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Toon Have Not Made Bid For Clyne!
Published : 08 Jun 2012 12:23:03
Despite what has been said in national newspapers this week ...
... Crystal Palace have denied claims that Newcastle have contacted them about a deal for Nathaniel Clyne.Recent reports have suggested that the Toon have stepped up their interest in signing the England Under21 international.However, Eagles co-chairman Steve Parish has moved to calm the speculation.Steve Parish: "I read them and they are not true.
"It's completely made up - I hate using those words but they have just got bad information."I had a chat to people there a while ago and they do quite like him - but that doesn't mean they are going to buy him."EURO 2012 GROUP STAGES Friday June 8 Warsaw, Group A: Poland v Greece (1700) Wroclaw, Group A: Russia v Czech Republic (1945) Saturday June 9 Kharkiv, Group B: Holland v Denmark (1700) Lviv, Group B: Germany v Portugal (1945) Sunday June 10 Gdansk, Group C: Spain v Italy (1700) Poznan, Group C: Republic of Ireland v Croatia (1945) Monday June 11 Donetsk, Group D: France v England (1700) Kiev, Group D: Ukraine v Sweden (1945) Tuesday June 12 Wroclaw, Group A: Greece v Czech Republic (1700) Warsaw, Group A: Poland v Russia (1945) Wednesday June 13 Lviv, Group B: Denmark v Portugal (1700) Kharkiv, Group B: Holland v Germany (1945) Thursday June 14 Poznan, Group C: Italy v Croatia (1700) Gdansk, Group C: Spain v Republic of Ireland (1945) Friday June 15 Donetsk, Group D: Ukraine v France (1700) Kiev, Group D: Sweden v England (1945) Saturday June 16 Wroclaw, Group A: Czech Republic v Poland (1945) Warsaw, Group A: Greece v Russia (1945) Sunday June 17 Kharkiv, Group B: Portugal v Holland (1945) Lviv, Group B: Denmark v Germany (1945) Monday June 18 Gdansk, Group C: Croatia v Spain (1945) Poznan, Group C: Italy v Republic of Ireland (1945) Tuesday June 19 Donetsk, Group D: England v Ukraine (1945) Kiev, Group D: Sweden v France (1945) QUARTER-FINALS Thursday June 21 Warsaw, QF1: Winner A v Runner-up B (1945) Friday June 22 Gdansk, QF2: Winner B v Runner-up A (1945) Saturday June 23 Donetsk, QF3: Winner C v Runner-up D (1945) Sunday June 24 Kiev, QF4: Winner D v Runner-up C (1945) SEMI-FINALS Wednesday June 27 Donetsk, SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF3 (1945) Thursday June 28 Warsaw, SF2: Winner QF2 v Winner QF4 (1945) FINAL Sunday July 1 Kiev: Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 (1945) Group APolandGreeceRussiaCzech RepublicPOLAND BEST PRE-TOURNAMENT PERFORMANCE SO FARPoland did beat Argentina 2-1 in June - but key names such as Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain were missing as the South Americans put out a young, experimental side.But their best performance was a 2-2 draw with a strong Germany side in September. The Poles, outstanding on the night, were seconds away from winning only for Brazil-born striker Cacau to equalise in injury time. The highlight was Lewandowski's 55th-minute opener - the striker pouncing instinctively on the ball to poke home after Dariusz Dudka was upended in the box - following a build-up which illustrated Poland's rich counter-attacking potential.THE BOSSFranciszek Smuda took over in 2009 following the sacking of Leo Beenhakker, and immediately set about bringing down the average age of the squad, promising to play "offensive and attractive" football. An eight-match winless run in 2010 (including a 6-0 thrashing from Spain) proved a reality check, but results have picked up in the last 18 months.Smuda frankly admits Poland do not have the same depth of talent they had in the 1970s and 1980s, and has therefore looked far and wide for eligible players. He has faced criticism for calling up French-born duo Damien Perquis and Ludovic Obraniak (who qualify via grandparents), plus the likes of Eugen Polanski and Sebastian Boenisch (both of whom left Poland for Germany as children, and represented the Germans at under-21 level).GREECE BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEGreece beat Croatia 2-0 in their penultimate qualifier, a result that proved crucial as they ended the campaign two points clear of Slaven Bilic's side in Group F. After a first half notable only for clashes between the two sets of supporters, the Greeks dominated the second period.With key man Sotiris Ninis sidelined, the Greeks had to rely on set-pieces to make the breakthrough. Celtic forward Georgios Samaras scored the first after the visitors failed to deal with a corner, before Eintracht Frankfurt striker Theofanis Gekas doubled the advantage from another corner.THE BOSSSucceeding Otto Rehhagel, who masterminded the Euro 2004 triumph, could have been a daunting task for Portuguese coach Fernando Santos , but the 57-year-old has had little difficulty in filling the shoes of "King Otto".It certainly helps that Santos knows Greek football inside out, having previously led AEK Athens, Panathinaikos and PAOK, who he guided to Champions League qualification in 2010.After a brief playing career, Santos quit to gain a diploma in electrical and telecommunications engineering, earning him the nickname 'The Mechanic' when he embarked on a coaching career that took him to Porto, Sporting Lisbon and Benfica.Greece were unbeaten in Santos's first 17 games in charge, with the run eventually ending in a 3-1 defeat to Romania on 15 November. RUSSIA BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCE Having suffered a shock 1-0 loss at home to Slovakia in the second qualifying game, Russia were gunning for revenge when they travelled to chilly Zilina in October. They got it.Not only did their 1-0 win end their opponent's hopes of a top-two spot, it also ensured they would finish as group B winners - and qualify automatically - if they got a point against minnows Andorra in their last match. They duly won 6-0. Dzagoev's goal was worthy of winning such a crucial encounter, a long-range effort from 30 yards in the 71st minute after Roman Shirokov had missed a gilt-edged chance just moments earlier for the travelling Russians.THE BOSSDutchman Dick Advocaat - the first foreign coach to manage Rangers - is well-known to football fans. Despite taking his national team to the 1994 World Cup quarters and Euro 2004 last four during two stints in charge, 'The Little General' was not wildly popular in his homeland, notably falling out with Ruud Gullit in 1993.Has managed other countries, such as South Korea, the UAE and Belgium, and shone in Russia - who he took charge of in 2010 - when winning the 2008 Uefa Cup with Zenit St Petersburg. CZECH REPUBLIC BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEThe Czech Republic booked their place at Euro 2012 thanks to victories against Montenegro and Scotland, but will have to beat far more accomplished opposition if they are to make an impact this summer. So while their trip to Granada to face Spain ultimately ended in a 2-1 defeat, they will take heart from their performance against the world and European champions.A well-taken goal from Jaroslav Plasil put the visitors in front, a lead they held until the 69th minute, when David Villa netted the first of two goals, the second of which came from the penalty spot.THE BOSSA midfielder who played and scored for Czechoslovakia at Italia '90, Michal Bilek took over as coach following the failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, with former Liverpool midfielder Vladimir Smicer joining him as team manager.It has not been a smooth ride for the duo. Expectations from fans are high, but the likes of Pavel Nedved, Patrik Berger and Karel Poborsky are long gone, and their replacements are not as talented.A survey revealed that 96% of fans wanted to see Bilek sacked, but he has retained the support of his players. The team celebrated qualification in Montenegro by singing derogatory songs aimed at their critics. The players' raucous behaviour in Podgorica airport saw them fined by the Czech FA, but it appears Bilek has successfully fostered a "them against us" mentality within the squad. Group BNetherlandsDenmarkGermanyPortugalNETHERLANDS BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEThe Dutch netted 25 goals in their four matches against Hungary and San Marino, but their outstanding display came at home to fellow Euro 2012 qualifiers Sweden, who were thrashed 4-1 at home.Van Marwijk gambled by picking only one anchorman, Mark van Bommel, with Rafael van der Vaart deployed as a deep-lying playmaker behind attacking midfield trio Dirk Kuyt, Ibrahim Afellay and Wesley Sneijder.The Swedes were four goals down inside an hour, with Afellay and lone striker Huntelaar both netting twice.THE BOSSBert van Marwijk succeeded Marco van Basten after Euro 2008 and oversaw Holland's flawless qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.He led his side to the final in South Africa, masterminding wins against Brazil and Uruguay, but Holland's robust approach in the defeat to Spain earned Van Marwijk plenty of criticism, with Johan Cruyff branding the Dutch display "anti-football".Bert van MarwijkVan Marwijk's contract with the Dutch expires next summerA midfielder capped once by Holland, his biggest success as a club manager was winning the 2002 Uefa Cup with Feyenoord. DENMARK BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEThe Danes overhauled Portugal in Group H thanks to an impressive 2-1 win against Paulo Bento's side in their final qualifier. The victory was orchestrated by playmaker Christian Eriksen, who constantly troubled the Portuguese defence.Brondby winger Michael Krohn-Dehli opened the scoring before a slide-rule pass from Eriksen led to Nicklas Bendtner's second.The Danish defence was rarely troubled, although Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back in the closing stages with a free-kick.THE BOSSMorten Olsen guided the Danes to the knock-out stages of both the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. But since then results have been mixed; Olsen's side failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008, then were unable to advance beyond the group stage in South Africa despite a benign draw.A defensive midfielder who won over 100 caps, Olsen said last year that he feels former assistant Michael Laudrup should succeed him as Danish boss. GERMANY BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEComing off the back of a 6-1 thrashing of Azerbaijan in their second game, Germany really set the tone for their flawless campaign with another ruthless win over far tougher opponents - their main group A rivals Turkey.Unperturbed by the massive Turkish presence in the 75,000 crowd, thanks to the large immigrant population in Berlin, Joachim Loew's team showed greater attacking endeavour to see off the visitors 3-0 thanks to two Miroslav Klose goals either side of a Mesut Ozil effort. Ozil's goal was the pick, slipping the ball home after being fed by ever-marauding full-back Philipp Lahm.THE BOSSAlways dapper, Joachim Loew burst into the limelight as Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant at the 2006 World Cup. 'Jogi' was seen as the tactical genius behind the scenes as Germany thrilled their fans with a new brand of attacking football.Joachim LoewLoew has two more years on his contractHe continued that philosophy four years later in South Africa, and showed he is not afraid to make a tough decision by dropping Michael Ballack for Euro 2012 qualification in order to bring through younger talent. Has a contract until 2014. PORTUGAL BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEAfter failing to win the first two matches of their qualifying campaign, Portugal left it late to secure their fifth successive appearance at the European Championship finals. But when they finally did so, it was in emphatic style.Play-off opponents Bosnia travelled to Lisbon optimistic having ensured Portugal failed to notch an away goal in Zenica. But they were blown away spectacularly, 6-2. Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani slammed in fine shots past Asmir Begovic in the first half, while Ronaldo added another after the break before old-stager Helder Postiga struck twice either side of a superb Miguel Veloso set-piece.THE BOSSPaulo Bento took over as Portuguese coach in 2010, just six years after retiring as a player. Now 42, Bento was suspended for five months - along with Abel Xavier and Nuno Gomes - due to bad behaviour in the Euro 2000 semi-final loss to France. Amid great success with Sporting Lisbon, in 2008 he was linked with becoming Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's new assistant. Group CSpainItalyRepublic of IrelandCroatiaSPAIN BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEIn their fourth game of eight qualifiers, Spain found themselves a goal down at half time in Granada after a crashing Jaroslav Plasil drive gave Czech Republic a shock lead. But manager Vicente Del Bosque merely tweaked his line-up and, with Fernando Torres and Santi Cazorla on the pitch and Andres Iniesta freed up in midfield, David Villa solved a rare problem to claim his country's all-time scoring record - and three points which kept them firmly on the road to qualification.Barcelona's Villa skipped past Roman Hubnik to crack a firm shot under Petr Cech before lashing a fierce penalty past the Chelsea goalkeeper, right in the corner, after Iniesta was fouled by Jan Rezek.THE BOSSA mustachioed, unassuming character from Salamanca, Vicente del Bosque led Real Madrid to the most successful spell in its modern history before being jettisoned in 2003. Credited by players for creating a sense of serenity within the gifted squad, he succeeded Luis Aragones after Euro 2008 and began his reign with 13 straight wins as Spain set a world record of 15 straight victories - and went on to lift the 2010 World Cup. An astute and liberating presence, he signed a new contract in April. ITALY BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEThe Azzurri qualified comfortably, with their best performances coming on home soil. While the 5-0 thrashing of the Faroe Islands was their biggest winning margin for 17 years, it was June's 3-0 victory against Estonia that had the Italian media purring.The Azzurri completed a remarkable 829 passes prompting somewhat fanciful comparisons to the 'tiki-taka' football played by Spain, who Italy beat in a friendly two months later.However, it remains to be seen whether the Italians play the same free-flowing football when the pressure is on.THE BOSSAfter five successful years with Fiorentina, Cesare Prandelli agreed a deal to replace Marcello Lippi shortly before Italy's disastrous display at the 2010 World Cup. Prandelli quickly recalled Antonio Cassano, and has also put his faith in younger players such as Riccardo Montolivo and Sebastian Giovinco.He has been credited with improving the atmosphere within the Italian camp, and adopting a less confrontational approach with the media, who had lambasted the team's performance in South Africa.Italy coach Cesare PrandelliPrandelli has previously coached Parma, Roma and FiorentinaHe laughed off defeat to the Ivory Coast in his first game, pointing out that Lippi also lost his opener yet was a World Cup winner two years later. His positive demeanour saw journalists dub Prandelli's side L'Italia del Sorriso - Italy of smiles. REPUBLIC OF IRELAND BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEPerhaps the outstanding individual display came from centre-back Richard Dunne, who produced a heroic performance in Russia, where the Republic somehow held on for a goalless draw.But in terms of a team display, it is hard to look beyond the 4-0 play-off win in Estonia, a first-leg result which all but guaranteed qualification. Ireland have often looked uncomfortable in matches where they begin as favourites, but on this occasion Giovanni Trapattoni's side showed no mercy, albeit against limited opposition.Robbie Keane scored two and made another, while industrious strike partner Jon Walters netted on his full competitive debut, suggesting he may be a viable alternative to Kevin Doyle.THE BOSSGiovanni Trapattoni's tactics may not please the purists, but they have certainly proved effective. After watching his side clinch qualification, the wily Italian suggested his side could emulate Greece's surprise victory at Euro 2004.It may have been a tongue-in-cheek remark, but 'Trap' is certainly overdue some luck at a major international tournament. His Italy side were controversially eliminated by South Korea at the 2002 World Cup, and went out at the group stage at Euro 2004 despite collecting five points.Giovanni TrapattoniTrapattoni has stuck to the 4-4-2 formation he believes suits his squadAfter securing qualification for Euro 2012, the 73-year-old agreed a two-year contract extension that will keep him with Ireland until the 2014 World Cup.'Trap' began coaching 37 years ago, before any of the Irish squad were even born. His CV reads like a who's who of European football - AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Benfica. CROATIA BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCESecond to Greece in their group, Croatia qualified for the play-offs and swiftly made light of a 50,000 crowd in Istanbul as they landed in Turkey for the first leg. Just two minutes into the match the visitors scored, a quick free-kick catching the Turkish defence by surprise as Ivica Olic flicked the ball past Volkan Demirel after Vedran Corluka crossed well from the byline.Coursing with confidence, Croatia stretched Turkey at every opportunity, duly adding a second 32 minutes in as Mario Mandzukic headed home from Darijo Srna's delivery. Soon after the break Srna whipped over another dangerous cross. Corluka nodded in. A fourth European Championship in five attempts was in touching distance - and they finished the job with little alarm as the second leg finished goalless.THE BOSSSlaven Bilic - A guitar-playing law graduate who is fluent in German, Italian, and English... Slaven Bilic is not your average football manager.A relative novice when he took over in 2006, Bilic has established the Croats as a fixture near the top of the Fifa rankings - not since 2006 have they ended the year outside the top 10.Although he calls the Croatia job a "duty" and "love", he admitted in April that any manager "would jump at the opportunity" to work in England.Poorly paid, at least by Premier League standards, he has long been linked with a move to club management, and will step down when his contract expires this summer to take charge of Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow.Only two coaches at Euro 2012 have held their posts for longer than him - Denmark's Morten Olsen and Germany's Joachim Loew. Group DUkraineSwedenFranceEnglandUKRAINE BEST PRE-TOURNAMENT PERFORMANCE SO FARThe co-hosts qualified automatically, so have fine-tuned their preparations with a series of friendlies. Results have generally been disappointing, although Ukraine are unbeaten in their last four games, winning three of those.While victories against Austria, Estonia and Bulgaria should boost confidence, Ukraine will also take encouragement from the 3-3 draw with Germany on 11 November.The Ukrainians led 3-1 at half-time thanks to goals from Andriy Yarmolenko, Yevgen Konoplyanka and Serhiy Nazarenko, but the Euro 2008 finalists eventually hit back to salvage a draw.THE BOSSUkraine opted for a safe pair of hands when they named their new coach in April 2011, reappointing legendary former striker Oleg Blokhin . The first Ukrainian to win the Ballon d'Or, Blokhin had previously led his country from 2003 to 2007, helping them reach the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup.Blokhin replaced caretaker Yuri Kalitvintsev, who led Ukraine's Under-19 side to the European title in 2009. Kalitvintsev will now work as Blokhin's assistant.The 59-year-old, who has served two terms in the Ukrainian parliament, was criticised for remarks he made in 2006 lamenting the influence of African players in Ukraine's top flight. SWEDEN BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCENeeding a win against the Netherlands to ensure Euro 2012 qualification as best runners-up, and thus avoid the potentially treacherous play-offs, Sweden produced the goods (a 3-2 victory in Stockholm) when it mattered against a team who had won every match of their group E campaign up to that point.Going 2-1 down soon after half time, they nervelessly delivered an immediate response. Within 60 seconds Sebastian Larsson buried a penalty before, just a minute later, PSV Eindhoven forward Ola Toivonen put the determined hosts back in front - and his delirious nation on their way to Euro 2012.THE BOSSErik Hamren has proved his worth after taking over from Lars Lagerback when Sweden failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. One of the most respected coaches in Scandanavia, he has managed teams in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Took Aalborg to the Danish title - and into the European Champions League - back in 2008. FRANCE BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEAfter a disastrous home defeat to Belarus in Laurent Blanc's first competitive match, it was absolutely crucial Les Bleus steadied the ship away to Bosnia-Hercegovina four days later.Blanc, who was without several players still serving bans following World Cup misdemeanours, recalled Karim Benzema for the game in Sarajevo, and the striker scored a well-taken opener with 18 minutes remaining.Florent Malouda made the game safe for the visitors six minutes later. France eventually secured qualification by drawing 1-1 with the Bosnians in their final match, although they had to rely on a 78th-minute equaliser from Samir Nasri to avoid surrendering top spot in Group D.THE BOSSLaurent Blanc inherited a France team in turmoil. World Cup finalists in 2006, they were dismal at Euro 2008 and shambolic in South Africa, where the squad's mutinous actions prompted a government inquiry.Blanc, who as a player earned the nickname "Le Président" thanks to his leadership skills, was the perfect choice to sort the mess out. The former Bordeaux boss lost his first two games in charge, but results since then have been impressive - February's win against Germany stretched their unbeaten run to 18 games.Blanc's tenure has not been without hiccups - such as controversial comments about racial quotas at youth academies - but his stature within the game means the criticism that occasionally arises has tended to be muted. ENGLAND BEST QUALIFYING PERFORMANCEManchester United's Wayne Rooney swatted aside a frenzy of allegations over his private life to spark England to a convincing 3-1 victory in Switzerland as Fabio Capello's team made it a maximum six points from their first two Euro 2012 qualifiers, paving the way for their relatively smooth progress as eventual group G winners.Rooney's goal was his first for England in a year and Manchester City's Adam Johnson showed the options available on the bench, excelling as a substitute after Theo Walcott was stretchered off by adding a superbly-taken second goal in the 69th minute in Basle.THE BOSSRoy Hodgson was appointed as Capello's successor on 1 May following several weeks of speculation suggesting Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was a shoe-in for the job.Hodgson's previous international experience with Switzerland at World Cup '94 was an important factor for the Football Association.Hodgson, 64, named his 23-man squad on 16 May, leaving out Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and has opted for Gerrard as his captain.