WEEKLY "RED"SURVEY: Vote Here  Instant reply!

World Wide Mailing List Archive     Complete NEWS Archive

Learn How to Start and Promote a Successful 
Business on the Internet
Html Match Today Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri


Text: Fixtures Today Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri HotNews

E-mail: barry@www.red11.org   Updated Daily 
Compiled by
Barry J. Leeming    Digest Prgram by  William McArthur  Canada
Theatre Of Dreams  Banner's  by Sam Hayward   Download the digest program here!
The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor  "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"

The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Wed Feb 10 08:54:05 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Man Utd Reserves 1-0 Preston reserves (away)
2. Brass monkeys and M&P pies!
3. HELP for Dennis Viollet?
5. Andy Cole
6. Cole sets himself a realistic goal
7. Giggs on schedule to be fit for Inter shootout 
8. Jaap Stam  - Independent


Daily RED Trivia  Wed 10th February 1999:

10/2/1948: Jimmy Rimmer born in Southport. Understudy to Alex Stepney, Rimmer made 
 his debut against Fulham in April 1968, and made just 46 appearances between 
 1968-73, before joining Arsenal in April 1974. He won a European Cup winners 
 medal in 1968 as a substitute, and later in his career earned another one with 
 Aston Villa in 1981. 1 England cap in 1976.

1979: United dominate the Manchester 'Derby', beating City 3-0 at Maine Road with
 goals from Steve Coppell 2 and Andy Ritchie. Attendance at the Division 1 game was
 46,151. Team was: Bailey, B.Greenhoff, Albiston, McIlroy, McQueen, Buchan, 
 Coppell, J.Greenhoff, Ritchie, Macari (Nicholl), Thomas.

Barry Daily Comment:
It was announced yesterday that United have started talks
with Fergie about a new contract - rumoured to be for 3 years and worth
around 5 million pounds, which will make him the highest paid manager in
the country.

Survey Results: Week of Feb 1
Who is the better midfielder, Keane or Zidane?
Keane           36      46.2%
Zidane          42      53.8%
    Total:      78 votes

Bill's comment: it was a close call, but thankfully Keano isn't going
anywhere.  Maybe we'll be lucky enough to have them both someday?

Barry's comment: this was a fantasy question of course as we all know Roy
will stay
at UNITED for the rest of his playing days just like many before him.
Zidane would be a great addition to the squad as the survey shows, REDS say

Manchester United Survey #37

Week of Feb 7
Who is/was United's best uncapped player?
Question suggested by Chris Gowland 

 Steve Bruce
 Eddie Colman
 Jack Crompton
 Alan Gowling
 Jimmy Greenhoff
 David May
 Charlie Mitten
 Charlie Moore
 Remi Moses
 Andy Ritchie

Survey opened: Sun Feb 07 99 18:45 EST
Vote here: http://www.red11.org/miva/survey.mv

We also have a survey about Sam Haywards Background/Wallpaper Pics:
Please vote for your favorite background design:
(this page shows all the backgrounds at once, fast loading)

Top scorers incl Sat,February 6 1999  UNITED have nr 1,4 and 6!
                               Lge  Cup  Cup  Euro   Total
1 *Yorke (Man Utd***)          15    1    0     5     21
2 Owen (Liverpool)             14    2    1     2     19
3 Aloisi (Coventry)            15    0    3     0     18
4 *Cole (Man Utd***)           12    1    0     4     17
5 Ward (Blackburn)             13    0    3     0     16
6 *Solskjaer (Man Utd***)      10    1    3     1     15
7 Gunnlaugsson (Leicester)     13    0    1     0     14
8 Dublin (Aston Villa)         12    0    1     0     13
9 Ricard (Middlesbrough)       10    0    3     0     13
10 Fowler (Liverpool)           9    1    1     2     13

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

*** FAC ROUND 5 FIXTURES ON 13/02/99 ***

                  Arsenal  v  Sheffield United
                 Barnsley  v  Bristol Rovers
                  Everton  v  Coventry City
        Huddersfield Town  v  Derby County
             Leeds United  v  Tottenham Hotspur
      Sheffield Wednesday  v  Chelsea

*** PREM FIXTURES ON 08/02/99 ***
   Charlton Athletic  v  Wimbledon
*** FIXTURES ON 13/02/99 ***
   Charlton Athletic  v  Liverpool
     West Ham United  v  Nottingham Forest


Vote for your favorite SAM Wallpaper [click on pic]

From: Mark Armstrong Subject: Man Utd Reserves 1-0 Preston reserves (away) Team Raimond Van Der Gouw Stephen Rose Michael Clegg David May Oshea Ryan Ford (1st Start) Philip Mulryne Richard Wellens (1st Start) Mark Wilson Alex Notman Ian Fitzpatrick (1st start) A team missing 6 players on International duty gave Jim Ryan the chance to bring in three more players for their first start in the reserve team. With so much talent missing the team had none of the skill needed down the flanks and was unlikely to be a thriller. The match definitely suffered because of this, all to often the team tried to force the ball through the middle packed with Preston players, there was none of the usual zip or pressure put on the opposing team who were languishing near the foot of the pontins league table. This will probably be the shortest match report I will give this season as there were so few chances. The highlights have to be Ian Fitzpatrick playing up front in his first game, who nearly scored in the third minute after receiving a ball threaded down the right, he darts into the area and slides the ball past the Vale keeper and just wide of the post. The only goal of the game came from Mulryne who gets the ball outside the area on the left takes a couple of touches and hits a left foot shot from the edge of the box past the diving keeper, in to the bottom right corner of the goal. David May was always in control at the back and young Stephen Rose who did not have the best of debuts at centre back against Birmingham last week was far more comfortable at left back. My man of the match for United was Philip Mulryne who seemed to generate most of the chances. Michael Ryan came on late in the game for Ian Fitzpatrick, and got booked within a few minutes for a careless tackle. You cannot be too critical in these games and have to take them at face value, its good to get a chance to see these young players coming through and some will surely make it in to the first team. Highlight of the evening was the United physio pulling a muscle running on to the pitch to attend to Alex Notman. No games now for two weeks Mark Armstrong
Vote for your favorite SAM Wallpaper [click on pic]

Subject: Brass monkeys and M&P pies! I never tire of watching any game being played by a team representing Manchester United, irrespective of the level from first team to kids, but last night my dedication was really put to the test. I went to the reserve team match at Deepdale and it was bloody cold - and I mean seriously brass-bloody-monkeys! I got there early (probably because I'd forgotten that I now only live fifteen minutes away) and thus had time for both a meat & potato pie and a 'bovril'. It was a good job that I did. I've got to tell you that it was one of the poorest games I've seen in a long time and did nothing to keep the blood flowing and the extremities warm! Dad and I watched the stiffs play Derby County last week (at Gigg Lane) and it was a very good match, with a good level of skill on display (from both teams, it has to be said). But last night! Bloody hell I could still be playing if that's the standard. In fairness the pitch was very poor and thus control was difficult, but that doesn't really excuse the quality (or lack of it, I should say) of the distribution. I would guess that our passing success (sic) level was about 50% and that is just not good enough. The one bright spark was Philip Mulryne, a boy we've heard quite a lot about, but who has never really impressed me before last night. He reminds me a lot of Gordon Hill, has the same 'balance' and a very sweet left peg. Though, unlike Hill, he can also use his right. He scored the only goal of a dreary match (in the 21st minute, for those of you for whom such things are important) and thus brought some slight relief to this old man's bloody torment. At half-time I just had to go down and get another m&p pie and a bovril. As much as anything else the move was to see if I still could (move that is!) and this meant that I very nearly missed the highlight of the whole night - a penalty-kick competition for two local junior schools, with Deepdale Duck in goal. Yes, I kid you not, bloody Deepdale Duck! Having seen the Derby, Swansea and Leicester mascots recently I am now firmly of the opinion that Fred the Red is wholly acceptable!!! By the way Deepdale Duck saved four of the penalties and maybe Alex should go down there and have a look at him as a replacement for Big Peter! I had had to move to the back of the stand as not long after I had taken my place (position 'A', behind the goal) two plonkers came and sat behind me with bleeding big drums. These two guys, a bit like the Hillsborough and Wembley 'bands' (probably the same group of ar**holes), thought that they were the star attraction (er....., having given the football some thought, they probably were) so, as I said, I had to move. About five minutes before the end I thought I'd move down to the front near to the exit for a quick get-away and, yes, you guessed it, the bleeding referee played five minutes of extra time. So I had ten minutes of being absolutely frozen and not being able to see the game properly. Wonderful. It was nice to see David May playing again (he also played against Derby) and he looked very solid. He was up against a big lad who I thought was their best player and might be a first-teamer returning from injury (not sure) and Maysie had to play well to contain the big lad. David looked a class above as you'd expect. Ryan Ford, a very tiny boy, played wide right and did alright. For a slightly built kid he puts himself about (got booked) and I like that. The other to catch the eye was Mark Wilson; he did a lot of unselfish running off the ball and held the line up very well. I already mentioned Philip Mulryne, man-of-the-match without any doubt and the only thing worth stumping up the four quid for. YES - FOUR bloody pounds it cost to get in and a pound for the programme - and the ABU's would have you believe that only Manchester United are 'profiteers'! The crowd was well over two and a half thousand so I bet the Preston bankers (NO - not a spelling mistake!) really thought that their boat had come in last night. Once again Manchester United prove to be the 'star' attraction. I wonder what sort of crowd they get at Deepdale when they play Liverpool or Newcastle United reserves. Oh! Forgot - Newcastle United (big club that they are) don't have a reserve team, or at least not in the big-boys league they don't! On the down-side I am very concerned about two lads for whom both dad and myself had great hopes. Both Michael Clegg and Alex Notman seem to be going backwards, when they should be progressing - particularly at this level. I hope that I am wrong but I just don't see these two lads making it (I said exactly the same thing about Norman Whiteside!!!). It had been a while since I was last in Deepdale (a youth team match from memory, though it might have been the cup match in the early 70's) and it has not stood the test of time very well. Two sides are rebuilt and are excellent, but the other two are just a crumbling mess. To think that 'Proud Preston' used to be one of the top sides, and Tom Finney my grandad's favourite all-time player, when I was a boy, what a sadness. I wonder how many of you remember the cup match at Deepdale in 1966 when we drew 1-1. I was behind the goal and near to where that wall collapsed. Fortunately I wasn't hurt - at least not by the wall. UNFORTUNATELY, I was 'moved' to the front (by the sway of the crowd) and ended up pinned against the wall, unable to move anything - specifically my arms. A Preston fan in the paddock below us saw his chance and smacked me in the face. All I could do to defend myself was try and move my head and I wasn't quick enough and the bas**rd hit me right between the eyes. I looked like a Panda (in reverse) for about three weeks. I wonder if that bugger was there last night? After all this time (bloody hell it's thirty-three years ago! Where does the time go?) I would have liked the opportunity to discuss that match with him!!! The replay of that tie is the only match I have ever been locked out of. I was working at the Daily Mail (as a tea-boy not a star reporter!) in the city centre and didn't finish my shift until 18:45, so dad came and picked me up thinking that this was the only way I was going to get to OT in time. As it turned out by the time we got there all the gates were locked and we both missed it. I STILL feel bad about having caused him to miss that one, even to this day. Though to his credit dad only mentions it about once a month!!!! Keep the faith, Pete For the statisticians (and anoraks) amongst us the team was: 1. Raimond van der Gorgeous (for you, Linda!) 2. Stephen Rose 3. Michael Clegg 4. David May (Captain) 5. John O'Shea 6. Ryan Ford 7. Philip Mulryne 8. Mark Wilson 9. Alex Notman 10. Ian Fitzpatrick 11. Richard Wellens 12. John Torington-Smith (must get his name changed if he is going to make it) 13. Paul Gibson 14. George Glegg 15. Paul Gibson 16. Michael Stewart (came on for Fitzpatrick in second half) 18. Michael Ryan P.S. If young Nick Coppack is reading this .......... you'd have needed my dad's overcoat and some thermals last night son!!!! Copyright © 1998 Peter Hargreaves. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author.
Vote for your favorite SAM Wallpaper [click on pic]

Subject: HELP for Dennis Viollet? Comments: To: red-devils@pipeline.com/MUFC@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU I've just had a call from Helen Viollet who has faxed over the following article about a drug that is available for brain cancer sufferers. She has asked me to circulate this article to ask if anyone, wherever you may be, who happens to know anything about this drug, or knows anyone who is likely to know anything about the drug, could contact me. I will then pass on the information to her and we will see if we can obtain the drug for Dennis. Other than the tumour Dennis is in good health, all his vital organs are working as normal so he is still strong. If the tumour could be arrested, maybe there could be hope. Please explore every possible avenue, or express any suggestion either direct to me or to the list for others to mull over. It is after 10pm here now so I will be closing down tonight but will log on tomorrow morning. Here is the article: Brain Cancer Hope From New Drug Treatment By Aisling Irwin Brain cancer treatment has seen its most significant advance in 20 years with the approval of a drug that fights the most aggressive form of the disease. The drug, Temozolomide, prolongs the lives of those with advanced forms of the most common and deadly brain cancer as well as greatly reducing symptoms. Yet it comes in a capsule and is taken like an aspirin, because it is small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier. Announcing the European Commission approval for the drug yesterday, the Cancer Research Campaign said that it hoped this could lead to treatments for early as well as advanced brain cancers and even cures. But it said it feared that the drug might be rejected by some NHS trusts because of its cost. The most deadly brain cancer, glioiastroma multiforme, can cause personality changes, loss of speech, partial paralysis and blindness as it progresses. All these symptoms show a dramatic improvement in half of the patients who take the drug. Some patients have been able, briefly, to lead nearly normal lives again, although the prolongation of life has been modest, with people living on average four extra months. Temozolomide which is licensed to treat only advanced forms of this cancer exploits a crucial difference between brain cancer cells and those in the rest of the body. That's the article, the cancer mentioned as the worst you can get is the one Dennis has got. Maybe someone out there in cyberspace can help - I sincerely hope so. Thanks for your time Paul
Vote for your favorite SAM Wallpaper [click on pic]

Subject: I'VE NOTHING TO PROVE - COLE Striker Andy Cole insists he has nothing to prove when he makes his anticipated return to the international stage against France at Wembley on Wednesday night. Cole will not necessarily be included in the starting line-up, which caretaker boss Howard Wilkinson was due to name on Tuesday after bringing in veteran defender Lee Dixon as a surprise addition to the squad on Monday night due to injury problems. With captain Alan Shearer a definite starter, Cole will be contesting the other striker's berth with Michael Owen and may have to be content with an appearance as substitute. But Wilkinson left little room for doubt that the United striker would be involved at some stage as he confirmed it would be sensible to take the pressure off by playing him ahead of next month's Euro 2000 qualifier against Poland. Less than three months ago Cole thought his international career was over after he had called former coach Glenn Hoddle "cowardly" for criticising his strike-rate in public rather than to his face. However, with his reputation already enhanced by displays for United in the Premiership and Champions' League, he said: "I've got nothing to prove to anyone apart from myself - that I can do it if I get the chance. But if I had any doubts about that then I wouldn't turn up as I can't afford to doubt myself." With Hoddle's criticisms still burning deeply in his mind, Cole defended his strike-rate for United, with 17 goals to his name already this season. "I do get a lot of chances but I'm not going to take all of them. If I did then I could be getting 40 goals a season and that can't be done," he said. "I stick my fair share away and miss my fair share, just like anyone else, but it gets highlighted more at Manchester United. You know your chances are going to be limited at international level and it's a big challenge for me, but I'm confident in my ability."
Vote for your favorite SAM Wallpaper [click on pic]

Subject: Andy Cole An interesting article from one of todays paper which backs up what true REDS have been saying about Andy for ages: PLAYER SHOOTING ACCURACY GOALS TO SHOT RATIO GOALS COLE 69% 25% 4 OWEN 58% 17% 4 FOWLER 55% 27% 3 DUBLIN 47% 0% 0 SHEARER 40% 10% 1 The text said " Carling Opta, the Official Premiership statisticians, have run the rule over the country's top five strikers. And their findings, based on current form show why Cole should partner Robbie Fowler in attack at Wembly". Jon Red to the core
Vote for your favorite SAM Wallpaper [click on pic]

Subject: Cole sets himself a realistic goal In an age when some of the top stars are having coaching in the right things to say, as well as the right way to play, Andy Cole still prefers to let his feet do the talking. The former Arsenal, Bristol City and Newcastle striker is happy to be portrayed as the strong, silent type, except when someone upsets him. Glenn Hoddle did that last year when he suggested Cole needed about half-a-dozen chances in a game before he scored a goal. Cole hit back, claiming that Hoddle's remarks were 'cowardly' and thought, realistically, his England chances had been blown sky-high. It is ironic then, that one of Hoddle's final acts as England coach was to pick Cole in the squad for tomorrow's friendly against France. 'I don't feel bitter towards Glenn Hoddle,' Cole said. 'Perhaps, if he had still be in charge, he would have sat down and chatted with me for an hour.' But there is little doubt who Cole would choose as England's next coach. Kevin Keegan signed the Nottingham-born striker for Newcastle in March 1993 and the team played the sort of football which coaxed the best out of Cole. 'I've got a lot of respect for Kevin, he's a nice guy, a lovely person,' the Manchester United striker said. At the moment, Cole and caretaker coach Howard Wilkinson, are just getting to know each other. But Wilkinson said: 'Andy and Dwight Yorke have developed a terrific relationship. Andy combines better with people now. There was a time when he was thought of as just a finisher but as he is now, I can't see other people not picking him.' Cole's goal ratio is 17 in 25 starts this season and he said: 'I score my fair share and miss my fair share. Dwight and I have developed a good understanding but I know international football is different. 'If I get two chances and put one away, I will be delighted. I have nothing to prove to other people but I want to demonstrate to myself that I can do it at international level.'
Vote for your favorite SAM Wallpaper [click on pic]

Subject: Giggs on schedule to be fit for Inter shootout Giggs on schedule to be fit for Inter shootout Tuesday, February 9, 1999 Inter Milan had barely finished digesting Champions League rivals Manchester United's 8-1 weekend romp when Ryan Giggs yesterday gave them something else to think about. The 25-year-old winger breezed into a Wales get-together in Cheshire saying his hamstring injury isn't as bad as first feared and hinting he could be ready for the first leg of the quarter-final tie on March 3. It is a medical bulletin which will be felt as keenly at San Siro as it will be welcomed at Old Trafford, with Inter's prized Brazilian, Ronaldo, saying: 'Ryan Giggs is a constant danger for any defence because he is so unpredictable.' Giggs said: 'It's not as bad as it was last year when I was out for seven weeks. Hopefully, this time we're only talking around three weeks and I will be back for the Inter Milan game. 'It's a massive game and I'm desperate to play in it. The lads are flying at the moment. Obviously we all want to do well in the League but everyone has got their eye on the Champions League. It's now coming up quickly. 'I missed the quarterfinals against Monaco last season and I want to make up for that. We know if we can beat Inter this time then we have got a great chance. I think we are as well equipped as we can be to win the European Cup. 'Everyone in the team is an international. We have got some great experience after being in the quarter-finals last season and the semi-finals the year before. We have got the experience of playing big teams and in big occasions.'
Vote for your favorite SAM Wallpaper [click on pic]

Subject: Jaap Stam - Independent United's Dutch defender is a late developer. Now, after early doubts, class is telling. By Andrew Longmore The showroom that is the car park of The Cliff, Manchester United's training ground, now boasts a fourth Ferrari, a blue model owned by Andy Cole. Only the manager's Merc and a gleaming dark blue BMW 5-series uphold the more sober 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 be his idea of burning rubber. True enough, the garage of his new home in the plusher suburbs of the city houses a roadster Porsche, but the main interest there was just how Stam would curl his 6ft 3in frame into the driving seat. He has, he says, just mastered the technique. But the left-hand drive BMW, a luxurious Dutch import, is a more accurate reflection of the man. For the first time since his much publicised arrival last summer, Stam has felt settled enough to schedule an interview or two. This one took three weeks to set up, but through no fault of the club, his agent or Stam himself. Even before he arrived, absolutely on the dot of the appointed hour, in blue jeans and casual top, clutching the obligatory mobile phone, the impression was of a serious and considerate 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 United have already found to their benefit. He is punctual, courteous, articulate, softly spoken. Stam is from good tradesman's stock and has inherited the values of Kampen, the small country town where his father earns his living as a carpenter and where Jaap was brought up, the youngest of four children and the only boy. "Four mothers," he laughs. 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 the overwhelming 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 away from Holland's hedonistic capital in temperament and culture. There are 30 churches for a congregation of 25,000 in Kampen. Stam says his town's reputation for being a religious centre is false, that neither he nor his family are particularly religious, which in this spiritually explosive week is fortunate. Kampen, says Stam, is a place where everyone knows each other, a good, tight community, one he returns to when- ever the demands of United's three-pronged attack on the main trophies allows. He has kept his house on the edge of the town, with a garden which backs on to the river so that he can indulge his love of fishing. The only drawback is the passing pleasureboats. "The home of Jaap Stam, the world's most expensive defender and Kampen's most famous citizen" has now become one of the main attractions on the river ride. But a boatload of Instamatics, poised for any twitch of the curtain, is not quite what the quiet Dutchman had in mind for his rural retreat. It is against this home background that Stam's early season uncertainty has to be etched. A boy from small-town Holland arriving at the gates of the Old Trafford pleasuredome, at the time the most costly purchase in the club's illustrious history. The confusion in Stam's mind was not so much understandable 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, you try 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 or not. My agent came to my house and said he'd seen a shopping centre built for a little less than what they'd paid for me: £10m. Of course it's absurd, it's too much money for a footballer." His critics said it was too much for Stam - notably through Holland's World Cup campaign - and the Dutchman felt their every barb. "You start reading about it and I started thinking about it, which made my game harder. You can only 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 in Holland and everything will be OK'. When people at the club have confidence in you that really helps." Other factors made the transition from PSV uncomfortable. Stam was a latecomer to the ranks of professional football. Until he was persuaded by the former Dutch international Theo de Jong to sign professional for FC Zwolle, the nearest league club to Kampen, Stam was happily enjoying his youth and playing left-back for Kampen in the amateur leagues. De Jong wanted Stam to come 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: from Zwolle to Cambuur Leeuwarden and on to Willem II; where De Jong went, Stam followed. De Jong, now a freelance technical consultant who runs his own 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 mentality for the game," he recalled last week. "He enjoyed playing and he worked very hard and listened to what coaches told him. I took him with me everywhere I went because I knew his quality, but when PSV came in for him I couldn't stop him, 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 was blending the experience of Wim Jonk and Jan Wouters with the explosive talent of a young Brazilian called Ronaldo. Stam has packed a lifetime into the last five of his 26 years. "I was actually quite small when I was young. No one believes me now, but I have pictures at home. It wasn't until I was about 16 that I began to grow and develop as a player. I always watched professional football and my father played at an amateur level, but I didn't think I wanted to become a pro. It was only later when I went to Zwolle that I began to think about it. For me, a late start was a good thing. A lot of kids who start too early get bored. I'd done all the things I wanted to do, I'd enjoyed myself, having fun and playing as an amateur and that was important." Manchester United are just beginning to find out the dimensions of their £10m import, once labelled "the defender of the future" by Advocaat. If they thought their purchase would be a new Steve Bruce, they were wrong. Stam is far quicker 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. "He would just shout, 'Get out of my head' and his next tackle would hurt. But he's not an angry, shouting sort of guy. Laziness, fooling around, that will make him angry, 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 keeps you awake," he says. The dressing-room tirades of the manager have surprised him a little more. "I met Alex at pre-season and everything was relaxed, but when the season started if you did something wrong he came in at half-time and was very angry. He was expressing himself in his way and I was a bit surprised because he was a different man. I was used to it. Advocaat was a bit the 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 it should be." After that hesitant start, the fortunes of United and their new centre-half have improved in tandem. United are starting to run into some mean form in time for the contrasting visits of Fulham in the FA Cup next Sunday and Arsenal three days later. Victories over Charlton and Derby, both 1-0 (Dwight Yorke), brought United rare breathing space at the top of the Premier League last week and revived memories of similarly grafted results, courtesy of Eric Cantona, in United's last championship season. Ronaldo and Internazionale wait around the corner, an unspoken threat as yet. Stam's last head-to-head with his old team-mate ended in defeat for Holland after a penalty shoot-out. The Dutch had videoed the Brazilians taking penalties at a training session. On tape, the penalties all went low; in Marseille, each one rocketed into the top corner. Ronaldo's goal was a bigger blow to Stam's morale. "My first international for Holland was against Brazil and Ronaldo and having played with him, I know him well," Stam says. "He is quick with the ball and without the ball and has good technical skills, but I like playing against a strong striker, you know what you're up against." If Ronaldo's menace is subdued and United march on to the final, Jaap Stam's transition will surely be complete. That £10m will seem cheap at the price.
Vote for your favorite SAM Wallpaper [click on pic]

