Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

November 13, 2006

Vanishing act leaves O’Connor out in cold

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 8:02 am

The News Review:

* World Cup 2006 | 11.03.2006 Klinsi Critics Offer Grudging Support But…
* Croatia ready to tap into ‘ball of energy’
* World Cup 2006 | 11.06.2006 Angola Face off Against Former Colonial…
* Vanishing act leaves O’Connor out in cold
* Humble hero assured place in United folklore
* Bosnian FA boots out foreign coaches
* Sanchez yearns for feel-good factor

World Cup 2006 | 11.03.2006 Klinsi Critics Offer Grudging Support But…
Deutsche Welle – Nov 3, 2006

“We are back where we were a few years ago and time is running out. ”

Klinsmann also got some word of support from Theo Zwanziger, the chief executive of the German Football Association (DFB). DFB chief Zwanziger supports stay-away Klinsmann

“He’s not an easy character but easy characters don’t win the World Cup,” Zwanziger said of the Germany coach. “We need people who go their own way and don’t change their minds all the time… Effenberg, who played with the current German manager in the early 1990’s, believes a change is needed even though the finals begin in just three months time. Not content with calling for Klinsmann’s dismissal, Effenberg called for his old Bayern Munich boss Hitzfeld to take over the reins. Hitzfeld turned down the German job after the Euro 2004 finals, as did Greece manager Otto Rehhagel, before Klinsmann agreed to succeed Rudi Völler. “I do not think he would say no a second time if you asked him,” declared Effenberg. Hitzfeld, who won four German titles, two German cups and the 2001 Champions League crown with Bayern, is currently a free agent working as an expert on German television. Klinsmann hints at contract extension beyond World Cup

Klinsmann has so far refused to comment on all the speculation surrounding his future saying his future hinges on the World Cup. “No I would not say that my job is on the US game,” Klinsmann told Kicker magazine.

Croatia ready to tap into ‘ball of energy’
Telegraph.co.uk – Nov 10, 2006
A win over Italy in a friendly – albeit one marred by fans forming themselves into a swastika formation – gave him impetus but victory over England in the Maksimir would be on another level entirely. Their goalkeeper, Stipe Pletikosa, thought it perhaps the most important game Croatia have ever staged since independence, especially given the humiliating, Rooney-inspired victory that finished their European Championship campaign, where in the words of midfielder, Milan Rapaic, “we lacked the strength even to die”. England are much less formidable than they were in Lisbon, particularly in terms of the primitive, irresistible force that Rooney was in Euro 2004. “His game is in crisis,” Bilic said. “It cannot be easy being Rooney at the moment. Anger is an asset but he needs to channel it positively. But he is someone who can still split a defence in a second and we are not going to do anything to make him lose his temper, that is not our way… “I know about Beckham, there is the way he looks, the advertising stuff, his super wife, there is all of that to cope with, but he is still one of the best crossers of a ball in the world. One move from David Beckham can decide a match. “Bilic did not think that England played that badly against Macedonia. As someone who saw Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand take their first steps towards fulfilment at West Ham, he has an idea of how the English media work. “According to them it was awful but the media go to extremes. I have watched the game two or three times and England did not play to a level they might have expected but it was not awful,” said Bilic. “Expectations are often far too high and often it is not realistic.

World Cup 2006 | 11.06.2006 Angola Face off Against Former Colonial…
Deutsche Welle – Nov 6, 2006
Portugal sights set on quarter-finals

“What we want is to finish in the top eight. That’s the minimum we’re looking for,” Scolari said. “Unfortunately in previous years, things did not go well for the Portuguese squad, but obviously you also learn with your mistakes,” said defender Nuno Valente, adding he expects his team to move beyond the first round. “We are a strong team and we have all that it takes to do it.

Vanishing act leaves O’Connor out in cold
Telegraph.co.uk – Nov 10, 2006
This win is unbelievable – it will stay with me for the rest of my life. “Even had O’Connor turned up, Smith was never likely to countenance such bombastic statements. The manager has taken pains to remind his squad that last time they beat a fancied side at Hampden – a 1-0 victory against Holland in a Euro 2004 play-off – they were hammered 6-0 in the return. While it seems unlikely that any such trauma awaits in Kiev, Smith has emphasised the relentless toil which is required in the toughest of the Euro 2008 qualifying groups. O’Connor, whose appearance as a substitute on Saturday meant that he had won nine caps in a Scotland jersey, scoring two goals, also withdrew from the squad who flew to Lithuania for his country’s second qualifying game last month, having reported an upset stomach. Moreover, on Sunday he was quoted in newspaper reports as saying that his wife had found it difficult to settle in Russia and that he intended to leave Lokomotiv during the January transfer window. Those analysing the case will have noted that O’Connor was a substitute in both appearances this season and not available for subsequent travelling parties… The manager can, however, look forward to fielding a reinforced attack, despite O’Connor’s decision to take French leave. Kenny Miller, who was forced to sit out Saturday’s match because he was suspended, is available again. “It was hard not to be playing but I still felt part of it all because there is such a great spirit among the lads,” he said. “After the game the dressing room was really buzzing but although we got a massive result, it’s only one step along the road. We do feel we can win in Kiev but it will take another huge amount of work to do so.

