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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun Sep 19 1999 08:48:06 GMT
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
2. Manchester United 1-1 Wimbledon
7. New contract deal for Mark Wilson
8. Stam is best in the world, says Ardiles
9. Carlos' United swipe
10. REDitorial: A rather worrying trend - by DMC



      Aston Villa   1-0   Bradford City  28,083
     Derby County   0-5   Sunderland     28,264
   Leicester City   2-2   Liverpool      21,623
Manchester United   1-1   Wimbledon      55,189
      Southampton   0-1   Arsenal        15,242
          Watford   1-0   Chelsea        21,244

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

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


Pos Team                  P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United     8   6   2   0  20   7   13   20
 2  Arsenal               8   5   1   2  11   7    4   16
 3  Aston Villa           8   5   1   2  10   6    4   16
 4  Sunderland            8   4   2   2  13   8    5   14
 5  Chelsea               6   4   1   1   9   3    6   13
 6  West Ham United       5   4   1   0   9   3    6   13
 7  Leeds United          7   4   1   2  12   9    3   13
 8  Middlesbrough         7   4   0   3  10  10    0   12
 9  Leicester City        8   3   2   3  11  10    1   11
10  Everton               7   3   1   3  13   9    4   10
11  Tottenham Hotspur     6   3   1   2  10   8    2   10
12  Liverpool             7   3   1   3  10   9    1   10
13  Southampton           7   3   0   4  10  13   -3    9
14  Watford               8   3   0   5   5   8   -3    9
15  Derby County          8   2   2   4   7  14   -7    8
16  Wimbledon             8   1   4   3  12  17   -5    7
17  Coventry City         7   1   2   4   8  10   -2    5
18  Bradford City         7   1   2   4   3   9   -6    5
19  Newcastle United      7   0   1   6   8  19  -11    1
20  Sheffield Wednesday   7   0   1   6   3  15  -12    1


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

Unbeaten League run = 28
20 1998/99
+8 1999/00

Unbeaten League and Cup = 42
20 League 1998/99
+8 League 1999/00
+8 FA Cup 1999/00
+6 CL 1998/99
+0 LC

Unbeaten Domestic League and Cup = 36
20 League 1998/99
+8 League 1999/00
+8 FA Cup 1998/99
+0 LC

figures by Masterfan Paul Hinson


99/2000 fixtures/match reports are at



22-SEP-1999 [19:45] Sturm Graz vs Manchester Utd.  (UEFA Champions League, AWAY)
25-SEP-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Southampton (FA Premier League, HOME)
29-SEP-1999 [19:45] Manchester Utd. vs Marseilles  (UEFA Champions League, HOME)
03-OCT-1999 [16:00] Chelsea vs Manchester United   (FA Premier League, AWAY)


UNITED Stats v All teams:

ALL FIXTURES at: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix992000.htm
First Team Fixtures 1999/2000
All dates/times subject to change
Dates of possible cup ties also shown

Date        Opposition                         KO Time
22/09/99    Sturm Graz               Away EC   19.45
25/09/99    Southampton              Home PL   15.00
29/09/99    Marseille                Home EC   19.45
 3/10/99    Chelsea                  Away PL   16.00   "live on sky"

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

13/10/99    ?     WC 3
16/10/99    Watford                  Home PL   15.00
19/10/99    Marseille                Away EC   19.45 
23/10/99    Tottenham Hotspur        Away PL   15.00
27/10/99    Croatia Zagreb           Away EC   19.45
30/10/99    Aston Villa              home PL   15.00
 2/11/99    Sturm Graz               Home EC   19.45 
 6/11/99    Leicester City           Home PL   15.00
20/11/99    Derby County             Away PL   15.00
24/11/99    ?     EC
27/11/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Away PL   15.00
30/11/99    Tokyo  Palmeiras         WCC       20.00
 1/12/99    ?     WC 4
 4/12/99    Everton                  Home PL   15.00
 8/12/99    ?     EC
11/12/99    FAC 3 Will not enter ...
15/12/99    ?     WC 5
18/12/99    West Ham United          Away PL   15.00
26/12/99    Bradford City            Home PL   15.00
28/12/99    Sunderland               Away PL   20.00  "live on sky"
 3/01/2000  Middlesborough           Home PL   20.00

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

*  8/01/2000  FAC 4 Will not enter ...
12/01/2000  ?    WC sf i
15/01/2000  Leeds United             Away PL   15.00
22/01/2000  Arsenal                  Home PL   15.00
26/01/2000  ?    WC sf ii
* 29/01/2000  FAC 5 Will not enter ...
 5/02/2000  Coventry City            Home PL   15.00
12/02/2000  Newcastle United         Away PL   15.00
* 19/02/2000  FAC 6 Will not enter ...
26/02/2000  Wimbledon                Away PL   15.00
27/02/2000  ?   Wembley WC f
 1/03/2000  ?   EC
 4/03/2000  Liverpool                Home PL   15.00
 8/03/2000  ?   EC
11/03/2000  Derby County             Home PL   15.00
15/03/2000  ?   EC
18/03/2000  Leicester City           Away PL   15.00
22/03/2000  ?   EC
25/03/2000  Bradford City            Away PL   15.00
 1/04/2000  West Ham United          Home PL   15.00
 5/04/2000  ?   EC qf i
 8/04/2000  Middlesborough           Away PL   15.00
*  9/04/2000  FAC sf Will not enter ...
15/04/2000  Sunderland               Home PL   15.00
19/04/2000  ?   EC qf ii
22/04/2000  Southampton              Away PL   15.00
24/04/2000  Chelsea                  Home PL   15.00
29/04/2000  West Ham United          Away PL   15.00
 3/05/2000  ?   EC sf i
 6/05/2000  Tottenham Hotspur        Home PL   15.00
10/05/2000  ?   EC sf ii
14/05/2000  Aston Villa              Away PL   15.00
* 20/05/2000 Wembley FAC f Will not enter ...
24/05/2000  ?    EC f



EC links + Personal diaries here:

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


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Subject: TEAM STATS - MAN UNITED - AS AT 18/09/99 *** CONDENSED LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 18/09/99 *** Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts --------------------------------------------------------- 1 Manchester United 8 6 2 0 20 7 13 20 2 Arsenal 8 5 1 2 11 7 4 16 3 Aston Villa 8 5 1 2 10 6 4 16 4 Sunderland 8 4 2 2 13 8 5 14 5 Chelsea 6 4 1 1 9 3 6 13 6 West Ham United 5 4 1 0 9 3 6 13 7 Leeds United 7 4 1 2 12 9 3 13 8 Middlesbrough 7 4 0 3 10 10 0 12 9 Leicester City 8 3 2 3 11 10 1 11 10 Everton 7 3 1 3 13 9 4 10 11 Tottenham Hotspur 6 3 1 2 10 8 2 10 12 Liverpool 7 3 1 3 10 9 1 10 13 Southampton 7 3 0 4 10 13 -3 9 14 Watford 8 3 0 5 5 8 -3 9 15 Derby County 8 2 2 4 7 14 -7 8 16 Wimbledon 8 1 4 3 12 17 -5 7 17 Coventry City 7 1 2 4 8 10 -2 5 18 Bradford City 7 1 2 4 3 9 -6 5 19 Newcastle United 7 0 1 6 8 19 -11 1 20 Sheffield Wednesday 7 0 1 6 3 15 -12 1 *** ATTENDANCE TABLE AS AT 18/09/99 *** Manchester United @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 55,127 Liverpool @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 44,663 Sunderland @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 40,461 Leeds United @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 39,628 Arsenal @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 38,085 Newcastle United @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 36,336 Chelsea @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 34,998 Everton @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 34,571 Middlesbrough @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 33,459 Tottenham Hotspur @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 33,084 Aston Villa @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 28,350 Derby County @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 26,190 Sheffield Wednesday @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 25,841 West Ham United @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 24,984 Coventry City @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 20,289 Leicester City @@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 19,952 Bradford City @@@@@@@@@@@@@ 18,118 Watford @@@@@@@@@@@@@ 17,870 Southampton @@@@@@@@@@@ 15,073 Wimbledon @@@@@@@@@@ 14,165 *** TEAM RESULTS - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 18/09/99 *** Date Opposition Score Pos. Attend. -------------------------------------------------------------------- 08/08/99 Everton Away D 1-1 10 39,141 11/08/99 Sheffield Wednesday Home W 4-0 3 54,941 14/08/99 Leeds United Home W 2-0 1 55,187 22/08/99 Arsenal Away W 2-1 1 38,147 25/08/99 Coventry City Away W 2-1 1 22,024 30/08/99 Newcastle United Home W 5-1 1 55,190 11/09/99 Liverpool Away W 3-2 1 44,929 18/09/99 Wimbledon Home D 1-1 1 55,189 *** TEAM RESULTS SUMMARY - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 18/09/99 *** P Won Drawn Lost For Against Points ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Home 4 3 (75%) 1 (25%) 0 (0%) 12 (3.0) 2 (0.5) 10 (2.5) Away 4 3 (75%) 1 (25%) 0 (0%) 8 (2.0) 5 (1.3) 10 (2.5) Total 8 6 (75%) 2 (25%) 0 (0%) 20 (2.5) 7 (0.9) 20 (2.5) Averages per game in (brackets) League position: 1st Form position: 1st (Index: 48%) Predicted position: 1st (The higher the form index, the higher the average league position of the recent opposition) Highest league position: 1st Lowest league position: 1st (Excluding the first 4 matches) *** TEAM STATISTICS - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 18/09/99 *** AVERAGE HOME ATTENDANCE: 55,127 HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 30/08/99 - Newcastle United (55,190) LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (54,941) BEST WIN: 11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (4-0) 30/08/99 - Newcastle United (5-1) HEAVIEST DEFEAT: none BEST HOME WIN: 11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (4-0) 30/08/99 - Newcastle United (5-1) HEAVIEST HOME DEFEAT: none BEST AWAY WIN: 22/08/99 - Arsenal (2-1) 25/08/99 - Coventry City (2-1) 11/09/99 - Liverpool (3-2) HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT: none
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Subject: Manchester United 1-1 Wimbledon Cruyff rescues below-par United Goals: Cruyff(73) : Badir(16) Paul Wilson at Old Trafford Saturday September 18, 1999 Leaving David Beckham out completely is one way of avoiding the ongoing debate over his best position, but Alex Ferguson's latest attempt to rotate his players between European engagements almost backfired. A rare Jordi Cruyff goal spared United's blushes in the end, but one was reminded of his father's withering comment on the state of English football: 'Is Beckham the only one who can cross the ball?' United began with Dwight Yorke in Beckham's wide position, reasonably enough since he once filled that role for Aston Villa, but it was evident when he managed to miss the Wimbledon penalty area with his first cross that Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could not look forward to the usual Rolls Royce service from the right. Yorke made so little impression on the wing he was switched with Solskjaer just before the half hour, and immediately made his most telling contribution of the afternoon so far with a neat ball into the box from which Sheringham should have done better than roll a shot the wrong side of Neil Sullivan's post. It never rains but it pours in Manchester, however, and no sooner had United shored up their right wing than they had to make a rapid adjustment on the left when Ryan Giggs limped off clutching a hamstring. Cruyff proved an adequate replacement, but the crossing remained a long way below United's normal standards. At one point in the first half, when Paul Scholes sent a corner from the right straight into the side netting, the Wimbledon fans chanting 'You're not very good' seemed to make a fair point. Scholes was actually United's best player, at his happiest when initiating attacks through the middle and always capable of exploiting the inviting amount of space behind Wimbledon's back line. It wasn't his fault that Giggs, Cruyff and Yorke all passed up clear chances from his promptings. Scholes brought a splendid save from Sullivan and Yorke could have had a hat-trick in the space of 10 minutes at the end of the first half, yet despite their wealth of chances it took United 73 minutes to equalise Walid Badir's opening goal. Wimbledon are supposed to be the ones experiencing problems with the zonal marking system, but the consistently impressive Carl Cort highlighted a few deficiencies in the home defence by the simple expedient of wandering from the right wing and popping up on the left. After just four minutes he found himself in a shooting position with a clear sight of goal, only to miss the target by a couple of feet. Cort atoned in full 12 minutes later, appearing on the left again to leave Jaap Stam stranded and then beat Mikael Silvestre en route to the byline, from where his cut-back across the face of goal was met unstoppably by Wimbledon's summer signing from Israel for his first Premiership goal. United's victory at Liverpool last week broke the 43-year old club record of 26 league games without defeat set by the Busby Babes, but as more chances came and went in the second half it began to look as if this side's proud record of remaining unbeaten in serious competition throughout 1999 might be under threat. Ferguson was concerned enough to send Andy Cole on for the last 20 minutes, although when the breakthrough finally arrived it actually came from the right. Cruyff exchanged passes with Scholes before rounding Sullivan and slotting home, to the sound of one of Old Trafford's most thunderous sighs of relief for some time. The home team then had enough chances to win it before the end, but so did the visitors. Cort and Jason Euell arguably had the best opportunities of the afternoon after being played clean through to confront Massimo Taibi by passes from John Hartson and Duncan Jupp respectively. The Italian saved well on both occasions, which should help cement his place in the team, but on each occasion the Wimbledon player showed him fractionally too much of the ball. Never mind the defending, Egil Olsen could do with better finishing. Man Utd: Taibi; Irwin, Berg, Stam, Silvestre, Neville, Scholes, Giggs (Cruyff 31), Solskjaer (Cole 69), Sheringham, Yorke. Subs: Bosnich, Cruyff, Wilson, Wallwork, Cole. Wimbledon: Sullivan; Cunningham, Blackwell, Andersen, Thatcher, Badir, Roberts, Euell, Gayle, Cort (Jupp 80), Hartson. Subs not used: Davis, Kimble, Earle,Leaburn. Referee: R Harris (Oxford)
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Subject: GIGGS OUT OF GRAZ CLASH By David Anderson, PA Sport Ryan Giggs faces another spell on the sidelines after injuring his hamstring - but Roy Keane could return for Wednesday's Champions League game against Sturm Graz. Giggs limped off after he'd pulled a hamstring during Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Wimbledon at Old Trafford and could be out for some weeks. Concerned United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: "Obviously Ryan Giggs is certainly out with a hamstring which is a worrying aspect for him. "It looked like a pull to me and we will send him for a scan on Monday. "It seems he gets two hamstring injuries a season now, although it's usually in March. "He's a fast player and a lot of fast players get injuries like that." Ferguson reported better news on the injury front when he revealed that Keane trained on Friday and will fly with the squad to Austria. The United skipper saw a specialist on Friday about his knee injury and has been told to carry on for now. Ferguson said: "I will take him with us to Sturm Graz. "He may have a chance of playing if he picks up where he left off in training yesterday. "He went to see the specialist on Friday who told him just to carry on because there's nothing they can do at the minute. He just has a bit of pain inside his knee." Ferguson also hopes Nicky Butt will recover from his groin injury to play against the Austrian champions, while David Beckham and Andy Cole who were rested because of ankle and hamstring niggles respectively, should also be available.
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Subject: TOP DOC TO SEE KEANE ROY KEANE will visit German specialist Dr. Hans-Muller Wohlfahrt in a bid to cure his hamstring injury. The Manchester United captain could be out of the side for the next month or more, an obvious blow to their trophy hopes. Now manager Alex Ferguson wants Keane to seek advice from Wohlfahrt, who was brought in by Liverpool when Michael Owen had similar trouble. Keane himself is willing. This could be the biggest few months of his career because his contract expires at the end of the season. He is also suffering pain in his knee and it is believed to be from the way he runs. Keane has adopted a new style since he had cruciate ligament surgery and Wohlfahrt will try to plan a new training programme for him.
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Subject: BOSNICH WILL NEVER BE NO1 WHILE I AM HERE SAYS TAIBI MASSIMO TAIBI last night told goal-keeping rival Mark Bosnich to forget about ever becoming Manchester United's first choice. Italian giant Taibi returns for the visit of Wimbledon today and is already ruling the roost at Old Trafford. And Taibi hammered home his message that he is determined to keep winning the bitter three-way battle to be Peter Schmeichel's long-term successor. Taibi, a pounds 4.5million signing from Italian Serie A club Venezia, has already ousted Bosnich as United's first choice in the Premiership. Taibi was signed too late for the Champions League campaign and it was Dutchman Raimond van der Gouw who got the nod for the goalless draw with Croatia Zagreb on Tuesday night. And Aussie Bosnich's dream move from Aston Villa appears to have turned into a nightmare and he is already being linked with a move out of Old Trafford just weeks after being signed. Taibi claims he will confirm himself as the best - and it has nothing to do with him being the most expensive of the three keepers. Taibi said: "I've been faced by competition throughout my career and it does not scare me. "I'm not worried about the others because I'm confident in my own ability. "All that matters is the way I play. There are other keepers to consider here and a player should be picked on merit, not the size of the transfer fee. "But it's down to me and the way I play - that's all that matters. "I don't assume I'm No.1 but I want to play every week and I believe that I will." Bosnich arrived at Old Trafford assuming he would be first choice. But Bossie could have been saved a lot of heartache if Ferguson had managed to sign Taibi when he first made an attempt to bring him to Old Trafford in March. And it is something Taibi regrets, too, because he wanted to learn from United legend Schmeichel. But Taibi is warning United fans not to compare him with the most successful keeper in the club's history. Taibi, who was impressive on his United debut at Liverpool last Saturday, said: "I would have loved to work under Peter. I knew I wouldn't get first-team football ahead of him. But he has such a big reputation, he would have eased me into the move. "Peter is such a hard act to follow and I can understand anyone having reservations about stepping into his shoes. "It would be pointless to analyse his game - it was almost faultless. He won every honour and was so consistent. Everything is a challenge, but without them what's the point of playing? "I'm not going to stand here and claim that I'm going to be better than Schmeichel. "That chapter has gone. I can take the criticism but I will take this opportunity. "I owe it to Sir Alex Ferguson to justify the faith he has shown in me." Taibi's desire to be United's first choice is emphasised by his determination to settle in the England. He is busily taking English lessons and his wife Giovanna and children Luigi, five, and three-year-old Eleanora will join him as soon as he finds a house. Taibi added: "I can barely speak a word without a translator. But I will learn the language as quickly as possible. I've seen the problems that other players had when they cannot communicate and I don't want to have the same problems. "I'm very excited about the league. We have started really well. English football is very tough and it will be a testing season but I've joined the best club in Europe and I'm confident I will share in their success." Bosnich signed a pounds 30,000-a- week contract hoping to be part of the treble winners' push for more glory. But Taibi's arrival has left him out in the cold and he suffered the humiliation of playing for United's reserves in front of empty stands at Anfield in midweek. The Aussie keeper's move is rapidly turning sour and his dreams of joining United's glory charge are lying in tatters. BosnIch started the season as first choice but a groin injury forced him out of the side and it is clear Ferguson has now changed his mind about who will be United's number one. Italian giants Roma were at the head of the queue for him but Bosnich snubbed their pounds 50,000-a-week contract offer in favour of joining United. He has again been linked with a host of top European clubs, with this time Real Zaragoza believed to be interested.
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Subject: BOSNICH DEAL IS A REAL SAVER FOR EDWARDS (from the Daily Mirror) Examine this picture from the Mirror on June 3, and take in the expression on Martin Edwards's face as he "welcomed'' Mark Bosnich as the highest-paid employee, outside of himself, to Old Trafford. It is a face which says: "How has this third-choice Aussie managed to con pounds 30,000-a-week out of me, and a pounds 2million signing-on fee when we've been trying to sign someone else all year, the manager has a grudge against him, and a limbless war veteran has as much chance of filling Peter Schmeichel's boots and gloves?'' The figures had clearly shocked him. But in typical Edwards style he was panicking for no reason. He was in fact riding the only horse in a one-horse race. Here's why. From the moment Schmeichel announced he was off, Fergie alerted his European scouts to find him a replacement, and the words Edwin van der Saar of Ajax came back. Problem was, van der Saar fancied Italy, stalled to get the best deal, then knocked United back. By now, Fergie was homing in on the Treble with little time to contemplate next season. Bosnich, meanwhile, might as well have been streaking through the Old Trafford boardroom with the words "sign me'' daubed on his buttocks, so obvious was it that he wanted to join United on a free. Fergie, however, fancied him about as much as he fancies criticism. He lacked Schmeichel's frame, presence and athleticism, he made too many erratic decisions and had a suspect temperament. In fact, the only words Ferguson had spoken publicly about the Aussie he once had on his books, came when Bosnich signed for Aston Villa after gaining a work permit: "After all we have done for him I am very disappointed. We had a definite understanding if he came back to England he would join us," said Sir Alex. Now Fergie is someone who is obsessed with a player's personality and attitude. He also bears grudges. So it was always going to take an exceptional set of circumstances to allow Bosnich to park his immense ego in the Old Trafford dressing-room. And they arrived. With United's season over, Ferguson realised he had no goalkeeper. He also had been told after the Murdoch deal broke down he had little to spend to defend his Treble. He knew he needed to strengthen his midfield with a world-class player and the money he could save signing Bosnich on a free would give time and space. So hours after winning the European Cup, realising he had nothing to lose, he set the Bosnich deal in motion. And thus was born the son of Bosman. The Bosnich Ruling. And it is yet another scandalous diversion of power and resources to the rich, which, if it goes unchecked, will ensure football moves one step closer to death. It says you take a player who is highly re-sellable, on a free, and if things don't work out, flog him on sharpish. Which is why I can only conclude Edwards had a furrowed brow on that picture because his mental calculator had over-heated, and he got the jitters. But with Bosnich, United had nothing to lose. He's only 27 and valued at pounds 4.5m. Offer him a pounds 2m signing-on fee, spread over his contract, get rid of him early on, and you've got pounds 2m in the bank. For no outlay. United win, Bosnich wins. But what about Villa, who got nothing for Bosnich and had to buy a replacement? What if Steve McManaman fails to keep up his bright start for Real Madrid, and they flog him back to an English club for pounds 10m, which is clear profit on a player Liverpool nurtured for a decade, and whose final season threw them into turmoil? Imagine the effect on the game if every over-hyped player reaches the end of his contract and big clubs, realising they have nothing to lose by taking him for free then pocketing a tidy profit months later, make their move. The Bosnich situation is the tip of a very profitable iceberg. A risk-free, 100 per cent guaranteed, cynical exercise which will fleece smaller clubs who are powerless to react. And something must be done. Surely there should be another ruling which states that if a Bosman player is sold on within two years, half the fee goes back to the club who let him go for nothing.
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Subject: New contract deal for Mark Wilson MANCHESTER United want to tie up new boy Mark Wilson on a long-term contract to avoid another Roy Keane crisis. Sir Alex Ferguson has already given the nod for the midfielder, 20, to be offered an improved deal. Wilson made his first start in a big game in the Champions League clash with Croatia Zagreb and will keep his place against Wimbledon today. United are concerned that he will leave on the cheap when his current contract runs out at the end of next season. Wilson would be a target for Premiership clubs and United do not want to lose control of his destiny as they have done with Keane.
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Subject: Stam is best in the world, says Ardiles Jaap Stam is now the most accomplished defender in world football. That accolade was heaped on the Dutchman's broad shoulders by Ossie Ardiles, whose highly technical Croatia Zagreb spoilers denied Manchester United a Champions League victory on Wednesday night. Ardiles said: 'Stam is the world's best defender. My players came off the pitch shaking their heads in amazement at Stam's performance. They couldn't believe it. 'The word they all used was "magnificent". It was the only way to describe what he did for United. He is an immense player, untouchable in his defensive role.' When, little more than a year ago, Alex Ferguson paid a world record 10.7million for a defender, many doubted his judgment in committing so much for a centre-back. But Stam, acting skipper in the absence of Roy Keane, has swept aside the cynics. United embark this week on their first European mission of the season on foreign ground with Ferguson demanding they 'get the show on the road' against Sturm Graz. But Ardiles insists they have nothing to fear with Stam at the back. He went on: 'I appreciate there were doubts when Stam was signed for more than 10m. But just look at what he has achieved since arriving at United. 'They made him defender of the year in Europe last season, and rightly so. Now I can't name too many other candidates of his stature in the world game. He is just a fantastic footballer.'
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Subject: Carlos' United swipe Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos has taken a swipe at European Champions Manchester United, labelling them as one dimensional in attack. He is reported to have said that: "All United do is give the ball to David Beckham on the right for him to cross." Well, it seems United's "one dimensional play" is good enough, it won them the treble last season! Carlos believes his club Real Madrid have got a lot more about them going forward - but it has hardly done them much good over the past couple of years, has it?
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Subject: REDitorial: A rather worrying trend - by DMC www.red11.org REDitorial: Published: Sat Sept 18 1999 A rather worrying trend - by DMC Some of you may have noticed the other night that our 'friends' down at Stamford Bridge only had one Englishman in their team. No that wasn't Milan, that was Chelsea. In fact I hadn't noticed until a friend pointed it out to me, but there again I didn't even know the result 'til the following morning. I was listening to the radio today and they were talking about what has become an old chestnut, namely the amount of foreigners in the British game. Several Chelsea supporters rang in to justify their team's stance on this matter saying that Chelsea were playing some of the best football witnessed in this country. Now that's undoubtedly true as far as they are concerned, but what of the impact on our national game? What about the young British lads and their chances of making the grade in the modern day world of Premiership football? Surely, under these circumstances they have relatively no chance at all. The trouble is they will surely not be encouraged by the Premiership becoming the equivalent to the world trade centre. Naturally this causes ripples of discontent and concern which undermines confidence and turns potential away, but it's not just the invasion of the foreign legion of mercenaries that has caused an effect. I have two young kids, both at school, and over the last few years I have noticed a change taking place. Yes, you see the normal array of football tops, but when you ask the kids who are wearing the tops if they have ever been to watch the clubs play, they always say "no". When you ask them if they play football to any degree of seriousness, the vast majority of them also say "no". So these kids wear the football tops as fashion accessories, not out of any particular allegiance to the teams whose colours they sport. It is probably not a surprise to anyone that the kids don't go and watch football, but it may be a surprise that they don't play it either. The kids gravitate towards United, Arsenal, Chelsea and surprisingly Liverpool and of course they do so because these teams appear more often on television. Television dictates, not local affiliation, in the main part not even parental encouragement, but television. But the problem goes even deeper than this. The superficiality of TV watching is becoming the norm for these kids. When I was their age and I watched football on TV it was a real treat as it was only on on a Saturday night so if you wanted to watch your team regularly the only way you could do so was to go to the games. Now they can watch all the time if their parents have subscribed to the digital revolution so it means very much less than it ever did. There's a surplus of football and a surplus of sport in general and the kids are glued to the box and vulnerable to the marketing message. But the message they are receiving is false, it doesn't belong to the world we've been used to - it's dressed up with dross. These kids I'm taking about range from 9 - 14. They are supposed to be the future of the game in this country and none of them, apart from my own kids, have ever been to watch live football and consequently they have no idea what it is like to support a team. Even my own son first thought Manchester United were called Sharp when he was a very young kid. That really shocked and horrified me, and now all around them their friends are responding to the norm and refer to us as Man U, repeating the message almost parrot fashion. The ABU's are having their way, they are indoctrinating them with their prejudices and the kids think it's normal. The future of our game under these circumstances dies with us. Our own kids will follow in our footsteps if we can afford to buy them tickets, if we can manage to get them tickets, but gradually the continuity will die out. The OT crowd ages and the diehard's replacement is a Johnny-come-lately who will not be around for more than a match or two especially as the marketers dream fades along with his lilac shirt. But it seems that the majority of kids are gravitating towards American based sport anyway. Basketball and wrestling are the new wave favourites. Sky in particular, has changed the viewing habits and perceptions of sport forever and it is definitely not for the benefit of live football, or in fact live sport as a whole. If you have ever watched these sports, wrestling in particular, and I watched a minute or two of the wrestling this morning because my son was glued to it, you will have noticed they are full of hyped up fantasy and US razzmatazz. Standard TV fodder and little to do with UK sport as we have known it. But the kids are hooked on the bizarre US oriented atmosphere generated for television and so the profusion of Sunny Delight basketballs being bounced outside school this last two weeks is only a natural progression born out of the myth that TV has created. It's the marketers who have created this monster and the marketers at the top clubs have used Manchester United as a benchmark and Manchester United have used the US as their benchmark, but what they seem to have forgotten is that we are two completely different nations. When we go to the States we expect the razzmatazz, here we do not. The future of our game is at stake. The totally lacklustre and atmosphere-less Old Trafford is symptomatic of the future. It is the marketeer and the television coverage which has changed things and consequently, along with it, peoples' perceptions. Everyone just sits there waiting to be entertained instead of interacting and helping change the game to provoke a better conclusion. The new wave fan has no idea how to do it. They are so used to sitting down on their backsides waiting to be entertained they know nothing else. Let's look at football as though it were street theatre - in the street you interact with the actors, they expect it, it's all part of the performance and that is what football is all about - causing an effect, interaction, passion for the play. The ironically apt Theatre of Dreams is more akin to watching a symphony concert - pay up and shut up, do not disturb and merely watch the entertainment. The two scenarios are fundamentally different. At Manchester United we have a situation where we have been lead into a merchandising heaven which provides the kids who adhere to the marketer's dream the chance to buy in and identify. It has provided the club with countless millions, some of which, it has to be said, have been put to work for our advantage, but.......... and it's a big but.......all this so called progress has been at the expense of hard core support and thus, I believe the future of the game. There has got to be a compromise. I don't decry all the merchandising because if people buying replica shirts, false Giggsy chest hair and Beckham blond tinted wigs brings money into the coffers then it presumably means we have money to provide better facilities, buy quality players and stock better pies, but............it shouldn't be at the expense of the hard core support. But it's all short term gain these days isn't it, and there's no planning for the longterm future. So it's necessary for supporters themselves to take action, form pressure groups, write letter and fax campaigns and bombard the clubs with e-mail in the hope that sometime they will see sense and return part of the game to those who really care for it's future. This short term gain scenario is epitomised by Chelsea and their team of foreigners, their inflated wages, their desperate fans and their bloody Chelsea Village. And when the only Englishman in their team is Denis Wise, that doesn't really count either because everybody knows he's from a different planet. The only way forward is to try and encourage Martin Edwards to see the future he and his gurus are creating. Show them what Old Trafford will be like within the next ten years when it will become all too obvious we have lost a whole generation and all the generations which would have followed. Can't they see that in the future when we're playing the likes of Wimbledon, the new scoreboard and Stretford Ends will be half empty. And if they think they can get around that problem by opting out and joining a European league I'd like to remind them of last Tuesday night when a few hundred Croats embarrassed 50,000 so called United fans by outsinging them. Anyone know where we can find the "Ghost of Football Future' so we can encourage him to pay a visit to Martin's plush ensuite? DMC
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