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The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Tue Feb 16 10:30:50 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1.  A drizzly day in Manchester - Personal Match report bt OUR SALFORD LASS
2.  Kevin's cheered up Personal - Match Report by RED KELLY
3.  Manchester United Survey #38 + New Survey #39
4.  Chelsea-Manchester United tie put back to Sunday
5.  Matches to go! Lucky for some?  by Barry
6.  United update fixtures Feb/Mar
7.  Arsenal Can't Afford To Leave Old Trafford Empty-Handed' by Andy Gray
8.  Keegan tips Yorke to turn United into the kings of Europe 
9.  Third time lucky for Cole if his greatest fan takes over 
10. Bates fires broadside at 'selfish United'


Daily RED Trivia  Tuesday 16th February 1999:

16/2/1959: United beat Manchester City 4-1 at Old Trafford in a Division 1 clash
 watched by 59,846. Warren Bradley 2, Freddie Goodwin and Albert Scanlon
 scored for the Reds. Team was: Gregg, Greaves, Carolan, Goodwin, Cope,
 McGuinness, Bradley, Quixall, Viollet, Charlton, Scanlon. 

1973: Peter Fletcher made his debut at Derby County. Fletcher, a tall and mobile
 Centre-forward, made 7 appearances, mainly in United's relegation season, before
 being signed by Hull City in May 1974 in a deal which saw Stuart Pearson come to
 Old Trafford. He later played for Stockport County and Huddersfield Town.


Barry Daily Comment:
Seems like the OT Keegan for England will work!
Andy Cole will then be in favour for England in the future!
The Pontins League game against Notts Forest on 23rd February, has now been
moved to the following evening - the 24th February.  The game will take
place at Fields Mill(?), Mansfield and will kick-off at 7pm

NEW by SAM at Mufc Simplenet.com
Download it now 
http://www.red11.org/mufc/images/player/solskjaer/assasin.jpg  65k
or click on the tin-pic in todays digest on the web!
*NOTE*: All back copies are archived - just add the date you want!

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

Next games: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:

17 Arsenal        (H)  20.00 
20 Coventry       (A)  15.00
27 Southampton    (H)  15.00

UNITED Stats v All teams:


*** FIXTURES ON 17/02/99 ***

         Aston Villa  v  Leeds United
             Chelsea  v  Blackburn Rovers
             Everton  v  Middlesbrough
   Manchester United  v  Arsenal
    Newcastle United  v  Coventry City

*** FIXTURES ON 20/02/99 ***
             Arsenal  v  Leicester City
    Blackburn Rovers  v  Sheffield Wednesday
       Coventry City  v  Manchester United
        Derby County  v  Charlton Athletic
        Leeds United  v  Everton
           Liverpool  v  West Ham United
       Middlesbrough  v  Tottenham Hotspur
   Nottingham Forest  v  Chelsea
         Southampton  v  Newcastle United

*** FIXTURES ON 21/02/99 ***
           Wimbledon  v  Aston Villa

*** LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 13/02/99 ***

Pos Team                  P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    25  14   8   3  59  27   32   50
 2  Chelsea              24  12  10   2  35  19   16   46
 3  Arsenal              24  12   9   3  28  11   17   45
 4  Aston Villa          24  12   7   5  36  25   11   43
 5  Liverpool            25  11   5   9  47  30   17   38
 6  Derby County         25   9  10   6  25  22    3   37
 7  Leeds United         24   9   9   6  36  24   12   36
 8  West Ham United      25  10   6   9  27  36   -9   36
 9  Wimbledon            24   9   8   7  29  35   -6   35
10  Middlesbrough        24   7  11   6  33  31    2   32
11  Tottenham Hotspur    24   7  10   7  29  31   -2   31
12  Newcastle United     24   8   7   9  29  32   -3   31
13  Leicester City       24   7   9   8  25  29   -4   30
14  Sheffield Wednesday  24   8   5  11  27  23    4   29
15  Blackburn Rovers     24   6   7  11  25  31   -6   25
16  Coventry City        24   6   6  12  23  32   -9   24
17  Everton              24   5   9  10  14  27  -13   24
18  Charlton Athletic    25   5   8  12  29  37   -8   23
19  Southampton          24   5   5  14  23  47  -24   20
20  Nottingham Forest    25   3   7  15  21  51  -30   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 Quarter Finals Draw ties to be
played the weekend of Saturday, March 6:

Newcastle United or Blackburn Rovers v Everton  
Barnsley v Leeds United or Spurs  
Arsenal or Sheffield United v Huddersfield Town or Derby  
Manchester United v Chelsea (Sunday 7/3 1400 hrs UK)

Live Bill/Barry/OT Link! [click on pic]

Subject: A drizzly day in Manchester - Personal Match report bt OUR SALFORD LASS It's been a pretty good weekend overall, although the game today wasn't a classic and is not going to take up more than a couple of paragraphs in this report! The weekend began with a job offer, continued with a rejuvenated Salford beating Sheffield to go into the next round of the Challenge Cup, went on into today with a wet return to Manchester for our very own DA and ended this evening with an electronic Valentine card from the one and only Zinedine Zidane! He told me he loved me and made a date for this afternoon at OT but Barry (I just know it was you!), he never turned up. :(((( Men, what can you do with them?? Having seen the successful completion of Salford's cup challenge yesterday, I set off for the Throstle's Nest this morning in good heart. It was cold, dark and drizzling - perfect Manchester weather! Nothing exciting, or even interesting, happened on the way to the pub - a pretty dire situation for someone who has a few hundred people waiting for an interesting report of the day!! A big hug from DA was waiting for me and I spent the next few minutes listening to his much more interesting journey over to the UK - I'm sure we'll hear all about it once he returns across the pond, suffice to say that the "gentleman" who caused DA and Mrs DA to be a day late arriving no longer has a job! We then had a really pleasant hour or so in the pub in the company of a number of esteemed list members, including a very distressed Sausage Man who has, once again, been a pillock and forgotten to apply for his Inter Milan home tickets. Of course, we took the mickey (just a little!), and sang a short chorus of "Cheer up Alan Dobson", whilst DA marvelled at Dobson's drinking habits. Unfortunately, the taxi that DA had booked (and which I was intending to share with him) never arrived and we ended up walking to the ground in the pouring rain whilst DA muttered about how this sort of thing just doesn't happen in the States! Despite everything, however, it was nice to share a few minutes with a very dear friend, and to chat as we walked. We said goodbye on the forecourt and I realised it was only 15 minutes to kick-off, I was still outside the ground, and not only that - but I was at the wrong bloody end of the ground! So I made my way through the tunnel behind South Stand, grabbed a hot dog from a stall on the way, queued up for 10 minutes at the turnstyles and then queued up for another 5 minutes for the ladies. I hate West Stand, one ladies toilet for the whole stand! How I long for East Lower! So I found myself sitting on the toilet listening to the lads coming out onto the pitch. Luckily, I managed to get out of the loo and into the stadium before they actually kicked off, to find a worried son-and-heir wondering where I was, in the second row directly behind the goal (where we should have been on the tele lots - for those of you who decided the crowd was more interesting than the game). I scrambled into my seat just as they were putting the ball onto the centre spot and off we went. Unfortunately, that was about as exciting as it got. As a game, it wasn't the most memorable ever. After the first 10 minutes there was no atmosphere at all (apart from down at the other end, of course) and we had behind us an old bloke who spent the whole game slagging off every United player for every little mistake. They were all "lazy bastards", "useless idiots" etc etc. The people with him were trying very hard to look like they'd never met him before, but he kept giving the game away by calling them by their first names so they resorted to spending most of the game shrugging and smiling apologetically! There's not a lot to say about the game itself except that we couldn't see a thing that was happening down the other end (it's amazing what a difference being two rows further forward makes) and nothing at all happened in the goal directly in front of us! Andy's goal came after a period of pressure from Fulham which had us squirming a bit, but the flood that we expected didn't come and we spent the rest of the game praying that they didn't get another, whilst the players seemed to be under the misapprehension that we were actually winning by 3 or 4! By the end of the game, I couldn't help feeling that we had been very lucky. We could easily have been looking at a replay, although it never looked likely that Fulham would actually beat us. The atmosphere never really got going either, at least down at our end. Why is it that every time we go into J Stand, the atmosphere is crap. But every time we sit anywhere else at a cup game, J Stand is buzzing?? I'm beginning to feel got at! There were some chants of "Cheer up Kevin Keegan" that went round the whole stadium, along with "Who put the ball in the scouser's net?", but in the main most of the chanting was happening down towards J Stand and that corner of North Stand closest to the away fans. Talking of the away fans - what a bunch they were! I don't know why, but I always imagine Fulham fans to be a bit like Millwall fans - a bit 'ard. Not this lot - they looked like bloody Geordies, all black and white wigs and face paint. Not a pretty picture! They were chanting away quite happily to themselves when some bright spark in J Stand started chanting "Keegan for England". This had the desired effect of sending most of the East Stand into paroxisms of rage and the sure sign that they had lost it came when the inevitable aeroplane impressions spread across the stand. Of course, this was exactly what the Reds were after and the whole stadium took up the chant. The Fulham fans responded with "Keegan for Fulham" but to be honest, it didn't sound very convincing! Another chant that went down well in our section was "Who made Kevin cry? Who made Kevin cry? Alex, Alex Ferguson did. Alex, Alex Ferguson did" (to the tune of Who ate all the pies?) For most of the game, though, we East Lower exiles sat in the drizzle in silence, along with the regular residents of what used to be the proud Stretford End - sad, isn't it? It's difficult to pick a man-of-the-match. It was to be Denis Irwin who had an outstanding first half. Unfortunately he didn't appear for the second half. Most of the lads were having a bit of an off-day, Dwight had Fulham players climbing all over him with no protection from the referee (who seemed to have a major problem spotting hand-balls if the hand belonged to a Fulham player), Ole was fairly anonymous, Peter seems to have gone back to his "tactic" of booting every ball as far downfield as possible and we were suffering from the lack of a decent midfield. Greening looked good in patches but looked what he is - young and inexperienced, especially in the second half. So my man-of-the-match is, again, Jaap Stam. He is rapidly becoming the most reliable player we have. Right, I'm off now to replay the game on the video and see if I can see myself. Hopefully both players and crowd will be a little more "up for it" on Wednesday and doesn't the mouth water at the thought of giving Chelsea another 5 goal lesson in Cup football?? Copyright © 1999 by OUR SALFORD LASS. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
Live Bill/Barry/OT Link! [click on pic]

Subject: Kevin's cheered up Personal - Match Report by RED KELLY Kevin's cheered up In a post match interview Keegan laughed and said he probably knew the words to the cheer up Kevin Keegan song better than the United supporters, well, he definitely seems to have cheered up and has the makings of a very good football team at Fulham. We left the Midlands at around 10am in the hope that we would have time to get to the Throstles Nest to meet up with DA and the rest. We intended to take the usual route through Kenilworth and up to the M6 but missed the turn so ended up going through Coventry a week early. The road took us to the M6 up by the NEC and as we drove down the sliproad we spied a van load of Fulham fans. They stood on the hard shoulder waving their arms about and pointing to their shirts. What they had to be cheerful about I have no idea as they had obviously broken down and were in danger of missing the match, but Mick had the perfect response to their excitement and stuck two fingers up at the window as we drove past. You should have seen their faces drop! Apart from a couple of minor accidents and the usual rubber-necking we made the journey in good time and arrived in a very wet Manchester by around midday. As soon as we stepped out of the car we knew we were in for a miserable walk up to the Nest which is a good half hour away from the canal where we usually park. By the time we walked into the pub we were half drowned. Our faces were like skating rinks they were that wet, and our clothes were soaked through and remained that way until at least Stoke on Trent on the journey home. However it was worth the walk to meet up with DA and we spent a good half hour together before we left for the ground. DA and Linda disappeared early which left me sitting next to Pat's young nephew who has an unusual command of the English language for one so young, especially when it comes to expletives! Thanks to Pat I had a ticket for my daughter Eliza which meant that we could sit together again in the Stretford End as we had done for the other Cup games. We had decided it was a lucky omen although the general opinion was that United would romp the game anyway. I wasn't subscribing to that theory however as lower division teams can often cause problems and this was certainly to be the case with Fulham. We left the pub and made our way to the ground out in the miserable rain once more with Mick and I amusing ourselves by seeing who stamp in the puddles and soak the sauageman's white jeans. OK so we've never grown up, but when it's pissing down and your soaked almost to the skin, you've got to do something to amuse yourselves! The sight of Barney and Kerry trying to sell copies of Red News was sadness personified. They were the proverbial drowned rats but it has to be said, exhibiting extreme dedication - or is that stupidity - take your pick. I picked up a couple of fanzines and put them in my jacket pocket and by the time I'd gone another 50 feet they were like bits of rag - absolutely soaked through. After meeting up with Eliza, Steve and others we made our way round to the Stretford End. As we rounded the corner by J Stand who should pull up outside in his chauffeur driven Mercedes but the smarmy smoothy himself, Hugh Grant - obviously a Fulham fan - not another closet Red surely. We checked the back seat of the limo for his usual half naked companion, but he seemed to be alone. Pity, as the incessant drizzle could have shown off the talents of the well endowed Miss Hurley to some effect, I thought! Past the North Stand we went to find a queue at our entrance to the Stretford. Just like old times then - having to queue to get in. Those were the days eh, when we stood in a long line wondering if we would get in. This time we knew we would get in, but when would we get in was the question. As we stood in the dank drizzle yet another expensive motor drew up and waited patiently as the queue reluctantly parted. We looked in the car and there was the requisite blonde in the passenger seat. It must be a footballer then we surmised. And it was, well of sorts anyway. It was Teddy! "Hi Teddy" we waved and he smiled, but I wonder if he looked in his mirror as he drove away. If he did he may have seen the odd gesture - in jest of course!! Once in the ground we were at least sheltered from the rain, for most of the time anyway. It probably wouldn't have made much difference anyway as my jacket was soaked through and I could hardly bend my legs because my jeans were clinging so tightly to them. It was one of those days when you were so wet it was impossible to get warm. We sat only a couple of rows behind LInda and Ian and right behind the net. The goalmouth was a mud bath and the atmosphere reminded me of years past. It could have been something to do with seeing Fulham again at Old Trafford, but it was more to do with the mist, the drizzle and the effect it had on the light. Peter was down at our end in the first half still sporting that stupid bloody goatee beard - someone tell him PLEASE. The game started more or less as soon as we took our seats and for the first few minutes United didn't seem to be able to get the ball, but gradually something like order was restored. It wasn't very good order however because the Cottagers gave as good as they got and some would say, with some justification that they gave a bit better. The atmosphere in the crowd was nothing like it was at the scouse game in the previous round. A few of us were periodically trying to get the crowd going which included a bloke somewhere behind us who came out with a variety of abuse throughout. His favourite phrase was "f**king Cockney bastards" and generally his language was restricted to f'ing Cockney this and f'ing Cockney that! But despite the distinct lack of verbal variety he kept us amused with his ranting. It was about the only thing that did keep us amused. I suppose it was only to be expected that there couldn't be two games on the trot that were record breakingly good, but they could have made a bit more of an effort. About half way through the first half we at least had something to cheer. I'm glad we made the most of it because it was one of the very few times we had the chance to jump up and clap. It helped to restore the circulation to our damp bodies. I had no idea what happened when the goal went in, I couldn't even tell it was Andy who scored it, but Mick confirmed later that it had taken a huge deflection, but we celebrated anyway. The bloke sitting to my left said he thought there would now be a bagfull. "Hmmmm, can't see it myself" I said, and unfortunately I was right. At least by half time we were one up and I could at last pay a visit to the toilet which had been long overdue because of arriving in the ground late. Isn't it always the way that when you are desperate for a leak that you chose the wrong person to stand behind, the very person who obviously has a bladder the size of an elephant and who takes three times as long to relieve himself than anyone else. The second half, we thought, would provide us with the opportunity to witness our attacking prowess at close quarters as surely United would pile on the pressure and break down a stubborn Fulham defence. But apart from a couple of near misses all we had to get excited about was the incessant ball handling by some of the Fulham players especially the amusingly coiffured Rufus Brevit. It wasn't a great game and despite the frequent profanities and insults raining down from behind us and the odd chants of "Keegan for England" which wound the Cottagers up nicely, it wasn't very active in the stands either. At the end of the game we were glad to see the back of it and gave both the Fulham players and Keegan a standing ovation as they left the pitch. They responded magnanimously but I'm sure they'd have rather taken us back to the Cottage and toasted us in front of the home fires. As we left the ground we finally came face to face with the person who had been dishing out the profanities like there was no tomorrow. He was still having a go at the f'ing Cockneys and f'ing Keegan as we were on our way up the steps. The thing that struck me most was that he looked the spit of Shane McGowan and was probably just as pissed as the Irish songster always seems to be. It has to be said that the game wasn't helped by a poor display from a ref who seemed to penalise everything United did, so much so that it looked odds on he would give Fulham a penalty if any one of their players had the nerve to do a dying swan in the box. Either that or he'd been offered a shopping bonanza in Harrods - only joking!! Copyright RED KELLY 1999
Live Bill/Barry/OT Link! [click on pic]

Subject: Manchester United Survey #38 + New Survey #39 www.red11.org Survey #37: Who was/is United's best uncapped player? Steve Bruce 52 69.3% *** Jimmy Greenhoff 7 9.3% Jack Crompton 5 6.7% David May 4 5.3% Charlie Mitten 3 4.0% Eddie Colman 2 2.7% Alan Gowling 1 1.3% Charlie Moore 1 1.3% Total votes: 75 Barry Comment: Steve Bruce ran away with this one! I expected Eddie Colman and even David May to figure but no way, 70% of votes went for Steve!!! ******** www.red11.org Survey #38: Does Roy Keane deserve £40,000 a week? 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) http://www.red11.org/miva/survey_wallpaper.mv Bill McArthur "There's only ONE United - Manchester United!" http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats
Live Bill/Barry/OT Link! [click on pic]

Subject: Chelsea-Manchester United tie put back to Sunday Chelsea's daunting FA Cup quarter final match at Old Trafford will take place on Sunday March 7 even if it is not chosen as ITV or Sky's live televised match. Both clubs had already gained permission from the Premier League to put their fixtures scheduled for that weekend back a day because of European commitments. United play Inter Milan in the Champions League on the previous Wednesday while Chelsea play Norwegian side Valerenga in the European Cup Winners' Cup a day later. But regardless of the date for the clash player-coach Gianluca Vialli will not be able to call on captain Dennis Wise. He will still be serving a four match suspension earned for a red card in Chelsea's fourth round replay victory over Oxford United 12 days ago. Club spokesman Gwyn Williams confirmed: 'That will be the last match of his suspension.' Italian midfielder Roberto Di Matteo, sporting a new blonde shock of hair, booked Chelsea's date with United on Saturday scoring the 85th minute winner which killed off Sheffield Wednesday's cup dream. Until that point it seemed certain the two teams would have to return to Stamford Bridge for a replay in just over a week's time. But with five minutes to go Bjarne Goldbaek picked out the yellow headed Di Matteo who made no mistake from point blank range. For Di Matteo, who started the game on the bench, it was the perfect reply to those team mates who had been criticising his new hairstyle. He said: 'The players have been taking the mickey all week long but they've all gone quiet now. 'There's no reason for it - I just felt like changing the colour. It's just a joke for myself really but obviously the manager didn't like it as he would not play me. 'But at least I got the goal. I have only scored a couple with my head in my career but that one was particularly important.' Gianfranco Zola commented: 'Everyone was horrified by his hair. But we will forgive him anything if scores goals like that. 'We know we have got some time before the final to sort it out. He can't meet the Queen with hair like that.' Spanish defender Albert Ferrer, who was replaced by Di Matteo after half an hour of Saturday's match, looks likely to miss Wednesday's Premiership clash with Blackburn at Stamford Bridge through injury.
Live Bill/Barry/OT Link! [click on pic]

Subject: 21 matches to go! Lucky for some? by Barry March is difficult? Inter Milan + Chelsea Pool/Toon AwAY Check out April! Could be EC Semi x 2 + FAC Semi + Dons/Brian Kidd/Sheep ALL AWAY! Good to see we have one match...Big Ron at Home :))) May? Do not mention it yet.......plain sailing its Villa/Spurs at OT + Bryan Robson (A) then only an FA Cup Final and Nou Camp EC FINAL!!!!!!! do you remember 1968 :))) ++++++++++++++++++ Complete list: February 1999 1 17 Arsenal (H) 20.00 PL 2 20 Coventry (A) 15.00 PL 3 27 Southampton (H) 15.00 PL March 4 3 Inter Milan European Champions league "Quarter Final" 1st leg 19.45 5 7 Chelsea (H) 14.00 FAC6 *SKY SPORTS* LIVE* + Danish TV1 Scandinavia. 6 10 Liverpool (A) 19.45 PL (moved due to FAC) 7 13 Newcastle (A) 15.00 PL 8 17 Inter Milan European Champions league "Quarter Final" 2nd leg 19.45 9 21 Everton (H) 15.00 PL April 10 3 Wimbledon (A) 15.00 PL 11 7 European Cup Semi? 12 10 Blackburn (A) 15.00 PL (subject to FACUP) 13 11 FAC Semi? 14 17 Sheff Wed (H) 15.00 PL 15 21 European Cup Semi? 16 24 Leeds (A) 15.00 PL May 17 1 Aston Villa (H) 15.00 PL 18 8 Middlesbrough (A) 15.00 PL 19 16 Tottenham (H) 16.00 PL 20 22 FAC Final?? 21 26 European Cup final?? Nou Camp Allelujah!
Live Bill/Barry/OT Link! [click on pic]

From: "Paul Hinson" Subject: United update fixtures Feb/Mar Updated fixtures Feb/Mar (Kick-off times UK) Wed Feb 17 ARSENAL (h) 20.00 (Prem) Sat Feb 20 Coventry City (a) 15.00 (Prem) Sat Feb 27 SOUTHAMPTON (h) 15.00 (Prem) Wed Mar 03 INTERNAZIONALE (h) 19.45 (CL-QF) Sun Mar 07 CHELSEA (h) 14.00 (FAC6) Wed Mar 10 Liverpool (a) 19.45 (Prem) Sat Mar 13 Newcastle United (a) 15.00 (Prem) Wed Mar 17 Internazionale (a) 19.45 (CL-QF) Sun Mar 21 EVERTON (h) 15.00 (Prem) March? Phew! The Chelsea game is live on SKY. Paul Hinson (email p.l.hinson@ais.salford.ac.uk)
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Tuesday 16 February 1999 Subject: 'Arsenal Can't Afford To Leave Old Trafford Empty-Handed' by Andy Gray WHEN Manchester United meet Arsenal, it's always a big game. And when both sides are neck and neck in the race for the Premiership title, it's doubly important for both teams. But this time around, I reckon that this is a match that's a lot more crucial for Arsenal than it is for Alex Ferguson's United side. You can't go so far as to say that either team will have suffered a fatal blow to their Premiership title ambitions if they get beaten at Old Trafford tomorrow night. But it is fair to say that it is more important for the Gunners to take something from the game. Arsene Wenger's reigning champions are currently five points behind United with a game in hand. That's not a dreadful position to be in by any means. But if they were to fall behind by another three points at this time of the season, then I for one would find it much harder to see how they could get back at United. A point would be enough for them to stay in touch and to make a statement of intent. They'll be without Bergkamp and Petit up in Manchester, of course. They're both suspended, so the rest of the players will know that they'll be up against it. But any kind of result would really give the team the impetus to go forward and mount a serious title challenge. It's a huge loss to Arsenal to be without Petit and Bergkamp, two of the most vital members of the team. Imagine taking Roy Keane and Dwight Yorke out of the United side and you've got some idea of what Arsenal will have to overcome. Some people might think it will be too difficult for them to deal with those losses, especially when they're still trying to bed in new strikers like Diawara and Kanu. It would be asking a lot of either of those two players to really turn it on at Old Trafford. It almost always takes a wee while for new players, especially new foreign players, to settle down and show their best form. Arsene will know that, but I'm sure that secretly he'll be wishing that his two new boys had been with the club just that little bit longer to give him a few more options for games exactly like this one. Let's not forget, though, that Arsenal are a hard, resilient side and they've proved many times in the past that they have the mental toughness to overcome exactly this kind of obstacle. And it's not as if they don't have a really top-class striker in their line-up. Nicolas Anelka showed that he's really on top of his game when he played for France against England last week and scored two great goals. He's getting better all the time and is certainly more than capable of getting on the scoresheet, no matter what defence he's up against. United will be a really tough nut for Arsenal to crack, though. They're at the absolute peak of their game just now. They're scoring goals, playing well, the Cole/Yorke partnership is as exciting as anything in the league and the whole team seems to be thriving on the pressure. And best of all, as far as Alex is concerned, is that he's been able to rest a lot of his key players to keep them both fresh and motivated. United had a bit of a dip in form at this time last season, but that hasn't happened to them this time around and that will certainly worry all of their rivals. This match promises to be a classic struggle, but let's also remember that no-one will be rubbing their hands about this match as much as Chelsea. They'll be more than happy with the idea of two of their biggest rivals battling it out to take points off each other, won't they?
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Subject: Keegan tips Yorke to turn United into the kings of Europe By Ken Lawrence Tuesday, February 16, 1999 Eric Cantona will always be remembered as the catalyst of Manchester United's spectacular return to the pinnacle of the English game. But for all the Frenchman's impact, he could not inspire United to success in the elusive Champions League. Dwight Yorke, in Kevin Keegan's view, has that ability. If the England manager-in-waiting is correct then the songs of celebration ringing around Old Trafford will have a West Indian reggae beat rather than a variation of the Marseillaise. Keegan, whose Fulham side were beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday, believes the value of Trinidad and Tobago striker's capture from Aston Villa at the start of the season is immeasurable. He said: 'Dwight Yorke is superb, brilliant at linking everything up. The £12.75million spent on him might seem a lot of money but he was a bargain. 'He was the major difference between United and my side, which I know only come from the Second Division. But he will also be the major difference in the Champions League. Obviously he needs the help of other players but Yorke can take Manchester United to the European Cup, which I honestly believe they can now win. His arrival at Old Trafford is the icing on the cake for the team.' With United's Champions League quarter-final against Inter Milan approaching next month, Keegan sees Yorke as the leader of a squad with a far greater depth of skill and strength, a situation on which Cantona could not rely. Tomorrow's vital Premiership clash with champions Arsenal might once have had manager Ferguson issuing prayers against the prospect of injury with Inter's visit imminent. Indeed Ryan Giggs, having missed last season's Champions League quarter-final disappointment against Monaco, is fighting to be fit for the same stage of the tournament despite a similar hamstring problem. But Keegan said: 'There is greater strength in every department of the United squad. Look at Jesper Blomqvist, for instance. He has proved he can be an ideal replacement for Giggs on the left wing. 'As for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, what other manager has the luxury of being able to split up Yorke and Andy Cole and bring in someone who scored four goals as a substitute? 'Jaap Stam, too, grows stronger with every game he plays at the back.' While Keegan believes Yorke is so important for Ferguson, he is almost as impressed by the way Cole has discovered himself again, saying: 'One of the great strengths of United nowadays is Yorke's striking partnership with Andy Cole up front. 'Andy is now a better player than before I sold him to United when I was at Newcastle but it doesn't surprise me how much he has developed. 'The only thing that did surprise me was how long it took him to prove himself at Old Trafford. There is still more to come from him. He will improve further.' Keegan's observations should increase optimism within Old Trafford as Ferguson's players begin a crucial sequence of games that will decide their destiny on three fronts. The Arsenal game apart, they meet Chelsea in the FA Cup, the tie sandwiched between Inter's arrival and a Premiership visit to Liverpool. It is the Champions League which concentrates Ferguson's mind, however, and Keegan is convinced that finally the United manager may reach his Holy Grail. Keegan said: 'Even in the past, when other people were talking about United winning the Champions League, I never believed they could do it. Now I'm convinced they can.'
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Subject: Third time lucky for Cole if his greatest fan takes over Andy Cole has been told twice that he is not good enough to play for England - by Terry Venables and Glenn Hoddle. But if Cole was hoping for the chance to make it third time lucky at international level, he could hardly have wished for a better choice of England coach than Kevin Keegan. In contrast to Venables and Hoddle, who discarded Cole after giving him the most fleeting of opportunities - a total of just 33 minutes between them, Keegan has always remained his strongest backer. That support has never wavered even though it was Keegan who stood outside St James' Park in January 1995 to explain to the disbelieving Toon Army why he sold Cole to Manchester United in a £7million deal. It was Keegan who had gambled on Cole when he bought him from Bristol City in 1993. The response was 68 goals in 84 appearances. Even when they parted company, they did not fall out. Only two weeks ago, after Hoddle's final act was to swallow his pride and select Cole for the squad to play France, Keegan had no doubts he was worth his call-up, maintaining that the 27-year-old had improved immeasurably under Alex Ferguson's tutelage. Mention of that brought a smile to Cole's face as he prepared for the France game. He said: 'When Kevin sold me to United, he said I'd become a better player and he gave me the opportunity. I've got a lot of respect for him. He is a lovely geezer, a nice guy. Everybody knows the way he wants to play football as well.' Cole was the first player to put his head above the parapet and say Keegan should be England manager. That was not too surprising, especially as he would have shivered at the thought of Terry Venables returning. If Cole is set to be one of the chief beneficiaries, there are plenty of others whose international standing will be improved or even reborn as Keegan's footballing philosophy begins to direct the future. Robbie Fowler, for one, will feel he has a genuine chance to prove himself again. Keegan has a real faith in the Liverpool striker's natural talent. When Fowler was sent off in Austria in 1994, Keegan, then temporarily in charge of the England Under 21 side, rushed to his defence. Fowler never convinced Hoddle of his ability but Keegan is already a convert. If the forward can return to his prime scoring form he can rest assured that Keegan will take notice. Keegan was, of course, the manager who smashed the world transfer record when he paid £15m to take Alan Shearer back home to St James', a signal of his belief in the current England skipper's quality. Yet Keegan is also keen on Nick Barmby, who has lost his way dramatically since scoring the first England goal under Hoddle, and Chris Sutton, who knew last February he could never play for England again while the former coach remained in charge. The players who worked under Keegan at Newcastle know more about him than most, and he also knows more about them. One of those for whom he never had a bad word - even though he could never work out what his best position was - is Steve Watson, now at Aston Villa. As a utility player, Watson's value for his club was never in doubt and his fitness and strength were often praised. While lacking explosive pace, he is attack-minded and his determination to work on the deficient defensive aspects of his game has paid off. Watson, who played at centre half, centre forward, midfield and wide right for Keegan at Newcastle, has now fixed his sights on maturing into a right-sided defender and has demonstrated his consistency since moving to Villa Park. Given the choice, Keegan's option is to go for full backs with flair, as opposed to the type who are wary of crossing the halfway line. Watson's natural instincts could help him while Steve Howey, who lost more than two years to a series of injuries, and perhaps goalkeeper Shaka Hislop could also benefit from being Keegan players in the past. The advent of Keegan should mean that David Beckham is finally handed the keys to the international door as England's playmaker. Asked about the role he saw for the Manchester United man, Keegan was forthright: 'I'd begin by playing David in his best position, the one he was born for - central midfield.' That may be bad news for Jamie Redknapp, as Keegan teams tend to play with a defensive midfielder - Newcastle used Paul Bracewell, Barry Venison, Rob Lee and then David Batty - even though the Liverpool man scored a hat-trick for Keegan in that game in Austria. Paul Scholes is another whom Keegan rates highly, as is his United team-mate Phil Neville, who has lost his place for club and country since being left out of the World Cup squad at the final cut. But good news for some will be bad news for others, and two of the players shown the door by Keegan at Newcastle may not be wearing big smiles this morning. Darren Huckerby's blistering pace has made him a huge favourite at Coventry, but after buying him from Lincoln, Keegan gave him just one brief appearance as a substitute before selling him on. That was one more appearance than Keegan gave winger Steve Guppy after signing him from Wycombe. Guppy's appearances on the left wing for Leicester earned him a B cap last season but he was dismissed by Keegan as not being up to the job. When pressed, Keegan admits that he is a stubborn man. It is unlikely that his feeling on those two players will have shifted and there there must also be doubts about the international futures of Paul Ince and Teddy Sheringham.
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Subject: Bates fires broadside at 'selfish United' Bates fires broadside at 'selfish United' Vivek Chaudhary hears the Chelsea chairman's views on pay-per-view Monday February 15, 1999 The Chelsea chairman Ken Bates, whose club charge the highest admission prices in the country, yesterday launched a stinging attack on Manchester United, accusing them of trying to cash in on the introduction of pay-per-view channels without concern for the welfare of English football. Bates fired his broadside while giving evidence in the case brought by the Office of Fair Trading against the Premier League, BSkyB and the BBC over the League's right to negotiate a collective television deal on behalf of all its 20 clubs. He told the Restrictive Practices Court that pay-per-view football channels are likely to be introduced in the very near future and that many leading clubs, particularly Manchester United, wanted to keep all the revenue they made from the broadcasts for themselves. The Chelsea chairman was giving evidence on behalf of the Premier League, claiming that the collective television deal of £743 million is good for the game because most of the money is distributed among the League's clubs, thereby ensuring healthy competition. The future, claimed Bates, is pay-per-view channels but some form of collective agreement over the redistribution of money made from the channels is still needed to ensure healthy competition at the top end of the English game. Manchester United, he claimed, were not interested in sharing any profits. Bates's comments come as the first pay-per-view match takes place on Sunday between Sunderland and Oxford and many believe that pay-per-view Premiership games will be shown by next season. "Some clubs would like to treat pay-per-view money as gate money and share it only with the opposing team," he said. "Going on the commercial basis to date, I think Manchester United are only interested in Manchester United." When asked by Geoffrey Vos, QC, representing the OFT, whether he was sure large clubs such as Manchester United would be unwilling to redistribute money from pay-per-view channels, Bates replied: "On my experience I'm fairly confident that they would not. There are a number of clubs who don't give a damn about anyone except themselves." Bates added that he did not consider Chelsea to be one of those clubs and that he would support an agreement in which a large portion of television money is distributed among all Premier League clubs. The OFT is arguing that individual clubs should be allowed to negotiate their own television deals because consumers are losing out under the current agreement. The deal between the Premier League, BSkyB and the BBC terminates in 2001 and only 60 league matches are allowed to be broadcast live each season. The Premier League claims that if the OFT wins, then this will only benefit big clubs and that the level of competition will be affected. Bates told the court that pay-per-view channels had been discussed by Premier League chairmen but there was no agreement on whether money generated from them should be distributed among the clubs. The technology is in place and most leading clubs, including Chelsea, already have their own channels. Bates added: "I think there's a very divided debate going on in the Premier League about that [pay-per-view channels]. In fact Sky made such a proposition this season and it was rejected. It is not a question of technology, it's a question of whether we want to do it or not." Bates was also asked by Vos about the high ticket prices at Chelsea and whether they prevented fans from attending matches. The most expensive is £60 and some season tickets cost more than £1,000. "You would agree that there are people who can't afford to watch Chelsea on a regular basis?" he said. Bates replied: "No, I would disagree. The fact of the matter is that they can afford it,they just can't get the tickets. There is a minority too poor to come to Chelsea, but they are such a minority I don't think it's worth taking into consideration."
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