World Wide Mailing List Archive Complete NEWS Archive
Click for hundreds of RED Websites / Swap shop / Meet other United Fans and more!
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Updated
Compiled by Barry J. Leeming Digest Prgram by William McArthur Canada
Theatre Of Dreams Banner's by Sam Hayward Download the digest program here!
The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"
www.red11.org DAILY NEWS Date: Tue May 18 01:24:59 GMT+00:00 1999 Mail: email@example.com This Issue: 1. This time in Manchester Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS 2. Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace Personal Report by RED KELLY 3. Wembley and onto Barca...by Phil 4. Stam cup shock 5. A Word on the Gods of Football - Daily Express 6. Achilles heel may trip the Treble 7. Graham is surprised by Cole 8. Ferguson proves continuity is the secret of United's success ++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++ *** CHAMPIONS *** CHAMPIONS *** CHAMPIONS *** ONE Trophy - 2 to go! www.red11.org CHAMPIONSHIP Sound Archive x 5 ENJOY!!!! SPECIAL SPECIAL SPECIAL Mp3 "REDS Going to Barcelona" 3megs hifi-sound Download here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/mp3/99/Barcelona.mp3 TODAYS INTERVIEWS + Sound (Real audio files archived at http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99) 1 Alex Ferguson + Peter Schmeichel Interview after the PL Championship! http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/alex_peter_interview_champs99.rm 2m 24s 157k 2 Dwight Yorke Interview after the PL Championship! http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/dwight_after_prem99.rm 3m 21s 218k 3 David Beckham Interview after the PL Championship http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/becks_after_prem99.rm 2m 04s 134k 4 Celebrations at OT presenations of medals! http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/celebrations1_prem_99.rm 5m 53s 382k 5 Celebrations 2: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/celebrations2_prem_99.rm 4m 53s 317k Cheers barry "Here comes the FAC" RED Barry Daily RED Trivia TUES 17th May 1999: 18/5/1942: Nobby Stiles was born in Manchester. Made his debut aged 18 against Bolton Wanderers in October 1960, and won League Championship medals in 1965 and 1967. A year later Stiles was a European Cup Final Winner against Benfica. 392 appearances and 19 goals between 1960-1971. Won 28 caps for England, winning a World Cup Winners medal in 1966. Stiles joined Middlesbrough in May 1971, and later served United as Youth Team coach. 18/5/1985: United beat Everton 1-0 in the FA Cup Final at Wembley after extra time watched by 100,000. After Kevin Moran is sent off, Norman Whiteside scores the winner to deny Everton a unique treble . Team was: Bailey, Gidman, Albiston (Duxbury), Whiteside, McGrath, Moran, Robson, Strachan, Hughes, Stapleton, Olsen. ********************* Barry Daily Comment: Tuesday and still on a high! I recommend EVERYBODY download's Andy Roberts song "REDS Going to Barcelona" its a cool sunshine MUFC song with superb acoustic background BARRY & BILL [who will both be in Barcelona next week] would like to say CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL LIST MEMBERS with the PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1999 THIS IS WONDERFULL!!!!! Loads & loads of pics are running on the site now! :))))))))))))))) Enjoy everybody! http://www.red11.org/mufc/images/99/champ/ Cheers & Beers from http://www.red11.org 5 days Newcastle FAC 9 days Bayern Munich CL Final I will be leaving Denmark for Barce in 6 days time after the cup final RED sky at night BARCE' delight More fun here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/barcedance.htm Enjoy the next 2 CHAMPIONSHIP matches, one and ALL! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Latest sound interviews in Real Audio here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99 Everyone who wants the goal in Real Time Video 300k now thanks to RED CAFE! http://www.iol.ie/~redcafe/texts/report98/domestic/arse-fa2.htm FA Cup Semi Final Replay 14 April 1999 Manchester United 2:1 Arsenal Villa Park Download Ryan Giggs Goal! (Real Video: 300K) http://www.iol.ie/~redcafe/real/giggs-goal.ra Thanks to the Theatre of Dreams >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 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 Next games: ALL Result/Fixture Index: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899z.htm If you would like ALL the final fixtures for UNITED/Arse/Chelsea then go to http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899.htm Next Games: May 22 FAC Final Wembley Newcastle (N) Live on Sky Sports UK 26 European Cup Final Bayern Munich Nou Camp UNITED Stats v All teams: http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats/ *** FINAL PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 16/05/99 *** Pos Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1 Manchester United 38 14 4 1 45 18 8 9 2 35 19 43 79 2 Arsenal 38 14 5 0 34 5 8 7 4 25 12 42 78 3 Chelsea 38 12 6 1 29 13 8 9 2 28 17 27 75 4 Leeds United 38 12 5 2 32 9 6 8 5 30 25 28 67 5 West Ham United 38 11 3 5 32 26 5 6 8 14 27 -7 57 6 Aston Villa 38 10 3 6 33 28 5 7 7 18 18 5 55 7 Liverpool 38 10 5 4 44 24 5 4 10 24 25 19 54 8 Derby County 38 8 7 4 22 19 5 6 8 18 26 -5 52 9 Middlesbrough 38 7 9 3 25 18 5 6 8 23 36 -6 51 10 Leicester City 38 7 6 6 25 25 5 7 7 15 21 -6 49 11 Tottenham Hotspur 38 7 7 5 28 26 4 7 8 19 24 -3 47 12 Sheffield Wednesday 38 7 5 7 20 15 6 2 11 21 27 -1 46 13 Newcastle United 38 7 6 6 26 25 4 7 8 22 29 -6 46 14 Everton 38 6 8 5 22 12 5 2 12 20 35 -5 43 15 Coventry City 38 8 6 5 26 21 3 3 13 13 30 -12 42 16 Wimbledon 38 7 7 5 22 21 3 5 11 18 42 -23 42 17 Southampton 38 9 4 6 29 26 2 4 13 8 38 -27 41 18 Charlton Athletic 38 4 7 8 20 20 4 5 10 21 36 -15 36 19 Blackburn Rovers 38 6 5 8 21 24 1 9 9 17 28 -14 35 20 Nottingham Forest 38 3 7 9 18 31 4 2 13 17 38 -34 30 *** TEAM RESULTS - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 05/05/99 *** 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 17/02/99 Arsenal Home D 1-1 1 55,171 20/02/99 Coventry City Away W 1-0 1 22,596 27/02/99 Southampton Home W 2-1 1 55,316 13/03/99 Newcastle United Away W 2-1 1 36,500 21/03/99 Everton Home W 3-1 1 55,182 03/04/99 Wimbledon Away D 1-1 1 26,121 17/04/99 Sheffield Wednesday Home W 3-0 1 55,270 25/04/99 Leeds United Away D 1-1 2 40,255 01/05/99 Aston Villa Home W 2-1 1 55,189 05/05/99 Liverpool Away D 2-2 2 44,702 09/05/99 Middlesbrough Away W 1-0 1 34,665 12/05/99 Blackburn Away D 0-0 1 30,436 16/05/99 Tottenham Hotspur Home W 2-1 1 55,189 *** TEAM STATISTICS - MANCHESTER UNITED - 1998/9 AVERAGE HOME ATTENDANCE: 55,188 HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 27/02/99 - Southampton (55,316) LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 15/08/98 - Leicester City (55,052) BEST WIN: 06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1) HEAVIEST DEFEAT: 20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3) BEST HOME WIN: 17/10/98 - Wimbledon (5-1) HEAVIEST HOME DEFEAT: 19/12/98 - Middlesbrough (2-3) BEST AWAY WIN: 06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1) HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT: 20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)***** 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 ****** CHAMPIONS' LEAGUE QUARTER-FINALS Manchester Utd 2 v 0 Inter Milan Real Madrid 1 v 1 Dynamo Kiev Juventus 2 v 1 Olympiakos Bayern Munich 2 v 0 Kaiserslautern **DYNAMO KIEV 2 v 0 REAL MADRID (Agg:3-1) FC KAISERSLAUTERN 0 v 4 **BAYERN MUNICH (Agg:0-6) INTERNAZIONALE FC 1 v 1 **MANCHESTER UNITED (Agg:1-3) OLYMPIAKOS 1 v 1 **JUVENTUS (Agg:2-3) Semi Finals Manchester United v Juventus 4-3agg 3-2 [1-1] Bayern Munchen v Dynamo Kiev 4-3agg 1-0 [3-3] UEFA Champions League Final MANCHESTER UNITED v BAYERN MUNICH Venue Camp Nou (Estadi FC Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain Date Wednesday 26 May 1999 Kick-Off 20.45 CET (19.45 GMT) ++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++
