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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Mon Apr 19  GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. It's life, but not as we know it Personal Report from RED KELLY
2. Oh Teddy, Teddy  Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS
3. Hugh McIlvanney talks to Fergie - Sunday Times
4. Ferguson set for massive new deal «« 
5. Sunday Times report United extend lead with easy 3-0 victory
6. Brilliant take on Edwards


Daily RED Trivia  Mon 19th April 1999:

 Billy Meredith died in Manchester . One of the brilliant wingers of his day,
 Meredith made his United debut against Aston Villa in January 1907, and won League 
 Championship  medals in 1908 and 1911, and an FA Cup Winners medal in 1909,
 having already scored the winner for Manchester City in the 1904 Final. He totalled
 332 appearances and 35 goals between 1907-21, and played 48 caps for Wales in
 the period 1895-1920. After rejoining City in 1921 he returned to Old Trafford
 as Coach in 1931. 

 United's Bobby Charlton scores on his International debut as England win 
 4-0 against Scotland at Hampden Park.

19/4/1975: United clinch the 2nd Division Championship with a 2-2 draw at Notts County
 watched by 17,320. Brian Greenhoff and Stewart Houston scored. Team was:
 Stepney, Forysth, Houston, Greenhoff, James, Buchan, Coppell, McIlroy, Pearson,
 Macari, Daly.


Barry Daily Comment:
So Chelsea only managed a draw today and we stay top!
[Arse play at home to Wimmledon tonight]
This week sees a match so BIG on wednesday that the importance
cannot be measured! Good luck to REDS all over the world.

Everyone who wants the goal in Real Time Video 300k now thanks to RED CAFE!

FA Cup Semi Final Replay
14 April 1999
Manchester United 2:1 Arsenal
 Villa Park
  Download Ryan Giggs Goal! (Real Video: 300K)
Thanks to the Theatre of Dreams

Important European Cup Ticket Info: (thanks to Mike)

UEFA Champions League final tickets information

The following has appeared on the UEFA website regarding tickets for the 
final.  Subject to the minor matter of beating Juventus next week, this is of 
particular interest to supporters outside England, since applications will 
not be accepted from the countries of competing clubs.   

UEFA Champions League final tickets information 
UEFA Champions League Final 
Venue Camp Nou (Estadi FC Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain 
Date Wednesday 26 May 1999 
Kick-Off 20.45 CET (19.45 GMT) 

Apart from ticket orders from supporters residing in the countries of the two 
finalist clubs - Manchester United FC (England) or Juventus FC (Italy) and 
Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine) or FC Bayern München (Germany) - which, for security 
reasons, must be submitted to the clubs concerned, ticket orders for the 
general public irrespective of their country of residence can be ordered 
through the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (Spanish Football Federation).

Ticket Order Methods: Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF)  
Post Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF)
Alberto Bosch, 13
E-29014 MADRID
Telephone ++34-91-369 5045
++34-91-369 4771
++34-91-369 4129 
Fax ++34-91-429 8428 
E-Mail rfef@tsai.es 
Closing Date Thursday 29 April 1999 

No supporter may purchase more than four tickets, subject to availability. 
Tickets are for personal use only, and must not be resold or used for 
commercial purposes. The Real Federación Española de Fútbol (Spanish Football 
Federation) may reject or reduce any ticket order considered to be 

Prices Pesetas 
Category 1 14,000 Ptas 
Category 2 10,000 Ptas 
Category 3 7,000 Ptas 
Category 4 4,500 Ptas 

Written confirmation - by fax or mail - will be forwarded on receipt of an 
order for tickets for this match, and the amount for the total price of the 
tickets will be transferred to the Banco Popular Español.
Account Number: 0075-0591-17-0600300602
Banco Popular Español, Agencia 51, Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 25, E-28014 MADRID


Previous News:
BSKYB Takeover news/pics at http://www.red11.org/mufc/bskyb.htm
 Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

Next games: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:
If you would like ALL the final fixtures for
UNITED/Arse/Chelsea then go to http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899.htm

Next Games:
Today! Sheff Wed (H) 15.00 PL
21 European Cup Semi Juventus (A) 19.45 CL
25 Leeds (A)  11.30 {am} UK PL Live Sky Sports UK 

UNITED Stats v All teams:


             Chelsea   2-2   Leicester City        34,535


Pos Team                  P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    32  19  10   3  72  32   40   67
 2  Chelsea              33  17  13   3  49  26   23   64
 3  Arsenal              32  17  12   3  43  13   30   63
 4  Leeds United         33  16  11   6  53  29   24   59
 5  Aston Villa          34  14  10  10  45  39    6   52
 6  West Ham United      34  14   9  11  39  41   -2   51
 7  Middlesbrough        34  12  14   8  46  42    4   50
 8  Derby County         33  12  11  10  37  41   -4   47
 9  Liverpool            32  12   8  12  57  42   15   44
10  Tottenham Hotspur    32  10  13   9  36  37   -1   43
11  Newcastle United     33  11   9  13  44  48   -4   42
12  Wimbledon            33  10  11  12  37  50  -13   41
13  Leicester City       32   9  13  10  34  41   -7   40
14  Sheffield Wednesday  33  11   5  17  38  39   -1   38
15  Everton              34   9  10  15  31  41  -10   37
16  Coventry City        34  10   7  17  35  47  -12   37
17  Charlton Athletic    33   7  11  15  35  44   -9   32
18  Blackburn Rovers     33   7  11  15  35  46  -11   32
19  Southampton          34   8   7  19  31  63  -32   31
20  Nottingham Forest    34   4   9  21  30  66  -36   21


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


       P   Won       Drawn     Lost      For        Against    Points
Home   17  12 (71%)  4 (24%)   1 (6%)    41 (2.4)   16 (0.9)   40 (2.4)
Away   15  7 (47%)   6 (40%)   2 (13%)   31 (2.1)   16 (1.1)   27 (1.8)

Total  32  19 (59%)  10 (31%)  3 (9%)    72 (2.3)   32 (1.0)   67 (2.1)

                                         Averages per game in (brackets)

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


 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)
OLYMPIAKOS         1 v 1  **JUVENTUS          (Agg:2-3)

Semi Final 2nd legs to be played  21st April
Manchester United v Juventus  [1-1]
Bayern Munchen v Dynamo Kiev  [3-3]


Phil Neville talks about Italy and the team

Subject: It's life, but not as we know it Personal Report from RED KELLY I feel I'm in a time warp at the moment. All the talk yesterday was about Wednesday. But why worry about Wednesday I thought, we'll worry about Wednesday on Wednesday. "No not Wednesday - Wednesday." "What next Wednesday?" "No, last Wednesday." Didn't the Beatles sing about eight days a week? Did they know there were three Wednesdays in eight days then? For god's sake my mind's out of control. "Are we talking about last Wednesday, today or next Wednesday?" In fact we were talking about all three, but taking one game at a time! Notwithstanding the confusion over which Wednesday, the time warp factor has come into play due to the timelessness of last Wednesday - OK, the semi final replay and the amount of times this season that we have witnessed epic games. I have since watched the midweek game on TV and cannot think of another like it ever in all my years of supporting United. I asked Hal in the pub yesterday about it and he said the same. And for one who has seen some great games in his lifetime which spans many more years than mine, then it must have been something very special indeed. I know I will never forget being there and neither will anyone else I have spoken to. We parked at the Throstles yesterday as Dr Mark, the self-christened Harbinger of Doom, said that last time he and the sausageman parked there they got away easy - but more of that later. A couple of pints and a chat was followed by a swift walk down to OT. I hadn't realised that the time was already 2.45 when we left and that the pub was already almost empty. It's usually at least a fifteen minute walk to the ground but we set off at a pace, but when Druncan stopped off at the shop to pick up a couple more cans the Harbinger and I decided to run ahead. That Dr Mark can shift, it took me all my time to keep up with him as he jinked his way through White City, but as we reached Chester Road and the rest of the last minute pubbers we still had nearly ten minutes to go before kick-off. So in the realisation that anything after midweek was going to be a comedown I made my way up to my usual seat in K Stand. All we really wanted was an easy game as preparation for Turin, but recently Sheffield Wednesday have had the indian sign over us so we were more than a little apprehensive. However it seems at the moment that whoever is on the pitch wearing a red shirt will play well enough to walk into most any other team in the Premier League. It doesn't seem to matter who plays up front, they are going to score goals. So with our own SAS we assaulted the Wednesday goal, overcame the obstacles and scored three. The atmosphere was good at Old Trafford for once and with the Wizard giving us his commendation before the game we felt on top of the world. At least he doesn't thing we are the worst supporters in the Premier League then! After another impeccably observed minute's silence for the Hillsborough victims the game kicked off with Wednesday playing some slick football and Carbone going close a couple of times with viciously dipping volleys. He was dancing around all over the place showing a full range of flicks and that was just his hair. He was a walking Vosene advert, but as the rain fell the bounce went out of his hairstyle and out of Wednesday altogether. Our midfield Rockweilers soon got a grip which released the forwards and gradually the initial Wednesday exuberance was negated by Manchester steel. Blommers got the ball out on the left (or the right as we looked at it) and launched it into orbit. When it finally came down it had ice on but Keano warmed it up with a pull-back to Teddy who flicked on and there was Ole to volley past Sirnicek. We were happy and relieved as the Wednesday heads dropped. From that moment on United could have taken half the team off and they would still have won and we amused ourselves by taunting Tango and his buddies over in the corner. You'd have thought that daft bastard would have succumbed to wearing his shirt by now. No sense no feeling I suppose! How could it be any other way with that nauseating bloody band playing the same old tune over and over and over again. They should be banned from every football ground as it's almost impossible to get an atmosphere going with that mind numbing sound echoing in your ears. Don't they get fed up with it or are they just plain stupid? It was fast turning into the perfect game sandwiched between the two semis. With Sheringham scoring his 250th senior goal and Scholesy adding a third at the start of the second half Fergie made changes. I'm glad Sheringham scored. He seems to have suffered a change of attitude recently which has seen a resurgence in his play and another option for the Wizard. His relationship with Ole seems to have blossomed into a very productive partnership which would be the envy of many other teams. We seem to have an embarrassment of riches in every department right now which gives me confidence for the testing time ahead. Last season we couldn't have said that, but this season is different - very different. Even when Keane and Stam went off it made no difference and it gave Superstar and Jonathan Greening another run out. We will be without the Norwegians next Sunday at Helland Road so we may just need David May. We left Old Trafford satisfied yesterday. We hadn't seen a classic, but there were no moans from those of us who realised the importance of, firstly the three points and secondly the ease in which they were attained. Back in the Throstles we had a quick refresher before the journey home. Out in the carpark at the back there were two young kids playing football so Dr Mark and I asked if we could join in for a couple of minutes. OK, so they were only about nine years old and thought I was seven foot tall, but at that moment we were mentally the same age. A few one-two's later and the ball nestled in the back of the imaginary net but it was time to go as it was getting late and a home-made curry beckoned. This was the moment when the Harbinger's prediction of an easy getaway from the Throstles was going to come true. Sadly it all went horribly wrong! Every way we went, every turn we took we were confronted by huge traffic jams. Something was obviously going on. The way to Chorlton was blocked, down at the Quandrant was the same. On to Chester Road - the same. So we went back to Old Trafford which was still thronged with people no doubt waiting for the players to emerge and eventually we found ourselves on our normal route out but by this time 606 was about to start. To top it all the traffic on the M6 was extremely slow and full of scouse cars returning south. Never let it be said that United are the only team who block motorways with supporters - the scousers have their fair share. So now we await the next chapter and the final Wednesday in eight days. What has fate got in store for us this time? I can only hope we are still in the same time warp by the end of the season - I'm beginning to enjoy it immensely. Copyright RED KELLY 1999
Phil Neville talks about Italy and the team

Subject: Oh Teddy, Teddy Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS The day started on a train full of catatonic Sheffield Wednesday supporters who had made the mistake of taking the scenic route into Manchester. Instead of getting the express (40 minutes and one stop at Stockport), they had boarded the stopping train - which takes in every small village in the Northern Peak district. By the time they reached our station they had been travelling on this old, rickety train (built circa 1880) for 1 hour and 10 minutes, and they still had 30 minutes to go! By the time they arrived in Manchester all fight had been knocked out of them and looking at their team a couple of hours later, I did wonder if they too had travelled the scenic route! Once on board the bus to the Throstle's Nest in Piccadilly, we were joined by two Wednesday supporters who had obviously never been to Manchester before. Asking the driver if the bus went to Old Trafford, he ignored their scarves, shirts and hats and asked which part of Old Trafford they wanted. The football ground, they said. With an evil glint in his eye, he took their money and didn't bother to tell them that we turned off before *the* Old Trafford and that only 10 feet away from them were buses that would take them to the top of Sir Matt Busby Way. As we pulled away from the bus stop, the dim pair finally noticed the tram station a couple of feet away, full of United fans, and one said "I wonder if that goes to the ground?" Perhaps they should have brought their woolly girlfriends along to help them find their way around the metropolis? Since I am a nice person (no comments please!), I usually give assistance to people on buses - but on this occasion, of course, the people needing the help were opposition football supporters (and from Yorkshire at that!), so I kept quiet. Of course I knew that they would not really be inconvenienced as they would still end up within walking distance of Old Trafford. As we neared Seymour Grove, however, my conscience began to trouble me as they showed no signs of getting off the bus - obviously waiting to arrive right outside the ground. We turned down Seymour Grove and I didn't know what to do - did I just get off the Nest and smile as they disappear off towards Chorlton, or did I tell them to where to get off? I mean, these weren't Leeds fans or anything like that, and I had asked the way in Sheffield earlier this season! Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your point of view) a woman at the back piped up and off they went. Oh, the decisions we have to make! Arriving at the Throstles Nest I found Pete and Hal already in residence and we were then joined by Nick, Duncan, Mark and Dr Mark. Of course, all the talk was about last Wednesday's game, and Nick and I sat miserably contemplating having gone to the wrong leg! We arrived in the ground just in time for the heavens to open. Hailstones the size of golf balls descended on our heads (a bit of an exaggeration I know, but it was pretty miserable all the same) as we shivered and tried to keep dry for most of the first half. Before the game started we had an impeccably kept one minute's silence in memory of the fans killed at Hillsborough. I found it focused my mind to have Sheffield Wednesday fans join us in this. After the silence, the microphone was given to Alex Ferguson - he thanked the fans for their help on Wednesday night and also asked us to provide more of the same for the game today. Sorry Alex, but the crowd that comes to OT these days, just isn't up to it - but more of that later. We had a cheer for Ryan and Peter, and then the game started, and with it the bloody Sheffield Wednesday band! No wonder Wednesday only has a small away following, it must drive em bloody potty! The Wednesday side started brightly enough, and had an early chance at goal from Carbonne which was saved by Raimond, but that soon faded as the effects of their tour of the Peak District began to be felt. After the first 20 minutes, they were absolutely awful and our lads were able to gain an easy victory without having to get out of second gear. Butt, Keane and Scholes ran the midfield, Wes and Jaap (with his collar up and looking invincible!) mopped up anything that did get through and Ole and Teddy up front were constantly threatening the Wednesday goal in front of us. As the son-and-heir said, if Yorke and Cole need a rest - no problem, just replace them with another excellent pair of strikers who seem to also be developing an almost telepathic understanding. The pressure on the goal in front of us was constant. Scholes was brought down just outside the box and we got a free kick. Without Becks to take it, there were plenty of volunteers to take the free kick (including Stam who had to be pulled away by Gary Neville - muttering darkly!). Teddy took it and would have scored had it not been for a fine save from their keeper. Then Teddy just hit wide with a header and Scholes had a header saved. Finally, Keane put the ball across the area, Teddy managed somehow to get the ball to Ole with a fine overhead kick and Ole got the first. Cue a chorus of "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole" and rather muted celebrations, both on and off the pitch. Soon afterwards Butt was put through with only the keeper to beat, but couldn't quite get to the ball. Then Ole returned the favour as he crossed the ball into the box and Teddy scored with a wonderful