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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Thu 30 Dec 1999 13:53 GMT
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

 Happy Y2K  From the www.red11.org Web Team

This Issue:
1. Two-nil, and they f...ed it up!  Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS
3. Scholes is a Rio doubt
5. Schmeichel turns tables: player buys club
6. Fergie to rule on Scholes fitness
7. Old Trafford legend Schmeichel buys his first club
8. Butt breaks those Wearside hearts Sunderland 2 Man Utd 2



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Our Salford Lass report from Sunderland is our main article today, Enjoy!
Seems like Paul Scholes may be out of the Brazil trip and BIG Pete
has purchased his first club! Its all happening folks.
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Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
Two-nil, and they f...ed it up! Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS We had an extra passenger on Coach No 3 yesterday - an esteemed list member decided to honour us with his presence which was (as they say on the Fast Show) "nice"! Actually, it was rather nice to have someone to chat to during a long and very dreary journey. We solved the financial problems of Bury FC and discussed the future of Rugby League, whilst wending our way Northwards on a journey which took in the pleasures of the highest points of the Pennines (lots of snow and ice and sheep), the outskirts of Leeds (lots of sheep) and the A1/M - the one road that is even more boring than the M6. On arrival at the services a few miles from our destination, where we were met as usual by Northumbria police, we slid our way across the ice and realised that Manchester is not quite the "frozen north" we think it is. Half-an-hour later, we were being escorted to the ground. All traffic lights were on red as the Red Army drove through the outskirts of Sunderland towards the four laser beams that were lighting up the night sky from the four corners of the "Sunderland Stadium of Light". From the outside, the ground looked like most of the other new stadia - situated in the middle of a building site, surrounded by an industrial park and as ugly as f**k! As we drove round the stadium we passed the "megastore" - a temporary caravan perched precariously on blocks. Keane scores to make it 1-2 in the 27th minute I have to admit that the Mackems have the arrival and departure of the away fans extremely well organised. We parked up right opposite our turnstyles (clubs like West Ham might like to make note of this) and the buses were still in the same place when we came out. So there was no having to play "find the coach" after the game. There was a price to pay though. Before we were allowed to disembark, we had to spend 10 minutes listening to a lecture from a copper who appeared to love the sound of his own voice so much that he didn't want to stop. Unfortunately, those of us sitting more than half-way back on the coach couldn't hear most of what he was saying but we did manage to hear "everything you could want is inside the ground"! After a few ribald comments from the back of the bus, he continued to explain to us which turnstyles we were to use and how to find them. Considering that they were right in front of us, had the same number on them as we had on our tickets and had a big sign saying "Visiting supporters only", I found this rather insulting to my intelligence! We were eventually allowed to get off the bus and head for the queues at the turnstyles, only to be advised by a steward that if we wanted a programme, we would be better going back towards the coach and buying one on the forecourt as they usually ran out inside the ground! But I thought they had everything we needed?! Once inside the ground we found the usual crowd behind the seats. These new grounds have wonderful views, seating etc etc, but behind the seats they are all breeze blocks, dirty stone floors, broken toilets, overcrowding and inadequate catering facilities. It's only when you travel away and see what others suffer that you realise just what an excellent stadium Old Trafford is. The crush for alcohol was crazy (and right in the middle of the concourse, so it was impossible to move around without behaving like a rugby prop forward) so we decided to go for a hot drink instead. The burger bar was hidden in a corner, so was fairly quiet. Whilst eating some soggy chips and drinking a hot chocolate, we met up with Dr Mark and friend and Tim E and discussed the route of a potential coach trip to Brazil! Then we headed off for our seats and our first view of the Stadium of Light. What can I say? Great seats (the inside of the place is like a small version of OT), wonderful pitch but the DJ made me yearn for Keith Fane (honest!) and the fans - what a bunch of arseholes! I just hope our dear Mr Fane wasn't there picking up tips. The build-up to the game was the worst kind of modern so-called "atmosphere" building exercise. Music so loud it made your ears buzz, a crowd that joined in at pre-arranged moments with stupid noises, throwing their arms around like total idiots, a scoreboard that egged them all on and kept reminding us that we were in the "Sunderland Stadium of Light", the pre-match entertainment in the centre of the pitch (three plonkers dressed up as Madonna, Elvis and Robbie Williams, miming to records!). It was impossible to hear yourself think, let alone speak to the person next to you and any chanting was drowned out by the awful Ride of the Valkyries (I think that's what it was!). I think the whole thing was meant to scare the opposition players and fans - all it actually did was piss everyone off, including (surely?) many of the traditional Sunderland fans. The son-and-heir, however, wondered how many of the 42,000 crowd had been at Roker Park (a stadium record - we were repeatedly told. "Come to see United, you've only come to see United"). I can only imagine that those that were are as embarrassed by the whole charade as we would be. Team clebrates Nicky's equalizer Eventually, kick-off arrived to the relief of us all and we were able to give our ears a rest and our voices some exercise. We were singing "Where were you at Roker Park?" and "Champions of Europe", looking at the Sunderland fans to our left when all of a sudden they started jumping up and down like demented rabbits. Puzzled, we turned back to the game only to find Bozzy picking the ball out of the back of our net and the scoreboard proclaiming McCann had scored the first goal for Sunderland! S..t!! For the next ten minutes, it was like Chelsea all over again as my stomach sank into my boots. Wave after wave of attacks were coming towards us and the Sunderland fans were singing "Who are ye?" whilst we seemed unable to make a simple pass, let alone mount a fight-back. Everything was going through Niall Quinn as Silvestre ineffectively chased him around. Butler skied over the bar and then Quinn chipped the ball over Bozzy and into the net in front of us for their second. Cue total delirium round the whole stadium whilst we stood shocked and disbelieving and that bloody City reject celebrated like he'd won the European Cup. To be honest, though - that was the best it got for Sunderland. Gradually, both on and off the pitch, we began to get back into the game. Keano was charging around the pitch screaming at the United players, Silvestre in particular responded (although Quinn was only really shackled once Stam took him on later in the game) and we began to surge forward towards their goal. Sorensen showed a propensity to panic when faced with determined pressure and we won countless throw-ins as he mis-kicked clearance after clearance. We were screaming at the forwards to "run at 'im". Then Cole got the ball, spun and passed to Keane who unerringly put the ball in the Sunderland net and we were back in it. More choruses of "European Champions", most of the old favourites and the "12 days of Cantona" had our end jumping (apart from the section in the middle of course, that remained seated and silent throughout the game - obvious where the exec's tickets had gone then!). It was good to be at an away game and in the middle of a good atmosphere again - the sore throat I have this morning owes as much to the singing last night as it does to the dose of flu I am trying to fight at the moment, not something I often say after a game at OT these days. By half-time we could have been in the lead - Butt passed to Cole who put the ball through for Yorke, but Yorkie shot wide. Then Keane headed another chance straight at McCann, Cole had his header tipped over the bar by Sorensen and Stam almost got a foot to a ball that shot across the face of the goal. We were putting constant pressure on their goal and as we broke off for half-time, we were feeling a lot more positive - this was now looking a lot more like a Juventus-style comeback than a Chelsea-style mauling! United were attacking our end in the second half and carried on where they'd left off at the end of the first. Despite a spirited showing by Sunderland, it was clear that class was beginning to show and their attempts to hang on to their lead were looking increasingly desperate. The son-and-heir suggested that "they must surely tire soon", but it took most of the second half to wear them down (for which we have to give them credit). We could have equalised early in the second half when Cole forced Sorensen to make a fine save, but it was starting to look like the unthinkable was going to happen when Fergie decided to go for broke and bring on Teddy for Irwin - we now had three strikers and the chances were coming. Giggs spurned a couple of excellent chances by selfishly holding onto the ball too long and having a go himself instead of passing to a better-placed team-mate. Then Ole came on for Becks about 10 minutes from the end (something Fergie should have done long before - Becks was not at his best) and we had four strikers! The atmosphere had been a little quieter at our end at the start of the second half (and a lot quieter in the rest of the stadium!), but now it hotted up again as we roared the lads on to get at least a draw. The turning point came when we at last got a rare decision from the referee. Ole was tripped on the touchline and Gary Neville took a long free kick. He placed it right in the middle of the melee in the penalty area in front of us. There were three Sunderland players around him but Nicky Butt managed to reach out and scuff the ball towards the net - it bobbled in to the delight of the United fans and the stunned silence of the Mackems - "Two-nil up and f***ed it up!" Phil Neville then came on for Andy Cole (Fergie had obviously decided that throwing caution to the wind was only OK up to a point!) and we played out the last four minutes of the game with chances at both ends. Stam was now "looking after" Niall Quinn which had sorted that little problem out - so we managed to hold on for what was (for me, anyway) a disappointing draw. Keane & Butt celebrate Nicky's equalizer We came away realising that the Mackems are just Geordies in disguise really - what a pathetic bunch. Apart from the booing of Becks (nothing like jumping on a band-wagon, is there lads and lasses?) and dressing up in silly costumes (we spotted a whole series of cartoon characters within the crowd), the chants of "Who are ye" were just plain daft and attempts to get us to join in all friendly-like with their anti-Shearer chants were simply met with chants of "Geordie rejects" and obscene gestures. As we left the seats, we walked down the steps next to the departing Mackems. Most of them seemed well-pleased with the result (if it had been the other way round I would have been devastated). One women leaned over and smiled at me all friendly, saying "Have you enjoyed it then?" "I did in the end," said I "but you f***ed it up good and proper, didn't you?" She smiled nervously - obviously not the response she was expecting! If this is the future of English football, Eric help us! Thankfully, we got away from the ground quickly - as I said earlier, the organisation was superb. We headed off through the frozen wastes for Leeds and the motorway. All was quiet and most people on the bus were snoozing until about 30 miles from home when we passed another coach going back to Manchester. Those of us still awake glanced with little curiosity at the passengers, expecting to see other Reds. What we did see, however, were red and white stripes - a coachful of Mackems going back to Manchester! Soon, everyone was awake as we passed, and then were overtaken by, and then re-passed the coachload of Sunderland fans. One women held up a banner saying the "Greater Manchester Branch, Sunderland AFC" as we sang "Do you come from Sunderland". This livened up the next ten minutes or so until they eventually pulled ahead and disappeared into the gloom. But not before Slim had given them the benefit of a sighting of his backside from the backseat, however, and the number of the coach company had been taken in order that some sad b.....d could ring up the day after and complain! So in the end, it was a reasonable outcome, although we could have, and should have won it. We had a number of players who looked off their game - Yorke and Becks in particular, but Keane wasn't wonderful either, with Butt probably the best player in midfield - and the Sunderland players have to be complimented on a very stubborn refusal to be beaten. My man of the match? Probably either Andy Cole or Jaap Stam, we missed Andy's pace when Fergie took him off and Stam saved the game for us on a number of occasions. All-in-all though, it was an enjoyable away trip, we had a good laugh, and probably got the result we deserved. Copyright © 1999 by OUR SALFORD LASS. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
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RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 29-12-99 Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur 39,217 Chelsea 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday 32,938 *** PREM LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 29/12/99 *** Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts --------------------------------------------------------- 1 Leeds United 20 14 2 4 34 22 12 44 2 Manchester United 19 13 4 2 50 25 25 43 3 Arsenal 20 12 3 5 36 20 16 39 4 Sunderland 20 11 5 4 35 24 11 38 5 Liverpool 20 11 4 5 31 17 14 37 6 Tottenham Hotspur 19 9 4 6 31 23 8 31 7 Chelsea 18 9 3 6 26 18 8 30 8 Leicester City 20 9 2 9 28 28 0 29 9 Everton 20 7 7 6 33 28 5 28 10 West Ham United 19 7 6 6 22 21 1 27 11 Middlesbrough 19 8 3 8 23 26 -3 27 12 Aston Villa 20 7 5 8 19 21 -2 26 13 Coventry City 19 6 6 7 26 22 4 24 14 Newcastle United 20 6 5 9 32 35 -3 23 15 Wimbledon 20 4 10 6 31 35 -4 22 16 Southampton 19 4 5 10 23 32 -9 17 17 Bradford City 19 4 5 10 15 29 -14 17 18 Derby County 20 4 4 12 17 32 -15 16 19 Watford 20 4 2 14 17 42 -25 14 20 Sheffield Wednesday 19 2 3 14 16 45 -29 9
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Scholes is a Rio doubt By Stuart Mathieson PAUL Scholes’ trip to Brazil is in jeopardy after Manchester United’s infamous pitch took its toll on his hernia problem on Boxing Day. Scholes didn’t feature in Sir Alex Ferguson’s 16 at Sunderland last night and was brought off after 66 minutes of Sunday’s Christmas match against Bradford City on United’s boggy surface. The United and England midfielder has been playing with hernia trouble for months but the Reds postponed an operation earlier this month with the player deciding he could play on. Fergie left the decision in Scholes’ hands with England coach Kevin Keegan sweating on the player being available for Euro 2000 as summer surgery became an increasing possibility. But the strain on the injury against Bradford could now force Scholes off United’s Rio-bound plane to the World Club Championship on Sunday. ‘‘The players are off until Friday and we’ll see how Paul Scholes is then. I don’t know at this time how he’ll be,’’ said Fergie at the Stadium of Light. ‘‘It was such a heavy pitch on Sunday it was bound to take it out of him. If you’ve got a hernia problem then playing on those kind of pitches is no good.’’ The United manager hailed his side after coming back from 2-0 down against Sunderland on Wearside to grab a Premiership title point and leave the Reds in second place in the championship going into the New Year. ‘‘I was absolutely delighted with my team’s performance. We were magnificent,’’ he said. ‘‘We dominated the match considering we were 2-0 down after only a few minutes. That was something we spoke about because they are noted for starting quickly. ‘‘Credit it to us we just kept at it and at it and persevered and got the players got their rewards. So I am very, very pleased. It was an outstanding performance. ‘‘I thought maybe it was going to be one of these nights when thing were scrambled away just before half time. But we deserved what we got in fact we should have won the match. ‘‘We’ve got good character and the players don’t like losing and that is what came across to me. We had great courage.’’
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SCHOLES MAY GO UNDER THE KINFE Paul Scholes is Manchester United’s main injury worry for the World Club Championship and will be given until Friday to prove his fitness. The England star suffered a reoccurrence of his hernia problem in the Boxing Day win over Bradford City, brought on by the heavy Old Trafford surface. He did not feature against Sunderland two days later and Alex Ferguson is not sure that the midfielder will recover in time. Sir Alex said: "I don't know if he will be right The players are off now until Friday so we'll see him then and see how he is. "It was such a heavy pitch on Sunday that it was bound to take it out of them and if you've got a hernia problem then playing these kind of fixtures makes it difficult." If he does not recover, Scholes may finally undergo his delayed hernia operation, giving him three weeks to recover for the huge Premiership match against Arsenal.
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Schmeichel turns tables: player buys club Robert Pryce Thursday December 30, 1999 Peter Schmeichel gave up playing for Manchester United this year, but he is not quite ready to give up football. The 36-year-old Danish international goalkeeper has just bought the club that once sold him. He will be the sole owner of Hvidovre Idraets Forening, three-times Danish champions fallen on harder times. He will be an absentee landlord, at least until 2001 when his contract with Sporting Lisbon expires. But it is not, he claims, merely a business deal. "To me this is not a matter of money," he explained. "Hvidovre is part of my history." Hvidovre were Schmeichel's first senior club. He played 94 games there - 88 in the league - and scored seven penalties before leaving to join Brondby, another Copenhagen club, in 1987. He continued to live in Hvidovre, a south-western Copenhagen suburb, until 1991, when he joined Manchester United. He helped United win five league titles in seven seasons, culminating in the league, FA Cup and Champions League treble this year, before leaving England for Sporting and the less intense demands of the Portuguese league. He captained United in the absence of the injured Roy Keane and lifted the European Cup in his last game. He has won 118 caps, more than any other Dane, and formed the last line of Denmark's defence when they won the European championship in 1992. In France last year he helped them reach the World Cup quarter-finals before going out 3-2 to Brazil. He may yet end his playing days at Hvidovre. "I haven't decided whether I'll play two or five more years," he told a press conference yesterday. He said he wanted to restructure the club financially and bring in players, but did not expect the team to reclaim a place among the elite for some years. Hvidovre are perilously placed in the lower mid-table of the Danish first division after relegation from the Superleague two years ago. Founded in 1925, they still run 40 teams.
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Fergie to rule on Scholes fitness Sir Alex Ferguson will decide on Friday if Paul Scholes is fit enough to travel to Brazil for the World Club Championship. The Manchester United squad reassemble on Friday following a two-day break and top of Ferguson's list of priorities will be to assess Scholes' hernia problem. The England midfielder came off midway through the second half of the Boxing Day win over Bradford because he suffered a recurrence of the injury, which was brought on by the boggy Old Trafford pitch. Scholes was not even fit enough to figure on the bench for Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Sunderland and Ferguson admits he does not know if he will recover in time to jet out with the United party on Sunday. "I don't know if he will be right," said the United boss. "The players are off now until Friday so we'll see him then and see how he is. "It was such a heavy pitch on Sunday that it was bound to take it out of them and if you've got a hernia problem then playing these kind of fixtures makes it difficult." Scholes was due to have an operation on the long-standing complaint in December, but did not have surgery because he felt he could carry on. However his latest setback may persuade Ferguson that an operation is the only solution and the 25-year-old may even go under the scalpel while United are in Brazil for two weeks. Scholes would then have just over three weeks to recover before United's next game back in England against Arsenal at Old Trafford on January 24. United are also monitoring Denis Irwin's fitness after he picked up a groin injury at the Stadium of Light. (c) Copyright Press Association Ltd 1999, all rights reserved.
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Old Trafford legend Schmeichel buys his first club Old Trafford legend Schmeichel buys his first club By John Greechan Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel bought himself a belated Christmas present yesterday - his own football club. The Danish international returned to Copenhagen to buy ailing First Division club Hvidovre, where he began his career as a semi-professional in 1984, for an undisclosed fee. He hopes to become manager of the former Danish Premier League side in the future, with Old Trafford manager Sir Alex Ferguson as his role model and possible adviser. Schmeichel said: 'In a way, I am in the same situation as Alex Ferguson was 13 years ago. I see a club I want to build from the bottom up, as he did with United. 'If I have any doubts about something, I know Alex is just a phone call away and he can give me all the advice I need. I had enormous experience under him at Manchester United. I saw how a big club like that operated and I hope I learned something.' Schmeichel, who left Old Trafford for Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon at the end of United's unprecedented Treble-winning season, is under-stood to have made a short-term commitment of at least £100,000-a-year to the club, which he now owns outright. The 36-year- old has also attracted major sponsorship from Swedish telecommunications company Telia, who will put in cash to cancel out debts and help Hvidovre match Denmark's biggest teams. 'To me, this is not a matter of money,' said Schmeichel, whose first move was to repay players who recently took a 15 per cent pay cut. 'Hvidovre is part of my history. I'm not a businessman, I am a football man. I have to find people who will take care of the business while I finish my career with Sporting. Then, in a year or two, I will return - not as a player but perhaps as a manager.' Schmeichel spent three seasons with Hvidovre before moving on to Brondby, where he caught the eye of Ferguson. The club are teetering on the brink of relegation to the Danish Second Division.
