Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

May 8, 2006

The niche men

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 12:17 pm

The News Review:

* Good behaviour
* World Cup Scouting – Ashley Cole
* Softer sell exacts a very hard price
* The niche men
* Free-spirited Czechs eye ultimate glory
* Robben dives to avoid injury
* BBC NEWS | Business | Ticket warning for World Cup fans

Good behaviour
BBC News – May 5, 2006
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas, of Greater Manchester Police, heads the largest policing operation of its kind involving 83 officers, some in uniform patrolling the streets with their German colleagues. And he is confident this tournament will mark a turning point in public attitudes. “The reputation should have been put to bed after Euro 2004 but it takes a long time for a reputation like that to go away… Our supporters have to understand they find those actions deeply insulting. ”

Germans do have a good sense of humour, he says, and don’t even mind hearing the song 10 German Bombers in a stadium, but anything that glorifies the Nazi party will not be tolerated. The hosts plan a warm welcome and for the first time, fans without tickets are encouraged to come and watch the games on large football screens. And England fans have organised “goodwill” events to bond with the locals. If a Rooney-less England progress from their group they could play either the hosts or Poland, which has growing support among the far-right.

World Cup Scouting – Ashley Cole
BBC News – May 5, 2006
He consolidated his place with a series of fine performances at the 2002 World Cup as he played every game in England’s run to the quarter-finals. Wayne Bridge’s rise to prominence began to provide Cole with healthy competition for his place, but the Londoner rarely ever looked likely to lose his place in the starting XI. In England’s Euro 2004 quarter-final defeat to Portugal Cole was truly outstanding, a display that cemented his place in the official Euro 2004 All Stars squad. Back to top


Fitness rather than form is the key concern surrounding Cole following just a handful of first-team starts for Arsenal this season. Manager Arsene Wenger picked his first-choice left-back for only the 11th time this term at Manchester City following foot and ankle injuries… Understandably a little ring-rusty, Cole did not get as close to Trevor Sinclair as he might have done in the opening stages. But he was never seriously exposed down City’s right flank and tightened up markedly as the game went on to become one of Arsenal’s better second-half performers. Guarding a post from the corner which led to City’s equaliser, Cole could not really have been expected to beat scorer David Sommeil to the loose ball. The Arsenal man tangled with Sommeil again after the break and got the benefit of the doubt from referee Graham Poll when he showed welcome strength to make a telling covering interception. Sinclair got away once to deliver a cross which might have led to a goal but Cole made amends later with excellent positioning to avert the danger caused by Sun Jihai’s lightning break.

Softer sell exacts a very hard price
International Herald Tribune – May 3, 2006
On Monday, Abou Diaby, a 19-year- old French player, was taken to a hospital with a broken and dislocated ankle. He has no chance of appearing in Arsenal's Champions League final in Paris on May 17. And Arsenal is lucky that Cesc Fabregas, a precocious Spaniard, was not sharing the ambulance ride after foul play in the same match… No foul was given, and television slow-motion suggested that the point of contact was Ferreira's knee against the toeof Rooney's new boot. The pain was etched on Rooney's face as he spiraled into the air. The aftermath of that coming together – the second time in two years that Rooney has broken one of those tiny metatarsals in contact with a Portuguese player after a challenge from Jorge Andrade during Euro 2004 – has eaten up column inches. Sven-Goran Eriksson, the England coach, says he will take Rooney to the World Cup and hope that the injury mends in time for at least the second round of matches. Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United, whichpaid nearly £30 million, or $55 million, to buy Rooney when he was 18, argues that this pressure on a developing player is obscene and that he will not be going near the World Cup unless the medical experts deem it safe for him to do so. There is a dream wrapped up in a business. There are experienced managers at loggerheads.

The niche men
Hindu – May 6, 2006
This helped me to do justice to both jobs. ” Hiddink, whose club has already won the Dutch league, will organise a training camp for his Australian squad in Europe after the club season is over. The Dutchman has announced that he will not be in either of his two jobs after the World Cup; he has already pledged his future as the manager of the Russian national team to help the country qualify for Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. England’s outgoing manager Sven-Goran Eriksson represents the `obverse’ of Hiddink. The Swede has managed clubs such as Lazio successfully — he took the modest Serie `A’ club to the league title in 2000 at the expense of giants such as Juventus and AC Milan — before his England stint and it was no secret where his loyalties lay. “I miss club management,” said Eriksson even as he was busy ensuring that England qualified for the 2002 World Cup. “It demands a more hands-on approach which is what I like… ”

Strong and independent souls such as Scolari and Hiddink loathe making commercial compromises, which are part of the club manager’s daily life. Scolari, for instance, knew that Brazilian legend Romario was not the player he wanted in the squad for the 2002 World Cup, and though there was massive pressure from the football crazy public of the nation he did not select the 1994 World Cup star. Similarly, he substituted public favourite Luis Figo during the second half of Portugal’s Euro 2004 quarterfinal against England. Decisions like these would be almost impossible in modern club management; a Real Madrid manager was sacked for leaving Ronaldo on the bench. However, club management too attracts strong-minded managers to it. This is primarily because it gives scope for the manager, in Lippi’s words, “to gradually transmit (his) way of thinking to the players, both in terms of football and life. ”

This is something which Sir Alex Ferguson loves doing; he recently spelt out his managerial philosophy, hardly an exercise in modesty, thus when talking about Wayne Rooney: “You need young players with an attentive mind who trust the coach and the manager to do the best for them.

Free-spirited Czechs eye ultimate glory
Hindu – May 8, 2006
“To speak about the quality of Italy is redundant, especially at the World Cup,” he said. “And when it comes to African teams, everyone has to be cautious. ”

Bruckner may not like looking back but he still can be proud of his achievements since he took over from Josef Chovanec after the team failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup finals. The team’s record under Bruckner is 33-8-6, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. When he took command, the team was mired in infighting and morale was low. That was soon forgotten as he began building his team, which for many became the most exiting Czech side ever. “The team spirit is fantastic,” said Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved, who came out of international retirement to help the team qualify in the playoffs… Baros scored 26 times in 46 international appearances and five goals in the qualification. He was also battling an Achilles tendon injury for part of the season. Nedved, the lynchpin

The midfield centre’s around Nedved, whose retirement after Euro 2004 was caused by a recurring knee injury but whose condition is now healthy. The 33-year-old is one of three veterans who were part of the squad that staged an upset 10 years ago, reaching the final at Euro 96. Former Lazio star Karel Poborsky and Vladimir Smicer of Bordeaux are the others in Bruckner’s midfield, though the latter was nursing a long-term knee injury ahead of the World Cup. If there’s any weak point, it is the defence. The back line looked porous in some games, prompting some criticism.

Robben dives to avoid injury – May 6, 2006
Robben arrived in the Barclays Premiership with a reputation for going down easily after being booked for simulation during Holland’s Euro 2004 semi-final defeat by Portugal. And several incidents during his two seasons at Chelsea, most recently his theatrical collapse after being pushed in the face by Liverpool’s Jose Reina in February, have only added to his notoriety. But the 22-year-old is anxious to shed what he sees as his undeserved image as a diver, pointing out repeated foot injuries have forced him to take evasive action. Robben said: “Everyone has their opinion about it, I have mine and you have yours… Robben arrived in the Barclays Premiership with a reputation for going down easily after being booked for simulation during Holland’s Euro 2004 semi-final defeat by Portugal. And several incidents during his two seasons at Chelsea, most recently his theatrical collapse after being pushed in the face by Liverpool’s Jose Reina in February, have only added to his notoriety. But the 22-year-old is anxious to shed what he sees as his undeserved image as a diver, pointing out repeated foot injuries have forced him to take evasive action. Robben said: “Everyone has their opinion about it, I have mine and you have yours. And next season I won’t be in the headlines for diving again.

BBC NEWS | Business | Ticket warning for World Cup fans
BBC News – May 8, 2006
Security checks could mean fans with such tickets are barred from matches. ID checks

“Fifa has implemented a rigorous identification system for the World Cup finals, so supporters purchasing tickets from touts could face severe disappointment,” said Douglas Greenwell from G4S. “If the ticket holder’s details do not match those of the purchaser they will be refused entry to the stadium. ”

Tickets are issued in the name of the applicant or guest specified in the original order and an ID or passport number is required. According to the terms and conditions of sale, tickets can only be transferred by an application to the Fifa World Cup organising committee. Thousands of tickets are being sold illegally by online auction sites and tickets touts despite the fact the UK government has banned the unlicensed sale of tickets for the finals, G4S added.

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