Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 11, 2007

SFA REJECTED SMITH’S JOB-SHARE OFFER

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 6:57 am

The News Review:

* Players’ Development Crucial to German Success, Says Lehmann
* McClaren defiant after criticism
* LOW REPLACES GERMAN HERO KLINSMANN
* SFA REJECTED SMITH’S JOB-SHARE OFFER
* SUPER SCOTS SLAM SLOVENIA
* Croke Park hosts historic rugby clash
* The Sunday Herald – Sport
* STAN YEARNING FOR LADY LUCK
* TOSHACK BANKING ON GIGGS FOR CROKE SHOWDOWN
* Gordon absence bears Romanov prints
* ZIZOU SEES SIMILARITIES WITH 98
* American dream is the real deal for Gerrard
* ROBSON: ENGLAND SQUAD LACKS DEPTH
* RIO TOE MAY NOT BE BROKEN | Man Utd v Reading : Man Utd News,…
* Sunday’s gossip column
* PAIR URGED TO STAY AT EASTER ROAD
* Wenger blames FA as talent goes for a Burton
* EARNSHAW DELIGHTED FOR BLUEBIRDS
* PLAYERS WANT KERR SITUATION SORTED

Players’ Development Crucial to German Success, Says Lehmann
Deutsche Welle – Feb 11, 2007
“We are at least one class better than 12 months ago,” the Arsenal goalkeeper said. “The most important thing is that the players know exactly what they are supposed to do on the pitch. Of course we want to make sure that we qualify for the Euro 2008 tournament. ”

Germany won their first match of the year, a non-surprising 3-1 victory in a friendly against Switzerland on Wednesday. The next Euro 2008 qualifier is on March 24 away to a much stronger team, the Czech Republic. Germany started poorly in 2006 but then rose to the World Cup occasion in the summer by finishing third under coach Jürgen Klinsmann… Of course we want to make sure that we qualify for the Euro 2008 tournament. ”

Germany won their first match of the year, a non-surprising 3-1 victory in a friendly against Switzerland on Wednesday. The next Euro 2008 qualifier is on March 24 away to a much stronger team, the Czech Republic. Germany started poorly in 2006 but then rose to the World Cup occasion in the summer by finishing third under coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Germany are now unbeaten in the seven games since Joachim Löw took over as coach after the World Cup. Bundesliga mainly animosity and sackings.

McClaren defiant after criticism
BBC News – Feb 11, 2007
We ended up using it as an experiment, because we didn’t have seven or eight of our senior players,” he added. “The Greece friendly in August was a good one – and we needed a reaction in Holland in November, so it was important to get our best players available on that occasion. ”

Meanwhile, McClaren has vowed to fight back and get England’s Euro 2008 qualifying campaign back on track. The defeat to Spain last week stretched his winless run to four matches and heaped growing pressure on McClaren, who took charge last August. “I’m fighting hard,” McClaren told BBC Five Live. “Not just for myself but for the whole team… “But we have got everything we need to qualify and go into the next tournament as one of the six teams that can win it. “We still have 24 points to play for and we will get there. ”

England resume their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign against Israel on 24 March before facing Andorra four days later.

LOW REPLACES GERMAN HERO KLINSMANN
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
“It was almost unimaginable not only how he brought belief and confidence to the team, but how he got them fit for over 90 minutes,” said Mayer-Vorfelder. “That is what he has brought to us and this will now be carried forward. “Life after Klinsmann commences immediately with a Euro 2008 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on September 2 set to be Low’s first challenge. The match in Stuttgart is already a sell-out and team manger Oliver Bierhoff believes the fans who witnessed Germany’s 3-1 thrashing of Portugal to clinch third place at the World Cup in the same city last weekend can expect more of the same. “I am convinced this team, with Low, will be successful,” said Bierhoff. “The leading players have said they want to continue, if not with Klinsmann, then with Low.

SFA REJECTED SMITH’S JOB-SHARE OFFER
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
However, Murray did promise funds for the new manager, adding: “Of course, there will be money available. “The SFA came out fighting after losing Smith against their will, however they were plainly dismayed to lose the man who has revived the Scotland team. Smith enhanced his reputation with Scotland who surprisingly top their Euro 2008 qualifying group, ahead of Italy and France, the two World Cup finalists. He paid a short visit to the SFA offices at Hampden Park this morning, when he delivered a resignation letter to chief executive David Taylor. In a statement, the SFA said: “No agreement has been reached with Mr Smith or Rangers Football Club on any compensation payment to be made for the early termination of his employment, which is in breach of his contract with the Scottish FA. “In the absence of agreement, proceedings will require to be raised against Mr Smith for breach of contract and Rangers Football Club for inducement to breach the contract.

SUPER SCOTS SLAM SLOVENIA
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
The Scots were already out of the race for a play-off place in Group Fiveafter the weekend defeat by Belarus. But Walter Smith’s responded in style with three brilliant goals against theSlovenians. The win gives Scotland a seedings boost for the Euro 2008 qualifying draw in January and Smith is now desperate to reach a major tournament during his rein. He said: “As the manager of a national team, you know you’re not going to get that many opportunities to go to major finals. “The first one has slipped away from us, but at least we got the decent ranking that everyone was saying was so important for the next one. “Hopefully, we can achieve a good level in the next campaign.

Croke Park hosts historic rugby clash
rte.ie – Feb 11, 2007
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Match coverage began at 2pm on RT? Radio One and on RT? Two Television. In April 2005 the GAA voted to temporarily lift the ban on non-Gaelic games while Landsdowne Road was being rebuilt. The English rugby team will play at Croke Park later this month, while the Irish team will face Wales next month in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

The Sunday Herald – Sport
Sunday Herald – Feb 11, 2007
The real question, perhaps parochial, was this: why should
travelling Scottish fans be fined, in effect, because of Italian thuggery?
Did Uefa even recognise the potential for injustice?
Not so you would notice. At the
time of writing, the governing body remains “hopeful” that Celtic will meet AC Milan, before an audience, at the San Siro on March 7. The Italian FA are meanwhile “optimistic” that Scotland’s somewhat important Euro 2008
qualifier will go ahead on March 28. No one can say for sure, however, and we may have to wait another fortnight for the final decisions. Try putting that on your travel insurance claim. If the San Siro cannot be made secure, the Stade de France in Paris is on stand-by.

STAN YEARNING FOR LADY LUCK
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
As if calls for his head were not bad enough following Saturday’s embarrassing 5-2 Euro 2008 qualifying defeat by Cyprus, Staunton’s injury troubles continue to mount. Paddy Kenny and Stephen Ireland have both today undergone scans on hamstring injuries, while Andy O’Brien is also extremely doubtful with a severely swollen ankle. With Richard Dunne suspended following his dismissal at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia for two bookable offences, Staunton faces the prospect of being without his most experienced centre-back pairing for Wednesday’s visit to Lansdowne Road of the Czech Republic. Many critics will argue that may be no bad thing following their displays against Cyprus, although it would mean Staunton being forced to turn to the likes of Preston’s uncapped Sean St Ledger.

TOSHACK BANKING ON GIGGS FOR CROKE SHOWDOWN
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
But his hamstring problems were not to be risked a couple of hours later as Giggs sat and endured an international friendly his skills would have graced in abundance. Now Toshack must weave his resources together around Giggs for the March 24 trip to the cathedral of Irish sport for the first-ever soccer match on Croke Park’s hallowed turf. The Euro 2008 qualifier is now vital to the Republic of Ireland and Wales and only victory will give either country a chance of qualification. The match is already a 70,000-plus sell-out, and Toshack hopes just the stage for the Giggs magic. Toshack said: “Ryan had a slight hamstring problem, he will be okay in a couple of days, so it was just not worth the risk playing him in Belfast. He is too important to us to put under any sort of pressure now so close to the Dublin game.

Gordon absence bears Romanov prints
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 11, 2007
It was the first time he had been excluded from the squad, having at least been named as a substitute for the goalless draw with Rangers at Ibrox two weeks previously and again for the subsequent Scottish Cup defeat by Dunfermline at East End Park. Gordon’s exile was all the more unfathomable because, on the Hearts website on Friday, assistant coach Steven Frail appeared to indicate that Gordon would start. When the question of Gordon’s inactivity was raised with Alex McLeish, earlier in the week, the Scotland manager stated emphatically that even if the goalkeeper did not turn out for Hearts by the time the Scots play their Euro 2008 qualifier against Italy in Bari next month, he would still be first choice for the national side. Without Gordon’s aid, however, Hearts edged a 1-0 victory over the Highlanders, although they left it late to get the goal that counted, from Czech Republic player Michal Pospisil, who scored with his first touch only 30 seconds after arriving as a substitute.

ZIZOU SEES SIMILARITIES WITH 98
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
“It’s very important that we are actually entering into the competition now and that gives me a lot of confidence – we know we are facing a difficult match against a team that wants to win just as much as we do – we will simply try and play well and win the match. “Zidane will quit football at the end of the World Cup – that could come as early as next week or on July 9 depending on how Les Bleus fare in Germany. Zidane and his team-mates are, collectively, one of the oldest teams in the tournament but will be playing against a young Swiss team being groomed by coach Kobi Kuhn for Euro 2008, a tournament co-hosted by the Alpine nation with Austria. “They are a good team, a very good team,” said Zidane. “They are playing well and have several good elements. “We found out that in the last matches we played against them (both qualifiers were drawn).

