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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS Date: Tue Mar 02 07:10:31 GMT+00:00 1999 Mail: email@example.com This Issue: 1. The Week Ahead: United day of destiny 2. United's day off 3. Inter-esting News - Sunday Times 4. INTER FACT FILE 5. FERGUSON'S CLASS ACT MUST LEARN EURO LESSONS 6. Cockney kid has grown up - Guardian 7. GIGGS - UNITED CAN BE EURO CHAMPS 8. I've still got a huge job to do here, says Schmeichel 9. MANCHESTER UNITED v INTER "interview" - AUDIO from Sporting Life ++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++ Daily RED Trivia Tuesday 2nd March 1999: 2/3/1991: Darren Ferguson made his debut against Everton. Ferguson appeared in the first 15 games of 1992-93 and won a Premiership medal, but the son of the manager moved on to Wolverhampton Wanderers for £250,000 in January 1994. A competitive midfielder, he made 30 appearances between 1991-93. 1894: William Douglas made his United debut at Aston Villa. Douglas was signed from neighbours Ardwick (who became Manchester City) and played 48 successive matches before being axed along with some of his team-mates after a local Cup defeat. He played 57 times between 1894-96 before joining Derby County. *************** Barry Daily Comment: Only one day to go and its blast off in Europe. A good interview on the net by Italian football expert Giancarlo Galavotti Try this url: http://www.sporting-life.com/soccer/audio/giancarlo.ram Good luck to WORLWIDE REDS! Previous News: Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio http://www.iol.ie/~redcafe/kidd.htm Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United! http://www.red11.org/mufc/news/schmeichel.htm Next games: ALL Result/Fixture Index: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899z.htm March 3 Inter Milan (H) ECLl "Quarter Final" 1st leg 19.45 7 Chelsea (H) 14.00 FAC6 *SKY SPORTS* LIVE* + DkTV1 Scand. 10 Liverpool (A) 19.45 PL (moved due to FAC) 13 Newcastle (A) 15.00 PL 17 Inter Milan (A) ECL "Quarter Final" 2nd leg 19.45 21 Everton (H) 15.00 PL UNITED Stats v All teams: http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats/ *** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 01/03/99 *** Leicester City 1-2 Leeds United 18,101 *** LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 01/03/99 *** Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts --------------------------------------------------------- 1 Manchester United 28 16 9 3 63 29 34 57 2 Chelsea 27 14 11 2 41 22 19 53 3 Arsenal 27 13 11 3 35 13 22 50 4 Leeds United 27 12 9 6 41 26 15 45 5 Aston Villa 27 12 8 7 38 31 7 44 6 West Ham United 27 11 7 9 31 38 -7 40 7 Liverpool 27 11 6 10 50 34 16 39 8 Derby County 27 9 11 7 26 25 1 38 9 Wimbledon 26 9 10 7 30 36 -6 37 10 Sheffield Wednesday 26 10 5 11 34 25 9 35 11 Newcastle United 27 9 8 10 35 36 -1 35 12 Tottenham Hotspur 26 7 12 7 30 32 -2 33 13 Middlesbrough 27 7 12 8 34 39 -5 33 14 Leicester City 26 7 9 10 26 36 -10 30 15 Everton 27 6 10 11 20 29 -9 28 16 Charlton Athletic 27 6 9 12 31 37 -6 27 17 Coventry City 27 7 6 14 28 38 -10 27 18 Blackburn Rovers 27 6 8 13 27 38 -11 26 19 Southampton 26 6 5 15 26 50 -24 23 20 Nottingham Forest 27 3 8 16 22 54 -32 17 *** TEAM RESULTS - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 20/02/99 *** Date Opposition Score Pos. Attend. -------------------------------------------------------------------- 15/08/98 Leicester City Home D 2-2 11 55,052 22/08/98 West Ham United Away D 0-0 11 26,039 09/09/98 Charlton Athletic Home W 4-1 9 55,147 12/09/98 Coventry City Home W 2-0 5 55,193 20/09/98 Arsenal Away L 0-3 10 38,142 24/09/98 Liverpool Home W 2-0 3 55,181 03/10/98 Southampton Away W 3-0 2 15,251 17/10/98 Wimbledon Home W 5-1 2 55,265 24/10/98 Derby County Away D 1-1 2 30,867 31/10/98 Everton Away W 4-1 2 40,079 08/11/98 Newcastle United Home D 0-0 3 55,174 14/11/98 Blackburn Rovers Home W 3-2 2 55,198 21/11/98 Sheffield Wednesday Away L 1-3 2 39,475 29/11/98 Leeds United Home W 3-2 2 55,172 05/12/98 Aston Villa Away D 1-1 2 39,241 12/12/98 Tottenham Hotspur Away D 2-2 1 36,079 16/12/98 Chelsea Home D 1-1 2 55,159 19/12/98 Middlesbrough Home L 2-3 3 55,152 26/12/98 Nottingham Forest Home W 3-0 3 55,216 29/12/98 Chelsea Away D 0-0 3 34,741 10/01/99 West Ham United Home W 4-1 3 55,180 16/01/99 Leicester City Away W 6-2 2 22,091 31/01/99 Charlton Athletic Away W 1-0 1 20,043 03/02/99 Derby County Home W 1-0 1 55,174 06/02/99 Nottingham Forest Away W 8-1 1 30,025 17/02/99 Arsenal Home D 1-1 1 55,171 20/02/99 Coventry City Away W 1-0 1 22,596 27/02/99 Southampton Home W 2-1 1 55,316 ****** This weeks fixtures: *** QUARTER-FINALS FIXTURES ON 06/03/99 *** Arsenal v Derby County Barnsley v Tottenham Hotspur *** QUARTER-FINALS FIXTURES ON 07/03/99 *** Manchester United v Chelsea Newcastle United v Everton >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Premier League *** FIXTURES ON 02/03/99 *** Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton *** FIXTURES ON 03/03/99 *** Sheffield Wednesday v Wimbledon *** FIXTURES ON 06/03/99 *** Coventry City v Charlton Athletic Southampton v West Ham United Wimbledon v Leicester City Champions League: Group D P W D L F A Pts Bayern Munich 6 3 2 1 9 6 11 Man United 6 2 4 0 20 11 10 Barcelona 6 2 2 2 11 9 8 Brondby 6 1 0 5 4 18 3 Dec 9 Brøndby 0-2 Barcelona Dec 9 Man Utd 1-1 Bayern Munich ****** CHAMPIONS' LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL DRAW Manchester Utd v Inter Milan Real Madrid v Dynamo Kiev Juventus v Olympiakos Bayern Munich v Kaiserslautern Ties to be played on March 3 and 17 FAC Quarter Finals Draw ties to be played the weekend of Saturday, March 6: Newcastle United v Everton Barnsley v Spurs Arsenal v Derby Manchester United v Chelsea (Sunday 7/3 1400 hrs UK) ++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++
Subject: The Week Ahead: United day of destiny Monday, March 1, 1999 No prizes for nominating the game of the week, if not the season, and Old Trafford will not be a place for anything but the stoutest of hearts on Wednesday. Since the Champions League quarter-final draw last December pitted Manchester United against Inter Milan, it has been the most eagerly-awaited of contests, as Alex Ferguson's men aim to prove they can conquer Europe. Even if Ronaldo is not fit - and despite the noises from the San Siro, it would take a brave man to bet against him playing some part - Inter represent a huge obstacle for Ferguson's side. Jaap Stam and Co will have to tweak the hair of Roberto Baggio, now minus his 'divine ponytail', look after Nicola Ventola and Youri Djorkaeff, as well as find a way to outwit the Inter back-line - a true test for Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. Then there is the residue of Saint-Etienne, David Beckham coming face to face with Argentinian Diego Simeone for the first time since that infamous night in France 98. But if United are to prove themselves worthy successors to Sir Matt Busby's 1968 team, they have to demonstrate strength of will, allied to their natural flair.
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
Subject: United's day off March 1, 1999 Southampton goalkeeper Paul Jones will barely be more comfortable when he sits down in his own home to watch Manchester United's European tussle with Inter Milan than he was for 90-odd minutes on Saturday. The Wales international had expected to be looking through the eye of a hurricane against the Premiership leaders. Instead, there was hardly a breeze and he readily accepted that his relegation-threatened side had missed out on what should have been a safe passage. United's sleepwalkers rose from their slumbers late on to snatch maximum points through a minimum of effort and Jones said: 'I hope they don't play like that on Wednesday for the sake of British football because they would get turned over.' He knows, and more pertinently so does watching Inter Milan representative Mirko Ferretti, that United's sleek machine that coughed and spluttered to three points will be in full working order against the Italians. 'You will see a different team line up on Wednesday night for a start,' added Jones. 'I certainly hope they can respond better than against us. 'Maybe one or two players were thinking of Wednesday night, while the crowd, who were quiet at times, were probably thinking ahead as well. I'm sure the atmosphere will be different against Inter and you will see a different game. 'We were disappointed not to come away with something - how often can you say something like that at Old Trafford?' Sadly for Southampton, striker James Beattie, 21 on the day, may have been handed the key to the door but couldn't unlock United's defence when Peter Schmeichel and company looked vulnerable. Twice he struck the woodwork, once after Schmeichel had spilled a Matt Le Tissier effort. When the final whistle sounded he held his head in his hands in the knowledge that a wonderful birthday bash had just been wrecked. At the other end the majority of Jones' workload involved practising his ball control skills as some over-zealous back passing from his defenders seemed designed to offset a lack of danger from more obvious red-shirted sources. Saints, though, were undone with late strikes from Roy Keane and Dwight Yorke with Matt Le Tissier's goal in overtime increasing the frustration of what might have been. 'I was surprised that I had so little to do,' said Jones. 'United have been on fire recently, getting stuck into teams and beating them by several goals. We had a couple cleared off the line and apart from the two goals I only had one real save to make.' Wales team-mate Ryan Giggs was one of the United culprits in front of goal, sending a clear-cut opportunity wide with his weaker right foot. Jones said: 'I told Ryan that he had never had a right peg when he put it wide. He had a little smile at that.' Yet Jones warns Roberto Baggio and friends that Giggs, sadly absent in United's European Champions League exit against Monaco at the same stage of last season, is ready to wreak havoc this time around. He stressed: 'That was only his second game back since his hamstring injury. You can see he is getting back into it. 'He is very important to United because of his pace and his power. He puts in some great balls although I felt we defended him quite well. His pace and width gives United an extra dimension. 'The ability to knock the ball past players and to get forward quickly can unnerve sides. I am sure after watching that Inter will decide to double up on him. 'But if they do that there could be more space for David Beckham. I'm certainly looking forward to watching this game.' Beckham could have been excused more than most for having his mind on Inter and a certain Argentine called Diego Simeone, especially when Saints' impressive French defender Patrick Colleter appeared to provide the sort of abrasive combat that is Simeone's speciality. Instead Beckham, apart from the odd flash of temper - mind, we were also reminded of Alex Ferguson's volcanic past with one withering blast at an unfortunate linesman - continued to be focused. To a large extent it was Beckham's forceful running and passing skills that allowed Fergie to use his 'get out of jail' card, so ensuring no damage to United's Premiership assault. For Southampton it' s on to Tottenham tomorrow night with Premiership survival still the only item on their agenda. At least the nightmare away excursions appear to be a thing of the past - the watershed arriving with the 7-1 thumping at Liverpool in January. Jones added: 'We will never bury the memories of that Anfield defeat and it really hurt at the time. Afterwards we worked hard on the training ground, sorted out a few things and became a more solid team. 'It's important financially to stay in the Premiership but obviously all the players want to stay in it too. 'There are a few lads involved in the international scene, including myself, and it's so important to stay in the top division to help safeguard that status.' Somehow, you just know Jones will be in for a more active night at White Hart Lane than in this Old Trafford joust when minds were elsewhere.
