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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun Sep 26 03:52:26 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Carling Report
2. ESPN Report
3. Beckham facing censure by FA 
5. Heart of Cole 
6. Marseille - Beat United? I'm not sure we'll get the ball off them



Barry Comment:
Seems like we only just scraped through today.
All the newspaper reports in todays edition
Unbeaten record still intact:

Uniteds unbeaten runs currently stand at:
29 games League
44 games League and Cup
38 games domestic League and Cup

Message from Paul Hinson:
The 40-game record Nottingham Forest hold is 40 games in domestic League
and Cup. United need to remain unbeaten against Southampton/Chelsea/Watford
and whoever we play in the Worthington Cup 3rd Round to beat it.
The League only record is 42 games, against by Forest, and we would need to
avoid defeat up to around January 15 2000 to manage that!

NEW Treble Background
	2359352 Sep 20 08:33 treble_big.bmp
or http://www.red11.org/mufc/images/99/treble_mufc.jpg
	111250 Sep 20 08:32 treble_mufc.jpg

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

*** FIXTURES ON 26/09/99 ***
           Wimbledon  v  Tottenham Hotspur


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!


             Arsenal   1-0   Watford               38,127
       Coventry City   1-0   West Ham United       19,993
        Derby County   0-1   Bradford City         31,035
        Leeds United   3-2   Newcastle United      40,192
      Leicester City   3-1   Aston Villa           19,917
   Manchester United   3-3   Southampton           55,249
       Middlesbrough   0-1   Chelsea               34,183
          Sunderland   1-0   Sheffield Wednesday   41,132

*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 25/09/99 ***

Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United     9  3  2  0  15   5   3  1  0   8   5   13   21
 2  Leeds United          9  3  1  1   8   5   3  0  1   9   6    6   19
 3  Arsenal               9  4  0  1   9   4   2  1  1   3   3    5   19
 4  Sunderland            9  3  2  0   6   1   2  0  2   8   7    6   17
 5  Chelsea               7  3  0  0   6   0   2  1  1   4   3    7   16
 6  Aston Villa           9  3  1  0   7   2   2  0  3   4   7    2   16
 7  Leicester City        9  3  2  0   9   5   1  0  3   5   6    3   14
 8  Everton               8  3  1  0  10   2   1  0  3   4   7    5   13
 9  West Ham United       7  3  0  0   4   1   1  1  2   5   4    4   13
10  Tottenham Hotspur     7  3  0  1  10   7   1  1  1   3   3    3   13
11  Middlesbrough         9  2  0  3   4   7   2  0  2   6   6   -3   12
12  Liverpool             7  1  0  2   4   4   2  1  1   6   5    1   10
13  Southampton           8  2  0  2   6   6   1  1  2   7  10   -3   10
14  Watford               9  2  0  2   4   4   1  0  4   1   5   -4    9
15  Coventry City         9  2  0  3   7   7   0  2  2   4   6   -2    8
16  Bradford City         8  0  2  1   2   5   2  0  3   2   4   -5    8
17  Derby County          9  1  0  4   3  11   1  2  1   4   4   -8    8
18  Wimbledon             8  0  2  2   5   7   1  2  1   7  10   -5    7
19  Newcastle United      9  1  1  2  12   6   0  0  5   6  16   -4    4
20  Sheffield Wednesday   9  0  0  4   2   8   0  1  4   1  16  -21    1

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

The line-up for the testimonial game is:
Eric Cantona		Peter Schmeichel
Zinedine Zidane		Gabriel Batistuta
Paul Gascoigne 		Juninho
George Weah		Alessandro Costacurta
Christian Ziege		Lillian Thuram
Roberto Mancini		John Collins


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     -    53,250
18/09/99    Wimbledon                Home     D  1-1     1    55,189
22/09/99    Sturm Graz               Away EC  W  3-0     -     ?
25/09/99    Southampton              Home     D  3-3     1    55,249

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



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

Subject: Carling Report Man United (2) 3 Southampton (1) 3 FT Sheringham 34 Pahars 17 Yorke 37,64 Le Tissier 51,73 Massimo Taibi dropped the clanger of the season as Southampton stunned Manchester United to earn an FA Carling Premiership point in a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford. Click image for full size The Premiership leaders were cruising at 2-1 when the Italian goalkeeper blundered to turn the game on its head. In the 51st minute Matt Le Tissier hit a daisy-cutter from 25 yards out, more in hope than expectation, and he could not believe his eyes as Taibi let the ball pass through him and into the net. Taibi could not even blame a divot or a deviation in the flight of the ball and instead he was left looking at his studs, probably wishing the ground would open up and swallow him. Mark Bosnich could have been forgiven a wry smile as he looked on from the substitutes bench and perhaps the goalkeeper's jersey will be up for grabs once again. Dwight Yorke restored United's lead, but Saints snatched a point when half-time substitute Le Tissier scored again on 74 minutes. It could have been even worse for United, and in stoppage time Taibi stuck out a boot to deny substitute James Beattie what would have been a sensational winner. For the third home match in a row, the Treble winners had produced a below-par performance and paid the price by ending up with a draw. Boss Sir Alex Ferguson will demand better when Marseille visit Old Trafford in the Champions League on Wednesday. Few would have given Saints any chance of scoring three goals or drawing when the match started. Southampton had lost their last 10 league games at Old Trafford and their only hope of avoiding making that 11 was to catch United cold following the Treble winners' midweek Champions League exertions. That theory looked more plausible after 17 minutes when Saints opened the scoring, just like Wimbledon had done last week at Old Trafford. Former United legend Mark Hughes, who was possibly playing his last game at Old Trafford, made the initial thrust, losing the fit-again Butt. The Wales boss fed Marian Pahars, who nutmegged Jaap Stam before slotting the ball home past Taibi for his fourth goal of the season. Predictably the goal stirred United into action and Henning Berg crashed a header from a David Beckham corner against an upright before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer nodded the ball just wide of the target. United adjusted their sights and on 34 minutes they drew level when Beckham curled a ball in from the right for Teddy Sheringham to tuck home his first goal of the season past Paul Jones. United were not finished yet and three minutes later the Premiership leaders went ahead, mainly thanks to that man Sheringham again. Jones saved his header before his effort from the rebound was blocked, but the England striker collected the loose ball and crossed from the left for Yorke to nod home the simplest of goals from two yards out. Ferguson claims Sheringham could yet have a future at Old Trafford when his current deal expires in the summer and the former Tottenham striker was certainly making a strong case for a new contract. United were in control and Sheringham went close to a third with a chip before Saints skipper Jason Dodd blocked a goal-bound Solskjaer shot before he headed the follow-up off the line. But then totally out of the blue, Le Tissier equalised thanks to Taibi's monumental blunder. There seemed little danger as Le Tissier hit a gentle shot, but somehow the Italian goalkeeper misjudged his effort and it ended up in the back of the net. Back came United and Jones saved well from Solskjaer and then Butt. There was no denying United and they retook the lead in the 64th minute when Butt fed Yorke and he fired home right-footed from 12 yards out. Click image for full size Still Southampton refused to lie down and Hughes was denied an equaliser when he smashed a trademark volley against the crossbar. United did not heed that warning and on 74 minutes the visitors pegged them back again. Pahars robbed Mickael Silvestre and he crossed for Le Tissier to sidefoot home. That sparked an onslaught from United and Yorke went close with an overhead kick before Paul Scholes fired just over. But for once there was to be no last-gasp winner from United. Man United: Taibi, Irwin, Stam, Berg, Silvestre, Beckham, Butt, Scholes, Solskjaer, Yorke, Sheringham. Subs not used: Bosnich, Wilson, Cruyff, Neville, Fortune. Booked: Berg, Scholes. Southampton: Jones, Dodd, Lundekvam (Marsden, 69), Richards, Benali, Ripley, Soltvedt (Le Tissier, 45), Oakley, Kachloul, Pahars (Beattie, 90), Hughes. Subs not used: Moss, Colleter. Attendance: 55,249. Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: ESPN Report Sunday, September 26, 2:19am London Time Man U 3-3 Soton: Le Tiss delight at Taibi blunder By Richard Bott A schoolboy howler that will haunt United's new Italian goalkeeper Massimo Taibi for the rest of his career gave one of the game's forgotten heroes asurprise boost at Old Trafford. And another, of less embarrassing proportions, by French defender Mikael Silvestre, made thesmileon MattLeTissier'sface even broader. Le Tissier, the enigmatic craftsman who spends much of his time on the fringe of club football as well as the international scene these days, came off the bench at half-time to score a match-saving double. But he was as astonished as the rest of us when a tentative, low shot from 30 yards squirmed through Taibi's hands and under his body. Taibi, a £4.5million buy from Venezia and preferred to Australian Mark Bosnich, held his head in dis-belief. Le Tissier grinned from ear to ear. And, if that was bad enough, the champions tossed away the lead again after winning it back in the 64th minute. Silvestre, another recent recruit, lost the ball near his own corner flag and, when Marian Pahars fed it across the home goal-mouth, there was Le Tissier to take advantage. United huffed and puffed for the points their overall supremacy deserved but the kind of mistakes that cost them victory yesterday will have raised the hopes of the representatives from Marseille, United's next Champions League opponents. Perhaps it is as well that neither Taibi nor Silvestre is eligible to play against Marseille, having been signed after the European deadline. At least Taibi atoned to some degree with a one-on-one save in injury-time from another Southampton substitute, James Beattie. United's line-up showed a number of changes from the side who won 3-0 in Austria in midweek. Alex Ferguson is a master of squad rotation, a necessary facet of the modern game and particularly for those whose crowded fixture list includes regular excursions into Europe. Injuries to Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs, and Andy Cole's suspension, meant some changes were enforced but there are always hungry players on United's bench and of a quality most of their domestic rivals envy. Teddy Sheringham was given the nod to partner Dwight Yorke up front, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer edging out Jordi Cruyff. Southampton opted for the 4-5-1 formation that has been effective away from home this season, with the young Latvian Pahars given a testing lone role up front. Testing, maybe, but he stunned the vast banks of United supporters into silence by giving Southampton a 17th minute lead. Released by a pass from ex-Red Mark Hughes, revelling in what was probably his Old Trafford swansong, Pahars faced the imposing bulk of Jaap Stam, regarded as one of the finest centre-backs in the world. Undaunted, the Latvian poked the ball through Stam's legs, ran on and guided a shot past Taibi. The equaliser arrived, Sheringham's first goal since the Champions League final in Barcelona, after 34 minutes, David Beckham the provider with an early cross. You had to sympathise with Saints goalkeeper David Jones when he made a sensational double save from Sheringham, only for the United striker to chip the ball back in for Yorke to put the champions in front. So Southampton took the wraps off Le Tissier at half-time to provide Pahars with a more substantial service. He did better than that with his extraordinary equaliser in the 51st minute. Yorke's second goal, driven high beyond Jones' reach after a strong run by Nicky Butt, settled them down until Le Tissier came up with Southampton's second equaliser.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Beckham facing censure by FA By Peter Fitton David Beckham will be officially censured by the FA in a crackdown over his maverick on-field behaviour. Senior establishment figures have decided that the Manchester United and England midfielder urgently needs to be brought under control. They are preparing to summon Beckham, who was involved in another kicking controversy in Europe five days ago, to a private meeting to warn him about his future conduct. The players' union will first be consulted about the verbal admonishment and PFA representatives will be present to advise the United star at the showdown. Tough talking is being employed amid recent claims that the £20millionrated player has been granted an easy ride by officialdom since the World Cup shame of his sending-off against Argentina. It was decided within Lancaster Gate's inner sanctum that Beckham must be curbed and an element of wrist-slapping discipline was in order after a two-fingered gesture at Leeds fans at Old Trafford on August 14 after he was bombarded with obscene abuse. Three weeks ago he was accused of stamping on England teammate Jamie Redknapp at Anfield and in Austria on Wednesday night he aimed a retaliatory boot at midfield rival Tomislav Kocijan. United skipper Roy Keane has been ordered to take a two-week rest as the first option to avoiding more knee surgery.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: FERGIE BLASTS 'SUICIDAL' DEFENCE Sir Alex Ferguson refused to criticise Massimo Taibi for his howler during United's 3-3 draw against Southampton - but he admitted his team's performance was 'suicidal'. Fergie said: "I was pleased with the quality of our game today and I thought it was tremendous football at times. But the hard facts are that a game we should have won by six, seven, or even 10 goals, we've drawn. "It's been absolutely suicidal. It's hard to imagine how you can draw a game like that 3-3, but then that's the wonderful imponderable of football. "It's a bad result for us. If you score three goals at home you should be in a position where you're taking off players and resting them for Wednesday, but instead it's turned into a match." Ferguson refused to criticise Taibi: "I'm sure he'll be disappointed but the nature of this club is to get on with it and look forward to the next game. "Things happen in football which you can't correct at the moment, but we can in future games."
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Heart of Cole Andy Cole with young Aids victims in Zimbabwe ANDY Cole has won the lot with Manchester United. After overcoming the burden of being the country's most expensive player when he joined the Reds in January 1995 he helped bring the Champions League, Premiership and FA Cup glory to Old Trafford. And since last summer he and Dwight Yorke have forged a partnership that is the envy of Europe. But Cole this week used his break from the Reds' gruelling schedule in a good cause. He has decided to help to raise money for hundreds of thousands of African kids orphaned by Aids. After visiting Zimbabwe last year Cole was shocked at the plight of thousands of such children. Today he launches the Venture Kodak Andy Cole Children Fund in the hope of raising £50,000 to help these children build a better future. He talked to NINA HAIGH about why he is involved. How did you get involved with the Venture Kodak Children's Fund? ``I went to Zimbabwe last year and it was awful to see so many children who have nobody because of the Aids epidemic. I said there and then I would do what I could to help so we have organised a dinner to try to raise £50,000.'' How does that tie in with being a high profile footballer? ``At the end of the day I am privileged to do the job I do. It is important to give something back.'' How do you think United have performed so far in Europe this season? ``We would have expected to beat Croatia Zagreb at home but it is just a matter of getting back into a routine again. We went to Sturm Graz and got a brilliant result.'' Do you think United are as strong a team in Europe this season? ``We are stronger because of what we went through last season. We have to draw on that experience because the opposition in Europe is stronger as well this season.'' Is it difficult to keep playing at such a high standard for so many games? ``Yes. But we are all professionals and have to try to do our best. It is difficult, in fact it is virtually impossible to keep up such a high tempo for 60 games.'' Do Premiership games sometimes take a back seat? ``No, you can't look at it like that. We had Southampton this weekend and you can't say that it is not a big game because all Premiership games are big games.'' Should Premiership games be moved to a Sunday after a European game mid-week? ``I don't really know because now there are European games on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and you're moving the fixtures the weekend before and the weekend after. It would be nice to have that extra day recovery but me and the rest of the chaps just get on with things and that's it.'' What do you think of United pulling out of the FA Cup? ``It's got nothing to do with me. Obviously I'm bothered that we won't be playing in it because everyone wants to win the FA Cup. But at the end of the day the decision had nothing to do with me but I am very excited about going to play in Brazil.'' Don't you think going to Brazil could affect your Premiership and European Cup aspirations? ``No I wouldn't think so. I don't see why it should take anything away from our chances in the other competitions. We'll have to play extra games but the FA Cup would have been extra games too.'' What would it mean to you to win the World Club Championships? ``It would be something special because we are going into the unknown. No-one has ever won it before so when you win something like that you know it's special.'' How are the players preparing for it? ``We're not. Nothing has been said to us about it. It's September now and the Championships are in January. We are living day by day.'' Are United hitting top form at the moment? ``I don't know. There is a long way to go and we are playing pretty well, and it's always nice to be playing well. But I wouldn't say we are on top form because the season has just started.'' But United are top of the league anyway? ``Yeah, we've had some good results and we're playing some good stuff.'' Who are the main challengers in the Premiership this season? ``Same as last year. They have all made some big signings and improved their squads and it will be a tough league this year.'' Do you think there should be a limit to foreign players in England considering the fact that Dwight Yorke and Eric Cantona are foreign and have been two of United biggest stars in recent years? ``You can't just say that Dwight Yorke is United's biggest player because he is a foreigner. At United we are all big players and you could well limit the number of foreigners, if you wanted to give the English kids a chance to come through the youth team and reserves. ``Just because foreign players have come in to the Premiership and the quality of the league has improved you can't say that the foreigners are the ones who have all the quality. That's not fair, at the end of the day English players have qualities of their own. So you can't say that because the foreigners are here the English game is better than before.'' Has it affected the England national team? ``I don't see why it should affect the England team. Just because there are foreign players in the Premiership doesn't stop the English talent from shining through.'' Why do you think Kevin Keegan overlooked you for England recently?'' ``Who knows?'' Has he spoken to you about it? ``No.'' Do you think you should be in the England squad? ``Not really, no. It's his decision, it's not for me to comment.'' What do you think of the crisis at your old club Newcastle United? ``Bobby Robson has gone there and done pretty well over the last couple of games and I wish everyone well at Newcastle. They're trying to do a job just like we are at Old Trafford.'' What is it like being a Manchester United player at the moment? ``There's a lot of banter flying around and everyone's still having a lot of fun. There is competition for places as always. Manchester United will always be a great place to play football.'' What is your aim for the season? ``I want to end the season with more silverware. It doesn't matter whether I am top scorer in the Premiership or at Old Trafford. As long as United win more trophies I am happy.'' Do you disagree with the critics who say that you and Dwight Yorke, David Beckham and Mark Bosnich should be concentrating more on football rather than going out partying all the time? ``No I have never heard that accusation because no-one has ever seen me out partying with Mark Bosnich or Dwight Yorke. I concentrate on my football like every other player at Old Trafford.'' Do you think footballers earn too much money in the Premiership? ``No, why is it too much money? Most of the time it gets blown out of proportion anyway. We don't make as much money as some people think but all the money we earn we deserve. It's not like we've gone out there and demanded it.'' A dinner in aid of the Venture Kodak Andy Cole Childrens's Fund takes place at the Palace Hotel on November 6. Tickets, which cost £50, are available on 01625 536411.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Marseille - Beat United? I'm not sure we'll get the ball off them Sunday September 26, 1999 Down on the Canabiere, where the bouillabaise is served thick and heavy, with a broad grin and a mouthful of rosť, Fabrizio Ravanelli is revered among the folk heroes. There the White Feather is truly at home. But, as Olympique Marseille's inimitable fans day-dream about celebrating their club's centenary with a triumphant campaign in the Champions' League, the former Middlesbrough goal-machine, whose feats earned him comparisons with George Camsell and Brian Clough, relishes the prospect of Wednesday's visit to Old Trafford, home of the defending champions, with a dash of cold reality and some envy. He knows it is a long way from the Mediterranean to Manchester. 'Yes, it will be nice,' he said, 'but it will be so difficult to find the ball if we lose it.' As warm and engaging as ever, still intelligent, powerful and skilful on the pitch, Ravanelli is now, at 30, one of the senior citizens in a youthful OM side repackaged last summer by the bon viveur Roland Courbis. Both are strong individuals, but in a club such as Olympique and a city such as Marseille, such men are commonplace. The man who hit a hat-trick against Liverpool on his debut at the Riverside in 1996 may still be doing the business (he scored against Graz in OM's opening-night win), and with the same flamboyant shirt-over-head goal routine, but the trebles, once his trademark, are less frequent now. 'I am fitter now than for a long time since I left Juventus,' he said. 'In the summer, I trained very hard and I lost five kilos. I like this hard work, full physical preparation and a good feeling. In the last few years, I have had too many injuries. Now, I feel I'm coming back to my peak. I am not finished yet.' Those who saw Chelsea's FA Cup final victory over Boro in 1997 will recall the sad sight of Ravanelli's fitness failing him in Bryan Robson's Wembley gam ble. It was a sad ending to his flourish of 31 goals in a season on Teesside following a £7 million move from Juventus, where he played in the Champions' Cup winning side of 1996 and scored 41 in 111 Serie A appearances from 1992 to 1996. At OM last season, he scored 13 in 29 French league appearances and, during the summer, he was tempted to return to Italy, but stayed in Provence. 'I had offers from the big clubs in Spain and Greece as well,' he said. 'Fiorentina contacted me, too. But, you know, the supporters made the club change its mind. You cannot play for Juventus and then go to Florence. The directors gave in to the public pressure. 'The fans here appreciate my style and my heart. I am glad to have the chance now to show my feelings, too. It is my principle objective this season to mark the club's centenary with a trophy or a title. In Europe? I don't know.' Ravanelli's work-rate remains beyond question. Up front for OM, he plays alongside Florian Maurice (a target for John Toshack's Real Madrid earlier in the year), with another French interna tional, Robert Pires, in the 'hole' behind them. Midfield is occupied by lung-busting runners such as Peter Luccin, a long-haired, olive-skinned local who signed a 12-year contract last year and plays on the left, and Stephane Dalmat, who signed an eight-year contract in the summer on arrival from Lens. Both are only 20 and prone to inconsistency. The defence is held together by Eduardo Berizzo, 29, a combative Argentine international signed from River Plate this year to replace the departed - and much-missed - Laurent Blanc, who has gone to Juventus, and William Gallas, 22, while the full-back pairing both have English Premiership experience, Patrick Blondeau with Sheffield Wednesday and Sebastien Perez with Blackburn. Christophe Dugarry, the French World Cup forward, has been suspended while Spanish midfielder Ivan de la Penz, the 'little Buddha' discovered by Bobby Robson at Barcelona, is fighting injury after being taken on loan from Lazio. 'This is a group of great players, but it will take time for the team to grow in strength,' said Ravanelli. 'The great thing is the squad's young average age and the sense of confidence. For me, it is a team capable of anything, on a good day, and I hope to be around to show them the very best of Ravanelli. No one has really seen that since I left Juventus. After that, I had too many injuries and I was never particularly well-prepared physically. 'We recognise that Manchester United is a great team, the best in Europe and perhaps in the world. For me, it is a thrill to go back to England and play at Old Trafford and I think our players will enjoy it. It will be difficult for us, but not impossible because this team can really play if there is space. 'They will be difficult for us to contain, but we can threaten their defence. For sure. We can, I believe, qualify from the group. The match in October will be special for us.' The reborn OM, free of the disgrace of the Bernard Tapie years of the early Nineties when they won the European Cup but were guilty of match-fixing, are determined to mark their centenary. They want to establish Marseille, not Paris, as the capital of French football.
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