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The Dennis Viollet Fund
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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sat 11 Dec 1999 24:54 GMT
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Result Manchester United Reserves Scarborough 1 Manchester United Res 2
2. Keane deal puts - United on another level
3. Have a Trebley Christmas - from www.red11.org
4. Old Fart/David Sadler Video's available now
5. United eye Portugal star Vitor Baia
6. Envy Keane? He's worth five of me says Neville
7. Rivaldo pips Beckham to European crown?
8. Why dis-United FA Cup will never be the same
9. Peter Reid believes the FA Cup has been devalued

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MANCHESTER UNITED DAILY NEWS  Sat 11th Dec 1999:

Webmaster Comment:
No football weekend as far as Manchester United are concerned?
So the FA CUP is a phenomenom of the past for REDS.
This will be a funny/weird day!

* If you have an article for this MUFC Daily News bulletin
   please mail it to  Thanks!

*** Remember our December Competition!
To enter first download 1 meg here
    http://www.red11.org/mickz/mufc_snow.exe
Lets see how far us REDS can get, I already made it to Level 2 
Proof here: http://www.red11.org/mickz/level2.jpg
The best 3 efforts will win a copy of the NEW book 
"European Glory" by RED NEWS edited by Barney Chilton
Eyewitness Accounts of United's 1968 & 1999 European Triumphs
A book celebrating the amazing events in the Nou Camp on May 26th - retails at £7,95
Enties to the competition must include an attched screen pic as proof of
your efforts  mail to barrylee@post3.tele.dk GOOD LUCK  Comp closes 24th Dec 1999

----------------------


If I Die In The Stretford End - scoreboardpaddock@manutd.com
 Alex Hulme/Manchester/England 
Made by a Manc for Mancs "If I Die In The Stretford End" is for Match Going REDS. 
URL:  
Taken from The Worldwide Manchester United Fans Webring - 400+ RED sites!
 http://www.webring.org/cgi-bin/webring?ring=manufan;list

* UK TV info:  BBC TO COVER UNITED'S BRAZIL MISSION
The BBC will broadcast live coverage of Manchester United's World Team
Championship challenge in Brazil.

Champions League Url: http://www.red11.org/champ

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

1999/2000 UEFA Champions League Second Group-Match Stage - Group B 
Group B           P W D L  F A  Pts 
Fiorentina AC     2 1 1 0  2 0  4 
Manchester United 2 1 0 1  3 2  3 
Valencia CF       2 1 0 1  3 3  3 
Bordeaux          2 0 1 1  0 3  1 

Second stage Euro Draw  GROUP B
Manchester United Valencia Bordeaux Fiorentina
Tues Nov 23 Fiorentina v Manchester United  2-0 
            Valencia v Girondins Bordeaux   3-0
Wed Dec 8   Girondins Bordeaux v Fiorentina 0-0
            Manchester United v Valencia    3-0

Wed Mar 1 
Group B: Manchester United v Girondins Bordeaux 
Group B: Fiorentina v Valencia 
Tues Mar 7  
Group B: Girondins Bordeaux v Manchester United 
Group B: Valencia v Fiorentina 
Wed Mar 15 
Group B: Manchester United v Fiorentina 
Group B: Girondins Bordeaux v Valencia 
Tuesday, March 21 
Group B: Fiorentina v Girondins Bordeaux 
Group B: Valencia v Manchester United 

FINAL Group D          P W D L  F A  PTS
Manchester United FC   6 4 1 1  9  4  13 
Olympique de Marseille 6 3 1 2 10  8  10 
SK Sturm Graz          6 2 0 4  5 12   6 
NK Croatia Zagreb      6 1 2 3  7  7   5 

 *******************************

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

************************

99/2000 fixtures/match reports are at
 http://www.red11.org/mufc/992000.htm

Mark Bosnich's Personal Details 
http://www.red11.org/mufc/bosnich.htm

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

MANCHESTER UNITED STATS v ALL teams on the Web
http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats.htm

Previous News:
 BSKYB Takeover news/pics at http://www.red11.org/mufc/bskyb.htm
  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

*** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 06/12/99 ***
   Tottenham Hotspur   0-0   West Ham United       36,233

*** CONDENSED LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 06/12/99 ***

Pos Team                  P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
---------------------------------------------------------
 1  Leeds United         17  12   2   3  30  19   11   38
 2  Manchester United    16  11   3   2  40  21   19   36
 3  Arsenal              17  11   2   4  31  16   15   35
 4  Sunderland           17  10   4   3  31  17   14   34
 5  Liverpool            17   9   3   5  24  14   10   30
 6  Leicester City       17   9   2   6  26  23    3   29
 7  Tottenham Hotspur    16   8   3   5  25  20    5   27
 8  West Ham United      16   7   4   5  17  14    3   25
 9  Chelsea              15   7   3   5  21  15    6   24
10  Middlesbrough        17   7   3   7  21  24   -3   24
11  Coventry City        17   5   6   6  23  18    5   21
12  Everton              17   5   6   6  25  27   -2   21
13  Wimbledon            17   4   8   5  27  29   -2   20
14  Newcastle United     17   5   4   8  28  30   -2   19
15  Aston Villa          17   5   4   8  14  19   -5   19
16  Southampton          16   4   5   7  20  25   -5   17
17  Bradford City        16   3   4   9  13  25  -12   13
18  Derby County         17   3   3  11  15  29  -14   12
19  Watford              17   3   2  12  13  33  -20   11
20  Sheffield Wednesday  16   1   3  12  14  40  -26    6


*** TEAM STATISTICS - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 04/12/99 ***
AVERAGE HOME ATTENDANCE: 55,171
HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 25/09/99 - Southampton (55,249)
LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE:  11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (54,941)
BEST WIN: 	     11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (4-0)
     		     30/08/99 - Newcastle United (5-1)
     		     04/12/99 - Everton (5-1)
HEAVIEST DEFEAT:     03/10/99 - Chelsea (0-5)
BEST HOME WIN:       11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (4-0)
     		     30/08/99 - Newcastle United (5-1)
     		     04/12/99 - Everton (5-1)
BEST AWAY WIN:           22/08/99 - Arsenal (2-1)
     			25/08/99 - Coventry City (2-1)
     			11/09/99 - Liverpool (3-2)
     			20/11/99 - Derby County (2-1)
HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT:   03/10/99 - Chelsea (0-5)

 NEXT MATCHES
---------------------------------------------------------------
18-DEC-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs West Ham  (FA Premier League, AWAY)
26-DEC-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Bradford C  (FA Premier League, HOME)
28-DEC-1999 [20:00] Manchester Utd. vs Sunderland  (FA Premier League, AWAY)
06-JAN-2000 [18:15] Manchester Utd. vs Necaxa  (World Club Championship, AWAY)


Current Injuries                       Possible return
 Jesper Blomqvist        ankle           early Dec 
 Ronny Johnsen           knee            January
 Wes Brown               knee            August


*** TEAM RESULTS - MANCHESTER UNITED - 

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

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

 1/08/99    Arsenal   Wembley Charity Shield  L  1-2     -    70,185
 3/08/99    Omagh Town Omagh Bomb Fund        W  9-0     -     7,000
 4/08/99    Wigan Athletic friendly           W  2-0     -    15,000 
08/08/99    Everton                  Away PL  D  1-1    10    39,141
11/08/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Home PL  W  4-0     3    54,941
14/08/99    Leeds United             Home PL  W  2-0     1    55,187
22/08/99    Arsenal                  Away PL  W  2-1     1    38,147
25/08/99    Coventry City            Away PL  W  2-1     1    22,024 
27/08/99    Monaco - Lazio               ESC  L  0-1     -    15,223
30/08/99    Newcastle United         Home     W  5-1     1    55,190
11/09/99    Liverpool                Away     W  3-2     1    44,929
14/09/99    Croatia Zagreb           Home EC  D  0-0     -    53,250
18/09/99    Wimbledon                Home     D  1-1     1    55,189
22/09/99    Sturm Graz               Away EC  W  3-0     -    16,480
25/09/99    Southampton              Home     D  3-3     1    55,249
29/09/99    Marseille                Home EC  W  2-1     -    54,276
 3/10/99    Chelsea                  Away PL  L  0-5     2    34,909
11/10/99    Sir Alex Testimonial     Home F   L  2-4  LEGENDS 54,842      
13/10/99    Aston Villa              Away WC3 L  0-3     -    33,815
16/10/99    Watford                  Home PL  W  4-1     2    55,188
19/10/99    Marseille                Away EC  L  0-1     -    57,745 
23/10/99    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     L  1-3     3    36,072
27/10/99    Croatia Zagreb           Away EC  W  2-1     -    30,000
30/10/99    Aston Villa              Home PL  W  3-0     2    55,211
 2/11/99    Sturm Graz               Home EC  W  2-1     -    53,745 
 6/11/99    Leicester City           Home PL  W  2-0     1    55,191
20/11/99    Derby County             Away     W  2-1     1    33,370
23/11/99    AC Fiorentina            Away EC  L  0-2     -    40,000
30/11/99    Tokyo  Palmeiras         N   WCC  W  1-0     -    53,372
 4/12/99    Everton                  Home PL  W  5-1     2    55,193
 8/12/99    Valencia CF              Home EC  W  3-0     -    54,606 

18/12/99    West Ham United          Away PL   15.00
26/12/99    Bradford City            Home PL   15.00
28/12/99    Sunderland               Away PL   20.00  "live on sky"

  pp  3/01/2000  Middlesborough         Home PL ???  *No new date yet
  pp 27/11/1999  Sheffield Wednesday    Away PL ???  *No new date yet

****************************************************
 JAN 05-14  Brazil WTC [3-4 games]
----------------------------------------------------
06/01/2000  Necaxa (Mexico)          Neut WTC  16.00
08/01/2000  Vasco da Gama (Brazil)   Away WTC  16.00
11/01/2000  South Melbourne (Australia) N WTC  16.00
Final? 14/01/2000
****************************************************

15/17? /01/2000  Leeds               Away PL   15.00  
24/01/2000  Arsenal                  Home PL   20.00  "live on sky"
 5/02/2000  Coventry City            Home PL   15.00
12/02/2000  Newcastle United         Away PL   15.00
26/02/2000  Wimbledon                Away PL   15.00
 1/03/2000  FC Girondins de Bordeaux Home EC   19.45 
 4/03/2000  Liverpool                Home PL   11.30  "live on sky"
 7/03/2000  FC Girondins de Bordeaux Away EC   19.45 
11/03/2000  Derby County             Home PL   15.00
15/03/2000  AC Fiorentina            Home EC   19.45
18/03/2000  Leicester City           Away PL   15.00
21/03/2000  Valencia CF              Away EC   19.45 
25/03/2000  Bradford City            Away PL   15.00
 1/04/2000  West Ham United          Home PL   15.00
 5/04/2000  ?   EC qf i
 8/04/2000  Middlesborough           Away PL   15.00
15/04/2000  Sunderland               Home PL   15.00
19/04/2000  ?   EC qf ii
22/04/2000  Southampton              Away PL   15.00
24/04/2000  Chelsea                  Home PL   15.00
29/04/2000  West Ham United          Away PL   15.00
 3/05/2000  ?   EC sf i
 6/05/2000  Tottenham Hotspur        Home PL   15.00
10/05/2000  ?   EC sf ii
14/05/2000  Aston Villa              Away PL   15.00
24/05/2000  ?   EC Final

http://www.red11.org/mufc/match.htm
++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++


Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
Result Manchester United Reserves Scarborough 1 Manchester United Res 2 TWO cracking goals from Mark Wilson and Erik Nevland helped United reserves to come from behind against Scarborough at the McCain Stadium last night. United slipped behind on the half-hour to a Steve Brodie goal in a match staged as part of the arrangement that will see Boro's 16-year-old goalkeeper James Jowsey move to Old Trafford next summer. Wilson put the Reds on terms in the 37th minute with a 30-yard screamer after meeting a cross from defender Danny Higginbotham. And Nevland grabbed the winner in the closing stages with a fierce drive after sweeping past Boro defender Shaun Rennison. Quinton Fortune and David Healy both went close for United and Michael Twiss looked certain to score with a 30-yard shot, but substitute 'keeper Kevin Martin just managed to get his hands to it. Reds defender John O'Shea was involved at both ends of the field in the last couple of minutes, almost increasing the lead one moment and seconds later heading off his own line from Darren Roberts.
Click On pic - for all latest pics from OT
Keane deal puts - United on another level 10 December Players' chief Gordon Taylor believes Roy Keane's new contract underlines the widening gap between Manchester United and the rest of the country. The Republic of Ireland international has signed a new four-year deal, reported to be worth #50,000-a-week with the European champions. But the Professional Footballers Association chief executive insists there should be no danger to the game as long as clubs weigh up their finances. "It would be wrong to say we're fearful for the game - unless the club hasn't retained an objective judgment," said Taylor. "In this case, it was a judgment that the club could afford. It is an indication that they are going for the major trophies. "I think Alex (Ferguson) would have given a welcome sign to their opposition that they were prepared to lose one of their best players. It would have sent out the wrong message. "Bearing in mind they were going to lose him for nothing at the end of the season, you have got to weigh up what it would cost to replace him." Taylor sees more contract wrangles on the not-too-distant horizon at Old Trafford at least. He said: "There will be other top quality players at United who will be knocking at the door. So there will be serious discussions with lots of their other stars. "On the other hand, United's balance sheet shows that players' wages are certainly at a very manageable income for the money they are bringing in." (c) Copyright Press Association Ltd 1999, all rights reserved.
Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
Have a Trebley Christmas - from www.red11.org Latest cartoon from Nick Oldham at The Theatre Of dreams! Index click on at http://www.red11.org/mufc/images/nick_oldham http://www.red11.org/mufc/images/nick_oldham/trebley_good_xmas.jpg Index of /mufc/images/nick_oldham Name Last modified Size Description ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- Parent Directory 09-Nov-1999 13:03 - jaap_xmas.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:22 69k mariah_cracker.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:22 34k nicky_xmas.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:22 71k trebley_good_xmas.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:22 126k yorkie_xmas.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:22 71k xmas_passion.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:21 198k becks_xmas.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:21 69k gary_xmas.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:21 68k phil_xmas.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:21 68k schmikes_xmas.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:20 80k keano_xmas.jpg 10-Dec-1999 09:20 68k sheri_christmas_full..> 02-Dec-1999 14:34 86k sheri_christmas.jpg 02-Dec-1999 14:33 36k sheri_christmas_tin.jpg 02-Dec-1999 14:33 9k united_world_cracker..> 30-Nov-1999 09:07 62k united_world_cracker..> 30-Nov-1999 08:43 120k RED sky at night UNITED delight barrylee@post3.tele.dk
Click On pic - for latest pics from OT
Old Fart/David Sadler Video's available now All "Pete" Audio Video files available here: click on links at http://www.red11.org/sound DETAILS - REAL VIDEO FILES x 2 2.55meg Dec 10 1.44 pete_mutv.rm MUTV Pete Hargreaves phone in with Davis Sadler download video: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/pete_mutv.rm [Streaming http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/pete_mutv.ram] 443k Dec 10 18secs mutv_winner_99_pete.rm MUTV Pete Hargreaves a winner! download video: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/mutv_winner_99_pete.rm [Streaming http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/mutv_winner_99_pete.ram] ------------- AUDIO only: 205k Dec 10 5.24 pete_on_mutv_a_first!.rm Pete Hargreaves first phone in on MUTV - Real audio Download: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/pete_on_mutv_a_first!.rm
Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
United eye Portugal star Vitor Baia Bosnich blow as United eye Portugal star By John Edwards Mark Bosnich may have seen off the challenge of Massimo Taibi, for the time being at least, but his position as Manchester United's first-choice goal-keeper remains under threat. Taibi's retreat to his native Italy, with his reputation in tatters and pride badly mauled, was viewed by many as evidence that Bosnich had finally won a protracted battle to establish himself as Peter Schmeichel's long-term successor. But while the £4.5million signing from Venezia attempts to repair his shattered morale, after turning to his original goal-keeping tutor in Naples, United's other summer arrival has yet to convince Sir Alex Ferguson. Soccernetcan reveal that the vexed problem of finding a worthy replacement for Schmeichel is still being addressed and that Portugal's Vitor Baia is the latest candidate to come under review. Sources at Porto, where Baia is on loan from Barcelona, have disclosed that United were represented at last month's Champions League match with Real Madrid and that enquiries were made about his availability. The 29-year old is committed to remaining at Porto for the rest of this season but will be made available by Barcelona next summer. That would suit Ferguson, who is in no hurry to bring in a new face but wants to be certain in his own mind that he has resolved the matter once and for all in time for the start of next season. Bosnich recently admitted he had struggled to meet Ferguson's exacting standards in the wake of his Bosman free transfer from Aston Villa and suffered another setback last Saturday when he hobbled off against Everton with his second hamstring injury of the campaign. Baia was taken to Barcelona from Porto by Bobby Robson. He rated him as the best goalkeeper in the world and made an enquiry soon after his appointment as Newcastle manager. Barcelona will ask £3.5m for Baia, a fee beyond the means of Porto, the Portuguese champions.
Click On pic - for all player stats from OT
Envy Keane He's worth five of me says Neville Matt Lawton Roy Keane is used to being described as the new Bryan Robson, taking over from his United predecessor as the finest midfielder in Europe. For years his performances have attracted such praise, and with some justification. Sir Alex Ferguson once said Keane was someone he felt privileged to work with, a player who did not need his managerial guidance. Yet the tribute he has received from Gary Neville, his Manchester United team-mate and an England international, is perhaps the most glowing of all. Such is the respect for Keane within the Old Trafford dressing room that it seems unlikely he will be able to sense even the slightest hint of resentment or jealousy after signing a new £12million contract that makes him the highest-paid player in the Premiership. Superstars they all may be, but when it comes to their captain they all recognise his special qualities, so much so that Neville says he would not be the least bit bothered if Keane was paid five times his own salary. In an era when football is dominated by agent-driven players demanding as much as the next man, it was an extraordinary thing to say. And for a celebrated European Cup winner to make such a statement was remarkable indeed. "Roy is more important than any other player at this club," said Neville after the emphatic Champions League victory over Valencia on Wednesday that had begun with the announcement that Keane was remaining at United for another four years. Neville added: "That has been signalled by events over the last five or six months, and that is why the club went to such extreme lengths to keep him. If it was myself or any other player at the club, then the battle for a signature would not have been so intense. "We are talking about the most influential player in the team, the one who is feared most by our European rivals, and if he was now earning four or five times more money than me he would deserve it. "He is more important than I am, so he deserves whatever he is getting." That must be music to the ears of the United board, but whether it turns out to be the case and individuals like David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Jaap Stam and Paul Scholes do not request financial parity with Keane when their contracts are next up for discussion remains to be seen. But Neville believes his skipper's decision to stick around and hopefully steer the side to yet more silverware should at least ease the fears regarding one particular issue. There was some concern that if Keane had gone, other key players might have followed, but Neville said: "Giving Roy this contract is a massive move for the club, because it would have been a huge loss if he had left us. The fact that he has signed has given everyone a tremendous lift. He is the heart of our team and it means the team stays together. "Some great players have left here down the years, but if Roy had moved on I think it would have been very hard to replace him." Keane and his London-based lawyer, Michael Kennedy, knew that from the moment negotiations began at the beginning of last summer. It was the ace they held up their sleeve from start to finish. When it came to the crunch, United simply could not afford to lose him because even if it proved possible to find a replacement, it would have cost the club far more than £12m. "Over the last few months I have had to look at my options," said Keane. "But my priority was always to stay at United. This is where my heart is, and Manchester is where my family are happy. "But the contract had to be right and as soon I was offered what I felt I deserved it was quite easy to sign. "It wasn't all about money, whatever people might think. My happiness is worth a great deal, and I am driven more by success on the pitch than anything else. And I believe this team can remain at the top and win more trophies. If I didn't I would not have signed. "If money had been the only motivation, I would not have joined United seven years ago, I would not have signed a new contract three years ago, and I would be leaving this year. "Don't get me wrong. I've done well in these negotiations and United have come up with the big bucks when they needed to. But it is the challenge of the next four years that excites me. "At 28 I am coming to my peak and I want to be remembered, when I finally hang up my boots, in the same class as someone like Bryan Robson. That's my aim. It's not in my make-up to walk away." Even though it seems difficult to imagine United refusing to pay Beckham whatever it takes to keep him for the remainder of his career - he is expected to sit down in the summer when his current deal will still have two and a half years to run - Keane suspects the events of the last few months will not be repeated at Old Trafford for a while. "I don't think United will now start to throw money around willy-nilly," he said. "They will still be a bit wary of doing that, so I can't see what happened to me occurring here again. "I was in a very strong position. When I snapped my cruciate ligament two years ago everything was put on hold and suddenly I was just a season away from a free transfer. "It's unlikely another first-team player will find himself in that situation again." If Neville is right there will not be any complaints either from the rest of his team-mates - but we will just have to see about that.
Click On pic - for the history of MUFC 1892-1976
Rivaldo pips Beckham to European crown By John Drayton Rivaldo has beaten David Beckham in the battle to be crowned European Player of the Year, according to reports from Spain last night. Rivaldo, who guided Brazil to the Copa America and Barcelona to the Spanish league title, was reportedly told of the honour by organisers France Footballbut there has been no official word on who will take the award on Tuesday week. Beckham sits out third round FA Cup action today after Manchester United's withdrawal but Watford boss Graham Taylor fears the Treble-winners may have set the trend. 'The FA Cup still has the same attraction for me. It will be the last cup final to be played at Wembley for a while,' said Taylor, whose team face Birmingham at Vicarage Road today. 'It's a shame the holders are not in it, it doesn't seem right. The European scene is taking over and we are finding that the FA Cup is being affected and we'll see this all change. 'Football has changed radically over the last 10 or 15 years and will continue to do so. You're now talking about 17 games to win the European Cup. If that's not a league I don't know what is.'
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Why dis-United FA Cup will never be the same By Ken Lawrence David Beckham will probably be minding the baby while his wife Victoria is out at work today, but he certainly won't be taking little Brooklyn out for a quick spin in the car. Roy Keane will have the time to think about all the money he'll earn from his new contract. A spot of Christmas shopping, perhaps? Sir Alex Ferguson, if he can't actually watch one of his horses running at Haydock, is likely to be glued to Channel 4 Racing. Well, Grandstand's hardly worth watching these days. The Neville brothers would have headed for Gigg Lane to watch their first love Bury had there been a game - though such is their addiction to football they will be tempted by Bury's under-19 and under-17 matches against Bolton Wanderers. Wherever they might be, the one thing none of the Manchester United players will be doing is playing in the third round of the FA Cup. For the first time since the war last year's winners of the world's oldest cup competition will not be involved. Whether any of the United players will realise at the stroke of 3pm that they should really be somewhere else is open to question - though several of them did voice the opinion that they would far rather be defending the trophy than sitting idly by while another team profits by their loss. The real pain will be felt around the country - and not only among the legions of United fans who, despite the furore they kicked up over United's withdrawal from the competition, were ignored at Old Trafford, Westminster and Lancaster Gate. Today, the full enormity of United's withdrawal will hit home harder than one of Keane's tackles. No Manchester United, no dreams of visiting Old Trafford for the likes of Rushden and Diamonds. Even for the squads of the glamour clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool, no chance of pitting themselves against the best team of the decade, the side with a record 10 FA Cup wins. Even if one of those clubs were to triumph at Wembley next May, there will be a hollow ring to the victory. Spiteful or jealous supporters of other clubs can forget salivating at the prospect of seeing their heroes put one over on the club so many love to hate. Match of the Day won't be the same. The TV videprinters, while they will chatter out a few shocks, will not relay to a waiting nation that United are out of the cup or through to the next round. Simply because they are not in it. It can only get worse. The history, the legend of the FA Cup will be irrevocably altered from today. It can never be the same again. There will be a void and, in 100 years time, football's historians may tell the generations of the future that something wonderful died on Saturday December 11 1999. Arthur Albiston, who won the old trophy three times with United, said sadly: 'Only now will the realisation that the club are not involved really kick in. 'The supporters will be tuning in to Match of the Day, watching all the drama and the heroics, and there will be a void for them.' As the competition progresses, memories will come flooding back of United's exploits last season. When we reach the semi-finals what United fan will fail to remember Ryan Giggs' fantastic solo goal in the replay against Arsenal or Peter Schmeichel's wonderful penalty save against Dennis Bergkamp?' United have generated a million memories in the FA Cup. Remember Kevin Moran becoming the first player to be sent off in an FA Cup final in 1985? Or the debacle of defeat at Bournemouth? Or the post-Munich reserve team who lost to Bolton Wanderers at Wembley when Nat Lofthouse charged survivor Harry Gregg into the net? There will be no such memories generated this year, no stories of heroism either for United or against them. On the busiest FA Cup weekend of the year, the most eagerly awaited by all who dream of glory, the sound of silence at Old Trafford will be deafening. What a tragedy.
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Peter Reid believes the FA Cup has been devalued Reid: United have no excuses Carl Liddle Peter Reid believes the FA Cup has been devalued by the absence of Manchester United and the club has no excuse not to be involved. Sunderland manager Reid feels United, who take part in the World Club Championship in Brazil next month, have a big enough squad to cope with both competitions He said: "What United do is their business but I've no doubt they should be in the FA Cup." Reid has no time for the excuses made by the FA in excluding United, saying: "I hear talk about congestion and how it is hard on players with the amount of games they play. But if you are successful then you play many games - remember we have bigger squads now." Reid is also annoyed with the FA at bringing forward the third round to this weekend from its traditional first week in January in order to ease congestion as Euro 2000 approaches. Reid, whose side begins its campaign at home to Portsmouth on Saturday, said: "The FA Cup still has that magic - it is the best one-off competition, even though the FA has indirectly devalued it. "I'm a traditionalist and for me third-round day should be the first week in January. "I would be happy if there were still third or fourth replays to ties and they did not have to be settled by penalties." Reid, meanwhile, dreams of leading Sunderland out at out at Wembley in the last FA Cup final before the stadium is rebuilt. "The first Wembley final involved Bolton, one of my old clubs, so to end the sequence with Sunderland would be a dream come true," he said. Club captain Kevin Ball, whose move to Fulham was completed this week, left with the message that the Wearsiders can go from strength to strength. He said: "The progress they have made in my 10 years at the club has been tremendous and I just want that success to go on and on. Peter Reid has done a great job and the squad is getting stronger all the time."
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