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RED sky at night UNITED delight!

Date: Sun Apr 19 02:58:38 GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

A sad day, a weak draw at home v Toon and losing the lead of the 
Premiership we have held for 6 months!
This Issue:
1. Reuters 
2. Fantastic fergie interview
4. Del Piero Hints At United (D.Mail)


Ryan Giggs played today!
Subject: Reuters Soccer-Manchester United lose title lead to Arsenal LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - Manchester United lost the English premier league lead to Arsenal on Saturday as the rampant London club powered to a 5-0 thrashing of Wimbledon. Manchester United managed only a nervous 1-1 draw at Old Trafford and were lucky to go away with even one point as they lost the title leadership they had held since December. Arsenal are now one point ahead of United, who have just three games to play while Arsenal still have five matches remaining. Arsenal have scored 12 goals in their last three games and have not lost in 26 matches. England centre half Tony Adams gave Arsenal the lead after 11 minutes and Marc Overmars, Dennis Bergkamp, Emmanuel Petit and Christopher Wreh each added goals. For United, David Beckham dived to head home an inch perfect Ryan Giggs cross to give the defending champions a single point after Newcastle had taken the lead through Swede Andreas Andersson. REUTERS
Ryan Giggs played today!
X-Sender: jackit@indigo.ie X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Light Version 3.0.5 (32) Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 19:12:20 +0100 Reply-To: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" From: J Callaghan Subject: Fantastic fergie interview Comments: To: RED-DEVILS@PIPELINE.COM To: MUFC@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU Looking ahead with Keane anticipation "My father loved the horses," Alex Ferguson is saying, smiling, "but he was bloody hopeless at them. It got to the point where my mother used to maybe put a line on on a Saturday and she would whisper to me 'find out who he's backing'. "So I would go across and say 'fancy anything today, dad?' He'd say 'two certainties'. He always said that. He said ''I'm going to slaughter them today, slaughter them'. Then he'd tell me what they were. "I'd go and tell my mother and she would put her money on something else. She'd back two others. Then there was this day when my mother had had a yankee and the third one up came to the last fence and it was that far ahead that it was from here to Chester. Anyway, it jumps the last and it stumbles and falls. So mother goes 'blinkin hell'. "She goes to my dad and she says 'you didn't back that by any chance did you' and he just sat there and he wouldn't answer because he was like that - none of your business sort of thing. And she just rounded on him and she said 'you're a jinx'." If the father could not pick a winner, the son can. The horse that he has bought to relieve some of the pressures of managing Manchester United - it is called Queensland Star after a ship his father helped to build on the Clyde - won its maiden race at Newmarket on Thursday. It led from start to finish. Horse racing is just his hobby, though. In football, Ferguson's judgment goes deeper than that, right to the core. He can sense winning in a player such as Roy Keane or Peter Schmeichel. But he can sniff out the stench of defeat, too, and in the weeks and months of this year when United have slowly let the FA Carling Premiership title drift towards the gratefully outstretched hands of Arsenal, it has begun to sicken him. He knows that United must win their four remaining games, starting at home to Newcastle United this afternoon, if they are to have a realistic chance of warding off Arsenal's late run. But, even if they accomplish it and Ferguson guides his charges to their fifth title in six seasons, he has seen enough signs of decay to persuade him that dramatic changes will have to be made at Old Trafford this summer, that the heads of some of his shining stars will have to roll. "There can be complacency in any football club," Ferguson said. "Success can bring that. It might not just be in one section of the club. It could be mirrored right through. "Maybe we have got to look at our team and ask 'have we got the same hunger right through the team as we had two years ago?' You have to say that the team of two years ago or the team of '94 would not have lost any of the games we have lost this season. "There has to be a bit of soul-searching. There are one or two individuals where you have got to say 'is the hunger the same?' It is very difficult to get it back and we will be making changes at the end of the season, changes in personnel, no matter what the outcome of the league is this season. "People like myself and the staff and the supporters do not deserve to have it thrown away by the players like this. Not after all the work that has been done here. But the club is like a moving bus. We are not waiting at the stop for anyone who is late and I have always made that point to the players. We have to make sure that the bus goes on now. We cannot stop. "You could have a knee-jerk reaction and say 'you're all bloody going', you know what I mean. But the sensible way to do it is to analyse the people with hunger. The ones with the hunger have absolutely no problem here. The ones who are not the same, who have a slight difference in hunger, decisions will be taken on them. "In the position I am in now, defeat changes me a little bit. I feel losing the league this season will change me a little bit because I will want to get things done again. That is the great thing about football. It is a never-ending process. You think you have captured it and one little thing can just unship you. It is amazing." His own hunger, of course, rages on unabated. On the morning I was there last week, his car sped through the gates at The Cliff, United's training ground, at 7.45. The next morning, still suffering from a heavy chest, he had already done a workout and had a shower by the time he went into his office at 8.00. No Premiership manager works harder. His knowledge of United games is encyclopaedic. He could enter any of those trivia quizzes on his team and win every time. Results, substitutions, tackles, passes, goals; the images are locked away in his mind. >From this season, the 3-2 defeat away to Coventry City in late December, after United had been 2-1 up with three minutes to go, seems particularly vivid in his memory. "It was absolute suicide," he said. But, if some of United's recent failings can be attributed to lost appetites, Ferguson also acknowledged that the absences of Keane, out since the end of September with a serious knee injury, and, more recently, of Ryan Giggs with a hamstring tear, have been crucial in stripping United of the fluency and penetration with which they took the Premiership by storm in the early part of the season. "I think I am being realistic more than pessimistic about the title," Ferguson said. "In a situation where you become realistic you have to analyse yourself and analyse your team and there is no doubt that we have been caught short in lack of quality in terms of the pool of players that we have. "The possibility of the loss of Giggs is something we should have done something about at the start of the season. We thought about getting a left-sided player. We tried to buy Blomqvist from AC Milan, they wouldn't sell him but they put him on loan to Parma and they eventually sold him. We should have pushed that through, which would have given us more protection. "Instead, we had an imbalance when Giggs eventually went. The problem for me is that, when my 11 best players are fit, it is hard for me to go and take two good players who are the same quality as them. "In the case of Blomqvist, you thought he was one that had a chance of being able to play at this club in terms of ability and certain things he has. But, if you take him out of the equation, where else do you get left-sided players that would at a push fill in for Giggs or allow me to play Giggs in another role? Still, there is no question, we should have done something. "With Keane, people say 'you have done great, you have not missed Keane'. But the games we have lost this season, we would never have lost them if Keane had been playing. Unfortunately he is not here but, if he had been on the field, I think there would have been something different about the place. "I think there would have been a few angry dressing-rooms at half-time, you know. I think there has been a lack of leadership because of the youthfulness of the team and because some of the foreign players are not used to our type of football." Defeat and loss, though, will only make Ferguson come back stronger. There is an air about him already of a man who can hardly wait to put things right, who is rushing towards the future with keen anticipation. Others may sate themselves with honours, but Ferguson and his ilk press ever onwards. "I have seen success change people overnight and it is not nice," he said. "Big-time charlies, arrogance. They have no time for their roots. That, to me, is the unacceptable face of football. What I think is the humbling part of football is where you go to games and you see the same managers there all the time and they have been in it for 20-odd years. "John Rudge, Dave Bassett and David Pleat. You hold your hand up because they love it, they are in it seriously. They never change. They are still striving for the end of the rainbow. There are people who do not forget their roots." Ferguson has not forgotten, either. Queensland Star is testimony to that. Success has not changed him or dulled his appetite. He is still striving, still hungry.
Ryan Giggs played today!
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.2106.4 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.2106.4 Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 07:59:37 +0800 Reply-To: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" From: Red Devil Marcus Subject: PA Report FERGUSON ACCEPTS CROWN IS SLIPPING FERGUSON ACCEPTS CROWN IS SLIPPING By By Martin Lipton, PA Sport Chief Soccer Writer Alex Ferguson today kissed goodbye to two vital Premiership points and effectively waved farewell to Manchester United's chances of retaining their Premiership crown as well. Ferguson had told his players they could not afford another slip-up if they were to pip Arsenal to the championship and claim their fifth title in six seasons. But the 1-1 home draw against Newcastle, coupled with the Gunners' 5-0 thumping of Wimbledon, meant the Reds lost top spot for the first time in six months. Ferguson, clearly fearing the worst, admitted things are now out of his side's hands. "We won't be giving up, and football is a strange game - so you never know what could happen," said the United boss. "At this stage of the season the pitches are difficult and bumpy, and anything is possible. "But realistically we know it's an uphill battle now. "We know we're in a bad position but if we're realistic we have to admit it probably is all over." Ferguson's men could count themselves lucky to emerge from today's encounter with even the one point. While there was plenty of controversy over Andreas Andersson's 11th-minute opener, Newcastle carved out the better chances. Even so, there was controversy about the Andersson goal. United claimed offside, although Ferguson pointedly reflected: "I haven't seen it to say if it was offside, but you shouldn't stop playing anyway." Before David Beckham's diving header levelled for the home side, Alan Shearer had an effort kicked off the line by David May and the England captain could have had a hat-trick. Warren Barton thumped against the home post - Raimond van der Gouw had replaced hamstring victim Peter Schmeichel in goal after 18 minutes - and substitute Temuri Ketsbaia squandered two late openings. United themselves went close at the death, substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Gary Pallister both denied by Shay Given before the latter was dismissed for the most cynical of trips on Rob Lee as the midfielder led a Newcastle break. Ferguson admitted: "It was frustrating because we didn't actually play that badly, and at times our attacking play was excellent. "The way we set out to play meant we were vulnerable, but we had to take risks to try to win the match because the three points were so important." Of Solskjaer, given a standing ovation by the home fans as he made his way to the dressing room, Ferguson opted not to criticise, pointing out the striker's youth and adding that the Norwegian himself was a disappointed man in the dressing room. Newcastle boss Kenny Dalglish, however, was less tentative about Solskjaer's misdemeanour. "It isn't a pleasant side of football to see, although it is a professional thing - the guy's got to do what he's got to do,'' said Dalglish. "To be honest I'm not certain that Rob would have scored, but the referee had no option." Dalglish's side were an entirely different proposition from the Magpies who had performed so miserably in defeat at Highbury last week. The Newcastle boss added: "I think the way we played a point was the least we deserved ,and there wouldn't have been too many complaints if we'd come away with all three. "I'm not concerned about what happens at the top of the table because we're more interested to help our own needs than to ruin anybody else's chances. "What I will say is that whoever wins the league are setting the standard the other clubs have to reach. "United have set that standard and been worthy champions for four of the last five seasons, and now Arsenal have reached that level - which has to be good for the rest of the Premier League. "Perhaps the difference is that the United players have been in European championships and then the Tournoi de France last summer. It means that they have had two years of non-stop football." While Schmeichel will not be joining up for Denmark's midweek international, Ferguson expects the seven men in the England party for Wednesday's friendly with Portugal to join up with Glenn Hoddle's squad tomorrow night. Hoddle himself watched Nicky Butt go off before the break after suffering from double vision while Gary Neville is suffering from flu and diarrhoea and Phil Neville took a whack on his ankle. Ferguson said: "If Gary is ill in bed he might not be fit to go down - but the rest will certainly report." PA Sporting Life
Ryan Giggs played today!
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.2106.4 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.2106.4 Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 10:02:39 +0800 Reply-To: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" From: Red Devil Marcus Subject: Del Piero Hints At United (D.Mail) Del Piero drops United hint Saturday, April 18, 1998 Alessandro Del Piero - Europe's most coveted striker - has delivered the strongest hint yet that his future could lie in England with Manchester United. The Juventus star has yet to agree a new contract when his current deal expires in the summer of 2000 and the Turin club may cash in on a player who would be valued at around 15million. Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are ready to move at the first indication that Juventus, who next month face Real Madrid in the European Cup Final on May 13, are prepared to offload their outstanding 23-year-old. Del Piero admires and relates to United and their youngsters. He said: 'You can see in the eyes of players like David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers the love for the club and also the desperation to win things. They are all of a similar age - around the same age as me - and I can obviously identify with that. 'I like that in players who have already been successful. Manchester United is a club I really admire. I love the stadium and the atmosphere. I was impressed with United when they beat us earlier in the season in the Champions League and I'm surprised that they didn't get further than the quarter-final stage. Like Juventus, they have great tradition.'
Ryan Giggs played today!
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