Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Apologies for the lack of updates over the past week. It was time for a short spring break and an internet-free few days.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous in England, which has helped focus the mind on this summer and the upcoming European Championships. Incredibly, England remain without a national manager and Glenn Hoddle is the latest name to be put forward for the role of caretaker manager. Hoddle told the Independent newspaper at the weekend that if he were to die tomorrow 'his life would be incomplete' in reference to his previous stint as England manager and a desire to manage the team once more. 

For many fans now it is no longer so much a case of who the next England manager will be but more about England actually having a manager. Let's remind the English FA of one not insignificant fact: the 2012 European Championships begin in just over 10 weeks! Surely, it is time for a coach to be appointed to the role.

Whoever the next England coach is, he'd do well to include Peter Crouch in his Euro 2012 squad. Crouch scored a contender for goal of the season for Stoke against Manchester City at the weekend and it is not as if this was the first world-class volley the lanky striker has scored in his career. England have a real problem with a lack of international experience from their current crop of front men and perhaps Crouch, almost totally overlooked by Fabio Capello, is a good wild card to include in the national squad. 22 goals in 42 England appearances says it all. After all, the 'legendary' Wayne Rooney has only scored 6 more international goals than Crouch and that's from having played 73 times for his country.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It is good to hear that Fabrice Muamba is improving. It was a shock to the whole football community when he collapsed after suffering a heart attack whilst playing for Bolton last weekend. Just shows how fragile we all are. With all the nonsense that has gone on in the English game recently, the only big positive has been the way the entire English game seems to have rallied around the young African footballer during the past few days.

In other news I hear that the Polish Competition watchdog has filed a lawsuit against UEFA for the way it has conducted itself with its ticket sales for Euro 2012 in Poland. According to those hard-working journalists at Xinhua News Agency, the Polish office of Competition and Consumer Protection is questioning 25 UEFA rules in relation to such issues as ticket delivery. Good to see a national body standing up to the likes of UEFA and FIFA, who often seem to be able to make up their own rules as they go along.

Meanwhile, two friends have been in contact not about Euro 2012 but asking about More Than a Game's plans for FIFA 2014. We are planning a very big and special project for Brazil 2014 and it is great to know that Michael and Mael would like to be involved in some way. 
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Here are some of the best goals from Portugal Euro 2004
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Polish authorities are playing down fears that train travel in the country is unsafe after a train accident in Poland killed 16 people over the weekend. The accident, which happened just north of Krakow, involved two trains that collided head on. The two trains were using the same set of tracks at the time of the collision.
Polish Transport minister Slawomir Nowak told the press that he was confident that train travel in Poland is safe and did not foresee a similar accident in the near future.
Monday, February 28, 2012

While the identity of the next England manager remains unknown, one thing the new boss will face is the realization that England have a severe shortage of experienced central strikers ahead of Euro 2012, with Darren Bent becoming the latest major casualty.

Aston Villa's Darren Bent would likely have featured in England's plans for this summer's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine but will now miss the tournament after rupturing ankle ligaments whilst playing for Aston Villa against Wigan at the weekend.

With Wayne Rooney set to miss England's two opening Euro 2012 fixtures through suspension, England may have to trust in a relatively untested forward line in Ukraine, with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe suddenly looking far more likely to travel to the tournament.

England face Holland on Wednesday evening and will use the opportunity to try out strikers Campbell, Sturridge and Manchester United's Welbeck against the Dutch.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The beautiful Ukrainian city of Lviv will host three matches during UEFA Euro 2012:
Germany v Portugal (June 9)
Denmark v Portugal (June 13)
Denmark v Germany (June 17)

This western Ukrainian city might possibly rate as Europe's most beautiful undiscovered city.

Photo (c) Justin Walley 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Republic of Ireland will play Bosnia and Hungary in the days leading up to the European Championships. The Irish will play their final warm-up matches in Dublin on May 26 against Bosnia and then travel to Budapest to play Hungary on June 4.
The FAI believe that up to 25,000 Irish fans will travel to Poland for the team's three group matches in Poznan and Gdansk, with tough encounters ahead against Croatia, Italy and European Champions Spain.
Ireland will also play the Czech Republic in another warm-up match on February 29.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

UEFA President Michel Platini has been speaking to Interpol ahead of Euro 2012. 

As well as signing a memorandum of understanding between UEFA and Interpol, in an ongoing attempt to fight crime in football, the two bodies have also been looking ahead to this summer's tournament in Ukraine and Poland.
Interpol will deploy Interpol Major Events Sports Teams (IMESTs) at the tournament, which will liaise with police from 190 countries around the globe, as both UEFA and Interpol look to reduce crime at Euro 2012.