Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

November 17, 2006

Dutch share weight of expectations

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 4:33 am

The News Review:

* McClaren sees positives despite England’s Euro 2008 slide
* Germany Labor in Nicosia as Cyprus Spark in 1-1 Euro Draw
* An evening of light and shadows
* Dutch share weight of expectations
* Irish aim to go out with a bang
* Kenny has eyebrow bitten off in fight
* Our 4-3-3 formation left me dazed and confused
* Gallas: First goal vital
* Now the hard part for Richards
* Staunton hails Robson’s return
* Gunners miss midfield duo
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Giggs likely to sit out NI…
* Paper View: Heat’s off McClaren, for now
* Premier League preview: 4 teams tied for second chase Betar

McClaren sees positives despite England’s Euro 2008 slide
International Herald Tribune – Nov 16, 2006
A glance at England’s Euro 2008 group shows England has a lot to worry about over the winter before resuming its qualifying campaign in late March. Just minutes before Rooney’s goal in Amsterdam helped England to a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in Wednesday’s friendly, England had slipped to third in Group E after Croatia won 4-3 at Israel and Russia beat Macedonia 2-0. Things would have been worse if the Israelis had fought back for a 4-4 tie. That would have pushed England down to fourth in the seven-team group… Whoever thought that was silly. But it is up to us and I still say we are in a very good position. ” The media and England fans may not see it that way, especially with the way England is now struggling to win games. With McClaren and assistant coach Terry Venables tinkering with the formation and lineup game by game, England was held 0-0 at home by Macedonia, lost to the Croats and then surrendered the lead in the last four minutes against a Dutch side which had plenty of possession but looked poor in front of goal. With Rooney returning to form and scoring for the first since England’s 3-2 victory over Argentina in Geneva a year ago, England showed an overall improvement on the tame loss in Zagreb which had critics saying he was the wrong choice to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson. “I am not bothered about the criticism,” he said after the draw in Amsterdam. “All I am bothered about is the team, the performance and the result.

Germany Labor in Nicosia as Cyprus Spark in 1-1 Euro Draw
Deutsche Welle – Nov 16, 2006
) typified Germany’s laborious display European minnows Cyprus gave another rousing performance in Nicosia on Wednesday by holding soccer superpower Germany to a famous 1-1 draw in the latest round of Euro 2008 Group D qualifiers. Germany, who knocked 13 past San Marino, found Cyprus a tougher proposition despite missing a hat-full of chances in the second half and German coach Joachim Löw could not hide his dismay at dropping two valuable points against the rank outsiders. “It’s obvious we are not pleased with the result. This was a tough and at times physical games,” Löw told reporter afterwards. “We were mentally and physically tired.

An evening of light and shadows
International Herald Tribune – Nov 16, 2006
In Portugal, a classical solo goal from Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed his coming of age as the leader of the new generation that his country needs after retiring some of the team that finished fourth at the World Cup, and second in the European Championships. But the sweetness of Ronaldo’s touch had to share Thursday’s morning headlines with the dark accusation that Jacek Bak, a Poland defender, received a telephone call offering him cash to throw the Euro 2008 qualifier against Belgium in Brussels on Wednesday night. UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, will have to work on the bribery claim, but we must not forget that Belgium has yet to flush allegations of illegal betting out of its domestic soccer. Thankfully, Poland scored the only goal in the King Boudewijn stadium, so the worst the authorities have to consider is a failed attempt at bribery. In Coimbra, the pleasant Portuguese university city where the host country beat Kazakhstan, 3-0 with two goals from the winger Simão Sabrosa and that exquisite strike from 20 meters from Ronaldo, the joy of the game prevailed… Gabon lost, 5-0, to Ivory Coast in African nations qualification last month, and lost, 6-0 , in a friendly in Rabat against Morocco on Wednesday. Its hard to know how he can stay at his post given that a three-goal defeat for Jairzinho’s Gabon side was summarily met with dismissal for “unsatisfactory performance. ” The line that a manager is only as good as his players does not hold with many of the hire and fire presidents around the global game. To survive, you have to be a winner, whatever the talents at your disposal. Felipe Scolari, the former Brazil World Cup winning trainer, now in charge of Portugal, is both a winner and a survivor. People doubted him this year, not simply because he seemed to have accepted the England coaching role and then changed his mind, but because Portugal was struggling to find its rhythm after Luís Figo and Pauleta retired after the World Cup. Transition takes time, but having slipped to fifth in its qualifying group, Portugal had to start winning, and fast.

