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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 24 04:49:21 GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

Daily RED Trivia  Monday 24th August:


1949: United beat Bolton Wanderers 3-0 at Old Trafford in a Division 1
game watched by 41,748. Charlie Mitten, Jack Rowley and Gillies (og) scored
for the Reds. Team was: Crompton, Carey, Aston, Warner, Lynn, Cockburn,
Delaney, Downie, Rowley, Pearson, Mitten. 

1992: Dion Dublin scored on his full debut at Southampton. Dublin tragically broke
his leg in his next game against Crystal Palace, and never regained a regular place.
Between 1992-94 he played 17 games and scored 3 goals before signing for
Coventry City for a fee of £2 million. 1 cap for England.


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. Match Report "No riots, just an anti-climax!"
2. Forty Years On" Diary of 40 hours in Manchester 1998: Pt 1/4
3. West Ham, local game :)
4. This week's "REDitorial"  "Munich, Memories and Small Minds"
5. Ole (PA)
6. Bad Times (PA)


Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

From: Our Salford Lass Subject: Match Report "No riots, just an anti-climax!" It was a very soberly dressed group of people that met at OT to get the coach down to London yesterday. Upton Park is always a ground to approach with caution, but with the build-up of the last few weeks, it seemed that most people had decided caution was more important than wearing their colours. The journey down was long and tedious (due to the usual traffic jams on the M25) but was livened up by the lads on the back seat doing their best to get the rest of the coach singing and a sighting of Paddy Crerand in the services. As we approached the outskirts of London, the atmosphere on the coach improved enormously with the arrival of the team coach beside us (leading to chants of "Come to see the players, you've only come to see the players" from the back seat!). It then followed us to the ground as we made fools of ourselves chanting and singing to a group of lads whose smiles became a just a little frozen after the first fifteen minutes! Some were thoroughly enjoying themselves, however. In particular, Peter Schmeichel laughed and waved and gesticulated in our direction, along with Fergie who was sitting beside him, beaming. Others were much more laid-back in their response - Gary Neville and Beckham smiled nicely like the nice boys they are, Roy Keane looked mean and moody and Paul Scholes stared at us as if we'd all gone crazy! Things were just dying down a bit (even we were getting tired of harassing the poor bastards) when someone spotted Ole sitting on the other side of the bus. Of course that set off a chorus of "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole". Unfortunately for us (fortunately for them!), they couldn't hear because of the thickness of the bus windows, so one of the lads had a brain wave. He found a large sheet of paper from somewhere and wrote on it "Ole Must Stay". That brought a massive grin and a wave from Ole and smiles from everyone else. Eventually the police arrived to escort the team bus into the stadium - we were left to make our own way as best we could! As usual, the bus dropped us off on the main street, at the opposite end of the stadium to the away end, so we put smiles on our faces and sauntered off up the street trying to look like cockneys (not easy for some of us cool Mancs). On the way, we had to pass the pub on the corner, outside which were gathered most of the inhabitants of the Bobby Moore stand. As we rounded the corner, we discovered that the team bus had not got far - there it was in front of us, attempting to back into the players' entrance, surrounded by a baying mob of West Ham fans. We walked slowly up to the edge of the crowd, keeping quiet (I don't do a very good cockney accent) and trying to be inconspicuous. The chants of "There's only one David Beckham" which had marked our passage through the streets of East London died on our lips and we watched a crowd of about 100 morons screaming abuse at Becks - sitting quietly, looking straight ahead. As we walked up, a glass was thrown and shattered on the side of the coach and for a moment, it looked like there was going to be major trouble, but apart from screaming themselves hoarse and almost getting run over by the coach as it reversed into the gates, the mob (thankfully) controlled itself. On the coach, some of the players were having fun. Peter Schmeichel (egged on by the kit man and physio!) was laughing and gesticulating at the crowd and Roy Keane was smiling down at the West Ham fans doing "Come on if your 'ard enough" gestures! Once the coach had disappeared, the crowd dispersed and that was that! We walked unmolested into the ground. Once in the away end, we realised we were in good company. All around us were lads known for their chanting abilities (including Peter Boyle). Also just in front of us were David Beckhams' parents (and sister - Alan) and Teddy Sheringham's young son - the only person in the ground to wearing a United shirt with Sheringham on the back! From the start of the game, the chanting in our end was brilliant, a great atmosphere. To begin with, it was all about Beckham - "There's only one David Beckham" and "David Beckham, King of all cockneys" - and against England - "You can stick your fucking England up your arse", "Argentina, Argentina" (Pete Boyle even had an Argentina flag, which the West Ham fans didn't like at all!) and "Man United is bigger than England". The one I liked best was "City of Manchester, Manchester republic". The best part of the first half though came when we sang "Stand up, if you hate Man U" (we were standing at the time, in fact we stood through the whole game) - West Ham fans in North Stand couldn't help themselves, they stood up. We then clapped and applauded them and sang "You sad bastards" - they went bananas, it was great fun and I have a feeling that this is one that will be used at all the away games this season. It only works once though - they'd sussed it out the second time we tried it! We varied it a bit later, singing "Sit down if you love Man U" - you could see they were dying to stand up but didn't want another chant of "You sad bastards", so they stayed seated and still got taken the piss out of with "Lets all laugh at West Ham!" As to the torrid time West Ham were threatening to give Beckham, well all I can say is, when did it happen? Cos I missed it! The guy who had 10,000 red cards printed at his own expense must have been a happy chap, because we only saw one and that was on the way in on the coach! Apart from a bit of booing early in the game and a massive cheer every time he made a mistake, the only trouble they gave Beckham was a bit of earache every time he took a corner - something he should be used to by now! All-in-all, it is likely to be the biggest anti-climax this season! Like most grounds in the Premiership these days, the home fans were pretty quiet once the game had been underway for half-an-hour or so and we outsung them for most of the game - "You're supposed to be at home" with lots of shushing noises was heard at regular intervals. We soon got bored with baiting the fans and started chanting about scousers and singing "You are my Solskjaer" (the final line of which was sung with a little more feeling than is usual). The game itself was also a massive anti-climax. With less, rather than more baiting of the players than usual, and with a United team that looked like it was still in the middle of pre-season, it was not the most exciting game I've ever witnessed. Ian Wright had chickened out of another meeting with Peter and Neil Ruddock had lost about 5 stones, so the usual chants of "Ian Wank, Wank, Wank" and "Who ate all the pies" were not heard. Even when Neil Ruddock got away with the most blatent hand ball I've seen on a football pitch since Maradonna's "Hand of God", the screams of protest were muted, with a quick return to the anti-England chants. The game was exciting in patches, but like most games recently, there were countless chances but nothing in the net. Don't believe the ABU press this morning, who seem determined to add Dwight Yorke to their list of "Fergie's waste of money" signings - he had a good debut. He was not as effective as he could have been, but it was the first time he had not only played for us, but also played with the other players (I doubt he's even had time for a training session) and by the end of the game, he was starting to show why Fergie wanted him. I think his partnership with Cole will work out well. He's much stronger than Cole - at one point in the game holding onto the ball despite the attentions of three West Ham defenders - and is much better at holding the ball and then putting in a telling pass. Cole's had to do a lot of that - now he needs to play much more to his own strengths, something he will do as he and Yorke gain experience together. Yorke got a good reception from the United fans, although no chants as yet. The man of the match though was Henning Berg. He had the best game I've seen him have in a United shirt, including a match-saving tackle which couldn't have been bettered by anyone. It's interesting to see how having some competition for places has perked up a few of our players! In the second half, the chanting died a little as we got more and more frustrated with missed chances and passes. But we carried on singing for Ole and taking the mickey out of the West Ham fans, as the game wore on to its tedious conclusion in the summer sunshine. As the end of the game approached, we began to consider the coming ordeal of making our way back to the bus, with not a little nervousness. When the final whistle blew, we queued to leave, and as we did so, the players who had not been involved in the game came on the pitch for a "warm down". Amongst them was Ole! They jogged towards us and "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole" rang out. Ole smiled and waved. The jogged the other way. Then back towards us they came again and they were greeted again, even louder - "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole". Ole grinned and waved again. As they turned and ran off towards the other end of the pitch, Ole looked back over his shoulder at us and I can tell you something my friends, if Ole does leave us, it won't be because he wants to. The lad is Red through and through and that look said everything. We've done everything we can, all we can do now is wait and see what happens. But I really believe that Ole does have it in him to be a United legend (he showed that in his first season). If we let him go, we will regret it forever. The leaving of Upton Park was, like the game, an anti-climax. We strolled up the road, again pretending to be cockneys, and got to the bus without any mishaps. As we drove through the streets heading back to the motorway, we waited nervously for the expected bricks - none came. The worst we suffered was having to listen to a West Ham fan (I think) on Radio Five, whinging about what a disgrace we United fans were, singing anti-England songs! The journey back was again enlivened by the entertainment provided by the lads on the back seat who were reaching into their bag of United chants for the oldest and least-heard chants they could find. All the way home, we were saying "I haven't heard that one for 20 years" and "Bloody hell, do you remember him? Wasn't he awful?" Coming into Stretford, there was some more excitement as the players' coach once again pulled up beside us. Unfortunately, it was empty apart from one person sitting behind the driver ................ Martin Edwards. The day ended with a chorus of "If you all hate Martin clap your hands" and "You are my Solskjaer". Copyright © 1998 by Our Salford Lass. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author ******************************************************
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 19:07:33 +0200 (CEST) From: barrylee@post3.tele.dk (Barry Leeming) Subject: "Forty Years On" Diary of 40 hours in Manchester 1998: Pt 1/4 Diary August 16-19 1998: Pt 1: Days 1+2 Travel, arrival at OT Sunday lunch time 16th August in Denmark the pilgrimage started..... A flight from Copenhagen to Heathrow on Brazilian Airways was a decent start. First class service and a fantastic clear night view of London, Tower Bridge & Battersea Power Station as we circled on in to the airport. The time was around 2130 hrs and 1hr on the Picadilly line up to Mike Dobbin who would then pick me up just after last orders! We were therefore whisked off to his abode where we would spend a couple RED hours drinking the contents of the yellow cans sitting inside Mike's fridge at Palmers Green. Mike has a remarkable record, he has attended all UNITED games since 1991. We had recently met in Copenhagen a week or two before, now it was time to catch up on a few stories. Mike had booked my ticket from Euston to Manchester Picadilly the morning after so when we finally slept we would be woken early at 6am Monday morning. Monday morning bright and early and the relaxing sounds of classical music whilst checking out "BESTIE" George's new hardback autobiography by Joe Lovejoy, Mike had picked it up at the Leicester match. Mike went off to work and dropped me off on the tube where I would get the Victoria line to Euston. It was still only 8am, two hours to kill before the 10 o'clock Virgin train to Manchester Picadilly. Left luggage, then a walk around the streets of North London in brilliant sunshine. I found a decent cafe and sampled a feast of an English breakfast. The bar at Euston was open but NO drinks were being served before 11am (drinking laws in Uk) one orange juice on the rocks! Downstairs the off-licence had cold beer so three ice cold cans would be sufficient for the on coming 2 & half hours by train! The train was fully booked and Mike had reserved me a seat, thanks Mike! Part of the journey was taken up chatting to Marianne a Northern lady who asked me to say hello to her son Douglas?(sorry if I have the name wrong) who is also a RED and would be checking out the Theatre Of Dreams website on my return. Food was served on the train, I recommend the Ploughman's sandwiches but definatly not the plastic Danish pastries! Arriving in Manchester I noted that it was hot and THE SUN WAS SHINING??? The time was 1230 Monday lunch so now for a taxi to Chester Road and OT.......the taxi "Metro 151" turned the corner outside the station then BROKE down!! The guy called the AA and told me that it was the first time he had broken down in his 17 years of driving? Could I change cabs? Certainly, a very good start I thought :) The second taxi drove me to my digs on Chester Rd, 100 yds from the ground! Left my bag in my room and grabbed the first of my throw away cameras. Down to OT, fairly quiet but there were a few touts trying to "buy" tickets ready for the big day tomorrow. It was now 2pm and a call to Paul Busby confirmed that we would meet at the Throstles 8pm that evening. more to come... Pt 2 Day 2 OT the museum + meet with Paul Busby Pt 3 Day 3 Match Day,lunch with Linda, Simplenet meet with Paul Hinson Pt 4 Day 4 Hal & May + long trek home *************************************************************** REQUEST TO ALL LIST MEMBERS WHO ATTENDED THE MUNICH TESTIMONIAL: To be used on the website as a multi media story of Munich/Eric's farewell. Please write 100-200 words about your experiences that day. Mail them to me at barrylee@post3.tele.dk If you have any photos even better! (Alan) Thanks in advance Barry  Barry Leeming e-mail: barry@www.red11.org Theatre Of Dreams http://www.red11.org "RED sky at night UNITED delight"
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Subject: West Ham, local game :) Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 20:13:40 +0200 Personal report: From: walker@mail.bogo.co.uk (john walker) West Ham away is my local game...what a difference it is to leave for the pub at 12.45, just a short tube ride and into the miller's well at east ham, a small island of 7 reds round a table in the large pub in a sea of west ham. it's funny how a kind of defiance comes over you...in the cold light of day you know that you should speak in hushed voice and try to avoid anyone overhearing you and discovering that you're a red...then as the first pint slips down you find yourself getting quite staunch! i was certainly in my 'disguise' ie no red shirt :) no colours :) the team coach went by the pub and stopped in traffic outside...all the west ham 'hate mob' could manage was a shouted insult at beckham, though i hear things were thrown at the coach elsewhere. very brave of becks to sit by the window i thought. and i spotted ole, which i was pleased about, and i just hope he wasn't just getting a lift in order to meet up with alan sugar later. ole actually came out onto the pitch for the 'warm down' after the game and got a good reception from the reds still in the stadium. the long walk down to the ground was quite uneventful, just having to keep an eye out for the gangs of west ham fans who mingle and try and spot anyone who might be a united fan. at the away end a sense of relief as a good representation of cockney reds, and united 'lads' seemed to offer protection...then i suddenly realised that if it was going to 'go off' it would be right here! so i thought it best to get inside. at the turnstiles a red was making an heroic attempt to storm the turnstiles...a kamikaze run which came to grief under a half dozen stewards and police. they seemed a little heavy handed, but i don't know what had gone on previously. under the stand united fans were in good voice and boisterous high spirits. someone had an argentina flag with mufc sewn into the central white stripe. the reds seem to be getting our retaliation in first in sticking up for becks...there was plenty of 'ar-gen-tina' and 'you can stick ******* england up your ****' along with 'we all agree, united are bigger than england' i was quite happy with this...we should be taking the piss, rather than just responding to what others dish out, but my mate pointed out that, it may be worse for us if we come out too anti england...it may affect some of our players and may affect players thinking of joining united if we're against england. though i can take that point i think as long as it doesn't go too far it's just a good piss take. in an ideal world, when opposing fans sing 'engerland' maybe we should just join in, as it doesn't take much to confuse them. becks reception from the west ham crowd was nothing much. no worse than last year that's for sure, and nothing like ince's reception a few years back. one bonus was we didn't get one munich song. keano also went almost unbooed. later on 'match of the day' the booing sounded louder, and i suspect the microphones were carefully placed to pick up what the producer wanted, and the newspapers are saying he was booed at every touch. well he was, but no worse than last season. pete boyle has come up with a city taunting song to the tune of 'vindaloo': 'division two, division two, division two, division two, haha' it's quite funny when you hear it :) the united support was pretty good, no new songs for yorke just yet...i was thinking it would be really funny if we all just did the 'doo-doo-doo-be-doo' bit from 'new york new york'. andy cole got good support, keano too. becks of course. no doubt there'll be plenty of newspaper reports about the game so i won't waste your time, suffice to say we were in control pretty much throughout, but in my opinion it's not so much a striker we need, as someone to supply the 'fantasy' as eric called it. teddy is the best we've got at the moment, but i don't understand why giggs and scholes haven't progressed into this type of player...someone who can see the angles and the killer pass. nicky butt and keano were excellent, becks was fine, berg was great in defence against the awkward hartson. giggs was poor. dwight yorke just played his way in, he was never going to set the world on fire in this game. i think he and cole together will be a great partnership...yorke can hold the ball and run with it, i think they will complement each other well. we were let straight out after the game, and there didn't seem to be any major confrontations. i walked back up to the pub at east ham past where the 'official' coaches were parked and i didn't sense any tension there, so i hope all was quiet. no copyright glory glory man united :)
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Subject: This week's "REDitorial" "Munich, Memories and Small Minds" http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate/ - Alex Paylor - www.red11.org "Munich, Memories and Small Minds" I can only find one thing wrong with Eric Cantona's return to Old Trafford this past week, and that is that I wasn't there to see it. What I would have given to have been among the lucky ones to witness, in person, the magic of King Eric at the Theatre of Dreams one more time. And for such a great cause as well. Having devoured every word I could find on the Munich Benefit game, I find myself recalling specific moments from those five great seasons of Cantona's reign at Old Trafford in my mind. Some recurring images: THAT goal against Sunderland and Eric's reaction. No running around the pitch as if those chasing him were not team mates, but debt collectors. No dive-bombing run ending in a plummet to the grass. No, Eric just stood his ground, hands on hips, slowly turning his head to those assembled as if to say "Well, that wasn't half bad, was it?" The infamous kung fu kick on the Crystal Palace