Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Foot-notes in Man. United history
by Paul Kennedy, April 29th, 2008 6:45AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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
U.S. Soccer Shakeup: U-17 and U-20 women's coaches to be replaced    
B.J. Snow is no longer U.S. U-17 girls national team coach and Michelle French is out ...
U.S. Abroad: Johnson's M'Gladbach pulls miracle comeback    
Fabian Johnson came off the bench for Borussia Moenchengladbach as it came back from 2-0 down ...
Sneak Peek: Potent Impact seeks resiliency and depth    
Last year Montreal stunned Red Bulls, 3-1, on aggregate and took a commanding lead against Toronto ...
What They're Saying: Perry Dealy    
"It's worth preserving because we don't have a lot of icons. It would save a lot ...
Sneak Peek: Vieira is convinced NYCFC will be improved    
In his first season, Patrick Vieira proved that a foreign coach unfamiliar with MLS could find ...
Sneak Peek: Timbers look as good as ever    
From MLS champion in 2015 to out of the playoffs in 2016, it was quite a ...
CCL: FC Dallas rewarded with record-breaking win    
FC Dallas' intensive training camp in Buenos Aires -- nine games over 10 days -- paid ...
What They're Saying: Gary Lineker    
"After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, ...
Video Pick: Messi-like golazo by Barcelona youth    
In UEFA Youth League play, 17-year-old Barcelona striker Jordi Mboula scored a spectacular solo goal in ...
What They're Saying: Roy Keane    
"No way Wayne Rooney should be going to China. He can still play football at the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives