Avoiding Spain good news for England says Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin
Wednesday 20 June 2012
Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin believes England have got off lightly by avoiding Spain in their Euro 2012 quarter-final.
A 1-0 win over the co-hosts for Roy Hodgson's men, coupled with France's surprising defeat to Sweden, means the Three Lions tackle Italy in the last eight in Kiev on Sunday.
It means they cannot meet the world champions until the final.
And, though Germany do also block the path to reaching Kiev on July 1, Blokhin feels England could benefit.
"It is 50-50 against Italy," he said.
"If England had played against Spain, it would have been much harder.
"This is not the same Italy that won the World Cup (in 2006), so let's see how it goes."
Blokhin's observations were overshadowed by an extraordinary argument with a local journalist over his side's performance.
The former Soviet Union star had been prickly before the game. However, that was nothing compared to what happened after his side had crashed out of the competition.
First Blokhin suggested the journalist should "come outside and have a man talk".
Then, when the conference had finished, Blokhin pointed to the journalist, and then to the door from which he made his exit.
The journalist declined the offer.
"Respect my job," he said.
"Let's go this one on one. You want to go with me? Let's have a 'man conversation'.
"You should respect that I played football. Did you play football? Respect my job and me.
"I won't allow anyone to criticise my team, about (Oleh) Gusev or (Andriy) Shevchenko. If you're a man, go with me. One on one."
Blokhin expressed his disappointment at Marko Devic's disallowed goal, which appeared to cross the line before it was cleared by John Terry.
It would have brought the hosts level with 30 minutes remaining and given them a chance of salvaging their status in the competition.
"There are five referees on the pitch and the ball is 50cm behind the goal-line. Why do we need five officials?" he said.
"They don't spot (Andy) Carroll's elbow, either? Or that (John) Terry fouls one of my players in the back?
"(Pierluigi) Collina told us that every movement with an elbow is a card, and every foul from behind is a yellow card. And yet where was that today?
"You write what you want - you've seen it. I don't want to criticise the referee."
Latest in Sport
Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce: Manchester United striker 'agrees to personal terms' with Turkish side
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners will only consider 'astronomical offer' from Atletico Madrid for Santi Cazorla
Why is it that there’s no women’s team at Manchester United? - Michael Calvin
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment