Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

November 19, 2006

Prem Preview: Manchester City-Fulham

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 11:33 am

The News Review:

* McClaren must liberate our two Scouse gems
* Serie A Preview: Torino-Sampdoria
* Hughes and Jol hammer out stark warnings
* Prem Preview: Manchester City-Fulham
* Ball boy warning stuns SFA chief
* Primera Liga Preview: Levante – Atletico Madrid
* From the cheap seats
* Venables hits out at rift claims
* Ferguson unhappy over Scolari’s ‘crazy’ claims

McClaren must liberate our two Scouse gems – Nov 18, 2006
As he pauses for thought during the winter international recess, McClaren must establish, in his own mind, the best way to negotiate the assault course looming in 2007, including problematic Euro 2008 qualifiers in Israel and Russia. If England are to escape Group E there is little margin for error… “He’s got that pace that frightens defenders. He did a great job for the team. That bodes well for the future because he’s not just a stereotype striker who plays down the middle. He can play down either side as well. That’s the key to international football, being able to adapt to other positions. “England’s best performer on the night, Joe Cole, is certainly adaptable. “He’s improving all the time and establishing himself,” McClaren said.

Serie A Preview: Torino-Sampdoria – Nov 18, 2006
With the team Torino have, they should comfortably reach the mid-table zone, but alas they are deeply involved in the relegation issue. Not much better situation for Sampdoria, who from possible fourth place candidates, which would mean a Champions League spot for next season, have fallen back to mid-table mediocrity, where inconsistent results are at the order of the day. Torino’s poor offensive form is that of a team already with one foot in Serie B, however their defence held on well and the Granta did not concede too many goals. Sampdoria’s season has been one heck of a rollercoaster ride, with exceptional results followed by unexpected defeats and poor performances.

Hughes and Jol hammer out stark warnings – Nov 19, 2006
“Spurs expressed an interest in Steven during the summer and we had to show him we were very keen for him to be part of what we were doing here,” Hughes said. “In the end, he realised what he had here and re-signed. “Reid, who has a stress fracture in his back, will not return until at least the new year. Injuries to other players have hit Blackburn hard and four consecutive defeats have left them close to the bottom of the Premiership. But Hughes has midfielder Robbie Savage fit to return. Jol, the normally cheerful and ebullient Tottenham manager, was still clearly angered by his side’s poor away showing at Reading and has warned his side that they must show more mental strength. “I was angry at half-time; we needed to show a bit of personality and character in the second half, but we didn’t… Jol, the normally cheerful and ebullient Tottenham manager, was still clearly angered by his side’s poor away showing at Reading and has warned his side that they must show more mental strength. “I was angry at half-time; we needed to show a bit of personality and character in the second half, but we didn’t. “He felt that the midweek internationals had been a huge disruption, with his players called away to represent their countries, and was unimpressed with his striker Robbie Keane’s hat-trick for the Republic of Ireland in their 5-0 Euro 2008 win over San Marino on Wednesday. “I think I would have scored if I was playing against that team,” Jol said. Spurs will be without the injured Pascal Chimbonda, Calum Davenport, Aaron Lennon, Anthony Gardner, Jermaine Jenas and Paul Stalteri today. This means the team’s midfield is likely to feature Danny Murphy, Tom Huddlestone, Didier Zokora and Edgar Davids, which, while lacking width and penetration, will provide that greater toughness wanted by Jol. “We need to be stronger physically and mentally; my players need to take more responsibility.

Prem Preview: Manchester City-Fulham – Nov 18, 2006
Though susceptible to injury, Jensen is a well-rounded midfielder who not only scores and creates goals, but who also has superb technique and a high workrate. PREDICTION
Hard one to call this one as the teams seem evenly matched at this point. City are undefeated at home this season having not given up a goal in six matches, though they have also been held scoreless three times on their home turf. Fulham have won only one of six away in league play, however they have only lost won once too. While Coleman’s side have done well in their travels thus far in the campaign, expect a narrow victory for the home side. Manchester City 1 Fulham 0
George Tsitsonis.

Ball boy warning stuns SFA chief
BBC News – Nov 19, 2006
“Our ball boys failed to deliver the ball back after the goal,” the SFA chief executive said. “It was in the referee’s report and in the match delegate’s report. The referee said the ball was not returned to play quickly enough. “We contested that because we didn’t feel it was proper. The happy ending is we got off with a warning… They are Queen’s Park’s youth players. “We’ll need to make sure before the next game, which is against Georgia at home in March, even if we’re 1-0 up with five minutes to go, even if the players are saying ‘do you have to give the ball back so quickly?’ that they do it. ”

Scotland and France are currently joint top of Group B in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, with nine points from four games. Scotland boss Walter Smith said the win over France was the best of his managerial career.

Primera Liga Preview: Levante – Atletico Madrid – Nov 18, 2006
It is a crucial match for two clubs who have had their fair share of poor results. New Boys Up To Task
Juan Ramon Lopez Caro’s club have made the transition to the top flight rather seamlessly as the main goal this season must be merely to survive and currently that appears to be a very realistic if not already attained target. Levante must be happy with their return of 12 points after 10 matches, though the club and its supporters will know that their position and point total could be higher if not for some inconsistency. After starting the season off with two heavy defeats to Sevilla (4-0) and Real Madrid (4-1), the club have bounced back to record some big victories in the league and Copa del Rey. They have taken care of Deportivo and Atletico Madrid in the league and Copa del Rey respectively, while also obtaining credible results away to Real Zaragoza and Villarreal. This makes last weekend’s defeat at Real Betis that much more difficult to take as the club have really impressed after being promoted.

From the cheap seats
The Age – Nov 19, 2006
Presumably the only downside is for Marcos Baghdatis, who’s instantly dropped back to being the 12th greatest sporting celebrity in Cyprus. SNOOZE OF THE WEEKTHE "postponement" of the Superfighter heavyweight boxing tournament scheduled for early next month. Not only do we miss out on a first-hand view of how ordinary the heavyweight division is — and bearing in mind these were going to be the second-rank guys, they probably should have been selling commemorative crying-towels — but also on a rare opportunity to find out scientifically exactly how much empty you can squeeze into Telstra Dome. From the minute this one was announced, some claimed that faint echoes could be heard of Al Bundy (of Married With Children fame) declaiming his famous line, "Now that’s what I call ROCKETING to the poor-house!" The circus now apparently decamps to Las Vegas, which should cut down on travelling time, as it’s presumably closer to the poor-house. THE WEEKLY YAK ATTACKIN ONE week Trescothick and Shaun Tait seemed set to exceed the total number of column inches ever accumulated by Dr W.

Venables hits out at rift claims
BBC News – Nov 19, 2006
Assistant coach Venables appeared to contradict McClaren over the reasons Stewart Downing did not start the Euro 2008 qualifier in Croatia last month. McClaren has since issued his own rebuttal of the suggestions, and Venables added: “Talk of a division between us is simply not true. “I just expanded on why we used 3-5-2 against Croatia. There’s no problem. ”

In his newspaper column in the News of the World, Venables had said Downing was dropped because his confidence was destroyed by criticism of his performance in the 0-0 draw with Macedonia.

Ferguson unhappy over Scolari’s ‘crazy’ claims – Nov 18, 2006
Scolari initially said Queiroz had told him United were offering contrasting public and private positions over Ronaldo’s ankle injury before going on to wonder whether Ferguson’s assistant was “hanging around” the Portugal squad in the hope he would one day get the head coach’s role. Queiroz denies speaking to Scolari at all during his brief visit, and Ferguson mounted a staunch defence of his right-hand man. “The comment Scolari made about Carlos hanging about the Portugal games looking for a job was a crazy thing to say,” said Ferguson. “I am sure Scolari goes to watch Porto and Benfica at some point… It was an important qualifying game for them and if Cristiano was fit, we were happy for him to play. “The Premier League Board will make a decision on Gareth Southgate’s future as Middlesbrough manager next Wednesday. Boro have submitted their application for dispensation for Southgate, 36, to remain in charge despite his not having a Uefa Pro Licence. That was due to be considered by the Premier League on Monday, but the meeting will now take place on Wednesday. The club have been involved in discussions with both the League and the Football Association ever since Southgate was appointed on a five-year contract back in June. He has been working under a three-month dispensation which is due to expire on Sunday. However, Boro are hopeful that he will be given permission to continue until the end of the season, by which time he hopes to have completed his B and A Licences and be enrolled on the Pro Licence course.

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