Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

August 31, 2006

McClaren seeks to put smile on English faces

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 11:17 am

The News Review:

* Ribery ready to take the place of Zidane
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Skipper Keane seeks Irish…
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Republic trio set for club…
* McClaren seeks to put smile on English faces
* O’Brien ponders future
* Beware new Czech breed – Berger
* Cole finally moves to Chelsea; Gallas to Arsenal
* Roundup: Hushovd wins 6th stage in Spain
* Makelele letter fuels France row
* Cole signs two-year Pompey deal

Ribery ready to take the place of Zidane
International Herald Tribune – Aug 31, 2006
Largely unknown outside of France before the World Cup finals in Germany, Ribery played a leading role at the World Cup finals in Germany. Arsenal and Lyon were both keen to sign him afterward. Ribery finally chose to stay at Marseille and will make his 11th international appearance for France against Georgia in Saturday’s Euro 2008 qualifier in Group B. Ribery said it seemed like he played for years with Zidane, rather than a handful of games. “I’ve watched all the (World Cup) matches again several times. It’s hard for me to take in that I was actually on the same field as him. ” According to Ribery, “Zidane was one of the best ever… “They (Georgia) will come straight at us. We have to be ready for combat,” Ribery said. He played down the Italy game, saying “it is not a rematch” of the World Cup final. “There is no Zidane, no Materazzi, so it’s not the same thing,” he said.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Skipper Keane seeks Irish…
BBC News – Aug 31, 2006
Keane said the important thing was to approach Saturday’s Euro 2008 qualifier away to Germany with confidence. “We did not play as well as we would have liked and we got punished for it, but it will be a completely different game on Saturday,” said Keane. “As captain, it is my responsibility to rally the lads. ”

Tottenham striker Keane was one of the star names who missed the Holland humiliation because of injury. Keeper Shay Given, defender Richard Dunne and winger Damien Duff were also absent.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Republic trio set for club…
BBC News – Aug 31, 2006
Everton winger Kevin Kilbane is poised to join Wigan, whose midfielder GrahamKavanagh is leaving to join Sunderland. Blackburn midfielder Jonathan Douglas is set to switch to Leeds, where hespent a spell on loan last season. The trio will link up again with the Republic squad for Saturday’s Euro 2008 qualifer against Germany in Stuttgart. “Those three players have had to go back to England for medicals and then tosign for new clubs,” said Staunton… “Those three players have had to go back to England for medicals and then tosign for new clubs,” said Staunton. “It’s those three for now, and we will see them in Stuttgart on Thursday night whenthey fly back out of England. ”

Staunton will be hoping he does not lose any more of his squad ahead ofThursday night’s transfer window. Centre-back Andy O’Brien has been linked with a move away from Portsmouth, with Crystal Palace apparently interested in signing him on loan.

McClaren seeks to put smile on English faces
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 31, 2006
The trip was organised by head coach, Steve McClaren, who sees such activities as part of the team-bonding process. “Steve wants us to have a club atmosphere,” Gerrard said. “He wants to get us out of the TV rooms and do activities together. He feels that if you do get that club atmosphere and improve team spirit it’ll show on the pitch… That was the idea of the night. The serialisation appeared with a headline saying, “I want United to die”, though in the book Gerrard puts this in a 90-minute, competitive context. “I would like Manchester United fans to really understand my views,” he said. “The headline in the serialisation was bang out of order. I have a fantastic respect for Manchester United.

O’Brien ponders future
Ireland Online – Aug 31, 2006
With the transfer deadline due to close tonight, the player has been told the club are willing to listen to offers for his services. However, it is understood the only interest so far has come from a Coca-Cola Championship club willing to take O?Brien on loan. While the 27-year-old has no desire to leave the Premiership, he appreciates he may have to quit Pompey for a short period if he is to avoid reserve-team football and play his part in his country?s Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. Ahead of Ireland?s opening Group D game with Germany in Stuttgart, O?Brien said: ?It?s not been the ideal start for me this season. I?m disappointed I?ve not been involved more. ?That needs to improve because the longer it goes on then the less it will benefit me, certainly at international level. ?It remains to be seen where my future lies, but I had a chat with the manager at the end of last season and, from what I can gather, the club will listen to offers for me if they are satisfactory… ?It remains to be seen where my future lies, but I had a chat with the manager at the end of last season and, from what I can gather, the club will listen to offers for me if they are satisfactory. ?I don?t want to leave Portsmouth, but I need to play. That?s all I want to do, yet the long-term picture is not good if I?m in the reserves. ?Whether I move or not before the transfer deadline, I don?t know. ?It would appear O?Brien is not in Redknapp?s plans, adding: ?My face doesn?t fit at the moment.

Beware new Czech breed – Berger
BBC News – Aug 31, 2006
Like Wales, the Czechs are rebuilding after losing key men Pavel Nedved and Karel Poborsky to retirement. But Berger told BBC Wales Sport: “We might not have the same kind of experience in the team as we did in the World Cup, but we have fresh legs. “The young players are good, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the squad. ”

The Czechs equalled their worst run of results for six years two weeks ago, when they lost for a third successive time after a 3-1 home friendly defeat to Serbia. Their two previous defeats against Ghana and Italy ended their World Cup hopes at the group stage in Germany. As well as missing midfield aces Nedved and Poborsky, the Czechs will also be without injured trio Milan Baros, Vladimir Smicer and Zdenek Grygera.

Cole finally moves to Chelsea; Gallas to Arsenal
International Herald Tribune – Aug 31, 2006
Chelsea’s initial efforts to buy the England leftback 18 months ago led to the club and its manager, Jose Mourinho, being heavily fined by the Premier League for failing to consult the Gunners, who had the player under contract. Cole also was fined 100,000 pounds (US$190,000; €148,000). With the move expected, Cole had not played for Arsenal this season although he has lined up for England and is due to face Andorra in a Euro 2008 qualifying game at Old Trafford on Saturday. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger was reluctant to let the player go unless his club received a fee it thought acceptable. He also turned his attention to the versatile Gallas, who had decided to leave Stamford Bridge after making more than 200 appearances in five seasons for the Blues, helping them win consecutive league titles.

Roundup: Hushovd wins 6th stage in Spain
International Herald Tribune – Aug 31, 2006
" (AP)Egyptian defender diesMohamed Abdelwahab, an Egyptian international, died after collapsing on the training field in Cairo on Thursday, said officials of his club, Al Ahli. The 22-year-old, a member of the Egyptian team that won the African Nations Cup finals in February, was pronounced dead before arriving at a hospital, they said. The cause of death is not yet known. Abdelwahab had not played a match since the end of the Egyptian season in May because of a dispute over his registration. $@(Reuters)The plane carrying the Wales squad from Cardiff to Prague for Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifying match against the Czech Republic was forced to land at Bournemouth airport because of a cracked windscreen, Sky Sports News reported on Thursday. (Reuters)BoxingHatton gives up titleRicky Hatton has given up his WBA welterweight title to challenge for the IBF world light-welterweightbelt he relinquished after beating Kostya Tszyu more than a year ago. Hatton stopped Tszyu in June 2005, but moved up to welterweight to take Luis Collazo's title in May.

Makelele letter fuels France row
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 31, 2006
The letter, which emerged yesterday, provides a fascinating new twist in the row between Domenech and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and would appear to confirm the Premiership champions’ claim that Makelele had been called up by France against his will. Although Chelsea are now powerless to prevent the 33-year-old midfielder from playing in France’s Euro 2008 qualifiers against Georgia and Italy, the club are prepared to use the letter to defend themselves against French allegations that they attempted to stop Makelele from playing for his country. In the letter, dated Aug 22, Makelele says: “It is with great regret, and after much thought, that I would like to inform the Federation that I would like to end my international career. Although Domenech did not receive Makelele’s faxed letter personally, he was informed of its contents in a meeting with Mourinho and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon, at the club’s Cobham training headquarters, later the same day… Although Domenech did not receive Makelele’s faxed letter personally, he was informed of its contents in a meeting with Mourinho and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon, at the club’s Cobham training headquarters, later the same day. Despite that, Domenech continues to insist that he had no idea that Makelele had decided to retire. And yet, under Fifa rules, a player who has notified his national federation of his decision to retire cannot then be forced to play for his country in the event that he is selected. Fifa spokesman Andreas Herren said: “There is no Fifa rule to prevent any player stopping his international career, that’s up to him. “The one thing that has to be considered is that the intention to leave a national team, or put an end to an international career, needs to be communicated prior to a specific summons.

Cole signs two-year Pompey deal
Irish Times – Aug 31, 2006
I know the club are trying to push forward, buying players and trying to start something new and I want to be a part of that. “The arrivals of Cole and Kranjcar – if confirmed – will take Pompey manager Harry Redknapp’s tally of new signings this summer to eight. Pompey took Portuguese midfielder Manuel Fernandes on a year-long loan deal from Benfica yesterday but if the 20-year-old international – who is not expected to play for at least six weeks – recovers from a groin injury and impresses at Fratton Park he will become the club’s record signing at around £7million. Kranjcar, 22, was being examined for Pompey at Croatia’s training camp ahead of their Euro 2008 qualifier with Russia on Saturday. Pompey have turned to him after losing out to Aston Villa in the race to sign Bulgarian star Stilian Petrov from Celtic. Redknapp is satisfied Cole, who netted 10 goals in 20 appearances last season, has recovered from two knee operations and a calf injury that has kept him out of action since February 12. Kranjcar has been in Croatia’s side since he was a teenager and starred at the World Cup… “The arrivals of Cole and Kranjcar – if confirmed – will take Pompey manager Harry Redknapp’s tally of new signings this summer to eight. Pompey took Portuguese midfielder Manuel Fernandes on a year-long loan deal from Benfica yesterday but if the 20-year-old international – who is not expected to play for at least six weeks – recovers from a groin injury and impresses at Fratton Park he will become the club’s record signing at around £7million. Kranjcar, 22, was being examined for Pompey at Croatia’s training camp ahead of their Euro 2008 qualifier with Russia on Saturday. Pompey have turned to him after losing out to Aston Villa in the race to sign Bulgarian star Stilian Petrov from Celtic. Redknapp is satisfied Cole, who netted 10 goals in 20 appearances last season, has recovered from two knee operations and a calf injury that has kept him out of action since February 12. Kranjcar has been in Croatia’s side since he was a teenager and starred at the World Cup. The son of Zlatko Kranjcar, Croatia’s coach at the World Cup, the Hajduk Split midfielder has been trailed by Juventus, Real Madrid and Celtic.

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