Subject: This time in Manchester Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS It's now 11am on Monday morning and I'm trying to sneak an hour at work to write the match report I've been dying to write since last night. Words cannot express how wonderful I felt at approx 6pm yesterday, and words cannot express how rough I felt at 6.30am this morning when I had to drag myself out of bed!! But it was all worth it to be present at just about the best day seen at Old Trafford in decades. Having misjudged the timing (I thought the game kicked off at 3pm) we were in the pub much earlier than usual - 4 hours before kick-off. I arrived to find Seamus, Theresa, Lisa and her boyfriend (sorry Lisa, I didn't catch his name!) already installed by the window, taking up three tables ready for the expected hoards of list members to come. None of them had a ticket, but they had travelled to the Nest, just to be there. We were soon joined by the son-and-heir who had parked his new car out front so he could look lovingly out of the window at it for the next 4 hours! All the usual suspects eventually arrived, as well as some visitors from over the pond (one of whom managed to jib into the press box for the game, but more of that later) and we all tried to be upbeat and optimistic but it was obvious from the conversation, the white faces and the frequent visits to the loo that we were all scared to death. All except Hal that is, who was philosophical, reminding us that whatever happened, we were still going to watch United and that was what was important. We knew he was right, but it didn't seem to help stop the butterflies doing somersaults in my stomach. Our very own MUTV Masterfan kept us on our toes by setting us a brain teaser - unfortunately, a question only he could answer, since it involved an own goal scored years ago in a game we'd all forgotten! We also passed some of the time watching Bolton v Ipswich on the big screen and I think I was the only one in the pub who wanted Ipswich to win! Does no-one else but me remember Nat Lofthouse and all those goals he scored against us for what seemed like years and years? As pleasant as the company was, when the clock edged closer to 3pm, the pub started to empty. There were few who wanted to hang around for another pint this week, most were too jittery and just wanted to get to the ground. Apart, of course, from (joined-at-the-hip) Mark and Duncan who were only just heading towards the Nest - something to do with a pre-match ritual that couldn't be missed, otherwise we would lose! I had on my lucky United top (its getting a bit old now, but I think it will last until Barca) and had my "lucky" scarf with me, so I was OK. As we walked to the ground, the atmosphere was already buzzing. "We shall not be moved" was sung in snatches all the way there and, as we walked down Sir Matt Busby Way everyone was singing and chanting. The forecourt was packed, but what a shame that they couldn't have left Sir Matt where he was for just a few more days. Arriving in East Lower, we got a quick pasty and drink and then it was into our seats where we nervously bit our nails and danced from one foot to the other waiting for the game to start. Up amongst the Tottenham fans, we noticed a number of United shirts and flags - they all appeared to be genuine United fans, coexisting quite happily with the Cockneys. We all joined together to express our dislike of the lads from Highbury. Wierd sensation that, chanting with, and applauding Tottenham fans! Before the game began, we had the usual end-of-season awards for the younger players. Jonathan Greening came on to the pitch to receive (I think) the Reserve Player of the Year (someone please correct me if I'm wrong - I haven't had the time to read the programme yet) and then the very popular Wes Brown received the Young Player of the Year Award. We then had Dwight receiving the (sportswriters?) Player of the Year Award and then it was time for the emotional rollercoaster to start as Peter came on to receive an award from Alex Ferguson for breaking the club record for clean sheets. This of course, brought home to us that there will be no more clean sheets at Old Trafford for Peter Schmeichel (at least not in a United shirt, anyway) and there was many a tear in the eyes of fans all round the stadium as we sang "Schmeichel, Schmeichel". We are just beginning to realise that it's actually going to happen and it's very painful to lose yet another of our legends - Cantona apart, the most influential player of the 90's. We were then "entertained" by a "Salford Red" who sang Nessun (sp?) Dorma, followed by Keith Fane's best efforts to kill the atmosphere completely. Played so loudly that you couldn't hear yourself think, we were forced into joining in with his pre-recorded medley of *our* chants as he told us who were singing about with each one (I would never have known without his help!). We also had to listen to the new (and awful) team record. All this continued until the players were actually coming out onto the pitch, so there was no time for the fans to get our own chanting going - now he may feel he needs to do this on a "normal" Saturday afternoon, when the place is full of day-trippers, too busy munching on their United popcorn to manage a song, but this was the final day of the league season, with a stadium full of committed, noisy fans and we didn't need any help!! Luckily, the FA doesn't (yet) allow music during the games, so once the players were out on the pitch, the tape recorder was turned off and the roar around OT increased to an ear-splitting volume. We sang for all the players - "Yip Jaap Stam", "Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs, running down the wing", "He scores goals", "David May, Superstar" - and we sang all the traditional songs - "We shall not be moved", "Walking down the Warwick Rd", the Calypso and the song that I expect to become the anthem next season - "We'll win the football league again, this time in Manchester." It was a relief to actually be starting the game and a relief to see the Reds looking totally unlike the team that played last Wednesday. It was obvious that they were up for this one, and in the first 10 minutes it was looking like we were going to get a feast of goals. The lads were attacking our end and we had plenty to cheer. Very early on, Yorke had a shot saved by Walker (who, like many other keepers before him, raised his game against United) and we got a end-of-season present from Monsieur Ginola when he limped off the pitch before he had touched the ball more than a couple of times. We (and the Tottenham fans) sang "Arsenal, you're going to win f..k all" and "Stand up, if you hate Arsenal" and waited for the goals to come. And it looked like we didn't have to wait long as Yorke again had a wonderful chance just after Ginola left the pitch. Walker kicked the ball directly at Yorke and it rebounded past Walker and trickled slowly towards the post right in front of us. Time stood still and East Stand held its breath as the ball moved inexorably towards the line and the post. We willed it to cross the line off the post and it looked like it had - arms went up all over East Stand as it clipped the post and .............. ran along the line and out again! We couldn't believe it!! More and more chances followed - Walker saved from a header by Giggs and Yorke hit another chance across the goal mouth but there was no-one there to poke it in. The words "West Ham" began to be whispered around me. There was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach - surely it couldn't happen again? And then, seemingly from nothing, Ferdinand chipped the ball over Peter at the other end and we were one down! The United crowd was stunned and the Tottenham fans forgot they were supposed to supporting us, and were jumping up and down in celebration. The news from Highbury was good - Arsenal were drawing 0-0, but that would be no good to us if the score stayed the same at OT. Trying to ignore the feeling of doom that was rapidly overtaking us, we increased the chanting and the lads responded. "Forever and Ever", "The Red Flag" and even "Ooh Aah Cantona". We poured forward towards the Tottenham goal. There were two, point blank saves off Scholes and then Becks headed a free header over the bar. The black thoughts got blacker and blacker - "West Ham, West Ham"!! There were a few minutes of pressure down the other end (I can't tell you what happened, I had my eyes shut!) and then play came back towards us. Giggs brought the ball down the left and passed to Scholes. Scholes passed across the goal to Becks and Becks smashed the ball into the top of the net as the whole stadium went absolutely mental. We jumped up and down, hugged and kissed each other, cried tears of relief and sang "One David Beckham". The Tottenham fans didn't know whether to laugh or cry so they sang "Arsenal, you're going to win f..k all"! Within a couple of minutes, the whistle blew for half-time and we had 15 minutes to calm down! The feelings at half-time were a mixture of celebration and dread. Celebration because we were back in it and Arsenal still hadn't scored, and dread because we knew that one slip-up in the second half could send the trophy back down the M6. Pat and Syd came down to see us (there you go Syd, there's your mention!) and Pat decided to stay for the second half, so we squeezed him in between us (not that the stewards were bothering us anyway, even they were affected by the atmosphere for once!). As Peter came down to our end for the last time, there was many a tear on many a cheek, including mine, as we chanted his name. We didn't have long to wait for the real celebrations to start. Within a couple of minutes of the kick-off for the second half, Cole (who had come on for Teddy) collected the ball on his left (?) foot, controlled it with one movement and then lifted it delicately over Walker who almost fell over backwards watching it lazily fall behind him and into the net. There was absolute pandemonium around the whole stadium. Pat, the son-and-heir and myself were having a love-in with everyone within reach, Peter was on his knees on the ground in front of us in supplication to the heavens, Cole was charging around the pitch being pursued by his ecstatic team-mates and up on the United bench, Fergie and his staff were kissing and hugging each other like they'd never won a piece of silverware before. I have to say this to get it off my chest - there are still those around who are critical of Andy Cole, who believe he is not good enough for Manchester United and who point to their belief that he doesn't score "important" goals. Well, if you are one of them, just remember May 16th 1999. If you ever feel the need again to write yet more nonsense about a player who has been, in the last couple of seasons, one of the best players I have ever seen in a Red shirt, then don't! Just keep saying to yourself "May 16th 1999" until the urge goes away. If that doesn't work, you could also try looking at the Premiership goal scorer's table for both last season and this season - top last season and second this (with only Dwight ahead of him, with one goal more). Rant over, now I'll get back to the report! So we had 30 minutes left, we were 2-1 up and the news was beginning to filter through that Arsenal might be 1-0 up (via the Tottenham fans!). What we needed in these circumstances was another goal (or two) to calm our shredded nerves and allow the celebrations to begin in earnest. What we got, of course, was 30 minutes of gut-wrenching football that had us high as a kite one minute and covering our eyes the next! Iverson had a couple of shots which Peter cleaned up without too much trouble and then, down the other end Yorke put a shot just over the bar. Nicky Butt and Phil Neville came on for Giggs and Scholes and Butt hit the side netting soon after. The last 5 minutes were an absolute nightmare. Fergie was on the touchline screaming at the players and pointing to his head, Tottenham got a free kick just outside the box as Johnsen and Campbell clashed heads (and Peter picked the dizzy Johnsen up unceremoniously, and screamed down his ear!). We were screaming and whistling and praying. Then, when we thought we could stand it no longer, the referee finally blew his whistle and Keith Fane did the only thing right he had done all afternoon - as soon as the referee's whistle blew, "We are the champions" came over the tannoy. For the next 10/15 minutes, it was played over and over again as the fans and players celebrated. Fergie ran onto the pitch, his arms held high, straight to Roy Keane and then on to each of the other players in turn. Yorke and Cole were doing something that looked very rude down on the grass, Peter was milking the applause from East Stand, and a small plane flew round and round over OT trailing the banner "Manchester United, Premiership Champions, 1998-1999". Standing at the front of East Lower, with my scarf held above my head and the tears welling in my eyes, singing the naff, but appropriate "We are the Champions" was one of the best moments of my life. Manchester United are back where they belong, the kids have come of age and all that follows now is icing on the cake. The players left the pitch and Fane got back to normal by attempting to destroy the atmosphere (again!). More awful medleys and the opera singer back to sing "Barcelona" (it was very funny hearing all the drunken lads trying to join in!) so loud that it was impossible to sing anything else. But even he couldn't spoil such a wonderful, wonderful day. As the staff scuttled round on the pitch getting everything ready for the presentation we just grinned, and grinned, and grinned! As the players appeared again, the stadium was bathed in sunlight and red and white tickertape. Roy Keane lifted the Premiership trophy as captain for the first time and then each player took his turn to lift and kiss the trophy. Each player was cheered, but there were special cheers for Stam, Sheringham (even the Tottenham fans joined in), Andy Cole and of course, Peter - who was last. "We are the Champions" was played again as the players bounced up and down, spraying champagne and singing their heads off. This was very different to the last time, when the celebrations were muted and Eric knew he was leaving us. This was akin to the first time, to '93. The players then did two laps of honour (to the accompaniment of that awful Keith Fane musak again) and I had my moment of the match. As they came round, first Becks grinning his head off, then Gary Neville looking like all his birthdays and Christmases had just at once, and then Dwight, dancing along the touchline with the lid of the trophy on his head, I caught Ole's eye and for a minute or so, we just looked at each other and grinned. If I could bottle that moment I would! At the end of the first lap, we thought they'd leave the field, but no - the players were enjoying it as much as us! So they came round again! Dwight and Andy, in particular, were having a wonderful time and obviously didn't want it to end. They just couldn't get them off the pitch and they were still celebrating when all the other players had disappeared down the tunnel. One abiding memory of the afternoon, which will never leave me, is one of Dwight dancing along the touchline in front of the Stretford End, holding someone's scarf above his head, whilst the security men were trying to persuade him (without success) to go back to the dressing room (if anyone has a picture of that, please let me know where I can find it). Man of the match? All of them - I'm not going to single any particular player out for praise today. I'm so proud of every single player that has pulled on the Red shirt this season. But I have to mention Peter. I still can't believe that he will never again stand in the goal in front of East Stand. That he'll never celebrate with us again when someone scores down the other end, or give us a mouthful when we're not performing up to the standards he requires! We'll miss you Peter but we'll never, never forget you or what you have contributed to Manchester United over the last 8 years. So we, rather reluctantly, left Old Trafford and headed back to the Nest. All the way back, fans were singing and celebrating and singing "We won the football league again, this time in Manchester". Back in the pub we discovered that Roger Murney had not only got himself into the stadium without a ticket, but had talked himself into the Press Box with Paddy Crerand and Wilf McGuinness! Now why didn't Seamus think of that?? As I walked into the pub, the rugby league scores were on the big screen and I was just in time to see the Salford score - not only had United won the League, but Salford had won their first game since last August - I was over the moon again! Now it was time for bear hugs all round. As each list member arrived, everyone got a hug. Fans all over the pub were jumping on each other and breaking out into song. We finally left for home about 8pm and joined the throng of cars driving away from Old Trafford, horns blaring and scarves and flags waving out of the windows. As we drove through Chorlton, we joined in the celebrations at each pub we passed. Once I got home, there was just time to get something to eat and then it was time to relive it all again, through Match of the Day. I soooooooo enjoyed watching that Gooner "crying on the tele". This morning, I'm knackered and hoarse but very, very happy. Whatever happens now, whether we win the treble or whether we win nothing else, it doesn't really matter. It's been a wonderful season, we've done things we never thought we could do (both the fans and the players) and we're off to Barca next week. To ask for anymore would be greedy, but I can't help dreaming ............. can I? Linda Copyright OUR SALFORD LASS, 1999 No part of this work to be used without the author's permission