Dutch share weight of expectations
Telegraph.co.uk – Nov 16, 2006
The Holland team facing England tonight are under just as much pressure, especially when their players are traditionally more prone to break ranks than their English counterparts. “That kind of pressure is everywhere, and it is the same here in Holland,” Chelsea midfielder Arjen Robben said. “People come to watch matches with the story already written. If you draw with Macedonia and lose to Croatia as England did, of course it is going to be disappointing… Recently, we were playing Albania and everybody expected us to win by four, five or six. Those kind of things happen less and less now. “The Dutch did at least overcome the Albanians in Amsterdam to put their Euro 2008 qualification campaign on a sounder footing than England’s. However, whatever England’s result against Croatia, McClaren would still have been expected to deliver in a friendly in a way that his counterpart, Marco van Basten, probably would not. “It is the same when teams play in pre-season.

Irish aim to go out with a bang
Telegraph.co.uk – Nov 16, 2006
Giampaolo Mazza, the longest serving international coach in Europe, said of tonight’s match: “If we were to lose 6-0 to Ireland, I would accept that. We did not expect to lose 13-0 to Germany. It’s never happened like that before. When I went back to my school, the children teased me a lot… Giampaolo Mazza, the longest serving international coach in Europe, said of tonight’s match: “If we were to lose 6-0 to Ireland, I would accept that. We did not expect to lose 13-0 to Germany. It’s never happened like that before. When I went back to my school, the children teased me a lot. But they always ask for autographs and shirts of the famous players we play against. I take them some autographs, but the players usually have the shirts.

Kenny has eyebrow bitten off in fight
Irish Times – Nov 16, 2006
He won’tbe going out in Halifax again. I’ll be making my point clear to himon that. “Ironically, if Kenny had been called into the Republic squadthat faced San Marino in a Euro 2008 qualifier on Wednesday night,he would not have made front-page news in Ireland. But manager Steve Staunton opted to leave Kenny out of the squadon this occasion, citing the goalkeeper’s reported maritalproblems. “I spoke to Paddy on Friday and everything had been going well,”said Warnock, who feels confident the player will face ManchesterUnited in Saturday’s Premiership game at Bramall Lane. “People have marital problems and divorces, but he has beencoping great with that. I’ve been through one myself, and it’s notan easy situation, especially if there are children involved.

Our 4-3-3 formation left me dazed and confused
Telegraph.co.uk – Nov 17, 2006
It’s black or white, win or lose, no shades of grey at all, except on the odd occasion such as Wednesday night in Amsterdam when England and Holland drew their friendly game one-a-piece. In some quarters, there is no doubt in my mind, that the knives are out for Steve McClaren even though he has only been in charge of the England team for six matches. His decision to fundamentally change the formation and tactics in the… We got a 4-3-3 formation on Wednesday night, but no real explanation prior to the game as to why this was being employed. I think that was a lost opportunity by McClaren to build some bridges with sections of the media and supporters. Did we play this way just to match up against the Dutch team? Or did we play this way because McClaren sees it as a real alternative to an English 4-4-2 system, which over the years has only rarely produced the flair and flexibility to match the top international teams? At the time of writing, I do not know the answer. England started slowly against a Holland team missing a number of regular players and to see.

Gallas: First goal vital
Ireland Online – Nov 16, 2006
Tomas Rosicky, however, remains sidelined with a hamstring problem. Forward Theo Walcott suffered a hand injury late on in the England Under-21 team?s victory over Holland on Tuesday, but is expected to feature. Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann did not join up with the German squad for their Euro 2008 qualifier in Cyprus because of the heavy cold which ruled him out of the Liverpool game. Dutchman Robin van Persie withdrew from the midweek international against England to be with his pregnant wife. After receiving a fifth yellow card of the season last Sunday, the 23-year-old must now serve a one-match domestic suspension which rules him out of trip to Bolton on November 25. RELATED URLS:-

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Now the hard part for Richards
Telegraph.co.uk – Nov 16, 2006
A graduate of Simon Clifford’s Brazilian-influenced soccer school, his technique and skill levels shouldn’t let him down. Yet playing at full-back, those particular issues are not as pressing as positional sense, both when put under pressure and in relation to fellow defenders. In addition, he needs to know when to pick the right pass, when to overlap, when to stay put — decisions that only come with first-hand experience. Nobody is entirely sure of his best position anyway. It could be at right-back, it could be at centre-half. A slot in central midfield might eventually come his way… It should come as an eye-opener to this youngest of eight children. If he can make a good impression, though, an important marker is laid. With Neville likely to be replaced after Euro 2008 when he will be 33, the race to fill his boots begins right here. uk is the copyright of Telegraph MediaGroup Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence.

Staunton hails Robson’s return
Telegraph.co.uk – Nov 16, 2006
No longer does he dominate training sessions, tracksuited and playing one-twos and keep-ball with men more than half his age. However, it is for what goes on under his thinning grey hair that Steve Staunton relishes his presence with the Republic of Ireland squad… “It’s great that he’s back,” Staunton admitted yesterday. “It’s been a remarkable recovery. Now he’s here I don’t need to pick up the phone, I can just go and talk to him in his room or in the lobby. You learn so much from what he has to say.

Gunners miss midfield duo
Ireland Online – Nov 17, 2006
The 30-year-old Gilberto returned to Brazil to deal with a family matter, and is not expected back until Sunday. ?I had him on the phone last night, and he is there for sickness reasons,? manager Arsene Wenger revealed. ?The situation looks quite good now, and hopefully he will be in on Monday morning, so we will see him for the Champions League game. ?Ljungberg will also be rested again tomorrow after several weeks out with a calf injury. ?I nearly wanted to pick him, but it is down to the fact that for five weeks he has not played one minute at a competitive level,? said Wenger… Midfielder Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) is still a week or so away from fitness, while Abou Diaby (ankle) and Lauren (knee) are long-term absentees. Team (from): Lehmann, Hoyte, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Fabregas, Hleb, Henry, van Persie, Baptista, Almunia, Djourou, Senderos, Eboue, Song, Flamini, Walcott, Aliadiere, Adebayor. RELATED URLS:-

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BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Giggs likely to sit out NI…
BBC News – Nov 16, 2006
BBC Wales Sport understands that the Manchester United wing attended that afternoon’s Under-21 match at Glentoran on the other side of Belfast. Giggs played 80 minutes of United’s 4-0 win at Tottenham on Sunday. Wales boss John Toshack is thought to be reluctant to risk Giggs by playing him again so soon, with Euro 2008 qualifiers looming next month. Wales have also been hit by injury withdrawals and midfielder Carl Fletcher was the latest player to be ruled out of the Wales squad on Monday. The Crystal Palace midfielder trained that morning but was left behind when the rest of the squad flew to Belfast because of a hamstring strain. Knee injuries forced Wolves striker Craig Davies and Cardiff midfielder Joe Ledley to pull out on Sunday… Wrexham centre-back Steve Evans retains his place in the squad after making his debut in November’s 4-0 friendly win over Lichtenstein. Robert Earnshaw is another notable absentee after the Norwich striker was ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious groin injury. Toshack is also again without Aston Villa full-back Mark Delaney, who has just returned from the United States after a career-saving knee operation and will not play again this season. Wales squad to face Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast on Tuesday, 6 February:

Danny Coyne (Burnley), Paul Jones (QPR), Gareth Bale (Southampton), Danny Collins (Sunderland), Richard Duffy (Portsmouth, on loan at Swansea City), Steve Evans (Wrexham), Craig Morgan (Peterborough United), Lewin Nyatanga (Derby County), Sam Ricketts (Hull City), Ryan Valentine (Wrexham), Andrew Crofts (Gillingham), Simon Davies (Fulham), Jason Koumas (WBA), Carl Robinson (Toronto FC), David Vaughan (Crewe Alexandra), Craig Bellamy (Liverpool), David Cotterill (Wigan Athletic), Jermaine Easter (Wycombe Wanderers), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Chris Llewellyn (Wrexham), Paul Parry (Cardiff City). Wales Under-21 squad to play Northern Ireland at the Oval, Belfast on 6 February:

Wayne Hennessey (Wolves), Owain Fon Williams (Crewe), Mark Bradley (Walsall), Kyle Critchell (Chesterfield), Chris Gunter (Cardiff), Joe Jacobson (Cardiff), Mike Williams (Wrexham), Darcy Blake (Cardiff), Mathew Collins (Fulham), Rob Davies (WBA), David Edwards (Shrewsbury), Dean Grubb (Bristol City), Lloyd James (Southampton), Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough), Owain Warlow (Lincoln), Chedwyn Evans (Man City), Chris Jones (Swansea), Sam Vokes (Bournemouth).

Paper View: Heat’s off McClaren, for now
Telegraph.co.uk – Nov 17, 2006
For the Daily Mirror, Joe Cole showed how much he had been missed since the World Cup. “While Steve McClaren’s protege Stewart Downing has been demonstrably out of his depth, Cole brought verve, nerve and guile to a far more disciplined England performance,” it says. However, the Daily Mail is quick to provide a reality check as England slipped to third in their Euro 2008 group following last night results. “Hands up all those who thought qualification from a weak group was a formality,” it says. “Come on, you know who you are. Croatia have already put the boot into English self-esteem once and Guus Hiddink’s Russians are coming over the Urals with renewed intent. ” Back in domestic football, Gareth Bale will be the latest Southampton teenager to set the transfer market alight… Following Theo Walcott’s big-money switch to Arsenal last season, 17-year-old Wales left-back Bale will be up for grabs in January for £7 million, according to the Mirror. It also reports that Chelsea will be disappointed in their efforts to sign Gonzalo Higuain after Real Madrid claimed they had won the race for the River Plate starlet. The Sun’s ‘PSYCHO GETS TURFED OUT’ is not a report on the second Premiership sacking of the season. Rather, it’s news that Manchester City are replacing the technical area at Eastlands with artificial grass because manager Stuart Pearce has worn it out. “His animated antics have churned his piece of turf into a dirt patch after just SIX home games this season,” the paper says. A “source” tells it: “Stuart can’t sit still. He is one of the Premiership’s most energetic managers.

Premier League preview: 4 teams tied for second chase Betar
Jerusalem Post – Nov 17, 2006
The break and extended training sessions didn’t do Israel any good, as the team played poorly in a 4-3 loss at National Stadium. Hapoel Tel Aviv, which only had one player on the Israel squad, hosts Maccabi Netanya on Saturday evening, with both clubs needing a win to put pressure on Betar… The break and extended training sessions didn’t do Israel any good, as the team played poorly in a 4-3 loss at National Stadium. Hapoel Tel Aviv, which only had one player on the Israel squad, hosts Maccabi Netanya on Saturday evening, with both clubs needing a win to put pressure on Betar. Hapoel is four points behind with a match in hand and, despite not playing impressively this season, has managed to grind out wins. Netanya is tied on points with Hapoel and has only lost once so far this season. Maccabi Haifa hosts Hapoel Petah Tikva in a must-win match at Kiryat Eliezer. Haifa has won only two of its first seven matches and another setback is out of the question. The three-time defending champions are only in ninth place in the standings, but are confident following a Matchday 8, 1-1 draw with Betar at Teddy Stadium.

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