glancing header. "Oh, Teddy Teddy." So they went in 2-0 up at half-time. At the start of the second half, Raimond came down our end to a chorus of "Oh van de Gouw". We didn't have to wait long for the third goal. In the box at the other end, Keane got the ball to Teddy who laid it off at just the right pace for Scholes to put the ball in the net. The game was now over as a contest (not that it ever really started) and it was time for further changes to rest players in preparation for Wednesday night. Stam came off to a standing ovation and was replaced by David May - much to the delight of East Stand - "David May, superstar". Keane came off and was replaced with Greening (and May got the captain's armband) and later in the half, Blomqvist was replaced by Irwin (nice to see Denis recovered from injury). The rest of the second half was a practice match and whilst not being the most exciting game in the world, it made a nice change to be able to relax, give the nerves a rest and allow the nails to grow back a bit! Off the pitch, the Old Trafford crowd continued its descent into apathy. At the beginning of the first half, it wasn't too bad - the hailstorm brought everyone to their feet which helped and East Stand was happy singing Wembley songs and "We shall not be moved", as well as chanting for Keane and Giggs. Up to our left, the small band of Wednesday fans were noisily singing along to their band and Tango Man was (as usual) spotted shirtless in the middle of their section. We sang "You can stick your f***ing band up your arse", "Monday, Tuesday, who the f*** are Wednesday?" and "Monday, Tuesday, I prefer a Friday." But as the half wore on, despite Fergie's pleas, the noise died down until it was only in patches that any singing was heard. It perked up a bit after each goal (surprise, surprise!), but for most of the first half we were out-sung by a few hundred Wednesday fans who took great delight in telling us "You're supposed to be at home." The second half was even worse, with even the Wednesday band going quiet for large parts of it (thank Eric!). By ten minutes before the end, Old Trafford was half-empty as they left from all parts of the ground in their thousands. At this point, the atmosphere in our little bit actually improved as those left sang "We are the Scoreboard, the Scoreboard Paddock" and "Scoreboard barmy army". So why was the atmosphere so bad again - despite Fergie's plea before the game and despite us going 4 points clear with only 6 games to go (a situation that would have had the whole stadium ecstatic a few years ago)? Spoilt supporters who have had too much success? A gentrified support that just doesn't know how to let itself go and sing and shout? Both of these are true, I'm sure. But also, certainly in our part of the ground, there were hundreds of fans who were behaving like they had never been to a football match before (is this the way that the club is dealing with the East Lower "problem" fans - can't get them to sit down, so infiltrate them with the fans the club wants in the stadium?). We are in the fourth row from the front, the three rows in front of us is filled with day tickets. Some games they are full of traditional fans - who sing and shout and get behind the team. But more often than not, they are full of "fans" who stare at you when you try to start a chant, giggle when they hear a swear word, and sit there in silence with less emotion than they would show at the opera! Yesterday, we even had a couple snogging in front of us!! It would be funny if it weren't so bloody tragic! Anyway, back to pleasanter matters and the performances on the pitch. It's hard to pick a man of the match. From the defenders, through the midfield, to the strikers, there wasn't a bad performance (apart from Blomqvist's crosses on occasions). After every game, I don't think Stam can get any better and yet every game, he does - with his collar up, he was commanding the back line as Eric used to command the forward line. Wes made a couple of mistakes, but overall he had an excellent game. Keane and Butt were a brick wall in midfield - Butt's renaissance continues, with his tackling in particular bettered nowhere. And the relationship between Teddy and Ole gets better every game. So its a difficult choice today but for me, there is only one real choice and that is Teddy Sheringham (yes folks, I did say Teddy Sheringham!). We were talking about Teddy in the pub before the game and all agreed that we were delighted to at last be seeing Teddy doing so well. Despite my frustrations with him in the past, I have always hoped he would do well (and have been impressed by his attitude over recent months). He not only scored one goal, but was involved in all three and his distribution and passing were excellent. I sang "Oh Teddy Teddy" with genuine warmth yesterday, and I believe that was true for the rest of the stadium too. Once the game was over, it was back to Piccadilly and onto the slow train home - again filled with Wednesday supporters, although not as many as coming in - obviously some of them had decided to go for the faster, but less scenic option! So it's back to the nail biting and the shredded nerves in the build-up to Wednesday's game. Have a good (and safe) trip those of you who are going, and sing up nice and loud for us as well. Linda Copyright © 1999 by OUR SALFORD LASS. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
Phil Neville talks about Italy and the team

