Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 25, 2006

Prem Reaction: Benitez Salutes Kuyt-Bellamy Partnership

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 11:31 am

The News Review:

* Prem Preview: Portsmouth-Sheffield United
* Prem Report: Hammers Earn Second Away Point
* Edinburgh Evening News – Sport – Gordon head and shoulders above…
* Prem Reaction: Benitez Salutes Kuyt-Bellamy Partnership
* Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper – Sport
* A Ghost Goal And The Haunting Of Bologna-Juve
* Sevilla Eye Ujfalusi – Report
* Iaquinta Staying Put
* Boro To Open Contract Talks With Viduka
* uefa.com
* Serie A Report: Brazil Brightens Roma Afternoon

Prem Preview: Portsmouth-Sheffield United
Goal.com – Dec 23, 2006
Three wins, a draw and only one defeat in the last five games is far from relegation form and fans of United are starting to believe that Neil Warnock might actually be able to pull off a miracle this season and keep the Blades up. For most ordinary football fans that would be a plus as it would keep Neil Warnock in the Premiership and, as a football figure more concerned with football than merchandising, he has been one of the stars of the first half of the season. FORM GUIDE
PortsmouthDec 16 v Arsenal (A) DREW 2-2 (Prem)Dec 9 v Everton (H) WON 2-0 (Prem)Dec 2 v Aston Villa (H) DREW 2-2 (Prem)Nov 29 v Liverpool (A) DREW 0-0 (Prem)Nov 26 v Newcastle (A) LOST 0-1 (Prem)
Sheffield UnitedDec 16 v Wigan (A) WON 1-0 (Prem)Dec 11 v Aston Villa (H) DREW 2-2 (Prem)Dec 2 v Charlton (H) WON 2-1 (Prem)Nov 28 v Watford (A) WON 1-0 (Prem)Nov 25 v West Ham (A) LOST 1-2 (Prem)

TEAM NEWSThe problem for Portsmouth is up front where Benjani and Lualua will not feature until well after the turn of the year. In addition Kanu is struggling with hamstring and knee injuries and will need careful nursing to get through the Christmas deluge of games. To cover the striker problems Harry Redknapp is having to rush back Andy (sorry – Andrew!) Cole back and he will start the game on the bench. Sheffield United will be pleased that Danny Webber has recovered from a virus and will be fit to play but midfielder, Mikele Leigertwood, is almost fit again but this game has come too soon for his return. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Portsmouth-Matt Taylor.

Prem Report: Hammers Earn Second Away Point
Goal.com – Dec 23, 2006
Matthew Etherington and Marlon Harewood both hitting the frame of the goal, and they had two goal-bound efforts cleared off the line. However, it was certainly not all one-way traffic, with Fulham enjoying lengthy spells of possession and Hammers keeper Robert Green saving twice from Brian McBride and also thwarting Michael Brown. Paul Konchesky – the defender whom Curbishley sold when they were both at Charlton – was sent off late on for committing a professional foul on Wayne Routledge. While West Ham’s last (and only other) away point was against Watford on 22 August, they have now collected four points out of six in their two games under Curbishley’s guidance. But they have managed a miserly two away goals all season, and haven’t scored on the road in more than 12 hours of football. Fulham were weakened by the absence of central defender Zat Knight who had fractured his jaw in a domestic incident, and the visitors too advantage with some early shots at goal, but when Antti Niemi gifted a header to Etherington, the Hammer hit the bar from 10 yards, then saw the ball hit Liam Rosenior’s arm on the line before Carlos Bocanegra cleared the danger.

Edinburgh Evening News – Sport – Gordon head and shoulders above…
Edinburgh Evening News – Dec 23, 2006
And it’s no surprise that the likes of Italian side Palermo as well as English giants Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with an interest in acquiring his signature. Hearts fans will be desperate to retain his services for as long as possible, though, particularly since he now has the added responsibility of trying to skipper the team against the back-drop of off-field uncertainty following Steven Pressley’s “amicable” parting of the ways with the club recently. But it’s a role he appears to have taken in his stride just as he seems to have fitted in comfortably to Walter Smith’s national squad where he is now an integral part of the resurgent Scotland team which has already made a surprisingly decent stab of trying to qualify for the Euro 2008 championships. Gordon looks set to be a mainstay of the Scotland side for years to come as it’s difficult to see somebody coming through the ranks to displace him. Following hot on Gordon’s heels in the rankings is Pressley who, despite having ended his eight-year association with Hearts, is still held in extremely high regard by the fans. His spell at the club saw him become Hearts most capped player of all time and although his time at Tynecastle ended in a disappointing fashion due to off-the-field problems, on it he was continuing to prove why he was regarded as one of the top defenders in the country. His no-nonsense style of play endeared him to the Tynecastle faithful but almost as important as his own displays in a maroon jersey was the impact he had on those playing around him… My only worry is that he is not being coached properly in the art of goalkeeping, being the league’s best shot stopper is great but, there are some aspects of his game that need looking at. I don’t think that at Tynecastle there is a goalkeeping coach to take him to the next level, (world class). His kicking is erratic, he does not command his box and is unsure when or when not to leave his line, especially at corner kicks, get a world class ex goalkeeper to coach him and then he will become the very best.