Humble hero assured place in United folklore
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 24, 2006
Twice, though, Steve McClaren was politely turned down. Scholes, it seems, can’t be bothered with all that. After winning 66 caps, he retired from international football after Euro 2004. Now, in his 32nd year, a period Ferguson fondly describes as the player’s “golden years”, Scholes continues to show the quality that has kept him at the forefront of his manager’s thoughts since the day of his goalscoring debut against Port Vale 12 years ago. His 132nd goal for United was a typical piece of opportunism. Having nudged the ball sideways to Wayne Rooney 20 yards out, the ‘ginger prince’ continued his run, arriving on the edge of the six-yard box in acres of space… ” A knack of doing plenty more besides too, like forming pictures in his head very few others can muster, knowing what he is going to do with the ball just before it arrives and carrying out those ideas with a virtually unrivalled technique. Economy of movement – that’s what makes him so special, plus a masterful understanding of any given situation. That’s not to say, of course, that he hasn’t endured poor spells during a trophy-laden career reaping six Premiership titles. Games have been known to occasionally pass him by when the radar isn’t working properly or confidence is low. He can’t tackle either, which directly led at one point, in a Wembley date with Sweden, to him getting sent off for England. More recently, a clumsy challenge against Porto in a pre-season friendly prompted a three-match domestic ban at the start of this season.

Bosnian FA boots out foreign coaches
Pakistan Dawn – Nov 5, 2006
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Bosnian FA boots out foreign coaches
SARAJEVO, Nov 4: The Bosnian FA (NFSBIH) has dismissed national team coach Blaz Sliskovic and the coaches of all its other representative sides after a poor start to Euro 2008 qualifying. ?All coaches have been dismissed and we will advertise all coaching staff posts,? executive board member Muhidin Rascic told the Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje. The executive board have not discussed a demand from the 13 Bosnia players, all foreign based, who this week threatened to boycott international call-ups unless the heads of the NFSBIH resigned. Bosnia have failed to qualify for the finals of a major tournament after a decade of trying, and the same applies to junior selections. The national team’s Euro 2008 campaign began with a 5-2 win at Malta before they lost 3-1 at home to Hungary, drew 2-2 with Moldova and crashed 4-0 at home to Greece. Sliskovic, who narrowly failed to take Bosnia to the finals of this year’s World Cup and Euro 2004, resigned after the Hungary game but was persuaded to stay on. Earlier this year, his contract was extended until mid-2008… Bosnia have failed to qualify for the finals of a major tournament after a decade of trying, and the same applies to junior selections. The national team’s Euro 2008 campaign began with a 5-2 win at Malta before they lost 3-1 at home to Hungary, drew 2-2 with Moldova and crashed 4-0 at home to Greece. Sliskovic, who narrowly failed to take Bosnia to the finals of this year’s World Cup and Euro 2004, resigned after the Hungary game but was persuaded to stay on. Earlier this year, his contract was extended until mid-2008. The domestic league is also in a poor state, mired in allegations of corruption and match-fixing. The NFSBIH is run on ethnic lines that reflect the delicate balance between the country’s two parts, the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation, created after the 1992-95 war. The 13 players plus former captain Sergej Barbarez, who retired after the Greece game, called for the resignation of the NFSBIH board’s Muslim, Serb and Croat members and of the national team director.

Sanchez yearns for feel-good factor
Ireland Online – Nov 10, 2006
?The fans are the people we play for and they are the ones we have to satisfy. ?You cannot rest on your laurels ? we need to feed their expectation. That is not a worry for me or my team. ?But we do know we have to be more consistent against the teams of our stature if we are to continue our progress… A 4-0 victory against Iceland earlier in the campaign shows they have to be respected. Sanchez said: ?Teams from 50th place down into the 100s can beat each other, it is that even. ?Latvia have had a bad time since qualifying for the finals of Euro 2004 and slipped down the rankings. ?But they have shown they can bridge gaps by beating Iceland. ?

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