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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun 31 Oct 1999 12:49 GMT+00:00
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. UTD 3-1 VILLA - Carling match report
2. Teamtalk match report
3. FA should share flak in United Cup debacle
4. No keeping Keane now
5. Red rock Stam
6. Gregory: FERGIE SHOULD HAVE QUIT AFTER TREBLE
7. RIVALDO? I SAID NO AND DON'T REGRET IT - Edwards
8. NO PLAYER HAS HAD AS MUCH PRESSURE AS BECKHAM...NOT EVEN ME SAYS RYAN GIGGS
9. LESSON OF SIR MATT

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Barry Comment:
Cool win at OT incl. a clean sheet! :)
Reda more in todays news

WEB NEWS - www.redissue.co.uk  !NEW!

ECL 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

Group D                P W D L F A  PTS
Manchester United FC   5 3 1 1 7 3  10 
Olympique de Marseille 5 3 0 2 8 6   9 
SK Sturm Graz          5 2 0 3 4 10  6 
NK Croatia Zagreb      5 1 1 3 5 5   4 

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

************************

99/2000 fixtures/match reports are at
 http://www.red11.org/mufc/992000.htm

Mark Bosnich's Personal Details 
http://www.red11.org/mufc/bosnich.htm

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

MANCHESTER UNITED STATS v ALL teams on the Web
http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats.htm

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

*** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 30/10/99 ***

             Arsenal   0-0   Newcastle United      38,106
        Derby County   3-1   Chelsea               28,614
        Leeds United   1-0   West Ham United       40,190
      Leicester City   3-0   Sheffield Wednesday   19,046
   Manchester United   3-0   Aston Villa           55,211
       Middlesbrough   2-1   Everton               33,916
           Wimbledon   1-1   Southampton           15,754

*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 30/10/99 ***

Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  Leeds United         13  5  1  1  11   5   4  1  1  15  11   10   29
 2  Manchester United    13  5  2  0  22   6   3  1  2   9  13   12   27
 3  Arsenal              13  5  1  1  13   5   3  1  2   7   7    8   26
 4  Sunderland           12  4  2  0   8   2   3  1  2  13   8   11   24
 5  Leicester City       13  5  2  0  14   6   2  0  4   9  11    6   23
 6  Middlesbrough        13  4  0  3   8   8   3  0  3  10   9    1   21
 7  Tottenham Hotspur    11  4  0  2  15  11   2  2  1   5   4    5   20
 8  Chelsea              11  4  0  1  13   3   2  1  3   5   7    8   19
 9  Everton              13  3  3  0  15   7   2  0  5   7  13    2   18
10  Liverpool            12  3  0  3   6   5   2  3  1   7   6    2   18
11  Aston Villa          13  3  3  0   8   3   2  0  5   5  12   -2   18
12  West Ham United      12  4  1  0   7   3   1  1  5   5   8    1   17
13  Coventry City        12  3  0  3  11   8   0  4  2   5   7    1   13
14  Southampton          12  2  2  2  10  10   1  2  3   9  13   -4   13
15  Wimbledon            13  1  4  2  10  11   1  3  2   9  16   -8   13
16  Derby County         13  2  0  5   6  13   1  3  2   7   9   -9   12
17  Newcastle United     13  3  1  2  16   7   0  1  6   7  20   -4   11
18  Bradford City        11  1  2  2   5  10   2  0  4   4   7   -8   11
19  Watford              12  2  0  4   6   9   1  0  5   2   9  -10    9
20  Sheffield Wednesday  13  1  1  4   7   9   0  1  6   1  21  -22    5


*** FIXTURES ON 31/10/99 ***
       Coventry City  v  Watford
          Sunderland  v  Tottenham Hotspur

 NEXT MATCHES
---------------------------------------------------------------
30-OCT-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Aston Villa  (FA Premier League, HOME)
02-NOV-1999 [19:45] Manchester Utd. vs Sturm Graz  (UEFA Champions League, HOME)
06-NOV-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Leicester C  (FA Premier League, HOME)
20-NOV-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Derby C  (FA Premier League, AWAY)

