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Barry J. Leeming    Digest Prgram by  William McArthur  Canada
Theatre Of Dreams  Banner's  by Sam Hayward   Download the digest program here!
The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor  "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"

Date: Sun Aug 23 09:36:44 GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

Daily RED Trivia  Sunday 23rd August:


United win 3-0 at Blackpool in a Division 1 game watched by 36,880. 
Jack Rowley 2 and Charlie Mitten got the goals. Team was: Crompton, Ball,
Carey, Anderson, Chilton, McGlen, Delaney, Morris, Rowley, Pearson, Mitten.

United crush Sheffield United 5-1 at Old Trafford in a Division 1 game
watched by 55,949. Stuart Pearson 2, Gerry Daly, Sammy McIlroy and Len
Badger (og) scored for the Reds. Team was: Stepney, Forsyth (Nicholl), Houston,
Jackson, Greenhoff, Buchan, Coppell, McIlroy, Pearson, Macari, Daly.


Coming Matches Index: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899z.htm
Wed 26/8 LKS Lodz, Polen (A) European Cup
Wed  9/9 Charlton (H) PL
Sat 12/9 Coventry (H) PL

This Issue:
1. Times Report:  Sound, fury but no goals
2. Telegraph Report: Yorke does a disappearing act
3. Solskjaer to snub sorry Spurs by Matt Lawton


Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 14:52:56 +0800 Subject: Times Report: Sound, fury but no goals Sound, fury but no goals Ian Hawkey at Upton Park West Ham United 0 Manchester United 0 A CHORUS of boos, a few choice bruises, but otherwise little out of the ordinary from this Mother of All Fixtures. Clear away the furniture packed around David Beckham's visit to West Ham United, the weight of the price tag hanging around the neck of the Manchester United debutant, Dwight Yorke, and it left a feisty, but often scratchy contest, with little to remember it by from events on the field. Beckham's display, punctuated by a monotony of jeers from the supporters who have made most public their disappointment at his sending-off for England during the World Cup, was less ordinary than a number of others. Certainly, it caught the eye more than Yorke's, whose contributions had the conspicuous character of the freshman, still to be bedded in as the chief spearhead of the biggest club in the land. As for the eyes worth catching, Glenn Hoddle came to Upton Park, observing, and presumably hearing the sound and the fury cast down on the United player from beyond the touchlines. The wing is not the most convenient place to operate under circumstances such as Beckham's yesterday. Were Hoddle's gaze drawn elsewhere, it may have been to Rio Ferdinand, who had a good day at the heart of an impressive West Ham defence. Likewise Henning Berg for United. The men at the back were mostly on top, though John Hartson, still short of match fitness, put himself about and Andy Cole once or twice found a gap without it leading to a first United victory in the Premiership. A point apiece, but more war than peace. Besides Beckham, there were enough sub-plots for three volumes of Dickens. There would, however, be no beauty contest between Dwighty and Wrighty, the West Ham striker postponing his home debut because of a "dead leg" sustained in training on Friday. Still Ian Wright's thunder would not be stolen. Paraded before his new fans before the kick-off, he remarked: "I can't believe I've got such a welcome from West Ham fans." Beckham could have believed his all right. His name during the roll-call had been granted a perfunctory jeer - saving their breath for a long afternoon's work - and his first touch the same. It was enough of a touch, however, to set up the game's opening salvo, a through-ball picking out Giggs, whose centre, to the far post, appeared dangerously Cole-bound, until Neil Ruddock cleared, apparently with the help of an arm. Beckham led the vigourous appeals for a penalty. Ruddock said later: "I got away with that one. It was more a case of ball to hand than hand to ball. But it wasn't cheating, or whatever you want to call it." Referee Peter Jones called it a corner. Mr Jones can hardly have learned of his assignment to this game with great glee, either. Apart from the abuse directed at Beckham, there would be Ruddock's confrontation with Andy Cole, whose leg Ruddock once broke. And when Roy Keane and Steve Lomas are on the undercard, the bout can hardly be mistaken for a featherweight joust. By the second minute, Jones had entered in his book the name of Hartson, who only started because of Wright's 11th-hour withdrawal. By the 90th, three others had joined him. Too many stray passes meant there would be a number of forceful clashes. Keane conceded a free kick following an awkward challenge on Berkovic, and Hartson danced treacherously along the narrow boundary between push and shove - and the still thinner one marked out by United's offside trap. Much of what he and Trevor Sinclair tried was admirable in conception, but missing something in execution. When Lazaridis stretched United's reargurad with his runs wide on the left, however, West Ham looked capable of breakthrough. Lomas sent a drive high over the bar and became, volubly from the away end, a "City reject" - everybody had travelled here with some sort of baggage. Sinclair drove low across the goalmouth after Berkovic and Hartson had combined cleverly to put him round the back of the United defence; an athletic block by Keane then denied Hartson's effort from five yards out; the striker was similarly thwarted by Gary Neville's interception. Later, Ferdinand's long ball put Sinclair in promising space; Berg thwarted him. The clearest opening came to the hosts shortly before the interval. Hartson's audacious back-heel invited Frank Lampard to tee up a drive from distance. He struck it low, Schmeichel could only beat the ball clear and Berkovic skied the rebound high and wide, under pressure from Berg. Berg, busy and well organised, made an impressive deputy for the much-scrutinised Jaap Stam, who had been kept out by a lingering thigh strain. At the back, West Ham coped ably with most of what United asked of them. Cole, roving deeper than his new forward partner, had had a low shot neatly collected by the West Ham goalkeeper, after Andy Impey uncharacteristically permitted him half a liberated yard. Yorke, meanwhile, stood on the fringes, Ruddock and Ferdinand giving him close and robust attention. In the muscular exchanges that characterised much of the football, he frequently lost out. But to expect too much of the United debutant would be to misjudge his period of acclimatisation. Yorke had been a Manchester United player for a mere 46 hours when he kicked off here. Alex Ferguson signed Yorke for 12.6m from Aston Villa just in time for the Champions League deadline. There are bigger challenges ahead. Yorke provided half a glimpse of why he carried such a high price as the second half opened, a neat little juggle shielding the ball from his marker deftly, albeit some 30 yards from the danger zone. Cole's performance had by now lent its own evidence in support of Ferguson's decision to strengthen his forward options. The two combined effectively once, on the hour, Cole floating a neat lob across the West Ham box, where Yorke, unguarded, brought it under control, only for Pearce to block his goalward drive. United's most effective period came in the last quarter-hour. Teddy Sheringham had replaced Cole and Beckham found his way back into the script, with the second of two efforts that flew wildly off target. Last word: Beckham's late free kick, from wide on the left, which he delivered perfectly to the head of Sheringham. It dropped just over the crossbar. West Ham United: Hislop, Ruddock, Sinclair, Hartson, Lomas, Ferdinand, Lazaridis, Lampard, Pearce, Impey, Berkovic (Abou 71). Manchester United: Schmeichel, G. Neville (P. Neville 51), Irwin, Johnsen, Beckham, Butt, Cole (Sheringham 69), Giggs, Keane, Yorke, Berg. Substitutes: West Ham United: Berkovic (Abou 71min). Manchester United: G Neville (P Neville 51min), Cole (Sheringham 69min). Booked: West Ham: Hartson (2min), Berkovic (16min), Johnsen (53min), Lazaridis (79min). Referee: P Jones (Loughborough). Attendance: 26,039.
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Subject: Telegraph Report: Yorke does a disappearing act Yorke does a disappearing act as his co-stars fail to perform By Patrick Barclay at Upton Park West Ham United (0) 0 Manchester United (0) 0 THIS, said Dwight Yorke, was the stage he had always craved. Yet all he performed for Manchester United's followers was a recurrent disappearing act. His fortunes did improve slightly in the 21 minutes after Teddy Sheringham had replaced Andy Cole. But by and large Yorke can only get better. And, to be fair, he can only get better support and encouragement than his new colleagues provided on a day of deadlock that told us next to nothing. West Ham, whose optimism has been soaring like pretty bubbles, should have won and did not. A dead-leg suffered by Ian Wright in training that kept the former Arsenal striker out cannot have helped a club still searching for their first Premiership victory over the Mancunians after their 11th attempt. Alex Ferguson's team were solid enough at the back but manifested sustained aggression only towards the end, when Yorke had his solitary chance and Sheringham headed over from a cross by the predictably abused David Beckham. Sportswriters will continue to reserve the right to hound Beckham over his petulant and profligate behaviour in St Etienne (with every justification, and the hope of thereby reducing the prospects of a repetition), so why should the fans of Manchester United's opponents not have the same privilege? They pay for it, after all. On the other hand, as several West Ham players took care to point out in the build-up to this match, an excess of taunting from the crowd can be counter-productive and Beckham has considerable experience of making detractors, especially those of his native metropolis, choke on their bile; some of his finest goals have been scored in London. Nor, it may be recalled, was former West Ham player Paul Ince diminished by the fury that greeted him here on his first visit in United red. Players of calibre tend, indeed, to be stimulated by derision. Although it still cannot have been much fun for Beckham to have his every touch booed, he was not obviously distressed by the peripheral aspects of the occasion and was one of United's more constructive contributors to a rather disappointing first half in which the West Ham defence, with Rio Ferdinand sweeping as usual, generally kept Yorke and Cole under firm control. At least Beckham, in common with Ryan Giggs and the rest of United's exceptional generation of young home-produced players, never had to cope with the greater stress of coming to the club from outside and having to adjust to Old Trafford's special, traditional demands. At one time strikers - Alan Brazil, Garry Birtles, Peter Davenport - seemed to come and go through a revolving door. But Alex Ferguson's faith in Cole was rewarded last season with 15 League goals and five in Europe. The test now awaits Yorke. Here the new subject of United's record outlay lined up for his first appearance alongside his precursor, Cole, with Giggs on the left flank. It might have been a more profitable opening period for them had the referee and relevant linesman agreed with them (and many neutrals) that Neil Ruddock had handled in the third minute. As Cole lurked behind him, the defender seemed to panic and thrust up an arm to divert a cross from Giggs, whom Beckham had served. West Ham sighed with relief. During the summer Harry Red- knapp used about a third of the 12.6 million Ferguson required to land Yorke in adding five players to the Upton Park squad who finished eighth last season. There had been good and bad news for the hungry audience in that while Ian Wright, after scoring the winner on his debut at Sheffield last weekend, was unfit, John Hartson had sufficiently recovered from ankle trouble to return. Back from suspension, Hartson wasted little time in sullying his clean disciplinary sheet, lunging late at Gary Neville; first minute, first yellow card of the season. But it took some excellent defending to deny the Welshman afterwards, first by Roy Keane, who blocked a drive after Hartson had used his power in the air, then Henning Berg, who prevented him from having the clear sight of goal promised by Andrew Impey's superb throughball. These flurries apart, West Ham seldom threatened. They produced the odd neat move, in which the steady Steve Lomas was usually involved, and from one Eyal Berkovic's clever pass towards the byline which gave Trevor Sinclair an opportunity, but the angle tied him in mental knots; his drive across the face of Peter Schmeichel's goal was neither shot nor cross. Yet somehow the home side contrived still to be more dangerous than United. Yorke took nearly half an hour to catch the eye, and that was with no more than a simple prompt from Denis Irwin, whose cross Beckham met on the volley, only to find an elevated destination in the Bobby Moore Stand. After Berkovic had wasted an opportunity, Ferdinand's majestic long pass released Sinclair and Schmeichel did extremely well to advance and save. But that, midway through the second half, was just about the last we saw of West Ham as an attacking force. Ferguson's side took the initiative. From a break by Giggs, the ball came to Yorke. In concentrating on direction, he got no conviction into his shot, which Neil Ruddock stopped. There was no need for the home goalkeeper, Shaka Hislop, a hero by all accounts at Hillsborough, to demonstrate his skill this time.
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Solskjaer to snub sorry Spurs by Matt Lawton Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is poised to reject a move to Tottenham, even though the White Hart Lane club agreed a 5.5million fee with Manchester United last night. It seems the Norwegian striker would rather play for the Old Trafford reserves than join a troubled Spurs team which has been snubbed by a host of other stars in recent months. The 'Baby-faced Assassin', as he is known, was travelling to London on the Manchester United team coach yesterday as he was apparently being sold to Tottenham. Spurs chairman Alan Sugar agreed the deal just hours after at first being told that Solskjaer was not for sale. Sugar will meet Solskjaer, who is in United's squad for their game at West Ham, tonight and will offer the Norwegian a five-year deal worth 1million a year, but the Spurs chairman will have to be at his most persuasive to lure the striker to White Hart Lane. Sugar is desperate to clinch a big-name signing