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Barry J. Leeming    Digest Prgram by  William McArthur  Canada
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The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor  "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"

Date: Mon Aug 17 13:35:53 GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: mufc@netlane.com

Daily RED Trivia  17th August:

1985: United beat Aston Villa 4-0 at Old Trafford in a Division 1 game
watched by 49,743. Mark Hughes 2, Jesper Olsen and Norman Whiteside scored for
the Reds.
Team was: Bailey, Gidman, Albiston, Whiteside, McGrath, Hogg, Robson,
Moses (Duxbury), Hughes, Stapleton, Olsen. This was the first of a winning
sequence of 10 straight games at the start of the 1985-86 season.

1991: Paul Parker made his debut against Notts County. A nippy defender who 
cost 1.7 million from Queens Park Rangers, Parker won Premiership and
FA Cup medals in 1994, and a League Cup Winners medal in 1992. 130
appearances and 1 goal for United between 1991-96.  19 caps for England, playing in
the 1990 World Cup Finals.

July 25  Birmingham City  (A)     result: L 3-4
     27  Valerengen (A) (Oslo)    result: D 2-2
     31  Brondby (A) (Copenhagen) result: W 6-0
Aug   4  Brann Bergen (A)         result: W 4-0
      9  Arsenal (N)              result: L 0-3
     12  H Widzew Lodz CL         result: W 2-0

Coming Matches Index: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899z.htm
Tue 18/8 H Eric Cantona XI (H) - Munich testimonial
Sat 22/8 A West Ham PL


Check out our new REDitorial by Alex Paylor! url: http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate/
--------------------------------------------------------------- Sheringham in Hoddle footsteps The row over Glenn Hoddle's World Cup book could further escalate with Teddy Sheringham poised to publish his own account of France 98. Sheringham will include details of his infamous nightclub antics in Portugal before the tournament, which brought a stinging rebuke from Hoddle, and forced the player to make a public apology. The England and Manchester United striker, who was dropped from the starting line-up mid-tournament to make way for Michael Owen, has agreed a deal with publishers Little Brown. David Beckham and Tony Adams have also been reported as being ready to publish their accounts of France 98 following coach Hoddle's highly controversial diary. Little Brown's editorial director Alan Sampson said: "Teddy has provided full details in his book about the episode involving his late-night clubbing. "It is the last chapter which he has just completed and, funnily enough, I am reading it at the moment." The Portugal incident is likely to generate the most attention. Sheringham was pictured in a nightclub at 6am less than a week before the start of the World Cup. The new collection of diaries look set to keep the controversy about World Cup reflections on the boil. But Little Brown defended Sheringham's right to go public. "To be fair, all the players are writing their own books giving their own account of events," Sampson told The Mirror. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Check out our new REDitorial by Alex Paylor! url: http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate/
--------------------------------------------------------------- Fergie's missing link James Lawton David Beckham and Teddy Sheringham both sang brief verses of Redemption Song as Manchester United came out from a first-day crisis which would have sent fresh shock waves all the way to the Stock Exchange. But if they saved a point they did not turn away an ominous question. Have United, you have to ask, frittered away their summer? Has the bottom line of profit margin seeped on to the high ground of true football ambition? Was this a team - just swept aside by Double-winning Arsenal - good enough to leave standing still? The preliminary evidence is damning. While Beckham and Sheringham made vital moves on their own behalf, the reality is that United outlasted rather than outplayed a team from another financial world. Beckham reminded us of his of his classic free-kick against Colombia rather than the hair-brained act of self-destruction in the Argentina game. He did it with a strike deep in injury time which rescued a point and finally silenced the witless Leicester representatives of the National Hate Club. Sheringham brought some desperately needed craft to United's attack as well as re-directing an earlier Beckham rocket beyond substitute goalkeeper Pegguy Arphexad. So all's well that ends well? Maybe. Maybe not. Beckham, who greeted his own success so ecstatically, has a little bit more to learn about human nature if he thinks deliverance came in one moment of technical excellence. That he has the talent to rise above the baiting of the more rancid sections of the football-watching population has never been in doubt. What he has to do is prepare himself for a long running of the gauntlet. So far he has accomplished one lap, in front of his own people. Sheringham, too, walked off the field with the air of a man who had closed the book on a particularly unsavoury chapter. If he maintains the wit and relevance of this performance it may be so. But you have to worry about these brisk journeys between heaven and hell. United, this day proclaimed, are both a team and a club in vital need of self-appraisal. The possibility provoked by a superbly committed Leicester, who outplayed United for the first half-hour and might have led by three goals instead of one at that point, is they are not as good as they may think. There was, to be sure, excellent commitment. The scampering of Roy Keane and Beckham exemplified this, but you look for considerably more in a team which still proclaims a divine mission to conquer Europe. The truth is that on this form United are far from guaranteed to win back their hold on the domestic game. One casualty was the theory that Ryan Giggs can flourish in a free role or as an auxiliary striker. It is a fiction. Giggs's gifts are instinctive. They are about running wide and getting in the killing crosses. He is not a naturally intuitive player. Give him time and space and he will turn one flank of the opposing defence into rubble. In the middle he simply brings clutter, which on Saturday was cleared with magnificent aplomb by Matt Elliott, before he broke his nose, and veteran skipper Steve Walsh. United need an injection of the highest class. Whatever it does to the balance sheet, they need a Kluivert or a Yorke, a Salas or, yes, a Ronaldo. They see themselves in the company of Juventus and Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona. It is a vision which lost focus badly when Emile Heskey - a young player moving into the super-class bracket, be sure - and Tony Cottee put Leicester into a two-goal lead. United's response was worthy enough. Keane seemed to cover every inch of turf. Giggs became relevant again when Sheringham came off the bench. Beckham doused the moronic fringe. "Alarmed?" said manager Alex Ferguson. "After 24 years in this business I don't get alarmed. I was disappointed." So, no doubt, were the fans. The ones in suits, who count the profits, may choose to do something. Certainly the ball has rolled, with some menace, into their court. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Check out our new REDitorial by Alex Paylor! url: http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate/
--------------------------------------------------------------- Manchester United v Leicester City: Beckham shoots back Monday, August 17, 1998 A lucrative new five-year contract, a pop star girlfriend and celebrity glitz can't deflect the vicious barbs from opposition fans but match-saving free kicks can. You don't need a chapter in Glenn Hoddle's book to reveal that David Beckham is currently the most hated footballer in England. Even in his own Old Trafford domain, Beckham wasn't spared the senseless abuse which is raining down on him thanks to one misdemeanour against Argentina. But he held his nerve and shoved the merciless taunts of the Leicester followers back down their throats as he provided a one-man rescue service for Alex Ferguson's threatened side. Despite disappointment at Beckham's coolly clipped free kick which provided injury-time respite for United, Leicester midfielder Robbie Savage couldn't stop himself slapping his old chum on the back. Savage came through the junior ranks with Beckham long before the Spice Girls dominated the charts. He drifted off to Crewe and was re-routed to Leicester. He explained: 'I just said to him: "Great goal, mate" and not to take any notice of the jeering. He showed what he can do. It's certainly the best way to answer any criticism. It was a terrific free kick. I honestly feared the worst when I saw him with the ball ready to take it. I thought, here he goes.' The decision to commit himself until 2003 at Old Trafford provides proof that 23-year-old Beckham has no intention of running for cover abroad. Yet, Savage believes that it will be some time before the storm clouds move away from the high profile England star. 'It was disappointing to hear the jeers from the Leicester fans,' said the Wales man. 'But then again Leicester is in the heart of the country and they are fanatical about England and want the best for the national side. 'It is harsh what is happening to Becks. If England had won the penalty shoot-out, I don't think anything would have been said about his sending-off. I wouldn't like to be treated the way he has but I am certain he is strong enough to get through it. He showed that against us. 'He's got to go to West Ham on Saturday and it's going to be difficult. He has got to get through it. I think all this business is going to go on for a few months yet. When he comes to Leicester in January, he will probably have to take some stick again. It's sad.' There's no hiding place in the great glasshouse of the Premier League and it's not only Beckham who has to stand up and be counted as patience is an attribute rapidly being made redundant in the increasing demands for a quick fix. Jaap Stam, at 10.75million, was helpless as the big, bustling Emile Heskey swarmed all over him. A thigh strain which forced Stam's removal at half-time and will keep the Dutchman on the sidelines for two weeks came after Heskey had finished smartly from close range to claim the first Premiership goal of the new campaign. There could have been more goals as Leicester proved that the rest of the Premiership empire was capable of striking back at any Super League aspirants. There was certainly no holding back from Savage, who added: 'We were very organised. Frank Sinclair has come in from Chelsea and I thought he had an exceptional game. 'We are well balanced and up front we've got Bruno (Heskey) and I thought he'd finished Stam's career with the trouble he caused. I don't think Stam knew what to do against him in the first half. Bruno is strong, quick - unbelievable for his age.' His contract is also up next summer - something the big clubs would already have noted. It was Savage who provided the perfect cross for Tony Cottee to head Leicester into a two-goal lead. To their credit, United can scrap with the best when the odds are stacked against them. Even Teddy Sheringham threw off that apparent air of indifference and deflected Beckham's drive past substitute goalkeeper Pegguy Arphexad. The Frenchman had replaced Kasey Keller, who took a blow from Andy Cole as United attempted to turn up the heat. In the fifth minute of injury time they were rewarded with the spectacular Beckham strike but Leicester can still take pride in the almighty scare they gave United a season after coming away with a 1-0 win from Old Trafford. It made nonsense of one prediction that Leicester could be saying goodbye to the Premiership next May. Savage said: 'I saw Andy Gray on Friday night suggesting that we could be one of the teams going down. I don't think he knows what he is talking about. 'He has a go at teams like us who give 100 per cent every game. We were up for this one after what he said. We're not thinking about relegation, more in terms of Europe.' Team-mate Neil Lennon was also delighted to prove the critics wrong. He said: 'Everybody says we are a hard-working team, which we are, but we are also a good football team. People keep writing us off and we're tipped again for relegation material and that is just a big incentive for us to keep going.' You sensed that Ferguson was just glad that his side survived a shock start to the season. He said: 'I was not alarmed when we were 2-0 down after 24 years in the business. 'It hasn't been the best preparation for us because of the World Cup Finals. I'm not making an excuse because other teams have also suffered but it means we are a little bit behind. 'But we didn't flag. The players didn't take their feet off the gas. Leicester did not need a goalkeeper. I have never seen defenders get in the road of shots like they did.' Ferguson, who had a special word of praise for referee Neale Barry for making the City wall retreat the full 10 yards for Beckham's free kick, promised his Premiership rivals: 'We will get better.' It's already getting better for David Beckham. --------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------
Check out our new REDitorial by Alex Paylor! url: http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate/
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