Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

September 10, 2006

Slick Bilic knows how to put up a solid defence

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 8:42 am

The News Review:

* Sanchez to stay on as Northern Ireland manager
* No Juve as Italy prepare for something different
* Romanov’s vision to overtake Old Firm
* Slick Bilic knows how to put up a solid defence
* I stay on as Northern Ireland manager, says Sanchez
* Staunton: I’ll take criticism on the chin
* Staunton handed touchline suspension
* Honeymoon over as England draw blank
* Caldwell puts Scots on top
* Jol reveals Lennon injury
* Bellamy assault trial postponed

Sanchez to stay on as Northern Ireland manager
Irish Times – Sep 9, 2006
Sanchez did not turn up for a post-match press conference after the 3-2 victory against Spain in midweek, fuelling speculation he would not be in charge for the rest of the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. Irish Football Association president Jim Boyce then had a “long and amicable, private conversation” with Sanchez to discuss the personal issues which prompted his actions, and the former Wimbledon midfielder — whose deal finishes at the end of the qualifying campaign — wants to carry on. A statement from Sanchez read: “After discussions with the IFA and largely thanks to the tremendous messages of support I’ve received from the people of Northern Ireland, I have decided to continue in my role for the remainder of my contract. “There has been speculation linking me with managerial positions in England but I categorically deny the underlying events of the past few days have been sparked by any desire to return to club football. “I hope we can now put this series of events behind us and continue working for the benefit and progress of Northern Ireland football.

No Juve as Italy prepare for something different
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 9, 2006
What if, after the brief hiatus of the Euro 2008 qualifiers, the Premiership re-started this weekend in the following condition: Chelsea have been relegated to the Championship, where they face life among the great unwashed with a 17 point penalty. Meanwhile, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, although remaining at the top table, have been similarly inconvenienced in terms of points and are positioned so far off the pace at the start of the season they require binoculars to see the starting line. Now, if that had happened, how would you react? Would you be thinking the coming season is going to be very dull indeed without them in contention? Or would you barely be able to contain yourself in the excitement of watching something other than the usual procession?The Italian league season kicks off today in a condition no one could have predicted even three months ago, with three of its better sides — Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio — already miles behind the pack and with its leading light — Juventus — dismissed from the party altogether. “It is Year Zero,” says James Richardson, the long-time observer of Italian football. “There is a real sensation about the place that anything is possible… “It is Year Zero,” says James Richardson, the long-time observer of Italian football. “There is a real sensation about the place that anything is possible. Which, to say the least, was not always the case in Italy. Here, to paraphrase Gary Lineker, football was a game of 90 minutes, involving 22 men, 10 substitutes and a referee — and Juve always won. “As he has every season since 1992, Richardson is presenting English television coverage of Serie A. These days live games and his Gazzetta Football Italia magazine show are broadcast on the satellite channel Bravo. Richardson anticipates viewers will be finding their way to these unfamiliar surroundings in their hundreds of thousands, if nothing else to enjoy the aftermath of Juventus’s fall.

Romanov’s vision to overtake Old Firm
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 9, 2006
They might even have blinked in disbelief. The occasion was the eve of this week’s Euro 2008 qualifier between Lithuania and Scotland in Kaunas, the city of Romanov’s boyhood. The Hearts owner had taken over the Restaurant Pompeja, a couple of blocks from the prosperous city centre, to throw a reception for, of all people, the Scottish sporting press – whom he recently railed against as ”Glasgow-based media puppets”. The mood, however, was affable as Romanov revealed that the premises backed on to the courtyard of the apartment block where he lived until his late teens. Turning to the subject at hand, he insisted that he welcomed ”dialogue and an open exchange of views”. That done, the man whose autocratic style saw off George Burley and Graham Rix as managers, during last season’s roller-coaster progress to second place in the SPL and victory in the Scottish Cup, made himself available for interrogation… ‘How can I explain? To be able to pick the team, you should be at the training ground twice a day. And I am not, as you can see. “To pick the team it is not enough to just be a coach, however. You need to talk to the medical staff and get information from the club doctors on the individual condition of the players. “I have no ability to do this but sometimes there are situations when I ask the coach searching questions about the make-up of the team. I will ask Valdas Ivanauskas [Hearts’ manager] why a particular player has been selected – like Takis Fyssas or Lee Wallace.

Slick Bilic knows how to put up a solid defence
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 10, 2006
“There is not even an argument about that. Then it’s us or Russia for second with Israel on the fringe, as they always seem to be. I played with Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand at West Ham and against loads of the others. Obviously I know a lot about England, but it’s one thing to know a lot about them, you have to try and stop them. Can we do that? Put it this way: a draw is the minimum requirement for us… To qualify, you can’t afford to lose home games – and that includes England. “Bilic began his coaching career at his hometown club, Hadjuk Split, before taking over Croatia’s under-21 side in the summer of 2004. In July, after the senior side’s poor performance at the World Cup when they failed to get beyond the second round, he stepped up a level and replaced Zlatko Kranjcar as boss of the senior team, with a brief to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals. A 0-0 away draw with Guus Hiddink’s Russia in Moscow wasn’t a bad way to start. “We were closer than them to getting three points and it was a great result, because no team are going to get an easy game there. This job is a real honour because in Croatia, a bit like in England, it is probably the biggest job after prime minister. The pressure and responsibility are huge, with people watching your every move.

I stay on as Northern Ireland manager, says Sanchez
Guardian Unlimited – Sep 10, 2006
‘After discussions with the Irish Football Association, and largely thanks to the tremendous messages of support I’ve received from the people of Northern Ireland, I have decided to continue my role for the remainder of my contract,’ he said. ‘I categorically deny that the underlying events of the past few days have been sparked by any desire to return to club football. ‘Sanchez did not go to a post-match press conference after the side’s 3-2 win over Spain in midweek, fuelling speculation he would not be in charge for the rest of the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. But announcing his decision to remain yesterday, he made a stinging attack on parts of the Northern Ireland media for their handling of the controversy: ‘The team deserve more respect for what we have achieved. ‘Two of the IFA’s independent directors, Alan Moneypenny and Jim Black, resigned last week before the speculation over Sanchez’s future, in protest at ‘resistance to change’.

Staunton: I’ll take criticism on the chin
Ireland Online – Sep 10, 2006
As if calls for his head were not bad enough following Saturday?s embarrassing 5-2 Euro 2008 qualifying defeat by Cyprus, Staunton?s injury troubles continue to mount. Paddy Kenny and Stephen Ireland have both today undergone scans on hamstring injuries, while Andy O?Brien is also extremely doubtful with a severely swollen ankle. With Richard Dunne suspended following his dismissal at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia for two bookable offences, Staunton faces the prospect of being without his most experienced centre-back pairing for Wednesday?s visit to Lansdowne Road of the Czech Republic. Many critics will argue that may be no bad thing following their displays against Cyprus, although it would mean Staunton being forced to turn to the likes of Preston?s uncapped Sean St Ledger. When asked whether he felt there was a curse hanging over him at the moment, Staunton replied: ?There seems to be.

Staunton handed touchline suspension
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 9, 2006
The former Liverpool and Aston Villa defender will not be allowed to join his staff on the bench for Ireland’s next match, against Cyprus on Oct 7. Anticipating the suspension, Staunton previously shrugged off the possible sanction as he was confident he would be able to communicate with his coaches from the stands… The former Liverpool and Aston Villa defender will not be allowed to join his staff on the bench for Ireland’s next match, against Cyprus on Oct 7. Anticipating the suspension, Staunton previously shrugged off the possible sanction as he was confident he would be able to communicate with his coaches from the stands. However, Uefa regulations prevent a suspended manager from any contact with other team personnel from the moment the team enter the stadium.

Honeymoon over as England draw blank
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 10, 2006
And if Steve McClaren harboured any doubts about the public’s doubts of his competence, they were dispelled when his team, who had won all their previous three games under his charge, were booed off at the end of both halves of this Euro 2008 qualifier. After all the talk of a new era, of new beginnings, this was a deeply disappointing performance against one of the genuine minnows of world football. That old chestnut about there being no easy games in international football anymore just will not wash.

Caldwell puts Scots on top
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 10, 2006
Walter Smith’s players have completed only a quarter of their campaign, yet in the space of three games they have restored the self-respect and pride that was shredded during the ill-fated tenure of Berti Vogts. And even Vogts, so frequently maligned by Scottish commentators, may feel entitled to share a little of the credit for the extraordinary events witnessed at Hampden Park on Saturday evening. It was he who introduced James McFadden – “my cheeky boy”, as Vogts used to call him — to the international scene and he also gave Gary Caldwell his first cap in 2002. Scotland were badly mauled on that occasion, thrashed 5-0 by the reigning European Champions in a friendly with France at the Stade de France… Brown had seen France beat Italy in Paris last month and noted that 16 ball boys – or rather, fit young men – were stationed around the pitch, each holding a ball that was thrown to the nearest player (on both sides) whenever the match ball went out of play. The purpose was to permit the French to maintain their high tempo game. Such applied pace would not suit Scotland against technically superior opponents. Did anyone mention this to the ballboys at Hampden? One can only speculate – as Domenech did. Information appearing on telegraph. uk is the copyright of Telegraph MediaGroup Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence.

Jol reveals Lennon injury
Ireland Online – Sep 9, 2006
The 19-year-old winger, a second-half substitute in the Euro 2008 qualifying win over Macedonia in Skopje on Wednesday, was expected to be in the Tottenham side to face Manchester United at Old Trafford this evening. Instead, Lennon missed the 1-0 defeat, with Tottenham boss Martin Jol confirming he is awaiting the results of tests on the knee. With important UEFA Cup and Barclays Premiership assignments to come over the next month, Jol will be desperate to have one of his key men fit, as will England boss Steve McClaren as Lennon would be an automatic choice in the squad for next month?s double-header with Macedonia and Croatia… ?There could be a problem with the cartilage in his knee. ?We will make an assessment on him tomorrow, when we will probably know the extent of the damage for sure. ?

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Bellamy assault trial postponed
Ireland Online – Sep 10, 2006
The trial was due to open at Cardiff magistrates? court tomorrow and would have clashed with the Cyprus match at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday in a qualifier for the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament. The 27-year-old Liverpool striker is accused of common assault against Holly Smith and Sophie Palmer during an incident at the Number 10 nightclub in Cardiff city centre on February 5 of this year. Bellamy did not appear at today?s hearing in which prosecution solicitor Catrin Davies succeeded in an application to adjourn the case after medical evidence relating to one of the complainants came to light last week… The trial was due to open at Cardiff magistrates? court tomorrow and would have clashed with the Cyprus match at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday in a qualifier for the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament. The 27-year-old Liverpool striker is accused of common assault against Holly Smith and Sophie Palmer during an incident at the Number 10 nightclub in Cardiff city centre on February 5 of this year. Bellamy did not appear at today?s hearing in which prosecution solicitor Catrin Davies succeeded in an application to adjourn the case after medical evidence relating to one of the complainants came to light last week.

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