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The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Mon Dec 14 09:56:22 GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. BBC Report: Campbell double foils United 
2. Personal Reports from Mick & Richard: You've only got 12 men !
3. BBC - Inquiry chief reassures Man Utd fans 
4. Tottenham 2 Manchester Utd 2   365 report
8. Fergie fit to change record By Gordon Strachan 
9. United top fine week by going top of the league 
10. FA may bring forward Cup's big day 
11. Kidd update: Keen On £4m Ward


Daily RED Trivia  Mon 14th December 1998:

14/12/1967: Billy Boyd died in Bristol. Boyd joined United from Sheffield United and
 made his debut at Swansea Town in February 1935. A consistent marksman during
 his career, he scored 4 in 6 outings during 1935, signing off with all three in a 3-0
 win against Hull City. He was capped twice by Scotland in 1931.

1985: United win 3-1 at Aston Villa in a Division 1 game watched by 27,626, with
 goals from Clayton Blackmore, Mark Hughes and Gordon Strachan. Team was:
 Turner, Gidman, C.Gibson, Whiteside, McGrath, Garton, Blackmore, Strachan,
 Hughes, Stapleton (Brazil), Olsen.


Barry Daily Comment:

Just back in from London and White Hart Lane.....mu personal diary tomorrow!
Bill McArthur is now in Manchester until Thursday and will be attending
Chelsea at OT. You can meet him in the Throstles Nest before the game if you are going.
Have a RED day!

Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio

Remaining 1998 games: 

ALL Result/Fixture Index:

Wed 16/12 Chelsea       (H) PL sky sports time 20.00
Sat 19/12 Middlesbrough (H) PL 15.00
Sat 26/12 Nottm Forest  (H) PL 15.00
Tue 29/12 Chelsea       (A) PL sky sports time 19.45 UK

UNITED Stats v Chelsea:


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/08/98    Leicester City           Home     D  2-2    11    55,052
22/08/98    West Ham United          Away     D  0-0    11    26,039
09/09/98    Charlton Athletic        Home     W  4-1     9    55,147
12/09/98    Coventry City            Home     W  2-0     5    55,193
20/09/98    Arsenal                  Away     L  0-3    10    38,142
24/09/98    Liverpool                Home     W  2-0     3    55,181
03/10/98    Southampton              Away     W  3-0     2    15,251
17/10/98    Wimbledon                Home     W  5-1     2    55,265
24/10/98    Derby County             Away     D  1-1     2    30,867
31/10/98    Everton                  Away     W  4-1     2    40,079
08/11/98    Newcastle United         Home     D  0-0     3    55,174
14/11/98    Blackburn Rovers         Home     W  3-2     2    55,198
21/11/98    Sheffield Wednesday      Away     L  1-3     2    39,475
29/11/98    Leeds                    Home     W  3-2     2    55,172
05/12/98    Aston Villa              Away     D  1-1     2    39,241
12/12/98    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     D  2-2     1    36,079

Champions League:3
Group D         P  W  D  L  F  A   Pts
Bayern Munich   6  3  2  1  9  6  11   
Man United      6  2  4  0 20 11  10
Barcelona       6  2  2  2 11  9   8    
Brondby         6  1  0  5  4 18   3   

Sep 16 Brøndby         2-1 Bayern München
Sep 16 Man Utd         3-3 Barcelona
Sep 30 Barcelona       2-0 Brøndby
Sep 30 Bayern Munich   2-2 Man Utd
Oct 21 Brøndby         2-6 Man Utd
Oct 21 Bayern Munich   1-0 Barcelona 
Nov  4 Barcelona       1-2 Bayern Munich
Nov  4 Man Utd         5-0 Brøndby
Nov 25 Barcelona       3-3 Man Utd
Nov 25 Bayern Munich   2-0 Brøndby
Dec  9 Brøndby         0-2  Barcelona
Dec  9 Man Utd         1-1  Bayern Munich



    Blackburn Rovers   0-0   Newcastle United      27,569
        Derby County   2-2   Chelsea               29,056
             Everton   1-0   Southampton           32,073
      Leicester City   3-1   Nottingham Forest     20,891
       Middlesbrough   1-0   West Ham United       34,623
 Sheffield Wednesday   3-0   Charlton Athletic     26,010
   Tottenham Hotspur   2-2   Manchester United     36,079

*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 12/12/98 ***

Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    16  6  2  0  21   8   2  4  2  12  11   14   30
 2  Aston Villa          16  5  2  1  14   9   3  4  1  10   6    9   30
 3  Chelsea              16  5  3  0  13   5   2  5  1  13  11   10   29
 4  Middlesbrough        17  4  5  0  15   7   2  4  2  12  12    8   27
 5  Leeds United         16  5  2  1  14   3   1  6  1  12  11   12   26
 6  Arsenal              16  4  4  0  11   3   2  4  2   4   4    8   26
 7  West Ham United      17  4  3  1  12   9   3  2  4   8  12   -1   26
 8  Leicester City       17  5  2  2  14   9   1  4  3   7  10    2   24
 9  Derby County         17  2  5  2   8   8   3  3  2   9   8    1   23
10  Tottenham Hotspur    17  4  3  2  15  15   2  2  4   8  11   -3   23
11  Wimbledon            16  4  3  1  13   9   2  2  4   8  17   -5   23
12  Liverpool            16  3  3  2  15  10   3  1  4  12  11    6   22
13  Sheffield Wednesday  17  5  2  2  13   5   1  2  5   7  12    3   22
14  Everton              17  2  5  2   3   5   3  2  3   8  10   -4   22
15  Newcastle United     17  4  2  2  13  10   1  4  4   8  11    0   21
16  Charlton Athletic    17  2  3  2  13   8   1  4  5   9  19   -5   16
17  Coventry City        16  3  2  3   9  10   1  1  6   5  13   -9   15
18  Blackburn Rovers     17  3  2  4  10  10   0  2  6   5  14   -9   13
19  Nottingham Forest    17  1  4  3   6   9   1  1  7   9  21  -15   11
20  Southampton          17  1  2  5   9  17   1  2  6   3  17  -22   10


"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: BBC Report: Campbell double foils United Tottenham 2-2 Manchester United Spurs secured an important point after two set-piece goals from captain Sol Campbell saw them secure a point draw against 10-man United at White Hart Lane. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had put United ahead with two goals in the first quarter - before Nicky Butt was sent off for a second bookable offence. Spurs secured the first chance of the match, however, after a disastrous back pass from David Beckham. It left Chris Armstrong with two chances to beat Peter Schmeichel but he failed to find the necessary curl to hit the back of the net. In an exhaustive opening 10 minutes, Spurs undoubtedly had the better of the play and when Schmeichel fumbled a high ball it looked as if the home fans were about to be rewarded with an early goal. Quick break: But a quick thinking clearance from Gary Neville found Ryan Giggs breaking fast upfield and with the Spurs defence looking depleted, United took their chance. An inch-perfect cross from Beckham, headed on by Giggs was saved superbly by Ian Walker - but he could do nothing about Solskjaer's chip into the back of the net. The goal clearly shocked Tottenham, who lost momentum in midfield with Beckham and Nicky Butt relishing the open spaces. And when Beckham again found himself with time and room on the right-hand side the second goal was never in doubt. Again he found Solskjaer - this time at the near post - with the Norwegian heading in for his fifth goal in four league games against Spurs. United's only danger in the first quarter seemed to come from within - with Schmeichel fumbling yet another cross before failing to grasp a relatively straight-forward shot from Luke Young. But if Schmeichel's failings were uncovered early on then so too were Tottenham's. Defensively the home side were a shambles with Beckham, Giggs and Roy Keane all given room to flourish. But with only minutes to go to the break United lost Gary Neville for a second rash challenge on David Ginola - leaving the home side with at least a glimpse of hope going into the second-half. Campbell finds form The home side started with more purpose after half-time, but were still unable to penetrate United's defence. Indeed, they were lucky not to move 3-0 down when Jaap Stam broke free on the right of midfield and fired a superb shot across the face of Walker's goal. Shortly after, Beckham was yellow-carded for feet up in a tackle and Ronny Johnson provided United's sixth bookable offence when he answered back to the referee. It proved to be a blessing for Spurs, who brought it back to 2-1 with the ensuing free-kick. Anderton's cross was met high in the penalty area by Campbell who headed it inches over Schmeichel's arms. The goal seemed to inspire Tottenham who began playing a much more fluid game. And when Alan Nielsen fired his five-yard shot straight at Schmeichel in the 70th minute it was obvious that Spurs could sense the game was far from over. The final quarter was undoubtedly all Tottenham, with United defending stoutly inside their own half. But the pressure paid off when seconds into injury time Carr was tripped by Jesper Blomqvist. The equaliser proved almost identical to Tottenham's first, with Anderton crossing and Campbell heading into the bottom of the net to earn Spurs a valuable point. Teams: Tottenham: Walker, Carr, Nielsen, Fox, Anderton, Ferdinand, Armstrong, Ginola, Sinton, Campbell, Young. Subs: Baardsen, Calderwood, Dominguez, Allen, Clemence. Man Utd: Schmeichel, G. Neville, Johnsen, Stam, Beckham, Butt, Sheringham, Giggs, P. Neville, Keane, Solskjaer. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Cole, Cruyff, Blomqvist, Berg.
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: Personal Reports from Mick & Richard: You've only got 12 men ! - You've only got 12 men ! Apologies to those in far flung places who rely on and enjoy the match reports from those lucky enough to see Utd play - I'm feeling very angry still this morning and trying hard not to sound to much like a bitter blue. Selfish I know, but thats the way it is. Spurs is always a good piss up and a is another good opportunity to wind up some of the capitals most loyal fans :))))) (biggest gate for spurs again). Not since the days of Courtney at Anfield have I seen such a disgracefully poor and biased refereeing performance as that by Rennie yesterday - folks will blame the fancy dan Ginola for getting a string of Utd players booked and Gary sent off for his diving and blatant cheating (why he does it I know not - what with the talent he has, and he is a skillful player - he just does not need to blatantly cheat in order to punish others) - but Rennie saw nothing in anything that Spurs would do, but book Utd players and award free kicks for less offenses. Gary received 2 yellow cards - the first for nothing (MOTD did not even show this), the 2nd Ginola beat him for pace and went down like a sack of spuds - many claim that Gary pulled him down, I have watched and rewatched the offense on video - Ginola took Neville down with a piece of crafty cheating - watch the offense and you will see that Ginolas legs go before any sign of his top body being interfered with. Butt was booked for Ginola falling over his own boot laces - although it looked like a lone sniper had taken a pot shot from the grassy knoll ! Becks was booked for chasing a ball in an aggressive manner and winning it - the ball hit sinton who had also been shot and spent the next 20 seconds playing dead. Teddy was booked for laughing at another crazy decision by Rennie Ronnie was booked for dissent after throwing his arms in the air. He had won the ball from Ginola, who again took a tumble and got a free kick - that free kick resulted in the 1st Spurs goal. Phills booking was deserved after a rash challenge. Dissent bookings for Ronnie and Teddy can only be justified if the Referee applies the law consistently - in the first half Gary Neville tackled Ginola (who fell to the ground and rolled several times) and put the ball out for a throw in - Ginola incensed that he had not cheated a free kick, chased Rennie across the pitch waving his arms like a madman - is this not dissent ???? Rennie missed any Spurs offense, thought he saw a plethora of Utd's and chucked some extra misdemeanors in for desert. His linesmen (ah ha - assistants) may have well been cardboard cut outs for all they did and did not see. Needless to say Utd's following support responded in only the way they know how. All the faves came out - what a friend we have in Jesus, From the banks, forever & ever, Red Flag, Kippax street, pride of all Europe + a few others - You're the worst f**king ref we've ever seen, you've only got 12 men - But the most emotional and hair raising moment came as we all sang the 12 days of Cantona - half the reds sang right up to number eleven and then the whole stand arose and went mental for the last verse followed by a good minute of United, united, united........ The Spurs fans shit themselves, the red army was back in town and didn't they know it. As for the Utd performance - the old clique a game of two halves comes to mind - the extra man of course did make a difference in the second half, but Utd were unstoppable in the first. Superb defending and classic counter attacks (without some obvious 1st team choice players) warmed the cockles. If I had to look for a man of the match Stam played another solid game, Keane was as influential as ever - but I would give it to Ronnie who looked great in the center with Jaap, and got his head down and worked hard as a right back once Gary went. Oh and it pissed down all the way back to seven sisters tube........ Mick. ************** Personal Report From: Richard Rennie & Ginola I write this the morning after the game because,quite frankly,I couldn't contain my anger last night after leaving White Hart Lane and would probably have written things that I wouldn't have been very proud of this morning.Believe me,I certainly said them at the time,as did 2500 other around me. That said,I still feel VERY pissed off this morning at the complete incompetence of Uriah Rennie and the blatant cheating of David Ginola. In my 27 years of watching United,except for seeing first hand the performance of a corrupt Swiss referee in the first away game against Galatasaray in 1993,I CANNOT think of any refereeing performance that was so bad.The rule book says that diving is a bookable offence.Do it two or more times and you're off.Rennie NEVER even spoke to him,despite actually waving play on in at least 3 separate occasions when Ginola took a dive. I thought I'd catch MOTD this morning,fully expecting to see this game as the main one and the two so-called footballing pundits,Lawrenson & Hanson,holding nothing back and slating Ginola for what he is,a cheat.Instead,what do we get ? 5 minutes of nothing.Not even one controversial moment analysed (and there were many to choose from).Once again,the scouse-loving,United-hating BBC decide to completely ignore the facts and brush everything that happened under the carpets.Can you imagine what a field day they would have had if the game had been at OT,it had been Beckham who was diving all over the place and the referee was a "homer" to us ? Finally,two messages to the guilty parties: To Uriah Rennie,a referee that I USED to respect,you are a disgrace to your profession and I hope for your sake that you are NEVER allowed to officiate a United game again.No doubt,of course,Kelly and his wank cronies at the FA/PL will be pencilling him in for as many United games as possible in the future now. And to David Ginola,a player with great footballing skills that I USED to respect,you are a cheat,nothing more,nothing less.There has only ever been one class French football player in this country and you're not even fit to lick his boots.Never has "The 12 Days Of Cantona" been sung with more pride and passion than it was yesterday.I hope you heard it loud and clear,cheat. -- Richard
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: BBC - Inquiry chief reassures Man Utd fans Supporters say the deal would harm the club The head of the official inquiry into BSkyB's planned £623m takeover of Manchester United has told fans there is no "done deal". Monopolies and Mergers Commission officials have been meeting fans' groups in Manchester. MMC chief Dr Derek Morris said after meeting the club's independent supporters' association: "If it's a done deal we don't know about it. "We do not know what the outcome will be because we are still hearing evidence, probing it, testing it and it will be a long time before we come to a view." Earlier the five-strong MMC panel - which is considering the deal after it was referred by Trade Secretary Peter Mandelson - met representatives from the national Football Supporters' Association and the Manchester-based Professional Footballers' Association. The Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association says the proposal should be blocked because it will harm the club and damage the wider interests of British football. Spokesman Andy Walsh said the "gruelling" meeting with the MMC had gone well. "I think we got a very fair hearing from the MMC and we are very grateful to them for giving so much time over to the points that we had to raise. "They listened with interest and cross-examined us quite thoroughly on the evidence that we have submitted and the comments our delegation made today." Asked if his overriding feeling was hopeful he said: "My overriding feeling is being very tired after over two hours of gruelling cross examination. "But we have always been hopeful that the strength of feeling was such that if we got the opportunity to have our arguments heard and have people listen to our concerns as fans then we would be successful in trying to block this bid." Dr Morris said the investigating panel had heard a lot of "interesting information". "We have obviously also got to discuss all this with BSkyB and Manchester United themselves and at that point we will then be able to start forming some views, but it's still very early days." More hearings will be held before and after New Year and the panel will then consider its response, expected to be published in mid-March.