Prem Reaction: Benitez Salutes Kuyt-Bellamy Partnership
Goal.com – Dec 23, 2006
“Watford were physical, and we expected that. And they were dangerous from set pieces, always a problem. ”
Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd commented: “We competed well, but we are not taking our chances. “We are resilient and we could have come away from the game with something. “It would be easy to say this was a killer result. But it’s only a killer if you allow it to knock you down.

Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper – Sport
Gulf Times – Dec 24, 2006
Instead both Celtic and Rangers find themselves in European competition beyond Christmas for the first time in 35 years. Aberdeen are currently second in the Scottish Premier League, splitting the Old Firm and challenging for Champions League qualification, with a starting 11 regularly consisting only of Scots. And against all odds Scotland?s national side currently top their Euro 2008 qualifying group – which includes World Cup winners Italy, runners-up France – whom they beat 1-0 at Hampden – and quarter-finalists Ukraine. Of course not everything is rosy – especially in the country?s capital, Edinburgh. Hearts have seemingly stumbled from crisis to crisis under the ownership of Lithuanian banker Vladimir Romanov. Last season, sitting top of the league unbeaten in 10 games and looking good as potential title winners, Romanov sacked manager George Burley. The Tynecastle club never recovered and in the end had to settle for second place and Champions League qualification… Aberdeen are currently second in the Scottish Premier League, splitting the Old Firm and challenging for Champions League qualification, with a starting 11 regularly consisting only of Scots. And against all odds Scotland?s national side currently top their Euro 2008 qualifying group – which includes World Cup winners Italy, runners-up France – whom they beat 1-0 at Hampden – and quarter-finalists Ukraine. Of course not everything is rosy – especially in the country?s capital, Edinburgh. Hearts have seemingly stumbled from crisis to crisis under the ownership of Lithuanian banker Vladimir Romanov. Last season, sitting top of the league unbeaten in 10 games and looking good as potential title winners, Romanov sacked manager George Burley. The Tynecastle club never recovered and in the end had to settle for second place and Champions League qualification. This season again started promisingly but after the head coach Valdas Ivanauskas was forced to take a break from a stress related illness and captain Steven Pressley was released for publicly stating his frustration at the running of team affairs, even a runners-up finish looks beyond them.

A Ghost Goal And The Haunting Of Bologna-Juve
Goal.com – Dec 23, 2006
This time it’s a “ghost goal” to make the headlines. But what is more relevant is that the referee mistake happened in a Bologna-Juventus game, and it’s not the first time Bolognese have to complain after playing a match against the mighty team from Turin.

Sevilla Eye Ujfalusi – Report
Goal.com – Dec 23, 2006
If the transfer does not go through in this transfer period, Sevilla are expected to try and reach an agreement with the player in June, whose contract expires in 2008 and could theoretically leave on a free if the clubs do not reach an agreement. Fiorentina bought the player for 6 million Euros from Hamburg and will not sell the player for anything less than that amount. Ujfalusi has become an integral part of the Viola’s rearguard and was instrumental in his side’s fourth place in Serie A last season. It is yet unclear how much Sevilla are willing to pay for the Czech Republic international defender.

Iaquinta Staying Put
Goal.com – Dec 23, 2006
For many this was also the opportunity to finalize Vincenzo Iaquinta’s much publicized transfer to the Rossoneri, something which the Bianconeri’s coach rebuffed. “I don’t fear of losing Iaquinta. As far as I know, he will not leave. We want to finish fourth in Serie A, and losing such a player would be like giving up. On the contrary, I think that if possible we shall improve the squad from the transfer market. “According to Galeone, the result did not reflect completely the match. “The defeat is exaggerated.

Boro To Open Contract Talks With Viduka
Goal.com – Dec 24, 2006
“They will be talking to Mark about an extension,” said Southgate. “He is a tremendous player for us and his performances are doing the talking for him. ”
Southgate went on to praise Viduka’s performance during Boro’s vital 2-0 victory over Charlton on Saturday. “Mark put a great amount into the game and his hold-up play was terrific.

uefa.com
uefa.comUEFA.com – Dec 25, 2006
For this reason, the greatest possible rigour is called for. Only a firm, consistent attitude will have the necessary clout to deter those who do not consider equal opportunity to be the cornerstone of competition. The task will be huge and certainly long, combining education with sanctions, but there is at least one point which can and must be insisted on from the outset – respect for the referees. ” 30 AugustCrucial advice to help clubs tackle racism on and off the pitch is the focal point of a new publication produced on UEFA’s behalf by its partner, the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network. Tackling Racism in Club Football – A Guide For Clubs has been issued initially in English to herald the start of the new UEFA club competition season and is the latest step in the concerted campaign beng waged by UEFA and FARE to rid the game of racism and discrimination. The guide contains an explanation of racism and the different manifestations of discrimination and intolerance, such as anti-Semitism or homophobia, and provides clubs with important ground rules for specific activities in tackling racism.

Serie A Report: Brazil Brightens Roma Afternoon
Goal.com – Dec 23, 2006
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