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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Mon Sep 20  GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Jordi the saviour by OUR SALFORD LASS
2. Mixed news for Sir Alex as the fixtures come thick and fast
3. Carling Report Man United 1 v 1 Wimbledon 18/09/99
6. You must be drunk, ref? - The Guardian



Barry Comment:
Back from industrial business, two draws in two games
but still unbeaten. Here's to a change on Wednesday in CL!!
Jordi Cruyff comeback? Anything can happen now, 
I think we should play Van der Gouw in goal on Wed night.
[Sundays results will appear in Tuesday's edition]

Group D  ** Manchester United **
Olympique de Marseille * NK Croatia Zagreb * SK Sturm Graz

Manchester United FC Champions League Squad List
 1 Mark John Bosnich      2 Gary Alexander Neville 3 Dennis Joseph Irwin
 4 David May              6 Jakob Stam             7 David Robert J Beckham
 8 Nicholas Butt          9 Andrew Alex. Cole      10 Edward Sheringham
11 Ryan Joseph Giggs     12 Philip Neville         14 Johan Jordi Cruyff
15 Lars Jesper Blomqvist 16 Roy Keane           17 Raimond RJH Van der Gouw
18 Paul Scholes          19 Dwight Yorke           20 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
21 Henning Berg          23 Michael Jamie Clegg    25 Josť Quinton Fortune
26 Massimo Taibi         31 Nicholas James Culkin  33 Mark Antony Wilson
34 Jonathan Greening

Real Audio - Last weeks Daily News Sound Archive:
Click on INDEX at http://www.red11.org/sound

Size  Date    Time File Name / Description 

183k Sept 19   2.48 jordi_99.rm 
        Latest Situation on Jordi Cruyff after 1-1 Wimbledon   
.... 6 day break
147k Sept 12   2.16 wallwork_anfield.rm
        Ronnie Wallwork after Anfield win
198k Sept 12   3.02 alex_after_anfield2.rm
        Alex after Anfield win
54k Sept 11   0.49 alex_after_pool.rm 
	Sir Alex comment after tremendous result at Anfield 
73k Sept 11   1.07 best_rodney.rm 
	George Best & Rodney Marsh comments on Anfield win! 
149k Sept 10  2.17 jaap_before_liv.rm
	Sylvestre Signs + Jaap before Liverpool match 
50k Sept 10   0.46 appeal.rm 
	Result of the Massimo Appeal 
162k Sept 9   2.29 alex_book_sales.rm 
	Waterstones comment on Alex's "Managing My Life" book sales 
90k Sept 9    1.22 jaap_sept99.rm 
	Jaap Stam Interview Sept 1999 - general comment 
190k Sept 9   2.55 euro_time.rm
	Alex comment on the Euro decision on Massimo 
798k Sept 8   12m masterfan992000_1.rm 
	Paul Hinson Defends his Masterfan Trophy pt1 
	- Exciting competition!  Streaming masterfan992000_2.ram
873k Sept 8   13m masterfan992000_2.rm 
	Paul Hinson Defends his Masterfan Trophy pt2 
	Paul's comeback in the last round!  Streaming masterfan992000_2.ram


99/2000 fixtures/match reports are at

Mark Bosnich's Personal Details 



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!


         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

** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 18/09/99 ***

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

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


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

Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/07/99    Melbourne Australia   pre-season  W  2-0     -    60,000
18/07/99    Sydney    Australia   pre-season  W  1-0     -    78,000
21/07/99    Shanghai  Shenhua     pre-season  W  2-0     -    80,000
24/07/99    Hong Kong South China pre-season  W  2-0     -    40,000

 1/08/99    Arsenal   Wembley Charity Shield  L  1-2     -    70,185
 3/08/99    Omagh Town Omagh Bomb Fund        W  9-0     -     7,000
 4/08/99    Wigan Athletic friendly           W  2-0     -    15,000 
08/08/99    Everton                  Away PL  D  1-1    10    39,141
11/08/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Home PL  W  4-0     3    54,941
14/08/99    Leeds United             Home PL  W  2-0     1    55,187
22/08/99    Arsenal                  Away PL  W  2-1     1    38,147
25/08/99    Coventry City            Away PL  W  2-1     1    22,024 
27/08/99    Monaco - Lazio               ESC  L  0-1     -    15,223
30/08/99    Newcastle United         Home     W  5-1     1    55,190
11/09/99    Liverpool                Away     W  3-2     1    44,929
14/09/99    Croatia Zagreb           Home EC  D  0-0     -     ?
18/09/99    Wimbledon                Home     D  1-1     1    55,189

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

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

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

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

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



EC links + Personal diaries here:

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


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

Subject: Jordi the saviour by OUR SALFORD LASS As the son-and-heir said, as our afternoon in the Library of Dreams drew to a close, "Who would have thought we would have been calling Jordi Cruyff our saviour?" I started the morning with a dilemma. The weather forecast was heavy rain and galeforce winds, but not until early evening. Looking out the window told a different story - low black clouds and drizzle. So what did I do? Did I take my heavy (but waterproof) coat and roast or did I take my lighter (but not waterproof) jacket? I crossed my fingers, picked up my jacket and off I went. At 12.45pm, I was walking into the Nest to find it already pretty full with a coachload of Walsall-based United fans who have now made the pub their pre-match venue - as Pete said later, we are paying the price for passing the word around too widely about this excellent pub! I couldn't get near our usual table, so I found another, put various items of clothing on as many chairs as I could, and waited for everyone else to turn up. I was soon joined by Pete and Christopher from Mauritius, who has arrived in the UK to begin a course in London, and then by Tim, John, Richie from Dublin (hope you arrived back safely last night Richie!), Dr Mark and his mum, Paul B and eventually the rarely separated Duncan and Mark. We had a very pleasant chat whilst Dr Mark and his mum (Pat) consumed pie and chips. Just before it was time to leave, the son-and-heir turned up and we walked to the ground with Pat as she told us tales of Dr Mark as a youngster - of his hoolie past and Jimmy Armfield's cufflinks. We arrived at the top of Sir Matt Busby Way at the same time as the Wombles arrived in their taxi, bravely chanting about yellow and blue shirts as they moved among the families and the megastore bags. Half-way down Sir Matt Busby Way, we discovered a sober Barney looking rather more alert than on Tuesday night and then made our way into East Lower, past the SPS frontline guard who this time, didn't even bother to search us, much to Pat's disgust as she had left her pies at home! So there was just time to get a programme, have a quick visit to the ladies, go down to our seats, cast a worried glance at the sky above us (still looking very dark and menacing) and discuss the relative merits of Neil Sullivan and Raimond van de Gorgeous, and kick-off was upon us. And, like Tuesday, this was where the fun part of the day ended! Looking at the formation on the pitch was a worrying moment - where was Becks? And what was Yorke doing on the right wing? And why was Cole on the bench? Once the game started, it was obvious that our worries were justified. With his first cross, Yorke showed why as a right winger, he makes an excellent centre forward. The situation didn't improve when Dwight wandered off to take a corner. After a couple of poor efforts, Scholes started to take them instead and this wasn't any better - culminating in him hitting the side netting to the accompaniment of the Wombles singing "You're not very good". Then it was Denis's turn - the son-and-heir looked at me and we said together "Thank God Denis is taking them now" just as he too totally cocked it up. When we weren't spraying crosses from the right all over the pitch, there was simply a massive hole on that side where usually Becks usually is. Not only did we miss his crosses, but the moves which usually come down that side throughout the game just weren't happening and we missed his enthusiasm, his work-rate. On the left side we were looking better but Giggs was not playing well and Pat did wonder whether he was carrying an injury. Then he disappeared off down the tunnel (a sight seen too regularly for comfort) and Jordi came on and we at least began to look like we could do something down the left, if not down the right. Off the pitch, it was even worse than Tuesday night. At least on Tuesday, we had started off with some chanting and there had been a few occasions during the evening when East Stand had woken from its lethargy for a few moments. Yesterday, there was nothing - absolutely nothing. I cannot remember one single chant that spread further than the small group of fans with whom it had started. We were out-sung for all of the first half by a handful of Wimbledon fans - almost as embarrassing as being out-sung by Forest fans last season. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves singing "You're supposed to be at home" and you couldn't help but agree with them. Most of the entertainment in the first half was provided by the banter going on (as always) between East Stand and Neil Sullivan. We sang "Beckham from the half-way line" and he yawned, we sang "Where were you when Beckham scored?" and he pointed to the spot, one lad called him a Scottish poof and he ponced about waving to him. Even Sullivan had to laugh when one lad screamed abuse at him in a Scottish accent! He got a round of applause at half-time - respect paid. We had our chances, Teddy rolled a ball from Yorke outside the post, Scholes forced Sullivan into making an excellent save ("Why does he always play so bloody well against us" said the son-and-heir) and Yorke had three chances within 10 minutes towards the end of the first half, but of course Wimbledon were one-up by then and the Wombles were chanting "One-nil to the Wombles" and "Stand up, if you're one-nil up" - 50,000 United fans couldn't even be bothered to respond. As the half-time whistle blew, we managed to raise ourselves enough from our collective stupor to moan and complain about the poor play, whilst moving off to visit the loo and applauding "Pancho" Pearson coming on the pitch to draw the cashdash ticket. The second half brought Massimo down our end for the first time, to the applause of East Stand. He further endeared himself to the masses by enthusiastically applauding us back and blowing kisses to the kids in the front row. As I said after the Liverpool game last weekend, this lad looks "right" between the posts. I don't know what it is, or why he has it and Bosnich hasn't, but he, like Pete, looks like he belongs at Old Trafford. As I said to Pat, it looks like Fergie has done it again - bought a player that few of us had heard of and he's yet another gem! Apart from the last ten minutes, the second half was even worse than the first. The Wombles seemed to have caught the general malaise infecting the whole stadium and went as quiet as we were, and the players continued to misplace passes, give the ball away and waste excellent chances given to them by a brilliant Paul Scholes in midfield. Even Stam was beaten on a couple of occasions and we began to think that our unbeaten record was not going to be lost to Arsenal or Chelsea or even the Scousers, but to bloody Wimbledon! Around 15 minutes from the end, the crowd began to realise that getting behind the team instead of sitting on our bums moaning might actually help, and the atmosphere did improve a little. We began to sing for Andy Cole and eventually Fergie brought him on, although he took Ole off which didn't please yours truly! Immediately, we looked like we had a chance to get the equaliser although in the end, it was Scholes and Jordi who provided it, with a lovely exchange of passes down the middle. It wouldn't be fair to say that Old Trafford erupted (that would definately be an exaggeration) but we celebrated in a genteel fashion, with relief, and hoped we might even nick the game. The last 10 minutes were the best of the game, with the crowd roaring the Reds on, and the team looking like they might actually get the game won. We had plenty of chances (the best being a shot from Scholes that shaved the bar) but then so did they, and it could easily have gone Wimbledon's way as well. We almost found ourselves two-down just before the end, when Massimo plucked the ball from the feet of a Wimbledon forward in an awesome one-on-one save that brought East Stand to its feet, followed a few minutes later by another match-saving effort by the new keeper. When the final whistle blew it was greeted with relief and disappointment - relief that we hadn't been beaten and disappointment that, for the second time running, we had seen such a poor display, both on and off the pitch. My man of the match? Definately Paul Scholes. Apart from his corners, he ran the game and it wasn't his fault that his team mates weren't up to putting away the several chances he made for them. Jordi also has to get a mention - with so long out of the side, he did well to come in and make a vital difference to the side as well as score the saving goal. And I can't finish without mentioning Massimo - the man is quality, pure and simple. And a final comment - at least we didn't lose our unbeaten run and at least it didn't rain!! Copyright © 1999 by OUR SALFORD LASS. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Mixed news for Sir Alex as the fixtures come thick and fast Manchester United's Ryan Giggs has been ruled out of Wednesday's Champions League game with Sturm Graz in Austria, but Roy Keane could return. Giggs limped off with a hamstring injury during Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Wimbledon at Old Trafford and could be out for some weeks. "It looked like a pull to me and we will send him for a scan on Monday," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. "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." Keane saw a specialist on Friday who gave him the all clear to undergo a training session and fly with the squad to Austria. "He may have a chance of playing if he picks up where he left off in training," said Ferguson. "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. David Beckham and Andy Cole should also return after starting Saturday's match on the bench because of minor injuries. Ferguson admitted his team had been off-colour against the Dons. "It was a frustrating day for us and a disappointing performance," he said. "I thought we started really slack and gave them a good head start which they were able to hang on to for a long period. "We should have had a lot of goals but the lack of width in our game, particularly after Giggs went off, meant it was going to be a frustrating day for us."
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Carling Report Man United 1 v 1 Wimbledon 18/09/99 Man United (0) 1 Wimbledon (1) 1 FT Cruyff 73 Badir 16 Sir Alex Ferguson's joy at seeing Jordi Cruyff earn an FA Carling Premiership point for Manchester United will have been tempered by the less welcome sight of Ryan Giggs limping off injured. The Welshman pulled up feeling his hamstring during a United attack and immediately went straight to the Old Trafford dressing room. United's treatment room is already full to overflowing and Ferguson must be wondering what he has done wrong to deserve so many injury problems. However, Ferguson should be thankful for small mercies and at least his unbeaten record in competitive games in 1999 remains intact after this 1-1 draw. The Premiership leaders were on course for their first home defeat in nine months after Walid Badir had opened the scoring on 16 minutes before Cruyff, who had come on for Giggs, levelled in the 74th minute. Jason Euell might even have won the game in the dying minutes when he was played through one-on-one, but he froze and Massimo Taibi made the save. Taibi had made his home debut as Ferguson made several changes from Tuesday night. David Beckham was wisely given the day off and Ferguson may have glanced at the coming fixtures and noted that the England midfielder would have been suspended for the match at Chelsea on October 3 if he had picked up a booking against the Dons. Ferguson rejigged his side to help his players cope with their demanding schedule and Andy Cole started on the bench alongside Mark Bosnich and the reprieved Ronnie Wallwork. On the pitch, Ferguson picked one of his most unusual line-ups yet. Denis Irwin played at right-back for the first time in many a year to accommodate Mickael Silvestre, who made his home debut on the left. Phil Neville played centre midfield, while Dwight Yorke was deployed on the right wing in support of strikers Teddy Sheringham and the fit-again Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Wimbledon came into the game supposedly a team in trouble, but they looked quite the opposite as they made a bright opening. Carl Cort was denied by Taibi before Marcus Gayle headed into the side-netting from the resultant corner in another warning to United. United's new-look formation was struggling to get out of first gear - just like they did against Croatia Zagreb on Tuesday. But Giggs could have given them the lead when he knocked the ball just wide after he had been played in by Paul Scholes. Egil Olsen's supposed long-ball side were knocking the ball about well and lone striker John Hartson headed just wide from Kenny Cunningham's right-wing cross. It came as little surprise when they scored after 16 minutes. The impressive Cort beat Silvestre on the left before pulling the ball back for Badir to slot home his first goal for the Crazy Gang since his £900,000 summer move from Hapoel Petach Tikva. Ferguson could see his initial plan was not working and after 25 minutes he switched round Solskjaer and Yorke to try to add some bite to his attack. United's afternoon took another turn for the worse on 27 minutes when Giggs pulled up sprinting forward in support of Sheringham. The Welshman went straight off before United could even warm up a substitute and limped to the dressing room. It was all happening now and seconds later Sheringham poked the ball wide, although he claimed Sullivan had got a touch. Cruyff eventually came on for Giggs and the Dutchman almost levelled within two minutes of his substitution. The industrious Scholes played him in on the left and Cruyff let fly only for Sullivan to pull off a terrific save. United were getting closer to the equaliser, but it still would not come. Yorke held his head in his hands after he screwed a shot wide before Sullivan pulled off another great save to keep out a rasping 25-yard drive from Scholes. United continued to squander chances and Yorke should have hit the target two minutes before half-time when he headed wide from Cruyff's centre. The Crazy Gang were still a threat on the break and Hartson put Cort clean through only for Taibi to come out and make a fine blocking save. Yorke wriggled his way through the United defence midway through the first half, but shot straight at Sullivan. Badir then carved out a great chance to put some daylight between Wimbledon and United when he turned inside Stam on the right only to shoot into the side-netting. Ferguson cranked the pressure up another notch on the Dons when he brought Cole on for Solskjaer on 68 minutes. But it was United's other substitute, Cruyff, who made the breakthrough in the 74th minute. Click image for full size Cruyff played a one-two with Scholes and then rounded Sullivan before slotting the ball into the empty net for his first goal in nearly 11 months. United sensed all three points and they kept up the pressure for a second goal. Wimbledon did not want to see all their hard work go to waste and with 10 minutes remaining brought on Duncan Jupp for Cort to try and regain some lost impetus. Both sides had chances to win in the dying minutes. First Scholes blazed just over before Euell squandered a glorious chance. Man United: Taibi, Irwin, Berg, Stam, Silvestre, Neville, Scholes, Giggs (Cruyff, 30), Solskjaer (Cole, 68), Sheringham, Yorke. Subs not used: Bosnich, Wilson, Wallwork. Wimbledon: Sullivan, Cunningham, Blackwell, Andersen, Thatcher, Badir, Roberts, Euell, Gayle, Cort (Jupp, 80), Hartson. Subs not used: Davis, Kimble, Earle, Leaburn. Attendance: 55,189. Referee: R Harris (Oxford).
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: CRUYFF MAKES MOST OF LATEST GIGGS SETBACK Ryan Giggs' latest hamstring injury could provide Jordi Cruyff with the platform to relaunch his Manchester United career. Welsh winger Giggs could be out for several weeks after he pulled his left hamstring against Wimbledon, which leaves Cruyff as United's main left-sided midfielder because Jesper Blomqvist is injured and Quinton Fortune has been on international duty with South Africa. The Dutchman seems determined to make the most of his unexpected chance and he scored United's equaliser in the 74th minute at Old Trafford after replacing Giggs. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Cruyff's performance and revealed he could well figure in Wednesday's Champions League clash with Sturm Graz. ''I thought Jordi Cruyff was our best player and I thought he showed a good imagination in his game,'' he said. ''I thought he took his goal fantastically well and he could have scored again just before half-time, but the goalkeeper made another great save from him. ''I think he will be well pleased with his performance - I am and most people are. It was a good one for him. He has shown what we all know - he's got wonderful ability, balance, change of pace and great feet. ''He can play on the left-hand side or wide positions on both sides and he can also play through the middle. So he's got a value for that, which he showed in this game. He could very well figure on Wednesday night and it depends on what other players I have got fit.'' Cruyff has never quite fulfilled the potential at United that he displayed for Barcelona and Holland. He has been desperately unlucky with injuries and has spent most of his three-year Old Trafford career on the sidelines. Last season he went on loan to Celta Vigo and four weeks ago he held showdown talks with Ferguson and chairman Martin Edwards because he was unhappy over his lack of first-team opportunities. Ferguson says the player is now content to stay with the Treble winners and Premiership leaders and battle for his place. ''He had an opportunity to leave a couple of weeks ago and he didn't take it because he wants to stay,'' he said. ''He wants to make it here. Like a lot of other players he wants to play in the first team all the time and I can understand that, but we've shown by the use of our pool that we can work it well. ''Opportunities arise for people in life - Ryan got injured, Quinton Fortune is on international duty so therefore Jordi got in and scored a great goal.'' Cruyff has been disappointed at United too often to assume he will play on Wednesday against the Austrian champions. Nicky Butt is expected to return following his groin injury and skipper Roy Keane has an outside chance of recovering from his knee problem to play, while David Beckham and Andy Cole, who had slight niggles yesterday, should be fit. Cruyff said: ''Sometimes you play, sometimes you don't - and even if you are in great form there are 11 others who can be in that form as well and they will play before you.''
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Subject: FERGIE: WE WERE DISAPPOINTING 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 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 yesterday 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. Substitute Jordi Cruyff, who replaced Giggs, scored in the 74th minute to equalise Walid Badir's 16th minute opener and Ferguson admitted his team had been off-colour. ''It was a frustrating day for us and a disappointing performance,'' he said. ''I thought we started really slack and gave them a good head start which they were able to hang on to for a long period. ''We should have had a lot of goals but the lack of width in our game, particularly after Giggs went off, meant it was going to be a frustrating day for us.''
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Subject: You must be drunk, ref? - The Guardian Well-oiled Russian refs shown the red card The referee and his assistants for the Hapoel Haifa-Club Bruges match last night, which the Israeli club won 3-1, had to be replaced to eliminate the risk of them being drunk in charge of a Uefa Cup game. The four Russian officials - Sergei Kosiano, Sarvon Martinov, Sergei Husseinov and Pavel Ginzburg - had to be replaced by a Romanian crew after, it was alleged, a hard day's drinking, sexual harassment and impromptu traffic policing. Tovi Malach, who had been assigned to look after the officials, claimed the Russians had been drunk on arrival at Tel-Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport. He said they tried to fondle policewomen and attempted a song-and-dance routine. Malach intervened to prevent further embarrassment and whisked the four to a waiting car, which took them to a restaurant in Tel Aviv. "The officials kissed the hands of waitresses and insisted on filling their glasses with whisky," Shimshon Amrani, one of the proprietors of the restaurant, told reporters. "They rose from their seats in a drunken stupor and lunged at the bar, but Malach insisted they not be given any alcoholic beverage." The four continued to try and kiss and pinch them. "I had to replace the waitresses serving their table with waiters," Amrani said. At one stage, the referees went into the street and began directing traffic, the restaurant owner said. A Uefa spokeswoman confirmed that the officials for the match had been changed and said Uefa would issue a full statement on the affair later. Malach said that he was still awaiting instructions from Uefa on "what to do with the Russians". The Russians were not available for comment.
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