*** TEAM RESULTS - MANCHESTER UNITED - 

UNITED Stats v All teams:
http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats/
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     -    16,480
25/09/99    Southampton              Home     D  3-3     1    55,249
29/09/99    Marseille                Home EC  W  2-1     -    54,276
 3/10/99    Chelsea                  Away PL  L  0-5     2    34,909
11/10/99    Sir Alex Testimonial     Home F   L  2-4  LEGENDS 54,842      
13/10/99    Aston Villa              Away WC3 L  0-3     -    33,815
16/10/99    Watford                  Home PL  W  4-1     2    55,188
19/10/99    Marseille                Away EC  L  0-1     -    57,745 
23/10/99    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     L  1-3     3    36,072
27/10/99    Croatia Zagreb           Away EC  W  2-1     -     ?
30/10/99    Aston Villa              Home     W  3-0     2    55,211

 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
 4/12/99    Everton                  Home PL   15.00
 8/12/99    ?     EC
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
****************************************************
 JAN 05-14  Brazil WTC [3-4 games]
----------------------------------------------------
06/01/2000  Necaxa (Mexico)          Neut WTC  16.00
08/01/2000  Vasco da Gama (Brazil)   Away WTC  16.00
11/01/2000  South Melbourne (Australia) N WTC  16.00
****************************************************
22/01/2000  Arsenal                  Home PL   15.00
 5/02/2000  Coventry City            Home PL   15.00
12/02/2000  Newcastle United         Away PL   15.00
26/02/2000  Wimbledon                Away PL   15.00
 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
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
24/05/2000  ?   EC Final

http://www.red11.org/mufc/match.htm

++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++


Click for the latest sound interviews from OT
UTD 3-1 VILLA - Carling match report Man United(2) 3 Aston Villa (0) 0 FT Scholes 30 Cole 45 Keane 65 England boss Kevin Keegan saw all he needed to know. He was an admiring spectator at Old Trafford as Manchester United completed a week that has seen them cruise back to form. There's no crisis at Old Trafford and Keegan saw that David Beckham is in the sort of form that can destroy the Scots next month. Beckham created mayhem with a brilliant display of wing craft on the right, as United gave Villa a lesson in chance-taking with a 3-0 win in the FA Carling Premiership. Villa had their moments, but their lack of killer punch in front of goal was cruelly punished by the champions. There were times when the invention and skills of Benito Carbone threatened to unhinge United, but they produced a thoroughly convincing display to end a run that had seen them take just five points from five Premiership games. Beckham was just magic, and on this form he can be the one reservoir of talent that could send Scotland spinning out of the Battle of Britain, and England off to Euro 2000. Back from Europe and with their Champions League future put right along with their form, United set about getting the domestic stuff back on the right tracks. They restored Mikael Silvestre to defence in place of Henning Berg, and for some while at the beginning of this clash, he looked anything but composed. Carbone produced early minutes of brilliance with backheels and nutmegs, plus a 25-yard shot that clipped the frame of the goal as Villa found far too much space in which to operate. Dion Dublin was clean through on the left, but criminally wasted the chance by driving his shot into the side-netting. George Boateng also got into the box unmolested but drove a shot over the angle. With Mark Bosnich getting all sorts of abuse from his former fans, United were knocked out of their stride, as the chances were arriving with regularity for Villa. But the key to trying to wrestle points from Old Trafford is not to waste your opportunities when you are on top, because you can be damned sure they won't come round a second time. Slowly United started to get their act together, or more accurately, David Beckham started to play in the style that Keegan must have been delighted to see with the games against the Scots just around the corner. Beckham's the best in Europe, maybe even the world, when he works his right flank like this. Villa, maybe dazzled by their own position on level terms, started to forget the defensive part of the job. Alan Thompson, who had been bottling up the space in front of full-back Gareth Barry, started to go walkabout, and that's all the encouragement Beckham needed to start to cruelly dismantle the England Under-21 youngster's game. The full range of crosses, dinks, chips and driven balls started to come in from Beckham's flank and United could have had a couple before Paul Scholes finally got his range. Scholes had missed from inside the six yard box, and seen a poor first touch - yes sometimes United stars are human - let him down when he was momentarily all alone in the six yard box. But that wasn't going to save Villa for long. After 24 minutes a regulation Beckham cross reached open space in front of David James, and Scholes raced in to power home the header. You knew then that Villa's fleeting chance of glory was gone. Ryan Giggs fired across goal, Dwight Yorke was equally wasteful, but in first half injury time Beckham was again the architect of the second. Denis Irwin got down the left and fired over a low cross that evaded everyone, until Beckham picked it up as he came in off the right flank. The England star went to the line and neatly laid the ball back for Andy Cole to clinically drill home past a helpless James. Villa went to the break knowing it could have been so different if they hadn't blown it when they had a measure of equality. But to their credit Villa didn't cave in after the break. Carbone was again their inspiration, but the wastefulness was just as evident. He got away behind United's defence and should have squared the ball to unmarked colleagues Lee Hendrie or Dublin. He opted to delay, looking for an angle himself, and Jaap Stam produced a saving tackle of ferocious power. But the little Italian wasn't put off, and was soon through again on Bosnich, this time his shot bouncing off the keeper and being cleared first by Roy Keane, and eventually by Neville,amid all sorts of panic. You just knew Villa would be punished again and it dutifully came after 65 minutes. Again Beckham supplied the initial ball from the right, Scholes helped it back and Keane blitzed a thunderous low shot from 20 yards that went past James at the speed of light. Barry got himself booked for hauling back Beckham a minute later, and Villa were now finished. Cole should have reacted quicker to a cross from substitute Solskjaer, and when Giggs charged down a clearance from his Welsh squad colleague Mark Delaney, before belting a good chance high over, you began to fear for Villa. ``Outclassed by the champions,'' roared Old Trafford's fans, just as arrogant as their team. But they were right. Man United: Bosnich, Irwin, Stam, Silvestre, Neville, Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs (Cruyff, 79), Cole (Wilson, 79), Yorke (Solskjaer, 66). Subs not used: Van Der Gouw, Berg. Aston Villa: James, Delaney, Calderwood, Southgate, Barry, Boateng (Stone, 55), Hendrie, Taylor, Thompson (Wright, 72), Dublin, Carbone (Merson, 76). Subs not used: Watson, Enckelman. Booked: Barry. Attendance: 55,211.
Click for the latest pics from OT
Teamtalk match report MAN UTD 3 v 0 ASTON VILLA Scholes 30 Cole 45 Keane 65 Beckham shines as Reds sink Villa Goals from Paul Scholes, Andy Cole and skipper Roy Keane secured Manchester United a comfortable 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Benito Carbone came close to breaking the deadlock after a bright, encouraging start from the visitors. The diminutive Italian profited from Silvestre slipping in front of goal before unleashing a venomous shot that clipped the bar. George Boateng also shot wide in an anxious opening phase for the treble-winners. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson recalled Mickael Silvestre, ineligible for Croatia Zagreb, at the expense of Henning Berg who was dropped to the bench, while Mark Bosnich faced his old club. David Beckham played his last game before serving a one-match ban one in Europe and one domestic. Aston Villa manager John Gregory again had to make do with defender Ugo Ehiogu and striker Julian Joachim, while Benito Carbone partnered Dion Dublin up front Otherwise, Gregory named the same side that drew with Wimbledon at Villa Park last weekend United's first telling opportunity fell to Paul Scholes, but the midfielder's control let him down in front of goal and from the resulting break an unmarked Dion Dublin squandered a golden opportunity to put Villa in front, shooting wide from a good angle. Scholes made amends for that earlier miss with a goal on the half-hour mark after some delightful wing play from David Beckham. With time and space Beckham delivered a trademark cross from the right and Scholes reacted before a somewhat static Villa rearguard to touch home from close range. Beckham was again the creator right on the stroke of half-time as United deservedly doubled their lead The England international cut to the byline before squaring a ball back for the on-rushing Andy Cole who calmly slotted home. Carbone - evidently Villa's most inventive attacking option - against tested Mark Bosnich after internal with a clever overhead kick after 52 minutes. He then took up space between Jaap Stam and Silvestre, turned into space in the box and fired a low drive that Bosnich held at full stretch. But the Villa striker was clearly at fault deep into the second-half when Villa should have halved the deficit. He again found space in the United penalty area but, with Lee Hendrie in space, delayed his pass long enough for Stam to intervene and send the Italian crashing to the floor. United effectively killed the match as a contest in the 65th minute when skipper Roy Keane slammed home the third. David Beckham's inviting cross was met by Paul Scholes whose clever cut-back was slammed home through a crowd of players by the Republic of Ireland international.
Click for the latest sound interviews from OT
FA should share flak in United Cup debacle Sunday October 31, 1999 By the time the Football Association's deadline for Manchester United to rejoin the FA Cup passed during the week, leaving the holders open to accusations of selling their souls and our heritage for a sum not unadjacent to £3.75m, it was easy to forget this was the same Football Association who had precipitated the whole sorry episode by overstating the importance of the World Club Championship and suggesting a way to lighten the domestic fixture overload. In the face of predictable and wholly justified public protest, the guardians of the game whose name appears on English football's most famous trophy have backtracked to the extent that David Davies is now saying the FA have always wanted United to compete in Brazil and the FA Cup. That was not the FA position at the start of this story, otherwise not even the Red Devils would have been daring enough to ditch a last tilt at the twin towers in favour of a money-spinner against South Melbourne. United can hardly be blamed for wanting to cash in on their treble triumph of last season, the cash-generating machine that is Old Trafford did not achieve its present pre-eminence by turning its nose up at business opportunities, but practically being handed the air tickets to Brazil in the name of patriotic duty must have come as a surprise. The club would almost certainly have settled for a lesser concession like a dispensation to field a weakened side or play a round late, the sort of compromises the FA were later urging Martin Edwards and company to accept, in fact, but the way the FA told it at the time any obstacles placed in United's path might trip up England's bid to stage the 2006 World Cup. Funny how seldom this was mentioned last week, when Fifa's team of inspectors was assessing England's merits. Great stadiums, everyone agreed. Great passion too. Now don't forget to be at the World Club Championship or we might have to ignore all this completely? Don't think so. England's 2006 hopes rest, as they always did, on Uefa's position regarding Germany and the security situation in South Africa. The FA made themselves look slightly ridiculous by ushering Manchester United out to Brazil for the most transparently tawdry of reasons, and when the tittering stopped the guffawing started at the damage done to the FA's own competition. United were under no obligation to spare the FA's blushes by compromising themselves, the one consideration that might have prompted a late rethink was that as this season's FA Cup unfolds they will increasingly be portrayed as the villains of the peace. They will have to live with that, and maybe they deserve to, but the FA should not be allowed to reclaim the moral high ground so easily. The fact that an asterisk will accompany the 1999-2000 FA Cup season in record books of the new millennium is bad enough. It will be worse if it simply says Manchester United did not take part. What it should explain - for as David Davies keeps saying there is a need to be fair to everyone - is that this was the season Manchester United were persuaded not taking part would be a good idea.
Click to vote in this week's survey!
No keeping Keane now By Peter Fitton EXCLUSIVE: Roy Keane will open talks in January over the move to Italy that will make him a fortune. And Manchester United will not brandish the cheque book to stop him. Keane has rejected a £35,000-a-week offer to stay at Old Trafford and United chief executive Martin Edwards warned last night: 'There will be no new moves from us.' That is the signal for the 28-year-old Irishman, who scored in United's 3-0 victory over Aston Villa yesterday, to take the momentous decision to launch transfer negotiations with Italy's big three, Juventus, Inter Milan and Lazio. They declared their interest in the Old Trafford skipper when he rejected United's new contract at the start of the season. Since then European football's heaviest investors have been poised for a multi-million pound scramble over his signature. Now Keane and his advisor, lawyer Michael Kennedy, have delivered the verdict in a 61-day countdown to the date when the United star is free to start negotiating over his future. >From January 1 Keane can sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs, while playing for United until next summer. And in June the man recognised by manager Sir Alex Ferguson as football's most valuable midfield warrior can leave for nothing under the Bosman ruling. United's paymasters were expected to re-open talks to avoid the wrath of shareholders and fans at the club's annual meeting on November 18. But last night Edwards, who failed to manoeuvre a breakthrough in a series of contract talks four months ago, said: 'I would rather have Roy under contract here for the next four years or so at this stage. 'He knows he can still come in and talk to us about his contract at any time.' Keane is happy with family life in Manchester, reluctant to quit his favourite team and accepts United made him a 'generous offer' when they tried to secure him for life last summer. But he is concerned over what could happen to the world's richest club when Ferguson retires in 2002. Keane believes the time is right for a new and highly rewarding career abroad. In Serie A he could collect at least £60,000 a week tax-paid, with more on offer from promotional deals. As well as the Italians, top clubs in Germany, Spain and France have been monitoring developments and are primed to make bids. But if Keane decides to leave United next summer, Juventus and Inter remain the favourites for his signature.
Click for the latest pics from OT
Red rock Stam By STUART MATHIESON United stalwart Jaap Stam JAAP Stam is playing through the pain barrier for Manchester United with Achilles trouble. The big Dutchman is another of the Reds' who've had to grit their teeth and play on during the Old Trafford casualty crisis this season. Paul Scholes is soldiering on despite needing a hernia operation. Nicky Butt suffered with the same complaint from the start of the season before taking advantage of a three-match ban and having surgery 10 days ago. Now ever-present Stam reveals the Achilles problem which surfaced towards the end of his United debut campaign in last year's treble season is still lingering. ``The Achilles injury is still there,'' he says. ``It is a bit worse than it was early on. ``I can play with it no problem but it is not pain free like the beginning of the season. I have to take full advantage of rests whenever I can and have treatment before every game on it. ``It's there in the background but if it stays like this then it will be fine. I'm not doing any lasting damage to it.'' Stam missed two Premiership matches last spring with Achilles trouble. With the Champions League final against Bayern Munich looming in May he was was forced to pull out of United's championship clincher against Spurs and then was kept under wraps in the FA Cup final before having a brief Wembley run out as sub. With David May already on Sir Alex Ferguson's team sheet for a senior outing for the meaningless match against Sturm Graz at Old Trafford on Tuesday the Reds' boss may offer Stam the chance of a break. Meanwhile, United were today attempting not to slip further down the title pecking order in the premiership against Aston Villa. Heavy away defeats against Chelsea and Spurs have sent the one-time leaders slipping to fourth ibut still only two points behind table toppers Leeds. United have dropped ten points in the last five matches and Fergie is anxious to stay in touch up to the New Year. ``The important thing is to to be in and around the top spot and within a point or two of everyone else up to the end of December,'' he says. ``It doesn't matter of you are not top as long as you are in there in a position to challenge. We always feel that in the second half of the season we will do better. Historically that has been the case in the last eight or nine years. We are geared to that. ``I hope the relief of getting through the European group will now show. It hasn't been an easy group in the sense that there have been some surprises and teams setting out their stall to stop us.''
Click for the latest pics from OT
Gregory: FERGIE SHOULD HAVE QUIT AFTER TREBLE Gregory: "That is what I would have done" SIR ALEX Ferguson was last night told he should have quit as Manchester United boss after winning the Treble. The blunt message to the multi-millionaire Old Trafford supremo was delivered by Aston Villa manager John Gregory, whose team face the title-holders at Old Trafford today. Outspoken Gregory can expect a furious backlash following his controversial statement, with Sir Alex certain to want to stuff the words back down his rival's throat. Gregory, who has already attracted attention this season by waging a verbal war against referees, declared: "I'm surprised Sir Alex did not walk away from United during the summer - I would have done in his shoes. "I expected Sir Alex to finish in June because it was always going to be such a difficult task to repeat the success United enjoyed by taking the championship, the FA Cup and the European Cup. "Eric Cantona quit after achieving the double with United. Peter Schmeichel waved goodbye when that fabulous Treble was in the bag. They probably reasoned that there was nowhere else to go in soccer terms. When you have swept the board, what else is there to do? "I think Bob Geldof wrote a book after organising Live Aid called 'Follow That', which meant 'what can I do now, I can't top that' and it's similar with United. I bet a few of their players wished it had been their last season because it can't get any better - except to win the Worthington Cup! "That's why I thought Sir Alex, who has been the best manager in the country for a number of years, would go." Gregory emphasised: "Sir Alex and his side are still the ones everybody in this country is attempting to emulate and I would never wish to criticise what has happened at United. "Sir Alex is the best manager in the country and deserves every single accolade which comes his way. We all have to live up to his sky-high standards and that is very hard. How hard, we might found out on Saturday!" However, Gregory's warning that Sir Alex could find himself playing with fire underlines one or two cracks starting to appear at Old Trafford. There are clearly tensions between Old Trafford chairman Martin Edwards and his 58-year-old team boss, who raked in pounds 1million from a recent testimonial and is expected to bank a similar figure from book sales. Edwards has hinted that Sir Alex may be denied his ambition to move into the boardroom when his current contract expires in 2002 and Gregory admitted: "He will be such a hard act to follow for United's next boss."
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RIVALDO I SAID NO AND DON'T REGRET IT - Edwards Fergie was also overruled on Bati and Desailly Piers Morgan's interview with Manchester United Chairman Martin Edwards. THE relationship between Edwards, and his Treble-winning manager Sir Alex Ferguson was called into question when Ferguson made a series of claims that his transfer ambitions were being held back by the club's financial strategy. Here, Edwards spells out what he thinks of their relationship. Q: By any yardstick you've had a fabulous and successful period as chairman, and yet the view always comes back that Alex is the football hero and it's all down to him and you're the menacing figure in the background. How much of that is true? How do you and Alex get on? A: It emanates from Alex's book. In it he says that he always had trouble with me. Now if you think about it, every manager wants great players for a certain figure and the best deal for himself. And as a proprietor of a business you're going to say there's bound to be negotiation. Alex's value of his own worth might be more than mine, but when you negotiate with your boss you're always going to think you're actually worth a little bit more than you actually get. That's a fact of life. Football managers aren't interested in public companies really. They're interested in how much money there is to go out and buy the next player so that you've got a good strong side. I understand that, so I don't blame him for that. But on the other hand I've got a job to do, and I am the chairman of a major plc. So I also have to run the business and be sensible and make sure it makes a profit and also satisfy shareholders as well as supporters and everybody else. Q: If I wrote a book and was openly critical of my boss I would expect to be fired. You just seem to openly accept it. A: Well, what can I do? Q: Does it annoy you though? A: I would prefer that he hadn't written that, because actually I think it won't do Alex Ferguson any good. Q: How would you describe your relationship? A: I would describe it as a professional working relationship. Q: Do you socialise together? A: No. But then I don't socialise with any other of my executive directors. I don't socialise with the people I work with as I don't think it's a good thing. I don't treat Alex any differently from the others. Q: Do you think he had a point when he said he ought to be the highest paid Premiership manager? A: Alex Ferguson WAS the highest paid Premiership manager in '96, which is the period he refers to in the book. Q: Do you think you've always personally valued him correctly? A: Well we didn't agree when we tried to negotiate his contract between us, so now I don't deal with Alex's package. That's done between the chairman of the plc and the remuneration committee, so I now don't have that conflict with him. Q: So you only have conflict about buying players? A: Yes. Q: And how often does that arise as a conflict? A: Not very often, because at the end of the day Alex can ask for something and if the board say 'no' it's not me that's saying 'no'. It's the board. I don't decide. I don't have the authority to say 'yes' or 'no'. Q: If you and Alex agreed though, it would happen, wouldn't it? A: Yes, it would some way, that's right. Q: How often have you actually said 'no'? A: Over 15 years, just four or five times. Q: Have you ever regretted it? A: No. Q: Who were they? A. Rivaldo, Batistuta and Desailly were three I remember. Q: Was it about personal terms with these guys? A: No, a combination. Rivaldo was a combination because we're not going to get him for less than pounds 20million and then you add the personal terms of say pounds 27million to whatever you pay and you end up paying pounds 8million a year or something crazy. Q: Does Alex just want to play and you guys sort it out? A: I think that's fair. I mean Alex would argue that that's his job, to make the team successful. Q: How annoyed does he get when he can't get the players he wants? A: Oh, he's okay. I think he realises you can't have everything. Q: Alex's book fuelled fire that you're obsessed with money. Clearly you've made yourself very wealthy from the club, so do you think his comments were beneficial to the way you are perceived? A: I'm sure they probably haven't, because at the end of the day Alex is making money out of football, too. Q: Do you ever think you'd better be careful with money? A: Well I don't think I do anything improper, you see. Whatever personal gain I've had in football has never been damaging to the club. The fact that the shares have gone up is incidental to me running the business, isn't it? It's a very nice bonus for the hard work and effort that's gone in. But if I didn't benefit, that money would be going to the institutions. Q: But you've tried to sell the club three times - to Robert Maxwell, Michael Knighton and Rupert Murdoch. A: That's not true. I never ever tried to sell the club. Under the right circumstances of course I would, because that is my responsibility to the club. But people have actively come to me. I never came close to selling the club to Robert Maxwell. I arranged to meet him as you would do with anybody just to hear what he had to say. We never came close to selling. Robert Maxwell approached me. As for Michael Knighton, the only reason I considered him was because at the time we hadn't got any money in the bank and we knew we had to build a new stand that was going to cost pounds 10 million. The deal with Knighton made it clear that he had to build the stand - I thought that if he did, that was the right thing for the club. Q: What about Sky? A: I still believe the Sky thing would have been the answer to a lot of the current supporters' grievances, because I believe with Sky's backing Man U would have gone onto another planet. We could buy people like Rivaldo with loose change. Q: So you believe you have to be prepared to sell Manchester United if it's in the best interests of the club? A: Yes. But what I've done is relinquish some shares because I never want to be in that position again. Now nobody's going to approach me direct because I'm not in that position anymore of holding a huge stake. In fact, at the end of the day it's not what Martin Edwards says now - it's what the board accept. So if the board thought any approach was the right deal they would recommend it. And if they didn't they wouldn't. Q: When you hear people saying you are greedy, how do you feel? A: Well, there's nothing I can do about it. ++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++ NO PLAYER HAS HAD AS MUCH PRESSURE AS BECKHAM...NOT EVEN ME SAYS RYAN GIGGS TALK to Manchester United's players about pressure, and they will simply shrug and say it goes with the territory. Mention David Beckham, though, and you will get an impression of a dodgy plumber looking at your central heating - sharp intake of breath, long shake of the head, roll of the eyes, all that sort of thing. Beckham, now that is different, they say. Ryan Giggs knows a thing or two about pressure. The United winger has been there, done it, and his club's financial people have sold the T-shirt. Giggs was the biggest thing since George Best - a dashing winger with dark, brooding looks and an incredible skill to match. And, like Best, there were a string of celebrity girlfriends and glamorous parties. Yet mention Beckham to him, and he will give you that look. "I don't think any player anywhere has had the pressure that Becks has had - he has been under so much lately, it's frightening," said Giggs. "I know a thing or two about it. I was under the spotlight when I came into the United side, but I think Becks has had far more pressure than I had. "He's had that World Cup escapade, and then last season going to every away game and getting all that hate - he's a target wherever we play. "And people seem to want to know all about his private life, too. He's been under a hell of a lot of scrutiny lately. Even the FA had a chat with him." If anyone knows what Beckham is going through, then it is his team-mate Giggs. They are probably the two most glamorous footballers in Britain at the moment, pin-ups for a million pubescent girls and spotty young boys. And yet amid all this adulation and hate, they have a job to do. They must play football, blank their minds and put their bodies on the line everyweek. When Giggs talks about the pressure, he has a a serious point to make. It is not whingeing, it is not making excuses for his team-mate - it is merely illustrating his point. The Welshman was speaking after United had qualified for the next phase of the Champions League, taking on a hostile Zagreb crowd and silencing them with an impressive controlled display. Beckham was a target for the crowd, even Croatia apparently grasping the cult of the blond boy with the muscular good looks, and jeering his every touch. There was hate spilling down from the terraces in Zagreb on Wednesday, yet Beckham not only handled it, but scored a fine free-kick to silence it. And that was the point Giggs was making. No matter how much bile is produced, how much hate is directed his way, Beckham can produce the goods on the pitch. "It is frightening the attention he gets from opposition fans, but it doesn't bother Becks one bit," said Giggs. "Last season, he responded by playing the best football of his life, and he has been magnificent again this season. The way he responds is incredible. He's the best in the world at what he does. And he seems to thrive on the hassle. "If he keeps getting hassle like he does, I'm sure he will continue to react the same way and let his football do the talking. "Nothing bothers him. He handles it so well, because he is the kind of character who is strong and determined, and he is so confident in his footballing ability. He gets on with it. He gets all the hate and he just lets his ability answer all the questions. "Against Zagreb it was just another game for him. He has scored another goal and made it look easy. "But it was a hell of a goal - it's his speciality, and yet he can make it look ordinary." Beckham has had his scrapes this season, the FA calling him to Lancaster Gate just to remind him that, as a target for every opposition fan the length and breadth of Europe, he has to be very careful with his every gesture. Again, it is confirmation that Beckham is different from other footballers. Even the sport's governing body recognises the phenomenon, and is keen to throw in some advice. At United, the midfielder's team-mates have just one piece of advice: keep doing what you do best. That sentiment was expressed not only by Giggs after Wednesday night, but by big, brash Jaap Stam. The towering Dutch centre-half is hardly the sentimental or sympathetic type. Ask him about pressure, and he says you shouldn't be at Manchester United if you can't handle it. But even Stam accepts that Beckham is different. "Everyone at Old Trafford can perform under pressure - that's why we're all here. But David gets more than the rest of us," he said. "Wherever he goes, people yell at him, and do stupid things towards him, having a go all the time. But he copes so incredibly well with that. "We know just how strong a character he is, and we admire how well he does under the pressure. Unless you see it like we do, it is hard to imagine just how bad it is. But it doesn't bother him. "He knows it, he expects it, and he handles it. Not only against Zagreb, but all season - and all last season - he has proved himself. And he will continue to be himself." Every United player knows Beckham will thrive on the pressure. But what they can't understand is why he inspires so much hate from the fans on the terraces. It was there in Zagreb, and it will be there this afternoon when Aston Villa visit Old Trafford, the visiting fans no doubt booing every time he goes near the ball. It goes with the territory, of course, but there is a feeling among Beckham's team-mates at Old Trafford that he should be appreciated just a little more. Dwight Yorke knows all about Beckham's talents. And he is at a loss to explain why they inspire so much hate. "You would think that with the quality Becks has, people would back him a little more," said Yorke. "I know that some fans just want to bring you down when you are successful. But given what he does for English football, people should treat him better. "You can bet that the same people who boo him will be cheering if he scores for England against Scotland. They should back his quality more." In a way they do, of course, because every boo, every insult, is a testimony to the fear that Beckham generates in opposition fans - a bizarre tribute to his fine talent. ++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++ LESSON OF SIR MATT SIR ALEX Ferguson has admitted that he will be glad to shed the burden of managing Manchester United, and that he will not add to the troubles of the next boss. "In Sir Matt Busby's era the pressure of the media was nothing like it is today," said Ferguson in United fanzine Red Issue. "In two years' time I'll be glad to get rid of that pressure. When Sir Matt was made general manager, he was a thorn for the forthcoming managers. "I would hope to stay here in a capacity that would not interfere with the next manager, because I don't want to do that. "There are some things I'm in control of, but that is not one of them. "Nobody has ever said to me that there is a job here after you've finished. "Nobody's ever promised me that. I've got no guarantees. "My hope is that there is a role away from the pressure. "There's no way I'll go on to manage another club." The full interview with Ferguson can be found on www.redissue.co.uk or in the new Red Issue. ++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++

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