American dream is the real deal for Gerrard
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 11, 2007
We want it to be a really horrible place to come with lots of noise. We want to make it a fortress. “England coach Steve McClaren has the same hope for the new Wembley, where his team will play their final Euro 2008 qualifying matches. But after recent performances, it may take a lot more than fine tuning to deliver a place in Switzerland and Austria next summer. The supporters’ boos at Old Trafford after Wednesday’s defeat by Spain also suggested that even the England Till I Die brigade are beginning to lose the faith. Gerrard says: “I think it’s obvious that certain fans have and the disappointment of the last couple of major tournaments, in which we’ve not fired on all cylinders, all added to the bad reaction on Wednesday night.

ROBSON: ENGLAND SQUAD LACKS DEPTH
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
“Theo Walcott is not getting in the Arsenal side and so it is a problem for Steve McClaren because the more experience and the more they play, the better they become. “So, we are struggling and it is a bit of a headache for him at the moment. Despite the criticism heaped on the England boss after their soporific performance against the Spaniards, Robson still believes they will qualify for Euro 2008 and urged the country to get behind McClaren and his team. Robson added: “What we have got to do as a nation is get right behind the team. “We have still got a great chance of qualifying and Steve McClaren can actually do that. We have got to give them great support when it comes round to the main games.

RIO TOE MAY NOT BE BROKEN | Man Utd v Reading : Man Utd News,…
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
Ferdinand injured the little toe of his right foot during United’s 2-1 win at Watford on Saturday. A United spokesman said Ferdinand has bruising to the toe but added: “There is no conclusive evidence of a fracture. “Ferdinand remains a major doubt for the first two games of England’s Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, the first competitive games of head coach Steve McClaren’s reign. It now looks however that the central defender will not suffer six to eight weeks on the sidelines – the normal period taken to recover from a broken metatarsal – and the injury a number of England players have suffered including Wayne Rooney before the World Cup.

Sunday’s gossip column
BBC News – Feb 11, 2007
(News of the World)

Some “influential figures” at the FA want Steve McClaren sacked as manager if England lose to Israel in next month’s European Championship qualifier. (Sunday People)

AC Milan bosses could ban their fans from travelling to Glasgow for the Champions League clash with Celtic to avoid crowd trouble. (Sunday Mail)

Scotland manager Alex McLeish will give forward Garry O’Connor one more chance to resurrect his career at national level after his no-show for a Euro 2008 qualifier under previous boss Walter Smith.

PAIR URGED TO STAY AT EASTER ROAD
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
He said: “The B international games gives them a chance to come through and stake a claim for the big team. The more younger ones we have coming through showing they can cope at that level the better. Regardless of the Old Firm’s feats in Europe and Scotland’s start to the Euro 2008 qualification campaign Knox believes a sign the feel good factor has returned to Scottish football was 3,000 fans turning out for the Scotland Under-19s clash with Germany. He said: “At the under-19s a few weeks ago there were 3,000 at the Falkirk Stadium for a qualifier against Germany, so the signs are good. “With the youth teams there are a number of good players coming through so we need them to come to the fore so we have some real national heroes again and kids can identify with that.

Wenger blames FA as talent goes for a Burton
Telegraph.co.uk – Feb 11, 2007
We’ve got to show that character, we’ve got to show that English mentality that when you’ve got your backs to the wall, when we’re not performing so well, you can get the job done. “That’s what we had in the World Cup, we had that to qualify and we got the job done. I have belief and confidence in the squad that together, we will get the job done for Euro 2008. ” Those questioning McClaren’s ability to do the job should at least take comfort from proof that he has a firm grip on the basics. He says: “Football’s a simple game. It’s about defending at one end and sticking the ball in the back of the net at the other end.

EARNSHAW DELIGHTED FOR BLUEBIRDS
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
The Wales striker was the darling of Ninian Park as he set new scoring records, but big-money moves have taken him first to West Brom and now Norwich, while Cardiff are banging on the Premiership door. Earnshaw, 25, is hoping to inspire Wales in their Euro 2008 qualifiers at the Millennium Stadium, on Saturday against Slovakia and next Wednesday against Cyprus. He said: “Cardiff are doing very well, I’m delighted for them. But it’s strange to see them where they are. They have sold me, Danny Gabbidon and James Collins and turned things to their advantage.

PLAYERS WANT KERR SITUATION SORTED
Sportinglife.com – Feb 11, 2007
An ambiguous statement on Thursday has briefly permeated proceedings but offeredlittle indication as to which way they will turn, other than making it clearthey are to sift through the ashes of Kerr’s burnt-out campaign. It read: “The board of the FAI will now consider the implications ofnon-qualification and assess all issues in respect of the senior internationalteam with a view to achieving success in future European Championship and WorldCup campaigns. Whether Kerr remains at the helm to oversee qualification for Euro 2008 isstill open to debate, although the feeling amongst the players is that it isincumbent on the FAI to not let the situation drag on. “The speculation is going to build,” said midfielder Stephen Reid, who feltthe furore surrounding Kerr in the build-up to the last two matches proved anunnecessary distraction. “It hasn’t helped in the last couple of months, never mind the last couple ofweeks, coming to a head with these last two games. “With it in your faces all the time, in the newspapers and other media, it’sbeen hard.

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