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The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Fri Feb 19 06:03:23 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Paddling in the Paddock
2. Arsenal game and some psychology!!
3. Arse game by Pat
5. Giggs fit for Inter Milan clash
6. Ferguson rates champions as United's biggest threat


Daily RED Trivia  Friday 19th February 1999:

19/2/1939: Paddy Crerand born in Glasgow. A dyed-in-the-wool Red who joined United
 from Glasgow Celtic, making his debut against Blackpool in February 1963 and played
 in the FA Cup Final in 1963, won League Championship medals in 1965 and 1967, and a
 European Cup Winners medal in 1968. A total of 392 appearances and 15 goals between   
 1963-70. 16 Scotland caps. 

1958: In the first post-Munich game United beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 at Old Trafford
 in the FA Cup 5th Round with goals from debutant Shay Brennan 2 and Alex Dawson.
 On an emotional night the attendance was 59,848. Team was: Gregg, Foulkes, Greaves,
 Goodwin, Cope, Crowther, Webster, Ernie Taylor, Dawson, Pearson, Brennan. 


Barry Daily Comment:
Just to confirm, OT will have a new pitch for the Milan game.
"It never rains in Manchester!" hehe

NEW www.red11.org Survey #38: 
Does Roy Keane deserve £40,000 a week?
 Vote here: http://www.red11.org/miva/survey.mv

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

Next games: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:

20 Coventry    (A) 15.00
27 Southampton (H) 15.00
3  Inter Milan (H) ECLl "Quarter Final" 1st leg 19.45
7  Chelsea     (H) 14.00 FAC6 *SKY SPORTS* LIVE* + DkTV1 Scand. 
10 Liverpool   (A) 19.45 PL (moved due to FAC)
13 Newcastle   (A) 15.00 PL
17 Inter Milan (A) ECL "Quarter Final" 2nd leg 19.45
21 Everton     (H) 15.00 PL

UNITED Stats v All teams:

*** LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 17/02/99 ***

Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    26  9  4  1  33  14   5  5  2  27  14   32   51
 2  Chelsea              25  8  5  0  19   7   4  6  2  17  13   16   47
 3  Arsenal              25  7  5  0  16   4   5  5  3  13   8   17   46
 4  Aston Villa          25  8  2  3  24  17   4  5  3  13  10   10   43
 5  Leeds United         25  7  3  2  20   6   3  6  4  18  19   13   39
 6  Liverpool            25  7  3  2  31  14   4  2  7  16  16   17   38
 7  Derby County         25  5  5  2  13  10   4  5  4  12  12    3   37
 8  West Ham United      25  7  3  3  18  19   3  3  6   9  17   -9   36
 9  Wimbledon            24  7  4  1  18  11   2  4  6  11  24   -6   35
10  Newcastle United     25  7  2  4  20  16   2  5  5  13  17    0   34
11  Middlesbrough        25  4  7  1  16  10   3  4  6  17  26   -3   32
12  Tottenham Hotspur    24  5  5  2  19  16   2  5  5  10  15   -2   31
13  Leicester City       24  5  3  4  17  18   2  6  4   8  11   -4   30
14  Sheffield Wednesday  24  5  3  4  13   7   3  2  7  14  16    4   29
15  Everton              25  3  7  3   8   6   3  2  7  11  21   -8   27
16  Blackburn Rovers     25  5  3  4  14  12   1  5  7  12  20   -6   26
17  Coventry City        25  5  4  3  17  13   1  2 10   7  23  -12   24
18  Charlton Athletic    25  4  4  5  18  13   1  4  7  11  24   -8   23
19  Southampton          24  4  2  6  18  21   1  3  8   5  26  -24   20
20  Nottingham Forest    25  1  6  5  10  21   2  1 10  11  30  -30   16


