Ireland to come good
Ireland Online – Feb 9, 2006
Former Ireland defender Mark Lawrenson recently commented that the Republic have been punching above their weight for a long time. He also claimed Staunton?s squad lacks the necessary quality to make an impact at the highest level. Such comments will be put to the test tonight when Ireland face Germany in the opening Euro 2008 Group D qualifying game. In many respects, Staunton will have no excuses if Ireland fail to produce at the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion in Stuttgart as he has his strongest squad available to him. ?I have the backing of the fans,? insisted Staunton. ?I understand their frustration after the defeat to Holland, but they are fully aware there were several players missing. ?They now know we?ve a full-strength squad tonight, so we will be getting a different performance… ?Staunton brushed aside Lawrenson?s comments, saying: ?Everybody?s entitled to their own opinion. I’m delighted with the squad of players I?ve got. It?s not as if we can go out and buy anybody, so we’ll try to get the young players through as best and as quickly as we can. ?Please God, over the forthcoming years we?ll have a very strong squad, but we are a small nation and we can only do our best. ?We?ve been unlucky in certain qualifications, and it hasn?t been for the want of trying. I guess we?ve probably always punched above our weight over the years, and I?m sure the players will do the same again, and rise to the occasion. ?As for the pressure, of course there?s that, but then that?s what football is all about.

Chasing the euro cup
Sofia Echo – Feb 6, 2006
After the draw, Netherlands coach Marko van Basten said that he was pleased with the results and happy to have the chance to continue his rivalry with Hristo Stoichkov, Bulgaria?s national coach. Van Basten and Stoichkov had many encounters during the 90s as players of AC Milan and FC Barcelona, respectively. Stoichkov said: ?The Netherlands and Romania are our competitors for the first two places in the group, but we will not underestimate any other of the teams?. Fifty countries participated in the draw. The groups will be contested in a league system on a home-and-away basis, with the games taking place between September 2006 and November 2007. The seven winners and seven runners-up of each pool will progress to the finals. The other qualification groups are as follows:
Group A: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Finland, Kazakhstan, Poland, Portugal, Serbia and Montenegro… Group E: Andorra, Croatia, England, Estonia, Israel, Macedonia, Russia. Group F: Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Northern Ireland, Spain, Sweden. Euro 2008 will be hosted by Austria and Switzerland, which, as hosts, qualify automatically for the final stage.

O’Neill hopes for Baros boost
Ireland Online – Feb 10, 2006
Baros is only now returning to first-team action after a foot injury while playing for his country during the World Cup finals in Germany. But O?Neill believes the Euro 2008 qualifiers against San Marino next Saturday and the Republic of Ireland on October 11 will help bring Baros ? last season?s top scorer for Villa with 12 goals ? back up to speed. O?Neill said: ?I am not in a position to pick the international side and the Czech Republic coach will do what he considers the right thing for his side – but it would be terrific if Milan was to start in the games. ?If Milan comes out of those two games unscathed, it would be great for us. The benefit to us would be terrific. ?I am normally wary of players going away and playing two internationals in quick succession whereas this time it would be nice if Milan was involved… Baros is only now returning to first-team action after a foot injury while playing for his country during the World Cup finals in Germany. But O?Neill believes the Euro 2008 qualifiers against San Marino next Saturday and the Republic of Ireland on October 11 will help bring Baros ? last season?s top scorer for Villa with 12 goals ? back up to speed. O?Neill said: ?I am not in a position to pick the international side and the Czech Republic coach will do what he considers the right thing for his side – but it would be terrific if Milan was to start in the games. ?If Milan comes out of those two games unscathed, it would be great for us. The benefit to us would be terrific. ?I am normally wary of players going away and playing two internationals in quick succession whereas this time it would be nice if Milan was involved. ?O?Neill has to date played with a lone central striker ? the revitalised Juan Pablo Angel ? with Luke Moore and Gabriel Agbonlahor providing support from the flanks.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | N Ireland target Belgium…
BBC News – Feb 7, 2006
Discussions have started between the Irish FA and their Belgian counterparts about an August match. If the game goes ahead it will be played in Belgium. The qualifiers start in September but boss Lawrie Sanchez will not know who his side face first until a fixtures meeting in Copenhagen next week. Northern Ireland will take on Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Latvia, Iceland and Liechtenstein in Group F. Sanchez says he would like to play “one of the teams we can get points against” in the first qualifying match. “Latvia, Iceland or Liechtenstein would be nice and I don’t really mind if it is home or away,” said the NI boss. “Obviously I would like to play one of the early games at home and we want to get some early points on the board.

Le Guen confirms talks with Rangers
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 14, 2006
“I can confirm that negotiations have re-opened, but we are not at that point of signing a contract. “Roy Keane is seven appearances away from claiming a championship medal with Celtic following Sunday’s 1-0 Old Firm victory at Ibrox. “Our rules state that players must have played in 25 per cent of their club’s fixtures in order to earn a medal and, in a 38-game season, that works out at 10 appearances,” SPL spokesman Greg Mailer said. Hearts have appointed Jim Duffy as their director of football until the end of this season, when head coach Graham Rix’s contract also expires. Rix, who has dropped points in eight of 12 SPL matches since taking charge, will be discussed by the SFA’s general purposes committee tomorrow after East Fife chairman Derrick Brown queried whether the convicted sex offender was “a fit and proper person” to hold his post… Rix, who has dropped points in eight of 12 SPL matches since taking charge, will be discussed by the SFA’s general purposes committee tomorrow after East Fife chairman Derrick Brown queried whether the convicted sex offender was “a fit and proper person” to hold his post. The SFA have also asked Hearts’ owner Vladimir Romanov for details of his connections with Lithuanian champions FBK Kaunas and Minsk MTZ-RIPO of Belarus. The ruling body are further concerned that Liutauras Varanavicius, the president of the Football Federation of Lithuania, is a director of Hearts in spite of the fact his country have been drawn in the same Euro 2008 qualifying group as Scotland. St Mirren, who face Spartans in a Tennent’s Scottish Cup fourth-round replay at Love Street tonight, were yesterday fined £25,000 for including only one under-21 player, rather than the required two, when the clubs drew 0-0 on Feb 5.

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