Football: World Cup winner Vogts eyes Blackburn vacancy

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The Independent Online
BERTIE VOGTS, the former coach of Germany and World Cup winner, is among more than a dozen applicants for the job of Blackburn Rovers manager following the dismissal of Brian Kidd.

Vogts' interest in taking charge of the floundering First Division club could mean that Rovers will extend their shortlist, which is understood to include the ex-Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear and his former Bolton counterpart, Colin Todd. However, Rovers, who lost their Premiership status in May, may be unwilling to appoint from abroad after an unhappy experience with Switzerland's coach, Roy Hodgson.

The 52-year-old Vogts - a former defender known as "The Terrier" - played alongside Franz Beckenbauer in the German team who became World Cup champions in 1974. He was also a prominent member of the Borussia Monchengladbach side who won the Uefa Cup in 1975. A veteran of 96 caps, he took over as national team coach after working alongside Beckenbauer in the triumphant 1990 World Cup campaign in Italy.

His first World Cup as Germany's coach in 1994 ended in a disastrous quarter-final defeat by Bulgaria, but Vogts bounced back by leading his team to victory in 1996 European Championship in England, which included knocking out the host nation on penalties in the semi-finals. He stepped down in September last year after a disappointing World Cup in France was followed by two poor performances at a training camp in Malta.

His overall record was excellent, losing only 12 games in 102 internationals, but it was not enough. "The way everyone complains you would think I had won only 12 games," he said after resigning.

Although Arsenal have decided to appeal against Fredrik Ljungberg's sending- off in the north London derby at Tottenham last Sunday, the club's chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, has voiced his concerns over the club's disciplinary record.

The club will pursue the right to a hearing by a disciplinary committee tribunal if, as expected, the Football Association rejects Ljungberg's appeal and stands by referee David Elleray's report that the Swedish midfielder was shown a red card for violent conduct.

Ljungberg was one of two Arsenal players dismissed in the fiery White Hart Lane derby, although there is no dispute by the Gunners over Martin Keown's sending off for a second yellow card.

The Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has examined video evidence of the incident in which Ljungberg reacted to a two-footed tackle by Tottenham's Justin Edinburgh. The Frenchman believes that Ljungberg's retaliation was only "minor".

Arsenal have collected 26 red cards since Wenger took over as manager in September 1996 and Hill-Wood said: "There is no magic wand that can be waved to stop people acting stupidly.

"I genuinely don't think we are a dirty team but there is no doubt that we are undisciplined. We realise that this damages the club in more ways than one. I don't like it any more than any of our fans."

Nwankwo Kanu has agreed a new long-term contract that will put him among Highbury's top-earners, but he denied that it will break the club's pay structure.

The Nigerian, who joined from Internazionale last January, said: "There has been much speculation regarding my salary breaking the club's wage structure but this is untrue. My new contract is consistent with Arsenal's wage policy."

Joe Parkinson has been forced to retire after a long battle against a knee injury. The 28-year-old Everton midfielder, who played in the side that beat Manchester United in the 1995 FA Cup final, said: "It's come to a time where I have to call it a day. My knee isn't strong enough and I'm in too much pain."

The FA has rescheduled the abandoned Wycombe v Oxford City FA Cup first- round replay for Tuesday, 16 November. A meeting between club officials was held yesterday afternoon with lots being drawn to decide which club had home advantage - and Oxford came out of the bag first.

It means the Ryman League side will play the match at Oxford United's Manor Ground, having already agreed not to stage it at their Court Place Farm stadium. Wycombe's Adams Park had to be evacuated on Tuesday night with the score at 1-1 after extra-time when a small fire broke out beneath a stand.

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