after a summer of inactivity at Tottenham on the transfer front, and a disappointing start to the season which began with a 3-1 defeat by Wimbledon. But Solskjaer said earlier this year: "When I leave United it will be my decision and no-one else's." The striker had a meeting with manager Alex Ferguson this week and made it perfectly clear he did not wish to leave United and play under the guidance of Christian Gross. "Ole came to see me on Thursday and told me he did not want to leave," said Ferguson. "He said, 'I want to stay at Manchester United'. As far as I am concerned I'm happy to have him here." But the arrival of Dwight Yorke has certainly undermined Solskjaer's chances of securing a first-team place at Old Trafford. One could argue he is now fifth in the pecking order up front behind Yorke, Andy Cole, Paul Scholes and Teddy Sheringham. But such is Solskjaer's passion for United it is believed he has no desire to join a Premiership rival. The news that United have accepted an offer means the 25-year-old must accept his days at Old Trafford are numbered. A fee for his services has certainly been established. But if Solskjaer is going anywhere it is far more likely to be abroad than to another Premiership club, despite the fact that Everton have also expressed an interest in signing him in the last 24 hours. In a day of extraordinary about-turns, United boss Ferguson initially told Tottenham Solskjaer was not for sale. But then Spurs spokesman John Fenelly said: "United have accepted our bid for Solskjaer, and all that remains is for us to agree terms. We are hoping to meet him in the next few days to sort that out."
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Subject: SOLSKJAER DEAL COULD HIT WAGES SNAG (Sporting-Life) SOLSKJAER DEAL COULD HIT WAGES SNAG Tottenham are facing a twin dilemma in their bid to sign Norway World Cup striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer even though chairman Alan Sugar has reached agreement with Manchester United over a 5.5million fee. Solskjaer will have talks with Sugar over the weekend over personal terms for his proposed transfer but a major stumbling block could be his high wages which were given a boost when he signed a new seven-year contract at Old Trafford last season. And if Spurs do pull off the deal, head coach Christian Gross must find a place in the side for the 25-year-old whose goal-poaching skills have made him a popular figure with the Old Trafford fans. Gross already has Les Ferdinand and Chris Armstrong established as his main strikers in a 4-4-2 formation and is already well-stocked with attacking midfield players like David Ginola, Ruel Fox, Darren Anderton, Moussa Saib and Allan Nielsen. To accommodate Solskjaer, who prefers to operate just behind two front men, Gross would almost certainly have to change the tactical pattern of the side which has been in place since the former Grasshopper Zurich coach's arrival to take over from Gerry Francis in November. Although the purchase of Solskjaer would meet Director of Football David Pleat's criterion that Tottenham will now only sign players of international stature or youngsters of top-level potential, the move has not met with unanimous support from Spurs fans. A spokesman for the independent Tottenham Action Group said: "We are not exactly filled with enthusiasm by Spurs' apparent willingness to buy players who have become surplus to requirements at other Premiership clubs. "And whether Solskjaer actually signs for Spurs must still be open to doubt now that the bid has been publicised. Other clubs could still move in for him after discovering that United are willing to sell." Solskjaer, who joined United from Norwegian club Molde for 1.5m two years ago, scored 18 goals when Alex Ferguson's team won the Premiership in 1996-97. But last season he managed only eight while struggling to get into the side ahead of Andy Cole and former Spurs man, Teddy Sheringham. Now he has slipped further down the pecking order at Old Trafford with United's 12.6m acquisition of Dwight Yorke from Aston Villa. And he had a disappointing time at the World Cup finals in France where Norway dropped him after their opening game - a 2-2 draw with Morocco. The 5.5m price tag - 2m more than Spurs received from United for the experienced Sheringham just 14 months ago - is also staggering, but only reflects the current inflationary state of the transfer market. Earlier this week, Blackburn Rovers, having failed with a 7 million-plus bid for Tottenham's England defender Sol Campbell, paid Derby 5.3m for Christian Dailly. Meanwhile, Ferguson has admitted he has had to pay "over the odds" to get Yorke and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "He is a very good player but we would not pay that kind of price for anybody." And yet Spurs know they have to do something urgently to try to escape from the shadow cast over them by their Double-winning North London neighbours. They were facing Sheffield Wednesday at White Hart Lane this afternoon with Gross knowing full well that another flop, just a week after last Saturday's opening day flop against Wimbledon, would provoke familiar cries of a new Tottenham crisis in the making.
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Subject: BECKHAM + YORKE WATCH BECKHAM WATCH Two mins: Beckham was booed when he misjudged an Andy Cole pass. Seven mins: Beckham was badly fouled by Steve Lomas after receiving a great crossfield pass from Denis Irwin. 11 mins: Booed when he and Roy Keane had a misunderstanding and the ball went out of play. 21 mins: Beckham again used space on the right to initiate a good United move. 24 mins: Booed again when he failed to make connection and sliced his shot in front of goal from an Irwin left wing centre. 62 mins: Beckham was badly fouled by Neil Ruddock near the right corner flag when shaping to put in a centre. 68 mins: Made an excellent run from deep defence but his long shot went wide of the far post. -------------------- YORKE WATCH 21 mins: Dwight Yorke's glancing pass for Roy Keane on the right wing led to one of United's best chances. 39 mins: Yorke's splendid ball control again set up an excellent attack but no-one could get on the end of the chance. 50 mins: Some splendid Yorke footwork saw him burst through the home defence but his final move was deflected for a corner by Rio Ferdinand. 57 mins: Cole found Yorke on the wide side of the goal but Yorke's excellent shot was deflected by Neil Ruddock for a corner. 66 mins: Yorke brilliantly burst through the home defence but again his final pass was deflected by defender Ferdinand. PA Sporting Life
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

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