Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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
ICYMI | MLS: Report: New DP procedures formulated    
Allocation money could become even more valuable under new policies adopted by MLS. One of the ...
Reader's Note: Watch for Special July 4th Edition    
Soccer America will publish Soccer America Daily on Saturday as it previews Sunday's Women's World Cup ...
Scouting Report: USA preps for Gold Cup against Guatemala    
Two years ago, the USA tuned up for the Gold Cup with a 6-0 win over ...
Video Pick: Freddy Adu -- Good News, Bad News     
The good news is that Freddy Adu scored an impressive free kick goal. The bad news ...
NASL enters Phase 2; Strikers welcome back ex-coach    
The New York Cosmos, as champions of the 10-game spring season, are ensured a spot in ...
Video Pick: Hope Solo -- 'Why I'm a goalkeeper'    
Hope Solo explains how she embraced the goalkeeper position after having enjoyed more the role of ...
Video Pick: Julie Johnston thanks her family    
Defender Julie Johnston, who has marshaled the American defense that has conceded only one goal at ...
What They're Saying: Professor Cheryl Cooky    
"Gender is probably a factor. We have in our culture a protectionist stance toward women." -- ...
Three Americans nominated for top WWC award    
Americans Julie Johnston, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe are on the short list for the adidas ...
Gold Cup: Klinsmann gives Dempsey's captaincy to Bradley    
Not unexpectedly, U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named Michael Bradley his captain for the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives