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Football: England Squad Euro Qualifiers

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posted on Aug, 31 2003 @ 06:05 PM
Sven-Goran Eriksson called up Rio Ferdinand into his England squad on Sunday night despite doubts over the Ł30 million defender's fitness, but accepted that Paul Scholes has to miss the Euro 2004 qualifiers against Macedonia and Liechtenstein.

Scholes has been ruled out for about a month by Sir Alex Ferguson due to a hernia problem, potentially even making him a doubt for England's final group game in Turkey on October 11.

Ferdinand, meanwhile, also missed United's 1-0 defeat at Southampton due to a kidney complaint and is due to see a specialist on Wednesday.

However, Eriksson is confident he will recover in time to face Macedonia next Saturday and therefore called him into a 24-man squad, which also sees recalls for Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney and Ian Walker.

Jonathan Woodgate and Darius Vassell are both ruled out through injury, but there is still no place for Gareth Southgate, while goalkeeper Chris Kirkland drops down to play in the Under-21 side.

Squad: James (West Ham), Robinson (Leeds), Walker (Leicester); P Neville (Man Utd), G Neville (Man Utd), A Cole (Arsenal), Bridge (Chelsea), Mills (Leeds), Ferdinand (Man Utd), Campbell (Arsenal), Terry (Chelsea); Beckham (Real Madrid), Lampard (Chelsea), J Cole (Chelsea), Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Butt (Man Utd), Dyer (Newcastle), Murphy (Liverpool), Gerrard (Liverpool), Sinclair (Man City); Owen (Liverpool), Heskey (Liverpool), Beattie (Southampton), Rooney (Everton).


posted on Sep, 2 2003 @ 12:06 PM
England's injury problems grew on Tuesday when Trevor Sinclair and Steven Gerrard were withdrawn from Saturday's Euro 2004 qualifier in Macedonia.

Manchester City winger Sinclair has a swollen knee and Liverpool midfielder Gerrard has an ankle problem.

Rio Ferdinand will see a doctor about his kidney infection on Wednesday so England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has called up Birmingham defender Matthew Upson as cover.

That means Eriksson must rebuild his midfield diamond virtually from scratch as Nicky Butt and Kieron Dyer also have concerns over their match-fitness.


posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 07:38 AM
Wayne Rooney became England's youngest scorer and David Beckham stroked home a penalty to give the visitors a 2-1 win in Macedonia.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's troops went into the tricky trip knowing they faced a must-win situation.

And the outlook was looking bleak when former Barnsley striker Georgi Hristov's deflected shot put the hosts ahead on 27 minutes.

The goal was reward for an opening period controlled by the minnows, but England had a big hand in their downfall with some atrocious defending.

First Ashley Cole failed to cut out a right-wing cross from Vlatko Grozdanoski, but Sol Campbell was the chief offender as his shocking attempt at a headed clearance fell to Goran Pandev, who rolled the ball to Hristov and saw the striker smash home a shot off David James' legs.

Eriksson's men hardly trooubled keeper Petar Milosevski in the opening half-hour, with Michael Owen going closest with a half-hit shot from Gary Neville's cross from the by-line.

But England rang the changes at half-time, with Emile Heskey joining Owen and Rooney in attack for a 4-3-3 formation.

And the move paid dividends as Liverpool powerhouse Heskey headed Beckham's raking pass into the path of Rooney, who fired a half-volley into the back of the net on 53 minutes.

It was the 17-year-old's first goal for England, and saw him take the mantle of the country's youngest scorer from fellow strike partner Owen, who was 18 when he opened his account.

Macedonia were clearly rattled by the equaliser and substitute De Jesus Braga handed England the initiative when he hacked down John Terry for a penalty on the hour mark.

Beckham slotted home the spot-kick with ease, and England then controlled the closing stages, with Heskey and Owen even drawing a fantastic double from the home keeper.

The game was marred by crowd trouble and racist chanting, with disturbances seen in the crowd and the BBC reporting that FA officials had noted racist abuse directed towards Heskey.


posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 07:39 AM

England captain David Beckham has revealed that he was spat at and received death threats from opposing players during Saturday night's 2-1 win over Macedonia.

Beckham helped to set up Wayne Rooney for England's equaliser in Skopje and then hit home the winner from the penalty spot.

But the Real Madrid midfielder was left seething by the treatment he received in the Euro 2004 qualifier.


posted on Sep, 10 2003 @ 07:08 PM
Wayne Rooney lit up Old Trafford with a performance of skill and bravado as England brushed aside valiant Liechtenstein in their penultimate European Championship qualifier.

The 17-year-old struck his second England goal in consecutive matches after Michael Owen had opened the scoring against a side who competed energetically but failed to force David James into a single save.

Liechtenstein had defied England for all the first half but the constant pressure eventually told. Now Sven-Goran Eriksson's side only need a point against Turkey in Istanbul on October 11 to win the group and qualify for the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal next June.

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