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: Univision's Juan Carlos Rodriguez    
"If the rights are already fixed, there's little incentive to FIFA to award 2026 to the ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
The MLS preseason wraps up on Saturday with 18 of 20 teams in action, all but ...
MLS issues record fine to owner Dell Loy Hansen    
One MLS owner, Real Salt Salt's Dell Loy Hansen, has not been shy about expressing his ...
id2 tour kicks off Monday in Argentina    
The id2 National Selection will kick off its tour of Argentina with the first of four ...
Concacaf Under-17 Championship television schedule    
The USA kicks off play in the Concacaf Under-17 Championship Friday against Cuba in San Pedro ...
USA enjoys long history of U-17 regional success    
The U.S. U-17s will get a chance at the 2015 Concacaf Under-17 Championship to avenge the ...
D.C. United sadly outclassed in Costa Rica    
Alajuelense jumped on top early and pounded D.C. United, 5-2, in the first leg of their ...
What They're Saying: Luis Suarez    
"I do not understand why they [the English media] want to do this. They want to ...
MLS Countdown 2015: Quakes test out new home    
DAY 7: Last in the Western Conference last year, San Jose heads into 2015 with a ...
Cal South again heads ODP Championship field    
Cal South, which has swept the US Youth Soccer ODP Championships the last two years, has ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives