Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

September 4, 2006

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Staunton unfazed by possible…

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 5:58 am

The News Review:

* Klose dismisses talk of San Marino goal fest
* Struggling Italy goes to France for repeat of World Cup final matchup
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Sanchez accepts blame for…
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Staunton unfazed by possible…
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | New Gerrard role excites…
* Waddle wants international revamp
* Netherlands hosts Belarus in Euro 2008 qualifier
* Thuram slams ‘inappropriate’ Mourinho
* Croatian trio expelled from squad
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Macedonia tipped to qualify
* Referee expects explosive World Cup rematch
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Swedish coach sends Mellberg…
* Bulgaria without injured Berbatov
* BBC SPORT | Football | Gossip & Transfers | Monday’s football…
* The Last Word: Should Colautti and Arnold be playing for Israel?
* Hargreaves is our Makelele, says Terry
* German police praise Irish fans

Klose dismisses talk of San Marino goal fest
Independent Online – Sep 4, 2006
Klose, who won the Golden Boot at the World Cup, could be forgiven for thinking about swelling his goals tally of 31 in 63 internationals but the Werder Bremen forward is not getting overconfident. “We want to win this game and that is all that counts. I am not thinking of scoring three or four goals myself,” Klose said at Monday’s press conference. “San Marino will be compact and defend in numbers but we already know that.

Struggling Italy goes to France for repeat of World Cup final matchup
SportingNews.com – SportingNews.com (subscription) – Sep 4, 2006
Otherwise it may not make it to Euro 2008. Held 1-1 at home by Lithuania on Saturday, the Italians play at France less than two months after they met in the World Cup final. A defeat at Stade de France and Roberto Donadoni’s team could be five points behind France, Scotland and Georgia in the race for places at the European Championship in two years. Raymond Domenech’s French team is anxious to make up for its loss to the Italians in Berlin and faces an Azzurri lineup which is struggling to recapture the form that earned Italy a fourth World Cup. “It’s not revenge because it’s not like a boxing match where you can win the belt back,” said France striker Thierry Henry, who was on the squad which won the 1998 World Cup.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Sanchez accepts blame for…
BBC News – Sep 4, 2006
“Before the game, the Iceland boss held up one of the papers saying this was a game NI were going to win. “I never said that. It was expectation built up in the media,” said Sanchez. “Anybody that was in my press conferences will tell you that I never said that at all… “It was a game for the taking for either side on Saturday and Iceland took it. “Now we’ve got to regain some personal pride to repay the fans with a good performance on Wednesday night. ”

Striker David Healy later said he did not believe the side’s chances had been over-hyped. “We were coming into a new campaign, we were there to perform and we wanted to perform. “Recent results meant that we were probably going into the game as favourites which we are probably not used to,” said the Leeds United striker.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Staunton unfazed by possible…
BBC News – Sep 4, 2006
But an undaunted Staunton said: “It’s out of my control as to what happens now. “Even if I’m not in the dug-out and Bobby’s not back, then I’m not worried because I have a great backroom staff. “I picked them and I put full trust in them, and I will be able to relay my thoughts without getting angry in the stands. ”

Staunton refused to say whether he regretted the incident, or whether he would have to change his approach for future matches. He did say, however, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a point.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | New Gerrard role excites…
BBC News – Sep 4, 2006
The 26-year-old – set for his 50th cap in Wednesday’s Euro 2008 qualifier in Macedonia – has been outstanding since McClaren moved him to the right wing. McClaren said: “He can get better. He has been a fantastic influence in some of the games he has won for Liverpool. “We want to transfer that to England and he has started to do that over the last couple of games. ”

Under previous boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, Gerrard struggled to reproduce his club form for England in a central midfield partnership with Chelsea’s Frank Lampard… You can compare Owen to ‘Maka’ at Chelsea. Like Maka he breaks the play up brilliantly. “If anyone gets past him, then they still have us to beat in the defence but he is certainly not easy to get past.

Waddle wants international revamp
BBC News – Sep 4, 2006
The ex-England winger told BBC Sport: “It’s an absolute farce and I don’t think it does any good for football. “People pay good money and travel all over the country to watch England but they are not getting value for money. “Like the Champions League there should be a pre-qualifying tournament that looks at results from down the years. ”

As well as England, Scotland were also big winners in their opening Euro 2008 qualifier at the weekend, hammering six goals against the Faroe Islands… ”

Fellow Premiership manager Neil Warnock also weighed into the debate. The Sheffield United boss said: “It’s crazy in this day and age that big sides waste their time on useless opponents who never win. ”

Andorra last scored a goal in June 2005 and have not won a match since October 2004, a World Cup qualifier against England’s next opponents, Macedonia.

Netherlands hosts Belarus in Euro 2008 qualifier
International Herald Tribune – Sep 4, 2006
Both players are back from suspension, while roving midfielder Wesley Sneijder returns after missing Saturday’s 1-0 win over Luxembourg. Netherlands coach Marco van Basten has come under even more criticism for dropping Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mark van Bommel since the win over Luxembourg, but insists he is building for the future. “We are not building a younger team for the sake of building a younger team. We are changing things to achieve,” Van Basten said. Van Basten isn’t attracted to big name players. He has never selected Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids or Roy Makaay. Midfielder Nigel de Jong is also set to return, while Raphael van der Vaart and Arjen Robben remain on the sidelines with injuries.

Thuram slams ‘inappropriate’ Mourinho
rte.ie – Sep 4, 2006
The Barcelona defender lined up alongside Chelsea midfielder Makelele in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Georgia. Makelele was called up for the match despite declaring his international career over after the World Cup. The 33-year-old has put the retirement issue on hold until after Wednesday’s Euro 2008 qualifier against Italy, the team who beat France in the World Cup final. Makelele has already revealed his objections to his call-up and declared his hope that ‘the situation will be resolved so that there is no ambiguity’ in the near future. However Mourinho’s claim that ‘Makelele is not a football player, Makelele is a slave”as a result of the French Football Federation’s stance has upset Thuram. Thuram told L’Equipe: ‘Mourinho obviously does not know what slavery is. If he is comparing Makelele’s situation to slavery he ought to say sorry, he does not know what he is talking about… The 33-year-old has put the retirement issue on hold until after Wednesday’s Euro 2008 qualifier against Italy, the team who beat France in the World Cup final. Makelele has already revealed his objections to his call-up and declared his hope that ‘the situation will be resolved so that there is no ambiguity’ in the near future. However Mourinho’s claim that ‘Makelele is not a football player, Makelele is a slave”as a result of the French Football Federation’s stance has upset Thuram. Thuram told L’Equipe: ‘Mourinho obviously does not know what slavery is. If he is comparing Makelele’s situation to slavery he ought to say sorry, he does not know what he is talking about. ‘Maybe he wanted to shock but it was not an appropriate expression.

Croatian trio expelled from squad
CNN International – Sep 4, 2006
Kicked out of the squad by manager Slaven Bilic on Sunday, the trio were fined 30,000 kuna ($5,232) each by the Croatian FA after they attended a hearing on Monday. Bilic had acted after discovering they were not in their camp in Slovenia, where the squad are preparing for Wednesday’s Group E game against Russia, but had gone to a nightclub in Zagreb 25km away. The fines handed out at the hearing are the highest-possible penalty. The three players apologized to their coach, the FA and the public. "Although we will now be short of seven players, we are travelling to Moscow without these three," Bilic told a news conference on Monday. "If I hadn’t acted this way, I would have had to step down from my position," he added.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Macedonia tipped to qualify
BBC News – Sep 4, 2006
He has fond memories of playing England – in a Euro 2004 qualifier four years ago the Macedonian scored from a corner to embarrass goalkeeper David Seaman. Sakiri, 32, told BBC Sport: “We drew against England and in the World Cup qualifiers we drew twice with Holland. “Nobody expected it – we’ve a good team and a chance to be first or second. ”

Sakiri says Macedonia’s recent World Cup qualifying campaign was ultimately scuppered by two poor results against Andorra, who are also in Euro 2008 qualifying Group E – with England, Russia, Israel, Estonia and Croatia.

Referee expects explosive World Cup rematch
Independent Online – Sep 4, 2006
Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt into the chest of Marco Materazzi led to the Frenchman’s sending off shortly before full-time in the July 9 final won by Italy 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra-time. Italy only drew 1-1 with Lithuania in their first Euro 2008 Group B qualifier on Saturday though France beat Georgia 3-0 the same day. “I have never been afraid before a football match in my 27-year career and I have been officiating at a high level since 1989,” Handel told Monday’s edition of bi-weekly football magazine Kicker. Materazzi will also miss the game as he is serving the second match of a two-match suspension following the incident… “Generally speaking, the teams are starting with a clean slate,” Handel added. “I am well aware of the psychological and physical backdrop to this fixture. ”

Handel refereed the 2006 Uefa Cup final between Sevilla and Middlesbrough but did not officiate at the World Cup in Germany during the summer. “Of course I expect an explosive encounter. but above all I am looking forward to refereeing a classic European football match between two great teams who know how to play fairly,” Handel continued.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Swedish coach sends Mellberg…
BBC News – Sep 4, 2006
Mellberg and team-mates Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Christian Wilhelmsson were all expelled. The trio went out on Sunday evening and did not return to their hotel until early the next morning. Sweden coach Lars Lagerback said: “This is the least enjoyable decision I have had to make in my coaching career. ”

A statement from the Swedish FA confirmed the players had broken the rules, saying: “On Sunday the players were given some free time during the afternoon and evening, agreeing to meet again at the hotel at 11pm… Mellberg and team-mates Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Christian Wilhelmsson were all expelled. The trio went out on Sunday evening and did not return to their hotel until early the next morning. Sweden coach Lars Lagerback said: “This is the least enjoyable decision I have had to make in my coaching career. ”

A statement from the Swedish FA confirmed the players had broken the rules, saying: “On Sunday the players were given some free time during the afternoon and evening, agreeing to meet again at the hotel at 11pm. “The majority of players returned in time but three players stayed out until around 1.

Bulgaria without injured Berbatov
CNN International – Sep 4, 2006
"Along with international duty, Berbatov will almost certainly miss Tottenham’s league game at Manchester United on Saturday. Berbatov’s injury is another blow for Bulgaria coach Hristo Stoichkov, who has lost a fourth player from his original squad. Croatian-born Igor Tomasic has been forced out after an administrative problem with his Bulgarian nationality, while Wigan Athletic’s Svetoslav Todorov suffered a leg injury and did not make the trip to the Black Sea port of Constanta. Stoichkov called up goalkeeper Stoian Kolev on Sunday to replace Georgi Petkov, who took a kick in the head during the match with Romania. He later called-up Levski Sofia striker Hristo Yovov and midfielder Dimitar Telkiiski to added to his diminished squad. Tools: Save |
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BBC SPORT | Football | Gossip & Transfers | Monday’s football…
BBC News – Sep 4, 2006
(The Sun)

Wayne Rooney will overtake Rio Ferdinand as the highest paid player at Manchester United if the club agree to his wage demands. (Guardian)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says that international football is becoming a turn-off for fans because of the one-sided matches and “congestion of international matches”. (The Sun)

France and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has warned his country and Italy to beware of the threat of Scotland in their Euro 2008 qualifying group. (Daily Record)

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes defender Ashley Cole will cope with the criticism he faces over his controversial move from Arsenal to the Blues. (Daily Express)

Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has criticised the transfer window and claimed it is a “restraint of trade”. (The Independent)

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FUNNIES

England goalkeeper Paul Robinson did not touch the ball for a total of 42 minutes 51 seconds during Saturday’s stroll against Andorra. His spell of inactivity stretched from a goal-kick shortly before half-time to a picking up a pass from Ashley Cole just before full-time… (Daily Record)

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes defender Ashley Cole will cope with the criticism he faces over his controversial move from Arsenal to the Blues. (Daily Express)

Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has criticised the transfer window and claimed it is a “restraint of trade”. (The Independent)

Back to top

FUNNIES

England goalkeeper Paul Robinson did not touch the ball for a total of 42 minutes 51 seconds during Saturday’s stroll against Andorra. His spell of inactivity stretched from a goal-kick shortly before half-time to a picking up a pass from Ashley Cole just before full-time. (The Times)

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The Last Word: Should Colautti and Arnold be playing for Israel?
Jerusalem Post – Sep 4, 2006
In fact, many of their parents weren’t even Irish but they qualified to play for the boys in green through their grandparents’ or sometimes even great-grandparents’ nationality. John Aldridge was born in Liverpool, Ray Houghton in Glasgow and Chris Hughton, the first black man to play for Ireland, was born in London. Most of the Irish supporters didn’t care, but there was always something not right about that period of Irish soccer. (It was especially difficult for English fans to watch as England failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup while the Ireland squad flew off to the US with the very un-Irish Andy Townsend at the heart of its midfield. )Was it really the right thing to do for Charlton to seemingly play with the rules in order to unearth players of Irish descent and naturalize them so they could play for his team?

We thought it would never happen in English soccer, until Owen Hargreaves. The midfielder, who is fast becoming an essential member of the national team, may have English parents, but he grew up in Canada, lives in Germany and just doesn’t seem English. As Argentinian-turned-Israeli Roberto Colautti scored his first international goal just seven minutes into the Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia on Saturday night, the question of naturalized players reared its head again – as it had done on Thursday when Jamie Arnold starred for Israel in the Eurobasket 2007 qualifier against Bosnia… )Was it really the right thing to do for Charlton to seemingly play with the rules in order to unearth players of Irish descent and naturalize them so they could play for his team?

We thought it would never happen in English soccer, until Owen Hargreaves. The midfielder, who is fast becoming an essential member of the national team, may have English parents, but he grew up in Canada, lives in Germany and just doesn’t seem English. As Argentinian-turned-Israeli Roberto Colautti scored his first international goal just seven minutes into the Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia on Saturday night, the question of naturalized players reared its head again – as it had done on Thursday when Jamie Arnold starred for Israel in the Eurobasket 2007 qualifier against Bosnia. However much these players were of help to the team, it felt a little like we were cheating. The Colautti case got the most exposure as his paperwork was approved by UEFA apparently only a few minutes before the team’s plane left. There is no doubt that these two sportsmen are very dedicated to playing for Israel and their skills and experience can only be good for the team, but it just doesn’t feel right. True, Colautti and Arnold are both married to Israelis and so have much more of a connection to the country and a claim to a place on the national squad than Clinton Morrison does to the Irish team.

Hargreaves is our Makelele, says Terry
Independent Online – Sep 4, 2006
Bayern Munich star Hargreaves was booed by England’s fans at the start of the World Cup but finished the tournament as one of the team’s few success stories and has now nailed down a place in Steve McClaren’s starting XI. And England skipper Terry is one of Hargreaves’ biggest fans, believing he compares favourably to Chelsea team-mate Makelele, widely regarded as the world’s finest holding midfielder. “I think Owen Hargreaves has slotted in perfectly,” Terry enthused following England’s 5-0 Euro 2008 Championship qualifier win over Andorra on Saturday. Like Maka he breaks the play up brilliantly. If anyone gets past him, then they still have us to beat in the defence but he is certainly not easy to get past… Like Maka he breaks the play up brilliantly. If anyone gets past him, then they still have us to beat in the defence but he is certainly not easy to get past. ”

Hargreaves biting presence in midfield had allowed England’s more attack-minded players licence to roam, Terry said. “I think the attacking midfielders appreciate having Owen in there as well, knowing he will sit back if we are on the attack,” Terry said. Hargreaves’ midfield partner Frank Lampard was also full of praise for his minder. “Owen is playing very well.

German police praise Irish fans
rte.ie – Sep 4, 2006
The praise came as officials confirmed that only one supporter was arrested at this weekend’s clash against Germany. Between 10,000 and 12,000 supporters travelled to the German city the Euro 2008 qualifier. The Green Army packed in to the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium to cheer Staunton’s team as they kick-started their campaign. Despite Germany winning the match 1-0, the fans’ spirits never dampened. Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern, who was at the match, tonight congratulated Ireland’s fans for their good behaviour. Mr Ahern yesterday met with Stuttgart’s chief of police, Commissioner Seigfried Stumpf, who praised fans, consulate staff and Insp Tony Gallagher and Det Sgt Gerry Lawless, who worked alongside the city’s police to ensure that the event passed peacefully… ‘He said Irish fans were the best in the world, and that the door of Stuttgart would always be open for them,’ he said. The fan was arrested and fined on Friday evening for a public order offence. Details are not yet known. The commissioner and minister also applauded the setting up of the temporary consulate with six staff, as it freed police resources on the ground. Mr Ahern is now considering setting up another office in Cyprus when the Ireland travel there next month. ‘With up to 12,000 fans travelling to the game and just one arrest, the behaviour of fans speaks volumes for Ireland,’ added the spokesman. ‘Having been at the match in Stuttgart, Mr Ahern is delighted at seeing the behaviour of Irish fans first hand, even if the game didn’t go our way.

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