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/08/98    Leicester City           Home     D  2-2    11    55,052
22/08/98    West Ham United          Away     D  0-0    11    26,039
09/09/98    Charlton Athletic        Home     W  4-1     9    55,147
12/09/98    Coventry City            Home     W  2-0     5    55,193
20/09/98    Arsenal                  Away     L  0-3    10    38,142
24/09/98    Liverpool                Home     W  2-0     3    55,181
03/10/98    Southampton              Away     W  3-0     2    15,251
17/10/98    Wimbledon                Home     W  5-1     2    55,265
24/10/98    Derby County             Away     D  1-1     2    30,867
31/10/98    Everton                  Away     W  4-1     2    40,079
08/11/98    Newcastle United         Home     D  0-0     3    55,174
14/11/98    Blackburn Rovers         Home     W  3-2     2    55,198
21/11/98    Sheffield Wednesday      Away     L  1-3     2    39,475
29/11/98    Leeds United             Home     W  3-2     2    55,172
05/12/98    Aston Villa              Away     D  1-1     2    39,241
12/12/98    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     D  2-2     1    36,079
16/12/98    Chelsea                  Home     D  1-1     2    55,159
19/12/98    Middlesbrough            Home     L  2-3     3    55,152
26/12/98    Nottingham Forest        Home     W  3-0     3    55,216
29/12/98    Chelsea                  Away     D  0-0     3    34,741
10/01/99    West Ham United          Home     W  4-1     3    55,180
16/01/99    Leicester City           Away     W  6-2     2    22,091
31/01/99    Charlton Athletic        Away     W  1-0     1    20,043
03/02/99    Derby County             Home     W  1-0     1    55,174
06/02/99    Nottingham Forest        Away     W  8-1     1    30,025
17/02/99    Arsenal                  Home     D  1-1     1    55,171

Champions League:
Group D         P  W  D  L  F  A   Pts
Bayern Munich   6  3  2  1  9  6  11   
Man United      6  2  4  0 20 11  10
Barcelona       6  2  2  2 11  9   8    
Brondby         6  1  0  5  4 18   3   

Dec  9 Brøndby         0-2  Barcelona
Dec  9 Man Utd         1-1  Bayern Munich


 Manchester Utd    v   Inter Milan
 Real Madrid       v   Dynamo Kiev
 Juventus          v   Olympiakos
 Bayern Munich     v   Kaiserslautern

 Ties to be played on March 3 and 17

FAC Quarter Finals Draw ties to be
played the weekend of Saturday, March 6:

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


Ronny goes down v Arse [more? click on pic]

Subject: Paddling in the Paddock It's taken 24 hours and I've just about dried out and recovered from a very traumatic evening! There are times when I wonder why I do it - and 1am this morning was one of those times! But I'm getting a little ahead of myself....... Matchday started with me working at home, so plenty of time to get myself organised and get down to the Nest in good time. As is usual on these occasions, I kept thinking "I've got plenty of time yet", until I suddenly realised that if I didn't get a move on, I'd miss the train! So it was dash around like an idiot getting ready and then huffing and puffing the mile or so up the hill and then down the hill again, to get to the station. My fitness levels being what they are, I did of course miss the train and ended up standing at the bus stop in the pouring rain cursing and muttering to myself. I felt a strong urge to say "sod it" and head off back home to wait for the next train, but the son-and-heir had agreed to honour us with his presence in the pub (a rare event), and the thought of huffing and puffing up and down the hills again (twice) convinced me that I should not be so defeatist. So it was that I spent the next 45 minutes sitting on my own, on a minibus driven by the most boring b.....d ever to have donned a Stagecoach uniform. I heard all his troubles, all his wife's troubles, all his brother-in-law's troubles - by the time I got to Stockport the wind and the rain were looking decidedly attractive and I fled the bus to the comparative peace of Stockport station. The rest of the journey was uneventful, if damp, and I arrived at the Throstle's Nest to find our usual spot taken by a lad sitting on his own but "expecting a lot of mates", so I took up residence under the big screen (it hadn't yet descended) and waited for the arrival of the others. The son-and-heir arrived first, soon followed by Pat Jennings who then proceeded to make something interesting out of cardboard and sticky-back plastic. Half-way through his creation, Pete arrived with Hal and DA and we proceeded to entertain ourselves by taking the mickey out of Pat as he frantically stuck bits of card on to a whole pile of voucher sheets. Questions were raised about what use he was going to make of the resulting tickets, but I won't go into that here! Tony arrived followed by Tim just as we were leaving (not 3 hours before the game Pat - about 50 minutes actually!) So we walked at a sedate pace (as befits all us old farts) down to OT. On arrival, I was the only one who was dry - simply because I was the only one with an umbrella. I am told that Tony did have one, but it was a girly affair and he didn't think it macho enough to be seen with! After saying goodbye on the forecourt we arrived in the relative warmth of East Lower. It was bliss not only to be out of the rain, but also to be back in a section of the ground where there are decent facilities! Unlike West Stand, down at the scoreboard end we have more than one set of ladies' toilets. So I was able to relieve myself without missing the first 5 minutes of the game. After chatting to Tim and the son-and-heir about the attractions of Ladies' Night at the Willows (don't ask!), we were dragged kicking and screaming out into the rain for the game. What an awful bloody night! The sky was pitch black and rain sheeted across the stadium from one side to the other and then swirled round only to sheet back the other way. We stood in 2 inches of water, pulled up our hoods, and said in unison "If the bloody stewards think we're going to sit down in this lot they can f*** off!!" Luckily the stewards were so busy sheltering at the back somewhere, that we were left alone to stand right through the game. Over to our right, the folk in front of J Stand (obviously remembering the Bury game) were dressed in a rather natty line in plastic macs - was that you Pat, right in the front row?? Of course in the scoreboard paddock, we're all too cool to wear plastic macs, so we just suffered and got very, very wet. Before the game we watched Fergie and Dwight being presented with the Manager and Player of the month, marvelled at the awful state of the pitch and chanted "Same old Arsenal, always cheating". As the players ran out, Overmars and Kanu were booed loudly. Not that most people in our section cared that much about what Arsenal had been up to at the weekend, but it was a good excuse to get them going a bit! It was a surprise to see Giggs on the bench and good to see Keane back in midfield. The atmosphere was pretty good for most of the game. There were some quiet moments (particularly at the start of the second half when I think most fans were just a little reluctant to come back out into the wind and rain) but for most of the game we were chanting and singing - although we did have a pocket of day-trippers in front of us who were so busy hunting through their megastore bags and eating the contents of at least two of them, that they barely even watched the game, let alone got behind the lads. The Arsenal fans were not very inventive - "Do you come from Manchester" and "We saw you on the motorway" were the best they could manage. The rest of the time they were busy chanting "Arsenal, Arsenal" and "If you all hate Tottenham clap your hands" and "Champions" (to which we replied "If you're still in Europe, clap your hands"). Towards the end of the game they thought they were being clever chanting "United, United" in high, squeaky voices but it backfired on them as loads of United fans near us joined in, not realising what they were doing! The best bit of chanting was in reply to their "Posh Spice takes it up the arse" we sang back "Wenger takes it up the arse." The game was one of those that everyone says is a great game for the neutrals (particularly if they're watching at home in the warm and dry!). It had everything - passion, incidents, some excellent football. For those of us who were getting soaked, however, the occasion left a lot to be desired. As much as I love a big game, its a bit difficult to get carried away with the occasion when you are standing under a running shower for 90 minutes. Still, the lads were doing their best out there on the pitch. For most of the first half, it was pretty even I thought. Both teams had their chances. Early on, our defence stopped dead waiting for an off-side flag that never came but Overmars fluffed his chance. Then Semen could only parry a shot from Andy but there was no-one there to put it in the net. Not long after, Semen made an excellent save from a shot by Keane. At last it looked like the pressure was paying off when we got a penalty. Cue more chants of "Same old Arsenal, always cheating" as we watched from behind our fingers. I just knew he was going to miss - it's just a feeling you get - when Eric or Denis puts the ball on the spot, you relax, when Dwight put it on the spot my heart sank. Oh well, the lad's a human being after all! The first half ended with another fine save by Semen from Cole and we legged it out of the rain for 15 minutes. Reluctantly, we dragged ourselves out for the second half, thinking that surely the rain would have eased off a bit - wouldn't it? But of course it hadn't, it was still sheeting down just as hard as ever and the only change was that we were now standing in 4 inches of water rather than 2! For the first 20 minutes or so it was all Arsenal. Our lads were playing like they'd forgotten what colour shirt they were supposed to pass to. We were constantly giving the ball away and it was really no surprise when Kanu, in one of the best moves of the night, turned Stam and was free in the box. Gary Neville came charging across and took the ball from his feet - unfortunately, it only went to Anelka who buried it past Peter. The Gooners in L Stand celebrated as if they'd won the league all over again, singing "We shall not be moved" whilst the residents of East Lower told them where to go in a whole litany of very rude words! For the next 10 minutes or so it was scary stuff as we bit our nails and screamed with frustration. The United lads just couldn't seem to get it together and Yorke was having just about his worse game in a United shirt. Then, gradually, they started to get back into it and the Soul Brothers began to make sweet music once again. Yorke had an excellent chance which was deflected passed the post. We roared them on. Then Keane decided to up the tempo a bit! Vierra, as usual, had been getting on everyone's nerves all the way through the game - getting away with murder as referee and linesmen seemed to be looking the other way every time he brought down one of our forwards or grabbed the ball with his hand. Keane had had enough and when Vierra hit out at him, he swung and had a go back. We all held our collective breath, waiting for the red card. We knew that if Keane went off, there was probably no way back. To our surprise and relief, the card was only yellow. Soon after, Phil Neville crossed into the box and onto Cole's head and the ball was in the net in front of us for Andy's 100th goal. We splashed about happily and hugged each other. From then on it was all United - we should have had at least 4 goals and only poor finishing, some excellent saves from Semen and the luck of the devil for Arsenal kept us from winning the game (oh yes, and a certain blind linesman who didn't notice that it was Semen that put the ball over the goal line and gave a goal kick instead of a corner! England's number 1 got very upset at the stick he got for that one!) Cole had an excellent shot deflected by Bould, and Keane ballooned a shot over the bar in the last couple of minutes, but it ended 1-1 and we gratefully left our soggy seats and headed off home. I won't go into the details of my nightmare journey home. Suffice to say that I arrived home very wet, with a swollen knee, at almost 1am - 3 hours after leaving OT. Not bad if I lived near the Leamington Skinhead, but as I only live 15 miles from OT, it was a mite annoying! My man-of-the-match? Definately Andy Cole. He had a blinder despite a couple of missed chances. As I said earlier, Dwight had what was probably his worse game in a United shirt, but for the last 10 minutes of the game he was back to normal, with some awesome exchanges with Andy. Stam had a good game, although Kanu and Anelka gave the whole defence some problems. Giggs looked fit and sharp. Moments of the match? Keane giving Vierra what most United fans would like to give him and taking the piss out of the Arsenal players and fans by cheering sarcastically when they gave us the ball back - at least Semen saw the funny side! I watched Match of the Day this evening on video and the commentator said that this game was on the 54th anniversary of the appointment of Matt Busby as manager. Well this game was one that I'm sure Sir Matt would have enjoyed, despite the result. And despite the weather, I think I enjoyed it too! Copyright © 1999 by OUR SALFORD LASS. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
Ronny goes down v Arse [more? click on pic]

Subject: Arsenal game and some psychology!! First things first, that pitch was terrible at ground level and i'm not sure if you could see it on TV but divots, lack of grass blighted the pitch. We only replaced this pitch recently and its already cutting up like an OJ Simpson victim. I hope this doesn't stop our quick passing game as it often did last night with the ball resembling a rugby ball in bounce. I thought 'oh no not again' when Anelka scored but we did well to get back in the game after this shocker. I said to my brother just as the players came out for the second half we should keep an eye out for Anelka and then he scored to make my words almost prophetic. I was fortunate that the rain was blowing at the opposite end of the stadium so i could keep my eyes open rather than squinting to avoid the rain falling into my eyes like when i was walking to the ground. I couldn't believe it when Yorke missed the penalty, none of us could. I was worried that this might affect his game but he stuck to the task and did quite well. His strike partner was lively and if Cole could shoot upwards rather than downwards all the time, he could plunder himself even more goals. 'Killer' Keane and 'Violent' Vieira, as i like to call them, were lucky to stay on the pitch. Was Bould the last man when Scholesy darted through? If he was, surely he should have been given the red card. Arsenal's goodwill gesture surely has softened the refs, conspiracy? Don't know but it well could be......... I couldn't really see this incident as i was in the far end of the North Stand down by the corner flag so my view was not too great. Seamen had a good game for them, as did Kanu "the thick Nigerian" as the BBC tried to put across after his misdemeanour on Saturday against Sheff Utd. I said to my Arsenal mate that Kanu will pleasantly surprise them and he has achieved a lot considering he is only 21/22. For us, Stam was solid except for the odd moment. Phil Neville produced an excellent cross for the goal, Becks was industrious without ever being amazing, Keane and Butt combative to say the least. I'm so pleased that Giggsy is back, he gives us such drive and penetration when he plays. Blomqvist gives us the balance when Giggs is injured but he doesn't give us the directness as i still think Jesper lacks a bit of confidence to take someone on. He normally lays the ball back to Irwin/Neville or crosses an early ball. The songs were the best part of last night. 'There's only one Arsene Wenger', 'Same old Arsenal, always cheating!', 'Seamen, takes it up the ......', and so on. Arsenal did have the best chant though, 'Champions' - you can't really argue when you have that as your song. The 'One season wonders' chant died a bit after the first couple of airings. They chanted 'You'll never beat the Arsenal..' after the game which made me think, "when will we beat them, the arses." Yorke has said Coley made him feel welcome as soon as he arrived so maybe the quick way Yorkie has fitted in is down to Coley as well. Maybe Cole felt he needed someone to show him the ropes when he first joined and so maybe we saw Cole taking longer to get used to everything as he had no-one to make friends with. Yorkie also said, in same sport mag, without Cole he would have gone mad in the hotel he was staying in so Yorke can count himself lucky he has Coley as his mate. I'm sure Yorkie could have made the boredom of his hotel room that bit more interesting if you believe the stories, which some are true according to Yorke!! Fergie said he didn't expect his players to be monks, just as long as it didn't affect their game. Encore, i think for Yorke!!!! Anyway, bye bye Berni.
Ronny goes down v Arse [more? click on pic]

Subject: Arse game by Pat After parking up in a (supposed) good getaway place for after the game, I proceeded to walk the 20 miles or so round to the Throstle's to meet up with the other regulars. It was absolutely pissing down, but my new coat kept me warm and dry. On arriving there, the only other ones present were Linda and (son and heir) Ian and we ended up sitting on the 'monkey' table in front of the big screen. Pete, Hal and DA soon arrived and we began our usual chat about football and in particular the spurs v wombles match of the night before. My mate Sid soon arrived and I had scissors and pritt at the ready to attach vouchers to our voucher sheets which we needed to post for the FA Cup game against the rent boys. Linda found it highly amusing that us thicko members needed huge numbers on our sheets so we don't stick our ticket stubs in the wrong place. That job done, we were soon joined by Duncan and Mark, but then the 'old farts' started to leave, as it was 'only' 3 hours to KO! Me and Sid had another swift one before we set off in the pouring rain to make our way to the ground. We then went across the forecourt (that resembled the starting line up to the Grand National (why do the police try and trample you to death with their horses when you're doing nothing wrong?)) and made our way into J stand. Daniel had missed out in the ballot, but me and Sid were only a few seats apart and I was well pleased when we took our places. It's about 2 years since I was last in J and I'd say for a good view and atmosphere, it has to be one of the best parts of the ground (God knows why we give the equally good L stand away to our opposition!). Anyway, we gave Fergie and Dwight a cheer as they collected they respective awards and off we went. The atmosphere was OK but everyone around me soon sat down, so I did likewise. The pitch looks like it needs relaying again as the whole centre section, the width of the 18 yards boxes looks shagged out. Can't they put sunbed lamps in the flood lights and leave them on all day? (If this idea works, remember whose idea it was!). We certainly had the better of the first half and should have gone ahead via Dwight's penalty, but it was not to be, I think he must have been reading 'Taking Penalties the Easy Way (and missing them)' by Edward Sherringham. The arse fans went mental, the b......s. Before the penalty was given, Ronnie was smacked in the face and went down like a sack of spuds, he was clutching his face and I was sure they stop the play. The next minute the ball came near him and he was up like Lazarus and then got poleaxed again immediately. At half time we went down for a coffee and I was tricked by the J stand toilets into thinking you could get out at the other end, but you can't and have to fight your way back through the crowd. Whilst in there I met a mate of mine from Mansfield, Jimmy Doyle and we had a quick chat and arranged to meet up for a pint before our reserves game, which is being held at Mansfield's ground next week. On coming out of the toilet, we went to the bar to get a coffee and saw Richard Martin fast asleep with a bottle of beer in his hand (a la Barca, eh Richard??) ;-))) I woke him up and we had a quick chat about how we were going to stuff them in the second half, especially as we were 'unusually' kicking our way. The rain was still lashing down and I (briefly :))) felt sorry for Linda as you could see the rain heading their way in the floodlights. But no sooner had we kicked off when the arse scored, I immediately though it was off side or something (as I always do) and was waiting for it to be disallowed. There then seemed to be a pause before the disbelieving arse fans started to cheer. The quagmire in the middle of the pitch didn't seem to want to let the ball go, as we didn't seem to have a lot of width and despite their much publicised absentees, the arse seemed to be coping well. Almost out of nowhere we got an equaliser and should really have gone then and killed them off. In the end as was pleased with a point, if we'd have got a point in the same fixture last season, we'd have won the league on GD. Hypothetical, I know but there anyway. We've all played one game more, after last night and our 4 point lead is still intact. We can also have a break next week as we have no midweek match, before we all take a deep breath and head into March. On leaving the ground it was still pissing down and then we got stuck in traffic all bloody night trying to get down Chester Road. p.s. Listening to the Radio 5 phone in this morning re KK and England a caller rang in and said "I don't know why Alan Ball hasn't been offered the job.........." Errrrrrmmmmmmmm! Cheers Pat (c) Not to be Used without Permission of the Author
Ronny goes down v Arse [more? click on pic]

Subject: DEADLY DUO CAN'T STOP SCORING Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole are developing a lethal partnership which can compare to the best. Cole's equaliser against Arsenal last night took the duo's combined total for the season to 40 goals in all competitions - and 28 of those have come in the league. Ironically Cole already holds the record, along with Peter Beardsley, for the Premiership's best striking partnership after they netted 55 league goals for Newcastle in 1993-94. That was in the days of a 22-team top flight and this season United will play four games fewer than Newcastle did. Former United striker Joe Jordan feels the current partnership with Yorke is bringing the best out of Cole. ''Andy Cole is revelling in the partnership. He has always scored goals but I think his general play and link-up play has improved,'' said Jordan. ''Strikers need this kind of understanding that one can play off, like Yorke does, and take up good positions. ''They are getting good chances but it must be remembered that the most difficult thing in football is scoring goals.'' Jordan says the pair also know they cannot afford to let their performances dip with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham waiting on the sidelines. ''I think the fact that there are so many strikers at United keeps them on their toes,'' he said. ''Solskjaer and Sheringham can come in and we all know what Solskjaer can do, while Paul Scholes can also play up there. Such competition for places is always healthy.'' While Cole and Yorke grab most of the headlines for their goal-scoring feats, Jordan insists that credit should go to the rest of the team for creating so many openings for them. ''Somebody has got to supply them with chances and it's not as if they are doing it on their own,'' he said. ''So as well as the understanding between Yorke and Cole there is also that understanding between the strikers and the rest of the team.'' Great striking partnerships down the years: 1928-29: Dixie Dean and Alec Troup (Everton) 70 league goals. 1930-31: Pongo Waring and Eric Houghton (Aston Villa) 79 league goals. 1963-64: Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Smith (Tottenham) 48 league goals. 1982-83: Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush (Liverpool) 42 league goals. 1985-86: Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie (West Ham) 46 league goals. 1993-94: Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley (Newcastle) 55 league goals. 1994-95: Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer (Blackburn) 49 league goals. 1996-97: Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand (Newcastle) 41 league goals.
Ronny goes down v Arse [more? click on pic]

Subject: Giggs fit for Inter Milan clash MANCHESTER, England, Feb 18 - Winger Ryan Giggs is almost certain to play in Manchester United's European Cup quarter-final, first leg against Inter Milan on March 3 after recovering more quickly than expected from a hamstring injury. Giggs played the final quarter of an hour of United's premier league match against Arsenal on Wednesday. United manager Alex Ferguson said he had felt it had been worth risking Giggs for a short period. "He's now got a game behind him and we will work on getting him ready for the Milan game,'' said Ferguson. Giggs strained a hamstring against Derby on February 3. He missed seven weeks after a similar injury last season, forcing him to sit out the European Cup defeat by Monaco, again at the quarter-final stage. --------------------------------------- GIGGS GIVES UNITED HUGE EURO BOOST Ryan Giggs has given Manchester United a tremendous boost in the countdown to their Champions' League showdown with Inter Milan. Giggs has recovered quicker than expected from his hamstring injury and will face the Italians in the first leg at Old Trafford on March 3. Initially boss Alex Ferguson had warned that the Welsh international could miss the clash with Inter after he limped off against Derby a fortnight ago. Ferguson and United fans alike felt a horrible sense of deja vu as 12 months previously Giggs had suffered a similar injury against the Rams which kept him out of both legs of the Champions' League quarter-final against Monaco. But this time round his injury was not as bad as first feared and he had recovered sufficiently for Ferguson to bring him on for the last 13 minutes against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. As recently as Monday Ferguson had ruled Giggs out of the biggest Premiership match of the season, but 48 hours later he decided he was fit enough to risk as a substitute. Giggs almost created what would have been the winning goal for Dwight Yorke after he came on against the Gunners and Ferguson was delighted to have him back. "It was one of those situations where we had five subs and we were suitably covered with Wes Brown the defender, Paul Scholes for midfield and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the striker," he said. "Then you are looking for someone who can change the face of the game and there's nobody better at that than Ryan. "He had done three days' training, nothing serious, and we felt he was worth risking for 15 minutes. Now he has a game behind him and we'll work on his fitness to make sure he's ready for the Milan game."
Ronny goes down v Arse [more? click on pic]

Subject: Ferguson rates champions as United's biggest threat By Adrian Curtis Thursday, February 18, 1999 Alex Ferguson today picked out Arsenal as the biggest threat to Manchester United's hopes of winning the Premiership. The champions emerged from the top-of-the-table clash against Ferguson's United with a 1-1 draw thanks to some splendid goal-keeping from England's David Seaman. With Chelsea drawing at home to Blackburn and Villa going down to their third straight defeat, Ferguson said: 'I see the biggest challenge coming from Arsenal because they have not only experienced players in their side, especially at the back, but they have experienced life at the top as well. 'They finished in great winning style to take the title last season and the knowledge they gained, the pressure they felt and successfully withstood, will stand them in good stead again. 'But we are ready for the challenge. I believe we are stronger than at this time last year with more quality in depth in our squad, which not only provides cover for injuries but also introduces competition for places. That keeps everyone on their toes.' Wenger admitted that Arsenal were lucky to come away with a point. He said: 'United were closer to winning it than we were. 'That is why I am happy with a draw. It was a good result for us.' However, Patrick Vieira is set to miss the FA Cup quarter-final should Arsenal win their rematch with Sheffield United next week. The Frenchman was shown the yellow card along with United's Roy Keane when the pair clashed in the second half last night. Vieira's ban is the latest in a long line of suspensions which is beginning to undermine Arsenal's hopes of hanging on to the title. Suspensions ruled out both Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp and Vieira's influential French colleague Emmanuel Petit from last night's game at Old Trafford. However, Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes they have proved they can cope without their established stars. The veteran left-back, who revealed that he is close to signing a new deal with Arsenal, said: 'We've coped without different players at various times already this season. We would like everybody available, obviously, but it has not affected us so far and we are still in touch with United at the top.' Winterburn was also adamant that referee Garry Willard got it wrong when he awarded United a first-half penalty which Dwight Yorke hit widet. 'It wasn't a penalty,' he said. 'The linesman never gave it and it could have set us back had it gone in. Luckily for us, Dwight missed and I think the result has left us in a good position for the run-in.' Goalkeeper Seaman picked up the man-of-the-match award but admitted that he was fearing the worst when Yorke stepped up to take the penalty. He said: 'The last time Dwight took a penalty against me, he chipped it over me and that was going through my mind. 'I decided to stand up for as long as I could and it obviously worked.'
Ronny goes down v Arse [more? click on pic]

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