Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 14, 2007

FLETCHER WAITING FOR FERGIE PHONE CALL

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 1:57 pm

The News Review:

* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* Football at its best
* THE BAN STANDS FOR RIO: Sporting Life | Football Scores, Football…
* FLETCHER WAITING FOR FERGIE PHONE CALL
* COLEMAN WANTS VOLZ TO STAY | Fulham v Tottenham : Fulham News,…
* THURAM COULD KEEP GOING FOR LES BLEUS
* HENRY IS INCOMPARABLE – WENGER
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* WENGER DEFENDS CAMPBELL DECISION
* ::: Reviews of the year 2003 :::
* COLLINA: THE PREMIER REFEREE?
* BAROS SALE WOULD REAP
* LIPPI LEAVES DEL PIERO DOOR OPEN
* SCRAPPY GOAL IS THOMPSON HIGHLIGHT
* PREPARATION THE KEY FOR SVEN
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* JENAS COMFORTABLE WITH ELEVATION
* SEAMAN SET TO EXTEND ARSENAL STAY

Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
Sportinglife.com – Feb 12, 2007
html>Click here for David Beckham’s profile

Click here for our special Transfer Centre. Beckham’s current deal expires in the summer and Mijatovic told Sky Italia that the former England captain would not be offered fresh terms. Mijatovic said: “Beckham will leave us. We will not renew his contract. Real had previously stated their desire to resolve the long-running Beckham contract issue one way or the other by the end of next week, and further talks were thought to be due to take place… June 7: Beckham, who was able to lead England out for their opening World Cup match against Sweden, scores from the penalty spot against Argentina to seal a 1-0 win. England bow out in the quarter-finals at the hands of eventual winners Brazil. October: Scored against Slovakia and Macedonia as England started their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign with a win and a draw. 2003: February: Beckham involved in new controversy after Ferguson accidentally kicks a boot into his face in frustration at United’s FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, leaving the England skipper with a gash above his eye. April 23: Beckham left out of the starting line-up for United’s crucial Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash with Real Madrid at Old Trafford. Beckham scores twice as a substitute but it is too late to save the Red Devils, who lose 6-5 on aggregate. May 22: Suffers a fractured scaphoid (bone between thumb and wrist) in 2-1 friendly victory over South Africa.

Football at its best
Times of India – Feb 14, 2007
These matches, filled with lots of passion and
enthusiasm, are not meant to be missed. Although India is not a part of this
soccer festival, Indian football fans like their counterpart abroad in
non-European countries prefer to be part of this once-in-a-four-year
extravaganza. Ashish,
BA, Ist yr, SCCCE,
DU

It’s not
only me, but all soccer fans are affected by the soccer mania that has gripped
the country. It feels great to see the artistic footwork of football greats like
Beckham, Zidane and Raul playing against each other. I cannot say which team
will finally lift the trophy, but these three players are expected to leave
their mark in the Euro 2004… Naveen,
BBA, IInd Sem,
GGSIPU

Being
a great fan of Figo, Henry and Beckham, I cannot afford to miss the football
championship. I feel football is the only game where a player’s actual zeal
comes out, for he keeps running in the field to score that elusive goal. So,
it’s time to cherish the beautiful moments of Euro 2004, and be a part of this
historic event. Deepak,
BA, IInd yr, Shivaji College,
DU

Our
daily routine has gone for a toss ever since the matches have started. However,
it’s worth spending your nights watching some of the world’s top football
players in action. With the participation of top players from 16 European
countries, the passion for the game is quite obvious amongst the soccer
fans. Ajit,
B Com, IInd yr,
SCCCE

The
matches are irresistible whether they take place during the day or night.

THE BAN STANDS FOR RIO: Sporting Life | Football Scores, Football…
Sportinglife.com – Feb 13, 2007
For the second time in three months, the ?29. 3million Manchester Uniteddefender faced a blaze of flashlights and attempted to come to terms with aneight-month suspension for a costly missed drugs test at his club’s Carringtontraining ground on September 23 last year. Unless he decides to go for – and win – another appeal at the Court ofArbitration for Sport in Switzerland, Ferdinand will now be banned from allfootball until September 20, ruling him out of the rest of United’s ailingPremiership campaign, the start of the next one, plus the whole of Euro 2004 andEngland’s first two World Cup qualifiers in Poland and Austria. It’s a hefty penalty for an act of forgetfulness, which is what theindependent three-man appeal panel indirectly acknowledged Ferdinand was guiltyof in missing the random test when their verdict was announced following athree-hour hearing and two-and-a-half hours’ deliberation. However, the hardline stance of FA chief executive Mark Palios ensured theoriginal suspension was upheld, even if the panel, chaired by leading QC IanMill rejected the governing body’s desire to see the punishment increased to 12months. Panel spokesman Nick Barron confirmed: “In reaching our conclusion, theappeal board discounted the possibility that Mr Ferdinand’s reasons for nottaking the test were drug-related. “But having considered the matter very fully, the appeal board have todaydismissed Mr Ferdinand’s appeals, both against conviction and sanction… That remains our view. A United statement later added: “We are disappointed given the nature of theappeal. “As the detailed judgement has not yet been received, it is impossible atthis stage for the club to make any further comment. Ironically, the QC demanding his punishment should be increased on Thursday, MarkGay, was the man responsible for Greg Rusedski escaping without punishment forhis positive test for nandrolone. Having expressed his own hope that Ferdinand may get a reduction in hispunishment, England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson is sure to be dismayed. Should the Swede carry on in his present position, the next time he will beable to select Ferdinand will be against Wales – at Old Trafford of all places -on October 9. Ferdinand will now take advice on the issue before deciding whether to pushthe matter further, although how much leniency the defender can expect is opento question with the Court of Arbitration based in Switzerland, the powerbase ofFIFA president Sepp Blatter.

FLETCHER WAITING FOR FERGIE PHONE CALL
Sportinglife.com – Feb 13, 2007
Ferguson, his club manager at Manchester United, used to be in charge of thenational team and will be keen to do all he can to help the Scots get past DickAdvocaat’s heavily-fancied Dutch side. But the teenager, who came off the bench to fire the goal that took the Scotsinto the play-offs last month, is also planning to dish out some wise wordshimself – to none other than his Old Trafford team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy. He said of Ferguson: “He has not spoken to me yet, he has just shaken my handand wished me good luck but he is going to give me a phone call during the weekand will no doubt give me a bit of advice. “He doesn’t really bombard you with loads of advice… Ferguson, his club manager at Manchester United, used to be in charge of thenational team and will be keen to do all he can to help the Scots get past DickAdvocaat’s heavily-fancied Dutch side. But the teenager, who came off the bench to fire the goal that took the Scotsinto the play-offs last month, is also planning to dish out some wise wordshimself – to none other than his Old Trafford team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy. He said of Ferguson: “He has not spoken to me yet, he has just shaken my handand wished me good luck but he is going to give me a phone call during the weekand will no doubt give me a bit of advice. “He doesn’t really bombard you with loads of advice. He tells you littlethings like working on different parts of your game that you can improve onbecause you are never the finished article even when you are 30. “As for Ruud, I have not had a chance to talk to him about the game as wehave had a lot of big games recently. “But he shook my hand after the game against Liverpool as he was flying backto Holland.

COLEMAN WANTS VOLZ TO STAY | Fulham v Tottenham : Fulham News,…
Sportinglife.com – Feb 12, 2007
Following midfield star Sean Davis’s decision to withdraw his transfer request, Coleman hopes to finalise new deals with several of his star players, including Lee Clark and Louis Saha. Steed Malbranque and Sylvain Legwinski have already signed new contracts and Coleman has cash to spend from club owner Mohamed Al Fayed,And even though Dado Prso’s scoring exploits for Croatia may be pricing the Monaco striker out of a move to the west London club, Fulham’s young boss has other targets as he aims to build on a bright start to the campaign which sawhis side in seventh place before this weekend’s matches. Prso, who equalled the Champions League scoring record by netting four times in Monaco’s recent destruction of Deportivo Coruna, last week added two more to help Croatia overcome Slovenia and qualify for Euro 2004. “He’s probably not doing us any favours keeping scoring goals. He’s one we were interested in during the summer and things change but he’s a good player and we’ll have to see what happens in January,” added Coleman. “I know everyone thought there would be an exodus but it’s gone the other way. We’re keeping all our players.

THURAM COULD KEEP GOING FOR LES BLEUS
Sportinglife.com – Feb 12, 2007
usVeteran defender Lilian Thuram has again hinted he could keep on playing for France until Euro 2008. The 34-year-old retired from international football after France were knocked out in the quarter-finals of Euro 2004, but was persuaded to return in August 2005 to help Les Bleus qualify for this summer’s World Cup. After reaching the final in Germany – only to lose 5-3 on penalties to Italy – Thuram had been tipped to retire for good but he remains undecided on his future. “I experienced strong emotions during the World Cup and I don’t want them to stop,” Thuram told cultural magazine Les Inrockuptibles. “I now have to think carefully. I could play for another two years without playing for the French team, but I could also decide to continue with Les Bleus too… “Raymond Domenech came to my home to tell me that he would call me up against my will,” explained Thuram. “He then unveiled his list (ahead of their friendly with Ivory Coast on August 17) and I was in it. “I joined the team but I was not happy about it. I was upset, it’s normal. “When I retired in 2004 there was no unity within the team nor any respect. On the pitch there was an obvious lack of discipline. We were unable to work together.

HENRY IS INCOMPARABLE – WENGER
Sportinglife.com – Feb 12, 2007
Henry has come in for criticism amid the recent stumble in Arsenal’s fortunes,with some critics questioning whether he scores enough goals on big occasionsand against quality opposition. They point to last season’s Champions League quarter-final ties againstChelsea, this season’s clash at Old Trafford, the 2000 UEFA Cup final againstGalatasaray and also the Euro 2004 finals. Wenger responded by citing Henry’s record of 56 goals in 84 games in the past15 months, stressing that not even van Nistelrooy – with 48 goals in 68 games inthat period – can stand comparison. The Arsenal boss declared: “I feel the criticism of Thierry is completelyundeserved and amazing. “Don’t forget, this guy is top scorer and provider in the league, and topscorer in the Champions League for us. We should only praise him… He’s scored eight goalsagainst Manchester United, a hat-trick away to Roma and two against Inter lastseason. Van Nistelrooy, meanwhile, may have hit four goals against Sparta Prague inmidweek, but has only scored twice against Arsenal in eight games and twiceagainst Chelsea in six matches. Wenger was therefore not about to start heaping praise on his Old Traffordnemesis, whose conduct he has questioned in each of the past two seasons. “Thierry responds well to criticism, but in this case it’s a bit overboard. It’s because of all the comparisons between him and van Nistelrooy, but it’s notbased in fact,” he stressed. “Look at the number of games he plays.

Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
Sportinglife.com – Feb 14, 2007
usEngland survived the sending-off of David Beckham to qualify forthe World Cup finals with a 1-0 victory over Austria. Four years ago, Beckham had hauled England to the 2002 finals against Greeceat Old Trafford with his last-gasp free-kick and he again took centre stage. Frank Lampard took over penalty duties and the Chelsea midfielder convertedEngland’s first spot-kick since Euro 2004 after Michael Owen was fouled beforeBeckham was booked twice in the space of three second-half minutes and was sentoff for the second time in an international. Whether or not his second booking was harsh, the midfielder had already ruledhimself out of the now irrelevant final group game against Poland with his fourth caution ofthe campaign before his second challenge on the same player, defender AndreasIbertsberger, saw him red carded. Beckham’s departure left England to hold on to a narrow lead for a fullhalf-hour, not only without their captain, but also without Wayne Rooney, whoseindiscipline in Belfast last month had led to his own suspension. Eriksson must at least have been relieved Rooney’s replacement, Peter Crouch,rose to the occasion as he strengthened his claims for a place in the World Cup squad. There was also a measure of irony as Rio Ferdinand, who had beenunceremoniously dropped from the side, came on to replace the injured SolCampbell as England managed to stem the late tide of Austrian pressure… Four years ago, Beckham had hauled England to the 2002 finals against Greeceat Old Trafford with his last-gasp free-kick and he again took centre stage. Frank Lampard took over penalty duties and the Chelsea midfielder convertedEngland’s first spot-kick since Euro 2004 after Michael Owen was fouled beforeBeckham was booked twice in the space of three second-half minutes and was sentoff for the second time in an international. Whether or not his second booking was harsh, the midfielder had already ruledhimself out of the now irrelevant final group game against Poland with his fourth caution ofthe campaign before his second challenge on the same player, defender AndreasIbertsberger, saw him red carded. Beckham’s departure left England to hold on to a narrow lead for a fullhalf-hour, not only without their captain, but also without Wayne Rooney, whoseindiscipline in Belfast last month had led to his own suspension. Eriksson must at least have been relieved Rooney’s replacement, Peter Crouch,rose to the occasion as he strengthened his claims for a place in the World Cup squad. There was also a measure of irony as Rio Ferdinand, who had beenunceremoniously dropped from the side, came on to replace the injured SolCampbell as England managed to stem the late tide of Austrian pressure. And so they held on – just.

WENGER DEFENDS CAMPBELL DECISION
Sportinglife.com – Feb 12, 2007
Wenger revealed Campbell’s groin injury, which ruled him out England’s midweekfriendly in Portugal, is “critical enough for us to rest him duringtraining”. Indeed, while Campbell will return for Saturday’s game at Chelsea, the Arsenalboss added: “He could need an operation, but only if we don’t take care of it. “I thought that if England had forced him to play, they could lose him forthe European Championships. “If we hadn’t given him a rest at all, he could have become worse andworse… “You will never find a player whom I discouraged from going to aninternational,” he maintained. “The club get an advantage as it keeps them up at the top and it’s part ofbeing a big player. The problem is not with England, but all over the world withfixture congestion. Indeed, the Arsenal boss has no regrets about allowing Cole to join Englandonly to rule himself out of Saturday’s game, as well as possibly the ChampionsLeague tie at Celta Vigo next Tuesday. “I’m extremely frustrated as he cannot move really, but what can you do? Hewasn’t in the situation where he couldn’t play,” he said. “When Ashley gets tired, the first thing he gets is back pain. Most of thetime he gets away with it.

::: Reviews of the year 2003 :::
Irish Times – Feb 12, 2007
“If they don’t win today I will have their balls in my salad. ”

– Maurizio Zamparini, president of Italian side Palermo. Palermo drew 2-2 with Livorno that day, and since then they’re not half the men they used to be. “If you look at the table then we have been whitewashed, but if you study the games then you’ll see that we have made progress. ”

– Wales coach Steve Hansen, insisting Welsh rugby’s glass was half full, despite looking positively empty after a grim Six Nations campaign. “I just wish the politicians would take it easy. ”

– Irish under-20 player Ian Simpemba after the World Youth Cup was postponed due to the threat of war in Iraq… ”

– Sky Sports pundit Phil Neal, expressing concerns about England’s trip to Turkey. OCTOBER

“A bad, bad, bad day. ”

– David Connolly, after defeat by Switzerland ended Ireland’s Euro 2004 qualifying hopes. “Once again he had brain fade at a vital moment. ”

– Eddie Irvine on a manoeuvre that cost Juan Pablo Montoya a Grand Prix victory. “Premier League football is a multi-million-pound industry with the aroma of a blocked toilet and the principles of a knocking shop. ”

– Chat-show king Michael Parkinson suggesting that the game might have lost a bit of its beauty.

COLLINA: THE PREMIER REFEREE?
Sportinglife.com – Feb 14, 2007
The only thing about him which is out of this world, however, is his refereeing. Who says so? Just about everybody in football, including managers, administrators and the players. So exceptional have his displays been so far at Euro 2004, in the opening game between Portugal and Greece and in the vital Group B encounter between England and Croatia, that Chelsea’s new boss Jose Mourinho reckons he should be given the ‘Golden Ball’ for the best performer at the tournament. He has been adjudged ‘best referee’ six times by the international body of football historians and statisticians who keep tabs on these things. It all makes the fact that this will be Collina’s last tournament because under UEFA regulations he has to retire at the age of 45 all the more ridiculous. He will be lost to football action altogether at the end of the nextItalian season when again retirement is obligatory. Short-sighted, obdurate, nonsensical… How silly to waste such experience when you consider former Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff won a World Cup medal back in 1982 at the age of 41. If a player can reach such heights at such an age why can’t a referee, especially one as fit and dedicated as Collina, go on at least a decade longer?When was the last time you saw a player eye-balling or bad-mouthing Collina? It just doesn’t happen to the man who once tore a strip off an Italian talk show host on national television for joking that he should do shampoo commercials. Collina suffers from alopecia, a medical condition which leads to the loss of all body hair and, quite rightly, does not suffer fools gladly who try to make a joke at his expense. All of which is leading to the fact that the English Premier League should seriously consider an idea first mooted by Arsenal’s David Dein last month to bring Collina to the Premiership. Heaven knows the Premiership is crying out for a man in black with authority and experience, one who could guide a new generation of fully professional officials. They don’t come with a curriculum vitae to match that of Collina. Think of the matches at which he has officiated – the Manchester United-Bayern Munich Champions League final thriller in Barcelona in 1999; England’s 5-1 WorldCup qualifying victory against Germany in Munich; the tense and goalless England-Turkey qualifier in Istanbul; the World Cup final in 2002 and the UEFA Cup final between Valencia and Marseille earlier last month.

BAROS SALE WOULD REAP
Sportinglife.com – Feb 13, 2007
It is understood that Villa would be entitled to ask for nearly ?18million – three times as much as they paid Liverpool for his services last summer – should Baros look to leave the midlands club after only one season. The Czech Republic striker could become hot property at the World Cup if he can reach the standards he set at Euro 2004. But he would not be able to leave Villa on the cheap should a more attractive proposition be put before the player who has scored 10 times this season. O’Leary said: “I want Milan to stay but he has a selling clause in his contract. “We don’t want to sell him but, if we have to sell him, this club for the first time in a long time would be making an absolutely vast profit on a player. “That’s the way football is going.

LIPPI LEAVES DEL PIERO DOOR OPEN
Sportinglife.com – Feb 14, 2007
“It’s a technical decision and I don’t need to explain every single technicaldecision that I make every time,” he explained. “I am saddened for him, and (Palermo’s) Luca Toni, who hasn’t been called up,but there will be chances in the future. Lippi knows Del Piero better than most as he coached him in Turin at Juve forseveral years, but sentiment has been outweighed by a string of below-pardisplays since the playmaker turned back the clock at Euro 2004. Indeed, many considered Del Piero lucky to have been picked for the Portugaltournament after Alberto Gilardino, for one, scored more than him last season. But the Parma star has been included this time around to face the Russians,along with Inter striker Christian Vieri and Roma’s Vincenzo Montella, the topscorer in Serie A. The veteran strikers are enjoying a renaissance this season, regularly findingthe back of the net despite being written off in some circles. Lippi, though, has based his selection on form, not prejudice… “I am against any kind of racism,” Lippi said. “Not only skin wise but alsocultural. I will support every initiative. The Sardinia game will see Italy decked out in white and Russia wear blackshorts and half-black shirts. For Russia coach Georgi Yartsev, the encounter could prove to be a difficultone with his squad weakened by injuries. Roman Pavlyuchenko, Andrei Arshavin and Vladimir Bystrov are among theabsentees for Russia, who will resume their Group Three World Cup qualifyingcampaign in Liechtenstein next month.

SCRAPPY GOAL IS THOMPSON HIGHLIGHT
Sportinglife.com – Feb 12, 2007
He said: “I would like to get a lot more starts that I did in this campaign. “But if I keep doing well when I get the chance I will be quite happy. Thompson’s lack of previous first team involvement in recent weeks has meanthe is no more than a stand-by for the Scotland squad to face Germany in the Euro2004 qualifiers next month. But the striker did not blame Scotland manager Berti Vogts for overlookinghim. He said: “Mr Vogts has selected his squad and I’m on stand-by. I respect thatbecause if I was in his position I don’t think I would necessarily jump intopicking somebody who was not playing regularly for his club.

PREPARATION THE KEY FOR SVEN
Sportinglife.com – Feb 13, 2007
Several Barclays Premiership managers criticised a packed programme offixtures over the festive period. The Premier League claimed the extra week needed by Eriksson’s England squadwas the reason for the busy schedule. Eriksson believes the benefit will be felt in Germany, and told the LeagueManagers’ Association website that lessons had to belearned after quarter-final exits at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. “The biggest lesson is that we must have one more week of preparation,” saidEriksson. “In England, the domestic season begins but never stops, with no break atall, so we found that in the second half of matches in Japan and Portugal ourplayers were tired. “In 2002 and 2004 we had only three weeks of preparation, but for the 2006World Cup we will have four weeks. “FIFA have instructed all countries on this issue and I appreciate that verymuch… The extra week will be very important to us. Eriksson has confirmed David Beckham will lead his side into the finals,despite the leadership qualities of John Terry and Steven Gerrard. “Beckham will be England’s captain in Germany and I will not even discussanyone else. “He is calm in the dressing room and when he talks, people listen. “But you must also remember that we have many captains in our team: JohnTerry is a good leader who is captain of Chelsea, Steven Gerrard is captain ofLiverpool.

Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
Sportinglife.com – Feb 12, 2007
Motherwell were handed the opportunity to extend their lead after 72 minuteswhen they were awarded a penalty after the referee ruled that Clarkson had beenbrought down in the box, even though he appeared to slip on the wet surface. McFadden stepped up for the set-piece and he cheekily flicked the ball pastMain from 12 yards. That was not enough for the young star and, two minutes later, McFaddencompleted his hat-trick when he slotted home from long-range, leaving theLivingston goalkeeper with no chance. That prompted chants of ‘Are you watching Berti Vogts?’, after the Scotlandmanager’s decision to drop McFadden for the Euro 2004 qualifier against Germanyin a couple of weeks time, hinting the youngster had lost his confidence. Lasley had scored earlier in the game and he netted in injury time to ensure amemorable end to the campaign for Motherwell before the final whistle sparked apitch invasion by the home fans. TeamsMotherwell Dubourdeau, Corrigan (Ballantyne 74), Lasley,Kinniburgh, Hammell, Quinn, McDonald, McFadden, Pearson,Craig (Wright 77), Clarkson (Scott 84). Subs Not Used: Ewings, Higgins… McFadden stepped up for the set-piece and he cheekily flicked the ball pastMain from 12 yards. That was not enough for the young star and, two minutes later, McFaddencompleted his hat-trick when he slotted home from long-range, leaving theLivingston goalkeeper with no chance. That prompted chants of ‘Are you watching Berti Vogts?’, after the Scotlandmanager’s decision to drop McFadden for the Euro 2004 qualifier against Germanyin a couple of weeks time, hinting the youngster had lost his confidence. Lasley had scored earlier in the game and he netted in injury time to ensure amemorable end to the campaign for Motherwell before the final whistle sparked apitch invasion by the home fans. TeamsMotherwell Dubourdeau, Corrigan (Ballantyne 74), Lasley,Kinniburgh, Hammell, Quinn, McDonald, McFadden, Pearson,Craig (Wright 77), Clarkson (Scott 84). Subs Not Used: Ewings, Higgins. Booked: Lasley, McFadden.

JENAS COMFORTABLE WITH ELEVATION
Sportinglife.com – Feb 13, 2007
Jenas is expected to have his first taste of competitive action for his country in the Euro 2004 qualifier in Liechtenstein on Saturday. The Newcastle midfielder created a favourable impression as a member of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s experimental side when he made his debut in the second half of the friendly international with Australia at Upton Park last month. It has been a whistle-stop rise to the top for Jenas after his ?5million move from Nottingham Forest last season. He has forced himself into Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson’s side on a regular basis and has relished the chance of making his mark in Champions League football against the likes of Barcelona and Inter Milan. His partnership with Kieron Dyer has provided pace and power and now, ironically, the pair are competing for an out-of-position left-sided role in the England set-up.

SEAMAN SET TO EXTEND ARSENAL STAY
Sportinglife.com – Feb 12, 2007
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, whose own future with the club has been throwninto doubt after frantic speculation that he could join Real Madrid in twoweeks, wants Seaman to take over from retiring Bob Wilson as Arsenal’sgoalkeeping coach. Wenger who has reiterated his commitment to Arsenal for at least two moreyears – the remaining time left on his latest contract – would also want toretain Seaman’s registration as a player, ideally as a back-up to any newsigning while Stuart Taylor, 22, is still being groomed for the first-team job. But Arsenal, it is believed, are still not close to signing a new keeper eventhough they have been strongly linked with Leeds United’s Paul Robinson – alsoreportedly coveted by Manchester United – and Turkey World Cup star RustuRecber, who is said to be considering an offer from Barcelona. Sunderland’s Danish international Thomas Sorensen is believed to be anotherpossibility but his Highbury arrival could be on the basis of having to fight itout with Seaman for the senior jersey. Seaman, 40 in September but in outstanding form at the end of last season whenhe made 43 Arsenal appearances, has reportedly had offers from both ManchesterCity and Birmingham City for next season when he still hopes to retain hisEngland international status by playing regular Premiership football. But Arsenal’s local rivals Tottenham today dismissed suggestions that theyhave joined the race to recruit him. Spurs director of football David Pleat insisted: “This report is totallywithout foundation… The Seaman-for-Spurs theory may have taken root through Tottenham managerGlenn Hoddle’s known admiration for the keeper whom he regularly selected duringhis days as England manager. But Seaman, who after 13 years at Highbury, would fully appreciate thedifficulties likely to be encountered by a move to Tottenham, would also have tofight for his place at White Hart Lane where United States goalkeeper KaseyKeller, 33, was an ever-present in the side last season – keeping out Scotland’sNeil Sullivan – and has only recently signed a new two-year contract. Hoddle, currently abroad on holiday, also publicly sprang to Seaman’s defencewhen the Arsenal star was fiercely criticised for vital goals against England byBrazil, in the World Cup, and Macedonia, in a Euro 2004 qualifier. Seaman has been left out of the squad by Sven-Goran Eriksson for the nextqualifier against Slovakia but still believes he can regain his England placeafter 75 caps. West Ham’s David James has taken over the national jersey but his club’srelegation from the Premiership will bring extra pressure on Eriksson toconsider whether he can continue with a keeper who, unless transferred, will beplaying only Nationwide League First Division football next season. Meanwhile, Spurs are still being linked with a bid for West Ham’s Frenchstriker Freddie Kanoute but would almost certainly be put off by a likely?5million asking price even though the player’s agent Willie McKay reckons thateven financially cautious Tottenham could easily match the player’s West Hamsalary.

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