Subject: Hugh McIlvanney talks to Fergie - Sunday Times Run at defenders, Alex Ferguson told Ryan Giggs two days before that goal. There were measured words behind the extravagant deeds that killed off Arsenal in the FA Cup. In the two days between the drawn semi-final at Villa Park last Sunday and the unforgettable replay on Wednesday night, Alex Ferguson punctuated Manchester United's training sessions with some of the most concentrated talking he has done this season. In keeping with his belief that motivation is best aimed with a sniper's precision at individuals, rather than delivered in random shotgun blasts, he backed up his general address to the first-team squad by having one-to-one conversations with two players. They happened to be Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, the men who scored the goals that sent United through to another Wembley final. Ferguson would be brusquely dismissive of any attempt to use that fact to enlarge his share of the credit for the stirring performance in midweek. At such times, his pride in his players is almost that of a fan. He marvels at how wonderful they can be. The boyish joy that shone from his 57-year-old face as he jinked across the pitch to the dressing rooms at the end of Wednesday evening's drama did not suggest somebody calculating personal kudos. When we spoke afterwards about the miraculously sustained run that left four of Arsenal's international players in abject pursuit and set Giggs up for the thunderous finish which settled the tie, Ferguson said without reservation that the historic moment was created by abilities the Welshman had brought to Old Trafford as a schoolboy, not anything he had learned there. "The part of Ryan Giggs that made that goal is something I could never have put into him," he said. "It is uncoachable. What we saw was the ultimate expression of the incredible natural gifts he has always had since the day he came to us as a 13-year-old." All that is obviously true but it leaves out much of the background to Giggs's glorious destruction of the Cup-holders. For a while the winger's commendable efforts to improve his all-round game - to work on his passing, on variation of movement and on integrating himself into team-play - have seemed to blur his focus on his greatest value, which is the terror he can induce in defenders by running directly at them. When he fails to grant proper respect to the fierce pace, beautiful balance and intricate, two-footed control at speed that lift him beyond the standards of any wide attacker in the country other than David Ginola, Giggs risks obscuring his innate brilliance, clouding it with hints of ordinariness. There was evidence of that last Sunday, when he tried too frequently to gain penetration by chipping the ball forward instead of bringing it down and seeking to hit that surging stride which can unnerve the stoutest opposition. If the skills that produced a wonder goal cannot be coached, the urge to apply them can certainly be encouraged, and that is where man-management came in. Ferguson has a high regard for Giggs, not only as a footballer but as someone who has always been strong-minded and shows an impressively mature sense of himself at 25. So the care the manager invariably takes in tailoring his approach to suit the specifics of a player's character and circumstances was particularly marked when they met in private at the Cliff training ground on Monday. The intimate exchange was one of several arranged around last weekend. "Sometimes the most vital element of management is just talking to the players and finding out how they are feeling," Ferguson told me. "Often they don't want to admit that they are playing badly or that there is anything bothering them. But I have been so long with these lads that they have a degree of trust in me and they will open up and let me get things out of them. They know that if I call them into my office it is important. I don't waste their time or mine on mundane matters. There is no tittle-tattle. Nor do I believe in bombarding them with the motivational stuff all the time. If you don't ration your interventions, what you say evaporates, has no effect. They must realise that when you talk to them man-to-man there is a purpose to it. "Just before the first of the two semi-final matches, I had chats with Gary Neville and Paul Scholes. They, like the others who had gone off to join England for the Poland international, had come back a bit flat. They were flying when they left us but there was a difference when they returned. I asked Paul if the publicity surrounding his hat-trick for England had affected him but he said that was not the case. "He was more concerned about having missed a few chances for us. He loves to score and he is such an honest boy that he felt guilty about not producing the goal-scoring form for me that had made him a hero with England. I emphasised how much he was still giving Manchester United with the positives in his game - his passing and tackling and excellent positional play. I thought, by the way, that he did a marvellous job for us when I put him on as a substitute in the replay. You could see his mental attitude was that we could win the game, even with 10 men. When I discussed with Gary the aftermath of being with England, a recognisable problem emerged. The lads didn't like being cooped up in a hotel room for four or five days. But that's unavoidable when a team have to be prepared for important internationals. "There's no easy solution. I'm sure Kevin Keegan will be interested in the issue if he takes the national manager's job on a long-term basis. As a highly experienced international player himself, he knows exactly what is involved. Maybe more could be done to keep their minds active. That is something I have been addressing here at the club as the demands of all the life-or-death fixtures crowded into the last phase of the season take their toll. I have been telling our players they must combine resting their bodies with keeping their minds stimulated. In an age when so much is done for them, and their wages afford them so much leisure time, there is a danger that they will just vegetate between the bursts of intense action. They have proved recently that their legs are capable of standing the strain all right. But if they allow mental staleness to creep in, that will communicate itself to the legs and they will feel wearier than they really are." He was dealing with less general, more individual concerns when he had his meetings with Beckham and Giggs. "That David has coped so well with the pressures piled on him since last summer's World Cup is down to his own courage," said Ferguson. "But he still needs to have someone to talk to, especially someone who can stress the priorities of his football career. Just as magnificent stamina is a huge asset for him on the field, so his determination to practise and improve his technique has always underpinned the quality of his play. He wants to be the best at what he does and we all love to see that in a player. But it is possible for people who are driven to excel to mistake over-elaboration for an increase in their contribution. David, in his eagerness to have a crucial impact on a game, can occasionally over-elaborate. He has abilities that set him apart from every other player in Britain. Nobody else strikes the ball as well. The range and accuracy of his delivery, whether he is shooting, passing or putting over crosses, provide us with a weapon that is liable to win any match. In essence, my message to him was that he is at his deadliest when concentrating on the simple application of these tremendous skills. "With Ryan, in contrast, my advice was that he should always be trying to do the difficult things. If he does not make frequent attempts to do something apparently undoable, he is not being true to himself. There will be plenty of times when the effort fails but when it succeeds the best opposition the game can offer will be helpless. He took the breath away from Bobby Charlton and me when we first saw him a dozen years ago and he is capable of doing it every time he is at full surge. Of course, I am glad he has worked on acquiring a more rounded game but he must never forget how exceptional he is. "Talking to him on Monday, I told him he was the forward that defenders in the Premiership least wanted to face because of what happened when he ran at them. I urged him to do that whenever he had a glimpse of an opportunity. How could anybody foresee what he did in the second half of extra-time? When he set off on that gallop, we were hanging on for dear life and hoping it would come down to penalties. It would be madness to say I ever dreamt he could give us that ecstatic climax. All I did before the match was try to plant in Ryan's head the belief that he is entitled to be far more ambitious than 999 footballers out of a thousand. With his talent, he has an absolute right to attempt feats of extravagant brilliance on the field." As Giggs hobbled out of Villa Park on crutches, it appeared that United's triumph had been achieved at severe cost. But, rather than a dreaded Achilles tendon injury, he had sustained fairly minor damage to a bone at the back of his ankle. He has decent propects of playing against Juventus in Turin on Wednesday night. Another miracle there would not come amiss. At least he and we are entitled to entertain the possibility. hugh.mcilvanney@sunday-times.co.uk
Phil Neville talks about Italy and the team

Subject: Ferguson set for massive new deal «« Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson is set to be offered a new deal that will make him the highest paid manager in the Premiership, according to Old Trafford chairman Martin Edwards. Edwards has said that the board will offer Fergie the new contract during the close season and that it will be the most lucrative ever presented to a manager in the English game. "If and when Alex signs a new contract he will be the highest paid manager in the Premiership," Edwards confirmed. "He is on considerably more than any figure I have read in newspapers." Ferguson, the former Aberdeen and Scotland manager, is the longest serving manager in the top flight and has been at Old Trafford since 1986. -------------------------------- BREAKING NEWS - Sunday 18 April 1999 UNITED OFFER BIG-MONEY DEAL TO FERGUSON Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson will be offered the most lucrative contract ever put before a manager in English soccer manager, according to Old Trafford chairman Martin Edwards. The United board will present the take-it-or-leave-it deal to Ferguson in the close season in attempt to persuade him to extend his 12-year tenure at Old Trafford. "If and when Alex signs a new contract this summer he will be the highest paid manager in the Premiership. When he signed his contract three years ago we said we would review it before it ended and have always tried to renegotiate contracts when they have a year to run," Edwards said. "We always made it clear to Alex we would discuss it at the end of the season. "It is also fair to say people don't know what Alex is paid. I see figures quoted in the newspapers and I have yet to see an accurate one. In fact he is on considerably more than any figure I have read, but there will be a limit and Alex will sign it or he won't. I can assure everyone that it won't be through a lack of effort on our part if he doesn't." Edwards repeated his warning that because of a combined £44million investment in raising the capacity at Old Trafford and building a new training ground a tight rein would be kept on transfer spending next season. The chairman also fears that the decision not to allow BSkyB to take control of United will affect the valuation of leading clubs, including his own. But he played down claims that a popular protest from the Supporters United Against Murdoch group had blocked the Sky takeover. "I really can't believe the fans understand. They thought - and still do - that whoever comes in for Manchester United we can just say 'no'. But we have a much wider duty. "They see the decision as a victory but it might well have been arrived at without any input from them. There were other media companies against it, other parties who wanted it blocked. Whether it was the supporters who swung it, we will never know. Our supporters don't like the idea of a conglomerate or major company owning the football club. I think we got more criticism here because it was Rupert Murdoch. It would be interesting to see the reaction of supporters if someone again tries to buy the club."
Phil Neville talks about Italy and the team

Subject: Sunday Times report United extend lead with easy 3-0 victory Ian Hawkey at Old Trafford Manchester United 3 Sheffield Wednesday 0 ALL QUIET on all three fronts for Manchester United. Conserving their energies ahead of their date with Juventus in Turin, and catching their breath after the stirring FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal, United made clean, calculated work of Sheffield Wednesday, extending their lead in the Premiership to four points. If it were all as easy as yesterday, the treble would be a doddle. There were goals for each of the understudy front men, and a part in all of them for Teddy Sheringham, who may not be too bold in thinking he has a role to play in the second leg of the European Cup semi-final on Wednesday. Sheringham's awareness gave a United team without most of their regulars a fulcrum and a balance, albeit against opponents bereft of ambition. Sheffield Wednesday's heads had dropped long before Paul Scholes struck United's third goal just after the hour, and their form of late makes their concern about the drop a genuine one. Alex Ferguson, United's manager, knew the third goal had done the job, withdrawing Roy Keane and Jaap Stam immediately, so that they could begin their preparations for the formidable task in Italy. Ferguson's juggling of his squad members does not always work so smoothly, but when he can both rest his superstars and take heart from the form of his substitutes, such as Sheringham and Scholes, it is reassuring in otherwise testing times. Martin Edwards, the United chairman, chose yesterday to make known the boundaries of his budget now that the club are not to be taken over by BSkyB. The transfer kitty was not "a bottomless pit", he said, and the big-money additions to the squad this summer may be limited simply to replacing the departing Peter Schmeichel. Ferguson would like to add one or two more. "With the restructured Champions League next year, you are going to need a lot of players," he said. "The demands will be enormous." He had not yet discussed Edwards's concerns with the chairman. Besides, this performance encouraged Ferguson's belief in the depth and spread of the present United. Their win here was completed with an XI eight short of the established, full-strength line-up, and they are unbeaten in 24 matches. Schmeichel and Ryan Giggs were out because of injuries collected in the stirring FA Cup replay three days before; the rest of the selection had a radical look. Neither Andy Cole, who expects to recover from his ankle injury by Wednesday, nor Dwight Yorke made the starting XI: 47 goals between them in the first seven months of the season, but none in the past five weeks. Assuming they pair up again against Juventus - 11 of their goals have come in the Champions League - Cole will have had 10 days of rest and recuperation. Yorke began on the bench, alongside David Beckham and Denis Irwin. "Yorke and Cole have been fantastic, but there can come a flattening-out period," Ferguson explained, "and with players like Solskjaer and Sheringham waiting in the wings, it would be foolish not to use them. It was very difficult to leave Sheringham out of the team for the first tie against Arsenal after doing so well against Juventus. I appreciated what he did that night and was able to indicate my appreciation for the Arsenal replay." The mutual appreciation extended here. Ferguson, indeed, was in an appreciative mood all round and took the unusual step of addressing the crowd before the kick-off to thank them for their support at Villa Park. "I felt some supporters would have come here to admire what we had done the other day," Ferguson said. The admiration yesterday was of a different sort. So short of suspense or bite was most of this match that Neale Barry, the referee, had as little to do as United's goalkeeper, Raimond van der Gouw. United might as well have begun on auto-pilot, except that where Keane's measured passes to his right would normally pick out Beckham, here they sought fruition from the industrious Gary Neville. And where Beckham would usually volunteer for a free kick such as the one Scholes earned just outside the penalty area, Sheringham sized up the chance well enough to send Pavel Srnicek scrambling to his left to paw the effort clear. It was one of three good saves made by the Wednesday goalkeeper within the opening half-hour. "Srnicek kept the score down," said Danny Wilson, the Wednesday manager. "We didn't force the issue." Certainly, United's wannabes would have been happy with the manner of their opener, Scholes, Blomqvist, Sheringham and Solskjaer combining to give the Norwegian the sort of chance he seldom sniffs at. Scholes fed the ball right to left, Blomqvist switched it back to Keane and Sheringham, with his back to his partner, resourcefully hooked it on to Solskjaer, who finished from eight yards out. A minute later, Solskjaer might have repeated the trick, Srnicek saving a low snap shot. By half-time, the two strikers had established a fluent understanding, United breaking through Sheringham, and Solskjaer crossing for the England man to glance number two expertly into the far corner. Two-nil at the interval, then, and one-way traffic. Wednesday, at full-strength but now defeated in five of their past six matches, lived on scraps of possession, threatening only through Benito Carbone's curling, dipping drive after 15 minutes. Van der Gouw, deputising for Schmeichel, responded well to tip it over. United could quicken, or kill, the tempo much as they pleased once Sheringham created number three, feeding Scholes, who efficiently beat the advancing goalkeeper. Scholes, too, had a good afternoon and could afford to start thinking of Turin long before the final whistle blew. His manager had already made enquiries to discover that Juventus won 3-1 at Lazio, his only bad news of the day. "We'll have to heighten our game on Wednesday," Ferguson said. Manchester United - The Legend - http://manunited.net
Phil Neville talks about Italy and the team

Subject: Brilliant take on Edwards What price European glory now? by Martin Samuel Had Michael Knighton been able to locate a wad of money slightly slimmer than that handed over for a new centre-half at Old Trafford last summer, it could all have been so different. Carlisle United might not now be stampeding towards the Conference, for starters. And Martin Edwards' share of the thwarted £623 million BSkyB bonanza would have been less than the going rate for a rusty satellite dish. Because he would have sold the richest club in the world to a passing juggler for ten million quid a decade ago. Edwards might talk about his dream and how it has been denied by spiteful fans and the Monopolies Commission. But that gem from history is the reality. In the recent memory of all but pre-teen supporters, he priced Manchester United at slightly less than Jaap Stam. And got away with it. If Knighton could have located the readies, Edwards' status would be that of football's answer to the A&R man at Decca records who rejected The Beatles on the grounds guitar bands were a thing of the past. As we approach the end of the century, a journalist might have knocked on the door of his Cheshire home. "Hello, Mr. Edwards. I'm from The Express. We're doing a feature on the biggest wally of the Millennium. I've already spoken to that bloke from Decca and Gerald Ratner and if I could have five minutes of your time I'd only be left with the fella who bought the Hitler diaries to do." The film 'How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying' could have been made for Edwards, whose greatest talent was in employing people to realise a potential he clearly did not see. And yet, this weekend, he has reinvented himself in interview - as the visionary, the captain of industry, the man who sits at Old Trafford plotting and planning his brilliant strategies, as opposed to a settler who finds gold on his land, waiting for the first stranger to hit town with an idea and a bankable cheque. He had a dream, apparently, that with Rupert Murdoch's millions Manchester United could be the best, most successful team in the land (he obviously wasn't concentrating when they won the Double twice without Murdoch's help a few years back - you know how distracting life can be in the world of high finance). He didn't know exactly how much BSkyB were to put in, but it was going to be, like, a lot. But now these nasty old fans have stirred the Monopolies Commission up and the whole thing is ruined and just for that no-one can have any players except a replacement for Peter Schmeichel all summer. Edwards didn't exactly stamp his little foot and lisp 'tho there!' at the end of his speech but he might as well have. Indeed, considering the childish tone of the whole outburst it wouldn't have surprised if he'd concluded the whole thing with the words: "And do you know something else? The goalkeeper we buy is going to be rubbish! "We'll get him from Nottingham Forest or Ecuador or somewhere like that. And he'll smell funny and keep llamas in the penalty box and have to keep going home to see his mum. Just because you wouldn't let Sky buy my club. See how you like it then." Yet the fans Edwards dislikes so much may have enabled him to stumble into even more money by accident. During the delayed takeover bid, Manchester United's share price rose above that offered by Sky and accepted by the board. The club was worth even more than Edwards had sold it for - some City analysts believe closer to a billion pounds, though a generally accepted figure is around £800m. It seems the chairman could have been, quite literally, selling Manchester United short again - as he did at the weekend with an announcement that can only drive a wedge between himself and the most important figure at Old Trafford, manager Alex Ferguson. When Ferguson is eventually dragged from his office at the training ground shortly before his 90th birthday, he will be able to drive past Old Trafford on his way to the retirement home and say to himself: "I built that." Because while Edwards claims the reason for spending restrictions on the field is a £44m ground improvement programme off it, he neglects to accept the only reason 67,000 people want to come to see Manchester United is the success given them by a remarkable manager, who, if he finds himself short-changed in the summer, has every right to wonder if he might not be better appreciated elsewhere. There is little doubt that without Ferguson's knowledge of the shortcomings of his squad last season and the investment to act on it, there would be no treble campaign this season. Ferguson replaced Gary Pallister with Jaap Stam, selected Dwight Yorke as the perfect foil for Andy Cole and, most importantly, brought in Jesper Blomqvist as cover for the injury-prone Ryan Giggs. The Swede has started 17 games for United this season - 12 Premiership, three Champions League, two FA Cup - and United have lost once and scored 42 goals in that sequence. He has come on as sub on eight further occasions and, without him, United would have very real problems going into Wednesday's game in Turin with Giggs still a doubt. He cost, in terms of the richest club in the world, small change - one third of Yorke's transfer fee, yet the treble might not be on without him. Now, on the other side of the pitch, Blomqvist II is needed. David Beckham's fitness levels might be the envy of all, but so were Roy Keane's until he got himself crocked in September and missed an entire season. Suppose Beckham had similar misfortune - or just a niggling hamstring. Where is his cover? And it is that sort of minor, yet vital, deal that Edwards, in a fit of pique, claims Ferguson will be denied. Not by him, of course. Oh no. Perish the thought. He had a dream, remember. And in that dream he - well, actually, someone else - gave Ferguson all he desired and United ruled planet football. So it's not Martin who has caused this cash crisis in La-La Land. It's you. The punters. The ones who turn up every week and pay money. Who sit on the M6 watching 40 quid's-worth of petrol burn away en route to Southampton. Who have helped create one of the most rapidly expanding business empires in the world. Who mill around the megastore on the off-chance a new duvet cover is on the market. You callous lot. How inconsiderate. Keep your noses out in future or we'll buy someone from City. We're not joking. Now leave us alone. Can't you see Martin Edwards has got a business to run?
Phil Neville talks about Italy and the team

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