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EURO 2008 PREVIEW

This Saturday we are in store for some Big Qualifiers. The two most notable ones being England & Italy’s group

THREE LIONS ON A SHIRT

What would be a Euro Champs without England. Once again we ask ourselves how did they end up in this position in the first place. Azee & the Guvee will have to wait in anticipation and hope England beat Croatia.But Israel must beat Russia. What are the odds on this. If Russia wins ,a dark cloud will fall over England. I cant think of it but I always maintain that when you play sh@#te you gotta face the consequences.

Lets pray and hope The flutes and the God Save The Queen will still be chanted in the stands of Euro 2008. I hope Crouch & Owen start against Croatia

I also want to ask.Should England fail to qualify.Should the EPL limit its foreign players. Maybe thats why Spain are so good on paper but dont produce. Look at the Italian World Cup Squad. 90% of the team played in Italy.I stand to be corrected,maybe 100%. What is the problem with England. Is it the influx of foriegners.I dont think so

Reading manager Steve Coppell insists it is time the Barclays Premier League started to “protect its own identity” by limiting the amount of foreign players in each squad.
Coppell has suggested introducing a system where each top flight side must include at least one Englishman in their matchday squad – but do you believe this would be good for the game?
Should the Premier League go further and insist on at least half the side being eligible for England?
Do you think the current regulations are damaging England’s chances in major tournaments?
How would the change be greeted by clubs such as Arsenal who regularly field teams without any English born players?

Poor Arsene has been lambasted by Ferguson and Kose for not having a squad thats core is English

Harry Redknapp believes Premier League managers such as himself, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger should be involved in selecting the next England boss.
While Portsmouth chief Redknapp does not feel Steve McClaren should lose his job he accepts that the knives will be out if England do not qualify for Euro 2008.
And he doubts whether the right man would be appointed if the decision is left to Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick and an international committee.
“I really hope the FA are not looking for a new England manager this time next week,” Redknapp wrote in his column in The Sun.
“But, if that should be the case then please let us have some real football people making the decision.

I open the floor in this regard

FORZA AZZURI

The Bravehearts of Scotland will pose a very difficult encounter for us. I was at the grounds last night and I spoke to Coffee. Coffee pulled the cigarette and said “Look its going to be tough”. But we are Italy and the Azurro.Many pundits a re writing us off insisting that Italy will be shown the door. But I have watched so many games where Italy stand resolute in these cases. We have got to score early.But then again a loss will be catastrophic. I cant even imagine that.We have to go to Hampden and as Canavaro said Win at all costs. Im sure Donadoni will line up with Buffon,Zambrotta,Oddo,Barzagli,Cannavaro, Gatuso,Pirlo,Ambrosini,De Natale, Camoronesi and Toni.Donadoni has left Del Piero out of the team.

“This Saturday sees Italy travel to Scotland in a monster Euro 2008 qualifier at Hampden Park. Carlo Garganese takes a look at what history suggests will happen in this much-anticipated clash.

Hampden Park is notorious for being something of a fortress for Scotland over the years.
This campaign the Tartan Army have won five games out of five at home, including the 1-0 victory over France here last year.
Italy may be the world champions but they most certainly face a difficult task come Saturday. The Azzurri have never won on Scottish soil in their entire history and have scored just one goal in three competitive games in Scotland.
Past Competitive Clashes In Scotland
9-11-1965, Hampden Park, Glasgow (World Cup Qualifier)
Italy had all-time legends such as Giacinto Facchetti, Sandro Mazzola and Gianni Rivera in their side but they were defeated in front of more than 100,000 spectators by an 88th minute goal by Rangers star John Greig

Scotland-Italy 1-0
Goal: 88’ Greig

Scotland: Brown, Greig, Provan, Murdoch, McKinnon, Baxter, Henderson, Bremner, Gilzean, Martin, Hughes. Coach: J. Stein.
Italy: Negri, Burgnich, Facchetti, Guarneri, Salvadore, Rosato, Lodetti, Bulgarelli, A. Mazzola, Rivera, Barison. Coach: E. Fabbri.

18-11-1992, Glasgow (World Cup Qualifier)

Italy had the two most expensive players in the world in Gianluigi Lentini and Roberto Baggio. Indeed the Juventus man would go on to be voted FIFA World Player of the year at the end of that season. However Il Divino Codino was man-marked out of the game by the modest Alan McLaren and the mighty Azzurri could not find a way through.

Scotland-Italy 0-0
Scotland: Goram, McPherson, Malpas, McStay, McLaren, Whyte, Durie (71’ Jess), McAllister, McCoist, Durrant (86’ Robertson), Boyd. Coach: A. Roxburgh.
Italy: Pagliuca, Mannini, Di Chiara (10’ Costacurta), Bianchi, P. Maldini, F .Baresi, Eranio, Albertini, Signori (66’ Donadoni), R. Baggio, Lentini. Coach: A. Sacchi.

3-9-2005, Glasgow (World Cup Qualifier)
Marcelo Lippi’s Italy had gone almost an entire year unbeaten and were facing a Scotland side still rebuilding following the disastrous tenure of Berti Vogts.
Scotland rattled their illustrious opponents and seemed set for a famous victory when Kenny Miller gave them an early lead. However a 76th minute strike from Fabio Grosso earned Italy a scarcely deserved point.
Lippi’s men would of course go on to lift the World Cup the following summer, however they would not face a tougher game between this match at Hampden and the semi-final against Germany in Dortmund.
Scotland-Italy 1-1
Goals: 13’ Miller, 76’ Grosso.
Scotland: Gordon; Alexander, Weir, Webster, McNamara; Daily; Hartley, Fletcher, Ferguson, Quashie (67’ McCann); Miller (77’ Beattie).Coach: W. Smith.
Italy: Peruzzi; Zaccardo (46’ Grosso), Nesta, F. Cannavaro, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Pirlo, De Rossi (60’ Camoranesi); Totti; Iaquinta (71’ Toni), Vieri. Coach: M. Lippi.

Scottish Giant-Killing
…So Italian supporters who think that they are going to have a comfortable stress-free Saturday evening are very much mistakened. Scotland have obtained some famous victories at home over the years.
In 1989 the Tartan army defeated a French team containing the likes of Jean-Pierre Papin and Laurent Blanc 2-0 in an Italia 90’ qualifier. In 1990 they beat the World Cup holders Argentina in a prestigious friendly, while they also turned over Holland 1-0 in a European Championship playoff in 2003.
However if there is one thing you can say about the Italians it is that, to use an old cliché, they “always produce when it really matters”.
Never is there a better example of this than during the France 98’ World Cup play-o

ff against Russia in 1997.

1997 Russia World Cup Play-off
The omens did not look good for Italy. The game was played in the freezing Moscow weather and the pitch was covered in snow and mist. The teams even had to use an orange ball as the conditions were so bad.
In the 32nd minute of the game Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca had to be taken off due to injury. As Angelo Peruzzi, Italy’s number one at the time, was also unavailable, a skinny-looking 19-year-old stepped into the snow for his Italy debut.
His name was Gianluigi Buffon. My dad, with whom I was watching the game, turned to me and said “Boy, I don’t think we will be qualifying for the World Cup”.
It has to be said, everything pointed to a home victory; the weather, Italy’s awful record in Russia and most importantly a rookie 19-year-old was in goal.
However the Azzurri proved their metal and miraculously escaped with a 1-1 draw, partly thanks to some heroic defending by Buffon, Cannavaro and Co. They won the return leg in Naples 1-0 and qualified for France 98’.
This is what Italy are all about, they do not feel the pressure like other nations such as Spain and England. Indeed the pressure seems to bring the best out of them.
Scotland’s defeat to Georgia last month means that Italy only require a draw in Glasgow, something that could be crucial.
The Azzurri have only lost once in the nine times the two nations have met, the World Cup qualifier in 1965, so it could be argued that history does not particularly favour the Scots, despite having never lost to Italy at home.
Indeed six of these nine games between the teams have ended in Italian victories.
Belfast 1958
If Scotland are to look for some historical inspiration they could turn to another British home nation.
On January 15, 1958, Italy travelled to Belfast requiring only a draw against Northern Ireland to qualify for that summer’s World Cup. However inspired by the likes of Danny Blanchflower and Billy Bingham, the home side recorded a famous 2-1 victory, courtesy of goals by Jimmy McIlroy and Wilbur Cush.
Northern Ireland took their place at Sweden 58’ and the Azzurri returned home to Italy in disgrace.
Almost 50 years on, Scotland will need to repeat this feat if Roberto Donadoni’s men are to face the rotten-tomato treatment once again. (taken from goal.com)

So with al this taken into account Hampden Park will be make or break this Saturday.

But we will triumph and its off to the Euro We Go

Time to slay the Bravehearts

Forza Azurri

Make or Break

*Speaking of Italian soccer and the scandal and coruption that comes with it,Rumours are rife that a number of Serie Stars could be on their way out.Included here is Kaka who fears for his family.

I think if the money is right No One will feel KAKA about the Serie A

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Comments (12)

  • Anonymous
    November 15, 2007 at 9:16 am Reply

    Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has backed calls for the introduction of quotas on foreign players in Premier League teams.

    Haha this is a big joke. Imagine Rafa trying to rotate a bunch of useless pommies.

    English football is only exciting becoz of the foreign players.
    Imagine watching teams with a full english core…. it would be as exciting as south arican football minus the voovoozellas

    ABR

  • Faheem_Vezharz
    November 15, 2007 at 4:55 pm Reply

    Thats the whole point ABR!The debate is whether having the Best League in the world at the expense of the National Team is worth it.And it wont only be Liverpool that suffer!Arsenal Chelsea n United all have no more than 5 english starters

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2007 at 7:32 am Reply

    Faheem you are an idiot.
    England wont have the best national league, and they certainly wont have the best league in the world.

    ABR

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2007 at 7:37 am Reply

    vezharz , please go & count properly. UNITED HAVE MORE THAN 5 ENGLISH PLAYERS STARTING IF ALL FIT.

    1. GARY NEVILLE
    2.WES BROWN
    3.RIO FERDINAND
    4.MICHAEL CARRICK
    5. PAUL SCHOLES
    6. WAYNE ROONEY

    united have won the leagye with 5 of the above six palyers last season.the exception being gary neville who was out of it for most of the season.

    which other top 5 teams boast a starting 5 ???? ONLY UNITED

  • SIMPLE SIMON
    November 16, 2007 at 7:56 am Reply

    Anonymous dont talk shit when last did your fab 6 play together?
    MAYBE AT THE START OF LAST SEASON

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2007 at 8:31 am Reply

    yes simple simon, but the fact is that they played together & won the league u stupid doos

  • SIMPLE SIMON
    November 16, 2007 at 10:05 am Reply

    Anonymous u mudder fucker!
    did they play the entire season every game together? u sound like an ignorant fool!

    The EPL IS 1 of the best, if not the best! but its affecting the national England Team theres no doubt because of the influx of foreigners, thus English players have to shine to be included in the big teams!

    to stoop to your level of understanding,we can say the same, we won many cups with these dudes below!
    Danny murphy, carragher, gerrard, carson, stephen warnock, crouch played together oh and not forgetting crouch, u mudder fucker!

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2007 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Simple Simon u a real dumb ass, if u a proper liverpool fan u should know that when u won cups neither carson, warnock nor Crouch were part of ur team… So i suggest u just drop it right there cos u starting to sound like an idiot.
    for most of last year all our english players played except neville and what did we do?? Won the fucking league and trounced your shit team both home and away as well as finishing miles ahead of you so ya SHUT UP!!!

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2007 at 2:35 pm Reply

    What fucken shit about foreign players, england cant produce quality or players who are willing to fight and have the drive and determination as foreign players in the quantity needed to keep top flight english teams consisistently challenging their european counterparts.

    Faheem vezharz and everyone that believes limiting foreign players will improve the english national squad i got a question, its a fact foreigners only started appearing in english teams since the 90’s so can you guys please explain to me why from 66 they won fuckol?

    Ever considered the fact that maybe kids elsewhere in the world play more football either because they come from deprived backgrounds or that their youth facilities/academies are better run and emphasise alot more on creative soccer?

    If english players were good enough no manager would turn a blind eye unless the price is out of their budget but teams these days seem to have the budgets to pay these prices, why the fuck didnt liverpool buy a englishman faheem?

    Please answer and i’ll patiently await a response to why england won fuckol since 1966, thats longer than the liverpool drought…

    Bottom line the premier league needs foreigners in order to challenge for top honours and by limiting the amount of foreigners will be to the detriment of England on the whole coz the national league will still not be up to par and the standard of the league will drop considerably

    FAAIZ

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2007 at 2:42 pm Reply

    I agree with faaiz, this is utter nonsense and england are just trying to blame someone because their national squad is kak, why blame themselves when you got arsene wenger

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2007 at 2:54 pm Reply

    I agree with Faaiz and the other comment. England are kak.

    Now they blaming foreign players. An influx of foreign players should actually improve the English game and make the English players better.

    England should blame Mclaren.They shoudnt have been in this situation to begin worth.Those costly draws and horrendous start to the campaign was costly.

    To a degree the shootouts cost them.Red Cards cost them.But whose fault is that.

    The only time England were really unlucky was in Italia 1990. They had a great squad under Robson.

    But F#4k the foreign policy RULE.

    i HOPE THE FA know they story
    Gary Birtles

  • Faheem_Vezharz
    November 17, 2007 at 3:01 am Reply

    Faaiz point taken.But before 1990 they were atleast making the semis of major tournaments.Since 1990 they failed once to reach a major tournament and this could be there second failiure.Compare there performances at tournaments post and pre 1990 and you’ll get your answer.The influx of foreigners is starving the national team of talent.Just look how limited striking options they have

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