cretin who went way over the top that day at Selhurst Park. The cup final goal against Liverpool, a sublime piece of skill forever imprinted on my mind. The disdainful glare Eric would direct at a fellow United player whose play wasn't measuring up. I shouldn't have started a list, for there is nowhere near the room here to recall all of those special moments Eric Cantona gave us. Was he the best ever to wear a United shirt? That question has been asked many times this past week and it can't be ignored here either. First, some quotes from people whose opinions you have to respect. Bobby Charlton, a man who would receive more than a few votes in any poll for the best Red ever: "For this club for the time he was here he was unsurpassed." says Bobby. "We caught him at the right time and got the best out of him. One of 2 United men to have ever been knighted for their services to football, Sir Bobby concludes "Eric was something really special to this club and one wonders if there will ever be anybody like him here again." Alex Ferguson, who paid £1.2million to Leeds United for Cantona in November of 1992: "He (Cantona) stuck out his chest as if to say I should have been since I was born. A lot of other players have come here, particularly in the period after Sir Matt's 1968 European Cup success up until winning the league again, who were completely overawed by Old Trafford. They were intimidated by it and having to carry the albatross of being the player who was going to have to win the league for Manchester United. But Cantona was born for that kind of pressure - he was just made for it. He was the catalyst - there's no doubt about it." To sum up, Ferguson concludes "Eric had the most effect any player has ever had on any of my teams." Ferguson also believes the Cantona transfer was the best deal he ever made for United, and on the evidence who can disagree. Harry Gregg, the former United goalkeeper, and a hero of that awful day in Munich: "As far as I'm concerned he has been the most influential figure at Old Trafford since Feb. 8, 1958. You can talk about others since then, but they did not have the influence this person had. People talk over the years about the big things that have happened at Old Trafford, but you tell me one person who had the effect that he had in those five years - there isn't anyone. He was the catalyst for the whole thing coming together again." In paying further tribute to Cantona Harry Gregg says "As far as I'm concerned Cantona was always the one, when I watched United, who stood out from the rest. He had that thing about him which is greatness. On the pitch he was a genius and there are not too many I would say that about. Others talk a good game, but he didn't - he just played one instead." The record shows that in the four-and-a-half years Eric Cantona wore a United shirt the club won the league championship four times, the FA Cup twice, and did the Double twice. In fact the only year in which United won nothing was 1995, and that was the year Eric was suspended for what happened at Selhurst Park. Fans from the 50's will tell you Duncan Edwards was great, and he was. The sad truth is we will never know just how great he would have become, and how different United's history would be had it not been for Munich. Those of us privileged enough to have seen the team of the mid 60's play will talk of the contributions of Charlton, and the man we called the King back then, Denis law. We marveled at the skills of George Best and to this day shake our heads at what we saw him do, not quite believing any player could actually do those things. We remember the courage of David Herd, rising from the floor after a bone shattering tackle, to stand on his good leg and knock the ball into the net with the one broken a second or two before. United supporters of any era have had their heroes. Players such as Buchan, Coppell, Whiteside and Robson come to mind in more modern times. But did any player of any other era lead the team to glory the way Eric Cantona did? There is only one answer, and that is "No". He was the constant in all of the winning campaigns of the 90's, and it is sad that he doesn't have a European Cup winners medal to go with the others he won with United. And Eric did not wait for his skills to fade, as have others, before he retired. When his passion for the game left, so did he. I believe United were fortunate indeed to have had him for the time the club did, and it was a great gesture on his part to agree to return to Old Trafford for the Munich Benefit. And Eric finally got his chance to speak directly to the Old Trafford faithful, saying "It has been a very special night for me. It is a wonderful feeling and I thank you all for coming and I hope to see you all soon." Addressing the question of why he called it quits so suddenly in May of 1997 he said "I lost my passion for the game. I'm sorry but I gave the game more than 10 years and I had five wonderful seasons here. They were the best times of my career and I love you all very much." As we do you, Eric. Long live the King. >From the King to the son of Yorke, To be precise, Mrs Yorke's boy, Dwight. After a ridiculous couple of weeks of will he-won't he, the deal was done just in time for United to register the Trinidad and Tobago international for the group stage of the Champions Cup. The stupidest statements of the whole Yorke affair came out of Villa Park, and they continued after the transfer was completed. While the haggling was going on John Gregory rambled on about "Why should Yorke want to go to Manchester United when Villa are just as good a club" etc. Right John, the Villa trophy case has just been bursting at the seams the last few years, hasn't it? Every time this clown opens his mouth he proves just what a fool he is, and what he said about wanting to shoot Yorke when the player told him he would prefer to leave Villa for United was the stupidest thing he has said throughout this entire saga. Whatever you do John, donít give that gun to Stan Collymore. You know he would miss the intended target, even from point blank range. Villaís chairman is no better. Doug Ellis's comments about Unitedís behaviour, accusing United of "tapping" Yorke, are laughable, especially in light of the Villa man's own actions in the past. I have two words for Doug Ellis. Brian Little. I hope the Ellis-Gregory partnership lasts a long time. They deserve each other. The saddest thing about the signing of Yorke would be the loss of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. As of this writing some sources had him all but signing for Spurs, while others insist he will stay at Old trafford to fight for a place in the first team. As late as Friday afternoon Alex Ferguson was quoted as saying he didn't want to sell the Norwegian, and Ole as saying he didn't want to go anywhere else. Taking both at their word I have to believe pressure was brought to bear by the people who pull the purse strings at Old Trafford, the "suits" who care less about table position and trophies won, than they do about the bottom line at the end of the financial year. All along Fergie has been talking of the importance of having a good squad from which to choose. If that is the case then why weaken it by selling a man who scored 18 goals in his first season with the club? I'll repeat what I said in this space two weeks ago. Solksjaer's second season at Old Trafford was marred by injury, but given playing time he would be finding the net again with regularity. Of course the "suits" see a chance to recoup some of the money which has gone out on transfers this summer and want to grab it. To hell with the fact the manager wants to keep him, to hell with the fact the player wanted to stay, and to hell with the supporters too. As long as their earnings stay high why bother about the players and the supporters? It's time they realized the football played at this club over the years is the basis of it's success. Without it's marvelous history, and without itís great managers and players, past and present, there would be no megastores, and no huge investment from Sharp. Manchester United pulls in staggering amounts of money each year, and like it or not, you guys in the boardroom, the foundation of that mountain of cash is the product on the pitch, and what it means to all of those "little people" who love this club even more than you love money. You know the little people. Those who fill the stands each game, those who still follow the club faithfully and buy the merchandise, those who live thousands of miles away but make the occasional trek to Old Trafford at great expense just to drink in the atmosphere, and treasure those moments till the next time. You owe it to all of us to re-invest the money this club makes in the very best players. We the fans, and the players, present and past deserve no less. Especially those who died in Munich in 1958. ***************************************************************** Comments/Email to: red_devils_advocate@yahoo.com REDitorial Guestbook Sign http://jupiter.guestworld.tripod.lycos.com/wgb/wgbsign.dbm?owner=reditorial REDitorial Guestbook View http://jupiter.guestworld.tripod.lycos.com/wgb/wgbview.dbm?owner=reditorial
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 20:13:33 +0800 From: Red Devil Marcus Subject: Ole (PA) OLE COOL ON SPURS MOVE By Paul Smith of the Sunday Mirror The £5.5m transfer of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in danger of collapse last night. The Manchester United striker is devastated by the decision of the club to sell him, just two days after Alex Ferguson gave him a massive vote of confidence and insisted he would not be sold. And further complications arose last night when Solskjaer told Norwegian journalists that he had no intention of leaving his Manchester home before Christmas. Although his agent, the controversial Rene Hauge was at White Hart Lane yesterday to discuss personal terms and the player himself was expected in London on Monday, the deal was in danger of going nowhere. Solskjaer has told close friends that he has recently bought a house in Manchester and that his fiancee has now undertaken a course at Manchester University. Solskjaer feels any move would disrupt her studies and has insisted that he will not be moving. Although there are claims that his wages could be a stumbling block, Spurs are more than willing to match his salary, indeed increase it. But Solskjaer has grave reservations about the move, not least the dismal performance of the London side just two games into the season. And he has also indicated to team-mates that he would rather stay at Old Trafford and fight for his place than join a club that is in crisis. © PA Sporting Life ps: and from the chants of "you are my solskjaer" against west ham, it's obvious that united fans don't want him out either..
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 20:15:18 +0800 Subject: Bad Times (PA) FERGIE FACING YORKER By Frank Malley, PA Chief Sports Writer The clear glass bottle came hurtling out of the sky and crashed against the window of the Manchester United coach. It shattered into a hundred pieces. It is much too early in the Premiership season to speculate that the same will happen to United's title challenge. But the signs that all is not well in the United camp were there for all to see in the goalless draw against West Ham. Not least, of course, in the depressingly familiar protests against David Beckham, of which the bottle-throwing incident was the most violent and disturbing. Beckham was predictably jeered, booed and taunted throughout the match and had to endure relentless jibes about girlfriend Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice, who had announced she is three months pregnant just 24 hours earlier. Surely it's time the morons who insist on chanting "You let your country down" ceased the persecution of the 23-year-old England star who has suffered enough for his impetuous sending-off against Argentina in France 98. Not even murderers provoke the sort of treatment Beckham has to endure before and during football matches these days. Worryingly from United's point of view was that the vitriol aimed at him seems to be having an inhibiting effect on the rest of the United side, who peered with a mixture of bemusement and apprehension as their vehicle snaked its way slowly through the 500-strong welcoming hate mob and attendant mounted police and dog handlers. It is certainly no way to prepare for a football match. Just as manager Alex Ferguson's refusal to speak to the Press after this disappointing and deflating match was no way for the boss of Britain's biggest club to behave. His players were also ordered to stay silent. Two games into the new season and already it seems the Fortress Fergie mentality prevails. Ironically, it was left to West Ham manager Harry Redknapp to fight Fergie's battles and he was only to happy to back Beckham. "Manchester United have always been barracked when they have come here but this stick Beckham is getting is not deserved," said Redknapp. "I didn't really hear much of it because I was wrapped up in the match and it didn't sound that bad. But it should stop." Hammers' young England defender Rio Ferdinand was similarly protective saying: "England need Beckham and it's time everybody got behind him." But putting the Beckham business aside there is much more which should disturb Ferguson about this performance. The fact that they were nullified as an attacking force by a side which cost in total £3million less than their new striker Dwight Yorke was bad enough. The fact that Yorke himself barely looked worth £3million was even worse. Judging by the rhetoric coming out of Old Trafford these past few days you would have thought Ferguson had just landed a Ronaldo, a Suker or a Bergkamp - at the very least a striker with extraordinary world-class talents. As it transpires he has bought pretty much something he already had. Indeed, at times it was difficult to spot the difference between Yorke and Andy Cole. Both are undeniably quick, alert and hard-working - but both are too easily snuffed out of a game, especially one like this where there is inevitably more steel than style. The criticism of Cole from no less distinguished corner than England coach Glenn Hoddle is that he requires at least five chances to convert one. The same could apply to Yorke, whose scoring record at Aston Villa stood at a goal every two-and-a-half games and who on Saturday looked as if it might take him two-and-a-half months to open his account with United. It serves no purpose, of course, to be too harsh. After all, Yorke had trained just once with his new team-mates and his face must have been close to cracking under the strain of flashing that Tobago sunshine smile for countless photographers. And, in truth, his team-mates provided him with just one chance - a swift swivel and crisp shot which was easily blocked by West Ham's tenacious defence. Any United fans thinking they had acquired the football equivalent of Yorke's great pal Brian Lara, a swashbuckling batsman who cracks boundaries relentlessly and effortlessly, should think again. Yorke will occasionally delight but more often he will frustrate - a bit perhaps like Graeme Hick. By contrast you always know exactly what you are getting with West Ham striker John Hartson - not too much guile but bundles of bustle and brimstone. With Ian Wright having succumbed to a training ground knock Hartson was passed fit to play just 90 minutes before kick-off after a pain-killing injection on his injured ankle. He gave United's makeshift defence of Henning Berg and Ronny Johnsen a lively afternoon and only the timely intervention of Roy Keane for one of his trademark last-ditch blocks denied Hartson a winner. For all that United left Upton Park believing they had been robbed of a blatant penalty - and they were right. Indeed, Neil Ruddock admitted he had cleared a Ryan Giggs cross, bound for Cole's head, with an arm. Redknapp also conceded the Hammers had been "lucky". Fergie, you suspect, was fuming. He just wasn't telling anybody. © PA Sporting Life
Dwight Yorke finally arrives at OT!

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