What The Papers Say - 10 June
10/06/2012 by Daniel Alston
Phil Jagielka and Nikica Jelavic feature in more Euro build-up.
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Phil Jagielka has promised he is ready to be England's outstanding stand-in if John Terry's Euro curse strikes again.
Chelsea skipper Terry missed training in Krakow on Friday, as worries about his hamstring strain grew.
Eight years ago, Terry travelled to Portugal as first choice, with Sol Campbell, for Sven Goran Eriksson's side after the controversial omission of Rio Ferdinand after a missed-drug-test ban, only to miss the opener against France with a hamstring injury.
Ledley King filled the void in Lisbon, superbly, even if England were broken by two injury-time moments of magic from Zinedine Zidane.
And with the very same problem for Terry adding to Roy Hodgson's worried this time around, Jagielka is ready to come to England's rescue if the call comes for Monday's game against France.
Jagielka, left out of the original squad but promoted from the standby list when Hodgson lost stomach-injury victim Gareth Barry, said: "We've had a few withdrawals of key players.
"I was devastated for Gary Cahill [out with a fractured jaw] but we have a good squad and we have to deal with what the tournament throws at us.
"Maybe what's happened means I've gone up the pecking order. If it comes my way, I will try to perform to the best of my ability."
Jagielka's bond with Joleon Lescott would make it easier for Hodgson not to take a risk on Terry in the opener in Donetsk.
While the duo have only been paired for England on three occasions, they were Everton team-mates for two seasons before Lescott's 2009 move to Manchester City.
Jagielka added: "Joleon's been brilliant and that's fantastic to see.
"He's got a couple of medals since he moved from us, but he's a brilliant lad and we get on really well.
"We've known each other a while and played together a lot. This season we played against Spain and Norway and also in Switzerland at the start of the campaign.
"If we play together at some stage of the tournament, it would be a fantastic experience."
Manchester United's bid to sign Leighton Baines has been boosted by the news Everton have made plans to recruit Republic of Ireland international Stephen Ward.
Having snapped up midfielder Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund last week, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is now keen to secure a deal for England left-back Baines.
Everton are understood to be demanding £15million for Baines, but United hope to reduce that fee by offering players for loan as part of the deal.
And United will be encouraged to find out Everton have already starting looking for replacements by joining the race to sign Wolves left-back Ward.
Like Baines, Ward is in Poland and Ukraine on Euro 2012 duty but the 26-year-old is expected to quit Molineux this summer. The thought of losing Baines is troubling Goodison Park boss David Moyes.
He will seek talks with chairman Bill Kenwright if the likes of Baines and Marouane Fellaini are sold.
Moyes has discussed extending his contract, which has 12 months to run. But he has asked for assurances that he would not have to cash in on his star players to raise money for recruitments.
Last summer, Everton lost Mikel Arteta in a £10m deal to Arsenal, and it wasn’t until Moyes was allowed to recruit Darron Gibson and Nikica Jelavic, then bring back Steven Piernaar on loan, that the Blues recovered to finish a respectable seventh.
During his 10 years at the club, Moyes has been given the final say on both arrivals and departures from his dressing room.
But he has become increasingly disillusioned about working under a budget that doesn’t even allow him to spend the cash he generates through player sales. Kenwright’s hopes of extending the 49-year-old Scot’s contract until 2015 are likely to hinge on the club’s resolve to keep two of their most important players.
Sunderland and Stoke have already made their interest known in left-back Ward, but Everton have also asked to be kept up-to-date with developments.
Ward was one of the few highlights of Wolves’ dismal relegation campaign and was one of only two players, Fulham’s Brede Hangeland being the other, to play every minute of the Premier League season.
Having suffered relegation to the Championship, Ward is now looking forward to a successful Euro 2012 campaign with Republic of Ireland – starting against Croatia in Poznan tonight.
“It’s been a long, tough season and a lot of lows at Wolves, but for myself and the Irish lads it’s great we are in the squad,” said Ward.
“There is no better remedy than going out to represent your country at a major championships.”
EVERTON boss David Moyes has devised a stunning plan B if the unthinkable happens and he loses both Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines this summer.
Moyes would love to immediately invest his unwanted windfall on Manchester City and England team-mates James Milner and Adam Johnson.
The Goodison chief is fighting against that scenario and although there’s no money in his transfer pot he’s been assured by chairman Bill Kenwright that he doesn’t have to sell.
That won’t stop megabucks Chelsea attempting to poach Fellaini, 24, who has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League – a fact not missed by the European champions.
The Londoners would be only too happy to invest £20million in the Belgian as they bid to strengthen their midfield department.
Frank Lampard will turn 34 in ten days’ time while there are also fitness concerns over Michael Essien, 29.
And Fellaini, who joined Everton from Belgian side Standard Liege in September 2008, would bring that vital midfield muscle and driving force demanded at the top level of English football.
Baines, 27, will also find himself a wanted man when he returns from England duty at the European Championships, with Manchester United targeting the highly rated left-back in a £15m deal.
However, that value could be pushed up by another £5m with Napoli signalling their intention to fight United to the finish for the Toffees’ defender.
Former Preston manager Moyes won’t hesitate in spending any cash that comes his way and would be glad of both Milner, 26, and Johnson, 24, in his line-up.
Milner would be a welcome addition to his midfield with his ability to push forward and grab vital goals.
But his value has increased since joining City from Aston Villa in a £26m deal back in 2010, which could be a problem for the Merseyside club.
And it will take around £16m to prise Johnson away from the Etihad, with Liverpool showing huge interest in City’s left-footed star.
No deals will be on offer from Croatia in Poznan today – and none was even tentatively mentioned by the visitors one famously wet night at Wembley in 2007, lest Davor Suker's remarks be misunderstood. But the country's all-time leading goalscorer did express surprise that no England player came forward with a pragmatic suggestion when, with Peter Crouch's chest-and-volley goal midway through the second half, an equality was established that would have seen both sides safely through to the European finals that summer.
It was on a flight home from Vienna at the end of Euro 2008 that I found myself with Suker and the talk turned to England's absence. He shook his head and smiled. "Our players were amazed that no England player came forward at that crucial stage,'' he said. Nor was there a signal from Steve McClaren with his brolly in the technical area. Maybe it was just not the English way to take part in a 25-minute charade. At any rate, having recovered from a two-goal deficit, they kept piling forward and on the break conceded the goal that cost McClaren his job.
Slaven Bilic, meanwhile, acquired heroic status. Once an international team-mate of Suker's as Croatia rode a post-independence wave to footballing success – albeit hardly admired outside his native land after the histrionics that contributed to Laurent Blanc's suspension from a World Cup final on French soil – Bilic had taken over from Zlatko Kranjcar in 2006. Twin victories over England during qualification helped to make him one of the most noted young coaches in Europe, sought by English clubs, among others, yet loyal enough to his compatriots to stay put on a mere £75,000 a year.
Reciprocal respect was accorded when Bilic's Croatia fared less well on the road to the World Cup in South Africa, losing 4-1 in Zagreb to Fabio Capello's England and 5-1 in the London return. The Croatian FA kept him on. Indeed they increased his salary to something that a manager in, say, the Championship might find more acceptable. Bilic claims never to have considered stepping down. At least not until qualification for Euro 2012 had been secured. ''I didn't want to leave as a loser,'' he said. But after the tournament he will join Lokomotiv Moscow.
While the club game will keep him busier and more prosperous, it will never capture his heart like the national cause – and, when he says that you believe him, because Croatians can be proud to a fault. Bilic never apologised for events that day in Paris when, having been pushed by Blanc, he fell holding a forehead that had not been touched and rose only after the defender now in charge of the French national team had been shown the red card. But Bilic did own up to cheating and testified that even this had involved Croatia's renowned teamwork: the advice to make a meal of it had apparently come from his fellow centre-back, Igor Stimac.
So now he faces the Irish, themselves the victims of cheating when Thierry Henry's hand eased France to the 2010 World Cup. Both teams see this as a final ahead of its time, knowing that points lost will be hard to claw back against Spain and Italy.
Bilic paid lavish tribute to Ireland's team ethic and "amazing'' defensive discipline but insisted that his men will spare no effort in seeking to break them down with a passing game orchestrated by Luka Modric and, if necessary, the aerial threat Nikica Jelavic should pose if Darijo Srna's crossing, as promised by Bilic, surpasses that of his old clubmate Tony Hibbert's at Everton. Srna became arguably the best crosser in Europe when David Beckham went to Los Angeles, so this is less a slight on Hibbert than a challenge to another character familiar to the patrons of Goodison Park, Richard Dunne.
According to Bilic, the Croatians will become potential champions if victory over Ireland builds a head of steam and part of the reason, he says, is Everton's centre-forward. "Jelavic is definitely one of the reasons we feel strong and very confident. He's in form after making an unbelievable impact at Everton and has impressed everyone.''
So perhaps one deal will affect the outcome in Poznan: the extremely astute one done by David Moyes when he took Jelavic from Rangers.