14/10/2013 20:10

Supermarket Stam And The Plates Of Meat That Couldn`t Run Enough After Him

Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, decided to sell Jaap Stam, his central defesive rock, to Lazio of Italy in 2001 after the club`s third successive championship win. The centre back, who had arrived from PSV Eindhoven for the 1998-99 season, was just 29 years old. Manchester United had won four trophies with Jaap Stam by the end of the 1999 season, the league title, the F.A. Cup, European and Intercontinental (World Club) Cups. Before Jaap left at the end of the 2000-01 term, he had defended the league title won in 1999 twice. Luring Ruud Van Nistelrooy to Old Trafford`s stadium, the `Theatre Of Dreams`, with the promise of a strong defence from which to score goals fearlessly because of Jaap, his compatriot Durchman at the centre of defence, Ruud Van Nistelrooy had the turf sold out from under him as Stam was offloaded with almost indecent haste by Alex Ferguson to Lazio as soon as Ruud arrived from PSV. Blamed for the team`s lack of silverware between 2001 and 2007, when Manchester United won the title once only in 2002-03, Nistelrooy had to labour under the handicap of a central defence impoverished by the absence of Jaap.
 When Serbian centre half, Nemanja Vidic, arrived from Spartak Moscow in January 2006, the defence was shored up well enough for the forwards to be effective at last, which meant the team were vulnerable at the back needlessly for a period of time equal to the trophyless gap between the club`s winning of the European Cup in 1968 and the F.A. Cup Final win of 1977. That win, 2-1, to deny Liverpool the treble of league, F.A. Cup and European Cup, which Manchester United themselves would achieve in 1999 with Jaap Stam`s commanding presence at the back, was recognized as an era of mediocrity resulting from centre back Bill Foulkes` (1951-71) retirement. Bill`d been at right full back for Manchester United in the championship seasons of 1955-56 and 1956-57, but had switched to centre half after the death of Mark Jones, England`s centre back, on February 6, 1958, in Munich, Germany, when the club lost many of its players to the grave on the snow and ice of the airport runway after a European Cup tie. The plane carrying the team back to Manchester, from a 3-3 draw against Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia, had crashed on take off.
 Bill Foulkes survived to play on at centre half for Manchester United in the F.A. Cup Final win against Leicester City, 3-1, in 1963, and in the championship seasons of 1964-65 and 1966-67, which was followed the next season by victory in the European Cup Final over Benfica of Portugal, 4-1, at England`s national stadium, Wembley, London. The traditional half back line of right half, left half and centre half was disappearing from modern soccer, and Bill Foulkes retired in 1971 as the new format of paired centre backs was emerging as the defensive paradigm in English football. The team failed to readjust to the new mode of play, partly due to Bill Foulkes` retiring without a capable successor.
 Manchester United struggled to recover for almost two decades after losing Foulkes at centre half. Although Scot Ian Ure came from Arsenal (1969-71), and Jim Holton (1972-76) was the centre half in the 1974 World Cup Finals when the Scots` team didn`t progress to the second round but remained undefeated, it was former midfield tiger, England`s Brian Greenhoff (1973-79), who made a real fist of it as half of Manchester United`s back pair alongside Martin Buchan (1972-83), who came from Aberdeen in February, 1972, for a then club record fee of 120, 000 GBP, but it wouldn`t be until Alex Ferguson paired centre halves, Steve Bruce (1987-1996) from Norwich City and Gary Pallister (1989-98) from Middlesboro`, that Manchester United would have the blended and balanced modern day right and left halves to replace the old formula of a big strong centre half flanked by right and left halves. When Alex deemed Jaap Stam surplus to requirements and transferred him away from the `Theatre Of Dreams` in 2001, history was repeating itself. The Dutchman was widely regarded as the best central defender in the world and the rock upon which Manchester United had just built three successive league title campaigns, including 1999`s quadruple, alongside Norway`s Ronnie Johnsen (1996-2002), whose retirement from the back line through injury began shortly after:
`We got the offer from Lazio, £16.5m for a centre-back who was 29. It was an offer I couldn't refuse. But in playing terms it was a mistake.`1
 Although Wes Brown (1997-2011) was described by Alex Ferguson as `the best natural defender at the club`, he was prone to injury. Frenchman Mikael Silvestre (1999-2008) was a left back by trade and central defence wasn`t his forte although it was his preferred position since his departure from Internazionale of Milan. Alongside Wes Brown, who often played right back for Manchester United, the left foot of left back Mikael Silvestre represented the ideal of right and left halves playing together rather than the traditional big centre half. Henning Berg (1997-2000), the big Norwegian centre back, had been bought by Alex from 1994-95 champions, Blackburn Rovers, to strengthen Manchester United`s central defense in terms of the new philosophy of squad rotation and depth of resources to be deployed, but the tradition of the giant centre half at Manchester United was disappearing.
 In 2001 Jaap Stam`s loss from the centre of defence by the side of the dependable Ronnie Johnsen would continue to be felt until Serbian centre back, Nemanja Vidic, arrived in January, 2006, to fit in beside England`s Rio Ferdinand (2002-), who`d arrived from Leeds United without a recognizable half back partner and, although winning a championship medal in his first season of 2002-03, Nemanja Vidic wouldn`t properly bolster the defence alongside Rio until the commencement of the 2006-07 season when Manchester United had finally found a replacement pairing for Bruce and Pallister, known affectionately to those standing faithfully behind the home goal in the Stretford End as `Dolly, the sheep` and `Daisy, the cow`.
 Wes Brown`s versatility in defence remained a plus factor in Manchester United`s campaigning but injury dogged his career. Many believed Rio Ferdinand lost Manchester United the chance to retain the 2002-03 title, when he effectively refused to take a drugs` test and was banned for most of 2003-04. Only the 2006 League Cup came into Manchester United`s hands, 4-0, against Wigan after the 2004 F.A. Cup win over Millwall, 3-0, with Brown and Silvestre at the heart of the defence. Nemanja Vidic came on as a substitute for Rio Ferdinand`s defensive partner, Wes Brown, in the 83rd minute against Wigan in the 2006 League Cup Final victory and that was the turning point for Manchester United; although many still blamed Rio for the club`s failure to win the league title between 2003 and 2007.
 Because of a lack of defensive capability until Ferdinand and Vidic`s partnership began in 2006, Ruud Van Nistelrooy`s goals weren`t measured as highly as they deserved in number of trophies won after he arrived in 2001. Manchester United were in the throes of offloading old striking powers, Andy Cole (1995-2001), Teddy Sheringham (1997-2001) and Dwight Yorke (1998-2002), who`d knocked in goals for titles alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in seasons 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, and 2000-01. With deep lying French centre forward, Eric Cantona, retiring after his fourth title in 1996-97, following successes in 1992-93, his first season after arriving for 1.1 m GBP from champions Leeds United, 1993-94 and 1995-96, which included F.A. Cup wins and the `double` in 1994 and 1996, almost all of Manchester United`s goalscoring talent, with the exception of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, had disappeared. When Ruud Van Nistelrooy arrived from Holland for the 2001-02 season, he discovered Alex Ferguson had betrayed him by selling centre back, Jaap Stam, to Lazio. Manchester United`s progress had suffered a setback, which lasted half a decade and would eventually result in Van Nistelrooy`s own departure from the stage at Manchester`s Old Trafford stadium, the `Theatre Of Dreams`.
 Manchester United won the English championship but once more before 2006-07 following the team`s successive title victories of 1999-2001, and after the sale of Jaap Stam in 2001 greeted the arrival of striker, Ruud  Van Nistelrooy, for the 2001-2002 campaign. Alex Ferguson`s decision to replace Jaap Stam, 29, with Frenchman, Laurent Blanc, 35, now seems suicidal in hindsight, as Jaap Stam`s eventual replacement, Rio Ferdinand, didn`t arrive until 2002-03. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who`d operated mainly as a reserve and substitute striker, with great success, couldn`t handle the pressure to score goals regularly as a first choice partner for Ruud Van Nistelrooy after the Dutch forward`s arrival. Alex Ferguson`s reinforcement, Paraguayan centre forward, Diego Forlan, who was transferred from Argentina`s Independiente for 6.9 m GBP in January 2002, was expected to fill the role Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had held, but didn`t measure up as a prolific goalscoring reserve and substitute strike partner for either Ruud Van Nistelrooy or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer which, combined with a shaky defence and Solskjaer`s failure to live up to his own prolific striking legend when promoted from the substitutes` bench, hindered Manchester United`s campaigning from 2001 onwards.
 Though blamed for Manchester United`s lack of success between 2001 and 2007, Ruud Van Nistelrooy had to cope with the loss of Jaap Stam and then Rio Ferdinand for most of the 2003-04 season when the team were looking to retain the championship and win the European Cup but had to settle for the F. A. Cup Final win over Millwall, 3-0, with two goals from Ruud, a penalty in the 65th minute, and a tap in after a pinpoint centre from Ryan Giggs wide on the left wing in the 81st minute after Cristiano Ronaldo had begun the scoring with a 44th minute headed goal just before half time. By the time Ruud Van Nistelrooy was paired with new striker, Wayne Rooney, who arrived as an 18 year old centre forward from Everton for the 2004-05 campaign, injury prone French striker, Louis Saha, brought from Fulham, halfway through the 2003-04 season, was the third striker. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who`d been, and still was, a proficient goalscorer since his arrival from Norway`s Molde for the championship winning season of 1996-97, and the last title success  before his and the team`s consecutive triumphs (1999-2001), retained the fourth striker`s position, while Portuguse right winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, who`d been brought from Sporting Lisbon of Portugal in 2003, was beginning to look capable of outscoring any one or all of them.
 When Louis Saha played alongside Wayne Rooney in the League Cup Final of 2006 and Manchester United beat Wigan, 4-0, with goals from Rooney (33, 61), Saha (55) and Ronaldo (59), Ruud Van Nistelrooy was dropped to the substitutes` bench having scored 95 goals in 150 league appearances. The previous season he`d managed only 6 goals in 17 league games due to injury, but scored 21 in 2005-06, which was one goal better than 2003-04 and compared favourably with 2001-02 (23) and 2002-03 (25). Ruud Van Nistelrooy was recovering from a bad time in which he`d begun without a valued central defender, Jaap Stam (2001), lost another, Rio Ferdinand (2003-04), and experienced an injury ravaged season (2004-05), before returning to form.