CONGRATS to REDS ALL over the world PREMIER LEAGUE 1999!"
Subject: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace Personal Report by RED KELLY So the trilogy concludes and at the same time begins again. The phantom menace of Upton Park 1995 returned, but this time he didn't haunt us, but those from down the M1 at Highbury. Three minutes into the second half he ghosted in, took three touches and sent us down the road towards the Treble. All week we have pondered on our fate. It's been very hard at times to push the thought to the back of the mind. The first pot is always the hardest to win - not that the others will fall into our laps, but as has been shown before - win one and you go into the next with the right attitude. Not only that but your opponents know it too and you've already achieved a significant advantage. So yesterday seemed to take an age to come round even though it was only last Wednesday since the agony of Ewok Park. Everything was prepared for the day and any superstitions taken care of, nothing was left to chance! BDS and I left the Midlands at around midday and sped up the M6 without a problem. We had originally intended going to the Shareholders meeting but had left too late so instead made our way to the Throstles Nest. No driving for me yesterday meant a liberal dosing of alcohol before match. There were a couple of new faces (for me anyway) in the Throstles yesterday lunchtime and it was a pleasure to chat with Seamus Gallen - I'm only sorry we couldn't get you a ticket Seamus. I don't know whether everyone was hiding their feelings well, but there didn't seem to be many nerves in evidence - ha ha!! Well, I wasn't nervous - not then anyway, but more of that later. I joined Linda and Ian by the window and hadn't notice Masterfan sitting opposite until I heard an overconfident Brummie Red firing questions. He obviously didn't know who he was sitting next to as Masterfan left him bemused by his incredible knowledge - great fun watching the range of expressions creeping across the guy's face as he was trying to outdo Paul! We left there just as "joined at the hip" arrived fresh from the SU meeting, but we had a ticket mission to try and fulfil so left them to get a couple more pints down and wandered down with the throngs to Old Trafford. On the way Pete, Hal and I pondered on who the Wizard would chose up front. Pete (smart arse) got it right. I had hoped Yorke and Cole would prevail as Yorke and Sheringham are too alike in playing styles for me, but he's the boss - no not Pete - Fergie. I also hoped Keano and Stam would be back. Keano's the one for me. He's the driving force behind United and absolutely indispensable. Down at the ground I met up with my daughter Eliza and Steve and we picked up her ticket for South Stand. Steve and I then made our way up to our usual seats in K where the atmosphere was buzzing for once. As I walked up the steps to K Stand "Nessun Dorma" was being belted out. Surely Pavagrotti wasn't here was he? I remember him wearing a United scarf in a Manchester Concert the night we won in Rotterdam. I remember the TV pictures afterwards anyway as it would have been difficult to have been in two places at once since I was in rain soaked Rotterdam myself that night. It turned out to be some Salford lad who took off his jacket to reveal the red shirt of United - that's OK then! No-one was going to hold back yesterday and in recent Euro fashion we remained standing all the way through. Well most of us did, although some couldn't cope with the tension and periodically had to sit down so they didn't have to watch! Whimps!! It was also clear from the off that the Tottenham lot were up for it too, but not in the usual fashion. They were up for a loss - anything to prevent their near friends and neighbours from North london from lifting the trophy again. It made for a bizarre atmosphere. In fact some of them had obviously sold their tickets outside to allow Reds into their section. The game started at a hell of a pace as United attacked the K Stand end. Chances galore were being created as they were at the start last Wednesday but Walker obviously hadn't attended the "throw the game at all costs" meeting at White Hart Lane last week. And then it dawned on him - DOH - "I'm playing for Spurs, they hate the Arse, and I've been saving shot after shot, perhaps I'd better do something to make amends." He promptly dallied with a back pass, Yorke extended his leg. The ball hit Yorke's leg and span towards the goal. Everything went quiet. It was as though the game was all of a sudden in slow motion as the ball edged ever closer to the goal. After an absolute age it hit the inside of the post and rebounded into the waiting arms of Walker. At that moment we wondered. From then on he completely forgot the "arrangement" and his own poor publicity and proceeded to make save after bloody save after bloody save. Anyway what's he got against Scholsey, surely he hasn't done anything against him has he? "I thought he was supposed to be crap" I muttered. "He is crap, usually," said Chris. "He must have forgotten the script then." One or two of the other Spurs players had also forgotten to take any notice of their scripts too, especially Ferdinand who chased after a header and lobbed the ball over Peter and into the Stretford net. The Spurs fans cheered. For a moment they too had forgotten why they were there and when they remembered they went very quiet. Poor chaps - they couldn't win. I mean, if they won the game they would surely gift the Premier to the Arse. They wouldn't want that now would they. But they were 1-0 up - absolute agony. I actually didn't see the goal because two blokes were coming in late on the row in front and as they passed in front of us Ferdinand scored. Hmmmmmmmmm that wasn't supposed to happen. Having watched United for donkey's years I half expected it to happen so it wasn't so bad. It also seemed to epitomise the second half of the season anyway so I thought it was obviously fate - ever the optimist. Walker continued to defy all and sundry with a series of miraculous saves - was Keegan watching then? Memories of '85 came flooding back. Graham Poll wasn't helping either, giving every decision to a Tottenham player - every single bloody one. It's just not credible that every single challenge should have resulted in a Tottenham free kick now is it? But it did. With the minutes running out along with our voices the game suddenly changed. Scholes hammered into Sherwood who spent the next two hours complaining bitterly (ex Yonner!) and then passes through to Becks wide on the right of the area. Becks takes a couple of strides and curls a beauty to Walker's right and we were level. Cue bliss, cue delirium and cue madness - we were back on track and buzzing again. The Totters were singing "are you watching Arsenal." We were singing too - so loud we nearly missed the whistle for half time. Most sat down in their seats relieved and exhausted. I had a call of nature to answer and disappeared below where the gents was rocking. "We shall not be moved, forever and ever.' The noise was defeaning in there and in such a confined space it didn't half rattle your eardrums. After a couple of brief chats with incoherent beer splattered mates I went back up top to await our fate. Forty five minutes away from glory, one goal to get and the trophy would be returned to it's rightful owners. The sight of Andy Cole on the touchline ready to come on was a relief. No disrespect to Teddy but his partnership with Yorkie doesn't work. Andy Cole would surely provide a sharper quicker option up front which would worry a Tottenham defence who rely too heavily on Campbell. So it proved when the phantom stole in and lifted the ball over the flailing Walker. What a way to start the second half! K Stand went berserk. Bodies everywhere for intense and prolonged celebrations. The teams had already kicked off again by the time many of us realised we weren't even in the same row, never mind in front of the same seat anymore. Those around me who are unaccustomed to vociferous celebrations even raised their voices - just a little mind you. The noise was defeaning as the Totters to our left joined in the celebrations in the knowledge that if the scores remained the same they would play their part in denying their neighbours and live off the proceeds for weeks to come. It was worth the defeat. I can't remember when it was that the Arse scored but from that moment on my nerves were jangling. Didn't the Spurs players know what their fans wanted, wasn't the banner draped over the front of the visitors section which said "Let 'em win" enough of a hint? Some of them played on and on including the cheating little short arse Dominguez who, had he been wearing a red shirt would undoubtedly have got booked for diving, or couldn't Poll tell the difference between him standing and on his knees in the penalty box? Talk about custom made socks, imagine his size 2's and Kanu's size 15's in the same dressing room. I shouldn't have worried but I couldn't help it. All around me people were sitting down, standing up, shuffling from foot to foot. Everyone had the jitters. We had come so far this season, surely we wouldn't fail now - would we? As we reached the final agonising minutes the shrieking whistles from the crowd filled the air. They must have heard them down at Highbury but down there they were finished and hoped we would be too, but by a Spurs goal. How unreal it must have been for them to be cheering a Spurs goal. The fourth official held up the board - two minutes to go. Two bloody minutes! Didn't he know it was agony with Poll still insisting on penalising any red shirt who dared to lift a leg and fart. There were a few close calls in those last minutes - too close. My 'next door neighbour' Chris said "I thought it was supposed to be fun watching football." This was only fun in retrospect. The final whistle put both us and Tottenham out of our collective misery. And then it was ecstacy. While everyone shouted and screamed delight I couldn't muster a sound. I tried to shout and sing but nothing would come out. My voice was still around somewhere but it had done a temporary bunk. And the reason - my throat was choked. Stacked full of emotion which had been building up over the weeks and months of this brilliantly arduous season. So I just stood there grinning and I've been grinning ever since. I just can't stop!! Down in front of us the players went wild. Gary Nev (a true Red if ever there was one) fell to the ground and raised his arms in the air with the biggest grin I've ever seen. It matched ours of course and also Fergie's who came bounding over bear hugging everyone who moved. After a few minutes my voice returned, my throat un-choked and I was able to sing again. The team eventually disappeared and the stage was being set for the Carling Premiership blatant excuse for over advertising presentation circus. Meantime the Keith Fane: let's play the crass MUPLC single sing-a-long-a-Martin megamix was intent on spoiling our party. Why they can't let us celebrate in our own way I've no idea. Don't they realise it was the supporters who started all this..........sorry............hang on a minute..........rant over!! Keano bust his way through the two Carling doors and strode up to the rostrum to collect the trophy. This was the real trophy not some tin pot effort which was gathering dust and dandruff at Highbury. What do you expect from all that head rubbing in despair - I remember it well! Each lifted the trophy in turn with Peter saved til last. Apart from Keano it was the biggest roar - how we'll miss that big daft b.....d. Cue another lump to the throat and self enforced silence from Windridge. The usual barrage of photographs followed and then, with the cameras rooted to their spots, the team came round to join with us. As they came in front of K Stand "Always look on the bright side of life" was playing and they all stood in a line copying our actions. An absolutely brilliant moment of team and fanbase as one. It's been a long hard campaign this one, the hardest of the Premiership so far. There was no way we were going to leave Old Trafford until the lights were turned off and the players were gone. And apart from Peter who revelled in his last appearance at home the dynamic duo, soul to soul, brothers in arms were the last. There they were together with the trophy they helped to win with their combined goals tally. And as for Yorkie and his dancing we thought he'd never stop and neither did we want him to. The Family Stand lifted him on board and held him up with their smiles. We took one last look and wandered down the steps of K Stand for the last time. Underneath the stand still looks like it should, like a football stand of old. It has been my home since they took the Stretford away from us and now it will be no more. One can only wonder what they have in store for us next season but it won't be the same. Outside on the forecourt we were off again. "Charlie, Charlie, what's the score," "Who's the champions now Charlie," and "What a difference you have made - Charlie." All top songs from the Charlie songbook aptly titled "Songs for swinging Charlies." Steve and I met up with Eliza and we hugged our way up Warwick road and out onto Chester Road where on the opposite side the traffic was at a standstill. The cars were hooting their horns and the occupants standing outside them, on the roofs or bonnets. On our side there was no traffic just a long and winding procession of flags and scarves waving in the breeze walking away from our spiritual home. On the way we caught up with others and marched triumphantly back to the Throstles. The place was crawling with Reds and as each came in there would be more celebrations and more screaming and shouting. It was delirious pandemonium. I don't remember having such a good time in a pub before, but I've never been there when United have won the League at home. As Mick was driving he dictated when we should leave, but he had to drag me kicking and screaming out of that place because I didn't want to go! Top story of the night though has to go to Roger Murney. If anyone has any doubt about credentials, get a load of this: He comes over from Toronto with a tan and a brilliant haircut - he has no ticket and can't get one for love nor money. Is he down hearted - well maybe a little, but what does he do? He sees Paddy Crerand and with his help he blags his way into the Press Box!!!! "What do you mean the Toronto Herald's not on the list?" See you outside the Torch mate. The fun hadn't stopped yet though because there we were bemoaning our fate on a packed M6 with the traffic travelling no faster than 40mph when we realised a few of our travelling companions were Mickeys. Was this manna from heaven or what? A chance to take the mickey out of the Mickeys was just too good an opportunity to miss. The first car load did a double take as they saw us giving it the calm down calm down routine. The poor b.....d in the passenger seat tried so hard to ignore us but with two grinning lunatics alongside him it was difficult! The next one gave us the holding the nose routine which had us in stitches. We waved back still grinning uncontrollably. He started rummaging for something and we wondered what he was up to - surely not! Phew, no it wasn't that, he was looking through his match programme and came across the page he was searching for. We couldn't believe our luck as he held up a picture of Charlie and pointed at it triumphantly. They just don't get it do they! It doesn't get any better than this. Or does it? Onward to Wemberly. Copyright RED KELLY 1999
CONGRATS to REDS ALL over the world PREMIER LEAGUE 1999!"
Subject: Wembley and onto Barca...by Phil OK, list members, please, please, tell me everything is going to work out. As you all know this has been a very stressful time for us...I just love the way we do things the hard way, giving all those ABU's a glimmer of hope that we aren't going to win anything, never mind the treble. How many times have you heard ABU's say "remember Leeds" Well, to them I say just one thing - "F**k Off! We are not the scum. I will say this though, let's just go out and win the next two games handsomely. I don't think I can take anymore and there's really no need to make the ABU's suffer anymore. We'll take care of that when all that silverware is on show! I mean, what a year so far...This team doesn't know what losing is. Look at how hard everyone works, look at how no-one wants to leave the club, Ole turns down offers, the Babes sign new contracts, no-ones place is guaranteed (except maybe for the Dane, Becks, Stam and Keano - and even they get rested!), the road to Wembley through all the pretenders, 10 men against the Arse, down 1-0 & 2-0 to Juve, letting Elleray's heroes back in (9 years and you've won f**k all!), 0-0 at Ewood, down 1-0 to Spurs. I could go on. This season there has been so many special moments. We never stop playing. You can tell by their commitment that these players love MUFC! So many memories so far, and still many more to come... Alright, enough of my (las)rambling... Are any list members planning on meeting in London on the Friday night before the FA Cup Final? I'll be arriving in London(ticketless of course) Friday morning and wouldn't say no to having a few pints with some fellow list members in the evening. No idea of how much tickets are going for and may just end up watching the game in some pub (especially if ticket prices are astronomical!). Maybe the money saved on the Wembley ticket can go towards guaranteeing a European Cup Final ticket? No, I've got to see both! Also, leave for Barca, via Toulouse on Tuesday lunch (ticketless of course). Hope to meet up with the rest of the (40 or so?) list members at the Hard Rock on Tuesday evening, or somewhere on the Las Ramblas - keep your mobile's turned on. Flights (from California) are booked and paid for already, so all I need now are match tickets so, here comes the begging part...IF any of you out there in MU land come across, or have in your possession, a spare ticket for either game PLEASE keep me in mind. Thanks so much, Phil firstname.lastname@example.org "...What a match, what a team, but were United finished, not on your life! Watch this fantastic goal..."
CONGRATS to REDS ALL over the world PREMIER LEAGUE 1999!"
Subject: Stam cup shock By John Richardson Tuesday, May 18, 1999 Manchester United will not risk Holland defender Jaap Stam in Saturday's FA Cup Final for fear of serious injury - and there are grave doubts whether he will play in next week's Champions League Final. Stam, who has emerged as a key component of a side pushing for an unprecedented Treble of Premiership, FA Cup and Champions League, missed Sunday's title-clinching win over Tottenham. He is suffering from an acute achilles problem and came off complaining of severe soreness at half-time against Middlesbrough nine days ago. The dilemma for manager Alex Ferguson, named Carling Manager of the Year yesterday, is that the hard grounds are aggravating the injury and Stam runs the risk of being on the sidelines for months if he causes further damage to the achilles by playing. So Ferguson has already ditched him from his plans for the Wembley date with Newcastle United. The final verdict on his chances of participating against Bayern Munich in Barcelona a week tomorrow will be left for doctors but it looks unlikely that he will play. Ferguson would love to be able to call on the former PSV Eindhoven man against the Germans, especially as he is already without the suspended Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. But the United boss has to weigh that up carefully against the fact that if the gamble goes wrong, he might be without Stam for the start of next season and beyond. One thing is sure, if the gloomy medical indications remain the same, Ferguson will not risk losing his powerful defender for months just for the sake of perhaps half-an-hour against Bayern. Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, afforded hero status by Ferguson and the United fans in his Old Trafford farewell on Sunday, is being chased by four continental clubs. Italian sides Udinese and Roma have expressed an interest in the Denmark star, while Monaco and Bordeaux have also made overtures to his advisers
CONGRATS to REDS ALL over the world PREMIER LEAGUE 1999!"
Subject: A Word on the Gods of Football - Daily Express One hundred and twenty four times this season an opposition goalkeeper has made the short but lonely journey to the back of his net in search of a ball placed there by Manchester United. Some visited more than others. Nottingham Forest were found out 13 times in three games, Danish champions Brondby 11 times over two in Europe and Leicester's Kasey Keller was beaten on eight occasions. Delightfully, for those averse to the last club to earn the title Mighty Reds, various Liverpool goalkeepers were defeated six times in three matches. Few escaped - although Chelsea and Arsenal let in a mere three goals in four matches, the only teams to average less than a goal a game against United. It is the relentless nature of United's scoring, not to mention the spectacle of some of their finest moments, that led Alex Ferguson to cite the 'Goals For' column in the Premiership table as the dividing factor between his club and its rivals. And yet as the men responsible drifted away from Old Trafford to a title celebration at the Marriott Hotel, where Ferguson opened a golf course on Monday before travelling to London to be feted as Carling Premiership Manager of the Season at a League Managers' Association dinner, it was hard to find one who would claim the glory which had already been bestowed by the man at the top. Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Teddy Sheringham - the strikers selected by Ferguson to face Spurs on the final day - all shrugged off the suggestion that this was anything other than a team effort. In doing so they revealed the deeper bond which exists in a squad full of stars seemingly without egos. "It's the team, not the forwards," said Sheringham, who arrived at the club as the new Cantona yet had to adjust quickly and often to a supporting role behind Yorke and Cole. "You should look at the whole team because it is unbelievable. You can sit in the dressing room and picture yourself as a manager, going round the room thinking, 'I'd want him in my team. And I'd want him in my team. And him. And him'. By the end, you have included every player. That fills you with confidence before you start. "Even if I hadn't won anything, I wouldn't feel bad about coming to United just to experience playing for a club with these players. The will to win here means players dig deeper and deeper if a match is going against them. There have been a couple of games this season when people must have thought we were beaten, but that is when this team goes into overdrive. It is a resolve that comes with playing for United because no club deals with the intensity of people trying to beat you every week like we do. If there are one or two goals in it in the last 10 minutes, the way teams come at you, to try to win or even snatch a draw is unique. "So you know at some time in most games you have to find that little extra, and that is what prepares us for games like the one with Spurs." The sentiment was shared by Cole, whose winning goal was the difference between United's fifth title in seven seasons or conceding it in desperate circumstances to Arsenal. Sheringham, touchingly, wore the medal received for his first major honour around his neck, Mark Spitz style, happy to be the gauche new boy in the title-winners' club. The rest, Cole included, already had the bauble tucked away in a pocket somewhere - even though the striker had more reason than most to brandish it ostentatiously in the face of his critics. Four seasons ago his failures