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
Subject: Inter-esting News - Sunday Times WAITING for Ronaldo? One might as well be waiting for Godot. There seems little chance that The Phenomenon, as they call him in Italy, will play for Inter at Old Trafford in Wednesday's European Cup quarter-final first leg and no guarantee that he will even be on show for the return leg two weeks later at San Siro. All last week at the Pinetina, Inter's spacious training ground, Ronaldo has been working urgently with Nilton Petroni, his personal physiotherapist, who has flown in from Brazil. On Tuesday, Ronaldo was working first in the swimming pool, then out on the field. By Friday, he was undertaking a full hour of training behind closed doors. But to what avail? Few in Milan expect him to make the Old Trafford match and as Mircea Lucescu, Inter's stop-gap Romanian manager, says: "Inter are not the same without Ronaldo." But which Ronaldo? Since the disaster of the World Cup final, he has been little more than peripheral, playing so few games, seldom showing his stuff except in flashes. It's whispered that some of his teammates have lost patience with him, notably Diego Simeone, the Argentinian midfielder who will renew acquaintance at Old Trafford with David Beckham, the player he provoked into a foul that got him sent off when Argentina played England in the World Cup. Not that they are likely to be often in direct contact. Simeone will play in centre midfield, as he did in Rome last Sunday, when Lazio deservedly beat Inter 1-0. Then, Simeone was assigned to mark Lazio's usually ebullient Roberto Mancini, which he did with substantial success, Mancini being forced deeper and deeper into midfield. But with Simeone to come up against Roy Keane, it will be a much more physical proposition. Sparks could fly. Meanwhile, blessed are the peacemakers, a role one hardly associates with Simeone, but one he fulfilled in Inter's dressing room after the defeat in Rome. The Italian football correspondents, from whom no secrets are hidden, reported that the explosive Taribo West, the Nigerian defender, almost came to blows with Lucescu before Simeone stepped in "like a boxing referee". There was, indeed, turmoil in the Inter camp, which suggests Manchester United might be on to a good thing on Wednesday. West, who might politely be described as a force of nature, one who ran away from home at the age of nine and scraped a living in any way he could until his talent as a footballer was revealed, had made the worst possible start with Lucescu. In Lucescu's first game West, when he was substituted, threw his jersey in the manager's face. Last Sunday, sitting on the bench, he refused to go on as a late substitute as, surprisingly, did Nicola Ventola, the expensive young striker, though he, still out of form after long absence through injury, was eventually persuaded to change his mind. Not so West, who stalked off to the dressing room before the game was over. Today, he is in Senegal, due to play there for Nigeria. Will Inter pick him on Wednesday? Will he be there if they do? Lucescu needs him, particularly in the absence of Dario Simic, the 23-year-old Croatian defender, who is cup-tied. West has said he wants a guarantee that he will play against United. This has not been forthcoming. Things are complicated by the fact that Mickael Silvestre, the young Frenchman who replaced him and scored the equaliser when he threw his shirt at the coach, may have recovered from his injury. Giuseppe Bergomi, who sweeps behind two defensive markers, is rising 35. Fabio Galante lacks pace and is vulnerable in the air. It's expected that Fabio Colonnese will move from the left flank, where he played against Lazio, into the back three, where his pace will be so useful, as, indeed, would be that of West. The question of whether Lucescu will be able to swallow his pride is overshadowed by that of whether West will go AWOL, as he has before. Lucescu laments the fact that he has had so many players injured, and he is supported by Cesare Maldini, Italy's 1998 World Cup manager. I met him in his favourite restaurant, L'Assassino, and he said that for much of this season Inter have been without three or four of the best players in the world. Inter's parts have for so long been greater than the whole, and it's hoped that at long last, when he arrives next season on his paltry £3m-a-year contract, Marcello Lippi, who recently walked out on Juventus, will be able to blend the various talents. Lucescu's position has been almost intolerable since he arrived in mid-season. He came in bizarre circumstances, to replace Gigi Simoni, a coach very popular with his players, and especially with West, after whom he named his dog. Simoni must have felt rather like a Pavlovian dog himself, after the way Inter treated him. Appointed in the summer of 1997, having been sacked by Napoli, he was nearly out the door before the campionato began, so poor were pre-season results, and his position trembled again when, at home in the opening League game, Inter went behind 2-0 to promoted Brescia. On, to save Simoni's skin, came the young Uruguayan Alvaro Recoba, whose two fine left-footed goals gave Inter a draw. Simoni ran into choppy waters again this season, especially in Madrid, when, in a European Cup game, he left out Roberto Baggio, that eternal victim, and Inter lost 2-0. In the return match, Baggio played superbly. Inter won with ease, but struggled to beat Salernitana at home the following Sunday. Whereupon Massimo Moratti, the Inter president, sacked Simoni on the grounds that Inter's supporters deserved to see better football. Enter Lucescu, but only until the end of the season, when Lippi will arrive. It was said that after the dressing-room fracas West and other players turned for help and comfort not to Lucescu but to the former Inter star, Sandro Mazzola. The tactful explanation was that Lucescu had left the dressing room for the press conference. The cynical reason is that Mazzola is in charge of Inter's transfer policy and the players are protecting their backs. Word has it that his influence caused Moratti to replace Simoni so abruptly and ruthlessly. Moratti, besieged every day by the Italian football press like any major club president (the commendatore syndrome dies hard in Italy) operates under the formidable shadow of his late father, the great oil man, Angelo, of whom there stands a bust in the main room at the Pinetina. Beneath it is inscribed a fulsome eulogy which might do credit to a saint . . . or a dictator. Inter flourished under Angelo Moratti, but made few friends, especially abroad. As The Sunday Times proved years ago, in an investigation we called The Years of the Golden Fix, Angelo Moratti was deeply involved in the consistent attempts, too often successful, to bribe referees of European games. The present Inter may be less successful, but it does seem a far cleaner club. The vivid image remains in the mind of Liverpool's rugged Tommy Smith, at the San Siro in 1965, kicking the appalling but uncomplaining Spanish referee, Ortiz de Mendibil, off the field after he had cheated Liverpool out of the second leg of their European Cup semi-final. But if we need not expect such displeasing surprises on Wednesday, what can we expect from Inter? Baggio hopes the match at Old Trafford will be the turning point of a disappointing season in which Inter are too far behind to have a hope of the championship, not so say a place in the next European Cup. As Maldini said, however, these European Cup matches are something else: "Special, with different conditions. Knowing that millions of people are watching you creates a great stimulus in the players." Up at the Pinetina, Gianluca Pagliuca, Inter's resilient international goalkeeper, sent in alone to face the wolves of the Italian football press, said: "Inter always do well in knock-out games. If Manchester United want to beat us, they will have to sweat." Pagliuca, whose name in Milan is being associated with Manchester United as a possible successor to Peter Schmeichel, brushed off the dressing-room strife. Just private things, he said, players confronting each other as they sometimes do. Indeed, as married couples sometimes did. They'd have a row then, when it was over, they would be more loving than ever. Perhaps. It was noted that when Lucescu arrived at the Pinetina that day, having been with Maldini and others to present the prizes to the winning five-a-side team at the San Vittore prison, he and West exchanged hard stares. West was sitting in the car of his agent, Michel Basilevich. Baggio laments the fact that Ronaldo has tended to come back before he is fully fit, therefore giving less than his best, and Baggio should know. His career has been punctuated by serious injuries. Could Baggio be the decisive factor at Old Trafford? Maldini, who kept dropping him in France in favour of the less effective Alessandro Del Piero, preferred to stress the overall big-match effect. It's fair to say that Inter's hopes rest largely on Baggio's shoulders. In the Stadio Olimpico last Sunday, Baggio, like his team, was little in evidence in the first half. As Lucescu admitted, Inter's cautious tactics, their largely unfulfilled hope of breakaways, were not working, so they threw caution to the winds in the second half. Twice, a now inspired Baggio came close to equalising. Critics wondered why Lucescu had been so careful in the first half, and so slow to bring on attacking players in the second. Yet if Inter did make more of a game of it in the second half, they were ominously open then in defence and as Sven Goran Eriksson, the Lazio manager, claimed, on chances created Lazio deserved their victory. It seems unlikely that Inter, at Old Trafford, will risk more than two players upfield, and they may sacrifice the clever Frenchman, Youri Djorkaeff. The combative Dutchman, Aron Winter, is more likely to be used in the midfield. Baggio's partner, as in Rome, will almost certainly be the big Chilean striker Ivan Zamorano, who never stops working and competing, and was twice unlucky, first when he was booked for allegedly diving, then when he was fouled on the edge of the box by Alessandro Nesta, with no recompense. The trouble is that Zamorano, for all his power in the air and skill on the ground, is not scoring goals. Inter's home record on the whole has been good, but on the road it is a different story. Another indication that United should win at Old Trafford but, as Maldini said: "After that match, the tie will only be halfway through. "I saw United's game against Arsenal on TV. They made a lot of mistakes, they even missed a penalty, but they're a dangerous team, with players of great class. Very dangerous up front with Yorke, Giggs, Beckham." Giggs is the player Inter, their fans, and the Milanese journalists fear most. It seems unlikely that Inter will take many risks at Old Trafford, even though they will probably find more space there than they will get in the return at San Siro. A game, then, when they'll be thinking particularly about the return; and wondering whether it will also see the return of a truly fit Ronaldo.
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
Subject: INTER FACT FILE Founded: 1908 Stadium: San Siro (85,847) Colours: Blue and black stripes Scudettos: 13 Italian Cups: 3 European Cup: 1964, 1965 UEFA Cup: 1991, 1994, 1998 TEAM COACH: Mircea Lucescu HISTORY Since 1970 1969-70 Runners-up in the Italian Championship 1970-71 Champions for the 11th time. 1977-78 Won the Coppa Italia for the 2nd time. 1979-80 Champions for the 12th time. 1981-82 Won the Coppa Italia for the 3rd time. 1984-85 Ernesto Pellegrini becomes the 17th President of the Club. 1988-89 Champions for the 13th time. 1989-90 Inter wins the Italian Supercoppa 1990-91 Won the UEFA Cup for the 1st time. 1992-93 Runners-up in the Italian Championship 1993-94 Won the UEFA Cup for the 2nd time. 1995-96 Massimo Moratti the son of Angelo Moratti becomes the 18th President of the Club. 1997-98 Won the UEFA Cup for the 3rd time. Runners-up in the Italian Championship From: Inter Internet Supporter Club Inter Milan is one of the leading clubs in Italy. The official name of the Club is F.C. Internazionale Milano and the club was set up in 1908 by a group of dissident supporters of the other important club in Milano, AC Milan. The Club plays in the 85,700 seat "Giuseppe Meazza" Stadium also known as San Siro Stadium in Milan. In its 90 years of history, the Club boasts 13 League titles (the last one won in 1988/89), 3 Italian Cup, 2 European Champions Cup, 2 Intercontinental Cup and 3 UEFA Cup titles. Inter are the present holders of the UEFA Cup having defeated another Italian team Lazio 3-0 in the final played in Paris last year. In 1996, Massimo Moratti (the son of the great President Angelo Moratti) took over the running of the Club as President and made sweeping changes to the style and management of the Club. He also acquired the services of top players available on the market to strengthen the team, such as the Frenchman Djorkaeff and the Chilean striker Zamorano. Last season, in a prolonged and bitter wrangle with Barcelona, he broke the bank to bring Ronaldo to Milan. This season he managed to sign the popular Italian star Roberto Baggio and a number of promising young players amongst who is the 21-year-old center forward, Nicola Ventola and 19 year old playmaker/attacker, Andrea Pirlo. The 1998/98 season however started badly for Inter. Ronaldo still nursing a nagging knee injury sustained during the 1998 World Cup was unavailable for most of the opening matches both in the Champions League and in the Italian League. The team lost a number of key league clashes and at the end of November 1998, Moratti decided to sack the coach Gigi Simoni and replace him with the Romanian, Mircea Lucescu. The strength of the team is in its attack. The team has a number of different solutions to choose from, all top players, most with years of experience; the well known Ronaldo and Roberto Baggio, the header specialist, Ivan Zamorano, the playmaker Youri Djorkaeff and the young Nicola Ventola, and Andrea Pirlo. Coach Lucescu operates an attacking trio made up of either Baggio-Djorkaeff-Ventola or when Ronaldo is available, Ronaldo - Baggio - Zamorano. The attack is supported by a strong midfield made up of; Frenchman Benoit Cauet, the Argentinean internationals, Diego Simeoni and Janvier Zanetti, the Dutchman Aron Winter and the Brazilian Ze Elias. Two other midfielders, the Italian Francesco Moriero and the Portuguese Paolo Sousa are currently recovering from serious injuries and are doubtful for the Manchester match. Unlike other Italian teams, Inter's weakness is in its defence. Since the beginning of the season, various options were tried with alternating results. Lately Lucescu has adopted a 3-man "in line" defence with modest results. In defence, the Club has the services of veterans Giuseppe Bergomi (34 years) and goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca, hardened Italian defenders Francesco Colonnese, Fabio Galante, and Mauro Milanese, unpredictable Nigerian international Taribo West, young Mickael Silvestre (France U-21 international) and the two latest signings, Croat international Dario Simic and unknown Brazilian Gilberto da Silva Mello. Simic is not eligable to play in the Champions League having played for his former club, Croatia Zagreb in the same competition. All soccer fans are looking forward to the two matches between Manchester United and Inter in March 1999. Both teams have the firepower up front to inflict significant damage to each other's defence. Some Italian newspapers are labeling the clash as an anticipated Champions League Final. May the best team win! Austin Calleja Webmaster - Inter Internet Supporter Club February 1999 ------------------------------------------------- In this year's edition of the Champions League, Inter faced the Lithuanian Champions Skonto Riga in the preliminary round in August 1998; winning 4-0 at home and 3-1 in Lithuania. The team was then drawn in Group C and had to play Spanish Champions Real Madrid, the Russian team Spartak Moscow and the Austrians, Sturm Graz. The results of the group and the final standings were: GROUP C Results: Real Madrid 2:0 Inter Inter 1:0 Sturm Graz Inter 2:1 Spartak Moscow Spartak Moscow 1:1 Inter Inter 3:1 Real Madrid Sturm Graz 0:2 Inter GROUP C Final Standings: Inter - 13 pt Real Madrid - 12 pt Spartak Moscow - 8 pt Sturm Graz - 1 pt
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
Subject: FERGUSON'S CLASS ACT MUST LEARN EURO LESSONS by Ian Hawkey ALEX FERGUSON had heard tile distant thunder from over the Alps, and it sounded familiar. Internazionale in crisis? Their star striker stricken? Italian trepidation? "We've seen all these things before," noted the Manchester United manager. "Their fear of Brit-ish crowds, the wind and the rain. It's a script." His preamble, by contrast, would be conducted pianissimo, any verbal crescendos saved for Wednesday night. United's team talk, then, will steer clear of the personal history between Diego Simeone, Inter's streetwise Argentinian midfielder, and David Beckham; it will not fret over whether or not Ronaldo has travelled to Old Trafford; but it may include a short hist-ory lesson on modern Italian ways. In his photofit of Miracea Lucescu's team Fer-guson has noticed, between the black and blue stripes, a touch of sepia. There was something 1980s about them, he sug-gested: "I think they're a typi-cal throwback Italian side, with their sweeper and the man-markers." It's possible the feeling is mutual. United's 22 goals in the Champions League so far this season can look like a throwback to a more carefree age. If United's has been an exhilarating ride thus far, the momentum now needs its checks and balances. They have been loose at the back in Europe. "We have a good con-fidence about ourselves," said Ferguson. "But there is a point you come to where it's the end of the road." In other words, the knockout stage brings different requirements and Italian opponents demand certain standards of respect. United's concern is that the er-rors which have punctuated their last two years in this competition be eliminated. The manager is all too familiar with the facts: early goals con-ceded against Monaco in last' year's quarter-final, and against Borussia Dortmund in the 1996-97 semi-final, have effectively put United out at the two previous attempts. Add the first-minute head-start which they granted the last Italian visitors to Old Trafford, Juventus, and he knows it is a habit Inter will have spotted. Experience would be the key, added Ferguson. "You hope the players have learned all the little lessons of Europe, about losing silly goals, about losing them at bad times. It happened to us at Barcelona this year; when Barca scored with their first kick of the ball. It's possibly to do with apprehension as they go into these big nights, and concentration levels. You hope that all these little bits of experience come to fruition on a night like Wednesday. There's no question about it, in terms of ability, they've got an outstanding chance." It is a better chance than at this time last year, maintained Ferguson, first because of the additions to his squad - Stam, Dwight Yorke and Jesper Blomqvist - and second, because, barring any damage inflicted by Southampton yesterday, the manager would be choosing his XI from full re-sources. Injury and suspension kept Roy Keane out of the Dortmund and Monaco games in the last two years and other key individuals (Peter Schmeichel, Gary Pallister) were also missed at knockout stages in the past. Ferguson, extending his trip down mem-ory lane, reckoned "we'd have beaten Monaco last season with a half-decent squad". The comparisons between then and now encouraged him. "This is the best shape I've been in," he said. "For the first time at this stage of the competition, I've got no suspensions. With everyone fit, I'm picking the team I want to pick. All the big guns will be there." Chief among them Ryan Giggs, now recovered from in-jury. "Ryan's a big-game player, who enjoys these' occa-sions," enthused Ferguson, and one whose reputation among the Italians stands as high as any at Old Trafford. Juventus, who played Inter in Serie A yesterday, would be the first to say so. Ferguson's brother, Martin, was at the San Siro last night, part of a scouting operation which has placed United representatives at every Inter match since December's quar-ter-final draw, a period in which the scudetto has appar-ently moved beyond their reach. "That doesn't matter to us," said the manager, con-fident he has covered all his bases. "You see the character of the side whether they're winning or losing. Inter are the type of Italian side who could play badly and still beat you." They should be respected, certainly, for their resources in support of the attack, namely Roberto Baggio and Youri Djorkaeff, but they need not be flattered. "You respect anybody who'd played for France in the World Cup and Baggio has got a reputation which he's earned," said Fer-guson. "You don't dismiss that. None the less we, hopefully, will express the ability our players have. I don't think we'll win without a very good team performance. "Not losing a goal is vitally important for us. They will try and frustrate us and catch us on the counter-attack. This In-ter team play entirely dif-ferently from Juventus and from Fabio Capello's great Milan sides who were domi-nant for the last five or six years. They are a throwback to that Italian mentality where the result matters, nothing else." So much for the grand patterns of history; Ferguson would also recall that he was there when the modern Internazionale team put the single piece in their jigsaw from which all else was supposed to follow. It was when United last met Inter, a pre-season friendly settled on penalties some 20 months ago, when a debutant called Ronaldo became the most expensive professional to kick a football. Ronaldo, and his club, are still counting the cost.
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
Subject: Cockney kid has grown up - Guardian By Jim White Tuesday March 2, 1999 It will be a rather different David Beckham who faces Diego Simeone tomorrow night from that first time they came across each other in St Etienne last June. Since that abrasive encounter, Beckham - back then the epitome of cocksure self-certainty - has become a wiser, older, humbled individual. And, on the evidence of his performances this season, he is also a significantly better footballer. In sport a surfeit of pride seems invariably to be followed by a nasty, public and humiliating fall. Take Will Carling, once the man who had everything but now, thanks to his own behaviour, a pariah unable to raise a quorum of admirers in a phone box. Or there is Roberto Baggio, another of tomorrow night's contenders, who took almost four years to re-emerge from the tunnel of a World Cup final penalty miss at a time when he was styling himself the most significant player on the planet. Or there is Ronaldo, who may or may not also be out there on the Old Trafford mud and sand, another man who suffered in a World Cup final, seeing the moment he imagined would be a culmination of all his promise implode into a psychological nightmare. Beckham's hubristic tumble, though, was all the more miserable because it was so avoidable, so unnecessary, so pathetic. He had gone to France thinking it was to be his platform. At first, thanks to the eccentric selection policy of the then England coach, he had not played. But when he emerged from the fog of Hoddle thinking and scored a wonder free-kick against Colombia, it seemed his chance had come. Certainly the look on his face as he lined up before the game against Argentina suggested he thought so. He had a odd, distant look in his eyes and wore a smile which was interpreted by many observers as smug, self-satisfied, beaming out the message: "Here I am, on the stage I ought to be, now watch." And in the first half he lived up to the billing of that look, offering an intelligence in his play rarely seen in English midfielders, spraying passes, setting Michael Owen flying time and again. It seemed this really was his stage. Argentina are traditionally nothing if not canny, however, and the message clearly went out at half-time to get Beckham: stop him and you stop England. Though when Diego Simeone wrapped his studs round the 23-year-old's ankles within minutes of the restart, he cannot have imagined how effectively he had carried through the instruction. It was a tactic well worth trying. Beckham had been increasingly easily riled throughout that preceding season. When he was fouled he would often appear to lose all control, chasing after his assailant, barely able to see through a blanket of red mist; though he was never sent off, unnecessary bookings had come from his inability to leave it to the referee to dispense justice. And he had reacted to taunts from the crowd about his relationship with Posh Spice; at Stamford Bridge in particular he had looked like a small boy in the playground, teased beyond distraction. As his eyes filled, so the taunts increased. Perversely, the ludicrous severity of the reaction to his World Cup sending-off was to act in Beckham's favour. Dismissed for little more than childishness, he was cast as the biggest criminal in Britain, the Man Who Lost Us The World Cup. Here was a handy scapegoat for those who had overinflated England's chances to gloss over the fact that the team were not equipped to win the thing anyway; an excuse, to his lasting shame, all too willingly taken up by the England coach. Now wherever Beckham went, we were told by the tabloids, he would be taunted. Perhaps it would be better, some suggested, for him to leave the country altogether and ply his trade elsewhere. Two things, however, resulted from this intemperance which worked to his advantage. First, here was an early, serious warning that he had to remove the petulance from his game or forget ever realising his potential. There was a precedent at Old Trafford to help him: Eric Cantona. If the Frenchman, prone to fits of significant violence, could change, then so could an Englishman whose most extreme reaction was a girlie kick at an opponent. And change he has: this season there has been little evidence of his game being undermined by spite. But second, the exaggerated hostility of opposing fans made the United followers embrace him and give him the voluble support an emotionally fragile young man needed. Until the World Cup they had always suspected him - what with his cars and his bird and his Brylcreem - of being that dire figure of northern demonography, the flash Cockney. If everyone else hated him, though, United fans had to love him. And at United's matches this season we have been treated to an old-fashioned pantomime every time he takes a corner, with the opposition fans booing the villain and the Manchester supporters cheering the hero to a man, woman and merchandise-bedecked child. The cheers have drowned out the booing as his performances have become ever more mature and influential. He appears also to be less embroiled in commercial exploitation, and the benefits of concentrating on football are being realised. Not only is the range of his passing as good as ever, its speed and accuracy releasing time and again the fastest-breaking forward line in the country, but he has shown a commitment to the Mancunian cause unexpected in a boy from Leytonstone. In the recent summit meeting with Arsenal he tore round the pitch, closing down and harrying with the lung-bursting commitment of a trialist at Wimbledon. And there are signs he is learning at last to block out the taunts. At Nottingham Forest last month, before the home crowd had been silenced by a barrage of goals largely created by his invention, the Trent End had sung long and hard about the sexual proclivities of his girlfriend. When the United fans responded with cheers he raised a thumb and nodded in acknowledgment: under-stated, calm, controlled. Second chances rarely come up so soon in football. Eight months on, the opportunity for David Beckham to show if he is the real thing has arrived once more. And Diego Simeone will be the first to discover if he has the wherewithal to take it.
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
Subject: GIGGS - UNITED CAN BE EURO CHAMPS By Paul Walker, PA Sport Beckham can come back with a bang Ryan Giggs admits Manchester United's trophy-laden stars are "driven on" by the dream of conquering Europe. And Giggs reckons United have now got the necessary strength-in-depth to deliver the European Cup that Alex Ferguson craves so badly. United tackle Inter Milan in the first leg of their Champions' League quarter final tie at Old Trafford on Wednesday with Giggs in confident mood. Ferguson splashed out £27.5million in the summer on Jesper Blomqvist, Jaap Stam and Dwight Yorke to strengthen his squad for another tilt at European glory. Giggs believes the money was well spent and that United now have what it takes to become European champions. "The boss has spent a lot of money but in all three of the new lads he has bought quality," said Giggs. "It's added to the strength of the whole squad, which we need when we are going for something like the European Cup. "We are as well equipped as we can be to win it now. Last year when we had injuries we struggled, but not this time. "There's a hunger at Manchester United and the European Cup is the competition that drives us on. "It's a long time since the club won it last, so there is pressure. Just like when we hadn't won the league for so many years. "But we won the league and we know that if we can beat Inter we've got a great chance in Europe this season." The arrival of Swedish winger Blomqvist reminded Giggs that no-one at Old Trafford is indispensable. Last season, when Giggs tore a hamstring and missed nearly two months of the season, there was nobody to replace him. His absence was blamed not only for Manchester United losing the title but for their failure to conquer Europe. Weaknesses elsewhere were exposed, in defence and up front. Not weaknesses that would unduly bother most teams, but they bothered Ferguson. So he went out and bought Blomqvist, Stam and Yorke because he knew his squad wouldn't be capable of winning the European Cup without them. And the best British winger of his generation finally knew that when he wasn't there, somebody else would be. Giggs heard his boss say it would never be allowed to happen again, and he knew he'd be true to his word. Now, as Giggs prepares to face Inter Milan on Wednesday's Champions' League quarter final first leg clash at Old Trafford, he knows Blomqvist is waiting in the wings if injury strikes. "The manager said last season that what happened when we had injuries and then struggled would never be allowed to happen again," said Giggs. "He went out in the summer and bought a left winger in Jesper Blomqvist. He also added strength to the defence with Jaap Stam, and then bought a brilliant new striker in Dwight Yorke. "It showed all of us that nobody's position is safe - it doesn't matter who you are. "I was out of the side when they scored eight at Nottingham Forest recently and you are left wondering how you will get back into that team because the strength is depth has been improved." Giggs should have known what was going to happen. He's been in Ferguson's side for more than a decade, and he knows that nothing stands in the Scot's way. He added: "The strength of the squad is frightening. The ones who are not in the team wait for someone to be injured or suspended and then jump at the chance to play. The competition is fiercer now than it's ever been. "Certainly one of the plusses too is the adaptability of the players. David Beckham can play wide or in the middle of midfield, Paul Scholes can play up front, and I have been played up front and in midfield. "When I came to United I had only ever played left wing but they've pushed me into several different positions and it has benefited my game, and of course that gives the manager more options." Talking of options, the arrival of Stam and Yorke have certainly achieved that for Fergie. Giggs added: "Jaap has been our best player all season, and that's saying something with Yorkie and Andy Cole who are outstanding and scoring goals from everywhere. "He (Stam) was always going to get a bit of stick early on because of the price tag, but he's awesome. "He's so strong and quick and he's clever about it. No matter who he's playing against he seems to be able to handle them. "Everyone is also happy at the way Dwight has played. I don't think anyone believed he could be as good as this. We knew he was good because we've all played against him before, but his form has been outstanding. "He's strong and quick and a real handful for any defender. You have to give credit to the manager for making the right decisions.
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
Subject: I've still got a huge job to do here, says Schmeichel By Ken Lawrence Tuesday, March 2nd, 1999 Peter Schmeichel has put the rest of his life on hold in a supreme effort to book his place in history with Manchester United by winning the Champions League. For someone supposedly heading towards partial retirement, the Denmark goalkeeper is currently doing a very good imitation of a workaholic as he prepares for a last chance to become one of Old Trafford's true immortals within a shattering domestic and international schedule. Preparing yesterday for tomorrow's Champions League quarter-final, first leg at home to Inter Milan, Schmeichel said: 'All I'm concentrating on is doing my job for my club and my country. Nothing else. 'I will not let it be said that I'm using any of my time to work on finding a new club or even thinking right now about what will happen when I leave United.' The suggestion across the Continent is that such is the strength, depth and sophistication of Alex Ferguson's squad that it is not so much a question of if United will emulate Sir Matt Busby's 1968 European Cup-winners, merely when. Schmeichel's problem is that he has already announced this will be his last season at Old Trafford because he insists his status as one of the world's greatest goalkeepers would quickly decline if he continued playing the number of games that have been demanded of him for almost eight years. He also denies suggestions that his manager Ferguson has asked him to remain for one more year while United continue their search for a successor. Schmeichel added: 'For the next five or six weeks there can be nothing for me but work. 'We've just entered a crucial month with massive games coming up against Inter and in the Premiership and the FA Cup. Then there is Denmark's international with Italy, which is vital to our Euro 2000 qualifying chances.' So time is fast running out on the 35-year-old's long-held fantasy of helping his colleagues to the pinnacle of European club football. After months of disturbingly erratic form, most noticeable during the group stage of the Champions League, he is also walking a tightrope. Now, unlike during those early games, there are unlikely to be any opportunities to make up for errors. Schmeichel knows there can be no more mistakes of the kind that blighted performances against Bayern Munich and Barcelona. Thankfully for himself and United, Schmeichel has pulled his form together not only in time for Inter but for a frantic month which involves an FA Cup collision with Chelsea, a visit to Liverpool and trips to the San Siro and Newcastle United. On March 27, he expects to win his 109th cap when Denmark play the Italians in the European Championship, surely a more formidable task than that posed by the pallid Serie A opposition which Inter Milan represent right now. What he will not be busy on, however, is securing a new contract with a club outside England. Though his adviser, Ole Frederiksen, continues to sift through inquiries, with Monaco favourites to sign him in the summer, Schmeichel has closed his mind to anything other than his playing duties. He said: 'I'm not concerned right now with what will happen in the future because I have too much on my mind.' Schmeichel believes he has now returned to prime form physically and mentally, having undergone the hiatus which suggested he might have been too late in deciding to quit while he was ahead. Two months ago, when Schmeichel looked like he could be cracking under the strain of his momentous decision to move on, he was packed off by his manager for a family holiday in Barbados. Now he looks forward to an everlasting place in the sun, declaring: 'The holiday that Alex Ferguson allowed me to take was like a miracle for me. 'I feel so rejuventated and I'm looking forward to the matches coming up while the atmosphere within the squad is very much up. Everyone is feeling fresh and everybody is going forward.' Meanwhile, Inter Milan midfielder Aaron Winter, who will be marking David Beckham at Old Trafford tomorrow, has labelled United 'predictable'. The Holland World Cup player said: 'We know the English, they get into a line and kick the ball forward. They seem predictable to me.' Winter, however, conceded the match will still be difficult: 'We'll have to show the right fighting spirit but that's something Inter have always done in the Cup. 'I'm not saying it's going to be easy. On the contrary, we are really going to have to suffer. But it's going to be an historic match at Old Trafford and it's bound to get everyone very motivated.' His team-mate Fabio Galante added: 'There are two Inters and the one in the Cup is the best.'
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
Subject: MANCHESTER UNITED v INTER "interview" - AUDIO from Sporting Life Italian football expert Giancarlo Galavotti has been talking to Sporting Life about Manchester United's mouthwatering Champions' League quarter-final against Inter Milan. The first leg takes place at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, with the return at the San Siro a fortnight later. Galavotti, English-based correspondent of respected daily Gazzetta dello Sport, has given us the lowdown on the Serie A giants. He spoke about Ronaldo's battle for fitness, Inter's current problems and their chances of victory. Giancarlo also told us what the Italians think of Alex Ferguson, David Beckham and the rest of United's glory seekers. To listen to the interview, Click here: http://www.sporting-life.com/soccer/audio/giancarlo.ram
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
Celebration of a new goal [click pic to search site]
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