 Nemanja Vidic`s arrival in 2006 should have been a cause for celebration for Ruud Van Nistelrooy but Alex Ferguson had decided Rooney, Saha, Solskjaer and Ronaldo would be enough for the championship campaign of 2006-07, which they were. Cristiano Ronaldo top scored with 17 while Wayne Rooney got 14. Louis Saha and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer weighed in with 8 and 7 respectively and Manchester United were champions again but would rue Ruud, because he couldn`t be faulted, and had been held to be at fault for what he couldn`t help. Jaap Stam, three times winner of a championship medal at Manchester United, as well as the European Cup, F.A. Cup and Club World Cup (1999-2001), didn`t get to play in the team with Ruud Van Nistelrooy when the Dutch striker arrived for the 2000-01 season, and that was a football tragedy.
04/10/2013 12:38

Clubs Cups

The Copa De Libertadores is the trophy all the soccer teams in South America compete to win and it`s the most difficult because first the teams have to win their national championships. Unlike Europe, where the zenith of achievement is the European Champions` League FInal and the cup for the winners, the Copa De Libertadores was viewed by the South Americans as the qualifying round of competition for the `big game`, which was the Intercontinental Cup Final. The clubs of all five continents could play to reach the World Club Cup FInal after the year 2000 when the IC became the World Cup for clubs.
 Manchester United didn`t understand the huge importance afforded the cup when they met Argentina`s Estudiantes De La Plata in 1968. United had the powerful striking boots of England`s deep lying left sided centre forward, Bobby Charlton, and defensive half back Nobby Stiles, who`d won the World Cup of nations with England at Wembley`s London stadium in 1966 and had encountered Argentina en route to the Final. Manager Sir Alf Ramsey`s team had a torrid experience with a typically South American style of play from players wanting to win the World.
The quarter-final was known in Argentina as `el robo del siglo`,  `the theft of the century`, which England won, 1-0 , after an `offside` goal from striker, Geoff Hurst. Argentine captain, Antonio Rattín, was sent off for dissent. Ramsey described the South Americans as `animals` to the press. When Manchester United met Estudiantes De La Plata, Otto Gloria, the manager of Benfica, the Lisbon team of Portugal, beaten 4-1 by United to qualify for the World Club Cup, gave an interview in which he described defensive half back star, Nobby Stiles, as `an assassin`. Blackguarded before the match Nobby was told to stand away from Estudiantes` violent midfielder, Carlos Bilardo, at one point by referee, Paraguay`s Hugo Sosa Miranda, which interfered with Stiles` positioning play. Finally retaliating to provocation Stiles was sent off in the first leg in the 79th minute and missed the return at Manchester United`s Old Trafford stadium. In Buenos Aires, Marcos Conigliaro, the Estudiantes` forward, had headed a 28th minute goal from a corner by right winger, Juan Ramon Veron, `the little witch`, which meant De La Plata would have a 0-1 advantage in Manchester and wouldn`t have to deal with Nobby Stiles` defensive genius. Although Willie Morgan, Scotland`s right winger, scored for United in the 89th minute at Manchester`s Old Trafford stadium, right winger Juan Ramon Veron had headed a 7th minute opening goal for Estudiantes and, when George Best was sent off for punching defender Jose Hugo Medina in the 88th minute, the Club World Cup was on its way to `The Silver`, capital city of  the Argentine province of Buenos Aires.
 Manchester United had understood the importance of the World Club Cup to the South Americans who qualified by winning the Copa De Libertadores, which was the championship of South America. Unlike the European Cup, the Copa De Libertadores was perceived by the South American soccer nations as giving their winning team entrance to the Final of the Intercontinental Cup, whereas in Europe the Champions` Cup was perceived as the zenith by each nation`s champion. The Cup of the World`s Clubs was too high and great a trophy for the Europeans to reach for and so they elevated the European Cup to a standing greater that its merit.
 As the first English team to agree to play for the European Cup in 1957, after winning the English 1956-57 championship, Manchester United were encouraged by the English Football Association because football was a world game and the English championship was held as a prize higher than the European Cup in England. United lost a team on February 6, 1958, in the snow and ice of Munich after a 3-3 draw in Yugoslavia against Red Star Belgrade, who they subsequently beat 1-0 in the Final of the European Super Cup in 1991, another trophy for which the teams qualified to compete as Finalists by winning either the European Cup or the European Cup Winners` Cup, which was the silverware Manchester United had won in 1991 against Spanish giants, Barcelona, 2-1, and had qualified for that competition in 1990 by winning the F.A. Cup in England. Winning a trophy to qualify for a FInal didn`t raise the value of the Intercontinental Cup in the eyes of the qualifying winners of the European Cup, although it`s a standard means to progress. The European clubs were cowards. Without seeking to test their skills against the South Americans, the Europeans sought the trappings of superiority rather than to prove it. If the Intercontinental Cup was perceived as inferior, losing it wasn`t, and the South Americans were.
 The Manchester United plane crash on 6 February, 1958, during an attempted  take off in the snow and ice at Munich airport in Germany, underlined the importance of the European Cup to the English Football Association. Manchester United lost their team for the 1957-58 European Cup campaign to dethrone Real Madrid (1956-60), who would go on to win the first five European Cups, while the England team had lost the heart of theirs for the World Cup of 1958 in Sweden, which was won by Brazil and a young centre forward, Pele, who`d go on to be a superstar in full magnitude and win two more World Cups in 1962 and 1970, sandwiched between Manchester United`s Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles` own World`s triumph in 1966.
 Manchester United`s dead on February 6, 1958, were centre half, Mark Jones, captain and left back, Roger Byrne, full back, Geoff Bent, midfield giant, Duncan Edwards, left winger, David Pegg, centre forward, Tommy Taylor, and Irish inside forward, Liam Whelan. Manchester United`s win against Red Star Belgrade, European champions, in the European Super Cup Final of 1991, underscored the qualifying ground`s degree of difficulty, which the Manchester United team had overcome on the icy runway at Munich. When manager, Alex Ferguson, knighted for his winning of the European Cup in 1999, as Sir Matt Busby had received the honor from Queen Elizabeth II for his 1968 win, flew his team to the Final of the Intercontinental Cup against Palmeiras, winners of the Copa De Libertadores and South America`s champions, the qualifying grounds were a 2-1 defeat of German Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich, in the European Cup Final after going behind to a free kick on the left of the United area from the right boot of inside forward, Mario Basler, in the 6th minute. Playing against a good German defence for 90 minutes of normal time, Manchester United stuck to their task and struck twice in time added on for `stoppages` in the 91st and 94th minutes through substitute strikers, England`s Teddy Sheringham and Norway`s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who had been sent on because the forwards already on the field, Swedish left winger, Jesper Blomqvist, and England centre forward, Andy Cole, were tiring.
 Manchester United had already won the English league title and F.A. Cup for a unique treble and the Intercontinental Cup would make it four trophies. For the England Football Association victory in the World Cup Final of 1966 was of paramount importance but Manchester United`s participation in the European Cup was required so that the other English champions would follow the `red devils` into a European competition that would prepare the English team for the World.
 When Manchester United beat Bayern Munich, 2-1, in the European Cup Final of 1999, it was the qualifying ground for entry into the Intercontinental Cup Final, which was the Clubs` World Cup. Manchester United lost a team preparing England for the World Cup of 1966, but the World Club Cup in England ranked as much importance as the Manchester Senior Cup (1885-), or the Lancashire Senior Cup (1879-), which Manchester United continued to compete for after the introduction of the F.A. Cup as a national competition in 1871-72 and the formation of the English national league in 1888. Although the English Football Association accorded the F.A. Cup and the league title importance, Manchester United`s European Cup Final successes of 1968 and 1999 were accorded an importance equal to England`s World Cup campaigning only insofar as they illustrated English superiority to the Europeans, despite victory in the European Cup giving United the opportunity to be crowned champions of the world if they succeeded in winning the Intercontinental Cup.
 After midfield dynamo, captain Roy Keane, arrived before Palmeiras` right post in the 35th minute to drive in a cross from winger, Ryan Giggs, far out on the left, the only goalscorer of the contest was ready to receive the world into his hands, which was what the club had prepared for. Irrespective of the smallness of English fears of the world being too big, Manchester United had `grasped the nettle`. Because of fear of teams like Argentina, English clubs had contributed to the small English belief that the Intercontinental Cup was as small as they thought it should be, by not competing. Liverpool refused to play for the World Club Cup against Argentine side, Boca Juniors, in 1977 and 1978, a refusal in stark contrast to Manchester United`s decision to play in the European Cup of 1956-57 to help the English Football Association`s preparation for the World Cup.
 Manchester United lost a team in the ice and snow of Munich airport in an aircrash that occurred because the plane couldn`t leave the ground, but Manchester United had left their ground at Old Trafford to compete for England. When captain, Irishman Roy Keane, held aloft the World Club Cup of 1999, it was the world he`d played for, not England, and his compatriot, Irish inside forward, Liam Whelan, who`d lost his life at Munich, would have understood. Football is bigger than nations. There weren`t any European players in the Manchester United team that beat Benfica in 1968 at Wembley`s national stadium, London, but there was a Scot, Pat Crerand, and Irish, right full back Shay Brennan, winger George Best, and left full back Tony Dunne. When United beat Bayern Munich in 1999, Denmark`s Peter Schmeichel was the `keeper, Norway`s Ronny Johnsen and Jaap Stam of Holland were the centre backs, and West Indian centre forward, Dwight Yorke, was from Trinidad and Tobago.
 In the Intercontinental Cup Final win of 1999, Australian Mark Bosnich was the `keeper, and French defender, Mikael Silvestre, was at centre back. To gain entry into the World Club Cup of 2008 Manchester United had to beat London side, Chelsea, in the Final of the European Cup, but English fears of big things to come perceived the encounter as a season finale, whereas for players on the world`s stage, Dutch `keeper, Edwin Van Der Sar, Serbian centre back, Nemanja Vidic, French left back, Patrice Evra, Portuguese right winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentine centre forward, Carlos Tevez, Brazil`s Anderson, and Portugal`s Nani, the European Cup Final was but a step to the world championship. When Welshman Ryan Giggs scored from the penalty spot to send Manchester United through to the Finals of the Club World Cup, Manchester United`s world players had the stage they`d prepared for.
 Argentine striker, Carlos Tevez, had won the Copa De Libertadores with Boca Juniors against Brazil`s Santos, and the Intercontinental Cup against A.C. Milan in 2003, so Carlos knew what the World Club Cup meant to South America, but the Cup of the Liberators was now the official World Club Cup and teams participated from South America, North America (including the USA and the Caribbean Islands), Asia, Oceania, Africa, and Europe. The Copa De Libertatores lived up to its traditions and Manchester United faced Ecuador`s Liga Deportiva Universitaria (LDU) De Quito, winners of the South American championship, in the World Club Cup Final, which United won 1-0 after a 73rd minute goal from England centre forward, Wayne Rooney. Nemanja Vidic, centre back, had been sent off in the 51st minute and Carlos Tevez had been the player to be replaced by England centre back, Jonny Evans, but the loss of Tevez and being reduced to ten men would make it difficult to score the vital goal needed.
 England centre forward, Wayne Rooney, found a solution. Remaining where he was at the left corner of the LDU Quito area, he played the ball back to left sided Brazilian midfielder, Anderson. Wayne waited while Anderson played the ball into the path of England right central midfielder, Michael Carrick, in front of the LDU Quito area. Carrick pushed the ball forward to Manchester United right winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, inside the LDU Quito area with two players in attendance. With his back to the goal, Cristiano Ronaldo turned to his right and slipped the ball to Wayne Rooney, who was still waiting at the left edge of the LDU Quito area where he`d begun the play. Rooney drove a shot low and right footed into the right corner of the LDU Quito net.
 A galaxy of the world`s stars had played for Manchester United that 2008 day, December 21st, including Brazil`s tenacious attacking right back, Rafael, and South Korea`s tricky midfielder, Park Ji Sung. Manchester United had looked to European players to give them the European Cup and Intercontinental Cup of 1999, but had looked further to South America`s Brazilians, Rafael and Anderson, and Argentina`s Carlos Tevez to win the Club Cup of the World in 2008. Soccer as a world game had arrived, and Manchester United`s successes in the Manchester Senior Cup could no longer be pooh-poohed. England`s disease is to see Manchester United as small, because of the English fear of being ignorable to a bigger, wider world, which flies on wings at Manchester United to succeed against the narrowing eyes and minds of smaller hearts. Just as the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup prepared players for the F.A. Cup, European Cup Winners` Cup, and European Super Cup, so the English league title prepared players for the European Champions` Cup, and the World Club Cup.
 In 1982 British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was criticized for sending a fleet to recapture the tiny Falkland Islands, invaded by the Argentine dictator, General Galtieri, because the Malvinas, as the Argentines called them, weren`t significant. Just as Liverpool had refused to play against Boca Juniors of Argentina in 1977 and 1978 in the Final of the Intercontinental Cup, because it wasn`t significant, although the English Football Association had asked them to, as it would have helped the national team in the World Cup Finals in Argentina in 1978, which that home nation eventually won. Although Liverpool played in the 1981 Intercontinental Final and lost to Flamengo of Brazil, 3-0, it was too late to show the flag in South America as a political signal that could have helped to prevent the 1982 Falklands war. The Copa De Libertadores translates as `the Cup of the Liberators`, that is, freedom, won for South America by its leaders. Just as Margaret Thatcher may be ranked amongst the Libertadores, so Manchester United are `Liberators`, because they fought for `Freedom`s Cup` in disputing the title of World Club Champions with Estudiantes, Palmeiras, and LDU Quito. Manchester United didn`t disdain the South Americans as inferior, and continue to play for the supposedly inferior, Manchester Senior Cup. Just as Margaret Thatcher didn`t perceive the Falkland Islands as inferior, because small, Manchester United have always sought to play for `Freedom`s Cup` against the South American winners of the Copa De Libertadores in the World Club Cup FInal, because the World is not a place too small to fight for.
 Manuel Jose Joaquin Del Corazon Jesus Belgrano (3rd June 1770-1820 June 20) is named as one of the Libertadores of South America. General Belgrano took part in the Argentine wars of independence from Spain, and created the flag of Argentina. `ARA General Belgrano` was the name of the cruiser too close to the aircraft carrier taskforce, sent by Margaret Thatcher to restore democracy to the Falkland Islands, and was sunk by a torpedo from the British Conqueror submarine on 2 May, 1982, although some believed the Belgrano was outside of the `exclusion zone` when sunk by the Conqueror. The Belgrano had been in service since 1951 with the Argentine navy and couldn`t be blamed for Galtieri`s dictatorship, but Margaret Thatcher and General Belgrano remain `Libertadores` to South Americans, because the Conservative Party leader, a woman, was prepared to fight for the prize, `Freedom`s Cup`, when received wisdom believed it too small a bauble to be worth fighting for.
 The `statue of Liberty` bearing `freedom`s torch` in New York harbour is the symbol of the United States of America which, as a soccer nation, participates in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, which is CONCACAF rather than Conqueror, in keeping with its traditional belief in democracy and not empire, as its `Declaration of Independence` from Britain on 4 July, 1776, says.  On December 7, 1941, the United States began the defence of `the pearl of great price` (Matt: 13. 45-6) at Pearl harbor, where the red sun of the flag of Japan`s aspirations to a global fascist empire launched a `sneak attack` on the US Pacific fleet becalmed at Hawaii.
 In the Bible `the woman clothed with the sun and with the moon at her feet`, giving birth while the `red dragon` waits in vain to devour her child, corresponds to `Liberty` after the USA`s defeat of Japan through the destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on 6th and 9th August, 1945, by the power of the sun, the atomic bomb. When the flag of the yellow moon of Al Qaeda`s terrorists, `the base`, cowardly flew hijacked planes into the Twin Towers of New York`s World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, `Liberty` reflected on the silvery moon in her waters, and on May 2nd, 2011, the `liberators` of US Navy Team Six killed Al Qaeda leader, Osama Ben Ladan. `Liberty` was `with the moon at her feet` and `the pearl of great price,` heaven, was defended.
 In 2008 Manchester United were the sporting conquerors of Gamba Osaka of Japan, 5-3, in the semi-final of the World Club Cup, while Ecuador`s LDU Quito beat Pachuca of Mexico, a Central American club from CONCACAF, 2-0, but a team from the United States could have made the Final. When the United States of America wins the Cup of the World`s clubs, with a team like L.A. Galaxy, whose players benefited from having ex-Manchester United right winger, and World Club Cup winner, David Beckham, in the side for consecutive Major League Soccer Cup wins (1911-12), it will be a great occasion for all of freedom`s `liberators`, but the soccer nations of the world will try to prevent the USA from succeeding, because the world prizes freedom`s cup as highly, if not more so, than `the home of the brave and the land of the free`,1 and won`t be belittled by anyone who doesn`t value it.
 American Football has its Superbowl Final and its leagues where the ball is carried or thrown for a touchdown or TD in the endzone for six points and another for a kick between the posts in celebration of the `TD`, which was the metaphor used for the moon landings by the North American Space Administration`s (NASA) Apollo space program to put a man on the moon. When Neil Armstrong finally stepped onto the lunar surface on June 20, 1969, he said:
`One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.`
 The United States` tradition of developing their own sports, such as baseball and football, underlines their superiority to themselves as the nation that `conquered` the moon. Although the United States` defeat of Al Qaeda, `the base`, corresponds to a baseball victory, because Al Qaeda, `the base`, didn`t make  it to `second base`, which dictator Saddam Hussein had offered in Iraq,  the foot of Neil Armstrong, in American football terms, missed the one point for the United States after the `touchdown`, which is `futanarian` woman with her own penis` `seed` for self-reproducing her own brains` power can reach `the pearl of great price`, the moon, and the planets and stars of heaven.
 An army is a demon with many arms, but football teaches its exponents not to touch, which is what Jesus` taught, `nole me tangere`; `touch me not`. A woman in the arms of a demon is a `futanarian` human that can`t breed her own species with her own penis` semen, and  so football is Jesus` teachings of respect for woman`s reproduction, because it`s `futty` and the object is to put the ball in the net, that is, fertilize the egg with the sperm, without touching a man, which is what Jesus` birth from his mother, the Virgin Mary, teaches.
 Although Al Qaeda, `the base`, represent defeat by the United States, the women of Arabia in their traditional one piece coverall, the abiyah, which hides their `futanarian` human nature, want women to have their `fut` on the moon. In the USA it`s difficult to get to `first base` with a woman, while `futty` is a world sport and very popular in the Middle East. The United States must climb down from their self-perceptions of superiority and participate in the world game of football, or the Earth will never perceive the USA as `liberators` of women`s `seed`, but too small to compete for anything other than slave cups.
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-.
