Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

January 10, 2007

Scotland unwilling to let Smith leave

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 2:04 pm

The News Review:

* Walter Smiths joins Rangers | News | Guardian Unlimited Football
* Irish Soccer | Falkirk boss urges Sunderland caution over Stokes |…
* – Carling Cup Preview: Liverpool-Arsenal
* Scotland unwilling to let Smith leave
* – Larsson Best Scandinavian Since Laudrup – Solskjaer
* – Humourless FA On Holloway’s Case
* Scotland begin successor search
* – Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific
* Luck of draw brings home comfort for the big three-Sport-Football…
* – Zaragoza Beat Getafe To Madrid’s De La Red
* Brown: Tommy can fill the void
* – Manchester United Looking At Xavi?
* – Jol To Send Davids Packing?
* – Cannavaro Changes Tune On Cassano
* – Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific
* – UEFA Champions League – News & Features – News specific
* – Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific

Walter Smiths joins Rangers | News | Guardian Unlimited Football
Guardian Unlimited – Jan 10, 2007
“He has done an excellent job for us and the Scottish national team. We are very disappointed that he has chosen to leave us at this critical time in our Euro 2008 qualification campaign. “Despite the SFA’s pledge to take legal action – they refused Smith permission to leave on Monday – Rangers chairman David Murray was delighted to land his No1 target. “It is a great pleasure to welcome Walter and Ally back to Rangers,” he said. “I have great respect for both men and their achievements and I am convinced they will take the club forward. “Faced with the spectre of court action, Murray expressed his hope that a compensation deal for Smith could be reached with the SFA… “The SFA rejected our offer [of compensation] and then came in with a figure that was totally unrealistic,” he said. “Thankfully they’ve dropped the crossbar a bit since then and hopefully we can sort it out over the next few days. If not, we’ll be in a dispute that we don’t wish. “Smith admitted he was “disappointed to leave the national team” having made an impressive start to the Euro 2008 qualifiers with them but insisted, “I don’t think that in my time in Scotland I’ve let them down in any way, shape or form. anyway, I’m not the only person who can manage Scotland.

Irish Soccer | Falkirk boss urges Sunderland caution over Stokes |… – Jan 10, 2007
“But there is plenty of coaching left to do on him and I would urge Sunderland fans to give him a chance to mature. We knew when we brought him up here that he would get goals, but he surpassed all expectations with what he achieved. “People should not forget that Stokesy is only a kid himself and he’ll need some understanding because of that. ”

Today’s other Across the Water football headlines:. – Carling Cup Preview: Liverpool-Arsenal – Jan 9, 2007
The Gunners got their tactics spot on at Anfield, absorbing Liverpool pressure then clinically hitting them on the break with fast, fluid passing moves capped by three top-class goals – two from Tomas Rosicky late in the first-half and another from Thierry Henry that took the stuffing out of a spirited Reds revival. When Dirk Kuyt pulled one back for Liverpool to make it 2-1, Arsenal were rocking until Henry removed the pressure with a typical breakaway goal that epitomised his pace, persistence and power. Nevertheless, the Liverpool camp felt that the outcome did not accurately reflect their input. Manager Rafa Benitez felt his side had dominated before Rosicky opened the scoring against the run of play, and that will give Liverpool extra incentive to overcome the North Londoners and book a semi-final showdown with Tottenham Hotspur. The prospect of meeting their neighbours and arch-rivals Tottenham over two legs will also act as a major spur to Arsenal, though for both sides the chance to win a trophy is likely to be the primary motivation. Arsenal are still in contention in four competitions but realistically, one of those – the Premiership title – may be beyond them given the numbr of points by which they trail leaders Manchester United. Liverpool are in a similar predicament as far as the Premiership title is concerned, and thanks to Arsenal they no longer have the FA Cup as an option.

Scotland unwilling to let Smith leave
Irish Times – Jan 9, 2007
Smith asked to be released from his contract with the SFAyesterday and was predictably rebuffed. His request, which came at a meeting prompted by Rangers makingcontact with the SFA, served to confirm Smith’s interest in areturn to Ibrox. However, the SFA insisted they would notcountenance losing Smith at a crucial stage of their Euro 2008qualifying campaign. That remained the case today, with an SFA spokesperson reportingthere was “no change” in the situation. Within minutes of Paul Le Guen resigning as Light Blues bosslast week, Smith emerged as favourite for the job. Almost nineyears have passed since Smith left the club to join Everton —and with the team’s fortunes in a state of turmoil, he is seen asthe man to bring back silverware to Ibrox. After a difficult spell with Everton, he has fully restored andarguably enhanced his reputation with Scotland. – Larsson Best Scandinavian Since Laudrup – Solskjaer – Jan 9, 2007
“Henrik Larsson is the best player we have had in Scandinavia since Michael Laudrup,” Solskjaer told Aftenposten. “He continues to get better, and it was important for the manager to see what kind of shape he was in because he hadn’t played for a while. “I do not think he [Sir Alex Ferguson] was disappointed [with what he saw]. ”
Left back Patrice Evra also heaped praise on the former Barcelona man, who is credited with unlocking Arsenal with two superb assists in last year’s Champions League final. “I am very happy for him that he scored because he is a good man. He wants to work for the team and has good experience,” said the Frenchman. “Henrik is a big player, and you can see he has lots of qualities. – Humourless FA On Holloway’s Case – Jan 9, 2007
Put the rules back to what they should be. He is a complete lunatic. ”
In fact Blatter is not personally responsible for changes to the offside rules, as they are determined by the International FA Board, which is made up of representatives from Fifa and the four British nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales).

Scotland begin successor search
BBC News – Jan 10, 2007
McLeish is the bookies’ front-runner and is closely followed by Scotland assistant Tommy Burns – who was part of Smith’s managerial team. Other names in the frame include former Rangers boss Graeme Souness, Derby’s Billy Davies, Everton’s David Moyes, Joe Jordan and Kenny Dalglish. Scotland sit top of their qualifying group for Euro 2008 after four games. Georgia visit Hampden on 24 March, with Scotland facing a match in Italy four days later. – Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific – Jan 10, 2007
Baptista’s first goal was the pick, a fine free-kick which flew over the wall, then dropped into the far corner down at the Kop end. That came with the score at 1-1 and after Cameroonian teenager Alexandre Song had added a third, the Brazilian then scored three more. He would have had five had Jerzy Dudek not stopped his second-half penalty. Wenger praiseThe hope for Arsenal is Baptista will now go on and show just why Wenger pursued him for so long – first when Baptista was at Sevilla FC prior to joining Madrid, and then last year, when he finally got his man in a loan swap involving José Antonio Reyes. Wenger praised Baptista’s mental toughness when he said: “It takes time to adapt to English football but I was confident in him because he is mentally strong and has a very good team attitude. ”
Aliadière impressesBaptista was not the only one to catch the eye. Three of the Brazilian’s goals were set up by strike partner Jérémie Aliadière, who also opened the scoring as he gave his best performance in an Arsenal shirt and left Arsene Wenger reflecting that the Frenchman had made a “big step up”.

Luck of draw brings home comfort for the big three-Sport-Football…
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Jan 9, 2007
MUST BE IN THE HEAD. getTime()); Luck of draw brings home comfort for the big three | Football – Times Online. – Zaragoza Beat Getafe To Madrid’s De La Red – Jan 9, 2007
The deal also includes a purchase option for Zaragoza, in exchange for 1. However, having learnt from past mistakes, not only have Real kept a repurchase option should the loan move become permanent, but also included a clause that would forbid Zaragoza from selling the player to either Barcelona or Atletico Madrid. Zaragoza have also asked for young Real Madrid goalkeeper Adam. Should that not go through, they are said to be focussing on signing Diego Lopez, who has only 18 months left on his Real Madrid deal. Their current number one Cesar is also a former Real Madrid man, and other successful deals include the signing of Albert Celades not too long ago. Zaragoza also picked up Gabriel Milito on the cheap after the Argentine’s Real Madrid move fell through due to [controversial] concerns over fitness.

Brown: Tommy can fill the void
Glasgow Evening Times – Jan 9, 2007
If he was to go then the job he has done makes it a no-win situation for his successor. “It will need to be someone with a strong mentality who can carry on the good work Walter has done and Tommy could do that. ”
Brown knows that the Tartan Army might well be frustrated at Smith’s decision to quit in the middle of a campaign to qualify for Euro 2008, but has urged them to look at how much the side have come on in the last 18 months. “It will disappoint them, for sure,” he said. “I know Walter loves the Scotland job. I said to him not so long ago the feelgood factor was back and he agreed with me. Celtic fans even come up to him and say he has been doing a great job for Scotland… “It will disappoint them, for sure,” he said. “I know Walter loves the Scotland job. I said to him not so long ago the feelgood factor was back and he agreed with me. Celtic fans even come up to him and say he has been doing a great job for Scotland. – Manchester United Looking At Xavi? – Jan 10, 2007
He’s not half as wasteful as the Portugese, better at defending and works much better with Iniesta, so this partnership should be kept. Deco has reached almost the twighlight of his career and I think he is a little bit overrated, nontheless a good player. Lampard is NO Xavi and about the same age, so I think Barca MUST keep Xavi and ship Deco out if they have to get rid of somebody. Deco likes hte premiership anyways and I could see him along Moaninho at Chel$ki. – Jol To Send Davids Packing? – Jan 9, 2007
Everton is the club primarily linked with Davids, who also played for famous sides Barcelona and Ajax, where he cut his teeth before becoming European champion in 1995. The 33-year-old arrived at White Hart Lane in July, 2005, at which point Jol hailed the goggle-wearer as “one of the best midfielders to come out of Holland in the last 10 years. ”
It does not appear Jol would echo that statement today. – Cannavaro Changes Tune On Cassano – Jan 9, 2007
“I think he should not think about leaving and fight for a place,” the Golden Ball winner had said. “Antonio came here to be an important player for Real Madrid. ”
However, the inevitable seems to be round the corner, and perhaps getting wind of the mood following yesterday’s emergency meeting at the Bernabeu, the Italy skipper has advised his compatriot to return home in order to see regular action. “I hope that Antonio can return [to Italy], because he is a quality player and must play regularly,” said Cannavaro from Rome, where he had travelled to attend a function. As for the crisis at Real, he insisted it was “just a passing phase,” and that Los Merengues would be back to their best in no time. – Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific – Jan 9, 2007
They are currently in 12th position. Club statementA club statement read: “Roda JC offered Huub Stevens a contract extension in December 2006 to further continue the development of the young first-team squad. Huub Stevens let us know that he would not accept our proposal and would give Roda JC time to look for a new coach. ” Alexander Voigt, who followed Stevens to Roda from Köln, has joined 2. Bundesliga side FC Carl Zeiss Jena on a six-month contract, having not been appeared in the first team this season. – UEFA Champions League – News & Features – News specific – Jan 10, 2007
Delayed moveThe 24-year-old has become the French champions’ first signing of the current transfer window although he has elected not to join the league leaders until next season as he is eager to help Sedan, currently bottom of Ligue 1, to avoid relegation. Sedan commitment”I wanted to help Sedan to secure their Ligue 1 place,” said Belhadj, who has officially been loaned to Sedan for the rest of the campaign. He has played 19 league games for the club this season, scoring twice. Belhadj will eventually provide competition for existing Lyon left-backs Eric Abidal and Jérémy Berthod. – Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific – Jan 9, 2007
Another defensive reinforcement is 26-year-old Croatian defender Marijan Budimir, who arrives on a one-year contract from Slovenia’s NK Publikum. Butrimavičius backPromising 22-year-old midfielder Mindaugas Panka has joined Vėtra from their city rivals FK Vilnius to replace veteran Aidas Preiksaitis, while former captain Gediminas Butrimavičius has returned to the club after a year spent studying in the United States and playing amateur football in Chicago. “I could not imagine life would be so hard without real football,” he said. Suleimanovič signsIn addition, Slovenian defender Almir Suleimanovič has signed a one-year contract with the option of a second year following a successful trial. Besides the players coming in, the quartet of Maksut Azizi, Dejan Miloseski, Bobi Bojinovski and Darvydas Šernas have all extended their contracts with Vėtra until the end of the 2007 campaign.

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