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.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Yesterday was the final day for the fans of some of the teams involved in Euro 2012 to buy tickets for the tournament from UEFA.com. A special ticket portal was launched late last year specifically for fans from the 16 participating teams. While fans of a number of federations have until February 29 to register their interest in tickets for their teams, English fans, for example, had to purchase tickets by midnight on February 15.
The English Football Association said yesterday: "As it currently stands, we are confident that we will have enough tickets to satisfy demand for all of our matches."
It is expected that around 85% of the 1.4 million tickets available for Euro 2012 will go to fans with the remaining 15% going to sponsors, VIP guests and the like. Officially, each team has the opportunity to receive 16% of the overall net stadium capacity at each venue.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Fabio Capello has resigned as England manager.
Once again, the English football team, the English Football Association and the British press have succeeded in making the English game the laughing stock of world football.
Frankly, you couldn't make it all up. Every single time England prepare to participate in a major football tournament - be it the FIFA World cup or the UEFA European Championships - the national team players, the English FA and the press seem to indulge in an all-consuming game of collective self destruction. Yes, England might bemoan their bad luck at crashing out of major international tournaments in penalty shoot outs but, the truth is, England suffer less from bad luck and more from self-inflicted mutilation. Read up on studies relating to this and you will discover that most self-inflicted wounds occur during war time. Potential draftees self harm so as to avoid the draft and being sent to war for their country. Self destructive behaviour, on the other hand, often occurs when an individual cannot face the potential stress of failure and then purposely destroys what they have as a coping mechanism. Does this explain the behaviour of the English FA, Fabio Capello and the English press? Or are they all just plain stupid?
It is just four months until the European Championships begin in Poland and Ukraine. England have no national team manager.
More Than a Game got caught on the hop and actually received the news of Capello's resignation not from the media but from several of its readers. When news broke on February 8 that Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric had each been cleared of almost £200,000 of tax evasion charges, you just knew the English press would begin howling for Capello to go and for Redknapp to take over as the new England boss. As tabloid editors began preparing their 'Arry for England! sports headlines yesterday, even they must have been caught on the hop by Capello's decision to openly criticize (on Italy's RAI Television) the English FA's decision to strip John Terry of his captaincy. By doing this Capello had effectively broken his contract and the FA could force the Italian to go. Sick of the circus that is the England manager's job, and one in which Capello had often acted up like a clown, Capello too realised he could escape its shackles if he so wished.
As one More Than a Game reader suggests:
Perhaps all England supporters and the players and management should wear red noses in the summer in Poland and Ukraine, big floppy shoes...squirty flowers optional.
Image (C) Austin Nicholas, Traveloutthere.com
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
It has been revealed that 13 of the 16 teams participating at Euro 2012 have chosen to base themselves in Poland rather than Ukraine. And with one of those three non-Poland based teams being Ukraine itself, it means that only Sweden and France have elected to base their training headquarters in Ukraine.
Despite the fact that Krakow is hosting no matches during the tournament, both Holland and England have decided to base themselves in the Polish cultural capital. Second favourites Germany will be based right up on the Baltic Sea coast in Gdansk, meaning the team will have to make a 3,000-kilometre return trip for their group match in Kharkiv.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Thousands take to the streets in Poland to protest new governments-inspired international treaty that threatens the freedom of the Internet.
"The European Parliament has had no representation in ACTA negotiations. Just accepting or rejecting an agreement is not an exercise of democracy as under the Lisbon Treaty."
Zuzana Roithova, Member of European Parliament, EPP, Czech Republic
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.