Published: May 30th 1999
The Devil May Care 5.
- The Devil May Care -
In the last DMC special edition I said:
"Well it seems as though some of you out there need cheering up and a more
than a little encouragement. Don't you know this is what it's always like
supporting United. It's not bland and boring like supporting any other
club. Imagine what it must be like supporting Arsenal - bloody boring,
So what's boring about supporting United now then? You may ask, "did we
needed to live through 90 minutes of torture before the balls hit the back
of the net." But don't we live for moments? Isn't it moments we recall when
we're out chatting in the pub? Dramatic moments are the lifeblood of sport
and it doesn't get any more dramatic than Wednesday night.
Wednesday night was about belief. Having the belief to persevere until the
very end. And that is what Manchester United is all about and what
Manchester United supporters are all about. Why were there 60,000 or more
of us there on Wednesday if that is not the case. And why did so many go
without tickets if they didn't believe they would get in? After what
happened on Wednesday night you have to believe that anything is possible
if you want it enough. It is surely a valuable lesson to us all.
This team believes in itself and anyone who comes into the team has to have
the same belief or it doesn't work. I don't think Teddy had ever come
across anything like it before and so he thought he could just amble
through games and everything would be just as it always was. He didn't
reckon on the Manchester United way. But now he's learnt, and now he knows.
Teddy Sheringham has rewarded us with his most important goals ever and is
now a member of the elite Red Army.
There were tens of thousands of Reds all over the stadium and more seemed
to arrive after half time. I saw one lad bunk in, run down some steps
pursued by officials, jump over a wall into our bit and disappear. Top lad
The song about Reds being here, there and everywhere has never been so apt
as on Wednesday and maybe, just maybe, the collective will helped a little
more than usual to overcome the showboating Germans. I'm afraid they got
their just deserts when those two goals went in - tough shit mateys.
I love all the stories about Becks spotting the Cup with the Bayern colours
on. Teddy watching the Bayern players waving to their supporters as though
they'd already won and he wasn't even on the pitch at that time. And what
of the Hungarian who held up the ball as an offering before kissing it and
throwing it back just before the first goal.
But was something else going on? Didn't you think something else was afoot
on Wednesday night? It was definitely an unreal experience, an almost out
of body experience.
Was there a supernatural force on our side? Think of the event, the date
and the opposition. I know this has been said before, but we were playing
Munich on what would have been Sir Matt's 90th birthday. Two of his Babes
died this year - Dennis and Jackie, and two goals were scored after the
Is this all down to the teams performance, is it purely co-incidence, is it
supernatural or due to the collective will of the supporters and the team?
I believe it is all of them combining together to form our destiny. And now
will everyone understand what Manchester United is - it's you and me and
anyone else who believes in it - truly believes in it.
Yes, there were doubters amongst the Red faithful, you had to feel that all
could be lost when the 90 minutes were up, but surely you always felt there
was a chance didn't you? I know I did.
To me it was always going to be our destiny as soon as we knew the four
semi finalists. The only problem I could envisage was if we lost the
Premier League I thought there was a chance we would lose the lot. But when
that was won we had every chance of winning the lot. Adrenaline would see
the lads through. And so it was, but without the belief they would have not
been able to win.
So let's applaud the man who has instilled that belief into the players, he
is a Wizard for sure. He is without doubt the greatest manager ever - OK so
he makes mistakes, but as a leader of men he is beyond reproach.
And what of the celebrations, the joining together of team and fans
choreographed by Superstar. You'd have thought he'd played in the sodding
match. I forgot he hadn't!! But those celebrations proved the bond between
them and us. They were part of us. You could have substituted anyone of
them for anyone of us and not known the difference. We were in the stands,
they were on the pitch but we were together as one - a true bond
collectively known as Manchester United.
Have a good summer and enjoy the glory - remember the moment and re-live
the emotion again and again.
The Devil May Care - DMC.