Pic Link today is http://www.red11.org/miva/survey_wallpaper.mv

To receive this Daily News by email each day:

Subscribe / Unsubscribe

by WWW:

- OR -

By E-mail
List-Unsubscribe: MufcDailyNews-unsubscribe@ONElist.com

Other RED Mail Lists:
"MUFC + Premier STATS" after matches:
Subscribe/Unsubscribe e-mail to:
Mufcstats-subscribe@onelist.com          - Subscribe's to the list
Mufcstats-unsubscribe@onelist.com      - Unsubscribe
or by WWW:

"REDitorial Mail List"
Subscribe/Unsubscribe e-mail to:
red_devils_advocate-subscribe@onelist.com          - Subscribe's to the list
red_devils_advocate-unsubscribe@onelist.com      - Unsubscribe
or by WWW:

To debate ALL subjects about Manchester United Football Club we at Simplenet recommend:
The "RED-DEVILS MAIL LIST" all subscription requests to: <RED-DEVILS@PIPELINE.COM>
To subscribe to the daily Digest type 'Digest' in message body

or "THE INTERNATIONAL MANCHESTER UNITED MAILING LIST" <listserv@listserv.indiana.edu>     Write the command: sub mufc (your_name)

Webmaster e-mail: barry@www.red11.org

Singalong Calypso available here: mp3

          If ever they are playing in your town
          You must get to that football ground
          Take a lesson come to see
          Football taught by Matt Busby
          Manchester, Manchester United
          A bunch of bouncing Busby Babes
          They deserve to be knighted

"RED HOT" News-wire NOW!
Manchester United FC:
Theatre Of Dreams Website Index:
Results News WhosWho Archive Pics Statistics Reserves Squad
Trophy's History Munich Webring Editorial Guestbook + Read

Search this site for: