Praying For A Wing
Manchester United have always had a simple playing policy, which is to find the best wingers, like legendary manager, with 13 league titles, Alex Ferguson, found David Beckham (1993-2003) and Ryan Giggs (1990-), to make the forwards responsible for scoring goals, because of a plentiful supply of excellent opportunities, which worked with players like the beligerent and occasionally miraculous Mark Hughes (1980-86, 1988-95) who, never known for bagging hatfuls of goals, got his highest total of 17 in 1985-86 when Danish left winger, Jesper Olsen (1984-88), was the provider.
Welshman Hughes` strike rate didn`t improve, but he was Mr Reliable. Hughes always got into double figures, mainly because of the speed and energy of United`s resourceful Ukrainian winger, Andrei Kanchelskis (1990-95). In Mark`s second spell at the club, after Ron Atkinson made the mistake that cost him the manager`s job and sold Hughes to Barcelona, Kanchelskis and Lee Sharpe (1988-96) provided support along the right and left flanks, while later Ferguson additions, England`s Andy Cole (1994-2002), Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (1996-2007), and Trinidadian Dwight Yorke (1998-2002) were more natural goalscorers and found it less arduous to find the net.
Gary Birtles (1980-82) was a great performer for Nottingham Forest with Brian Clough as manager when Forest won the European Cup twice in succession (1979, 80), but Birtles was heavily criticized at Old Trafford for putting the ball in the net only once in 25 appearances after United manager, Dave Sexton, had Gary transferred to Manchester for 1.25 million GBP at the beginning of the 1980-1 campaign. Sexton was ultimately sacked because he preferred to bring left midfielder, Mickey Thomas (1978-81), from Wrexham for 300, 000 GBP, although United already had an excellent wing pairing of Steve Coppell (1975-83) and Gordon Hill (1975-78). But Sexton sold United`s top goalscorer, Hill, for the seasons 1976-77 (15) and 1977-78 (17), before commencement of the 1978-79 season, and although Gary Birtles had joined from Nottingham Forest as a proven forward who`d won everything in the English game and European honours too, Mickey Thomas` industry on the left of midfield wasn`t enough to assist the new striker, who`d been used to a skilful provider in wingman, Trevor Francis, and a Forest side brimful with enthusiasm and expectation of success based on a series of triumphs and displays of goalscoring prowess from the forwards.
Dave Sexton had begun the 1977-78 campaign as manager after replacing Tommy Docherty, who`d installed Steve Coppell to replace ageing right wing and Scotland captain, Willie Morgan (1968-75), who`d been signed by United`s other legendary manager, Matt Busby, after the club`s first European Cup win of 1968 at Wembley against Portuguese champions from Lisbon, Benfica, 4-1. Busby wanted to move Irish winger, George Best (1963-74), from the wing into a more central forward role so Best`s goalscoring flair could be fully utilized in front of goal. Ironically, George`s goals tally increased but the team lost impetus after his move from out wide and won nothing until Willie captained the side out of the Second Division in 1974-75 as champions. After replacing Morgan with Coppell, Tommy Docherty seemed to have made a mistake similar to Busby`s with Best`s wide talent when switching the wing effectiveness of Irishman Gerry Daly (1973-77) into midfield from the left and replacing him with Gordon Hill, but for a while it seemed to have worked. Stuart Pearson (1974-79) appeared as England`s centre forward between Hill and Coppell for an England U-23 European Championship Quarter Final against Hungary at Old Trafford in March, 1976, which England won, 3-1. Hill scored in the 74th minute, but Hungary had won 0-3 in Budapest. The Hungarians went on to lose to Russia in the Final, but the new England trio of Pearson, Coppell and Hill had almost got the team through. United prayers seemed to have been answered by wings.
Ultimately it was the removal of Gordon Hill from Manchester United that was manager Dave Sexton`s downfall, because he preferred industry to flair. Although Manchester United won the FA Cup with Hill`s style and panache, tenacious Irish midfield destroyer, David McCreery (1974-79), had displaced the England winger after being brought on as substitute for Gordon in successive FA Cup Finals (1976, 77) when Tommy Docherty had feared his team might concede a goal rather than score another. United`s tremulousness with regard to out and out wing play after Morgan`s arrival and Best`s move inside brought only three further domestic trophies, the FA Cup (1977, 1983 and 1985), after the league title of 1966-67, before Alex Ferguson`s reign as United`s most successful manager of all time began in 1986. Among Ferguson`s signings was Southampton`s winger, Danny Wallace (1989-93), but it was the 1988 signing of 17 year old Lee Sharpe from Torquay as a dazzlingly brilliant left wing at speed that would satisfy Alex`s future ambitions.
Many had thought that Gordon Strachan, who`d been brought from Ferguson`s previous Scottish champions and European Cup Winners` Cup winners (1983), Aberdeen, by manager Ron Atkinson, who`d replaced Sexton, would renew the successful partnership the pair had in Scotland, but Strachan was a right sided midfielder rather than a winger and was transferred to Leeds. Despite finishing second in the table to Liverpool in 1987-88, a nine point gap didn`t inspire confidence, so Ferguson replaced Strachan with out and out wide man Wallace. Manchester United were to return to the traditional style of serving the forwards with the best opportunities from wingers who could get penetration and the emergence of young striker, Mark Hughes, from within the youth team ranks at Old Trafford set the stage for a feast of excitement as wingers dribbled speedily, swerving around opposition defenders to serve up the ball on a plate for forwards to feed their opponent`s always expectant goalmouth.
Tommy Docherty was dismissed by the club for a lack of adventure, especially in the transfer market, when players like Celtic and Scottish captain, Kenny Dalglish, were available. Dalglish replaced forward, Kevin Keegan, who left Liverpool for Germany`s Hamburg S.V., after he`d helped win the 1977 European Cup for the Anfield outfit in a 3-1 victory over Germany`s Borussia Monchengladbach. Although Sexton agreed terms to bring Gerry Francis, the dynamically visionary tenacious England captain and midfield general, from previous club Queens Park Rangers (Q.P.R), the deal fell through. Dave`s subsequent policy in the aftermath of failure in the transfer market was to promote industry, rather than buy skill. Prolific Nottingham Forest striker, Gary Birtles, had been used to playing alongside genius, like Trevor Francis, the former Birmingham City star winger, who Clough made England`s first 1m GBP player, but an industrious Manchester United bereft of skill left Gary too much to do alone.
If wingers don`t play the ball in to target men, like Stuart Pearson, who was transferred by Manchester United`s Tommy Docherty from Second Division Hull City to score the goals that brought promotion after United themselves were relegated to the Second Division in the 1973-74 season, goals can only materialize from midfield and the efforts of forwards unsupplied by the wings. As wings and a prayer, Coppell, Hill and Pearson carried the team on for the goals that beat Liverpool in the 1977 FA Cup Final win, 2-1. United`s wings had carried the side forward the previous season only to lose to unfancied Second Division, Southampton, 0-1, but goals from striker Jimmy Greenhoff`s chest (1976-80), deflecting diminutive midfield dynamo Lou Macari`s (1973-84) strike past Liverpool `keeper Ray Clemence from the right of the area, had won the game.
Manchester United`s experienced Irish midfielder, Sammy McIlroy (1971-82), had headed the ball forward for Greenhoff, who had headed on further to Pearson, whose powerful low shot went between and beneath Clemence`s legs to open the scoring in the 51st minute. Jimmy Case had equalized for Liverpool with a typical turn and strong right foot shot from just inside and centrally placed within the Manchester United area. Trapping a long through ball from the right boot of Liverpool full back, Joey Jones, wide on the left, Case had turned to blast the ball into the top right corner, past the despairing grasp of United `keeper Alex Stepney (1967-78) in the 53rd minute, who doubtless feared successive FA Cup Final defeats would be unbearable, but Macari and Greenhoff worked some alchemical magic in the 55th minute to eventually carry the day for the reds.
At Manchester United it`s important they have the best wingers to carry the team forward and make the strikers score. If the goal machines don`t work with the best wings, the manager is justified in dispensing with forwards who can`t function. Stuart Pearson scored goals off his elbows, knees, thighs, and the back of his head, when he wasn`t paying enough attention to the crosses from the heroes on the flanks who made him function in his position. Steve Coppell and Gordon Hill hit Pearson with the ball often, and as well as they could, but Pearson lived up to expectations by putting the ball in the net as much as he was able. Steve Coppell was the only winger to play along the flank at United for a while after Ron Atkinson took over the manager`s role, but the 4-3-3 system of two forwards and one winger took the club through to the FA Cup Final of 1983 where the team drew with Brighton, 2-2, before winning a replay at Wembley`s national stadium, London, 4-0.
An injury to Steve Coppell ended his career just before the Final and his place was taken by Welsh right wing, Alan Davies (1982-85). The next season Davies scored United`s only goal as a substitute against Juventus in the home leg of the European Cup Winners` Cup Semi Final before the side lost in Turin, Italy, 2-1. `Big Ron` Atkinson had brought ageing left winger, Arthur Graham (1983-85), from Leeds and it almost brought victory against Juvé. Young Irish centre forward, Norman Whiteside (1982-89), had equalized after winger Graham had taken a pass from his full back, Arthur Albiston (1974-88), wide on the left. Arthur`s cross found Irish utility player, Paul McGrath (1982-89), in the Juventus area and the defender, playing a midfield role, backheeled the ball for substitute Norman to crash a left foot shot high into the Italians` net.
Norman Whiteside was the second youngest man ever to play in the first team against Brighton and Hove Albion away on April 24, 1982, aged 16. The next season he made 39 league appearances before contributing to Manchester United`s 1983 FA Cup Final success, which gave the club entry to the European Cup Winners` Cup of 1983-84. `Big Ron` had brought centre forward, Frank Stapleton (1981-87), who partnered Whiteside, from Arsenal for 900, 000 GBP as his first big transfer signing in 1981. Stapleton and cultured England central midfielder, Ray Wilkins (1979-84), brought from Chelsea by former manager, Dave Sexton, had scored the goals against Brighton in the drawn FA Cup Final of 1983, but United won the replay easily after Norman Whiteside got United`s third in the 30th minute with a header from a right wing cross by injured Steve Coppell`s replacement, Alan Davies. `Big Ron` had brought ageing left winger, Arthur Graham, from Leeds and it almost brought victory against Juvé in the European Cup Winners` Cup Semi Final. Seeing success came with wings, Atkinson brought the younger, Jesper Olsen, from Ajax Amsterdam to be newly emergent marksman Hughes` goal provider from the left wing in what were to be Mark`s most successful scoring seasons of 1984-85 (16) and 1985-86 (17), before the FA Cup Final triumph of 1985 in which Hughes` strike partner Norman Whiteside`s low curved shot from the right of the penalty area bent around `keeper Southall and snuck inside the far left post to beat Everton, 1-0, after United`s centre back Kevin Moran had been sent off and the team became ruggedly determined not to lose.
If United are unsuccessful the onus is on the manager to improve the supply from the wings so that he can see if the forwards are up to the task, and if they`re not then he must get better players. Gary Birtles` goal dearth was due to Welshman Mickey Thomas` withdrawn midfield role, whereas Birtles` strike rate could only have been improved by the presence of prolific topscoring, Gordon Hill, jinking his way along the left touchline. Cutting inside to have a go solo, or putting over a cross onto the heads of the forwards, or a ball into their feet in front of the goal, Gordon Hill`s service would have brought thrill and spills and Gary Birtles would have scored a few he didn`t even consciously aim to bag in the midst of the storm.
The first superstar Manchester United had was Welshman, Billy Meredith (1906-21), a winger, who helped the club to the FA Cup in 1909 and championships in 1907-08 and 1910-11. United`s next major trophy wasn`t until 1948 after WWI (1914-18) and WWII (1939-45) when Charlie Mitten (1946-50) and Jimmy Delaney (1946-50) were the wings. Matt Busby had seemingly turned to wide play in desperation but wingers were what soccer was about. Pulling opposition defenders around the pitch, clutching at shadows, so as to get their own players forward without being kicked, was the wingmen`s objective. Having shaken off their shadows, the wingers could play the ball into forwards who`d run upfield unhampered. The simple ploy had resulted in the more defensive playing system of a less creatively talented Leeds United team and their emulators. Under future England manager, Don Revie, Leeds took advantage of the single substitute ruling of 1965-66 to entrench the principle of stopping opponents from playing when you were ahead. In Italian soccer what was known as the catenaccio, that is, defend until certain opportunities for strikers arise, became endemic in the English game; to the extent that wingers disappeared and every schoolboy wanted to be a midfielder because the new substitute position was invariably filled by a utility player who primarily functioned as a stop gap central midfield jack of all trades and master of none who came onto the field to prevent play from developing against his team`s lead.
The role of wingers had been to bedazzle and avoid being kicked because there weren`t substitutions before 1965-66. The belief that players were stronger then is a myth. The more central players gave the ball to the wingers who had to perform so that the other members of the team could run unimpeded and the onus was upon the wide player to make it easy for the forward to score or the manager would get a new winger. Soccer was changing after WWII because clubs had played with a single stopper centre half flanked by half backs. The modern era saw that wings were a consequence of fear and sides began to play with two mobile centre halves flanked by left and right full backs with a stronger, more creative midfield and a single winger. Players like George Best, who became forwards after a spell out wide, were expected to see that as a reward, whereas it was deleterious to the team to sacrifice a winger for goals that should be scored by forwards.
Although George was very successful as a forward the club wasn`t. United had won the championship (1951-52, 1955-56 and 1956-57) but, although the wingers changed, that is, Johnny Berry (1951-58) and David Pegg (1952-58) for Delaney and Mitten, the centre back pairing still featured a stopper and a half back rather than two mobile centre halves, like `Dolly and Daisy`, the nickname given to Manchester United`s central defenders of the early Ferguson era, Steve Bruce (1987-96) and Gary Pallister (1989-96). Bill Foulkes (1951-70) and Nobby Stiles (1960-71) were the centre half and half back combination that won championships (1964-65 and 1966-67) with John Connelly (1964-66) and George Best on the right and left wings, before the introduction of two substitutes for tactical reasons in 1967-68 began to change the way in which defenders were selected.
Tactical substitutions homogenized the defence with the midfield through the preparation of utility players for the bench. All purpose defensive midfielders became indispensable and began to appear in all of the positions behind the forwards in front of the `keeper. John Aston (1965-72) was the man out wide on the left when United won the European Cup (1968), and when Busby brought Willie Morgan to the club from Burnley everything seemed set for further success but Matt retired and was replaced by coach Wilf McGuinness, who was so defensively minded that he refused to play prolific centre forward, `The King`, Denis Law (1962-73), in three attempts to beat Leeds United in the FA Cup Semi Final of 1970, which the team eventually lost to the only goal in a third replay.
When Frank O` Farrell became manager after McGuinness` failure to change United to suit the modern era, he brought England left winger, Ian Storey-Moore (1972-74), from Nottingham Forest, but Ian didn`t survive the cloggers and was invalided out of the game of soccer. It was the period in which the tackle from behind was being outlawed so that strikers and creative players didn`t have fear of being chopped down by defenders they couldn`t see as they attempted to move forward. The outlawing of the tackle from behind made the game more skilful and exciting for fans who wanted to see the best from players.
After being moved from the wing by United manager, Matt Busby, George Best had become an inside forward, but the gap out wide was too big for any one player to fill. The changing pattern of the modern game was confusing for United. With two substitutes permitted for tactical rather than injury reasons in 1967-68, attention focused on the centre back pairing and the desirability of playing with two wingers if a single sub would do for defensive cover. If centre halves were essentially full backs in different guise, either could be switched to the centre in the case of injury to a centrocampista, and vice versa, so a utility forward could be employed in the `sub` role, rather than another midfield half back.
The need for more defensive flexibility had resulted in United`s midfield tiger, Brian Greenhoff (1970-79), becoming a prototypical centre back of the modern era with Tommy Docherty`s team. Defensive flexibility was illustrated in manager Dave Sexton`s decision to prefer defender, Jimmy Nicholl (1974-82), at right back, before the 1979 FA Cup Final against Arsenal. Manchester United lost, 2-3, and Brian had expected to play in the right full back berth, but Jimmy who himself was a regular centre back, was preferred. Both were centre backs and Greenhoff was a half back, rather than a right back, but Nicholl was a right back and a centre back. Jimmy was preferred although Brian had played much of the season at right full back.
Although Manchester United lost to Arsenal, defensive flexibility was further illustrated in centre back Gordon McQueen`s (1978-85) mobility and agility for the reds` first goal at 0-2. A right footed cross from a free kick by Coppell over near the right touchline found centre forward, Joe Jordan (1978-81), on the left of the Arsenal area and he drove it into the penalty area where McQueen slotted it home in front of goal in the 86th minute, 1-2. Sammy McIlroy equalized after a left footed forward pass over the Arsenal defence from near the centre circle found the midfielder in the Arsenal area in the 88th miinute, 2-2. McIlroy scored with a solo run and dribble but striker, Alan Sunderland, headed the winner for Arsenal from left winger Graham RIx`s cross wide on the left wing near the corner flag in the 89th, although improved defensive mobility would be United`s successful new strategy in the future.
When Tommy Docherty took over in 1972 he`d continued the policy of the big centre half, Jim Holton and the half back, Martin Buchan. O` Farrell had inherited Ian Ure (1969-71) as the stopper bought by McGuinness from Arsenal to partner the more mobile Martin Buchan (1972-83). Frank had transferred Buchan from Aberdeen, and Docherty found future Scotland stopper, Jim Holton (1972-76), at Shrewsbury Town. It wouldn`t be until Kevin Moran (1978-88) and Martin Buchan were paired by Ron Atkinson in preference to the big stopper centre half Dave Sexton had bought from Leeds, Gordon McQueen (1978-85), that the future of paired mobile centre halves could be perceived as United and that was because the number of substitutes available was increased from two to five for the beginning of the season 1995-96, and that would be increased to seven for 2008-09, which meant that defensive and midfield cover could be given by a single player, like the new breed of utility half-back, Phil Jones (2011-), while specialist forwards appearing from the bench was an optimal solution that had become real.
Brian Greenhoff`s role in an effectively seminal role alongside Martin Buchan in the heart of Tommy Docherty`s United defence showed the emphasis in the modern game would be upon mobility at the back and versatility amongst the forwards, because getting ahead became more possible after being behind if there was a fresh wide player to gee-up the striker amongst the `subs` as well as an all purpose half back. Always concerned to adopt the simplest and most effective route to glory, Alex Ferguson`s Manchester United threw caution to the winds and spread their wings to fly in Europe and bring home two more European Cups (1999, 2008) before the manager`s retirement led to greater caution, or perhaps more expansion with new manager, David Moyes (2002-13), who`d kept Everton afloat for a dozen seasons or so without winning anything, which didn`t augur well for a club used to celebrating triumphs on the wings and the prayers of the faithful supporters at the North Stand`s Stretford End.
Soccer theory at Manchester United has been that the team will go forward if the wings are strong enough and, although the nickname of the `red devils` suggests bedevilment, angels have wings. Managers that bedevil the development of the club are devils to the team while defenders like Nemanja Vidic (2006-14) and Rio Ferdinand (2002-), mobile centre halves of Ferguson`s modern era, `devil` the opposition and wingers, like Cristiano Ronaldo (2003-09), who arrived from Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon to provide the impetus on the right flank for the 2008 European Cup win, raise the team to dizzying heights. Angels have wings and Manchester United are hell to play against, or so the opposition`s legend has it, so devils are welcome at other clubs and the better players have to look to Old Trafford to get a game and spread their wings further. If you`re fooled by the `red devils` image, you won`t fly on the wings of God at the Theatre Of Dreams.
Thank You For Your Contribution
Supermarket Stam And The Plates Of Meat That Couldn`t Run Enough After Him
1 Key, Francis Scott `Defence of Fort McHenry`, on the bombardment by the British Royal Navy in Chesapeake Bay, 1814, during the second North American war of independence from George III`s British Empire (1812-15), and which became the lyrics of the national anthem of the United States of America set to a tune by Briton, John Stafford Smith, as `The Star Spangled Banner`, 1931-.
Leeds To Soccer Success At Manchester United
1 BBC News, BBC Home, `On This Day 1950-2005`, May 29, https://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/29/newsid_4464000/4464446.stm.
Manchester United And The Carriage And Wagon Department Of The Lancashire And Yorkshire Railway Depot At Newton Heath
1 `Proud Achievement By Manchester United; Young Forwards Rise To The Occasion In F.A. Cup`, The Times, 20 February, 1958. p. 12.
2 Tyrrell, Tom and David Meek The Hamlyn Illustrated History of Manchester United 1878-1996, London, Hamlyn, 1996, p. 81.
Mangnall, Busby, Docherty And Ferguson, Managing Triumph From Disaster
This article can be found in the May-June 2014 edition of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America`s (NSCAA) Soccer Journal
Clogging In Soccer, Will The Reds Survive?
Manchester United are known for attractive, attacking, entertaining, and successful footballing skills, which survived soccer`s so-called `hard men` to welcome changes in the Football Association rules to prevent the horrendous injury list of players under treatment, because of the notoriously hated `tackle from behind` by defenders that forwards couldn`t see coming and avoid. Hospitalization resulted for many victims of defenders` `clogging`, which was the euphemism employed to describe the practise of kicking a player until he stopped attempting to perform for the entertainment of the supporters.
Clogs were English wooden shoes, and `clog` came to be used as a generic term for any form of strong footwear, especially in the industrial North of England, where clogs were working shoes for those engaged in hard labour at the beginning of the 18th century`s `Industrial Revolution` and thereafter. In English soccer `clogging` became a euphemism for the brutal activity of kicking, with football boots, those who were otherwise unstoppable skilful footballing geniuses; like George Best of Manchester United, Rodney Marsh at Manchester City, Stan Bowles at Queens Park Rangers, Tony Currie at Sheffield United, and Frank Worthington at Leicester City. Interviewers once asked George Best about his afternoon `taking on` defenders as he tried to go past them with the ball at his feet. Taking off his shirt, George showed the reporters a body almost entirely covered in bruises: `... a bruise is always caused by internal bleeding ... `1
George Best had been playing against Chelsea that day and Ron `Chopper` Harris, the Chelsea centre half, had been earning his money by following George around the pitch and kicking, that is, `chopping` George down, everytime Best got near the ball. Photographers particularly found `Chopper` annoying, and one of them wanted to ask Best who the `bullet headed guy` following the Manchester United superstar about the field had been? Everytime there was a photo opportunity, `Chopper` Harris was in the scene framed by the camera lens and the photographer couldn`t get a decent picture of George Best.
The photographer`s question about the `bullet headed guy`, who was George Best`s footballing assassin on the pitch wasn`t inapposite. George used to relate how, one time at Manchester United`s Old Trafford stadium, the club had received a death threat against him by someone with an Irish accent during the time of what were euphemistically known as `the troubles` in Northern Ireland. The British Army were policing Catholic and Protestant `sectarian violence`, which was being perpetrated by extremist paramilitary organizations against each others` communities. George Best spent the entire game running as fast as he could, even in stoppage time for injuries, or when the ball was out of play, because it was feared the Catholics` Irish Republican Army (IRA), or the Protestant`s Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), or some lunatic group of pseudo-politicos, were out to finish `Chopper` Harris` assassination attempt on George with a sniper`s bullet.
Before Manchester United`s championship successes in 1964-65 and 1966-67, came the 1963 F.A. Cup Final defeat of Leicester City, 3-1, when a goal from Denis Law, who`d taken a pass from midfielder, Paddy Crerand, after Leicester `keeper Gordon Banks hadn`t kicked the ball out far enough, opened Manchester United`s account against an embarassed England goalkeeper in the 38th minute. David Herd`s two goals, the third to give United a two goal unassailable lead in the 85th minute, after Leicester had pulled a goal back, took the cup back to Manchester and a place in the Old Trafford stadium`s trophy room at what was coming to be known as the `Theatre of Dreams`.
Fulfilment of the Manchester United dream had to wait until rivals were overcome. The team to beat was Leeds United. Before the outlawing of the `tackle from behind`, Norman `bite yer legs` Hunter was the mainstay of a primarily defensively oriented Leeds United team not averse to a bit of `clogging` to prevent the opposition becoming successful. With the elder brother of Bobby Charlton, Jack, as the centre half who himself declared his hatred of losing, Leeds United and their captain, combative Scottish battler, midfield `general` Billy Bremner, won the English league championship in 1968-69 and 1973-74, but despite reaching the European Cup Final in 1975 against Bayern Munich they lost 0-2.
In the developmental psychology of Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) dreams are the place where images that impel the inventive genius of humans surface into consciousness from the depths of the unconscious mind. George Best`s experience of the `tackle from behind` as a red for Manchester United at the `Theatre of Dreams` against the white shirts of Leeds United and Real Madrid has what Jung calls an archetypal significance insofar as red blood cells or corpuscles carry oxygen to vivify the body while white cells are the defenders of the body`s immune system: `Disease states such as insufficient or malfunctioning platelets, other coagulation deficiencies, or vascular disorders, such as venous blockage ... [is] haemorrhage called bleeding.`2
The outlawed English soccer practise of `clogging` corresponds to the formation of bruises, but diseases such as HIV/AIDS cause a malfunction of the blood platelets, which coagulate around a wound, for example, to stop bleeding, while veins block if red cells die, because the white defensive cells of the body`s immune system are killed by the HIV/AIDS virus that pretends to be white cells in order to fool the supporting body into accepting the virality as virility. In footballing terms, `cloggers` kill the game of soccer for the body of its supporters, who aren`t engaged in the `brutality and violence` of pederasty`s `English disease`.
The prototypical British farce, No Sex Please, We`re British (1971),3 about mannered psychology depicts a woman, Frances, and her husband`s fear of discovery by the English authorities when she begins to mysteriously receive Scandinavian pornography in the mail. In Britain news of the penis is scarce because visual depictions are taboo.
Soccer is a repressive`s sport designed to inform the participants that they can`t put the ball in their mouths because it`s too big, whereas the mouth of the goal isn`t. Women who have a penis of their own as `futanarian` is what the game of `futty` is about, Moloch, which was one of the `false gods` of the Bible that people were forbidden to worship by God. Pagans sacrificed children to Moloch by throwing them into its maw, and so the open goalmouth of `futty` is where the human children of the `futanarian` woman`s penis` seed` are symbolically devoured to those involved in pagan worship. To humans soccer is a training program telling them not to confuse sexual appetite with food. The human species isn`t for being devoured, and the mouth of the goal isn`t actually Moloch so the football doesn`t represent the testicle sack of the `woman`s seed`, which isn`t consumed by Moloch because the disciplined and trained soccer exponent is a human hero.
As an independent species with her own penis` semen, women are self-reproductive and socio-economically free, while censorship and media blackouts on her penis` existence are because men don`t want women to know they`re becoming extinct as the human `futty` race of `futanarian`, that is, she`s being secretly eaten by her ogres, men, who have enslaved her host womb to produce civilization, culture and art to devour humanity in their aliens` ceaseless wars against the human race of `futanarian` woman with her own penis` `seed`. God even tells Eve in the Bible that her `seed` will have `perpetual enmity` with the `serpent`s seed`, but she: `... will crush the head of the serpent as she leaves.` (Gen: 3. 15)
The outlawing of the `tackle from behind` by the English Football Association is sexually relevant because `tackle` is slang for the male penis and testicles, which became an issue for most people after the `killer disease` of HIV/AIDS was discovered to have been created by homosexuals in the late 20th century by mixing blood, semen, and shit in their anuses during women rejecting acts of anal sex together. The `tackle from behind` added the new dimension of anal rape to its repertoire of meaning, while `clogging` in medical terminology refers to what happens during an attack by the viral disease, HIV/AIDS, as the red corpuscles of the blood die and block the arterial walls of the blood vessels because there aren`t any white cells of the body`s immune system to kill the bacteria which attacks the red cells of the oxygen bearing blood. The individual who has clogging of the arteries expires from lack of oxygen, which is sometimes experienced as heart attack or brain haemorrhage. In footballing terms, `Chopper` Harris` clogging of George Best with the `tackle from behind` is analogous to the HIV/AIDS` virus preventing the body from successfully functioning until the individual collapses and dies of exhaustion from fighting the disease, which is what occurs with HIV/AIDS` sufferers.
The `tackle from behind` was a male behavioural `pattern` that the English F.A. in conjunction with the world body of soccer, UEFA, quite rightly stamped out as psychopathological by imposing rigorous refereeing to ensure that defenders who used the `tackle from behind` were summarily removed from the field of play by means of the red card, which referees were given authority to use in every instance of a player attempting to defeat the object of the game, which is to score goals and skilfully entertain without fear of loss of life or limb.
In terms of Manchester United`s `Theatre of Dreams` the red shirts and white shorts of their strip represent the dream images or archetypes of Jung`s collective unconscious as they emerge into conscious thought. The red cells of the blood corpuscles needed by the body of soccer to live are supported by the white cells of the body`s immune system, the defenders that kill the bacteria, which would destroy the red oxygen carrying blood cells and harm the developed body. Manchester United`s red and white shirt and shorts archetypally denote the balanced harmony of the body`s systematic defence against attack and energizing necessary to progress healthily. Manchester United`s progress in domestic and European competitions can be examined symbolically in terms of red cells` energies and white cells` defensive and attacking functions before and after the emergence of the HIV/AIDS virus as a `killer disease` threatening the survival of the human species with its `tackle from behind` in the late 20th century.
Winning European trophies wasn`t an unknown experience for the all white strip of Leeds United, who`d won the UEFA Cup in 1969 and 1971, while successes in the League Cup (1969) and F. A. Cup (1972) easily won their club the competition for greater glory than the reds of Manchester United, whose only achievements between winning the European Cup in 1968 and their triumphant F.A. Cup Final replay of 1990 against Crystal Palace, 1-0, were F.A Cup wins in 1977, 1983 and 1985. Liverpool had expected to win the treble of championship, F.A. Cup and European Cup in 1977, which Manchester United would actually achieve in 1999, after winning the league and second leg of the `treble`, the 1999 F.A. Cup Final against Newcastle United , with goals from Teddy Sheringham on 11 minutes, put through down his right side by the right boot of winger, David Beckham, to stroke the ball between the Newcastle `keeper`s legs with his own right boot from the right side of the area. After half-time, Paul Scholes, collecting a pass out of the Newcastle area from Mark Hughes, who`d shielded the ball with his back to goal, drove in a shot along the ground into the bottom left corner of the net on 52 minutes to complete the second leg of the treble of league, F.A. Cup, and European Cup.
In the 1977 F.A. Cup Final, goals from Jimmy Greenhoff, who chested Lou Macari`s strike into the net in a frenetic few seconds in the Liverpool area on 51 minutes, and the centre forward from Hull, Stuart Pearson, who broke through on 55 minutes to power the ball underneath an embarassed England `keeper Ray Clemence, who felt he should have stopped Pearson`s effort, gave the F.A. Cup to Manchester United and Liverpool`s treble bid had failed.
In 1983 Brighton and Hove Albion were the F.A. Cup Final opponents and Manchester United won, 4-0, after a replay. In the initial encounter the silky smooth endeavours of Ray `Butch` Wilkins salvaged the game for the reds in the 72nd minute with a curled strike from the right side of the Brighton area into the top left corner after former Arsenal `classic` target man, centre forward Frank Stapleton, tapped in a ball by the far post that the Brighton `keeper had pushed out at him following a cross from right full back, Mike Duxbury, in the 55th minute. In the replay, right winger Alan Davies, who`d made his Manchester United debut in the first game as a replacement for the injured England winger, Steve Coppell, facing away from the goal in the Brighton area, shielded the ball on 25 minutes and played it out to Bryan Robson, who struck the ball with his good left foot past the `keeper and into the right corner of the net. On 30 minutes Davies crossed from the right and 17 year old centre forward, Norman Whiteside, headed home. Just before half time centre back, Gordon McQueen, headed on a free-kick and the ball fell to Robson to tap in at the far post, and the scoring was completed in the 62nd minute when Dutch midfielder, Arnold Mühren, scored from the penalty spot after Bryan Robson had been brought down by Brighton right back, Gary Stevens.
In the F.A. Cup Final of 1985, Norman Whiteside curled a shot from the right edge of the penalty area around the Everton `keeper and inside the far post in the 110th minute of extra time to win for a surprised and grateful 10-man Manchester United after centre back, Kevin Moran, had been sent off in the 78th minute for a foul on Peter Reid when he was clean through on the Manchester United goal and almost certain to score.
At this point in the socio-history of soccer, the reds of Manchester United and any other team with white in their strip could be understood archetypally as the inevitable interplay between the white cells of the body`s defensive immune system and the energized activities of the healthy oxygenized red cells of the body of soccer as it enjoyed its progress towards another season`s conclusion, but the advent of the HIV/AIDS virus would change the meaning of reds against whites before the 21st century had begun.
At London`s English national football stadium, Wembley, where all F.A. Cup Finals are traditionally staged, 1990`s first encounter between Manchester United and Crystal Palace ended in a draw. England captain, Bryan Robson, the Manchester United player known most for his skilful midfield aggression and strikers` eye for a goal opportunity, had made the score level at 1-1 in the 35th minute; backing away from centre forward Brian McClair`s right wing cross to direct the header powerfully downwards and into the Palace net. After half-time, right-sided midfielder Neil Webb`s 62nd minute cross shot found Mark Hughes, who struck low into the corner of the net. With Crystal Palace leading 3-2 in extra time it was left to Mark Hughes` perseverance and iron will and determination to bring the scores level at 3-3 in the 113th minute when United winger, Danny Wallace, slipped a pass through centre midfield for Hughes to run onto and he slipped it through into the net as the `keeper came out. In the replay Lee Martin ran the length of the field from his left full back berth to surprisedly receive the ball he crashed into the top left corner of the Palace net to win the trophy in the 59th minute.
Even though the white defensive cells of Leeds United had been beaten in the semi-final of the F.A. Cup in 1976 by the energized red blood cells of the Manchester United `system`, the reds had still been unable to overcome the Leeds United `hoodoo` upon their success and lost a match they should have won against second tier club Southampton through an 84th minute torpedo from Bobby Stokes that sank hopes of that ship coming in to deliver its cargo of silverware. Leeds United`s hold on Manchester United continued even up until 1991-92, when a seemingly unstoppable `red devils` championship charge mysteriously lost momentum and Leeds United took control to take the title after Manchester United wilted dismally 0-2 at Liverpool`s Anfield stadium on the last day of the campaign.
There was a sense of unease around Old Trafford, but manager Alex Ferguson`s solution was to bring French soccer superstar, Eric Cantona, the coolly imperturbable, dynamically contemptuous and aloof French striker, from Leeds United. Reinforcing the attacking white shorts of Ferguson`s team, Eric Cantona would combine the energy of the oxygenated red cells with the attacking verve of the white cells and devastate the bacterial annoyance posed by Manchester United`s opponents with the brilliance of his footballing star as it had arisen, seen from afar, by the admiring gaze of Alex Ferguson holding a red and white `red devils` strip to tempt the Frenchman on to dizzier heights.
A year after their F.A. Cup Final defeat of Crystal Palace, Manchester United were winners of the European Cup Winners` Cup, when two goals from Mark Hughes were enough to beat Barcelona, 2-1. Mark Hughes would have a decade of success in reaching double figures as a striker in each season before age and a goal tally that fell to eight in the 1994-95 league season resulted in Manchester United failing to win the 1995 F.A. Cup Final against Everton, 0-1, and an unsentimental manager`s decision let a great player leave. Bringing in youngsters known as `Fergie`s Fledglings`, after the style of former Manchester United manager, Matt Busby`s `Babes`, manager Alex Ferguson relied on the capable captain`s style of French superstar striker, Eric Cantona, to be their shepherd. Eric had caught the manager`s eye in season 1991-92, when Leeds United had just beaten Manchester United to the title; largely because of Eric`s sublime skills as a deep-lying centre forward in the traditional Manchester United mould. Rapt in admiration, Alex brought Cantona to Manchester United and the result was four league championships, beginning with a successful Mark Hughes` led campaign in 1992-93 and including the almost impossible league and F.A. Cup `double` in 1993-94 and 1995-96, before Eric Cantona, `le god` to the West Stand of Old Trafford`s Stretford End, retired with a last champions` medal as a reward for Manchester United 1996-97 season`s campaigning.
Eric Cantona had scored the single goal that had beaten the `reds` of Liverpool in the F. A. Cup Final of 1996. In the inimitable style of `le god`, Eric had aloofly observed the ball bounce before him in the 85th minute. Majestically drawing back his boot to address the tempting target hanging suspended there in the air, Eric almost sneeringly struck through a crowd of players and into the Liverpool net. Although Chelsea had been beaten in the F.A. Cup Final of 1994, 4-0, mainly through the fortuitousness of two penalty awards in the 60th and 66th minutes and the ruthlessness of Eric Cantona`s finishing from the spot kicks, it was still poor consolation for Manchester United. Liverpool, in an all red strip that made them redder than Manchester United, who wore white shorts, had been winning European trophies consistently for twenty years. However, Manchester United, in archetypal signification of their role as defensive white cells of the body of soccer`s immune system, wore their white shorts with pride against Chelsea, while their red shirts continued to signify the energy in their blood`s resistance to the bacterial contamination of their rivals` desire to keep them down. Mark Hughes in the 69th minute of the 1994 F.A. Cup Final pounced on a slip by defender Frank Sinclair to increase United`s lead while Brian McClair got a fourth after an unselfish pass from midfield strong man, Paul Ince, left the Scots` striker with the easiest of chances to illustrate the Manchester United way: `The best form of defence is attack.`4
Becoming only the second English team after Manchester United in 1968 to win the European Cup in 1977, thanks to their belligerently skilled forward, Kevin Keegan, who tormented Germany`s Borussia Munchengladbach`s international defender, Bertie Vogts, mercilessly, and Liverpool won 3-1. Kevin Keegan left at the close of the season for German club, SV Hamburg, but Liverpool went on to win the trophy again in 1978, 1981 and 1984 influenced by the arrival from Celtic of Scottish striker, Kenny Dalglish. Manchester United had only won a single European trophy, the European Cup in 1968, while Liverpool had triumphed in the UEFA Cup in 1973 and 1976 before even their first European Cup success, and would go on to win the European Cup again in 2005 led by the midfield strength and guile of England captain, Steven Gerrard, after Manchester United`s 1999 triumph and before the `red devils` won the European Cup for the third time against Chelsea at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow in 2008.
The reds of Liverpool were far more successful than the `sleeping giant` of Manchester United until Alex Ferguson began the `red devils` climb back to greatness after the `ginger prince` to Eric Cantona`s `le roi`, Paul Scholes, took on the mantle of inspirer from Manchester United`s midfield upon the retirement of `le god`. Winging their way to glory, Ryan Giggs on the left wing and David Beckham on the right, were a pair of providers that would assist Manchester United in overtaking Liverpool`s total of nineteen championships by the close of another victorious 2012-13 title winning season.
Liverpool`s last title had been in 1989-90, but the faces of the players of Manchester United had been redder than their shirts, either in frustration or embarassment, for twenty-six years, while Liverpool picked up league titles with a seemingly effortless passing and striking style that had swept all before them since Manchester United`s need to recover from the loss of the young team of `Busby Babes`, who`d been decimated in the Munich aircrash disaster on February 6, 1958. Manager Matt Busby`s newly built team of survivors, like Dennis Viollet, who went on to score 110 goals for Manchester United, and the imported talents of expensive strikeforce, David Herd, and soon-to-be goalscoring `King` of Old Trafford, Denis Law, went on to eventually win the F.A. Cup in 1963 against Leicester City, 3-1, with goals from Herd and Law, who scored the opening goal and had come from Italy`s Torino to boost a faltering Manchester United forward line still recovering from the loss of centre forward, Tommy Taylor, right winger Johnny Berry, left winger David Pegg, and the devastating strength and skill of wing half prodigy, Duncan Edwards, whose untimely demise after the collapse of the Manchester United plane in the slush and ice of the runway at Munich airport on February 6, 1958, as it tried to lift off and take the team home to England, left a hole in the heart and soul of the club that couldn`t be repaired, not even by the emerging triumvirate of Irish wing wizard, George Best, the dynamite left boot of survivor, Bobby Charlton, and the extraordinary goal poaching skills of Denis Law.
Liverpool`s early successes in the title race were only equal to Manchester United`s in 1964-65 and 1966-67, but the Old Trafford reds couldn`t compete with Liverpool`s red machine that persisted in being too good for everyone else and seemed able to take the title almost at will as the years rolled by; 1963–64, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88, and 1989–90. Welsh wing wizard Ryan Giggs` debut on the world`s stage in 1991, coming on as substitute for Lee Martin in the 71st minute of the Super Cup, after qualifying for a chance to win the trophy by becoming European Cup Winners` Cup Winners in 1991 and taking the opportunity to defeat European Cup winners, Red Star Belgrade, signalled something of an eclipse of Liverpool`s fortunes. Manchester United won the European Super Cup, 1-0, thanks to a Brian McClair low shot in the 67th minute after Neil Webb hit the post with a long range effort and the ball bounced back to McClair centre goal, but Ryan Giggs would need to have the undauntedness of youth on his side if Liverpool`s haul of titles were to be equalled and bettered. Even after his right wing partner, David Beckham, left for Real Madrid at the end of the victorious 2002-3 season, however, left winger Ryan Giggs` calming authoritative personality and controlled play from the wing or midfield was up to the task, and Manchester United, with Ryan Giggs having taken league championship honours alongside David Beckham in 1999–2000, 2000–01, and 2002–03, following the inspirational `treble` year of 1998-99, went on to championship glory in 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, and 2010–11 to equal Liverpool`s haul of titles, before Manchester United`s twentieth success in 2012–13 finally overhauled the reds title tally at Anfield`s stadium on Merseyside.
Manchester United`s winning of a first league title since 1966-67 seemed dependent upon a rite of passage for the young Ryan Giggs, and although the team failed to clinch the championship when it looked to be easily within their grasp in 1991-92 but eventually went to Leeds United, the League Cup Final was won for the first time with a 1-0 victory against Nottingham Forrest, thanks to a single strike from former Celtic striker, Scottish international Brian McClair who, receiving a pass from Ryan Giggs, struck low and left footed to the `keepers left for the only goal of the game in the 14th minute. Success in the League Cup was something else Manchester United were behind in. Never having won `the Mickey Mouse cup`, third in importance in the English soccer season, even Leeds United had a single success in the competition, while Liverpool had consecutive success in 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984 to boast over. Achieving victory in the contest was a step towards overcoming their rivals, and Manchester United duly went on to successes in 2006, 2009, and 2010.
The decline of Alex Ferguson`s belief in the Dutch centre forward, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who he`d wooed away from Holland`s Feyenoord, but had introduced as `Manchester United`s centre forward for the next decade` when he began in the 2001-2 season, wasn`t because of a goal dearth. Nistelrooy found the net 95 times in 120 league appearances, but Manchester United were league champions only in 2002-3 with Ruud as first choice striker, while young winger Cristiano Ronaldo was brought from Spain`s Sporting Lisbon to boost United`s overall performance in front of goal. Although Ruud Van Nistelrooy made the F. A. Cup Final team of 2004, Cristiano Ronaldo made the breakthrough against Millwall, with a headed goal from right back Gary Neville`s cross on 44 minutes. While Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored from the penalty spot on 65 minutes after Millwall central midfielder, David Livermore, stopped a Ryan Giggs` surge into the penalty area and brought Giggs down unfairly as he was about to strike at the Millwall goal, questions were being raised over the number of strikes Ruud made from penalty kicks, and although he wrapped up the game with an 81st minute tap in from a driven Ryan Giggs` cross that might have gone in without Nistelrooy`s `assist`, questions were also being raised over the number of superfluous strikes he made when the game was won and over.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy didn`t make the team for the League Cup Final of 2006, which Manchester United won without him. New young centre forward, Wayne Rooney, had arrived from Everton for the 2004-5 season, age 18, and Louis Saha was preferred to Ruud as Rooney`s striking partner even though he wasn`t really ever fully fit and was known to be prone to break downs and so couldn`t be relied upon for a season`s campaign. Ruud Van Nistelrooy`s campaigning at Manchester United was over after 2004-5 when he scored only 6 goals from 17 league appearances. Wayne Rooney top scored with 11 goals from 29 appearances and Ruud, who`d top scored in the European Champions` Cup with 8, while Manchester United were knocked out by Italian giants A.C. Milan, 0-1 at home and 0-1 away, before even the Quarter FInals, left for Real Madrid where he scored a lot more easy goals and penalties.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy wasn`t in the mould of a player like Mark Hughes, who scored fewer, but enough and important strikes, such as the brace against Crystal Palace that forced a replay in the F.A. Cup Final of 1990, which United subsequently won with a solo effort from left full back, Lee Martin, and the two against FC Barcelona, which won Manchester United the European Cup Winners` Cup in 1991. Mark Hughes` third goal for Manchester United in the F.A. Cup Final of 1994, which United won 4-0, contributed to the club`s first ever `double` of league and cup, and was the first goal not scored from the penalty spot, in contrast to Ruud Van Nistelrooy`s `pattern`. Real Madrid, the Spanish giants, didn`t win the European Champions` Cup with Ruud Van Nistelrooy, because the competition weren`t easier.
Ryan Giggs` longevity as a Manchester United star meant that he had a role to play in all of the club`s League Cup triumphs. When Manchester United beat Wigan 4-0 in 2006, the first goal came after `keeper Edwin Van Der Sar's long punt downfield was flicked on by Saha and Wigan`s De Zeeuw and Chimbonda collided to leave Rooney with a clear run on goal before clinically beating the `keeper in the 33rd minute. The score remained the same until 55 minutes when forward Louis Saha scored the second goal, bundling the ball over the line as the goalkeeper failed to stop right back Gary Neville`s cross at Saha`s feet. United`s third came on 59 minutes when Saha at centre field in front of goal laid the ball out right for winger Cristiano Ronaldo to rifle the ball past the `keeper from a tight angle. Centre back Rio Ferdinand knocked the ball down for Wayne Rooney to lash the ball into the Wigan net after a Ryan Giggs` left footed free kick from the right touchline in the 61st minute that underlined the left winger`s contribution.
In the League Cup Final of 2009 Tottenham Hotspur were the opponents and Manchester United won on penalties after extra time, 4-1, with strikes from Ryan Giggs, coming on in the 91st minute as a substitute, and Carlos Tevez, who had won the Copa De Libertadores with Argentina`s South American champions Boca Juniors before coming to Old Trafford and winning the European Champions` Cup with Manchester United in 2008 against Chelsea, 1-0. The other penalty goals that defeated Spurs were scored by the Brazilian left midfielder Anderson, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 2010 League Cup Final saw Manchester United come from behind after a penalty awarded against them after 5 minutes when Nemanja Vidic brought down Villa striker Daniel Agbonlahor. Former Liverpool centre forward, Michael Owen, replied with a goal on 12 minutes when Bulgarian centre forward, Dimitar Berbatov, broke down the right wing and surged into the Villa area before crumpling under a tackle from Richard Dunne. The ball rolled over to MIchael Owen who slotted an easy chance home. Michael Owen`s injury prone career once again saw him leave the field of play on 42 minutes to be replaced by England centre forward, Wayne Rooney, who scored Manchester United`s second on 74 minutes after a cross by right winger, Antonio Valencia, and a goal that saw Wayne backpedalling to get his head onto the ball and see it loop over the `keeper into the Aston Villa net.
Manchester United`s great European rivals in white are Real Madrid who had won the European Cup in 1956 before they met the `Busby Babes`, United`s young championship winning team of the 1955-56 season in England, in the semi-final of the 1957 competition, which Real Madrid won over two legs, 5-4, after a 3-2 home win at the Bernbeau stadium and a 2-2 draw at the Old Trafford stadium, Manchester, before going on to win the European Cup again. The following season Manchester United were again English champions and had won through to the semi-final once more after defeating Red Star Belgrade of Yugoslavia, winning 2-1 at home and drawing 3-3 away. When the team`s plane crashed at Munich airport on February 6, 1958, trying to take off in the snow and ice, several members of the playing staff were killed, but Manchester United still had to play against A.C. Milan in the European Cup semi-final. The patched together side lost 2-5, while Real Madrid went on to again win the European Cup for the third time.
The success story of the red of Manchester United and the white of Real Madrid symbolically represent the history of the `tackle from behind`, before the HIV/AIDS virus` began its attack on the red and white cells of the body`s living system, in the latter part of the 20th century. The HIV/AIDS virus` clogging of the white cells, so that they die and the red cells can`t breathe, is analogous to the thuggery practised in soccer, before the `tackle from behind` was outlawed. The result of contracting the HIV/AIDS virus` `killer disease` is analogous to the thuggery of the player who`s a plague, aiming to clog the skilful by means of the `tackle from behind`, which means the death of football, whether Real Madrid in white, or Manchester United in red: `Everybody hates us and we don`t care!`5
After winning the European Cup in 1958 the white shirts of Real Madrid offered the trophy to the red shirts of Manchester United in token of Real`s love for the game and as a symbol of faith and hope in the future, which was subsequently repaid at United, when the playing staff decimated by the Munich air crash on February 6, 1958, recovered under the stewardship of manager, Matt Busby, and a young England winger, Bobby Charlton, with dynamite in his left boot, went on to captain Manchester United in their European Cup Final defeat of Benfica 4-1 in May 1968. Charlton had been the deep-lying centre forward of the England team in its change strip of red from white in its defeat of the white shirts of Germany 4-2 at London`s Wembley stadium in the summer of 1966, but it was the outlawing of the `tackle from behind` that would ensure the whites of Real Madrid and the reds of Manchester United remained giants in bodily health as exponents of the skills of soccer into the 21st century.
The white shirts of Real Madrid went on to lift the European Cup again in 1959 and 1960, and once more in the season England won the World Cup, 1966. Manchester United`s second success in the competition in 1999 against Bayern Munich, 2-1, followed upon Real Madrid`s seventh in 1998, when Alex Ferguson`s genius for tactics brought on substitute striking partnership, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in a move that had been rewarded with success before the game and would again afterwards, when the first choice forward pairing of `black pearls`, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, experienced a dearth of chances to blunt their effectiveness in front of goal. Sheringham and Solskjaer scored in the 91st and 93rd minutes to justify a young side`s resilience in the face of Bayern Munich`s teasing the team to frustration with `keep ball` possession play after the Germans went in front early in the 6th minute from a direct free kick by winger, Mario Basler, on the left side of the United area that `keeper Peter Schmeichel could only watch transfixed as Basler bent the ball right around the defensive wall of his Manchester teammates and into the right corner of the net.
Just as Matt Busby`s 1968 success had resulted in his receiving a knighthood from the English Queen, Elizabeth II, to become Sir Matt Busby, so the honour was conferred upon his Scottish compatriot, and the title of the manager at Manchester United was thenceforth, Sir Alex Ferguson. Real Madrid were to receive European Cup winners` medals twice more in 2000 and 2002, which brought their total to nine European Cup triumphs, before Manchester United`s third in 2008 against Chelsea, 6-5 on penalties. The score had been 1-1 after extra time, and United had led from a power header by Portuguese right winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, who would soon leave the club for the white of Real Madrid. Ryan Giggs` deciding penalty and Manchester United `keeper Edwin Van Der Sar`s equally decisive save from Chelsea striker, Nicholas Anelka, ensured the red and white life`s blood of Europe`s two greatest soccer symbols would continue to run through her veins.
3 Foot, Alistair and Anthony Marriott, No Sex Please, We`re British, first staged in London's West End in 1971.
4 Clausewitz, Von Carl Phillip Gottfried, Vom Kriege, Berlin, 1832.
5 Football chant originating with Millwall to the tune of The Sutherland Brothers Band, `(We Are) Sailing` from the album, Lifeboat (1972), which was popularized in England by Scottish pop star, Rod Stewart, and appeared as a `cover version` on his 1975 album, Atlantic Crossing, while wife, Swedish film actress, Britt Ekland, appeared on board the British aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal, serenaded by her then husband in the video to promote the song.
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