Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

September 17, 2006

When the going gets tough

Filed under: World Cup 2006 — Ivan @ 6:25 am

The News Review:

* … managers keep quiet about secret of success | Liverpool |…
* A Week in Football: Fifa ranks highest for sheer idiocy
* ‘Special Needs’ Saudi Soccer Team Capture First World Cup
* When the going gets tough
* Thompson needs trip to opticians not Buck Palace
* Supersize me, say Ashes cricket teams
* BBC SPORT | Football | African | Tanzania to tour Brazil
* BBC SPORT | Athletics | Johnson beats Liu in Cup hurdles
* Farrell cut out for leading role
* Coe on a mission to clean up football
* ESPN.com – NCF – Bush ‘not worried’ about illegal benefit…

… managers keep quiet about secret of success | Liverpool |…
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 16, 2006
I’d like to correctly guess a Rafa Benitez team selection before I retire. Remember when Jose Mourinho marched into a press conference and confidently named the Barcelona line-up on the eve of a Chelsea Champions League game at the Nou Camp? Not even he would be bold enough to try it before tomorrow’s match with Liverpool. If you were to ask Steven Gerrard today, he wouldn’t know. Gerrard and the other 19 players who travelled to Eindhoven were informed of the Liverpool team to face PSV barely an hour before kick-off last Tuesday.

A Week in Football: Fifa ranks highest for sheer idiocy
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 16, 2006
These, of course, show England, who were possibly the worst team at the World Cup, taking over fourth spot from Italy, who actually won it. Since then, Italy have drawn with Lithuania and lost to both Croatia and World Cup runners-up France, while England have thrashed a team of Greek waiters and part-timers from Andorra, one of the weakest teams in international football, and scraped a win in Macedonia. So you multiply incompetence by away goals, divide by reason, throw logic out of the window and you come up with England ahead of Italy. Only England manager Steve (“Frank Lampard had a 100 touches”) McClaren, who is obsessed with meaningless statistics, could possibly understand this.

‘Special Needs’ Saudi Soccer Team Capture First World Cup
Arab News – Sep 17, 2006
The verdict was achieved following penalty kicks after the Saudis staged a brilliant rally to forge a 4-4 deadlock in the regulation and extra time before striking true in the set of five penalties. The Dutch missed one and with that the opportunity to extend the battle and their hopes of taking their third title in the special soccer event. Previously Holland had won the cup in 1994 and 2002, while in 1998 England emerged champs with the fourth edition getting a new champion in Saudi Arabia. Dutch striker Danny Cheruers scored the first goal in the 14th minute and 13 minutes later Dennies Mankwah doubled it… Nevertheless, the 76th minute was what everyone looking forward to as Al-Doussari passed through a smooth goal to Kasser who gave the crowd a greater enjoyment scoring the equalizer 4-4. The two extra time halves ended goalless for both teams. President of Saudi Youth Welfare and Saudi Football Federation Prince Sultan ibn Fahd said in an interview after the match that he is very proud of the team and their performance. ?We will continue to help them develop their skills to keep this professional level. ??What we saw today is the result of athletes who are patriotic, optimistic and enthusiastic. We thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for his continuous support and also Prince Sultan ibn Fahd and his Deputy President Prince Nawaf ibn Faisal for their zealous efforts,? said Al-Suwailem. The Saudi national team would arrive home today from Germany on a private plane at 9 p.

When the going gets tough
Hindu – Sep 16, 2006
Yet, perfection is next to impossible in this job as a referee, which is also considered thankless. On many occasions the split second decision of a referee decides the fate of a football match. With the advent of technology in modern times, every decision of the referee comes under the scanner these days. Technology has also helped in effective communication between a referee and his assistants… With the advent of technology in modern times, every decision of the referee comes under the scanner these days. Technology has also helped in effective communication between a referee and his assistants. The head-butting incident in the recently concluded World Cup was a proof enough. Homework essential

It is imperative for a referee to do the homework before the start of the match. “Apart from going through the rule book, it is essential for a referee to read the players and know who are the ones likely to be attacked by the opponents,” says L. Natarajan, former FIFA referee and an expert on the laws of the game.

Thompson needs trip to opticians not Buck Palace
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 16, 2006
If Thompson cannot see the connection between the cavernous money-pit of Wembley, the appalling decision to scrap the Burton finishing school and the hesitancy of Lampard and Rooney at spot-kicks he needs his a trip to the opticians, not Buck Palace. Under Thompson’s anaemic leadership, the FA’s priorities have become skewed, with the emphasis on building a white elephant off the North Circular Road, rather than building up the weaponry of England internationals. This weekend will doubtless showcase English football at its tumultuous best; Sky’s sultans of spin are only marginally over the top in billing Chelsea-Liverpool and Manchester United-Arsenal as ‘Grand Slam Sunday’… As the lead guardian of the English game, Thompson should be encouraging a commitment to technical excellence where taking penalties becomes second nature. When Rooney, England and Manchester United’s best player, stood back to allow Louis Saha to deal with a penalty against Celtic on Wednesday, it felt deeply symbolic: Saha was trained in such eventualities at Clairefontaine, the magnificent French centre of excellence situated on the edge of Paris. It was here that Les Bleus’ victories in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 were plotted. The French boast a soccer Sorbonne while the FA, in scrapping Burton, rip up plans for a footballing seat of learning. Lampard handing penalty-taking duties to Michael Ballack at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday was similarly significant to the Rooney-Saha incident. How can the English prosper in tournaments as long as the Germans or French if they do not nurture technique? England’s best performer at the World Cup was Owen Hargreaves, educated in Germany. England’s most two-footed player? Hargreaves.

Supersize me, say Ashes cricket teams
The Age – Sep 15, 2006
Meanwhile Australia has dispatched a squad of 18 players and 10support staff for a brief and relatively inconsequentiallimited-over series in Malaysia. Their reasoning is different. England is spending an extra$A750,000 to send the shadow party as cover for injuries, whileAustralia is using a rotation strategy to maximise its optionsahead of the World Cup in the Caribbean next year. So why the sudden move to “supersize” squads after a decadedominated by touring parties that travelled light and were seldomlarger than 14?Australian coach John Buchanan believes it’s part of a trendtowards the meticulous preparations favoured by other team sportslike rugby union, football and cycling. “It’s how in the end you define professionalism,” he said,pointing to England World Cup winning rugby coach Clive Woodward’sinsistence on a 45-man squad (later expanded to 51) for the BritishLions tour of New Zealand last year. Despite the numbers, the AllBlacks swept the series 3-0. Australia’s own experiment with a “supersize” squad has createdthe odd difficulty, as when Ricky Ponting was unable to inform themedia of the 11 to play West Indies on Tuesday because he could notkeep track of the seven men left out… Their reasoning is different. England is spending an extra$A750,000 to send the shadow party as cover for injuries, whileAustralia is using a rotation strategy to maximise its optionsahead of the World Cup in the Caribbean next year. So why the sudden move to “supersize” squads after a decadedominated by touring parties that travelled light and were seldomlarger than 14?Australian coach John Buchanan believes it’s part of a trendtowards the meticulous preparations favoured by other team sportslike rugby union, football and cycling. “It’s how in the end you define professionalism,” he said,pointing to England World Cup winning rugby coach Clive Woodward’sinsistence on a 45-man squad (later expanded to 51) for the BritishLions tour of New Zealand last year. Despite the numbers, the AllBlacks swept the series 3-0. Australia’s own experiment with a “supersize” squad has createdthe odd difficulty, as when Ricky Ponting was unable to inform themedia of the 11 to play West Indies on Tuesday because he could notkeep track of the seven men left out. However Buchanan said the concept was working well, with all 18players keen and motivated.

BBC SPORT | Football | African | Tanzania to tour Brazil
BBC News – Sep 16, 2006
The Taifa Stars will play some build-up matches against local sides in the South American country in February before returning home for the Group Seven tie. The tour will be sponsored by a local business tycoon Mohammed Dewji, who is the chairman of a committee appointed by government, to raise funds to aid Tanzania’s 2008 Nations Cup qualifying campaign. “We are determined to support the government’s efforts to enable the team qualify for the African Cup of Nations in 2008 and the World Cup in 2010,” said Dewji. Tanzania qualified for their only Cup of Nations finals in 1980 and president Jakaya Kikwete has offered to provide any support needed for the team to reach Ghana in 2008. He was part of the capacity crowd that saw the Taifa Stars beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in their opening match at home earlier this month. Meanwhile, coach Marcio Maximo is scouting for talents from Zanzibar to strengthen his team ahead of the match against Mozambique next month. Zanzibar revived its membership with the Tanzania Football Federation after Fifa turned down its request for membership.

BBC SPORT | Athletics | Johnson beats Liu in Cup hurdles
BBC News – Sep 17, 2006
The former Olympic champion, 35, won in 12. 96 seconds, his quickest time this season and just 0. 04secs off the personal best he set 10 years ago.

Farrell cut out for leading role
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 16, 2006
But then why would you smash it up when you can deliver perfect passes, both short and long-range? And that was where he will have gained most enjoyment, sitting in the No 10 slot, creating gaps, calling for decoy runners and finishing with a try. The positives are obvious, the negatives he can work on, and I doubt he is under any illusion as to the size of the task and the expectations on him. Mike Ford, England’s defensive coach, says Andy has the X factor, while Martyn Thomas, the Rugby Football Union’s chairman, claims he has the aura of Martin Johnson. His story is fascinating, with so many sides to it: the RFU sponsorship of his switch between codes, his age and the fear that he hasn’t got his best years to come, and not least what his transfer and much anticipated debut says about English rugby and its selection quandaries. Had England gone from strength to strength after World Cup glory I doubt we would have the interest, and almost panic, surrounding selection decisions. But the questions remain. Why are we so desperate for Richard Hill to put himself through it all again, and why do we fret over whether Phil Vickery can come back after yet another neck operation? And are we really hoping that Andy Farrell can save our World Cup dream?My view is that right now, deep down, English rugby supporters don’t feel the national team are good enough to defend their crown… Mike Ford, England’s defensive coach, says Andy has the X factor, while Martyn Thomas, the Rugby Football Union’s chairman, claims he has the aura of Martin Johnson. His story is fascinating, with so many sides to it: the RFU sponsorship of his switch between codes, his age and the fear that he hasn’t got his best years to come, and not least what his transfer and much anticipated debut says about English rugby and its selection quandaries. Had England gone from strength to strength after World Cup glory I doubt we would have the interest, and almost panic, surrounding selection decisions. But the questions remain. Why are we so desperate for Richard Hill to put himself through it all again, and why do we fret over whether Phil Vickery can come back after yet another neck operation? And are we really hoping that Andy Farrell can save our World Cup dream?My view is that right now, deep down, English rugby supporters don’t feel the national team are good enough to defend their crown. The fans just don’t believe England are producing enough world-class players to storm to the summit next year and are fantasising that a knight in shining armour will charge around the corner.

Coe on a mission to clean up football
Telegraph.co.uk – Sep 17, 2006
“The ethics committee, or what passed for it in the past, has been effectively policing itself with executive members of FIFA on it,” Coe said. “This is now an entirely independent group of people who can and will look absolutely independently. “I’m not attached to the Football Association and I don’t have a shareholding in a football club. All I have is four season tickets at Chelsea, which I pay for each year. Coe believes public faith in the integrity of football’s leaders is crucial if the game is to prosper… Coe believes public faith in the integrity of football’s leaders is crucial if the game is to prosper. Only last week a leaked auditors’ report accused Jack Warner, a FIFA vice-president from Trinidad and Tobago, of selling World Cup tickets on the black market for four times their face value. “If there has been one continuum throughout everything I’ve done in my career it is that I haven’t dodged difficult issues,” said Coe, who famously addressed an International Olympic Committee congress at the age of 21 and delivered a hard-hitting warning that unless the IOC got a grip of performance-enhancing drugs, Olympic sport was heading for disaster. “I’ve never shirked from issues of corporate governance,” he said. “When you take on something like this you’re not just a figurehead to sit there and be supine. “Coe insists his new role will not interfere with his position as chairman of the London 2012 Olympic organising committee, which will remain his full-time job.

ESPN.com – NCF – Bush ‘not worried’ about illegal benefit…
ESPN – Sep 16, 2006
The Web site reported that the benefits, which could lead the NCAA to retroactively declare Bush ineligible and level sanctions against the Trojans, were supplied by two groups that were attempting to sign Bush as a client. Bush also could be stripped of his Heisman Trophy. BCS: No plan yetThe BCS, which controls the postseason in Division I-A football, said it will wait for the facts before making any decision regarding Reggie Bush and USC. “The BCS is not an investigative body, or a governance body,” BCS coordinator Mike Slive told ESPN. “It’s designed to put together a championship game. What we said earlier this year is that once the NCAA and the Pacific-10 Conference processes are complete, if there are findings of wrongdoing, we will determine if any actions are appropriate.

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