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: Tottenham 2 Manchester Utd 2 365 report IT WOULD have taken a 3-0 victory over rivals Arsenal to match the exultant scenes at White Hart Lane as Tottenham came back from two goals down to deprive a furious 10-man Manchester United victory in the dying seconds. This was a match that had simply everything - four goals, bookings galore, controversy, a first-half sending-off for Gary Neville and that last-gasp comeback capped by Sol Campbell's second goal of the day for Tottenham. Even the fact that United went top of the table for the first time this season on goal difference thanks to Chelsea's inability to win at Derby will have done little to ease Alex Ferguson's wrath at his defence and referee Uriah Rennie. In the first 20 minutes, his side were breathtaking, destroying Tottenham with two fabulous goals on the break, both to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, playing up front with Teddy Sheringham in the absence of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke. But six minutes before the end of a first half in which three colleagues were also shown the yellow card, Neville was dismissed for his second bookable offence, a clear tug on David Ginola's shirt. Tottenham were revitalised in a pulsating second half in which tackles flew in from all angles, with David Beckham at the centre of much of the controversy yet again. And after Campbell had pulled his side back into the game with 20 minutes left and Allan Nielsen had missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise, the Tottenham captain finally levelled matters in the second minute of injury time. Their joy was almost as great as when they knocked United's reserve side out of the Worthington Cup on the same ground just 10 days ago. Ferguson's side were far stronger this time but were still fallible at the back in the opening exchanges as Peter Schmeichel flapped at crosses and mis-kicked clearances. But just as Tottenham were pressuring with a free kick close to the United penalty area in the 12th minute, the Reds broke clear with devastating speed. Ryan Giggs not only started the move, sending Beckham away down the right wing, but was in the penalty area to meet the cross with a diving header which keeper Ian Walker could only block. The rebound fell to Solskjaer, who made no mistake from close range and Spurs were left bewildered by the sucker punch. They did not learn from their mistake though as United virtually repeated the move six minutes later. Again there was little obvious threat when the ball was won in midfield but again Beckham was sent away down the wing and once more he delivered an inch-perfect centre. Solskjaer was so quick off the mark that he beat Campbell to the ensuing cross and gave Walker no chance with a half-volley on the turn into the far corner. Tottenham were being outplayed as Solskjaer almost completed his hat-trick from another Beckham cross, although Anderton did clip the bar with a free kick and Ferdinand was full of running up front. United's combative approach came at a heavy price, with bookings for Nicky Butt, Teddy Sheringham and Phil Neville before the defender's elder brother was sent off. The full-back clearly pulled back David Ginola in full flight and although the winger was virtually accused of cheating a few weeks ago against Nottingham Forest, this time there was little doubt. United hastily regrouped, with Keane an emergency right-back until half-time when Henning Berg replaced Solskjaer and Ronny Johnsen filled in to mark Ginola, who gave him a torrid time. Stam did test out Walker with a shot that deflected off Luke Young but the match turned ugly when Beckham flew in with a block tackle that sent Sinton to the ground in apparent agony and the referee showed an unwarranted yellow card. The Tottenham defender had his revenge within minutes as he sent Beckham sprawling and Keane was so angered that he raced over to grab Sinton by the shirt as the Spurs fans increased their Beckham-baiting to a crescendo. United were clearly rattled and with 20 minutes left, Tottenham were back in the game as Campbell rose high to power through a mass of players and meet Anderton's free kick with a towering header that flew past Schmeichel. Three minutes later, they should have been level and Nielsen was left holding his head in his hands with shame after directing a free header just six yards out straight into the grateful arms of the United keeper. Ginola was still tormenting Johnsen down the left and on one dazzling 40-yard run, he not only outfoxed the Norwegian defender but also Keane before slightly mis-hitting his shot, which was saved by Schmeichel. Ginola also picked out Armstrong in the area with three minutes left but the striker headed over the bar and that appeared to be that. But then came Campbell's late equaliser as he rose high a second time to meet a free kick from Anderton, a virtual carbon copy of his first goal as the United defence looked at each other accusingly in disbelief. The final whistle blew seconds later with the United players anger still boiling at the decisions of referee Rennie, who was shepherded off the pitch by the Spurs team. It was a match United had thrown away as their defensive frailties came back to haunt them yet again. Even being top of the table will not make up for that.
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: BRUCE SILENT ON OLD TRAFFORD RETURN SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Steve Bruce refused to be drawn on speculation linking him with a return to Manchester United after his side's 3-3 draw at Bury on Friday night. Bruce, among the contenders to replace Brian Kidd as Alex Ferguson's number two at Old Trafford, insisted he is eyeing Premiership football only with the Blades. He said: "I am convinced we are good enough to challenge for promotion." ************** BRUCE DEDICATED TO BLADES' TOP-FLIGHT FUTURE SHEFFIELD UNITED MANAGER STEVE BRUCE REFUSED TO BE DRAWN ON SPECULATION LINKING HIM WITH A RETURN TO MANCHESTER UNITED Bruce is among the contenders to replace Brian Kidd as Alex Ferguson's number two at Old Trafford. But the Bramall Lane boss insisted he is eying Premiership football only with the Blades. He said: "We had eight first-teamers out yet could have had the game won in the first half. "I am convinced we are good enough to challenge for promotion to the Premiership." Nonetheless, Bruce was not entirely satisfied with Friday's outcome at Gigg Lane. "I expect to win if we score three goals away from home. I was disappointed with our defending at times. "But what I expect and will demand is that we show a bit of character. To be fair to the boys they rolled up their sleeves, and I cannot ask for any more than that." Referee Paul Rejer's decision to allow Bury's first goal, meanwhile, was pinpointed as a turning point by Bruce. The Blades boss thought Laurent D'Jaffo impeded goalkeeper Simon Tracey before bundling the ball home and he said: "There was only one team in it, but the ref's decision gave them a little bit of a lifeline. But he's only human - and we all make mistakes. I just hope the luck turns our way over Christmas."
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 2 Tottenham winger David Ginola is rarely out of the news these days. One week the wonderfully-gifted Frenchman is being praised to the hilt for another trademark display of sheer brilliance; the next he's being labelled a 'cheat' or a 'diver' after another Premiership defender falls foul of his sublime touchline skills. Ginola was left to defend his honour yet again after the red mist which descended upon White Hart Lane in a stormy encounter with Manchester United had finally cleared. The Frenchman was still at his enigmatic best after the game, revelling in the pride Spurs had shown in turning around a game which he believes they would surely have lost in the dark days of last season. Trailing 2-0 with just 17 minutes gone, after Ole Gunnar Solksjaer had capitalised from David Beckham crosses on two lightning raids, they produced a comeback flowing with the self-belief that George Graham has finally brought back to North London. Captain Sol Campbell may have scored both Tottenham goals with powerful headers from Darren Anderton free-kicks, the last in the second minute of injury time. But Ginola was at the heart of the revival, with a performance which led to his first marker, Gary Neville, being dismissed six minutes before the break and left his second, Ronny Johnsen, with a booking and a furious dressing-down. Marking the Frenchman is proving to be a rather hazardous occupation these days, with United boss Alex Ferguson fuming at the dismissal of Neville for his second bookable offence, even though he clearly held back Ginola. Three weeks ago, the winger was yet again at the centre of controversy with Steve Stone's dismissal leading his Nottingham Forest boss Dave Bassett to virtually accuse the Frenchman of play-acting. What seems clear though is that Ginola's impressive recent form is leading frustrated opponents to dive in to try and stop him - only to be left looking rather stupid. The Frenchman was positively affronted at the suggestion that he had been exaggerating and diving on either occasion. ''Players try to go in hard on me all the time and I try every time to stay up and to deliver crosses and to do something good all the time. If you look at the tapes, I think that's very clear,'' he insisted with a wounded frown. ''Most of the players who come at me, when they can't get me the right way, they get me the wrong way. That's my life. ''Every game is like that and it's much harder for me to express myself. I enjoy the challenge when people put me under pressure, I always try mentally to find something extra. I always expect to get two or three players around me, it was the case against Manchester United and it was the case against Liverpool.'' Spurs boss George Graham was quick to absolve Ginola of any blame, declaring: ''If David dived to get people booked or sent off I would be the first to tell him to stop it but I don't believe he's doing it. Defenders have to get their percentages right. They shouldn't dive in when he is running at them with the ball with that skill as there's a chance they'll bring him down.'' However, any controversy surrounding Ginola should not overshadow Tottenham's achievement in coming back from the dead, even if it was achieved against ten men. They were outplayed in the first-half, especially in central midfield, were unable to cope with United's hyped-up early commitment and are clearly not yet the finished article but a determined resolve and spirit has finally returned to White Hart Lane. Ginola insisted: ''It was down to the pride of the players. In the second-half, we showed everybody that there is a new face to Tottenham now and we can come back in any situation. It will work for us in the future if we are in the same situation. We have come from nowhere. We've been working very hard mentally to regain our confidence.'' Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, was left publicly speechless by Sol Campbell's dramatic last-gasp equaliser and the United boss brushed away the handshake of his Tottenham counterpart George Graham at the end of a pulsating contest. Even the fact that United went to the top of the Premiership for the first time this season with their point from a 2-2 draw could not pacify Fergie, who failed to attend the the post-match press conference. Graham tried to make light of Ferguson's obvious fury. Asked if the United boss had pushed him away at the end of the game which produced eight yellow cards in all - but only two of them for Spurs - Graham said: ''No, I don't think so. I'll see Alex afterwards. There is no problem. He just doesn't like dropping two points.''
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

BREAKING NEWS - Monday 14 December 1998 Subject: FERGUSON FURY AFTER REDS LET IT SLIP Alex Ferguson was left speechless by Sol Campbell's dramatic last-gasp equaliser for Spurs at White Hart Lane. The Manchester United boss brushed away the handshake of his Tottenham counterpart George Graham at the end of a pulsating contest. Even the fact that United went to the top of the FA Carling Premiership for the first time this season with their point from a 2-2 draw could not pacify Fergie who failed to attend the the post-match press conference. He had seen his England full back Gary Neville sent off for a second bookable offence on David Ginola five minutes before half-time after a double strike by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put United in command. Neville's England team-mate Campbell halved United's lead with a header from Darren Anderton's free kick with 20 minutes to go and then produced a carbon-copy effort from the same source right at the death. Graham tried to make light of Ferguson's obvious fury. Asked if the United boss had pushed him away at the end of a fiercely-contested game which produced eight yellow cards in all - but only two of them for Spurs - Graham said: "No, I don't think so. "I'll see Alex afterwards. There is no problem. He just doesn't like dropping two points."
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: Fergie fit to change record By Gordon Strachan Saturday December 12, 1998 Alex Ferguson's Manchester United have never had a better chance of winning the European Cup than they do now. In terms of the self-esteem of English football, such an achievement is badly needed. Look at the results of our leading sides in Europe in recent years and it is incongruous for those involved in the Premiership to claim that this is the best league in the world. The picture since the lifting of the post-Heysel five-year ban eight seasons ago is depressing. True, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have lifted the Cup Winners Cup, but in the two stronger competitions - the Champions League and Uefa Cup - the record has been poor. In the eight seasons before Heysel, English teams won the Champions Cup seven times, Liverpool leading the way with four triumphs, followed by a couple for Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa's 1982 success. Also on this Euro-glory list were Ipswich, who won the Uefa Cup. In the roll-call of countries who have provided the quarter-finalists for these competitions since the ban was lifted, England, with only five teams, are in eighth place, well behind the leading nation, Italy, with 29. They even trail Belgium - who would have believed that? Why have we fallen so far? The most common explanation is that it was always going to take time for English teams to readjust. They had certainly lost their European habits. Indeed, as far as technical standards are concerned, those five years coincided with the worst period I can recall in England. They were five years when so many teams gave the ball a headache by just launching it from one end of the field to the other. It coincided with Continental teams, influenced by the teamwork and running power of the previous English European Cup winners, incorporating these attributes into their own play. For me, the other major factor- and one that seems to me to have been largely overlooked - concerns the change in the back-pass rule. Before the change, the pass back to the goalkeeper was an ideal outlet for English defenders when they pushed up to half-way to compress play. If they were in difficulties, they could always pass to the keeper who would pick up the ball and punt it back into the central area. Now, with the keepers not allowed to handle, their defenders need to be closer to them. Instead of playing in half of the pitch, teams have been forced to play in three-quarters of it - something European sides have been used to. There is more space for players to exploit their skill or, to put it another way, more space for those who lack skill to be embarrassed by it! I was at Leeds when they won the title in 1992 before the back-pass rule's introduction. It was not simply coincidence that in the following season, with the new law in place, Leeds finished sixth from bottom and were knocked out of the European Cup by Rangers. However, if there is one team who can reverse England's European tournament trend, it is surely Manchester United. Apart from their experience, they are a tremendous counter-attacking team. Leading Continental sides characteristically draw the opposition and hit them on the break. I would say that United epitomise this side of the game better than any other English team. The other aspect of United which stands out is that no one player is looked upon as the kingpin. To some extent, the problem for them when they had Eric Cantona was that the other players were too subservient to him. I am not suggesting that Cantona demanded this, but because of his stature, it was inevitable that team-mates would find it difficult to take centre stage themselves. Now perhaps six players in the United team can each win a match virtually on his own, and they are all more or less on a par with each other in terms of how they are perceived. I get the impression that all the players will allow whoever is in the hottest form to dominate the game, and they concentrate on supporting him. On the evidence of United's Champions League group matches this season, and especially against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night, I honestly see no reason why they should not go all the way. In view of what it could do for the self-esteem of English football, one would need to be very prejudiced not to hope that they do.
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Subject: United top fine week by going top of the league By Ossian Shine LONDON, Dec 12 - Manchester United capped another fine week in the club's success-filled history when they went top of the English premier league. On Wednesday a 1-1 draw with Germany's Bayern Munich was enough saw them qualify for the quarter-finals of the European Cup and a similarly gritty performance against Tottenham on Saturday saw them topple Aston Villa at the top of the league. Both steely performances illustrate United's determination this season. On Saturday United came out at White Hart Lane with all guns blazing and were 2-0 up in the first 20 minutes after a double strike from Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has been battling for a first team place in United's talent-packed squad. Fluid, stylish and breathlessly fast, United looked to be romping to victory. But just before half time referee Uriah Rennie dismissed United's England defender Gary Neville for a second bookable offence following a clumsy challenge on David Ginola and the dynamics of the match changed. Manager Alex Ferguson brought Solskjaer off at half time and replaced him with defender Henning Berg. Initially, United coped with containing the surging runs of Ginola, Ruel Fox and Andy Sinton but the pressure was beginning to take its toll. Tempers became frayed as the visitors became increasingly stretched and, in all, six players in red shirts were booked. Roy Keane escaped punishment after grabbing Sinton by the shirt following a dangerous tackle on David Beckham. The point was enough to see United leapfrog Villa at the top of the league on goal difference but manager Alex Ferguson was furious at two points dropped. He refused to comment after the match and it was left to Tottenham boss George Graham to sing United's praises at the end of a highly successful week. "It's my job to get a squad like that at Tottenham," he said, referring to Ferguson's players. "We've got to learn lessons from United...I warned the boys about their superb ability on the break and that's how they exploited us. "I've got to be happy (with the draw) against probably the best team in the country."
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Subject: FA may bring forward Cup's big day By Paul Wilson Saturday December 12, 1998 The tinkering with the FA Cup has begun. The Football Association have confirmed that they are to consider bringing forward the third round from January to December. But Graham Kelly, FA chief executive, has managed to carry through his intention - voiced last week - to maintain the tradition of FA Cup replays . . . at least for the forseeable future. The FA's move is a direct reaction to the mushrooming of the Champions League and the welter of European dates to be added to the football calendar from next season. The changes, agreed on Friday, mean a successful club could play as many as 17 European matches in a season. The Observer warned of the threat to the traditional format of the Cup on 11 October. The advent of a third round in December and a possible ban on replays - in favour of penalty shoot-outs - to ease fixture logjams was highlighted. Now the process has started. While the FA say they will not be rushed into wholesale changes to the game's oldest knockout tournament, they have already announced that this season's final will be decided by penalties, without a replay, if the teams are level at the end of extra time.Now the third round's New Year tradition is threatened. An FA spokesman said: 'The FA Cup committee have decided replays will take place next season in spite of any fixture problems that may crop up. There are only a handful of teams who are going to be involved in Europe, and there was no desire to foist an unpopular change on the whole of the game for the benefit of the few. We are sure the clubs affected will be able to manage somehow.' But he added: 'A fixture working group will be meeting early in the New Year, and again in late spring, to consider whether it will be necessary to bring forward the third round. Everyone we have spoken to is in favour of preserving the FA Cup in its present format as part of the game's heritage.' Traditionalists everywhere will welcome the FA's stance, although the game's heritage is not something over which the governing body has total control. What may happen is that teams involved in the Champions League second round in March, a month which contains no fewer than eight European Cup match-days, will contrive an early FA Cup exit, perhaps by treating it as dismissively as the Worthington Cup.
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Subject: Kidd update: Keen On £4m Ward By Alan Nixon Brian Kidd has tabled a £4million bid to make Ashley Wardhis first signing for Blackburn. The new Ewood Park boss has contacted Barnsley with anoffer for the striker he has admired for several years. Kidd wants to bring Ward into Rovers' survival battle afterhis goals almost kept the Yorkshire club in the top flightagainst the odds last season. Ward is keen to play in thePremiership again and Leeds and Leicester were already inthe hunt before Kidd took the Rovers' job. Owner Jack Walker has promised Kidd cash to save theclub this season and their entry to the chase makes themfavourites to sign Ward. Barnsley boss John Hendrie said: "I want to keep Ashley aslong as I can. We have rejected Blackburn's approach." However, Blackburn are likely to make a renewed andincreased bid. Kidd's move suggests there are now questionmarks over Rovers' strikeforce, with new boy Nathan Blakeunder the most pressure. © PA Sporting Life
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Subject: WHY WE SHOULD ALL SUPPORT UNITED from Singapore I think that all true English football fans, irrespective of their allegiances to whoever they support should be grateful of what appears to be more than an even chance that Manchester United appear to have in winning the European Champions League. Remember last year? Outstanding football in 90% of their European Champions League group matches, outstanding football played in the Premiership until February when fatigue, bought about by the previous few years successes suddenly derailed both club and players allowing Arsenal to overtake them in the Premiership and for Monaco to beat United in the Champions League quarter-finals. This year, the Man Utd squad appears stronger, seems much more capable to score goals but I feel that Ferguson needs maybe one or two further signings to give his squad the depth needed to emerge as true champions. I think it would be excellent for English football if United win the Champions League, and why do I think that? It would be ironic that in becoming champions of Europe, they did this by finishing as runners-up in the Premiership, and the fact that I cannot see any of the matches as I currently live in the United States. Sods Law, that's what I call it. My luck to be somewhere where this level of football is not viewed. Sure I can see Premier League matches on pay-per-view courtesy of Media Mogul Mr Murdoch's ownership of Fox Sports and BSkyB but European football?, no such luck. There you go, that's my reasoning for Manchester United winning the European Cup. Forget about Jaap Stam vs. Roy Keene as sweeper, forget about Cole vs. Solskjaer vs. Yorke up front, it pales into insignificance when you look at my reasoning. Manchester United aside, I find that every day I visit this website, especially so when matches are played midweek, it really keeps me in tune with football in the UK. Martin Holmshaw, Xerox Corporation, Webster, New York, USA ...I'm an avid follower of English Premier League footy, and it is somewhat amusing to observe the constant arguments on whether it is now the best league in Europe. Most of the points thrown up as proof to support the respective cases for or against are, frankly speaking, based on personal opinion. Not that tables and statistics can tell the whole story. Some signs on what the suits in UEFA and the various national FA's think of their respective rankings can be deduced from the number of Champions League places given to their leagues. The latest revision of the Champions League may have given England an extra place, but the same goes for the French and Dutch leagues. And these three leagues all have one less each than the acknowledged big three European leagues of Italy, Spain and Germany (yes, even the Germans). Not quite the best then in the opinion of the big-wigs. But the EPL must surely be the most hyped-up one in Europe. Manucan, Singapore
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