Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 16, 2006

A Week in Football: Clifford’s clangers on sympathy front

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 1:58 pm

The News Review:

* McClaren defiant over England job
* Kaiser Calls Germany “Miles Ahead” of European Competition
* Fans not neo-nazis
* A Week in Football: Clifford’s clangers on sympathy front
* RTÉ Sport: Bond is driving NI resurgence, says Wells
* O’Connor ‘put family first’
* Gordon a real heartstopper
* Wenger thinks Beckham may be recalled
* Paper View: Mac job on the line

McClaren defiant over England job
BBC News – Oct 15, 2006
McClaren was widely blamed for changing to a 3-5-2 formation as England’s bid to reach the finals faltered after a 2-0 defeat by Croatia in Zagreb. “The job I have taken on is qualifying for Euro 2008, so I should be judged at the end of that period,” said McClaren. “A good manager would qualify with these players. I’m not contemplating resigning. I feel we will get there. ”

McClaren believes it is vital he implements new tactics but understands why the England supporters vented their frustration in Croatia… “The job I have taken on is qualifying for Euro 2008, so I should be judged at the end of that period,” said McClaren. “A good manager would qualify with these players. I’m not contemplating resigning. I feel we will get there. ”

McClaren believes it is vital he implements new tactics but understands why the England supporters vented their frustration in Croatia.

Kaiser Calls Germany “Miles Ahead” of European Competition
Deutsche Welle – Oct 14, 2006
“The first half was fantastic. The team is playing consistently strong. There has not been this level of performance over a long period of time for many years,” Beckenbauer told the mass-market Bild newspaper Friday. The former soccer great, who also served as head of the 2006 World Cup Organizing Committee, said he was impressed with the German national side which since the World Cup under new coach Joachim Löw has won all five of their games, scoring 23 goals while conceding just one. Löw’s team tops World Cup side… “At the World Cup you could feel the determination to win. Now a lightness has come to it as well. ”

Germany handily defeated Slovakia 4-1 in Bratislava on Wednesday to continue the form they showed in reaching the World Cup semi-finals and took a big step towards Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland. “We can’t speak yet of the European Championship title. That’s really too early with almost two years to go,” he said. “But when I see how other big nations are stumbling through the qualifications we are at the moment miles ahead.

Fans not neo-nazis
Guardian Unlimited – Oct 14, 2006
I have to stress that this regrettable incident seems to be a clash between fans. British people, probably more than most, know of the conflicts some supporters can provoke when emotions are running high. I do frankly apologise for the improper behaviour of my countrymen, but have to say that it seems rather far-fetched to call them”neo-nazis”. Ukraine suffered the most from Nazism during the second world war, so I can assure you that we are well immunised against that phenomenon.

A Week in Football: Clifford’s clangers on sympathy front
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 15, 2006
Unfortunately, although the News Of The Screws is where Clifford first earned his reputation for peddling sleaze, he long since fell out with editor Andy Coulson, with whom he is now daggers drawn. So to the Screws’ horror, the first big interviews appeared in the Daily Mail and the Sun. Not content with that, Clifford decided to “help” his other big football client, England manager Steve McClaren, by blabbing to Radio Five that he might be considering bringing back David Beckham. The two have since parted company because McClaren, against Clifford’s advice, made his one correct call of the week by cancelling his ill-judged PR stunt to watch the Seattle Seahawks next weekend. How could a so-called top publicist not have realised that, following the Croatia defeat, McClaren would have been turned into a laughing stock if he had chosen to watch gridiron football instead of Manchester United against Liverpool?advertisement. In fact, before his regular briefings with national and local reporters, it is made clear that he will not answer questions on the Panorama interview or England… That will be addressed next summer. “It is comforting to know that England’s players are not the only big-time Charlies in international football who believe they have a divine right to victory, no matter how many times they lose. The Spanish, who are struggling even more than England in Euro 2008 qualification, are just the same, says Bolton’s Ivan Campo. He says: “The Spanish team is playing very, very bad at the moment but always, we go to the World Cup or the European championships and say we are the best. If we really want to win, we must go with humility and so should England. ” Surprisingly, though, the talk in Spain is not of who should play for the national team but why David Beckham is not in the England side. Campo says: “I think everyone is surprised because he is a great player.

RTÉ Sport: Bond is driving NI resurgence, says Wells
rte.ie – Oct 14, 2006
That is the view of Howard Wells, chief executive of the Irish Football Association. As a proud Englishman, he despairs of the rich pickings there are for ‘mediocre players’ in the Barclays Premiership as well as the ongoing club-versus-country row. The province remain in with a shout of qualifying for the finals of Euro 2008, after beating Latvia and hinting at the end of 20 years of hurt. The 1986 World Cup finals were the last time Northern Ireland made it to a major tournament – but now the fans are daring to dream. In a week which saw England beaten by Croatia, leaving the nation in a state of depression, there is a feelgood factor around Belfast and beyond. The team are gaining respectability and have climbed to 58th place in the FIFA world rankings since Lawrie Sanchez took over as manager. Wells told PA Sport: ‘People here identify with the players… ‘While some countries are struggling to retain their identity, Northern Ireland seem to be developing it at a rate that is very unusual. It makes us very enthusiastic. ‘
Northern Ireland does not have the same problems which prevail in England. ‘Certainly in England there is much more of an issue about the club-versus-country debate,’ added Wells. ‘So many players are made to feel so special – but they are quite mediocre in terms of their own ability. ‘That’s the way it is and that is the way the Premier League hype is. ‘Sadly the national team is struggling to keep pace with some of the brands that are these massive clubs.

O’Connor ‘put family first’
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 14, 2006
“After the France game everyone was allowed home and were required to gather again on Sunday at 7pm,” O’Connor told the newspaper. “But some problems came up with my wife, Lisa, who is having serious difficulty adapting to life in Moscow. “Therefore I considered it important to stay with her for two or three days and asked manager Walter Smith to let me go. My wife grew up in the countryside, and therefore at present she is finding it very difficult to adapt to such a huge city like Moscow… In my view it’s a mountain out of a molehill. “O’Connor’s former club, Hibernian, host the fixture that catches the eye in the Scottish Premier League this weekend when they entertain Heart of Midlothian in the first Edinburgh derby of the season in tomorrow’s broadcast game. Players on both sides have had other matters to occupy their minds this week, with Hibs losing their manager, Tony Mowbray, to West Bromwich Albion and Hearts providing four players — Craig Gordon, Robbie Neilson, Steven Pressley and Paul Hartley — to the Scotland side that started against Ukraine in Kiev. Vladimir Romanov, Hearts’ controlling shareholder, lauded his Scotland contingent: “I believe their success will keep the team’s spirit strong and they will all take that into the game against Hibs on Sunday,” he said. “I had a feeling of great pride to see four Hearts players in the Scottish team.

Gordon a real heartstopper
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 15, 2006
The Hearts man won his 19th cap in Kiev, when the Scots’ perfect start in Group B at last faltered under an intense and sustained bombardment by a Ukraine side inspired by Andrei Shevchenko, but the fact that the match was scoreless at half-time was again due in large measure to the inspirational qualities of Gordon, who will be in action this afternoon against Hibernian in the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road — watched by the Premiership clubs who have taken a close interest in his exploits. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is understood to have been impressed by what he saw of Gordon at first hand while working as a TV summariser during Scotland’s 1-0 victory over France at Hampden Park last week. Not that Walter Smith was tempted to gloat over the misfortunes befalling Gordon’s English and Welsh counterparts. “Sooner or later every goalkeeper has a bad day and there’s not a lot you can do to legislate for the ball bouncing over your foot because it has taken a bobble, as it did with Robinson,” the Scotland manager said. “His overall work is as good as Goram’s and that is partly because he is very calm… Experience will always help him but at 23 years old he is currently the best young keeper around. “In the Celtic defensive pair of Stephen McManus and Gary Caldwell, plus Darren Fletcher and James McFadden, Smith has a crop of players around the same age as Gordon who will be part of the Scottish scene for years to come. The manager, though, wants to bring through as many emerging talents as he can and, with no Euro 2008 qualifiers until March, he has arranged a B game against the Republic of Ireland at Dalymount Park on Nov 14. Gordon will face three such candidates today when they wear the green of Hibs. Kevin Thomson, Scott Brown and Steven Whittaker can all expect a run-out in Dublin. “The B international will be handy. It will give us a chance to see some who have reached the gap period between under-21 and senior level,” Smith said.

Wenger thinks Beckham may be recalled
rte.ie – Oct 14, 2006
McClaren, who omitted the Real Madrid midfielder from his squad for recent Euro 2008 qualifiers, has been fiercely criticised after England lost 2-0 to Croatia on Wednesday following a 0-0 draw with Macedonia. ‘McClaren maybe thought it was time for a new era and you always try that,’ Wenger was quoted as saying. ‘I do not want to add any pressure on him because he had the whole country on his back. I don’t think he needs any more. ‘But he certainly will analyse the situation and at least he will think about it… McClaren, who omitted the Real Madrid midfielder from his squad for recent Euro 2008 qualifiers, has been fiercely criticised after England lost 2-0 to Croatia on Wednesday following a 0-0 draw with Macedonia. ‘McClaren maybe thought it was time for a new era and you always try that,’ Wenger was quoted as saying. ‘I do not want to add any pressure on him because he had the whole country on his back. I don’t think he needs any more. ‘But he certainly will analyse the situation and at least he will think about it. Beckham is still technically a very good player. ‘
A report in the Daily Mail said McClaren’s publicist Max Clifford had decided to part company since the Croatia defeat.

Paper View: Mac job on the line
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 14, 2006
Away trips to Israel, Andorra and Estonia in Euro 2008 qualifiers next year will decide the England head coach’s future, according to the Express, although it says “the FA will not make a kneejerk reaction to the alarming slump”. Unlike the tabloids. Meanwhile, clauses in McClaren’s contract mean the FA can chop him half-way through his four-year deal “at no great financial cost” if England fail to qualify, the Mail reckons. For The Sun, ‘WHACK A MAC’ is the puchbag of world football after damning verdicts from Wednesday’s opponents Croatia, former internationals and, more importantly, the fans. Even his former players at Middlesbrough were glad to see the back him, the paper claims… Away trips to Israel, Andorra and Estonia in Euro 2008 qualifiers next year will decide the England head coach’s future, according to the Express, although it says “the FA will not make a kneejerk reaction to the alarming slump”. Unlike the tabloids. Meanwhile, clauses in McClaren’s contract mean the FA can chop him half-way through his four-year deal “at no great financial cost” if England fail to qualify, the Mail reckons. For The Sun, ‘WHACK A MAC’ is the puchbag of world football after damning verdicts from Wednesday’s opponents Croatia, former internationals and, more importantly, the fans. Even his former players at Middlesbrough were glad to see the back him, the paper claims.

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