Tuesday, 13 July 2004

913: EURO 2004: Steve Heald's view

by : Steve Heald Waiting exactly one week since the completion of Euro 2004 before writing this article, I knew that I would be able to read about the inevitable transfer of Greek players to the Premiership. Ever ready to jump on a bandwagon, the first manager linked with a Greek was Harry Redknap...


Monday, 05 July 2004

900: EURO 2004: Greek win begs the

by : Chris Sherrard As the famously passionate Greek nation awakes with a collective hangover and, in one united movement, pinches itself, there can no longer be any doubt about it; we live in strange footballing times. First we had the sight of a South Korean side joining Turkey and the most dish...


Sunday, 04 July 2004

896: EURO 2004: How the finalists m

by : Chris Sherrard A tournament which has had it’s fair share of twists, turns and England penalty shoot-out defeats, is set to reach it’s conclusion with the final between inviting hosts Portugal and the competition’s surprise team, Greece. It promises to be a footballing battle with Portugal’s e...


897: EURO 2004: Final preview

by : Stephen Orford Greece (4-1-4-1) Antonis Nikopolidis Nikopolidis is Greece’s unchallenged number one but, despite claiming six clean sheets in the qualifying campaign, has looked unsteady in this tournament. Has needed his defence to be strong. Tendency to punch rather than catch crosses and c...


895: EURO 2004: Team of the tournam

by : Chris Sherrard With the European Championships over and done with for another four years, and thoughts of players and coaches turning to beach-towels and ice-cream before new challenges are undertaken, there remains time to take a look at the players who have illuminated the pitches of Portuga...


Saturday, 03 July 2004

892: EURO 2004: Ronaldo will become

by : Chris Sherrard Cristiano Ronaldo, the step-over king, show pony or however else you care to think of him, has proved in this European Championships that he has a final product to accompany all the skills. He is now among the finest footballers in the world - and will go on to be the very best....


Wednesday, 30 June 2004

888: EURO 2004: Holland vs Portugal

by : Chris Sherrard Portugal Ricardo 7/10 Due to Holland’s impotence found himself with little to do for the majority of the match. Could do nothing about the Dutch goal. Otherwise, let himself down with theatrics and play-acting. Remains a solid keeper. Miguel 8/10 Great going forward and proved...


885: EURO 2004: The final four - pr

by : Stephen Orford Sixteen days ago sixteen teams embarked on a quest to become European Champions of 2004 in Portugal. Now, only a quarter of the field remain as we enter the semi-final stage of Euro 2004. While the fractions seem inconsistent, there may be even smaller margins between the fina...


Tuesday, 29 June 2004

884: EURO 2004: International Footb

by : Alex Wolstenholme Over the last couple of years, international football has been under the strongest pressure in its history with the rise and rise in power of major club sides and the vast amounts of money flowing into the game. International friendlies have been devalued by the number of ca...


Monday, 28 June 2004

882: EURO 2004: England pay the pen

by : Chris Sherrard Martin: That’s what I call an invitation. Andy: At 25/1 we have former Bolton target Rivaldo to enter proceedings and feign an injury ala World Cup in Japan. Martin: Cheat! Andy: Control yourself man! And at 50/1 we have odds of actually using his feet instead of his usual clubb...


Saturday, 26 June 2004

880: EURO 2004: England's not so gl

by : Stephen Orford Despite my lower leg paralysis my knee is about to jerk in reaction to England's exit from the European Championships last night (June 24). Though on the surface it seems like another glorious hard luck story for England, dig a little deeper and you will find that Sven's men go...


871: EURO 2004: Alan Hansen v Bobby

by : Chris Sherrard The battle on the pitch for the European Championships is well underway, now, but off the field of play, in the studios and gantries, another battle is raging. TV wars is again pitching ITV against BBC at international level. The prize? Just to be considered (well) behind Sky wh...


Friday, 25 June 2004

878: EURO 2004: Auf Wiedersehen Pet

by : Stephen Orford They say you can never write the Germans off. Well, now you can actually if you like. When asked before Euro 2004 got under way for a 'dark horse' I nominated the Germans. That I should think of them in that category, rather than in their traditional place among the tournamen...


Thursday, 24 June 2004

877: EURO 2004: No conspiracy betwe

by : Stephen Orford There was no second gunman on the grassy knoll. The British Intelligence services were nowhere near Portugal. No brown envelopes were found in Porto, nor was there any sign of Don King and his crazy barnet. This being the case, how can the idea be entertained that last night'...


876: EURO 2004: Arrivederci to the

by : Chris Sherrard So, alas, the fiery Italians have been made to pack up their alice bands and jet home to revel in their conspiracy theories and hard-luck stories. But if they are honest, they will know that they did not do enough to progress from a group which had looked from the moment it was ...


Tuesday, 22 June 2004

869: EURO 2004: Spain choke again

by : Stephen Orford And so yet again Spain have failed to deliver. Their failure to get out of what looked a distinctly modest Euro 2004 opening round group is yet another calamity for the country which claims to have the best domestic league in the world. Rubbing salt into wounds that must alre...


870: EURO 2004 - Totti is the spits

by : Chris Sherrard Francesco Totti, the saliva-dispensing Italian, should have been kicked out of the whole tournament by UEFA. Their decision to restrict his suspension to three matches could backfire dramatically if Italy can progress from their group. Ethics and manners in football at the high...


Monday, 21 June 2004

868: EURO 2004: England vs Croatia

by : Antony Melvin This was the kind of game that England like, difficult but beatable opposition who can’t play too defensively. Remarkably, for modern football England picked 1-11 – suggesting that this was the line-up (with the possible exception of Rio Ferdinand) that Sven would always have pi...


866: EURO 2004: Last chance for the

by : Alex Wolstenholme Ring announcer: And introducing his opponent, representing Chelsea, wearing the home strip of The Blues, weighing in at 11 stone and standing tall at 6ft, it’s the wily Italian, the Ruthless ‘Claudio Ranieri’. The Chelsea fans go wild for their former manager as he storms thr...


Saturday, 19 June 2004

864: EURO 2004: Jason Walker's pre-

by : Jason Walker So with Euro 2004 just days away it is time for another know all writer to pitch in with his predictions – me. As much I love England and dream of our boys triumphing in the July 4th final I just can’t see it happening. For me you simply can’t look past the Italians this summer, ...


Tuesday, 15 June 2004

857: EURO 2004: Spain hopes for a c

by : Julio Smith Another major tournament kicks off, another Spanish team carries the weight of expectation upon its shoulders. Though perhaps this time it is hope rather than expectation providing the burden. For it has become rather nave to actually expect a Spanish side to deliver on its immense...


858: EURO 2004: England should be d

by : Antony Melvin Far too much emphasis has been placed on the timing of the French goals. If England were going to lose that match then surely it is far better psychologically to believe that they should have won the game (and can hold onto that thought) but were denied by a couple of rash decis...


Monday, 14 June 2004

856: EURO 2004: Holland’s new gener

by : Chris Sherrard Dutch footballers are among the most technically gifted in the continent, if not the world. Each generation of supporters in the Netherlands has had a group of players worthy of great renown. From the twice World Cup runners-up of Cruyff, Rep and Neeskans to the European champio...


Sunday, 13 June 2004

855: EURO 2004: How England can bea

by : Chris Sherrard Ok France are the reigning European champions and only lost their World Cup crown because of fatigue and complacency. And, yes, they do possess the two best players in the game right now, in Henry and Zidane. They are the bookies’ favourites and we all know, to our considerable ...


854: EURO 2004: Frank Lampard is no

by : Ashley Michael It is an English tradition for the announcement of the squad for any international tournament to be met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. “Where is Gazza?” the people cry (or something similar). For Euro 2004 Sven Goran Eriksson has decided to ignore this tradition, possi...


848: EURO 2004: King of cool - Thie

by : Colin Illingworth David Beckham is undeniably one of the highest profile footballers in the world. He plays for one of the biggest clubs on the planet, married to a Spice Girl (would have said singer but that would have been like calling Gary Neville a footballer), admired by youngsters around...


847: EURO 2004: King of cool - Davi

by : Chris Sherrard Forget your Terry Henry with his va-va broom and anyone else who lays claim to the title. The real ‘King of Cool’ contest begins and ends at the door of Beckingham Palace. Step forward England’s captain and football’s untouchable superstar, David Beckham. Becks is genuinely the...


Saturday, 12 June 2004

853: EURO 2004: England won't win E

by : Steve Heald Andy: They’ve paired their wits against each other in every major competition this season and Arsene has come out on top most apart from that famous Champions League exit at the hands of Claudio. Ranieri has finally been sacked after fighting the bullet all season and proved his ba...


851: EURO 2004: This tournament wil

by : Alex Wolstenholme Despite the absence of Brazil and possibly Argentina, this years European Championship may prove harder to win than a World Cup for Europe’s top sides. 16 teams are taking part and a case can be made for at least half of those lifting the trophy come the end of the tournamen...


Friday, 11 June 2004

846: EURO 2004: Wayne Rooney can be

by : Chris Sherrard Star Man: Prso could cause problems if he goes on a goalscoring spree, but for me Croatia's most influential player will be Igor Tudor. He is the rock on which their defence will be built and his ability to pass the ball accurately over long distances could prove useful. Prob...


845: EURO 2004: Croatia

by : Stephen Orford It is only six years since Croatia shook the football world by finishing third in the World Cup in France. Hard to believe then, that going into Euro 2004 they are not expected to get out of the first round group. This is partly due to the presence of England and France in Gro...


Thursday, 10 June 2004

823: EURO 2004: Latvia

by : Alex Wolstenholme After shocking Turkey over two legs to reach their first major finals Latvia will have to do it all over again after being drawn in the obligatory `group of death` for the tournament proper. Latvia only became an independent nation in 1992 after the break up of the Soviet Un...


822: EURO 2004: Germany

by : Alex Wolstenholme Probable Line-up: Buffon (goalkeeper) Pannuci (right-back) Nesta (centre-back) Cannavaro (centre-back) Zambrotta (left-back) Perrota (midfield) Pirlo (midfield) Fiore (attacking midfield) Totti (attacking midfield) Del Piero (attacking midfield) Vieri (striker forward) Squ...


813: EURO 2004: Holland

by : Chris Sherrard Qualification Ask any Scottish fan what a damaged and wounded Dutch team is capable of. The Netherlands have developed a habit, over the course of their existence, of making hard work of qualifying for major tournaments despite being blessed with some of the most talented of pla...


811: EURO 2004: Czech Republic

by : Chris Sherrard Qualification Topped a group containing the potentially explosive Dutch, one of the first sides confirmed in the finals and only the French racked up a better points total en-route to this championships. All facts point to the 1996 runners-up making a serious impression on this ...


Wednesday, 09 June 2004

824: EURO 2004: Sweden

by : Ashley Michael Sven Goran Eriksson’s judgement seems to be called into question fairly often these days. Firstly there was his bizarre decision to name Ruud van Nistelrooy as man of the match in the FA Cup final and then came his comments about his home nation Sweden, tipping them as dark hors...


825: EURO 2004: Bulgaria

by : David Hulott Hands up all those who fancy Bulgaria to win Euro 2004? If anyone now has their arm raised, I would strongly suggest that they either reside in Plovdiv, or have just awoken from a decade-long coma and are thus blissfully unaware that the 1994 “Golden Squad” featuring the likes of...


819: EURO 2004: Denmark

by : Ashley Michael One of the most memorable images from the 2002 World Cup is that of a disconsolate Zinedine Zidane, thigh heavily strapped, trudging from the pitch following France’s shock elimination. While the talk was of how poor France had been (ie very) there was a distinct lack of credit ...


821: EURO 2004: Italy

by : Stephen Orford As with almost every major international tournament they enter Italy will be among the favourites for Euro 2004. Coach Giovanni Trapattoni and his troops are still reeling from their shock exit from the 2002 World Cup Finals to co-hosts South Korea, and the Italian public are s...


Tuesday, 08 June 2004

830: EURO 2004: Switzerland

by : David Hulott When the draw for the finals in Portugal this summer was made, the general consensus seemed to be that Group B would go to France, with England claiming the runners-up spot. Some have suggested that Croatia might prove to be tricky opponents, but few have come forward in support ...


835: EURO 2004: England

by : Antony Melvin Squad: Goalkeepers Sergei Ovchinnikov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Vyacheslav Malafeyev (Zenit St Petersburg), Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow). Defenders Vadim Evseev (Lokomotiv Moscow), Dmitry Sennikov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Roman Sharonov (Rubin Kazan), Alexei Bugayev (Torpedo Moscow), Alexa...


812: EURO 2004: France

by : Chris Sherrard Qualification What can you say? France qualified with a perfect, 100% record, bagged 29 superb goals and shipped a measly two along the way. Boy, did they mean business. Charged with fervourous rage after a dismal display at the World Cup two years ago, it was clear from the mom...


Monday, 07 June 2004

834: EURO 2004: Russia

by : David Hulott Having landed in a group with the host nation and Spain, Russia’s hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stage of Euro 2004 don’t look particularly good at first glance. Given that the Russians only victory on their travels in reaching the finals was in the play-off in Wales, the ...


839: EURO 2004: Spain

by : Stephen Orford ussians. Squad: Goalkeepers Antonis Nikopolidis (Panathinaikos), Kostas Chalkias (Panathinaikos), Fanis Katergiannakis (Olympiakos) Defenders Traianos Dellas (Roma), Yannis Goumas (Panathinaikos), Yourkas Seitaridis (Panathinaikos), Takis Fyssas (Benfica) Nikos Dabizas (Le...


836: EURO 2004: Portugal

by : Stephen Orford Squad: Goalkeepers: David James (Manchester City), Paul Robinson (Tottenham Hotspur), Ian Walker (Leicester City). Defenders: Gary Neville, Phil Neville (both Manchester United), Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell (both Arsenal), Wayne Bridge, John Terry (both Chelsea), Ledley King (To...


838: EURO 2004: Greece

by : David Hulott Drawn in a tough looking group with host nation Portugal, Spain and Russia, it would be easy to write off Greek hopes this summer. However, the Spanish will certainly not be underestimating them for one, having had to settle for the runners-up spot behind Otto Rehhagel's team in ...


Sunday, 06 June 2004

831: Euro 2004: The young stars to

by : Chris Sherrard Squad: Goalkeepers Fabrice Borer (Grasshoppers), Pascal Zuberbuehler (Basle), Joerg Stiel (Borussia Moenchengladbach). Defenders Bruno Berner (Freiburg), Bernt Haas (West Bromwich Albion), Stephane Henchoz (Liverpool), Patrick Muller (Lyon), Murat Yakin (Basle), Marco Zwyssig ...


826: EURO 2004: England - the case

by : Chris Sherrard Squad: Goalkeepers: Zdravko Zdravkov (Litex Lovech), Dimitar Ivankov (Levski Sofia), Stoyan Kolev (CSKA Sofia). Defenders: Rosen Kirilov (Litex Lovech), Predrag Pazin (Shakhter Donetsk), Vladimir Ivanov (Lokomotiv Plovdiv), Kiril Kotev (Lokomotiv Plovdiv), Ivaylo Petkov (Fene...


Saturday, 05 June 2004

843: EURO 2004: Shevchenko leads Eu

by : Chris Sherrard It’s often said, largely correctly, that the cream of Europe’s footballers will be on show in the European Championships. While that is true, on the whole, some of the continent’s finest players will be watching from afar, restrained from showcasing their talents by nothing more...


832: EURO 2004: Portugal can win Eu

by : David Hulott General opinion among observers in England seems to point towards France retaining their crown at Euro 2004. As ever, there are plenty of punters who will be putting their money on David Beckham hoisting aloft the trophy on Sunday 4th July. Italy, Holland, Spain and even those d...



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