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Butt breaks those Wearside hearts Sunderland 2 Man Utd 2 Carl Liddle Nicky Butt broke Sunderland hearts on Tuesday night with a late equaliser after Peter Reid's side threatened to pull off a famous victory. Butt struck with four minutes remaining following a poor clearance from a United free-kick. Until then, though, Niall Quinn had gone out of his way to prove that Sunderland were not a one-man Kevin Phillips band as the Wearsiders shocked the champions with two goals in an astonishing opening salvo. It took all of United's vast experience and some inspired play from skipper Roy Keane to keep Sir Alex Ferguson's men in the game, and how Quinn revelled in it. In the best game so far at the Stadium of Light, it took Sunderland only 75 seconds to lead through midfielder Gavin McCann. And it was no more than Peter Reid's men deserved when Quinn made it 2-0 inside 15 minutes. Such is Manchester United's pedigree, however, that they refused to fold, as Chelsea had done three weeks earlier, and inspired play from captain Keane saw the visitors fight back to reduce the arrears 18 minutes before the break. Such was the excitement in this thrill-a-minute game that more goals were always on the card because both sets of defences appeared to be enjoying their Christmas festivities. After Sunderland's 5-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday, manager Reid was looking for a similar response from the one they gave him after their 4-0 hammering at Chelsea on the opening day of the season. On that occasion the Wearsiders bounced back emphatically with a run of only one defeat in 11 games. But they could not have chosen a more difficult game to make amends than against a United side playing their final league game before flying to Brazil for the the World Club Championship. And while Ferguson was boosted by the return of Ryan Giggs after a bout of flu, as well as David Beckham following a slight hamstring injury, the home side were hit hard. Sunderland had to do without 19-goal Premiership leading goalscorer Phillips because of his hamstring injury. With Prime Minister Tony Blair in attendance, the 50th league meeting on Wearside between these two sides began in sensational style with Sunderland scoring immediately. Left-back Michael Gay crossed a speculative ball to the edge of the United penalty area, where Quinn and Jaap Stam challenged. The ball fell into the path of former Everton midfielder Gavin McCann, who finished superbly from eight yards, giving keeper Mark Bosnich no chance. Quinn, outstanding all season, then produced a brilliant knock-down in the seventh minute which should have resulted in a second Sunderland goal. But after the Republic of Ireland star's inch-perfect pass into the path of Paul Butler the central-defender blazed the ball over from 15 yards. United's frustrations soon boiled over and Stam was booked for a rash challenge on McCann. United battled their way back in to the game but were unable to put Thomas Sorensen's goal under any serious threat during those frenetic, opening minutes. However, the home side went further ahead - and Quinn had the majority of a record 42,026 sell-out crowd on their feet to celebrate his 13th-minute effort. Midfielder Stefan Schwarz broke down the left and crossed to the near post. Quinn, who had got in front of marker Mikael Silvestre, stuck his right boot out to lift the ball over Bosnich from 10 yards for his eighth goal of the season. Such was Sunderland's confidence that it took the champions 24 minutes to produce their first real threat. After powerful play down their left from hard-working skipper Roy Keane the ball found midfield partner Nicky Butt, whose 25-yard power drive flew straight at Sorensen. But Keane was not to be denied and he reduced the arrears in the 27th minute. Beckham found his skipper to his right and Keane struck a superb angled strike across the Sunderland keeper from 14 yards. There was no let up, Dwight Yorke, Keane and Andy Cole firing inches wide as the visitors piled on the pressure. And that pressure told in the dying minutes as Butt cashed in Sunderland (4-4-2): Soren-sen: Makin, Bould, Butler, Gray; Summerbee, McCann, Rae (Williams 61), Schwarz; Kilbane; Quinn. Booked: Rae, Makin, Schwarz. Goals: McCann 2, Quinn 13. Man Utd (4-4-2): Bosnich: Neville, Silvestre, Stam, Irwin (Sheringham 77); Beckham (Solskjaer 84), Butt, Keane, Giggs; Cole (PNeville 88), Yorke. Booked: Stam, Giggs. Goals: Keane 27, Butt 86. Ref: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees).
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