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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Fri Sep 17 1999 02:35:38 GMT
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS
2. Personal Report by RED KELLY
3. Ferguson to resist short-term solutions
4. Keane's Champions League misery
5. Bosnich United future in doubt?
7. Wallwork pleads for mercy over ref attack
8. Ask the StatMan


*** To date our unbeaten runs stand currently as:

Unbeaten League run = 27
20 1998/99
+ 7 1999/00

Unbeaten League and Cup = 41
20 League 1998/99
+7 League 1999/00
+8 FA Cup 1999/00
+5 CL 1998/99
+1 CL 1999/00
+0 LC

Unbeaten Domestic League and Cup = 35
20 League 1998/99
+7 League 1999/00
+8 FA Cup 1998/99
+0 LC

figures by Masterfan Paul Hinson


99/2000 fixtures/match reports are at


*** FIXTURES ON 18/09/99 ***

         Aston Villa  v  Bradford City
        Derby County  v  Sunderland
      Leicester City  v  Liverpool
   Manchester United  v  Wimbledon
         Southampton  v  Arsenal
             Watford  v  Chelsea

*** FIXTURES ON 19/09/99 ***

             Everton  v  West Ham United
        Leeds United  v  Middlesbrough
    Newcastle United  v  Sheffield Wednesday
   Tottenham Hotspur  v  Coventry City



18-SEP-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Wimbledon   (FA Premier League, HOME)
22-SEP-1999 [19:45] Manchester Utd. vs Sturm Graz  (UEFA Champions League, AWAY)
25-SEP-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Southampton (FA Premier League, HOME)
29-SEP-1999 [19:45] Manchester Utd. vs Marseilles  (UEFA Champions League, HOME)


UNITED Stats v All teams:

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                         KO Time
14/09/99    Croatia Zagreb           Home EC   19.45
18/09/99    Wimbledon                Home PL   15.00
22/09/99    Sturm Graz               Away EC   19.45
25/09/99    Southampton              Home PL   15.00
29/09/99    Marseille                Home EC   19.45
 3/10/99    Chelsea                  Away PL   16.00   "live on sky"

*11/10/99   Sir Alex Ferguson's testimonial OT [Schmeichel + Cantona]

13/10/99    ?     WC 3
16/10/99    Watford                  Home PL   15.00
19/10/99    Marseille                Away EC   19.45 
23/10/99    Tottenham Hotspur        Away PL   15.00
27/10/99    Croatia Zagreb           Away EC   19.45
30/10/99    Aston Villa              home PL   15.00
 2/11/99    Sturm Graz               Home EC   19.45 
 6/11/99    Leicester City           Home PL   15.00
20/11/99    Derby County             Away PL   15.00
24/11/99    ?     EC
27/11/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Away PL   15.00
30/11/99    Tokyo  Palmeiras         WCC       20.00
 1/12/99    ?     WC 4
 4/12/99    Everton                  Home PL   15.00
 8/12/99    ?     EC
11/12/99    FAC 3 Will not enter ...
15/12/99    ?     WC 5
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"
 3/01/2000  Middlesborough           Home PL   20.00

 ***** 5-14 /01/2000 Brazil WTC  *****   [3-4 games]

*  8/01/2000  FAC 4 Will not enter ...
12/01/2000  ?    WC sf i
15/01/2000  Leeds United             Away PL   15.00
22/01/2000  Arsenal                  Home PL   15.00
26/01/2000  ?    WC sf ii
* 29/01/2000  FAC 5 Will not enter ...
 5/02/2000  Coventry City            Home PL   15.00
12/02/2000  Newcastle United         Away PL   15.00
* 19/02/2000  FAC 6 Will not enter ...
26/02/2000  Wimbledon                Away PL   15.00
27/02/2000  ?   Wembley WC f
 1/03/2000  ?   EC
 4/03/2000  Liverpool                Home PL   15.00
 8/03/2000  ?   EC
11/03/2000  Derby County             Home PL   15.00
15/03/2000  ?   EC
18/03/2000  Leicester City           Away PL   15.00
22/03/2000  ?   EC
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
*  9/04/2000  FAC sf Will not enter ...
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
* 20/05/2000 Wembley FAC f Will not enter ...
24/05/2000  ?    EC f



EC links + Personal diaries here:

 Its the presentation of the European Cup at Nou Camp
  Video including sound   57secs  1.5 meg 

Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS * * * Things can only get better by OUR SALFORD LASS There are a number of ways I could describe the game last night, most of them involving the word crap or something similar, and it's actually quite difficult motivating myself this morning, to write this report. Apart from the fact I am in work (and supposed to be working, surprisingly enough!), I am finding it very difficult to convince myself that I really do want to re-live yesterday evening, rather than just forget about it and get on with more interesting and less frustrating things (like watching for changes in the City trophy room, for example). But as your intrepid reporter, I suppose I have to gird my loins and get on with it, so here we go! Arriving on the bus at the top of Sir Matt Busby Way, in bright sunshine, it was hard to raise myself for the night ahead. It just didn't seem like a European evening. It was too sunny for a start - European evenings should start with the lights of the stadium gleaming through the dark, misty air. This was more like the Charity Shield than the Champions League. It was also very difficult to get enthusiastic about playing a team you have barely heard of. On the way to the game, I read the review of the game in the MEN, and I hadn't heard of a single Zagreb player! Their fans were, however, making their present felt in central Manchester, well before kick-off time. As we travelled on the bus, towards White City, with a dozen blue-shirted lads at the back chanting in a language I had never heard before, I began to think that perhaps this might turn out to be an OK evening after all. Their enthusiasm began to rub off on me as we drew nearer to Old Trafford (the other passengers, on their way home from work, looked somewhat less enthusiastic!) I arrived outside Macari's chippy (where I had arranged to meet various unsavoury characters) to find a large group of Zagreb fans already in residence and growing by the minute. I got some chips and gravy and spent the next 15 minutes watching this totally mad group of lads going mental. Shirtless and constantly jumping up and down, they sang "Who the f*** are Man United" (!) and let off flares. Whatever they were on should be passed around Old Trafford and made compulsory, because they never stopped - outside the ground, on the way to the ground (only stopping to inform a well-known fanzine seller of their displeasure at their recent name change), right through the game, and during their lock-in after the game (as we grumpily disappeared off up Sir Matt Busby Way). For all I know, they are probably still singing now! Once the flares came out, the police got tetchy and moved them off down towards the ground. I was left with only the Leamington Skinhead, the Blackout King, Doctor Mark, a scouser and a sexist plonker from Swindon to keep me amused. The s.p. from Swindon (otherwise known as Graham) had brought the scouser with him and he provided much pleasure as we rubbed in last weekend's victory and tried to discover where he'd left his scouse accent (do you come from Liverpool?). Graham fascinated us all with his tales of getting lost, United hat-tricks and marriage proposals. Graham - the scouser is bad luck - don't bring him again!! Eventually, we had to set off down to the ground and that is when the whole evening started to go downhill (perhaps we should have stayed chattiing outside the Chippy instead!). After saying goodbye to the Leamington Skinhead (who was muttering about having "only been coming here for 40 bloody years" after an SPS employee had kindly offered advice as to how to find his way to his seat) I entered East Lower, bought a programme and headed off for my seat. Once there, I looked up at L Stand to see a pretty horrible sight - all the Zagreb fans were concentrated at the front of the stand, shirts off, waving their flags, shirts and scarves, and chanting away madly. Whilst admiring their commitment and enthusiasm (particularly when compared to the library all around me), it was a not an edifying sight, being too much like having a bunch of mad Leeds fans in the place! We watched the diminuitive Zagreb keeper letting in goal after goal, and ducked at regular intervals when the Zagreb forwards sprayed their shots all over East Stand, and commented on how this lot shouldn't be too difficult to beat. The team news was a surprise. After all the news about injuries we were pleased to see that the team chosen was actually quite a strong team. Obviously missing either Butt or Keane in midfield, and with Michael Clegg on for Gary Neville, but Rai was playing ahead of Bosnich, and it was almost a first-choice line-up (so no excuses there then!). When the players came out for the start of the game, the atmosphere was flat. Usually, at this stage I have serious butterflies in my stomach, but last night I was no more nervous than if it had been Newcastle and not half as excited. I looked around me and everyone else seemed to be the same. The usual electric atmosphere just wasn't there. And neither were many familiar faces. A lot of people seem to have decided to ease the financial pressures by not attending these less attractive games and East Lower was full of strangers. Despite this, I was pretty upbeat to start with. Everyone was standing and we were being left to get on with it (only being politely asked to keep the aisles clear - this worries me a lot - SPS men being polite!!). With the noise coming from our left (including "Who the f*** are Man United" in Croatian accents) I expected that the atmosphere would improve once people got into their seats and the chanting got going. But it just never happened. Some of us tried - with "Champions of Europe" and "The United Calypso" - but most of the residents of East Lower just stood there, like bloody statues, in stony silence. We kept trying (as did isolated groups of fans all over the stand) but eventually, began to wonder why we were bothering and it became increasingly difficult to maintain the necessary enthusiasm. As for the game on the pitch, well the least said the better. Apart from the Fenerbahce game a couple of seasons ago, I cannot remember being at a European game as bad as this one. I can remember being more miserable (getting stuffed by Juventus has never been a pleasant experience), but at least one of the teams was playing decent football, and I can remember 0-0 draws that were actually good games, but this was absolutely and unremittingly awful. I've heard Fergie talk this morning about the way Zagreb defending having been the problem and I've read in all the papers about our injury problems, but I believe none of it. The truth was they were shite and we were too sloppy/complacent/lazy (take your pick) to take advantage of it. We should have stuffed them and we ended up barely scraping a draw. They had a keeper who spilled the ball at least 3 times and was just about the worse keeper (other than James, of course) I have ever seen, they had a defence that even I could have got through and they had no noticeable strike force, and yet the best team in the world, with all the awesome talent we had on the pitch last night (despite injuries, we had Stam, Berg, Phil Neville, Scholes, Giggs, Becks, Yorke and Cole - not a bad line-up) couldn't manage a single goal. Yes, we missed Keane in midfield, but their midfield was hardly the best in Europe. Yes, the youngsters made a couple of mistakes, but the only United players on the pitch who could honestly say this morning that they could be proud of their contribution were Stam and Cole (and perhaps Berg). The truth was it was just one of those awful nights that happen in football now and again, and it was gruesome to watch. And it wasn't helped by the lack of atmosphere off the pitch. Perhaps we could have lifted them if we had tried. Perhaps if we had got behind them instead of whistling and booing every time someone lost or misplaced the ball (as we were doing increasingly in the second half), we might have managed to lift them enough to score at least one goal. But it was never going to happen and by the end of the game, I was sitting down quietly like everyone else, being totally disheartened by the football and the fans around me, and wishing I was up in L Stand with the Zagreb fans as they seemed to be having a much better time. As the game drew to its close, I just longed for the final whistle so that I could go home and end the misery. Eventually the referee took pity on us all and we were able to escape. As we left the stadium, to the sound of much celebration up in L Stand, I said to the son-and-heir that this was one of those games that, instead of leaving you elated or despairing, just leaves you feeling like crap. My man-of-the-match? Jaap Stam - the only player who truly did himself justice last night, but then doesn't he always? Copyright OUR SALFORD LASS 1999 All rights reserved. No part of this work to be used without the author's permission.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Personal Report by RED KELLY * * * The unscratchable Itch by RED KELLY Franjo Tudjman the president of Croatia Zagreb who is also the president of Croatia (the country), has been accused of fixing his team's title success on the final day of last season when their biggest rivals had a goal chalked off. He also fixed the change of name of his club, now where have we heard that one before, but wherever that was this is a more contentious alteration. The first night of the European Championship defence had been eagerly awaited and when four of us gave ourselves up to the mercies of the motorway system we were looking forward to an entertaining evening. Well three of us were - I'm not sure about that harbinger Dr Mark of course! Apart from "why didn't you go up the M5' from Richard and "we should have turned off the M6 and gone via Walsall" from the harbinger, we passed through the Midlands with relative ease and stopped off for a "Welcome Break" at Keele. There we saw a packaged item which must be heaven sent for our missing mate Mr (I've just been on honeymoon) Meade. It was a pasty the size of the Severn Bridge and called "The Beast of Bodmin" and would surely satisfy even the most voracious of appetites and two would also satisfy BDS himself. We parked up at Bronnington with plenty of time to spare and were getting jackets out of the boot when I realised I had a football with me so we started a kickabout on the carpark which was going very well until some idiot thought he'd play silly buggers and pass the ball through a moving car as it was parking. OK I admit it, it was me. But the pass was superbly weighted and would have achieved it's objective had the car not decided it was going to seek an alternative parking spot at the last moment thus turning and squashing the ball. Game over and a very sad looking football only purchased on Sunday at a car boot sale was turned momentarily into a hat perched atop the bald pate, but despite requests that I should wear it to the match, I declined and the sad looking item was discarded. We made our way up towards Macaris on Chester Road where I had arranged to meet Linda. On the way we passed a worrying sight. It was Barney smiling and in particularly good humour. Now, anyone who knows Barney will be aware that, especially on European nights he is extremely nervous, but last night he had this smug "bin there and done it look" which belied tradition. He was being drip fed Stella Artois which had obviously led to a false confidence and the rash proclamation to all passing Zagreb supporters that they should be satisfied with their new name of Croatia whereas in truth they were all severely pissed off with it, preferring the original Dinamo Zagreb. And who could blame them. It would be like our friend Martin deciding that Manchester United FC should be called just plain and simple Manchester United (the brand) or worse still, England United. All the Zagrebians were well gone having been boozing all day, walking down the Warwick Road singing, "who the foooook are Man Yoooniteed." They were mostly in good humour though although some were, let's say, slightly miffed at Barney's insistence about their new identity. Thankfully he was sensible enough to keep his mouth firmly shut as the members of the "Bad Boys Blue" came past. Once at Macaris I found Linda who was with Graham (I wish I'd come in a taxi) Ireland and his scouse mate. He was still trying to work out how to get to Manchester from the M6. After all the visits he's made to Old Trafford he still turns off the M6 and gets hopelessly lost ending up in places as far apart as Southport and Carlisle. I think he should make the trip more often as he kept us amused with stories of hat-tricks and proposals of marriage etc. Don't ask me - ask him! The atmosphere on Chester Road was very relaxed and not really like the usual pre European game scene. It made me wonder what it was going to be like in the stadium. In fact, in many ways I wished I'd never found out because even though we were all stood up as is the norm for the European ties these days, the atmosphere was pretty well non existent except in the Zagreb corner where there was a bunch of half naked Blue Boys bouncing and singing all the way through. They put us to shame and I can only hope our travelling support for the return leg let them know what true Manchester United supporting is all about rather than the lot who inhabited OT last night It was the same all over the ground. Are we really that spoilt that we can't muster anything except "there's only five of us singing" from the back of K Stand? So we can't really say that standing makes a difference now can we? So what's going to be the next excuse? I know the Red shirts were not exactly setting the pitch alight but maybe they could have been given a lift by some encouragement. But no - we were all as lethargic as each other and at first Ozzies men were threatening to run riot. It was fortunate that after the first ten minutes they remembered their game plan and Nastyitch and Scratchmyitch up front retreated back into the 64 man defence for the rest of the night. Good job old Prozac wasn't playing or we may have been in real trouble. And who's worried about not having Taibi in goal when there would have been nothing for him to do anyway. Pity our forwards couldn't take advantage of their keeper spilling balls all over his area or we may have been rewarded with an interesting game rather than the boring spectacle we were subjected to. There were perhaps a couple of near misses in the first half as United attacked our end, like when Becks passed to Andy and just as he was about to ..........shoot...............a blurred vision in blue stuck out a leg and toe-poked the ball away. Yorke had another sort of shot which seemed to be going well wide until a huge collective intake of breath prior to yet another yawn from K Stand, sucked it towards the goal but it still managed to trickled round the post. The most amusing moment came when Stam entered enemy territory and released a shot of immense power which unfortunately for Thatbloodyhurtitch, hit him right in the Tottinghams and he writhed around for some time while we all let out a collective "oooh nasty". But that was it for the first half and not wanting to incriminate two well known list members I won't tell you what was going on at half time down in the K Stand gents. My lips are sealed chaps, no amount of requests will prise the information from me but next time you see me outside Macaris - mine's a Boddies please! The second half continued much as the first, although towards the end when Teddy came on there was a glimmer of hope as Yorke sent a rather hopeful ball in which came back off the crossbar and Teddy himself had a point blank shot blocked by the keeper which should have led to yet another corner but the ref missed it because he was snoring on the halfway line. You couldn't blame him - he'd been standing in a queue for cabbages all week in Moscow. So that was it - someone roused the ref and he blew for time. The game ended as it had begun, rather like a nasty unscratchable itch. The Dinamo players ran over to celebrate with their worthy supporters. One got a little over excited and leapt into the crowd took his shirt of and threw it to them and others followed suit. I have to admit that they deserved their point more than we deserved ours and we left to their singing ringing in our ears and were thankful for a single point. Not the most inspiring start to the defence of our coveted title, but I suppose we had a lightweight midfield which without Keane or Butt couldn't contrive the space to allow the ball players to create. Our two 'wingers' repeatedly came inside which was supposed to allow the fullbacks to overlap and provide the width, but they kept losing the ball and then panic ensued as Zagreb progressed over the halfway line. It didn't really matter though as whenever that happened they all got nosebleeds and retreated back to home territory. So it was back to the car and out on the motorway system again. Fortunately the roads were relatively clear and the journey was swift and painless, not that my passengers would have noticed anyway as they were all a-bloody sleep! I'm sure I noticed that man Ireland going in the wrong direction though! RED KELLY 1999
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Ferguson to resist short-term solutions BY STEPHEN WOOD QUICK fixes have never really appealed to Sir Alex Ferguson in his time as manager of Manchester United, but the importance of the next fortnight will alter his perspective for the moment. For it is in that period that United's quest to retain their position as the kings of Europe will founder or flourish. The frustrating goalless draw against Croatia Zagreb at Old Trafford on Tuesday, which initiated their latest campaign in the European Cup Champions' League, precipitated again the tendency to direct blame at United's board of directors. According to knee-jerk reaction, if it would not be so prudent with the millions that the club has at its disposal, United would be joint top of group D today, alongside Marseilles. In the long term, the reluctance shown by Martin Edwards, the chairman of the football club and chief executive of the plc, to commit cash to Ferguson's transfer fund is bound to harm United. If it was not obvious before the events of Tuesday night, there was no doubt in anyone's mind afterwards that the task of successfully defending the trophy that they won in such dramatic circumstances last May will prove unimaginably difficult. Ferguson's words, therefore, need to be heeded by his own board if United are to overcome once again the best that Europe can throw at them in the knockout stages. Zagreb, Marseilles and Sturm Graz do not come into that category, so if it is qualification from the first group phase that has to be acquired, who would swap the talents of Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, Cole and Yorke? Despite all the injury problems that United had to deal with, they still had that quintet at their disposal. On another night, against a team less resolute than Zagreb, the home side would have recorded a satisfactory win. It is too easy to idolise players who are not there, for whatever reason, but neither Ronaldo nor Rivaldo - nor even Ronald McDonald - would have hoodwinked Zagreb into surrender on Tuesday. As Ferguson pointed out, Zagreb will not be the first team to crowd United in midfield, to try to limit the supply to Giggs and Beckham and to fight like men possessed to earn a 0-0 draw. Sturm Graz and Marseilles will find themselves doing it in United's next two Champions' League games over the next two weeks: it will merely be a question of the "famous five" recapturing their dynamic form. Certainly, United missed Roy Keane, their injured captain, but if there is a better midfield player to buy as a replacement - in either the short or long term - Ferguson would love to see him. Keane, who was expected to return for the trip to Austria next Wednesday, will not now be available, for he suffered a knee injury as well as a hamstring strain while on duty with Ireland last week. "We have told him to go home and rest it until next week," Ferguson said yesterday. "It's not a big concern, but it means he won't be back as quickly as we had hoped." Regardless of Keane's presence, the theory from the dressing-room yesterday, expounded by Henning Berg and Teddy Sheringham, was that United would learn their lesson after waiting for, rather than making, something to happen on the pitch. Putting that into practice in Graz next Wednesday would direct them steadily towards the ten-point mark that Ferguson believes will prove enough to progress to the next phase of the Champions' League. Graz's home is the delightfully named Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium, in honour of the film star who grew up in the town. A hostile crowd in intimate surroundings should stir the visitors, proving that the real Manchester United, far from being back, never really went away in the first place. Times Newspapers Limited
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Keane's Champions League misery Roy Keane's hamstring injury is set to keep him out of two of Manchester United's forthcoming Champions League fixtures. The United skipper will miss the game next Wednesday when United travel to face Sturm Graz of Austria and for the home game against Marseille the week after. Alex Ferguson could also be without the influential midfielder for the away game against Marseille on October 19th. The hamstring injury which Keane has suffered is seen as a consequence of his cruciate knee ligament injury which kept him out of action for over a season. This type of injury puts a special strain on the hamstring as muscles look to adjust to the extra forces being placed on them. United boss Alex Ferguson has given Keane a weeks rest following this news putting extra pressure on the boss as the fixture schedule mounts up with Ferguson commenting: "It isn't a big concern, but he won't be back as quick as we first thought. We will be able to assess the situation better when he comes back next month." This could open a midfield void as Nicky Butt struggles to be fit possibly giving an opening for the inexperienced Mark Wilson to play his part.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Bosnich United future in doubt? Reports suggest that Manchester United 'keeper Mark Bosnich could be axed from Old Trafford after a dismal opening spell to his United career. The most highly paid player at the club has recently become second fiddle to new man Masssimo Taibi and his understudy Raimond van der Gouw after suffering an injury early this season. The shot stopper had to watch the Croatia Zagreb game from the bench and is set to surrender top spot to Taibi on Saturday when United take on Wimbledon in the Premiership. Bosnich is to be given three months to prove himself at Old Trafford and if he does not could be on his way out. Spanish club Real Zaragoza have today been linked with the former Aston Villa man and could swoop to sign the Australian in mid December when they can look to sign players. United meanwhile are dismissing speculation that Bosnich could be on his way to Spanish football after being pushed down the pecking order.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: BOSNICH STAYS, INSISTS FERGUSON Sir Alex Ferguson dismissed reports that Mark Bosnich could be on his way to Spanish football, insisting: "It's a load of nonsense. Mark is going nowhere." Speculation arose because Bosnich has dropped down the pecking order at Old Trafford since the arrival of 4.5million signing Massimo Taibi, who stands by to make his home debut against Wimbledon on Saturday. Bosnich played for United reserves last night after being a substitute for Tuesday's Champions League draw against Croatia Zagrab when Raimond van der Gouw was in goal because Taibi was ineligible. The former Aston Villa keeper has been linked with Spanish club Real Zaragoza but manager Ferguson says he is anxious to keep all three keepers at the club because competition for places will mean all will have to be "on their toes". PA Sporting Life
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Wallwork pleads for mercy over ref attack By Daniel Taylor Ronnie Wallwork, Manchester United's 22-year-old centre back, last night pleaded for mercy as he faced up to the prospect of being banned from football for life. Wallwork was banned indefinitely by the Belgian FA for attacking a referee while on loan with United's twin club FC Antwerp. United are hoping to overturn the punishment and Wallwork's fate will be decided by a Belgian civil court today. He said: 'Without football, my life will be over. My goal in life has always been to be a footballer and now it could be taken away from me. I have never felt more scared. 'At this stage of my life I cannot imagine how awful it would feel having to give up football and look elsewhere to start a new job. There would be nothing worse. 'I have just got to hope that the ban is reduced and an alternative punishment is handed out. 'When I heard the initial ruling I was in total shock. It was the last thing I had expected and I was stunned. 'Since then it has been very hard but having the manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, supporting me has made life bearable. He has been a great help.' The ban was imposed after Wallwork and United team-mate Danny Higginbotham were accused of attacking referee Amand Ancion when Antwerp's Second Division promotion play-off defeat by La Louviere degenerated into a free-for-all after the final whistle. The referee alleges he was assaulted by players in the dimly-lit tunnel and that Wallwork grabbed him by the throat. Higginbotham is also alleged to have laid hands on the referee and other players are said to have kicked in door panels and damaged the dressing-room. United are also appealing against a one-year ban imposed on Higginbotham, who has denied any involvement. The bans were lifted pending the appeal, allowing Wallwork to play as a 40th-minute substitute in the 3-2 win at Liverpool last Saturday. United's legal team are optimistic after finding several witnesses who claim Ancion exaggerated his claims of being attacked in the tunnel. The official has been suspended after an inquiry into a Belgian League match which featured five penalties and four sending-offs. Ferguson called Wallwork's punishment 'astonishing' and the Professional Footballers' Association backed the appeal. PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said last night: 'We appreciate the need for discipline and referees must always be protected but we feel this was a Draconian ruling. We have contacted the Belgian authorities to let them know how we feel. 'There must be something more practical and realistic than ending the career of a young footballer who has never been involved in trouble before.' If the appeal fails, United will take the case to FIFA. A club spokesman said: 'There are other avenues for us to follow up if necessary but hopefully that won't be needed. We put our case forward in the appeal hearing three weeks ago and we're optimistic of a positive outcome.'
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Subject: Ask the StatMan Date: Tuesday, September 14, 1999 Time: 11:26 AM EST Submitted by: Andrew Pearson Email address: andrew.pearson@philips.com visitor_country: USA visitor_age: 30 Question: Sorry to trouble you with something that seems to trivial, but the amount of "historical" data at my disposal in somewhat limited. I'm trying to find some info on United in the 1983/84 season, and specifically; Where did United finish in the league? What happened in the FA Cup, the League Cup and the CWC? (round, opponents at each stage, scores etc) Cheers, Andrew. ============================================================================ Statman Answer: In 1983/84 United finished 4th in Division 1, with a record of: home P 21 W 14 D 3 L4 F 43 A 18 away P 21 W 6 D 11 L 4 F 28 A 23 total P 42 W 20 D 14 L 8 F 71 A 41 P 74 Top scorers: 13 Stapleton 12 Robson 10 Whiteside FA Cup (3) Jan 7 Bournemouth (a) 0-2 14,782 League Cup (2/1) Oct 3 Port Vale (a) 1-0 (Stapleton) 19,885 (2/2) Oct 26 Port Vale (a) 2-0 (Whiteside, Wilkins) 23,589 (3) Nov 8 Colchester United (a) 2-0 (McQueen, Moses) 13,031 (4) Nov 30 Oxford United (a) 1-1 (Hughes) 13,739 (4R) Dec 7 Oxford United (h) 1-1 aet (Stapleton) 27,459 (4R) Dec 19 Oxford United (a) 1-2 aet (Graham) 13,912 ECWC (1/1) Sep 14 Dukla Prague (h) 1-1 (Wilkins) 39,745 (1/2 Sep 27 Dukla Prague (a) 2-2 (Robson, Stapleton) 28,850 won on away goals (2/1) Oct 19 Spartak Varna (a) 2-1 (Robson, Graham) 40,000 (2/2) Nov 2 Spartak Varna (h) 2-0 (Stapleton 2) 39,079 (3/1) Mar 7 Barcelona (a) 0-2 70,000 (3/2) Mar 21 Barcelona (h) 3-0 (Robson 2, Stapleton) 58,547 (SF/1) Apr 11 Juventus (h) 1-1 (Davies) 58,171 (SF/2) Apr 25 Juventus (a) 1-2 (Whiteside) 64,655
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