in front of goal in a match at West Ham on the final day of the season were roundly blamed for United's failure to prise the title from Blackburn. So here was his chance to bathe in the spotlight . . . except that it is not the United way. "Match-winner?" Cole shot back when asked. "We're all match-winners here. I'm not taking any credit for scoring that goal except to say that what goes around comes around. I got the blame four years ago and now the same people say I won the championship for United. "But I don't look at it that way. It's a team game. We've all got desire and if you have that, you always have a chance here." Which left Yorke. Top scorer with 29 goals this season (18 Premiership, eight Champions League, three FA Cup) and surely the best man to put into perspective the difference made by United's strikers. Yet by now it was obvious the team were more than the sum of the parts. And Yorke was not about to stray from a philosophical line which would certainly have found favour with an old socialist like Ferguson. All players are equal seemed to be United's mantra - even if, in the club shop, some are more equal than others. "The secret is not in any one area," said Yorke. "If anything, it comes from the lads here who have won it a few times, yet still show fantastic determination to get that success again. People like Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs steer us new boys through and it is a great feeling to be part of that. "You look at Peter Schmeichel, superb throughout this season, or Andy Cole, who has won a championship before but proved he could still do it when it mattered. Any footballer in the world would love to be in our position." The architect of the victory, meanwhile, was travelling to London to receive the acknowledgement and acclaim of his peers. In the afterglow of victory, Ferguson referred to his players as gods on Sunday night, which would make him football's Zeus, of course. Schmeichel could be Thor, Keane a warrior-like Mars, Giggs a spritely Mercury. Except the players would never allow themselves to think that way. A constellation would be more fitting, shining brightly in the sky, but each indistinguishable from the other.
CONGRATS to REDS ALL over the world PREMIER LEAGUE 1999!"
Subject: Achilles heel may trip the Treble By Graham Hunter Tuesday, May 18, 1999 The chances of Manchester United winning their historic Treble are now hanging on Jaap Stam's damaged achilles tendon. In a squad full of match-winners and heroic performers, it is hard to single someone out. But of all the players United did not want to risk losing for the next two matches it is Stam. All around the red half of Manchester and in United's extended family of supporters around the world, they should start praying now ... praying that the £10.5million central defender recovers and plays with his usual majesty in the Champions League Final in Barcelona next week. United legend Sir Bobby Charlton was recently moved to say: 'Without doubt, he is one of the best players in his position we have ever had at the club.' Indeed, Stam's story is a microcosm of United's entire season. From shaky beginnings domestically - including two 3-0 defeats by Arsenal - to confident, powerful despatching of every challenge thrown their way. In Europe, Stam started with an awful penalty decision given against him by Italian referee Stefano Braschi as United looked vulnerable against Barcelona. But he ended the 3-2 semi-final, second leg victory over Juventus in Turin as Sportsmail's man of the match. Now, this is the turn of events that Stam, himself, admitted to fearing in a recent interview. 'One minor incident and you can be out for months,' he told Total Football. Given the increasing certainty that the Dutchman will not play in his first-ever FA Cup Final, you can bet that Alan Shearer is sleeping more soundly and Duncan Ferguson is suddenly feeling fitter than he has done for months. Newcastle will sniff just the merest chance of an upset but if Europe's most expensive defender is either absent or only partially fit in the cauldron of the Nou Camp next week, then Bayern Munich's nostrils will be filled with the heady scent of victory. Stam has become the scourge of centre forwards over the last few months - Ronaldo, Shearer, Anelka, Inzaghi, Ventola, the lot. 'I haven't yet met a striker who has been able to show me the back of his legs,' said the Dutchman. It is no coincidence also that the champions' most ragged performances of the last few months have come when Stam was absent. The last defeat in any competition - 3-2 at home to Middlesbrough in the Premiership - came when Stam was sidelined, as did the draws against Wimbledon, Leeds and Blackburn Rovers. It is upon his huge shoulders that an extra burden is intended to fall against the Germans because of skipper Roy Keane's absence. When the two men play down the spine of the United team, beating Ferguson's side becomes a thorny prospect for any opponents. Keane's misfortune is that he chased a bad pass from Jesper Blomqvist in the Stadio Delle Alpi and earned a yellow card and a suspension after fouling Zinedine Zidane. Missing one stalwart against the muscular and dynamic Germans was a daunting enough problem for United. Yet, if Keane's absence is compounded by Stam's, it will need to be written in the stars that this is United's year for European glory. Stam's team-mate Phil Neville said recently that the dominant characteristic which Munich impose on any game, even above their technical excellence, is their size. 'You come away from a game against them aware of how many big guys there are in the side and they try to impose that on you,' said Neville. Stam was also Sportsmail's man of the match in their last meeting with Bayern, a 1-1 draw in December which assured United a place in the quarter-finals. It is not hard to understand his importance against the Germans. At 6ft 3in, he is the tallest outfield player in Ferguson's squad. His absence would mean that all three of Munich's strikers - Carsten Jancker, Alexander Zickler and Ali Daei - are significantly taller than United's other defenders. Playing Newcastle, however, is a different proposition altogether. Shearer's dangerous presence is taken as read and without Stam to face, the England captain will believe that the odds of him scoring have improved dramatically. When the two sides last met at St James' Park in March, it was Stam and Henning Berg who kept Shearer at bay, limiting him to two half-chances in the entire match. Yet, that question mark wrapped in an enigma, Duncan Ferguson, is likely to play some part in the Final, even if he is not certain to start. That would change Shearer's role dramatically, having yearned to play off a target man ever since Les Ferdinand departed for Tottenham. Coincidentally, it was Ferdinand who did most to exploit Stam's absence at Old Trafford on Sunday, outjumping David May and Ronny Johnsen regularly enough and scoring that outrageous lobbed goal with his right boot. The United boss will look to Johnsen to be the inspirational pivot of his defence both on Saturday and in the Nou Camp a week tomorrow. But next to the Norwegian could be anyone from May, through the brothers Neville to Wes Brown. Berg does not look likely to recover from his knee injury in time and, frighteningly, Johnsen is believed to be hanging on until the summer brings him relief to his painful knees. Deep at the heart of the Stam issue, however, lies the moral and tactical question of how close to fitness the Dutchman would need to be in order to play. From the tactical point of view, if Stam started then had to go off injured, it would be a genuine blow to morale and team planning. From the moral standpoint, risking a delicate achilles tendon belonging to such a bear of a man could, if the risk fails, cause serious injury. One suspects that it will take an absolute veto from the medical men before either Stam or Ferguson admit defeat on this issue. For United to do themselves justice after 31 years of trying to get back to the peak of European football, it is to be hoped that Stam recovers. The fate of their season could be hanging on that poor old achilles tendon and its ability to heal.
CONGRATS to REDS ALL over the world PREMIER LEAGUE 1999!"
Subject: Graham is surprised by Cole By Adrian Curtis Monday, May 17, 1999 George Graham blasted his defence after watching the player he once thought would never make the grade fire Manchester United to their fifth title in seven years. The Tottenham manager sold United's second-half match winner Andy Cole to Bristol City in a £500,000 deal while he was in charge at Highbury and the former Gunner's goal destroyed the title hopes of his former club on a dramatic final day of Premiership action. Arsenal's dream of landing their second successive Premiership crown under Arsene Wenger had been boosted by Les Ferdinand's 24th minute opener but David Beckham equalised shortly before the break to set the stage for Cole's match-winning arrival. The striker, left out of the starting line-up by Alex Ferguson, superbly chipped Spurs 'keeper Ian Walker with his first touch of the ball three minutes into the second period. Graham admitted afterwards that he would never have done the deal had he believed Cole would go on to reach the level he has. He said: 'Andy has come a long way since he was with me at Arsenal. He was only a baby when I had him. 'I didn't think he would reach the standard he has or I wouldn't have sold him. But it was a great sale at the time.' Graham also had some harsh words for his defence which left Cole in acres of space in which to chip the stranded Walker for the decider. He added: 'From the defending point of view, their second goal was a nightmare one for us and it came at a bad time. 'It was really bad defending and very disappointing. When we took the lead I thought we could go on and win it. 'But they scored at exactly the right times, just before and just after half-time. But we made them sweat a little bit. 'It was quite a reasonably open game considering what was at stake. We didn't just come up for a visit and I think that showed. 'We had a go and although we can play better, they deserved to win. United and Arsenal have been the best two teams this season, but we've done well and I'm delighted.' The combination of £12 million Dwight Yorke and £6 million Andy Cole has been a revelation for United this season and Graham revealed he is to spend the summer searching for a player who can bring Tottenham such rewards. He added: 'You've got to get goals from inside the six-yard box and we need somebody who can get us 20 of those every season. 'We need more goalscoring power, that's for sure.' The Premiership success is the first part of a treble bid for United who go to Wembley on Saturday for the FA Cup against Newcastle and then face Bayern Munich in the Champions' League Final. Hero Cole's striker partner Yorke is confident the dream can be achieved. He said: 'There is great confidence among the lads and we feel we can go on and win more,' he said.
CONGRATS to REDS ALL over the world PREMIER LEAGUE 1999!"
Subject: Ferguson proves continuity is the secret of United's success By David Lacey Monday May 17, 1999 Of the five Premiership titles Manchester United have now won under Alex Ferguson this is arguably the most satisfying. It has been achieved with a team fundamentally altered in certain positions, emphasising United's strength of continuity, while offering the perfect retort to those who doubted Ferguson's ability to regain the championship while making progress in the Champions League. As it is, United stand on the threshold of history. On Saturday they will attempt to become the first club to complete the Double three times when they meet Newcastle United in the FA Cup final. A win at Wembley and, four days later, Ferguson's side will meet Bayern Munich in Barcelona hoping to complete a unique Treble. Not bad for a team that was never going to be the same after the retirement of Eric Cantona and the departure of Gary Pallister. At least Ferguson has proved, and not for the first time, that, in football, life goes on. Not for the first time, too, the critics have been confounded. Last summer United's willingness to pay PSV Eindhoven £10.75m for Jaap Stam, a central defender who appeared vulnerable against pace and suspect in the air, was the subject of more than a few nudges and giggles. Nobody is laughing now. Far from weakening United's defence, the Dutchman has become essential to its strength and consistency. When Dwight Yorke moved from Aston Villa to Old Trafford for £12.6m last August nobody doubted the Tobagan forward's ability, but there were those who emphasised, at that price, his relative lack of European experience. And, of course, more than a few assumed that his arrival would hasten the departure of Andy Cole. Wrong again. In the quick-thinking, skilful and unselfish Yorke, Cole at last found the partner to complement his speed of reaction near goal. The pair have plagued opposing defences all season and their goals have done much to give United the confidence that only goals can bring. In mid-season Peter Schmeichel, not fully fit, was declared to be past it. He was still making saves but looked suspect when he had to leave his line to challenge for high balls. The reality is that, but for his subsequent form in goal, United might not have beaten Internazionale in the Champions League quarter-finals, let alone Juventus to reach the final. His imminent retirement is the one flat note. No player is irreplaceable but Schmeichel comes close. Roy Keane, meanwhile, has demonstrated just how much United missed his strength in midfield during his long absence through injury. To his abiding passion for the game the Irishman has added a more mature outlook. United's is a team success, Ferguson would not have it any other way, but if a single player is entitled to see the season as a triumph in personal terms it is surely David Beckham. Booed by opposing supporters because of the dismissal which left England with 10 men against Argentina in the World Cup, he has responded with his best season yet. All this and an England cap for Wes Brown after the 20-year-old defender had barely set foot in the Premiership. Continuity, you see...
CONGRATS to REDS ALL over the world PREMIER LEAGUE 1999!"
CONGRATS to REDS ALL over the world PREMIER LEAGUE 1999!"
Pic Link today is http://www.red11.org/mufc/champ/99/
To receive this Daily News by email each day:
Subscribe / Unsubscribe
- OR -
Other RED Mail Lists:
"MUFC + Premier STATS" after matches:
Subscribe/Unsubscribe e-mail to:
Mufcstatsemail@example.com - Subscribe's to the list
Mufcstatsfirstname.lastname@example.org - Unsubscribe
Subscribe/Unsubscribe e-mail to:
email@example.com - Subscribe's to the list
firstname.lastname@example.org - Unsubscribe
To debate ALL subjects about Manchester United Football
Club we at Simplenet recommend:
The "RED-DEVILS MAIL LIST" all subscription requests to: <RedDevilsemail@example.com >
+ "THE INTERNATIONAL MANCHESTER UNITED MAILING LIST" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Write the command: sub mufc (your_name)
Webmaster e-mail: email@example.com
Singalong Calypso available here: mp3
If ever they are playing in your town You must get to that football ground Take a lesson come to see Football taught by Matt Busby Manchester, Manchester United A bunch of bouncing Busby Babes They deserve to be knighted
"RED HOT" News-wire
Manchester United FC: Theatre Of Dreams Website Index:
Sound Interviews MUFC Quiz Results News WhosWho Archive Pics Statistics
Reserves Squad Trophy's History Munich Webring Editorial Guestbook + Read
Alex Ferguson Beckham Berg Blomqvist Butt Clegg Cruyff Cole Giggs Irwin Johnsen Keane
© 1999 www.red11.org
Fast Search this Website www.red11.org: