Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Yakin's Swipe at Overrated England

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Yakin's Swipe at Overrated England

Article excerpt

Byline: IAN CHADBAND

SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON clearly believes it will take a diamond to stop a diamond. If, as expected, the England manager reverts to the narrow midfield shape for today's critical Euro 2004 clash here, it will be designed to put the squeeze on Switzerland's most potent threat, Hakan Yakin.

There have been a few bizarre reasons bandied around in the past few days about why Switzerland could cause one of the great European shocks of all.

They range from poor old Becks getting pins and needles through the Swiss fans' voodoo doll treatment to the revelation that Kobi Kuhn's team have been wearing special support stockings, usually reserved for pregnant women or overweight patients, to help stimulate circulation in the 37-C heat.

Yet most Swiss will tell you there's only one real hope. He may have been struggling with injury, he may not look match sharp and it was only his dives which looked any good against Croatia, yet Yakin remains the one Swiss player who possesses the skill and imagination to make England pay for the sort of concentration lapses they suffered at the death against France.

Which is where Frank Lampard and the diamond will come in. The Chelsea man will be asked to sit patiently at the base of the diamond to deny Switzerland's Turkish-born playmaker any space to work his wiles.

Yakin, though, possesses the sort of cocky streak which prompts him to believe he can undo England-whoever is detailed to patrol him. In the build-up to this game, he has happily taken a swipe at the competition's most hyped team, suggesting they're not quite as good as they think they are.

"The England team have many stars and few workers and this way, they'll never arrive at their highest level because they always treat themselves as favourites and never fulfil that tag," he said.

"They'll be very down after what happened against France - I watched it and it was just incredible-- and the English defence does not convince me at all. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.