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The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun Feb 07 10:00:51 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. BBC Report + Real Audio
2. United goal crazy at Forest «« 
4. Forest - United TV report by Terry
5. Eight Goal hauls - A History
6. Audio Match Commentary -- the Destruction of Forest
7. Jaap Stam  - Independent
8. Ferguson has no axe to grind with Keegan


Daily RED Trivia  Sunday 7th February 1999:

7/2/1934: Jimmy Whitehouse died. A clean-handling Goalkeeper, Whitehouse was signed
 from Grimsby Town and made his debut at Burnley in September 1900. He made 64
 appearances between 1900-03, having won the League and Cup double with Aston Villa
 in 1897. Whitehouse joined Manchester City in February 1903.

1970: On his comeback from suspension George Best scored 6 times as United win
 8-2 at Northampton Town in the FA Cup 5th Round. Brian Kidd scored the other
 two watched by a crowd of 21,771. Team was: Stepney, Edwards, Dunne, Crerand,
 Ure, Sadler, Morgan, Sartori, Charlton (Burns), Kidd, Best.

Barry Daily Comment:
Record away result yesterday 8-1!
+ sound here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/nota/
     65108 Feb  6 09:47 bbc81.mp3           Results read out
    273628 Feb  6 09:45 keaneinterview.mp3  Keane before the game at Forest
    230100 Feb  6 09:46 notaalex.mp3        Alex Reaction on Radio 5
    170324 Feb  6 09:46 notabbc.mp3         Radio 5 match report!

4 goals in 11 mins HAS ANYONE done that before????????
Please write to us if you know that.

Previous News:
 Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

Next games: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:

14 Fulham         (H)  14.00  FAC 5th round 
17 Arsenal        (H)  20.00 
20 Coventry       (A)  15.00
27 Southampton    (H)  15.00

UNITED Stats v All teams:

*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 06/02/99 ***

Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    25  9  3  1  32  13   5  5  2  27  14   32   50
 2  Chelsea              24  8  4  0  18   6   4  6  2  17  13   16   46
 3  Arsenal              24  7  5  0  16   4   5  4  3  12   7   17   45
 4  Aston Villa          24  8  2  2  23  15   4  5  3  13  10   11   43
 5  Liverpool            24  7  3  2  31  14   4  2  6  16  15   18   38
 6  Leeds United         24  7  3  2  20   6   2  6  4  16  18   12   36
 7  Wimbledon            23  7  4  1  18  11   2  4  5  11  22   -4   35
 8  Derby County         24  4  5  2  11   9   4  5  4  12  12    2   34
 9  West Ham United      24  6  3  3  16  18   3  3  6   9  17  -10   33
10  Middlesbrough        24  4  7  1  16  10   3  4  5  17  21    2   32
11  Tottenham Hotspur    24  5  5  2  19  16   2  5  5  10  15   -2   31
12  Newcastle United     24  6  2  4  16  15   2  5  5  13  17   -3   31
13  Leicester City       24  5  3  4  17  18   2  6  4   8  11   -4   30
14  Sheffield Wednesday  24  5  3  4  13   7   3  2  7  14  16    4   29
15  Blackburn Rovers     24  5  3  4  14  12   1  4  7  11  19   -6   25
16  Coventry City        24  5  4  3  17  13   1  2  9   6  19   -9   24
17  Everton              23  2  7  3   3   6   3  2  6  10  19  -12   24
18  Southampton          24  4  2  6  18  21   1  3  8   5  26  -24   20
19  Charlton Athletic    23  2  4  5  15  13   1  4  7  11  24  -11   17
20  Nottingham Forest    24  1  6  5  10  21   2  1  9  10  28  -29   16


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

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


 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


Ole scores the first of four! [Click for sound]

Subject: BBC Report + Real Audio Saturday, February 6, 1999 Published at 21:16 GMT United romp to record win Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scores the first of his four goals Nott'm Forest 1-8 Manchester United Norwegian international Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four goals in the last 11 minutes as United emphasised the gulf in class between top and bottom. Ian Brown reports (BBC Radio 5 Live) http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/270000/audio/_273755_brown.ram The visitors were already cruising to victory with two goals apiece from smash and grab partners Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke when Solskjaer was sent on as a substitute. His first was a simple tap-in and three more goals followed as Forest's defence fell apart. Veteran 'keeper Dave Beasant made a series of good saves in the first half, but he was powerless as United registered the biggest away win since the Premiership's inception. "I thought the finishing was magnificent. Solskjaer was amazing," said United manager Alex Ferguson. "In the second half you couldn't say there was a weakness in any of the forwards and to have 92 goals by February is pleasing." New face on United bench Ferguson had new assistant boss Steve McClaren alongside him for the first time and they witnessed an astonishing start with three goals in the first seven minutes. Yorke: A prolific scorer since joining United The first was simplicity itself as Dwight Yorke tucked a side-foot volley through Beasant's legs after only 90 seconds for his 20th of the season following a cross by Paul Scholes. Forest produced the perfect riposte with a sixth minute equaliser from Alan Rogers, who found the corner with a low shot after linking with Jean-Claude Darcheville. But their celebrations were cut short as Andy Cole beat Beasant and Armstrong to a long ball and put United back in front from a narrow angle. Pierre van Hooijdonk had an effort well saved by United 'keeper Peter Schmeichel but the home side's defence continued to look anything but secure. A relieved Beasant grabbed the ball after Cole's shot on the turn was blocked on the line and the striker was only inches wide with another chance after an excellent ball from Beckham. The game continued to flow towards the Forest goal but Beasant kept them in the game again with a well-timed dive on the edge of the box as Cole ran clear of his marker. Paul Alcock, the referee pushed over by Paolo di Canio last September, was in charge of his first league game for three months and handed out his first yellow card to Roy Keane after the United midfielder handled deliberately. Mistakes cost Forest The visitors finished the first half on the attack with Cole again denied by Beasant and went close soon after the re-start as Scholes struck the outside of the post with a 20-yard drive. Forest manager Ron Atkinson: "We have to bounce back" But defensive errors cost Forest dear in the 49th minute as Cole scored the goal which put the game out of reach. http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/270000/audio/_273970_bigron.ram Jan Olav Hjelde and Carlton Palmer botched a clearance by going for the same ball, enabling Dwight Yorke to fire in a shot which Beasant failed to hold and Cole calmly converted the rebound. Dougie Freedman squandered a chance to reduce the deficit and Andy Johnson clipped the United bar from outside the box. But Forest fell further behind in the 66th minute when Hjelde diverted Jesper Blomqvist's cut-back against his own post and the unmarked Yorke slotted the rebound into an empty net for his 21st of the season. The rout is complete It was then a question of whether he or Cole could complete a hat-trick, but Yorke was denied his chance when United opted to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a run-out. The Norwegian international made an instant impact by making it five after Gary Neville's 80th minute break into the penalty area. David Beckham's chip sent Solskjaer clear eight minutes later and although Beasant got a hand to his attempted chip, the striker kept his head and took the loose ball around the 'keeper before hammering it into the net. There was no sign of a marker as Solskjaer completed a hat-trick and his fourth followed in similar fashion in injury time. Nott'm Forest: Beasant, Harkes, Rogers, Armstrong, Palmer, Hjelde, Gemmill, Johnson, Stone, Van Hooijdonk, Darcheville. Subs: Crossley, Bart-Williams, Mattsson, Freedman, Porfirio. Man Utd: Schmeichel, G. Neville, Johnsen, Stam, P. Neville, Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Blomqvist, Cole, Yorke. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Butt, May, Curtis, Solskjaer. Referee: P Alcock (Halstead)
Ole scores the first of four! [Click for sound]

