Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Foot-notes in Man. United history
by Paul Kennedy, April 29th, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  england

MOST COMMENTED

[IN THE SPOTLIGHT] Rio Ferdinand's kick in frustration at the door of a television interview room that accidentally hit a female security guard in the ankle and Frenchman Patrice Evra's exchange with a Stamford Bridge groundskeeper after Manchester United's 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Saturday epitomized a team on the verge of unraveling.

They also rekindled United's reputation for fiery outbursts.

Ferdinand's mis-kick recalled Sir Alex Ferguson's kick of a cleat in the locker room that gashed David Beckham above his eye in 2003.

Evra's scrap brought back memories of a more public scuffle by another United Frenchman. Eric Cantona was suspended for nine months for the kung-fu move he put on a Crystal Palace fan in 1995.

United began last week the favorite to win both the Premier League and Champions League. It is now tied with Chelsea for first place in the EPL and needs to beat Barcelona Tuesday in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal at Old Trafford (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, live, 2:30 pm ET) to advance to the final.

Ferguson's nerves were shaken, but he brushed aside suggestions that United was sliding.

"I'm not concerned the season is beginning to affect the team," he said. "I think we should be sitting here as league champions. I think decisions have gone against us, bad decisions have gone against us."

United's new position in the EPL standings with two games to play was in part Ferguson's doing. He gambled on resting star Cristiano Ronaldo and Evra against Chelsea -- a move he defended on Monday.

"Playing Tuesday night after a lunchtime kickoff, there is no way I could have played the same team," said Ferguson. "I had to decide where I could get the best freshness and give my team the best chance of a European final because that is the best incentive for any player."

United still remains the favorite to beat Barcelona -- the Spanish club's form in recent weeks has been poor -- but a loss on Tuesday would only add to United's history of problems in the Champions League semifinals under Ferguson. After blowing out Roma with a brilliant performance in last year's quarterfinals, United fell to Milan in the semifinals. A loss to Barca Tuesday would mark the fourth time Ferguson's United has fallen in five appearances in the Champions League semifinals.

Another look at United history is more favorable.

Cantona was believed to be finished when he was suspended in 1995, but he returned to lead United to the 1996 EPL championship. In 2003, Ferguson and Beckham put the flap over Beckham's injury behind them long enough -- Beckham left for Real Madrid after the season -- for United to win the EPL title.

If United go on to repeat as EPL champion -- it has a big edge in the tiebeaker -- the Ferdinand incident will be just another foot-note in United lore.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Oli Makin    
"I can't thank [the] police enough. It has saved the club a fortune and the players ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 32] A classic encounter left the LA Galaxy, No. 1 in the Soccer America ...
Guardiola is happy to be back in Rome    
[UCL: Three Games to Watch] Two matches involving former champions, plus Pep Guardiola's return to Roma ...
Klingenberg golazo highlights another easy U.S. win    
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] The USA cruised into the semifinals of the Concacaf Women's Championship with its ...
Concacaf Women's Championship Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] Trinidad & Tobago beat Guatemala, 2-1, on late goals by Kennya Cordner of the ...
Agudelo trial at Wolves ends    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Juan Agudelo's search for a club continues as English League Championship club Wolves passed ...
MLS clubs in position to outdo Mexican rivals    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] The group stage of the Concacaf Champions League concludes with Week 6 with ...
What They're Saying: India Premier League    
"Heaven has gained a defensive midfielder; apart from the hard tackles and the breaking up of ...
Bielsa sits on cup of coffee    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Not everything is going right for Marseille's coach Marcelo Bielsa, whose ...
U.S. under-14 girls national team roster    
[CARSON CAMP] Head coach April Kater has called up 35 players (with one more to be ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives