Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 6, 2007


Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 4:12 am

The News Review:

* European teams use friendlies to prepare for Euro 2008 qualifiers
* WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Sporting Life | Cricket Live, England v New…
* BBC Sport | Sport Homepage | Football | Internationals | Alan…
* Hargreaves to miss England game
* Scolari eyes job in England
* Result means nothing: Hughes
* Sporting Life – Football | England v Spain Live, Northern Ireland v…
* Riot-related death halts soccer in Italy
* Carr and Douglas out of Irish squad
* McClaren under pressure ahead of England’s friendly
* Staunton demands ‘clinical’ approach
* Teenager Ben Sahar called up to national team squad

European teams use friendlies to prepare for Euro 2008 qualifiers
International Herald Tribune – Feb 5, 2007
Ireland is in fifth place in Group D, six points off leader Germany. England and Spain, who are both off the pace in their Euro 2008 qualifying groups, play each other in Manchester. England coach Steve McClaren called up Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton for the first time and recalled Jonathan Woodgate, Kieron Dyer and Gareth Barry. Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has been named England captain with Chelsea defender John Terry just returning to full fitness. Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves is also unlikely to play the whole game… Many of his key players were in Bundesliga action on Sunday. “We will have just one practice — that’s not ideal,” Loew said. With Miroslav Klose suspended for the Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic next month, Mike Hanke, Mario Gomez and Kevin Kuranyi get the chance to impress. Kuranyi, once a key striker for Germany, missed the World Cup because of poor form, but has scored eight goals for Schalke this season. Dutch wingers Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie are out injured for the Russia game, while defender Andre Ooijer has a broken leg. Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar withdrew after breaking his nose playing for Manchester United on Sunday and was replaced by Feyenoord’s Henk Timmer.

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Sporting Life | Cricket Live, England v New… – Feb 5, 2007
Sven-Goran Eriksson yesterday handed his successor a dream Euro 2008 draw and joked: “At least I have done a good job today. ”DAILY EXPRESS: Robbie Fowler was pinching himself last night after sealing a sensational homecoming to Liverpool. The 30-year-old forward has rejoined his former club from Manchester City until the end of the season and could earn a one-year contract if he impresses Rafael Benitez. Also: Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted last night he wants to become the next England coach.

BBC Sport | Sport Homepage | Football | Internationals | Alan…
BBC News – Feb 5, 2007
Nobody knows where you get it from and nobody knows where it goes. But what is an absolute certainty is that confidence breeds confidence and if you go into a big game without it then you will struggle. Make no mistake, Israel away on 24 March is a tough Euro 2008 qualifier for England so it is vital for McClaren and his men to do well in the friendly against Spain. In an ideal world you would want to see the team that is likely to play against Israel play against Spain. This is not an ideal world. John Terry and Owen Hargreaves are only just back from injury so there will be changes.

England slumped to a miserable Euro 2008 qualifying reverse in Zagreb on Wednesday, the players seemingly uncomfortable with manager Steve McClaren’s 3-5-2 formation. Reed, now assistant head coach at Charlton, does not believe such a system can prosper in the modern international game. In his ‘blog’ on the official Charlton website, www.

Hargreaves to miss England game
BBC News – Feb 5, 2007
That’s why I’m not going to play against Spain. ”

Hargreaves has become an integral part of the England set-up after his all-action performances during the World Cup. But his progress was stopped in its tracks when he sustained a broken leg in September and he missed the 2-0 defeat against Croatia in a Euro 2008 qualifier as well as the 1-1 friendly with Holland. He joined up with the England squad on Sunday and, even though he will not play, Hargreaves will be on hand as McClaren begins his preparations for the upcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers. England have away games against Israel on 24 March and Andorra four days later. “I just returned on Friday and to play again on Wednesday would be too much,” added Hargreaves.

Scolari eyes job in England
Ireland Online – Feb 6, 2007
?I have trained in Japan, Arabia, Kuwait, Brazil and Portugal and can adapt to any place. It depends on the proposal and offer that is made to me, the financial rewards and the standard of living. ?I have a contract with Portugal and want to help them qualify for the Euro 2008 finals, but if we don?t manage to achieve that, it will not be a good situation. After that period I want to remain in Europe for another four or five years because my family are stable. ?I don?t know where I will go in the future. ?


Result means nothing: Hughes
Belfast Telegraph – Feb 6, 2007
For the players this fixture will be the calm before the Euro 2008 storm starts next month. Tonight’s result will have no bearing on the two huge cup finals on the horizon, in the shape of Liechtenstein and Sweden. "It’s always good to keep a momentum going but on the other hand I personally don’t read too much into friendlies," said the Aston Villa defender. "Before we beat Azerbaijan and England we went to Malta and drew 1-1 and almost lost the game.

“It is going to be an attractive game, mainly because it is between two strong teams, and because the atmosphere that we are going to experience will be exceptional, and incomparable to any other stadium. The Spanish national team, and Aragones in particular, have come in for heavy criticism for their results since last summer. Aside from their poor showing in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, Spain also flattered to deceive at the 2006 World Cup – where they were knocked out in the second round by France – and were beaten at home by Romania in a friendly in November. Morientes believes good performances in the upcoming matches are vital if they are to get the nation’s supporters back onside. “What we wished for at the start of the year is that everybody is behind the team, and to do this we need to have good games and create the desire for people to follow the national team,” he said. Morientes will go into the England friendly buoyed by a match-winning performance for Valencia at the weekend.

Scotland defender Andy Webster remains out of favour at Wigan, while Steven Pressley spent a month out of action after leaving Hearts but is now playing again at Celtic. Smith said of Ferguson’s situation: “It’s something we have to be really aware of. Scotland’s next Euro 2008 qualifier is against Georgia on March 24, and four days later they face Italy. Smith’s side currently top Group B.

That result means Wales have failed to reach the last 16 of the competition, and now it is believed national boss John Toshack does not want the Southampton youngster to figure in what will be a string of friendlies at Under-21 level for the rest of the season. Bale has made a huge impact with Wales, and also impressed in his opening Championship games for the Saints this season, scoring important goals from midfield. Now with Wales having struggled badly down their left flank on Saturday in their 2-1 UEFA Euro 2008 Group D qualifying defeat by the Czech Republic in Teplice, the opportunity is there for Bale to be thrown into the game against the Brazilians at either left back or left midfield. It could be a daunting task for Cardiff-born Bale, considering how well Brazil played on Sunday in their 3-0 friendly victory over Argentina at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. But with doubts lingering over Sam Ricketts’ performance for the seniors, and the lack of an obvious left-sided alternative, the opportunity to give Bale a place in the senior squad from now on will increase competition. Toshack clearly considers Bale has already outgrown Under-21 football and is likely to be selected for the senior squad for the next round of Euro 2008 qualifiers when Wales host Slovakia and Cyprus on October 7 and 11 at the Millennium Stadium.

Sporting Life – Football | England v Spain Live, Northern Ireland v… – Feb 5, 2007
When Scolari’s reported comments were repeated to him, Ronaldo said: “He didn’t say that. However, Scolari was willing to talk about his own future, but made it clear that he has not made any plans beyond helping Portugal qualify for Euro 2008. They currently lie fourth in their group but have a game in hand on those teams above them. “My first thought is to see out my contract with Portugal to 2008 and help the team to qualify,” he said. “If we do not achieve that, it is not a very good situation.

Riot-related death halts soccer in Italy
VietNamNet Bridge – Feb 5, 2007
The Italian soccer federation quickly declared that all the weekend’s matches were suspended, then clarified that the suspension was indefinite and that it also applied to the national team. Italy had been scheduled to welcome Romania for a friendly Wednesday. The world champion is due to host Scotland in a Euro 2008 qualifier March 28. Trouble at Friday’s match between Palermo and Catania began with smoke — partly from tear gas outside the stadium — suspending play for a half hour. Violent clashes between rioters and the police lasted for hours after the game, during which a large firecracker exploded in 38-year old police officer Filippo Raciti’s face. He died as he arrived at hospital.

Carr and Douglas out of Irish squad – Feb 5, 2007
Newcastle right-back Carr sustained a thigh injury in training, while Leeds midfielder Douglas has a hamstring problem. Republic manager Steve Staunton has called up Luton’s Kevin Foley as cover for Carr, giving him a squad of 22 for the game at the Serravalle Stadium. ‘Unfortunately Stephen pulled a thigh muscle, so he is to return to Newcastle, while Jonathan has a hamstring problem,’ confirmed Staunton.

McClaren under pressure ahead of England’s friendly
Globe and Mail – Feb 5, 2007
It wasn’t nice to watch,” said Gerrard, who will face Liverpool teammates Xabi Alonso and Jose Reina in Wednesday’s match. “So hopefully we can put in a better performance. ”
Spain is also struggling in Euro 2008 qualifying. The team is fifth in Group F with only three points from three games. Only the top two from each group advance to the final tournament in Austria and Switzerland. McClaren’s latest experiment in his squad is Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton, a player whose off-the-field antics have come under scrutiny.

Staunton demands ‘clinical’ approach
Ireland Online – Feb 5, 2007
Ireland hammered the minnows 5-0 when the teams last met in a Euro 2008 qualifier at Lansdowne Road in November to get their campaign up and running following a poor start. The return at the compact Serravalle Stadium should not prove too problematic for Ireland, but nothing can be taken for granted despite San Marino?s wretched footballing record. Nothing less than victory, however, will suffice if Ireland are to have any hope of reaching next summer?s finals. John O?Shea concedes Staunton has already made his point known to his squad, stating: ?We?ve been told to make sure we?re clinical.

Teenager Ben Sahar called up to national team squad
Jerusalem Post – Feb 5, 2007
Sahar is one of five U21 squad players promoted by Kashtan, which will undoubtedly anger the U21 coach, Guy Levy, who has claimed in the past that the calling-up of his players to the senior squad hurts his sides’ preparations for this summers European Under 21 Championships. Eight Betar Jerusalem players, including Arik Benado, are also part of the squad for the friendly, with the veteran defender being called-up for the first time since Kashtan took charge. Benado, who has played for the national team a record 88 times, will break the appearance record once more if he plays on Wednesday in what is Israel’s final match before the team’s Euro 2008 qualifier against England on March 24. Israel squad: Goalkeepers: Dudu Awat (Deportivo La Coruna), Shavit Elimelech (Hapoel Tel Aviv) Defenders: Tal Ben-Haim (Bolton Wanderers, Dekel Keinan (Maccabi Haifa), Arik Benado, Shimon Gershon, Roni Gafni, Yoav Ziv, Tomer Ben Yossef (Betar Jerusalem), Klemi Saban (Steaua Bucharest), Yuval Spungin(Maccabi Tel Aviv).

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