Subject: United goal crazy at Forest «« Manchester United scored a Premiership record 8-1 away win at Nottingham Forest, with sub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scoring four in the last 10 minutes. The Norwegian had only been on the City Ground pitch for a minute when he got his first goal to make it 5-1. Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke had both scored twice, and Yorke was unhappy at being substituted and denied his hat-trick. Solskjaer quickly made the point about wanting to play from the start, and went on to score twice in the last minute and round off an emphatic win. Forest, whose new manager Ron Atkinson later laughed that his side had produced "a nine-goal thriller", had only been 2-1 down at half-time with Alan Rogers scoring his first goal for the club. They remain rooted to the bottom of the Premiership table while United maintained their four-point lead at the top over Chelsea. Gianluca Vialli's side beat struggling Southampton 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, thanks to a first-half free-kick from Gianfranco Zola. Aston Villa's slide from the Premiership summit continued as they lost 3-1 at home to Blackburn. England star Gareth Southgate's own goal on 33 minutes started the rot then Roves netted twice in three minutes through Ashley Ward and David Dunn. Villa replied through Julian Joachim and put up a decent fight near the finish but the defeat sees them slip to fourth. Arsenal are back in the top three after a superb 4-0 win at West Ham where four different Gunners scored. Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars netted before half-time, Nicolas Anelka and Ray Parlour adding more in the last eight minutes. It was Arsenal's eighth win in the last nine games and sixth consecutive Premiership clean sheet. Liverpool had Middlesbrough beaten by the interval at Anfield, with Michael Owen, Vegard Heggem and Paul Ince scoring in the first-half - Ince was celebrating his 500th professional game. Boro pulled one back late-on through Phil Stamp in a game which saw Liverpool defender Dominic Matteo sent off for a professional foul. Sheffield Wednesday scored twice after the break to beat Leicester 2-0 at Filbert Street. Dutchman Wim Jonk got only his second goal for the Owls before Benito Carbone wrapped up the points. Newcastle, beaten 3-0 by Leeds earlier this season at St. James' Park, gained a measure of revenge when Nol Solano scored the only goal at Elland Road to give them the points. Spurs dominated Coventry but failed to break through in a goalless draw at White Hart Lane.
Ole scores the first of four! [Click for sound]

Subject: SOLSKJAER LEADS GOALDEN AVALANCHE Alex Ferguson was left to marvel at his lethal strike-force after Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had fired Manchester United to an 8-1 win at Nottingham Forest. Cole and Yorke both scored twice before substitute Solskjaer helped himself to four goals in the final 10 minutes. The victory was the biggest by an away team since the Premiership was formed and United manager Ferguson heaped praise on his strikers. "I thought the finishing was magnificent. Solskjaer was amazing. He's a finisher, there's no question about that," said Ferguson. "In the second half you couldn't say there was a weakness in any of the forwards and to have 92 goals by February is pleasing." Solskjaer, who scored the memorable winner against Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup a fortnight ago, replaced Cole against Derby on Wednesday. But Cole was back today and Ferguson said: "Ole understands the performances of those two (Cole and Yorke) has been sensational since they started to team up together. "We just hope we can give him plenty of football. His contribution so far has been terrific. "It's more than goals - obviously he wants goals - but he wants more minutes. "Ole's an intelligent lad and I think there's a realisation that he's up against two fantastic, in-form strikers, but he's a terrific sub." -------------------------------------- Four-goal Solskjaer may remain a super-sub By Mitch Phillips LONDON, Feb 6 - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a roller-coaster career at Manchester United and his incredible afternoon at Nottingham Forest on Saturday encapsulated the highs and the lows. After finally earning a place in the starting line-up in midweek against Derby County, the Norwegian must have been disappointed to find himself back on the bench. He then came on as a 79th minute replacement for Dwight Yorke and managed to score four goals in the 12 minutes he was on the pitch. His goals helped United to an 8-1 thrashing of the league's bottom club, but still won't be enough to earn him a regular place in Alex Ferguson's first-choice team. It was all very different when he arrived from Norwegian side Molde for a bargain 1.5 million pounds ($2.46 million) in the summer of 1996. United, forever short of an out-and out striker, were delighted with his first season contribution of 18 goals in 33 games and the media dubbed him the "Babyfaced Assassin". His partnership with Eric Cantona was a major factor in their title-winning campaign and his place seemed assured. The following season though was a disappointment, as injuries restricted his appearances and he found himself relegated to fourth-choice striker behind Andy Cole, Paul Scholes and Teddy Sheringham. When Ferguson further boosted his firepower by bringing in Yorke in the summer, Solskjaer's days seemed numbered. After a successful World Cup with Norway, the prospect of returning to United's reserves was obviously not very palatable and a move looked likely. Last August, he was on the verge of a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur, after the clubs agreed a 5.5 million pounds ($9.02 million) fee, but then Solskjaer rejected the move. "The boy doesn't want to go and I am happy with that. I don't want him to leave either," said Ferguson at the time. "All my strikers have got different qualities, that puts Ole very well in the picture." Solskjaer said he was happy to stay and fight for his place but he could not have imagined that he would end up trying to break-up the most devastating partnership to emerge in the English game for many seasons. Yorke and Cole established an immediate relationship that meant the Norwegian was destined for a season on the bench, with occasional starts in cup matches. It was a system that worked reasonably well for United, even if it left Solskjaer frustrated and worried that it would hamper his international prospects. This year, however, he has fully-earned the "super-sub" tag with a month of extraordinary contributions. It started on January 10 when he scored two minutes after coming on to seal a 4-1 victory over West Ham. Two weeks later he was the toast of Old Trafford when his last-minute winner -- nine minutes after entering the fray -- clinched a memorable 2-1 F.A. Cup triumph over deadly rivals Liverpool. Ferguson drooled over his cool finishing and said after the match: "I'll have to give him some more football." But a week later against Charlton Athletic he was back in his familiar role and this time he did not find the net in his 19 minutes on the pitch during the 1-0 win. It did earn him a full 90 minutes against Derby in midweek, but another goalless performance had him back on the bench against Forest. He could hardly have complained after Yorke and Cole contributed two goals each as United were cruising 4-1 with 12 minutes remaining. Ferguson then took Yorke off, much to the Trinidian's disappointment. Enter Solskjaer. Gary Neville presented him with a tap-in two minutes after coming on, he beat goalkeeper Dave Beasant to fire in his second seven minutes later and scored again from close range in the 90th minute. Solskjaer looked almost embarrassed such were the ease of the goals, but he was not finished, completing the 8-1 thrashing with another simple side-footer after the ball had pinged off a defender, via a post, to his feet. "I put him on to get a bit of a work out," said Ferguson. "I really don't know what to say. It was unbelievable finishing, "The boy's been patient and deserves his chance. We've got a cup match next week (the F.A. Cup fifth round against Fulham). Maybe I'll give him a run." But, ominously for Solskjaer, Ferguson added: "It was a marvellous performance and I thought the two strikers looked a real threat."
Ole scores the first of four! [Click for sound]

From: Terry Dale Subject: Forest - United TV report by Terry What better way can there be to remember that tragic day in 1958 than with a breathtaking display of scintillating football that the Busby Babes would have been proud of. All the ingredients were there for an action-packed 90 minutes. The Brothers were back together again with the promise of goals. But Ole was once more stuck on the bench. Poor guy. How can Fergie expect him to score when he only plays him for 15 minutes every game?? Scholesie was also starting at the expense of Butt, and this promised some creativity in mudfield (er, pun intended as the ground looked pretty heavy by the end). Scholes didn't disappoint either as he was probably the best player on the pitch in that first half. For Forest we had Van Slamdunk, a nasty piece of work with a touch of collymore-itis, alongside a number of players making their home debut, one of them John Harkes, who looked absolutely frightened to death. In the stands we had Big Ron rattling his chains and threatening to do to us what his Wednesday side had done. By now he's probably used his chains and bracelets to hang himself. And to make sure there would be plenty of laughs, the ref was the frail but still acrobatic Mr Alcock who hopefully would provide some of the afternoon's entertainment with a few more somersaults and back flips, perhaps even a handstand or two on the crossbar. We certainly didn't have long to wait for the fun to start. My thumb had just pressed the record button when Yorkie got on the end of a delightful Scholes chip and buried the ball in the net. A great start. Now don't get overconfident, lads, stay concentrated at the back, keep it tight ... ooops! ... there's the equaliser after a neat one-two had foxed Gazza Neville. Absolutely typical, sloppy at the back, throwing it away as usual, what a loada ... yes! 2-1 for the Reds .. just seconds after the Forest equaliser. 2-1 already and the game had only just started. Had I had a blackout and missed the first half? Apparently not but I couldn't take much more of this and we'd only been playing 7 minutes. But within 2 more minutes, Forest almost equalised again as they tore us apart leaving Van Hooijdonk all alone in front of goal. Had Phizza Neville left the pitch and gone home? Where the hell was he? Meanwhile up at the other end, excellent chances were piling up and they were all being missed. Andy especially could have had a hat trick but Dwight also had chances. Our passing game was going well, some of it quite brilliant, but passes did also go astray as some players insisted on playing the difficult but flashier pass when something simpler might have been more effective. Not that I'm complaining. No, not all. It stayed 2-1 till half time but nobody would have been surprised if the score had been 5-2 for United. Scholes was excellent, as was Jaap, who had the vicious thug Van H under control. The two Nevilles make me nervous sometimes, especially Phil, but we were fortunate that Forest were too pathetic to take advantage of the very rare moment of confusion at the back. Jesper was not really in the game much in the first half, but that was to change as the second half started. The fans were in pretty good voice too ('You've only come to see United' and'Oo-ah Cantona' came across loud and clear) but I heard that there was also some crowd trouble. What was all that about? It would be impossible to describe the second half without writing a book. It's enough to say that we produced some of the finest attacking football of the season, and there have been plenty of highlights so far. It was funny to watch Dwight and Andy competing to see who would get the hat trick first ... then have Ole stroll onto the pitch and hit 4 in the twinkle of eye. Can someone please update Ole's goals-per-minute ratio. It must be phenomenal. One of the cutest moments of the half was after Andy scored our third. Dwight and Andy had their arms around each other's shoulders, one of them holding the ball, and they seemed to be posing for the cameras. I guess that would have been the main photo in tomorrow's sports pages if Ole hadn't decided to relieve his boredom by knocking in a double brace. Surely Fergie will continue to keep Ole in reserve like this, unleashing him in the last quarter of a game? Full marks to Bloomers for putting in a fine display on the wing in the second half. Again, he looks to be a confidence player and, once our third had gone in, you could see him grow in confidence as he took on, and repeatedly beat, the poor sods he was up against. And ten out of ten for Becks too. The boo-boo boys were out in force at the start of the game but it seemed to me that, by the end, they had been shamed into silence by a brilliant display. If only their entire team had one quarter the skill that Becks possesses ... Finally, mention has to be made of Schmikes, who saved us on at least three occasions. The guy's irreplaceable. So we maintain our four-point lead, five points really when you take into consideration our superior goal difference. This fantastic run of victories won't last. It can't last. But it sure is wonderful to live through it. _____________ Terry Saudi
Ole scores the first of four! [Click for sound]

Subject: Eight Goal hauls - A History Although we have hit seven goals on 18 occasions, eight is a real rarity. 1911, Charity Shield against Swindon Town (played at Stamford Bridge) - Won 8-4 Goals from Harold Halse 6, George Wall and Sandy Turnbull, who was later to be killed in WW1. Only 8,000 saw this game played in late September between the champions of the Football League and the Southern League Champions. The FA Cup winners did not contest the game at this time. 1949 FA 5 Yeovil Town (Home) Won 8-0 Goals from Jack Rowley 5, Ronnie Burke 2 and the Bogota Bandit Charlie Mitten Played at Maine Road - Yeovil were giant killers even in those days having beaten Sunderland in the previous round, Len Shackleton and all. 81,565 attendance. Also a February game. Rowley hat-trick before half time as United led 4-0 at the break. 1969 Division 1 QPR (Home) Won 8-1 Goals Willie Morgan 3, Bestie 2, Bobby Charlton, John Aston and Nobby Stiles. The United attack had been shut out for the four games prior to a 3-2 loss at Stamford bridge just 4 days before. On this day they really let lose. 1970 FA 5 Northampton Town (Away) Won 8-2 Goals Best 6 (returning after a suspension) and some guy called Kidd got 2. 1998 Cantona All Stars (Home) Won 8-4 ;-)))) 1999 Premier League Nottingham Forest (Away) Won 8-1 Goals Solskjaer 4, Cole 2, Yorke 2 So we had waited almost 30 years for this eight goal haul. This season (in competitive games) we've had an eight, two sixes, a five, three fours and six threes. In 39 games, we've scored three or more goals in a game on 13 occassions - one in three. And in those 13 games, we've scored a total of 55 goals at an average of over four a game. 1999 reads: Played 7 Won 7 Scored 25, Against 6. We have scored an eight, a six, a four, a three, a two and two ones. It compares well to the period last season when we trounced Barnsley, Feyenoord, Wimbledon, Blackburn, Kosice, Liverpool and Sheff Weds But we also had a tough 3-2 loss at Highbury. And we peaked too early then. In Oct - Dec 1997 we went Played 8, Won 7, Lost 1, Scored 33, Against 8. Then we scored a seven, a six, a five, a four, three threes and a two - So if we score another 8 to beat Fulham, we'll equal the goals output and beat the points output. The opposition may have been weak but three away wins on the trot is a first for this season. Manchester United - The Legend - http://manunited.net
Ole scores the first of four! [Click for sound]

From: Richard Arnold Subject: -- Audio Match Commentary -- the Destruction of Forest My first visit to the following website that gave me 13 audio choices on Saturday. http://www.soccerone.com/sections/listenlive_schedule.html You'll need RealPlayer G2 -- which is easy to download and free from the website. Bookmark it. I listened to the Reds 8-1 destruction of Notts Forest. 2 goals from Dwight, 2 from Andy, and 4 goals in 12 minutes from the ASSASSIN --Solks. Absolutely amazing (the Reds were frightening and absolutely superb said the Forest commentator)-- and w/o Giggsy. Great for the Reds, embarassing for Forest. Atkinson called a Forest players meeting for 5:30 pm after the match. I'd like to know what was said. Roll on Ronaldo!!!! Best Wishes to REDS Everywhere. Richard TOF [The Oldest Fart], Connecticut, USA
Ole scores the first of four! [Click for sound]

Subject: Jaap Stam - Independent United's Dutch defender is a late developer. Now, after early doubts, class istelling. By Andrew Longmore The showroom that is the car park of The Cliff, Manchester United's trainingground, now boasts a fourth Ferrari, a blue model owned by Andy Cole. Onlythe manager's Merc and a gleaming dark blue BMW 5-series uphold the moresober virtues of the saloon car drivers. Jaap Stam is not a Ferrari sort of guy.He snorts at the suggestion. A gentle cruise across the countryside would behis idea of burning rubber. True enough, the garage of his new home in the plusher suburbs of the cityhouses a roadster Porsche, but the main interest there was just how Stamwould curl his 6ft 3in frame into the driving seat. He has, he says, just masteredthe technique. But the left-hand drive BMW, a luxurious Dutch import, is amore accurate reflection of the man. For the first time since his much publicised arrival last summer, Stam has feltsettled enough to schedule an interview or two. This one took three weeks toset up, but through no fault of the club, his agent or Stam himself. Even beforehe arrived, absolutely on the dot of the appointed hour, in blue jeans and casualtop, clutching the obligatory mobile phone, the impression was of a serious andconsiderate professional, someone who will not say "yes" one minute and "no"the next. If Stam says he will do something, his commitment is total, as Unitedhave already found to their benefit. He is punctual, courteous, articulate, softly spoken. Stam is from goodtradesman's stock and has inherited the values of Kampen, the small countrytown where his father earns his living as a carpenter and where Jaap wasbrought up, the youngest of four children and the only boy. "Four mothers," helaughs. Was he spoilt? "Some would say that." Pause. "I think it's true." There are no lingering signs of young Jaap's brattish tendencies, just theoverwhelming sense of a man awestruck by the enormity of his good fortune.Though only 50 miles or so east of Amsterdam, Kampen is light years awayfrom Holland's hedonistic capital in temperament and culture. There are 30churches for a congregation of 25,000 in Kampen. Stam says his town'sreputation for being a religious centre is false, that neither he nor his family areparticularly religious, which in this spiritually explosive week is fortunate.Kampen, says Stam, is a place where everyone knows each other, a good, tightcommunity, one he returns to when- ever the demands of United'sthree-pronged attack on the main trophies allows. He has kept his house on the edge of the town, with a garden which backs onto the river so that he can indulge his love of fishing. The only drawback is thepassing pleasureboats. "The home of Jaap Stam, the world's most expensivedefender and Kampen's most famous citizen" has now become one of the mainattractions on the river ride. But a boatload of Instamatics, poised for anytwitch of the curtain, is not quite what the quiet Dutchman had in mind for hisrural retreat. It is against this home background that Stam's early season uncertainty has tobe etched. A boy from small-town Holland arriving at the gates of the OldTrafford pleasuredome, at the time the most costly purchase in the club'sillustrious history. The confusion in Stam's mind was not so muchunderstandable as inevitable. He does not try to dismiss it now. "In the beginning, when they pay a lot of money and you're over in Holland, youtry not to think about it. But everyone is talking about it, everyone is watching you and if you make a little mistake about whether you're worth the money ornot. My agent came to my house and said he'd seen a shopping centre built fora little less than what they'd paid for me: £10m. Of course it's absurd, it's toomuch money for a footballer." His critics said it was too much for Stam - notably through Holland's WorldCup campaign - and the Dutchman felt their every barb. "You start readingabout it and I started thinking about it, which made my game harder. You canonly do bad things in a game. But I talked to Alex and Brian Kidd and they just said, 'We know what you can do, just play your own game as you did inHolland and everything will be OK'. When people at the club have confidencein you that really helps." Other factors made the transition from PSV uncomfortable. Stam was alatecomer to the ranks of professional football. Until he was persuaded by theformer Dutch international Theo de Jong to sign professional for FC Zwolle, thenearest league club to Kampen, Stam was happily enjoying his youth andplaying left-back for Kampen in the amateur leagues. De Jong wanted Stam tocome a year earlier, but Jaap's father said his son had to finish his schooling first. De Jong took Stam on a whistlestop tour through Dutch football: fromZwolle to Cambuur Leeuwarden and on to Willem II; where De Jong went,Stam followed. De Jong, now a freelance technical consultant who runs hisown scouting business, switched Stam from full-back to centre-half at Willem,but he never had any doubts about his protege's ability. "He had so much power in his legs, even then, and he had a fantastic mentalityfor the game," he recalled last week. "He enjoyed playing and he worked veryhard and listened to what coaches told him. I took him with me everywhere Iwent because I knew his quality, but when PSV came in for him I couldn't stophim, he had to take that step further. He was ready." In a mere four seasons,Stam progressed from his local club to PSV where Dick Advocaat wasblending the experience of Wim Jonk and Jan Wouters with the explosive talentof a young Brazilian called Ronaldo. Stam has packed a lifetime into the lastfive of his 26 years. "I was actually quite small when I was young. No one believes me now, but Ihave pictures at home. It wasn't until I was about 16 that I began to grow anddevelop as a player. I always watched professional football and my fatherplayed at an amateur level, but I didn't think I wanted to become a pro. It wasonly later when I went to Zwolle that I began to think about it. For me, a latestart was a good thing. A lot of kids who start too early get bored. I'd done allthe things I wanted to do, I'd enjoyed myself, having fun and playing as anamateur and that was important." Manchester United are just beginning to find out the dimensions of their £10mimport, once labelled "the defender of the future" by Advocaat. If they thoughttheir purchase would be a new Steve Bruce, they were wrong. Stam is farquicker and much more reserved. De Jong used to goad Stam on purpose,giving him the same instruction over and over until he found breaking point. "Hewould just shout, 'Get out of my head' and his next tackle would hurt. But he'snot an angry, shouting sort of guy. Laziness, fooling around, that will make himangry, but on the pitch he will do his job and expect everyone else to do theirs." Stam has copped his share of Schmeichel's earfuls. "Not a problem; it keepsyou awake," he says. The dressing-room tirades of the manager have surprisedhim a little more. "I met Alex at pre-season and everything was relaxed, butwhen the season started if you did something wrong he came in at half-timeand was very angry. He was expressing himself in his way and I was a bitsurprised because he was a different man. I was used to it. Advocaat was a bitthe same, shouting, that's just the way they are. He [Ferguson] is a hard man,but he's straight. If you do something wrong, he'll tell you and that's the way itshould be." After that hesitant start, the fortunes of United and their new centre-half haveimproved in tandem. United are starting to run into some mean form in time forthe contrasting visits of Fulham in the FA Cup next Sunday and Arsenal threedays later. Victories over Charlton and Derby, both 1-0 (Dwight Yorke),brought United rare breathing space at the top of the Premier League lastweek and revived memories of similarly grafted results, courtesy of EricCantona, in United's last championship season. Ronaldo and Internazionale waitaround the corner, an unspoken threat as yet. Stam's last head-to-head with his old team-mate ended in defeat for Hollandafter a penalty shoot-out. The Dutch had videoed the Brazilians taking penaltiesat a training session. On tape, the penalties all went low; in Marseille, each onerocketed into the top corner. Ronaldo's goal was a bigger blow to Stam'smorale. "My first international for Holland was against Brazil and Ronaldo andhaving played with him, I know him well," Stam says. "He is quick with the balland without the ball and has good technical skills, but I like playing against astrong striker, you know what you're up against." If Ronaldo's menace is subdued and United march on to the final, Jaap Stam'stransition will surely be complete. That £10m will seem cheap at the price.
Ole scores the first of four! [Click for sound]

Subject: Ferguson has no axe to grind with Keegan Ferguson has no axe to grind with Keegan By Bob Cass Sunday, February 7, 1999 Alex Ferguson praised the football passion of Kevin Keegan last night and insisted: 'As far as I'm concerned there are no differences between us.' The Manchester United manager, whose team face Keegan's FA Cup giant-killers Fulham in the fifth round at Old Trafford next weekend, revealed the circumstances that led to the former Newcastle manager's outrageous public attack on Ferguson. In a fierce TV outburst, Keegan accused the United boss of attempting to wage a psychological war in the race for the 1995-96 Premiership title after United had managed to claw back the 12-point advantage that Newcastle held at the end of that February. Keegan's reaction followed a 1-0 win at Leeds after Ferguson had spiced the build-up to the game by accusing the Leeds players of letting their then manager, Howard Wilkinson, down by their lack of effort. Twelve days earlier Leeds had lost narrowly 1-0 at Old Trafford, the fourth of six successive defeats. But Ferguson denied he had been trying to psyche the Geordies out of winning the championship. 'Basically, I was disgusted with the way Leeds had been performing for their manager, and don't forget that Howard eventually got the sack through the lack of effort from his team,' he said. 'Leeds climbed a mountain in the match against us but we still managed to beat them and quite rightly I could see them not bothering to raise a gallop against Newcastle, so you had to try to create motivation to get them to focus on the match. 'As it happened, Newcastle had to play well to win but it was never my intention to upset Kevin. Looking back, I never thought Newcastle had an unassailable lead, even when they were 12 points clear. I felt we were improving all the time and they were starting to go off the boil a bit. 'The turning point was when we won 1-0 at Newcastle at the beginning of March. I remember going to watch them in a League game just after that and you could sense the nervousness in the team. 'When that happens and a team has been up there so long and starts to slip, it's hard to get back on track and I think that's what you saw then. It was just unfortunate for Kevin that his team could not get it together again.' The United manager believes the whole incident demonstrated Keegan's football passion and deep feelings for the game. He said: 'When you're as involved with football as we are, there are bound to be arguments from time to time. 'I would count people like George Graham, Howard Wilkinson, Arsene Wenger, Roy Evans and many others to be good friends but I have had arguments with all of them in the past. 'It was the same this time - a storm in a teacup and, for me, it's all in the past. 'No doubt people are going to make a meal of it in the runup to the game, which I don't think is fair on Kevin. He never complained to me personally and we've never discussed it since. 'I admire Kevin immensely. He did a marvellous job at Newcastle and now he is doing another one at Fulham. 'We've met socially on several occasions and it has never been a problem. I certainly don't feel any rancour towards him - things are said and done sometimes then everything is forgotten. 'This is a match between United and Fulham - not Ferguson and Keegan.' The United manager believes that Fulham's shock fourth round win at Aston Villa will help to sharpen the concentration of his own play-ers in Sunday's match. 'Fulham have proved they can rise to the big occasion and this will be another one for them,' he said. 'But their win at Aston Villa has raised the ante a bit. Not only will we treat them with every respect but we will be ready for it as much as they are.'
Ole scores the first of four! [Click for sound]

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