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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sat 30 Oct 1999 22:02 GMT
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Pac-a-macs In The Rain" Match Report from OT by OUR SALFORD LASS.
2. Self Catering Villa - Personal Match Report by RED KELLY
3. Scholes free to face the Scots



Barry Comment:
Two smashing reports from Salford Lass & Red Kelly are the highlight of
todays daily news + Andy is now after Shearer in his autobiography!

WEB NEWS - www.redissue.co.uk  !NEW!

ECL Group D  ** Manchester United **
Olympique de Marseille * NK Croatia Zagreb * SK Sturm Graz

Manchester United FC Champions League Squad List
 1 Mark John Bosnich      2 Gary Alexander Neville 3 Dennis Joseph Irwin
 4 David May              6 Jakob Stam             7 David Robert J Beckham
 8 Nicholas Butt          9 Andrew Alex. Cole      10 Edward Sheringham
11 Ryan Joseph Giggs     12 Philip Neville         14 Johan Jordi Cruyff
15 Lars Jesper Blomqvist 16 Roy Keane           17 Raimond RJH Van der Gouw
18 Paul Scholes          19 Dwight Yorke           20 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
21 Henning Berg          23 Michael Jamie Clegg    25 Josť Quinton Fortune
26 Massimo Taibi         31 Nicholas James Culkin  33 Mark Antony Wilson
34 Jonathan Greening

Group D                P W D L F A  PTS
Manchester United FC   5 3 1 1 7 3  10 
Olympique de Marseille 5 3 0 2 8 6   9 
SK Sturm Graz          5 2 0 3 4 10  6 
NK Croatia Zagreb      5 1 1 3 5 5   4 

Real Audio - Last weeks Daily News Sound Archive:
Click on INDEX at http://www.red11.org/sound


99/2000 fixtures/match reports are at

Mark Bosnich's Personal Details 



Previous News:
 BSKYB Takeover news/pics at http://www.red11.org/mufc/bskyb.htm
  Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
 Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!


             Arsenal   0-0   Newcastle United      38,106
        Derby County   3-1   Chelsea               28,614
        Leeds United   1-0   West Ham United       40,190
      Leicester City   3-0   Sheffield Wednesday   19,046
   Manchester United   3-0   Aston Villa           55,211
       Middlesbrough   2-1   Everton               33,916
           Wimbledon   1-1   Southampton           15,754

*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 30/10/99 ***

Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Leeds United         13  5  1  1  11   5   4  1  1  15  11   10   29
 2  Manchester United    13  5  2  0  22   6   3  1  2   9  13   12   27
 3  Arsenal              13  5  1  1  13   5   3  1  2   7   7    8   26
 4  Sunderland           12  4  2  0   8   2   3  1  2  13   8   11   24
 5  Leicester City       13  5  2  0  14   6   2  0  4   9  11    6   23
 6  Middlesbrough        13  4  0  3   8   8   3  0  3  10   9    1   21
 7  Tottenham Hotspur    11  4  0  2  15  11   2  2  1   5   4    5   20
 8  Chelsea              11  4  0  1  13   3   2  1  3   5   7    8   19
 9  Everton              13  3  3  0  15   7   2  0  5   7  13    2   18
10  Liverpool            12  3  0  3   6   5   2  3  1   7   6    2   18
11  Aston Villa          13  3  3  0   8   3   2  0  5   5  12   -2   18
12  West Ham United      12  4  1  0   7   3   1  1  5   5   8    1   17
13  Coventry City        12  3  0  3  11   8   0  4  2   5   7    1   13
14  Southampton          12  2  2  2  10  10   1  2  3   9  13   -4   13
15  Wimbledon            13  1  4  2  10  11   1  3  2   9  16   -8   13
16  Derby County         13  2  0  5   6  13   1  3  2   7   9   -9   12
17  Newcastle United     13  3  1  2  16   7   0  1  6   7  20   -4   11
18  Bradford City        11  1  2  2   5  10   2  0  4   4   7   -8   11
19  Watford              12  2  0  4   6   9   1  0  5   2   9  -10    9
20  Sheffield Wednesday  13  1  1  4   7   9   0  1  6   1  21  -22    5

*** FIXTURES ON 31/10/99 ***
       Coventry City  v  Watford
          Sunderland  v  Tottenham Hotspur

02-NOV-1999 [19:45] Manchester Utd. vs Sturm Graz  (UEFA Champions League, HOME)
06-NOV-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Leicester C  (FA Premier League, HOME)
20-NOV-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Derby C  (FA Premier League, AWAY)


UNITED Stats v All teams:
ALL FIXTURES at: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix992000.htm
First Team Fixtures 1999/2000
All dates/times subject to change
Dates of possible cup ties also shown

Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/07/99    Melbourne Australia   pre-season  W  2-0     -    60,000
18/07/99    Sydney    Australia   pre-season  W  1-0     -    78,000
21/07/99    Shanghai  Shenhua     pre-season  W  2-0     -    80,000
24/07/99    Hong Kong South China pre-season  W  2-0     -    40,000

 1/08/99    Arsenal   Wembley Charity Shield  L  1-2     -    70,185
 3/08/99    Omagh Town Omagh Bomb Fund        W  9-0     -     7,000
 4/08/99    Wigan Athletic friendly           W  2-0     -    15,000 
08/08/99    Everton                  Away PL  D  1-1    10    39,141
11/08/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Home PL  W  4-0     3    54,941
14/08/99    Leeds United             Home PL  W  2-0     1    55,187
22/08/99    Arsenal                  Away PL  W  2-1     1    38,147
25/08/99    Coventry City            Away PL  W  2-1     1    22,024 
27/08/99    Monaco - Lazio               ESC  L  0-1     -    15,223
30/08/99    Newcastle United         Home     W  5-1     1    55,190
11/09/99    Liverpool                Away     W  3-2     1    44,929
14/09/99    Croatia Zagreb           Home EC  D  0-0     -    53,250
18/09/99    Wimbledon                Home     D  1-1     1    55,189
22/09/99    Sturm Graz               Away EC  W  3-0     -    16,480
25/09/99    Southampton              Home     D  3-3     1    55,249
29/09/99    Marseille                Home EC  W  2-1     -    54,276
 3/10/99    Chelsea                  Away PL  L  0-5     2    34,909
11/10/99    Sir Alex Testimonial     Home F   L  2-4  LEGENDS 54,842      
13/10/99    Aston Villa              Away WC3 L  0-3     -    33,815
16/10/99    Watford                  Home PL  W  4-1     2    55,188
19/10/99    Marseille                Away EC  L  0-1     -    57,745 
23/10/99    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     L  1-3     3    36,072
27/10/99    Croatia Zagreb           Away EC  W  2-1     -     ?
30/10/99    Aston Villa              Home     W  3-0     2    55,211

 2/11/99    Sturm Graz               Home EC   19.45 
 6/11/99    Leicester City           Home PL   15.00
20/11/99    Derby County             Away PL   15.00
24/11/99    ?     EC
27/11/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Away PL   15.00
30/11/99    Tokyo  Palmeiras         WCC       20.00
 4/12/99    Everton                  Home PL   15.00
 8/12/99    ?     EC
18/12/99    West Ham United          Away PL   15.00
26/12/99    Bradford City            Home PL   15.00
28/12/99    Sunderland               Away PL   20.00  "live on sky"
 3/01/2000  Middlesborough           Home PL   20.00
 JAN 05-14  Brazil WTC [3-4 games]
06/01/2000  Necaxa (Mexico)          Neut WTC  16.00
08/01/2000  Vasco da Gama (Brazil)   Away WTC  16.00
11/01/2000  South Melbourne (Australia) N WTC  16.00
22/01/2000  Arsenal                  Home PL   15.00
 5/02/2000  Coventry City            Home PL   15.00
12/02/2000  Newcastle United         Away PL   15.00
26/02/2000  Wimbledon                Away PL   15.00
 1/03/2000  ?   EC
 4/03/2000  Liverpool                Home PL   15.00
 8/03/2000  ?   EC
11/03/2000  Derby County             Home PL   15.00
15/03/2000  ?   EC
18/03/2000  Leicester City           Away PL   15.00
22/03/2000  ?   EC
25/03/2000  Bradford City            Away PL   15.00
 1/04/2000  West Ham United          Home PL   15.00
 5/04/2000  ?   EC qf i
 8/04/2000  Middlesborough           Away PL   15.00
15/04/2000  Sunderland               Home PL   15.00
19/04/2000  ?   EC qf ii
22/04/2000  Southampton              Away PL   15.00
24/04/2000  Chelsea                  Home PL   15.00
29/04/2000  West Ham United          Away PL   15.00
 3/05/2000  ?   EC sf i
 6/05/2000  Tottenham Hotspur        Home PL   15.00
10/05/2000  ?   EC sf ii
14/05/2000  Aston Villa              Away PL   15.00
24/05/2000  ?   EC Final



Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
"Pac-a-macs In The Rain" Match Report from OT by OUR SALFORD LASS. The walk down to the stadium yesterday brought back a lot of memories. I had been to an Imusa meeting in Stretford and walked down to Old Trafford with Nick, along Chester Rd. Once upon a time, when the son-and-heir was a wee chap, we lived on the No 22 bus route in Eccles. Every home game, we would get the 22 to the Stretford Arndale and then jump on a bus down Chester Rd. Sitting at the bus stop, waiting for a 255 or a 256, we would watch the cars and coaches heading towards Old Trafford - scarves fluttering out of the car windows, flags hung across the back of the coaches bearing the names of supporters' clubs all over the UK, Reds grinning at us and giving us thumbs-up signs. Sometimes we would see the away fans - leering at us and making abusive gestures through steamed up coach windows - we would wave back and laugh. Ten minutes later, we would arrive at the top of Sir Matt Busby Way with eyes shining and stomachs lurching with excitement and nerves, particularly if the opposition were Leeds, or Liverpool or City (yes, we are talking a long, long time ago my friends!). We would walk down towards the stadium, surrounded by committed Reds and it felt like a massive family gathering - the United Family. These days, old age and cynicism has long since overtaken what now seems like a very naive innocence . Now, when I see the coaches and cars I no longer see committed Reds travelling hundreds of miles to see their heroes, but the modern United fan - on a day trip to the footballing equivalent of Alton Towers. When I see the scarves and the flags I now see a merchandising opportunity rather than a tribal symbol of support for your team. When I arrive at the top of Sir Matt Busby Way and listen to the conversations around me I often feel like an alien - a throwback to another time, another world - the Red Family is still out there, but it takes more finding these days and Old Trafford is often not the best place to look. Walking down Chester Rd yesterday, chatting about various things, we discovered one thing hasn't changed - as a big fat, white arse appeared at a coach window, I realised that away fans are the same as they have always been! As the Brum coach headed off down the road, I said farewell to Nick and set off for the membership office to get coach tickets for the Derby game. Again, it was a trip down memory lane, cutting through the back streets and over the footbridge to the Stretford End. Coming over the bridge, the first thing I saw was the face of Sir Matt on the fans' memorial which is on the wall above the players' entrance. Then I got a bit of a shock - the whole area behind the Stretford End was blocked off as work commences on the new stand. I considered not bothering, but realised that would mean cutting short my visit to the Nest on Tuesday night, so I set off on the long walk which took me half-way back to Stretford again, behind what used to be the megastore, back towards the stadium and then back again towards Trafford Park to the membership office. All the time muttering about how "they" can manage to build a temporary megastore on Sir Matt Busby Way for "the convenience of their customers" but can't put a temporary membership office alongside it for the convenience of their supporters - it doesn't take a genius to figure out why. Once I'd got the bus tickets it was then a rush back down to what used to be the forecourt, and a walk against the crowd around the East Stand building site, to arrive in front of the Superstore to meet Paul only 5 minutes late, but absolutely knackered! With Paul were Dr Mark and Nigel, my next-door-neighbour for the afternoon. The son-and-heir was sitting watching the warm-up when I arrived. We had barely said "hello" when a wild shot from one of the Villa players came hurtling towards us. Totally unaware, we were taken by surprise and took no evasive action. Your reporter was spared injury, the ball whipping past my face close enough to graze the tip of my nose, but the son-and-heir sustained an injury to his finger for which the poor lad got no sympathy at all from Tim and Nigel who had just arrived. In fact, Nigel wanted all the sympathy for himself, insisting on showing us a rather grubby sticking plaster which had apparently been on his finger for a number of days. Hiding his rapidly swelling finger in his jacket pocket, the son-and-heir put on a brave face (but I caught him peering worriedly at it at regular intervals throughout the game and it was twice it's normal size by 5pm). Looking around us just before kick-off, it was a relief to see no babies - although the front three rows were looking pretty grim, with silly jesters' hats in abundance and a group of fans who looked like they were at the theatre, not a football game. Still, the atmosphere wasn't bad once the game got started (relative to recent games, that is) and I actually managed to enjoy myself! Villa hadn't managed to sell their allocation, but they were nevertheless noisy and "up for it", beginning their repertoire with a chorus of "Stand up, if you hate Man U"! The response in East Lower was laughter and scorn - sad b.....s. And it didn't get much better as the game wore on and they only managed a couple of renditions of "Support your local team" and the occasional "Villa, Villa." Most of their venom was saved for Bosnich - every time he kicked the ball it was "Ooooooooooooooh ....... you fat b.....d". This of course endeared him to the United crowd who actually began to cheer him (nice change that - being cheering instead of abused) and of course led to a striking rise in his confidence and thus performance. Amazing that, isn't it? Get behind your players and they play better - what a novel idea that is! It was also pretty noisy in East Lower as the unusual sound of chanting was heard coming from K Stand behind us. We were all standing (apart from the front three rows of course) and we stood for the whole game. Five minutes into the match, we feared the worst as a number of police officers walked down the steps to our right, to take up their positions every two or three steps. They didn't look too threatening, however, with the copper at the front joking that he hoped to be there all afternoon as he had a great view of the game, and after a few minutes they departed again, leaving us to stand unmolested for the rest of the game. What was all that about? On the pitch, United were in control. After recent performances, it was very pleasant to be able to relax and enjoy a game. We still looked a little ropey at the back, but Silvestre plays a lot better in the centre and Jaap was back to being much closer to his best than we've seen him recently. Becks was on form and Scholesy's passing was superb. Villa had a few chances which their forwards decided to spurn, but it always looked as if United were capable to moving up one or two revs if necessary and around half-an-hour after kick-off, Scholes volleyed in a brilliant goal from a cross from Becks and we were celebrating. Up until then, the Villa fans had been pretty noisy but once it was obvious we were in front and going to stay that way, they went all quiet and never really go got going again all afternoon. They were still giving abuse to Bosnich of course, but now we began to give some to our old friend, David "Dodgy Keeper" James - every goal kick was taken along to the whole of East Stand going "Ooooooooooooooooooooh ............... you scouse b.....d". Then, just before half-time, the game was finished off with the best goal of the afternoon - Giggs (who had been foraging down the wing for the whole of the first half, looking like the Giggs of old) overhit a cross from the left, this was collected by Becks, cut back to Cole and was in the net - a superb goal which had us celebrating again and which shut up the Villa fans entirely. Half-time saw Paul arrive for a chat. Unfortunately, he also brought the rain with him. As the heavens opened, we struggled to get down to the concourse, along with what seemed like every other fan in East Lower. With Paul muttering behind me about how he should have stayed in K Stand, and one old twit determined to try to push his way through in the opposite direction to everybody else, we got drenched (it was like standing in a shower in your clothes) and finally emerged behind the seats to the stares of those who had gone earlier and that most annoying of questions when you are dripping wet - "Oh, is it raining then?" After five minutes in the dry, ringing out our clothes, kick-off approached and we realised we had to go back. Reluctantly we emerging into a rain-soaked East Lower clutching the pac-a-macs that some kind stewards had been handing out. Now, I have never in my life worn one of these things and have vowed I never would .......... but all around me people were putting them on and I (and the son-and-heir) were the only ones still getting soaked, so after a lot of messing about and help from Nigel (I couldn't fine the hood and kept sticking my head through an armhole) I gave in and spent the rest of the game feeling a lot more comfortable, even if I looked a total wally. The son-and-heir being younger, of course, was more concerned with his image, and decided to end the game looking like a drowned rat rather than don this most fashionable of garments. Luckily, the camera with which Nigel tried to take my picture had run out of film so there is (hopefully) no lasting record of my humiliation and I will deny it in years to come if it is ever mentioned again! At the start of the second half, Villa again had some opportunities to score but decided not to bother doing so (Carbonne being about as effective as a chocolate tea-pot - Nigel suggested that his hairband might have fallen down and obscured his vision as he put yet another shot over the bar). At this point, United decided that they'd had enough of the whole thing and killed the game off totally when a cross from Becks came to Keane outside the penalty area at the other end and the Villa defence stopped and watched whilst he sent it blasting past James and into the net. "Three-nil, in your Cup Final" we sang as the Villa fans sat in miserable silence. From then on it was a training match. Fergie was able to bring off Giggs, Cole and Yorke and replace them with Cruyff, Wilson and Ole, whilst we had fun taking the mickey out of the Brummies up in the corner - with "S..t on the Villa" and "Villa, Villa" sung in a high-pitched voice a la Anfield. They got a mite peevish at one point chanting "City, come from Manchester". A rather stupid song coming from Villa fans since we were able to sing back "City, come from Birmingham". Their chorus of "S..t ground, no fans" led to hilarity and "Couldn't sell all your tickets" was sung back at them. Finally, they sank into the depths, singing a chorus of "You'll never walk alone" and "Who's that lying on the runway" - sad b.....s indeed and not worth wasting time on. We had some fun in the second half singing "You're pissed, and you know you are" at Paul Merson - who proceeded to stagger around in the penalty area pretending to be drunk (nice one that), but the best moment was when all of the East Stand sang "Bosnich, Bosnich what's the score?" He turned to us with a big grin and raised three fingers in the air. We cheered and Nigel leant over and said "He's a Red now alright". Just before the end of the game, the sun came out and I was able to remove my pac-a-mac. As usual, the rain ceased as soon as we could get in the dry! My man-of-the-match? Definately Beckham, who had a superb game. Scholesy was also excellent and Bosnich is looking more and more every game like he might actually have been a good signing. We left the ground at the same time as the Villa fans, some of whom were singing "You're going back home to London". Most United fans just ignored them, one lad (who was so pissed he could barely stand up) decided he would take exception to this but he was soon moved off to one side by a policeman who advised him to go on his way (albeit a little unsteadily). Apart from that small incident, we continued peaceably up Sir Matt Busby Way, towards the football specials, with your reporter praying that she wouldn't be on Match of the Day so the whole world could see her pac-a-mac! Copyright © 1999 by OUR SALFORD LASS. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
Click On pic - for all latest pics from OT
Self Catering Villa - Personal Match Report by RED KELLY You never really know what to expect from United after a Euro away but at least this was a bit more like a gourmet meal than the rather poor buffet they usually serve up. I mean it wasn't exactly a holiday Villa we were at but at least United catered for themselves whereas the Brummies went hungry. Football's supposed to be a break from the norm - a short holiday - and that's how we like to approach it, so even though there's usually an arduous journey up the motorway to contend with you'd expect some arduous travelling to get where you want to go. This time we left slightly later than usual as we had to detour to pick up Doug's walking stick which he'd left behind. problem was, if he hasn't got it with him his ability to walk any sort of distance is seriously impaired, but eventually the four of us, including big Rich and Nigel were under way. Fortunately the motorway system was good to us and we arrived on time to meet up with Dr Mark and Linda outside the old souvenir shop. Once Linda had recovered her breath after the long walk from the IMUSA meet in Stretford she and Nigel disappeared into the bowels of East Lower and we went our separate ways. I was armed with a copy of Barney's Euro book as a present for Steve as it had been his birthday on Friday and as I climbed up to my seat he was already there eagerly waiting for whatever was coming his way. I'm sure he read half the book before kick-off as we didn't hear another word from him, but as I said the other week, once you start this book you can't put it down. It's not often I get into the ground early enough to watch the teams kick about before the game but yesterday I saw all of 60 seconds. The new pitch looked OK at that time but it remained to be seen how it would measure up to the thundering of Keano and yip Jaap and the sky which had looked ominously threatening was for now holding back it's tears. We sat under our temporary roof of clear corrugated plastic and periodically glanced up to check the weather whilst wondering how the winter was going to progress while we were perched precariously under this garden shed of a stand. And I'm thinking to myself, I'm glad I'm clearing off to sunnier climes for a couple of weeks in December as I'm not sure about this roof at all. Our fears were not given a confidence boost as we turned around and noticed the TV cameraman who was perched in the middle of the new construction to the back and above us, was wearing a hard hat. Well, he's under the same roof as us, how come he needs a hard hat and we don't? I suppose their thinking is, there's always another supporter to fill a spare seat, but camera men are more difficult to replace. Cynical me - surely not? So as the roof creaked and the corner sheeting flapped and billowed in the wind, the teams came out. I wish they'd stop playing the Euro Final commentary before they appear though or we'll all start to suffer from severe overkill and we don't want that now do we? The best two minutes of our footballing lives need to be savoured for the rest of our lives not rammed down our throats at every available opportunity by smashy Fane. So let's leave it out next time eh. The good old boys from Aston were doing their best to wind us up, but i'm afraid they've long since lost their grip on reality. They prefer to remember the reserves visit to Villa Park a few weeks ago for the unWorthy Cup as a first team victory over our first team and so they assumed there would be more of the same yesterday - WRONG. This really was the first team now lads!! The difference was more than obvious from the start as those wearing the red shirts seemed well up for the game for once. It was pay back time for the Villains who'd roughed up the young lads in that unWorthy game the other week, but that didn't stop both Taylor and Dublin trying it on again, but not to anywhere near such great effect. With United attacking our end in the first half it gave us ample opportunity to bait David James with an array of songs such as, "you scouse b.....d" "Who's the scouser in disguise" and naturally a liberal dosage of "dodgy keeper," It would have been good to have got a chorus of "careless hands" on the go but no-one could remember the words - or the tune for that matter! To give him his due, he did join in at odd moments, but we all thought the Villa fans singing, "England, England's number one" was a touch optimistic and his yellow hair didn't help either. The first half was end to end stuff and Villa gave as good as they got. I think the best word to describe the finishing would be profligate as chances came and went with alarming regularity, but it was certainly a much better and more entertaining game than anyone possibly expected. All we needed was a goal and with Scholse missing a bagful and Andy heading against the bar none of us were putting money on it. It seemed we were about to run out of time when Becks got the ball, crossed to the near post for the umpteenth time, but this time Scholsie hammered it home on the half volley. That was much better. We enjoyed that and so did he running along East Lower giving it some. There followed a great deal of Villa baiting with one of my all time favourite songs getting it's annual airing. I don't know what it is about the Villa, but we really don't like them much at all. It probably stems from that MacParland moment in the '57 Final, but whatever it is, "s..t on the Villa, s..t on the Villa tonight" to the tune of "Roll out the barrel" makes me smile a lot! The half was nearly over when I turned to Chris and said, "we could do with another" while they were on the rack and wouldn't you know it, we got one. I do like these moments when a call is answered so positively and when Giggs, who had a much more positive game, crossed to the right, David Beckham killed the ball stone dead, laid it back to Cole and he blasted it past ol' yellow hair. It was a goal of pure artistry and Beckham's touch was one of a master and the lay off superb. If this lad isn't the best of his kind in the world, I'd like to know who is. So at half time we were in the comfortable position of being two up in a game which could have gone either way - nice. I ventured downstairs to find Nigel and Linda and despite Nigel telling me later that he'd shouted at me as I wandered through the depths of East Lower, I hadn't heard him. So I went down to 135 and found Linda and Ian chatting with the recently returned from New York, Tim. Now I don't know what it is about half times at the moment but something is going on with the upstairs plumbing as all of a sudden, without any warning at all, the heavens opened. I don't mean it started to rain, I mean it absolutely pissed down just like at Spurs last week. Was the main man still on that Holsten Pils then? Whatever it was everyone scrambled for shelter and as you'll understand you just can't get hundreds of people through a narrow gap and downstairs to shelter all in one go. It was everyone for themselves and as a huge rugby type scrum formed I was most impressed with Linda's prop forward type barging. I resolved to follow her but as we approached the tunnel I went up the steps to the relative dryness of K Stand and she below. When I finally trudged back to my seat I was drenched through and with everyone taking the piss I sat down, tried to laugh it off, and shivered. The second half brought Bozzy down to our end and a barrage of boos from the away support and the continuous baiting took my mind off my distressed state. Not as bad as down below us however as they donned their plastic transparent pacamacs and those to our right in the lower corner of J Stand were literally sitting under a waterfall - poor b......s. By now there were hundreds of condoms sitting in the first few rows with the floodlights reflecting off their plastic hoods. The sign of things to come I think! As the second half got underway the Villa fans sang "you fat b.....d" to Bozzy at every opportunity and we retorted with "he only wants to play for a big club". This didn't go down too well of course and sparked off a series of exchanges with liberal doses of aeroplane impersonations for over to our left. "Do you come from Manchester" it started. "City come from Birmingham" we replied and then before they could answer, "Walsall, Walsall, give us a wave." That one stunned them into silence. I tried to get a "Hedensford, Hedensford give us a wave" going but without success, mainly as no-one knew where it was! The culmination of this series of back and forths was one of the funniest moments ever when a few at the back of K Stand started a high pitched "Villa, Villa" in a Brummie accent, which spread throughout the stand and recurred every now and then - absolutely hysterical. They had no answer to it and sat there silent probably reflecting on their lots as hapless folk with the most ridiculous accents ever devised. How sad - and even sadder (not) when Carbonne broke clear with only Bosnich to beat. But despite every Villain in the place wishing ill on their former hero he saved at Carbonne's feet and the ball looped into the air only for Silvestre to hoof it off the line. Bozzy seemed to almost stop and take the plaudits after that superb save, but the ball may have been cleared off the line but it had only gone straight up about fifteen feet. As it fell to earth Bozzy was still ambling back to his line and it remained up to Silvestre again to finally boot it out of the penalty area. What was Bozzy doing - the only one who could have leapt and actually caught the ball stood there watching it fall and bounce - only he will know. Just as we were thinking there was about to be a Villa revival Becks broke free down at the Stretford End and again he crossed to Scholsie who this time killed the ball with a back heel of such quality it fell in the path of Keano who slammed it into the bottom corner of the net from just outside the area. 3-0 and we felt much much better. "England, England's number one" we sang back at the Brummies. Poor David James, he must hate playing against us, he he! We asked "Bozzy, Bozzy what's the score" and he obliged with a three fingered salute and loved every second of it. The rest of the game was a comedy but Villa still piled forward and when Carbonne again broke free he only had to cross into the box where at least two Villa forwards were waiting to tap the ball past Bosnich who was completely exposed, but.....out of nowhere Stam came thundering on the scene like a motorised mountain and bundled both player and ball out for a corner. Where he came from no-one knows, but come he did, while Carbonne shat his pants. "Yip Jaap Stam" rang round the ground in admiration, but when he faced the diminutive Alan Wright, the latter turned and his little legs ran like mad in the opposite direction. Talk about David and Goliath, this was the missest of all miss matches. Poor little Alan Wright, "five foot two, eyes of blue, big Jaap Stam's after you" - "ooooooooh mummy don't let that big Dutch man get me." Of course the Brummies tried to wind us up again with their rendition of the hideous scouse anthem. There they were stood with scarves aloft singing "You'll never walk alone" it had to be one of the most pathetic sights ever. "Who the hell do you support?" we sang back - class doesn't figure in their dictionary. So by the end of the game the skies had brightened, the rain had stopped and the new pitch had just about managed to survive although there was an army of groundstaff on at half time replacing divots. The place had almost half emptied by the final whistle as the game had deteriorated into a practice match with the United defence giving Bozzy some much needed kicking practice by playing the ball back to his feet as often as they could get away with it. All in all I think he played pretty well yesterday and is gradually winning over the doubters - not an easy job at a spoilt Old Trafford as we all know. The early evening sky was looking a lot brighter as I walked back to the car where I found Richard and his dad waiting for me and the queues to get out of the carpark building by the second. We waited and waited, but no Nigel. By this time we knew we may as well forget about it for half an hour as there was no way we were going to get out. Having to park this close to the ground has it's advantages for Doug with his walking stick, but not for a quick exit. I have no idea what time it was when Nigel finally appeared filling his face from a tray of chips and tomato sauce, but I swear it was dark! Trouble was, by the time we got out to the motorway we were greeted by stationary traffic. Quick - round the island and back the other way - down the 60 and onto the 62. It was along and tiring journey home with the one who'd filled his belly full of chips asleep in the passenger's seat beside me - but it's his turn at driving on Tuesday night! And finally I'd like to send birthday greetings for November 1st to a friend of mine who will be 86 on that day. He's supported Manchester United for longer than he cares to remember and used to sit near to me in K Stand until he could no longer afford to come to the games. Happy Birthday Roy and many more of them. Copyright © 1999 by RED KELLY.
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Scholes free to face the Scots By Ken Lawrence Only some fiendish tartan plot hatched between Sir Alex Ferguson and Scotland coach Craig Brown can now prevent Paul Scholes offering England their best chance of reaching the European Championship Finals. The Manchester United manager revealed after his side's clinical victory over Aston Villa that Scholes will not go under the surgeon's knife for a hernia but will be available to put Scotland to the sword in the forthcoming play-off for a Euro 2000 place. He then joked: 'Whether he has the conscience to go out and hurt his manager by playing against Scotland is another thing!' Kevin Keegan's heart must have been aflutter on arrival in Manchester when he heard the rumours sweeping Old Trafford that Scholes would be under anaesthetic by the evening. But Ferguson provided the England coach with a welcome whiff of oxygen by saying: 'We have said all along that Paul will continue to play until after the Champions League games in early December. 'Then we won't have any more European games until the end of February. We shall think about his operation during that spell before the Champions League starts again.' Ferguson, uncharacteristically, then singled out Scholes for special praise after the midfielder had achieved what has so far seemed all but impossible this season at Old Trafford. He upstaged David Beckham. After the unassuming redhead scored the opener and provided the audacious back-heel for Roy Keane's thundering strike, Ferguson, who rarely flatters individuals, said: 'He is the best midfielder England have got. 'He creates, he scores. The timing of his runs and the quality of his touches is perfect. There is no-one better at ghosting into the penalty area. He has great vision and his range of passing is excellent. 'Aston Villa made things very difficult for us and in many ways played better than us. But that is where Scholes' experience came in. He could have had four goals against them and he is now around the 50 mark which is very impressive for a midfielder of his age.' Compared to Beckham's life with his Posh wife as part of the glitter-atti of London, Scholes possesses all the charisma of a welder. Back home in untrendy north Manchester, he would rather be seen dead than do anything as brash as attending a showbiz party. Out of the limelight, Scholes is strictly a pipe and slip-pers man. . . without the pipe. But if ever a match presented the perfect opportunity to prove that Scholes must be an automatic selection, along with Beckham, for the international hostilities to come, then it was this one. It was not that he did not have competition for centre stage. Beckham, all arrogant aggression and with his confidence glowing with every touch, provided the crosses for each of United's goals. The second of his crucial dispatches, which led Villa manager John Gregory to insist he is the best passer in the world, helped Andy Cole further his claims to partner Alan Shearer at Hampden Park and Wembley in the absence of Robbie Fowler and with Michael Owen's presence in doubt. But it was really Scholes who tore out Villa's heart. His opener, after Gregory's side dominated the first half-hour, was crucial to the balance of the game. Even after Cole had scored, Villa, having missed clear-cut chances through George Boateng and Dion Dublin, had opportunities to draw level. Twice, Benito Carbone was through. But he was foiled once by goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, enjoying another good day despite constant abuse from his former club's fans, and should have squared to Lee Hendrie on the second occasion. Scholes then set up Keane for United's third. Villa, and especially Gregory, were mortified at the unfairness of it all. The Villa manager's problems are not helped by unrest among some of his star players. Winger Steve Stone has demanded Gregory comes clean over his future. The former England player has over-come injury problems since being signed for £5 .5 million last season but has yet to make a Premiership start this term. He said: 'I just want the club to be honest with me. There's a lot of talk about me being on my way and if the club don't want me, they should be up front and say so.' Manchester United: Bosnich; P Neville, Stam, Silvestre, Irwin; Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs (Cruyff, 77min); Cole (Wilson, 77), Yorke (Solskjaer, 65). Aston Villa James; Delaney, Calderwood, Southgate, Barry; Boateng (Stone, 65min), Taylor, Hendrie, Thompson (Wright, 72); Carbone (Merson, 76), Dublin. Booked: Barry. Man of the Match: Paul Scholes Referee: Alan Wilkie (Chester-le-Street).
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COLE BLASTS 'UNTOUCHABLE' SHEARER Andy Cole has launched an amazing attack on England captain Alan Shearer, labelling him an "untouchable" member of the national team regardless of his form. And with Kevin Keegan set to name his squad for the two Euro 2000 play-offs against Scotland next week, Cole has threatened to walk away from England in protest. Manchester United striker Cole has won just five England caps and believes that a succession of strikers have not been given a fair chance because Shearer is England's "chosen son". Cole made the claims in his book 'Andy Cole - The Autobiography', which is being serialised by the Sunday Mirror. He said: "You are supposed to pick your best 11, not shape every possible strategy around the supposed Golden Boy. If you are having a bad patch you should be left out, but because he was Alan Shearer, famous striker and England captain, that appeared to be enough. "There must never be a rule for one, then different rules for the rest. It only allows discontent, accusations of favouritism and worse to creep into the dressing room." There were suggestions that Shearer would be axed from the England team during a dismal run in the Euro 2000 qualifying games. Cole added: "If you are having a bad patch you should be left out. But because he was Alan Shearer, famous striker and England captain, that appeared to be enough." A spate of goals for Newcastle since the arrival of Bobby Robson, and a hat-trick at Wembley against Luxembourg, appears to have cemented Shearer's place in the starting line-up. Cole, however, said the current situation had led to "frustration, dejection, and even the serious consideration of whether it's all worth the hassle. "In the end, you start wondering whether you actually want to play for your country ever again," Cole said. Is Andy Cole right? Or is the Manchester United man just showing sour grapes? © PA Sporting Life
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