02/10/2013 13:07

Leeds To Soccer Success At Manchester United

In 1953 Bobby Charlton was a young left winger with a powerful strike in his left foot that kept him in the Manchester United team when he got his chance to play there. By 1968 he was a holder of the Ballon D`Or, and the title European Footballer Of The Year for winning the World Cup with England in 1966. Bobby would play as the left footed deep lying centre forward and midfield inspiration that would win the European Cup in May 1968 for Manchester United against Lisbon club, Benfica of Portugal, at the national Wembley stadium, London, 4-1. A rare headed goal from Charlton himself came after half-time on 53 minutes, but on 75 minutes Benfica`s inside right, Jose Torres, pushed the ball wide right in midfield and raced on into the United penalty area to rise above the defenders and head the subsequent cross from wide down towards the right post where midfielder, Jaime Graca, ran in to strike the ball with his right foot into the bottom left corner of the United goal past `keeper Stepney, who dived to his right, but too late:
`.... [Benfica] very nearly won the match when their feared striker Eusebio broke away from Nobby Stiles, the player tasked with marking him, and blasted the ball towards the net. But it was saved by keeper Alex Stepney and the game went into extra time.`1
 In extra time superstar genius, left winger George Best, caught onto his feet a ball headed on from Brian Kidd after a long punt upfield from United `keeper, Alex Stepney. Beating two Benfica defenders in his inimitable mazey style of running with the ball, George Best went around the Benfica `keeper on 92 minutes to sidefoot the ball gently into the net with his favoured left. A third headed goal from teenage striker Brian Kidd, in the side as a replacement for injured goal `King` Denis Law, came on 94 minutes after the Benfica goalkeeper parried his first header rather than catching it. Brian Kidd headed it back and over him. It was Kidd again, wide on the right and teasing Benfica`s left back, Fernando Cruz, into making a challenge Kidd avoided. Running down the right wing, Kidd cut into the Benfica area close to the by line. Brian crossed the ball to where Bobby Charlton was making for the right corner of the penalty box. With his right foot, Bobby lofted the ball up and over into the Benfica net for United`s fourth and final winning goal in the 99th minute.
 A newspaper interview with Benfica`s Brazilian manager, Otto Gloria, would inflame passions as Estudiantes De La Plata would defeat Manchester United in the Intercontinental Cup Final in Buenos Aires, traditionally played between the South American champions, winners of the Copa De Libertadores, and the champions of Europe. Otto Gloria labelled United defender Nobby Stiles, `an assassin`, and in scenes of intimidatory violence over the two legs of the Final, Nobby Stiles, in the 79th minute of the first leg, and George Best in the 88th minute of the second leg, were each sent off as Manchester United lost 2-1 on aggregate, mainly thanks to the right wing skills of Juan Ramon Veron, `the little witch` of Estudiantes De La Plata, who provided the corner for the goal for striker, Marcos Conigliaro, in the Buenos Aires encounter in the 28th minute with a header. Juan Ramon Veron himself scored the vital 7th minute headed goal in the away leg at Old Trafford`s `Theatre Of Dreams` stadium in Manchester before Scots` winger, Willie Morgan, finally replied for the `red devils` in the 89th minute.
 Manchester United`s rivals in English and European soccer were Leeds United. Jack Charlton, brother of Bobby and England centre half in the World Cup win over Germany in 1966, when West Ham striker, Geoff Hurst, had scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory, was at Leeds United. When manager Matt Busby transferred young inside forward, Johnny Giles, to Second Division Leeds United at the beginning of the 1963-64 season, John Giles and Manchester United had just won the F.A. Cup beating Leicester City, 3-1. John Giles had been at Manchester United since 1957 and it was a mistake to let him go. As the midfield general at Leeds, alongside Scots` tiger, captain Billy Bremner, Leeds United would come out of the Second Division in 1964 as champions of England`s second tier and be a thorn in the side of Manchester United`s ambitions right up until the white shirts pipped the `reds` of Manchester for the league title of 1991-92.
 Paddy Crerand, Manchester United`s Scottish central midfield playmaker, who`d only arrived from Celtic to make his debut on February 6, 1963, was already perceived as such a reliable passer and tackler that Manchester United manager, Matt Busby, felt he could let John Giles leave for Leeds. In the 25th May F.A. Cup Final, just three months after his transfer, the influential Crerand was quickest to the ball after Leicester `keeper Gordon Banks` poor kick out of his goal area failed to get enough distance. Paddy raced through into the right of the Leicester area before measuring a pass with the outside of his right boot along the Wembley turf for Denis Law to trap the ball left footed with his back to goal and turn in the 30th minute, striking right footed low into the left corner of the Leicester goal. After half-time, Bobby Charlton, wide on the left of the Leicester area, struck at the Leicester goal with his powerful left foot, and although the Leicester `keeper blocked the shot, David Herd was there to tap the ball into the net with his right foot on 57 minutes. David Herd got United`s third goal when Leicester `s World Cup winning `keeper, Gordon Banks, inexplicably made a decision to bounce the ball instantly upon collecting a cross from United`s right winger, Johnny Giles, and David Herd pounced to stab it right footed into the City goal in the 85th minute.
 Although the Manchester United players would go on to title success in 1964-65 and 1966-67, before their European Cup win of 1968, Leeds United would be the more successful club until manager Alex Ferguson`s decision at the beginning of the 1992-93 season to bring to Old Trafford, Eric Cantona, a French deep lying centre forward in the traditional Manchester United style, which Bobby Charlton (1956-73) epitomized throughout his career. Eric Cantona had been the difference between the two clubs the previous season when Leeds United had won the title. Playing only 15 games for 3 goals but prized by striker, Lee Chapman, for the `assists`, which left Chapman Leeds` top scorer with 16 goals, Alex Ferguson amazedly paid just 1, 200, 000 GBP to get Eric Cantona to sign for Manchester United for the 1992-93 league title campaign. Before retiring at only 31 years of age in 1997 with that season`s championship winners` medal in his pocket, Eric subsequently led Manchester United to two `double` triumphs in 1994 and 1996, when the team won the title and the F.A. Cup against Chelsea, 4-0. In that encounter Eric Cantona had scored two penalties in the 60th and 66th minute to kill the game. Liverpool were beaten 1-0 in 1996 when Eric Cantona scored the only goal of the game. With mimimum backlift he`d struck contemptuously to drive the ball into the net through a group of players when a chance providently offered inside the area in the 85th minute.
 Denis Irwin, the Manchester United full back, who`d arrive in 1990 from Oldham Athletic to become the most decorated player after centre half, Bill Foulkes, who`d retired in 1973 with four titles in 1956, 1957, 1965, and 1967, had been at Leeds United (1983-86) and made 72 appearances in the Second Division before leaving on a free transfer for Oldham where he helped the club to the Final of the League Cup in 1990 against Nottingham Forest, 0-1, but it was the semi-final of the F.A. Cup that drew Manchester United`s attention to Denis Irwin. After a 3-3 draw United won the replay 2-1 and went on to win the F.A. Cup after a 3-3 draw and replay, which the team won 1-0 thanks to a 59th minute strike from left full back, Lee Martin, who ran the length of the pitch from his full back position to crash the ball into the left top corner of the Crystal Palace net upon receiving a pass from Neil Webb he chested down and could do nothing else with except score.
 Denis Irwin was transferred to Old Trafford from Oldham for a transfer fee of 625, 000 GBP and went on to win 7 championship winners` medals in 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, and 2000-01. Denis won F.A. Cup Final winners` medals in 1994, 1996, and 1999 to make up for defeat by Manchester United in the semi-final of the 1990 F.A. Cup competition when he was at Oldham Athletic and a League Cup Final winners` medal in 1992 to make up for Oldham`s defeat to a single goal from young Nottingham Forest centre forward, Nigel Jemson, in the Final of 1990. Success in European competitions came with victory in the European Cup Winners` Cup FInal of 1990, the Super Cup in 1991, and the European Cup in 1999, which was followed by a win in the traditional Final of the Intercontinental Cup on the world stage of club football between South American Champions, Brazilian side Palmeiras, winners of the Copa De Libertadores, and Manchester United, European club champions. The `red devils` won 1-0 thanks to a goal by midfield dynamo and powerhouse, captain Roy Keane, which wiped out the painful memory of 1968`s defeat to Estudiantes De La Plata of Argentina.
 The paths of Irwin and Cantona to United reversed the trend set by Giles. In 1978 Dave Sexton, United boss, had brought Gordon McQueen, centre back, and Joe Jordan, centre forward, from Leeds United for almost 1, 000, 000 GBP. The pair lost in the F.A. Cup Final to Arsenal, 2-3, with McQueen getting United`s first in the 86th minute during a two minute spell late on that saw the side pull back to 2-2 when Sammy McIlroy got a second in the 88th minute. McQueen had been injured and United had re-jigged with right full back, Jimmy Nicholl, going into McQueen`s position. Believing the injured Gordon couldn`t do any harm at centre forward, the big Scot surprised everyone by getting a goal, but he wasn`t there to prevent Alan Sunderland from getting  his head to a left wing cross from Arsenal`s Graham Rix in the 89th minute to take the Cup to Highbury.
Gordon McQueen would go on to a winners` medal in 1983 against Brighton and Hove Albion, 4-0, before leaving in 1985 after failing to make new manager Ron Atkinson`s team against Everton in the F.A. Cup final, which United won in extra time, 1-0, in the 110th minute after a Norman Whiteside curled shot from outside the right of the Everton area found the inside of Neville Southall`s right post. United were down to 10 men after 78 minutes when Kevin Moran, centre back, partnered in defence by Paul McGrath, who had been preferred to McQueen, was sent off for a second bookable offence.
 Manchester United had beaten Leeds United, who had themselves lost the European Cup FInal in 1975 to Bayern Munich, 2-0, with Johnny Giles and Joe Jordan in the side, in the semi-final of the F.A. Cup in 1977, 2-1, with a 7th minute goal from centre forward, Jimmy Greenhoff, and right winger, Steve Coppell in the 15th minute before Alan `sniffer` Clarke, the England centre forward, struck with a penalty to reduce United`s lead in the 70th minute. The F.A. Cup Final victory of 1977 against Liverpool was important for United, because they hadn`t won a trophy since 1968 and had been relegated to the Second Division themselves in 1973-74, before rising again to be promoted to the top tier of English football as Second Division champions of 1974-75, which Leeds United had done themselves in 1963-64 with the help of general Johnny Giles signed from Manchester United to aid them.
 Manchester United`s European Cup win of 1968, after Johnny Giles` transfer to Leeds United and the Manchester club`s titles of 1964-65 and 1966-67, represent a team`s succeeding without a key player they`d allowed to escape them. After 1968 Manchester United`s successes were pale in comparison to John Giles` at Leeds United until 1992-93 and the first title to go to Old Trafford for twenty-six years. In domestic competitions, Leeds United won titles in 1968–69, 1973–74, and 1991–92.  They won the F.A. Cup in 1972, the League Cup in 1968 and, in European competition, the UEFA Cup in 1968 and 1971.
 Wilf McGuinness had been at Manchester United since he and Bobby Charlton were both 15 years of age. At wing half McGuinness had captained the F.A. Cup Youth FInal winning teams of 1953-57, and Wilf became manager at Manchester United after Sir Matt Busby, knighted for winning the European Cup, retired. Leeds United beat Manchester United in the F.A. Cup semi-final of 1970 in a second replay, 0-1, after the first two games had both ended in a 0-0 draw. Leeds United were known as a predominantly defensive passing side that stopped the other team from playing, while Manchester United had a reputation for being an unstoppably measured juggernaut that relied on ability and an indomitable will to succeed.
 Manchester United`s will to triumph was built on a history of recovering from tragedy ever since the Munich aircrash of 6 February, 1958. The plane that crashed in the snow and ice of the German airport on take off had robbed the English game of a young team known as the `Busby Babes` that had won successive league titles in 1955-56 and 1956-57 and was capable of providing players to win England the World Cup of 1958 and the European Cup for Manchester United in that same year - and afterwards too.
 With Bobby Charlton at outside left, the side had been returning from a quarter final victory over Red Star Belgrade of Yugoslavia to set up a European Cup semi-final against A.C. Milan, which they`d ultimately lose because of the disaster at Munich airport. Although Bobby Charlton survived to move infield and back to a deep lying centre forward berth, along with players like prolific scorer, Dennis Viollett, and left winger, Albert Scanlon, England lost the guile and strength of the boy who was a man, when others were still boys, midfield `giant` Duncan Edwards. Amongst those who also died were left winger, David Pegg, right winger Johnny Berry, inside forward David Coleman, centre half Mark Jones, centre forward Tommy Taylor, captain and left full back, Roger Byrne, full back, Geoff Bent, and Irishmen, inside forward, Jackie Blanchflower, and forward, Liam Whelan, who`d had their own hopes for the future.
 Losing to Leeds United in the F.A. Cup semi-final of 1970 proved to be a disaster for Wilf McGuinness and his sacking as Manchester United manager underlined the ascendancy of Leeds United, which would overshadow events at Old Trafford until the league was finally won again with the transferred help of star forward, Eric Cantona, snapped up by then United manager, Alex Ferguson, from Leeds; like he`d gotten a pearl from a mussel shell. Leeds United took the league title from Manchester United by four points and owed much to drawing with the Old Trafford team during the season`s home and away encounters. But it was the away draw at Luton, 1-1, followed by consecutive defeats, which occurred in the period from 18-26 April, when Manchester United lost to Nottingham Forest, 1-2, West Ham, 0-1,  and Liverpool. 0-2, that cost United the crown.
 Leeds United`s Gordon Strachan, had been transferred from Aberdeen to Manchester United under the stewardship of Ron Atkinson and had won an F.A. Cup winners` medal against Everton in 1985, so hopes were high that Strachan would be a jewel in the crown at United for many seasons to come when his boss at Aberdeen arrived as manager to replace `Big Ron`. But Alex Ferguson sold Strachan to Leeds in a deal similar to the transfer of John Giles in 1963 when Leeds were in the Second Division. History repeated itself and Gordon became Leeds United`s captain in their promotion season of 1989-90 and, like John Giles before him, Strachan found himself winning the title in 1991-92 against his old team mates from Old Trafford`s `Theatre Of Dreams` when many felt he should have been in the Manchester United side winning the championship against Leeds.
 Eric `the red` Cantona`s arrival at Manchester United changed the course of English football; as it`d been altered when John Giles was deemed surplus and transferred from Manchester United to Leeds in 1963 by Matt Busby. But Alex Ferguson was clever enough to redress the balance when Gordon Strachan, Leeds` title winning captain of 1991-92, came back to haunt him. Just as John Giles` performances in Leeds` all conquering midfield of the mid 1970s had haunted Sir Matt Busby`s retirement, Gordon Strachan`s resurgence at Leeds United threatened to dent Manchester United`s title ambitions and European Cup hopes. Bringing Eric Cantona, `le god`, to Manchester United, was the result of Alex Ferguson`s correct reading of the auguries, and four league titles (1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997) and two league and F.A. Cup `doubles` (1994, 1996) later, United were `history` again. When `Fergie`s Fledglings` came of age to fly on the young left and right wings of Welsh wizard, Ryan Giggs and England captain, David Beckham, to defeat Bayern Munich in the European Cup FInal of 1999, 2-1, with last gasp goals from substitute striking pair, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in the 91st and 93rd minutes, Eric Cantona`s legacy was fulfilled and the ghosts of Bobby Charlton, George Best and Brian Kidd, `68`s heroes, were finally laid.
1 BBC News, BBC Home, `On This Day 1950-2005`, May 29,
30/09/2013 12:21

Manchester United And The Carriage And Wagon Department Of The Lancashire And Yorkshire Railway Depot At Newton Heath

In Manchester United`s early days the `red devils` were the `heathens` of Newton Heath, and wore the green and gold of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, because they`d been formed by the LYR carriage and wagon department at the Newton Heath depot. Although Manchester United didn`t win a major trophy until the league championship of 1908, in the guise of Newton Heath`s `heathens`, what would become the `red devils` were successful in senior competitions before what was perceived as Manchester United`s first era of English league championship success in 1908, 1911, and F.A. Cup Final victory in 1909. In those days the half back line of Duckworth, Roberts and Bell were the base for the team`s triumphs, while Billy Meredith, the Welsh winger and original soccer `superstar`, with George Wall on the left as his wing partner, provided the service for strikers, Harold Halse, and John and Sandy Turnbull, who were related but distantly, to turn chances into goals.
 Manchester United had been fortunate in 1906 to obtain the services of Billy Meredith, inside forward, Jimmy Bannister, Sandy Turnbull and left back, Herbert Burgess, because rivals Manchester City`s suspension from the league for illegal payments to players resulted in an exodus to United as soon as the ban on Manchester City`s competing again in the league was lifted. The influx of players from Manchester City boosted a squad that had won the Manchester Senior Cup in 1902. A competition amongst clubs, including Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City, Oldham Athletic, Bury Town, Wigan Athletic, and Stockport County, the Manchester Senior Cup was second in the region only to the Lancashire Senior Cup, while the Football Association Challenge Cup, that is, the F. A. Cup, as it came to be known, was the prize cup competition of all England. The Manchester and Lancashire Senior cups,  approximating in importance to the difference between domestic and European success in soccer`s modern age, were challenged for consistently by the `red devils` of Manchester United, in the green and gold of Newton Heath`s `heathens`, and the team won Manchester Senior Cups in 1886, 1888, 1890 and 1893, before success in 1902, and a defection en masse by players disgruntled at Manchester City, gave the squad the talent it needed to achieve English league and cup triumphs.
 The scorers in the Manchester Senior Cup campaign of 1886 were Watkins and left winger, James Gotheridge, who was still with `the heathens` in 1890. The successful Manchester Senior Cup campaign of 1888 was led by the Welsh brothers, left winger, Roger Doughty and centre forward, Jack Doughty. Alf Farman, right winger or inside right, and inside forwards, George Owen and Willie Stewart, were the gold and green`s goalscoring heroes in the Manchester Senior Cup campaign of 1890. Alf Farman remained on the right wing and Willie Stewart at inside forward in 1893. Bob Donaldson top scored in the newly formed English league with 16 while forward Tommy Fitzsimmons scored four goals on the team`s path to another Manchester Senior Cup victory. Jimmy Coupar, who`d been a goalscorer in the win, remained a part of the team when the Manchester Senior Cup was won once more in 1901-02 although the team`s top league goalscorer was Stephen Preston (11), but the most interesting feature of the side was Billy Griffiths, a centre back signed in 1899 who scored goals, and who`d be joint top scorer with 11 in 1903-04. The direct precedecessor of Charlie Roberts, centre half in the great half back line of Duckworth, Roberts and Bell at Manchester United, which formed the basis of their titles and sandwiched F.A. Cup success of 1907-08, 1909 and 1910-11, Billy Griffiths was ahead of his time.
 In Manchester United`s first league title winning season of 1907-08, George Wall (17) and Sandy Turnbull (25) were the main golascorers. In 1908-09 the club progressed to victory in the F. A. Cup Final against Bristol City, 1-0, with a goal from Sandy Turnbull in the 22nd minute after Harold Halse had hit the crossbar and Turnbull latched onto the rebound. The goalkeeper was Harry Moger, and the left and right fullbacks were George Stacey and Vince Hayes. The half back line was a feature of English soccer before the tactical change of twin centre backs in defence, and Manchester United`s was envied. Dick Duckworth was at right half, Charlie Roberts at centre half, and Alex Bell at left half. Billy Meredith was on the right wing and George Wall was on the left, while Harold Halse and Sandy Turnbull were inside left and inside right with Jimmy Turnbull at centre forward. The team finished second in the league and Jimmy Turbull (17) and Harold Halse (14) were top scorers.
 In the 1910-11 season Manchester United again won the league title and Sandy Turnbull (18) and `Knocker` West (19), transferred from Nottingham Forest at the start of the campaign, top scored. Although Manchester United`s own history says they remained unsuccessful until F.A. Cup Final victory over Blackpool, 4-2, in 1948 with Matt Busby at the helm, the tradition of the Manchester and Lancashire Senior Cups belies the claim. `Knocker` West continued to knock the goals in for United and the team not only won the Manchester Senior Cup in 1908, 1910, 1912 and 1913 but won the Lancashire Senior Cup for the first time in 1913 and again in 1914 before WWI (1914-18) ended the campaigns of England`s soccer clubs.
 In the days before campaigns in Europe against continental opposition, English soccer`s own leagues and cups were accorded more importance by the senior teams. Consequently, what appears to be a paucity of success for Manchester United before WWI is actually a period of greatness. By the late 1880s United had a team capable of winning four Manchester Senior Cups as the `heathens` in green and gold from Newton Heath. A resurgent squad now known as Manchester United`s `red devils` became Manchester Senior Cup winners a decade later in 1902 before Meredith and the others arrived from Manchester City to strengthen the team for its league titles of 1908 and 1911 and that sandwiched the F.A. Cup win of 1909. Contrary to modern historical interpretations, United of Manchester, Lancashire and England, were a success in winning four Manchester Senior Cups between 1908 (1910) and 1912-13, and two consecutive Lancashire Senior Cups, 1913-14, before WWI.
 When the soccer campaigns began in earnest again in 1918 Manchester United were unsuccessful, according to received wisdom, until after WWII (1939-45), whereas victories in the Manchester Senior Cup were achieved in 1920, 1924, 1926, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937 and 1939, while success in the Lancashire Senior Cup came in 1920, where the trophy was shared with Liverpool, 1929, 1938, and 1941 and 1943, when patriotic fervour not to allow English culture to be subdued by the war with Germany, which had bombed Manchester and Liverpool from Zeppelin airships, meant continued Lancashire Senior Cup competition.
 When Manchester United`s manager, Matt Busby, was appointed after WWII to a bombed out Old Trafford stadium he rebuilt the club much quicker than anyone anticipated because of the patriotism of the Manchester Senior Cup which afforded a pool of players Busby could select for an English league campaign. Although Manchester United didn`t win the league title again until 1951-52 the F.A. Cup Final winning team of 1948 was the basis for that championship and it`d been constructed from amongst those players who`d been available to Busby because of the Manchester Senior Cup campaigns of the war years. Those players gave Manchester United the runners-up spot in the league title race for three consecutive seasons, 1947-9, and were the backbone of the first championship success in 1951-52 since 1910-11.
 When Manchester United finished second to Liverpool in 1947 the top scoring forwards were Jack Rowley (26), Stan Pearson (19) and Johnny Morris (8), who`d become a professional footballer with Manchester United in 1939. Charlie Mitten was the left winger weighing in with 11 strikes and Jimmy Delaney was the right winger with 7 goals. United`s captain, Johnny Carey, had been at the club since 1936 and was a full back who`d scored a bagful of goals for United as an inside forward. Allenby Chilton, centre half, joined United from Liverpool in 1938 and was still a member of the team in 1951-52 when Manchester United won the league. The F. A. Cup Final team of 1948 was goalkeeper Jack Crompton, left and right backs, John Aston and Johnny Carey, and the half back line of John Anderson at right half, Allenby Chilton at centre half, and Henry Cockburn at left half.  Jimmy Delaney was on the right wing and Charlie Mitten was on the left. while Johnny Morris and Stan Pearson were the inside left and inside right with Jack Rowley at centre forward.
 Jack Rowley scored the first two goals in the 4-2 defeat of Blackpool in the 28th and 70th minutes, while Pearson and Anderson were United`s other goalscorers in the 80th and 82nd minutes. Jack had been United`s top goalscorer that season with 28 while Pearson (18), Mitten (8), and Morris (18) were the other main contributors. Although Manchester didn`t win the league but finished second in 1948-49, most of the players that almost took the title were still there in 1951-52 when United did win the championship. Again Rowley (20), Pearson (13), Mitten (19) and Morris (6) were the scorers, and the same was virtually true in 1951-52 when Jack (30), Stan (21), John Downie (10), who`d arrived in 1949 as Morris` replacement, and Johhny Berry (6), who had arrived from Birmingham City at the beginning of the season`s campaign as a natural right winger, did enough to bring the title to Old Trafford`s `Theatre Of Dreams`.
 Johnny Berry would play for England until the Munich aircrash of 6 February 1958 would rob the English team of most of their hopes for that year`s World Cup summer. England and the Manchester United squad lost its heart in the snow and ice of a plane`s failure to take off in Germany on the way back from a 3-3 draw in the European Cup against Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia. Johnny wasn`t among the players that died but he never played again. In 1951-52 United`s left full back, John Aston, who had often played as a centre forward for United, was slowly being replaced by the future England captain, Roger Byrne, although Roger had begun as a left wing goalscorer himself and had scored 8 times in the last six games of the 1951-2 season to ensure United didn`t falter. Roger Byrne would also lose his life at Munich, but continuity is what it`s about at Manchester United. Before the European Cup Final of 1968, John Aston Jnr, a young left winger, would be told by Matt Busby to run at Benfica`s defenders, who he`d noticed `turned as slowly as a Portuguese carousel`, and get crosses in to teenage scoring sensation, Brian Kidd, who was in the side for injured Stretford End goal hero, `King` Denis Law. United`s strategy to win the European Cup Final at Wembley`s national stadium, London, which they did, 4-1, paid off when Brian Kidd scored a third headed goal at 2-1 after the Benfica `keeper parried his first header and Kidd looped it back over him and into the net.
 John Aston Snr left Old Trafford in 1954  after becoming a professional for Manchester United in 1939, which meant he`d played before and after WWII and been part of a group of players who`d won the F.A. Cup and the league but also the Manchester Senior Cup in 1939 and Lancashire Senior Cup in 1941, 1943 and 1946. Goalkeeper Jack Crompton wouldn`t leave Old Trafford until 1955-56 when Matt Busby`s `Babes` won their first title and were still being helped to do so by Allenby Chilton at centre back, who`d been with Manchester United since 1938 and was but slowly being replaced by teenager, Mark Jones, who`s also lose his life at Munich after the team`s second successive title in 1956-57. Left half Henry Cockburn had only been at the club since 1943 and wouldn`t depart until 1954 after the league title win of 1951-52.
 Jackie Blanchflower was groomed as Henry Cockburn`s replacement. Brother of Northern Ireland and Tottenham Hotspur`s Danny, who said Jackie was `the better player`, Danny Blanchflower was Spurs` captain in their league and F.A. Cup `double` winning season of 1961 and so would know, but Jackie died at Munich. Jack Rowley was bought from Bournemouth and Biscombe, where he`d scored 10 goals in his first 11 games, for 3,000 GBP aged 17 in 1937 as a left winger. Becoming a valuable left-sided centre forward, Jack didn`t leave Manchester United until 1955. Stan Pearson was an amateur with the club from 1935 and became professional in 1937 before retiring in 1953 with 148 career goals, the 9th highest in the club`s history. Rowley and Pearson`s eventual replacements were Tommy Taylor and Dennis Viollet, who survived the Munich aircrash to go on to score 159 goals between 1952 and 1962. Tommy Taylor would have led the line for England at the 1958 World Cup Finals in Sweden but he lost his life in the aircrash at Munich. Taylor had been bought for 29,999 GBP, because Matt Busby didn`t want to burden Tommy with a 30, 000 GBP label, to defend United`s title of 1951-52. He found the net 112 times in 166 appearances in the red shirt and white shorts of Manchester United before his death. The old guard stuck around for as long as they could in the nurturing of the `Busby Babes` but one by one they had to give way to youth and, despite the club`s success in bridging the yawning gulf left by wars` ravages, nothing but the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup could prepare Manchester United for the Munich air disaster.
 Manchester United won the Manchester Senior Cup in 1955, 1957 and 1959, and the Lancashire Senior Cup in 1951, when future Manchester United centre back and captain, Bill Foulkes (1951-70), was just 19 years of age, having joined the club in 1950. The Lancashire Senior Cup was good preparation for a successful league title campaign in 1951-52. When the Manchester United team crashed at Munich in 1958, it was the core of the players that remained from winning the Manchester Senior Cup in 1955 and 1957 that would rise to reach the F.A. Cup Final of 1958 and finish second in the league in 1958-59 to inspire the club amidst waves of emotion. Matt Busby would build a fourth Manchester United team to rise again and win the F.A. Cup in 1963 to begin an ascent that would see the new generation of players achieve the championship in 1964-65 and 1966-67 before the great culmination of finally winning the European Cup in 1968. That was what the young `Busby Babes` had first set out to do when the club accepted the challenge of a European title to be won and were invited to participate as English champions in the European Cup of 1957-58, but which ended so tragically.
 Derided as secondary trophies, the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup were the life`s blood of Manchester United from their beginnings in the green and gold of Newton Heath`s `heathens`, but without regional honours to compete for it`s doubtful the `red devils` would have maintained success. Mark Pearson made his first-team debut on 19 February, 1958, as part of a makeshift side to play Sheffield Wednesday in United's first game after Munich:
`... it was the performance of two young men, Cope at centre-half and the 17-year-old Pearson at inside-left, that left us rubbing our eyes in astonishment. Their maturity, polish, and skill left one wondering what other magic is hidden away in Old Trafford.`1
 Ron Cope had been the captain of the first Manchester United team to win the F.A. Youth Cup in its inaugural year of 1952-53 against Wolves and the club would go on to consecutive successes in 1953-54, 1954-55, 1955-56 and 1956-57. Although largely overlooked until after the Munich aircrash, and indeed during the era of early F.A. Youth Cup success, because of the influx of great talent at Manchester United, Ron Cope`s worth wasn`t truly appreciated until after the disaster made him an indispensable `stopper`. Mark Pearson had won his first F.A. Youth Cup Final medal in 1956 against Chesterfield with future manager after Busby, Wilf McGuinness, his captain at wing half, who would pick up successive medals from 1954-57. Of the players who died at Munich, midfield`s `gentle giant`, Duncan Edwards, wing half, Eddie Coleman, left winger, David Pegg, and forward, Liam `Billy` Whelan, all played in Manchester United`s Youth Cup years of dominance before going on to be a part of the league title winning teams of 1955-56 and 1956-57.
 Bobby Charlton, a left winger with a powerful shot, survived the Munich crash, and Albert Scanlon recovered to lead United`s forward line to second place in the league in 1958-59. Charlton went on to a 1963 F. A. Cup winners` medal as well as 1964-65 and 1965-67 league titles, and in his role of deep lying centre forward he played for England in the World Cup Final of 1966 at Wembley stadium, London, where the Germans were beaten 4-2, largely thanks to a hat trick by West Ham`s strongly determined forward, Geoff Hurst, while in the preliminary games England had relied much on Bobby Charlton`s strong running, thoughtful array of passing abilities, and his blistering shooting prowess.
 In the Youth Cup winning teams alongside Bobby Charlton (1954-57), right winger, Shay Brennan (1956-57), would be playing right back in the title years of 1964-65 and 1966-67 and in the European Cup Final of 1968, when United beat Benfica, 4-1. After the Munich disaster the club`s Youth Cup winners, right winger, Kenny Morgans (1956-57), and centre forward, Alex Dawson (1956-57), would help United to an immediate taste of recovery when a patched together team made it to the F.A. Cup Final of 1958 only to lose to Bolton Wanderers, 0-2. The team that May 3rd at Wembley was Harry Gregg in goal, Bill Foulkes captaining at right back and Ian Greaves was at left back. Greaves had missed the Munich aircrash through injury and remained in England. There since 1953, Greaves was the first to wear England captain Roger Byrne`s boots after he was lost at Munich, but he`d already won the league title at Manchester United as a player who qualified for a medal because he`d made enough appearances, so he wasn`t  an inexperienced raw youngster. Freddie Goodwin was a `Busby Babe` who rose through the Manchester United youth program to make his debut on 20 November, 1954, at right half against Arsenal. Not selected for the squad, Freddie Goodwin missed the air disaster but had helped the team to the league titles of 1955-56 and 1956-57.
 At left half was wing half, Stan Crowther, who`d been an emergency signing for 18,000 GBP from the Aston Villa team that had beaten Manchester United, 2-1, in the 1957 F.A. Cup Final, which Manchester United would almost certainly have won but lost to two Peter McParland goals after Ray Wood, United`s goalkeeper, had to retire from the field of play in the 6th minute when a McParland challenge left him unconscious. Reduced to ten men with inside forward, Jackie Blanchflower in goal, United didn`t concede the two McParland goals until the 68th and 73rd minutes. A Tommy Taylor goal in the 83rd minute suggested how it could have been. A second successive defeat to Bolton Wanderers in 1958, when `keeper Harry Gregg was at the centre of the controversy, as Nat Lofthouse in the 50th minute bundled Gregg over the goaline with the ball in his hands for Lofthouse`s second goal in the 2-0 win, when United had gone behind early in the 3rd minute of the game, meant Manchester United had to wait for the 3-1 defeat of Leicester with goals from no-nonsense striker, David Herd (2), and goal poacher sans pareil, Denis Law, before they could be proud of their third F.A. Cup success in 1963 after wins in 1909 and 1948.
 Ron Cope was at centre half in the Manchester United F.A. Cup Final team of 1958 while Alex Dawson, and Colin Webster, who had appeared enough times for United in 1956-57 to qualify for a league title medal, were outside right and left. Dennis Viollet was in the inside left position and Bobby Charlton was the centre forward. Ernie Taylor at inside right had been begged from Blackpool and was duly transferred because United had needed his help. Albert Scanlon was injured in the Munich aircrash and had been chosen to play on the left wing against Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia and the 3-3 draw the team has achieved to take them through to a European Cup semi-final they`s inevitably lose to A.C. Milan because of the tragedy. Albert Scanlon didn`t qualify for a champions` medal in 1955-56 and 1956-57 and didn`t make any further appearances that season for United so wasn`t in the F.A. Cup Final team of 1958. Alongside Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollett, Scanlon would play the entire season in 1958-59, scoring 16 goals to Charlton`s 29 and Viollett`s 21 as Manchester United rose from the ashes like a Phoenix to almost take the title but didn`t and, in a period of untold promise and success, Albert Scanlon would leave Old Trafford in 1960 with only his F.A. Youth Cup Final winners` medals as a sign of a spirit unfilfilled.
 All of the players had either risen through the youth team ranks to F.A. Youth Cup success (1953-57) or had been a part of the senior squad`s achievements in the title wins of 1955-57 while the Manchester Senior Cup wins of 1955, 1957, and the 1959 success were a further indication of Manchester United`s capacity to recover. Although Bill Foulkes began at right back, he went on to be the big centre half for United in the 1968 European Cup Final and his collection of winners` medals for league titles in 1956, 1957, 1965 and 1967 wasn`t seriously rivalled until full back, Dennis Irwin, arrived at Old Trafford in 1990 from Oldham Athletic, and began a career that resulted in his collecting 7 championship medals in 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, and 2000–01.
 Dennis Irwin, who could play either full back role, centre back, or midfield, and even as a winger on both flanks, was a part of the greatness that was Sir Alex Ferguson. Knighted as Sir Matt Busby had been after winning the European Cup (1999), Sir Alex Ferguson`s greateness was to show what Manchester United would have been if the squad of players Sir Matt Busby had assembled had played on together.  Sir Alex`s policy of a big squad and rotation of players, so each had a chance to shine in arduous but successful seasons, demonstrated what Manchester United`s youth policy and squad of 1957 would have been capable of achieving if the Munich air disaster hadn`t occurred. The tragic irony was that the club could go on because of their love of the flower of youth and, although the pain of Munich would ever transport United further, it`d be a coach they`d rather not be carried along by:
`Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.` (Thess: 4. 17)
 Manchester United had their coaches but the best were the Manchester Senior Cup, the Lancashire Senior Cup and the F.A. Youth Cup. When Manchester United`s challenges for the major trophies faltered after Munich and the crest of a wave of emotions that carried the stricken team on to attempt the impossible, it was victories in the Manchester Senior Cup of 1964 and the F.A. Youth Cup Final of 1964-65 that signalled the resurgence of a squad that would win titles in 1964-65 and 1966-67 before culmination in the 1968 European Cup Final against Benfica, 4-1, when a goal from former youth team player, George Best, was the highlight as he latched onto a long ball from Alex Stepney, the United `keeper, flicked on by Brian Kidd, and beat two Benfica defenders before rounding the `keeper to score United`s second and make it 2-1 in extra time after a rare Bobby Charlton headed goal from John Aston Jnr`s left wing cross had looked like being enough.
 George Best had played in the 1964 F.A. Youth Cup final win against Swindon Town, 5-2 on aggregate over the two-legs, where the dribbling Irish genius wing prodigy had scored the United goal in the first game at Swindon to give the team a 1-1 draw in the 70th minute after Town forward, Don Rogers, had given his team the lead on 31 minutes. In the second leg, David Sadler, who could play either as a centre half or a centre forward, scored three times, while John Aston Jnr, who`d also play in the 1968 European Cup Final, got another. Bobby Noble was the Manchester United captain for the 1964 F.A. Youth Cup Final at left full back and, although Tony Dunne would be the first choice at left back for United until 1973 after his arrival from Irish league, Shelbourne, in 1959, Bobby Noble won a championship medal in 1966-67 before a car crash tragically ended his chances of continuing the tradition of continuity at Manchester United. The Bobby Noble disaster meant the left back position remained unfilled and became a problem contributing to Manchester United`s relegation from the top tier of English soccer in 1973-74. 
 Although United won the European Cup in 1968, they lost the league title to Manchester City and, during the following season, a torrid two-leg confrontation with Argentine`s Estudiantes De La Plata for the 1968 Intercontinental Cup, traditionally played between the South American champions, winners of the Copa Libertadores, and the European Cup holders, ended in sendings off and a bloodied nose for the club as they lost on aggregate, 0-1 away and and 1-1 at home, with only an 89th minute goal from Scottish winger and future Manchester United captain, Willie Morgan, to console. Nobby Stiles, who tackled like a madman because, according to those who knew, he didn`t wear his contact lenses when he played, was sent off in the first leg. The Argentine coach had branded Stiles `an assassin`. Nobby had been a World Cup Winner in 1966 with an England team that progressed against an Argentine national side described by England Manager, Sir Alf Ramsey, as `animals`, while Otto Gloria had labelled Stiles:
`... brutal, badly intentioned and a bad sportsman ... `2
 Badgered and intimidated with the help of a referee influenced by the pre-match vilification of Nobby Stiles, Hugo Sosa Miranda at one point ordered Nobby to stand away from Argentine midfelder, Bilardo, which interfered with the defender`s duties to the team. Receiving pnches, kicks and headbutts, Stiles finally retaliated and received the red card. In the second leg at Old Trafford, George Best was sent off in the 88th minute with defender, Jose Hugo Medina, who Best had punched. A 7th minute headed goal from Juan Ramon Veron, `the little witch`, right-winger for Estudiantes, proved enough. Fate had a further trick to play, however. Juan Sebastian Ramon, son of `the little witch`, would play in midfield for Manchester United (2001-03) and `Seba` would win a league champions` medal after arriving from Italy`s Lazio for 28, 000, 000 GBP as a cultured and intelligently forward thinking midfield playmaker.
 The truth about Manchester United after 1968 was their inability to replace good players who were getting old. Although Best, Sadler and Aston Jnr came through the youth team, the loss of Bobby Noble, and Sir Matt Busby`s seeming refusal to purchase players of the class of Malcolm MacDonald, the Luton Town centre forward, who was a goal machine, meant Manchester United relied too heavily on home grown talent to their detriment when Law, Charlton, Foulkes and Stiles were ageing. John Fitzpatrick, who was heralded as a tenacious tackling defensive midfielder in the style of Nobby Stiles, was added from the victorious F.A. Youth Cup Final side of 1964, but if Sir Matt Busby had bought Malcolm MacDonald for a 1970s equivalence of the record 29, 999 GBP he`d paid for Tommy Taylor, the club would again have had a goalscorer that gave the other players confidence. Malcolm MacDonald went to Arsenal from Newcastle United, who`d purchased `Supermac` from Luton in 1971. Arsenal paid 333, 333. 334 GBP in 1976 and the price tag labelled Manchester United as a team that hadn`t obtained the services of the new Tommy Taylor. Disasters come in various guises.
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.
28/09/2013 14:13

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

Manchester United have had only four successful managers, and but three since their earliest triumphs in the league (1908, 1911) and F.A. Cup (1909), when manager Ernest Mangnall, who`d joined the club in 1903, deserted in 1912 for Manchester City after building a successful team. Ironically the heart of Mangnall`s team had arrived from Manchester City in 1905 after the club was found guilty of making illegal payments and the entire playing staff was suspended. Along with Welsh winger, Billy Meredith, arguably the first soccer superstar, Scottish inside left, Sandy Turnbull, left back, Herbert Burgess, and Jimmy Bannister, inside right, were the City players who made the move across Manchester to what wasn`t yet Old Trafford`s stadium, but Turnbull did score the first ever United goal there in a 3-4 defeat to Liverpool on 19 February, 1909.
 Top scorer with 27 goals in 1907-08 Turnbull helped United to their first league title in their sixteenth season in the league, and in 1908 he scored the only goal in the F. A. Cup Final against Bristol City. Mid-way through the first half a shot from forward, Harold Halse, hit the crossbar and Sandy drove in the rebound, 1-0. Although `Knocker` West was the top scorer in 1910-11 with 19 goals, Sandy was still there with 18 to help the red half of Manchester win the title before the outbreak of World War I (1914-18) put a disastrous end to the `red devils` earliest prospects. Sergeant Sandy died at Arras, France, on 3 May, 1917, aged 32.
 After World War II (1939-45) former Manchester City and Liverpool wing back, Matt Busby, was coaxed into taking on the managerial responsibility at Manchester United`s Old Trafford stadium which lay in ruins and had to be rebuilt after the German bombs. Busby`s team won the F.A. Cup in 1948 and the league title in 1952 before an ageing group of players gave way to the new generation known as the `Busby Babes`.
 Successive championship wins in 1955-56 and 1956-57 gave Manchester United the opportunity to challenge Spain`s Real Madrid who had been winners of the European Cup since its inception and would go on to win it for the first five occasions between 1956 and 1960. The `red devils` hopes of challenging the Spanish giants ended at Munich airport on February 6, 1958, when the plane carrying the team back from an aggregate two-leg quarter-final defeat of Red Star Belgrade in Yugosalvia failed to take off in the snow and ice and crashed killing several members of a squad which would have formed the backbone of the England team for the upcoming world cup of 1958 and many more years thereafter.
 United lost left back Roger Byrne, the England captain; Geoff Bent, his understudy; Mark Jones, at centre half; Duncan Edwards, the renowned midfield `gentle giant`; wing half David Coleman; Johnny Berry, the England right winger, who never played again, and David Pegg on the left, while England centre forward, Tommy Taylor, also died. Irish internationals, Liam `Billy` Whelan, the Republic of Ireland inside forward, who`d top scored with 26 goals the season before when Manchester United had won their second successive league championship, and half back Jackie Blanchlower, brother of Danny who, captaining Tottenham Hotspur to the league and F.A. Cup double in 1961, always maintained Jackie was a better player even than the Northern Ireland captain, died too.
 A patched up United team went on to lose 5-2 on aggregate to A. C. Milan in the European Cup semi-final of 1958. Busby`s Phoenix had to wait almost exactly a decade before it rose again from the ashes of disaster and a young former Manchester City goalscoring star, Denis Law, was brought from Torino in Italy to knock in the goals and put the trophies in the cabinet at Old Trafford alongside a young left winger from the days before Munich, Bobby Charlton. The goalscorer from the wing had transformed a powerful shooting ability to become a deep lying centre forward with long range dynamite in his boots, while a young Irish genius with magic in his body swerves and trickery in his legs would soon enthuse a generation of kids who wanted to emulate his flair for a run at goal and often unstoppable `devil may care` dribblings down the flanks, or through the ranks of the opposition`s defenders, like a knife through butter where a fortress had been supposed.
 In 1963 Busby`s team won the F.A. Cup against Leicester City, 3-1, with two goals from striker David Herd and another from Denis Law. By the time United were ready to win their first championship since 1957, George Best had emerged as the teenage Irish wizard who could score from anywhere but was nominally a left winger. Titles came in 1964-65 and 1966-67 before the great day at Wembley stadium, the home of the England soccer team itself, and the European Cup FInal of 1968 in which United triumphed over Portuguese champions Benfica, 4-1. Bobby Charlton scored twice, one a rare header, while George Best and a young striker, Brian Kidd, replacing injured Scot, Denis Law, got the other.
 The season Manchester United won the European Cup they lost the title to Manchester City with such luminaries as Colin Bell, the tireless England midfield star known as `Nijinski` because of his poise and athleticism, and winger Stan Bowles, who was vaunted as the latest `new George Best`, mainly because of his evasive runs and desire to score. Sir Matt Busby, as he then was after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, decided to retire after finishing 11th in the league and losing to A. C. Milan 1-2 on aggregate after a Charlton goal in the second leg at Old Trafford gave them a chance to progress. Losing the Intercontinental Cup over two legs to an Argentine side, Estudiantes De La Plata, that was heavily criticized for brutality, as the Argentine national team had been by manager Alf Ramsay, who had described them as `animals` in 1966 when England won the World Cup at Wembley stadium, London, with the indispensable midfield skills and powerful left foot shot of Bobby Charlton in the side. Busby`s last major signing, Scottish winger Willie Morgan, did score in the 89th minute of the Intercontinental Cup FInal at Old Trafford to make it 1-1 and 1-2 on aggregate after a 7th minute goal from `the witch`, Juan Ramon Veron, father of Juan Sebastian Veron, who would later play with some distinction as a tall and tenaciously skilled midfielder for United, but Busby had had enough. Soccer was becoming too much of a cut throats` endeavour.
 The board promoted former Manchester United wing half, Wilf McGuinness, to the position of manager, from his role as reserve team players` coach. Wilf had played a small part in the final days of the `Busby Babes` and had been a part of United`s recovery after Munich. Then he`d played at the side of crash survivor, Albert Scanlon, who had quite literally emerged from the shadow of better players as a forward who could score a lot of goals. Scanlon complemented the already proven striking abilities of centre forward, Dennis Viollet, and their goals, assisted by the ready distribution of rugged tackling Wilf McGuinness, nearly won Manchester United the title in 1958-59, when a wave of emotion that had carried the decimated team to the F.A. Cup Final in 1958 remained strong enough for achievements greater than their talent.
 United had suffered a 0-2 defeat in the F.A. Cup Final of 1958 through Bolton Wanderers` towering centre forward, Nat Lofthouse, who had opened his account in only the 3rd minute and had taken advantage of the then rule that allowed the forwards to physically challenge the `keeper to bundle Harry Gregg over the goal line with the ball in his hands for the second goal in the 50th minute. Although Wilf McGuinness wasn`t selected for the Final, he`d made enough first team appearances in 1955-56 and 1956-57 to claim a winners` medal in the championship seasons and was still there after Munich. Continuity was the theme and Wilf McGUinness was the one chosen to maintain it after the board accepted Busby`s retirement and rewarded him by bestowing the honour of lifelong President of Manchester United.
 Sir Matt Busby`s retirement was a disaster for Manchester United and Wilf McGuinness failed to win a trophy during his tenure from 1969-71, which even included a brief period back from retirement for Sir Matt Busby so the ship could be steadied. Newspapers reported Wilf had been settling old scores with those who`d been his contemporaries amongst the playing staff and Bobby Charlton was reputed to have been upset over being asked to do push ups in a training session at which Wilf had deemed the former European Footballer of the Year to have been `slacking`. The players didn`t respond well to Wilf McGuinness and in 1971 he was replaced by Leicester City manager, Frank O` Farrell, who reports suggest never left his office during his tenure and United`s failure to win anything was becoming an embarassment.
 Tommy Docherty, the former Chelsea manager, hadn`t ever won a major trophy either, although Dave Sexton would win the F.A. Cup (1970) and Cup Winners` Cup (1971) with the Chelsea team he inherited, and become United manager after Docherty in 1977, but now Docherty took over the managership of United in December of the 1972-73 season to begin a major overhaul of the playing staff, which was what he`d done at Chelsea, before their successful spell, and what he was hired to do by the Manchester United board desperate for a return to the Busby` `Babes` style of nurturing young players to greatness. Not fulfilling his early promise as a striker, Brian Kidd was amongst the luminaries to depart, with a paucity of strikes against his name on the scoresheet to explain why. Bobby Charlton saved Tommy Docherty`s getting rid of him by retiring in 1973, while George Best, angered at the lack of support for his attacking flair, told the club he wouldn`t ever play second tier soccer if Manchester United were relegated. At the end of the 1973-74 season United were relegated to the second tier of English football and disaster was upon the club again. Denis Law was wearing the sky blue shirt of Manchester City when he back-heeled the ball into the United net to embarass Tommy Docherty, who`d sold him as a `has been`, and the decline of the red half of Manchester was sealed.
 Known for building a team at Chelsea, Docherty at United became known for demolishing a team he didn`t want, but sentimentalism was a thing of the past. The triumvirate of Charlton, Law and Best were gone in a few months, and the team that had won F.A.  Cup, league and European Cup was just beyond being sent to the brokers` yard. Docherty kept faith with `the last of the Busby Babes`, Sammy McIlroy, who`d made his scoring debut against Manchester City as a striker in a 3-3 draw in 1971, and Mcilroy took the strikers` birth alongside no- nonsense bluff and dour Northerner, Stuart Pearson, bought from Hull City for 200, 000 GBP, to bulldoze in the  goals and get United back into the top tier of English soccer at the first attempt.
 Willie Morgan was captain for the 1974-75 season and the second tier of English soccer chased United all the way to the second most valued championship title in England. Alex Stepney, who`d kept Manchester United in the European Cup FInal of 1968 when he miraculously saved what looked like an unstoppably powerful shot from Portuguese centre forward, Eusebio, when the scores were level at 1-1, was still in the goalkeeping jersey for the `red devils`. Having tried a series of left backs to replace Irish full back, Tony Dunne, who`d arrived at United as a final replacement for lost England captain, Roger Byrne, Tommy Docherty had found Stewart Houston, a Scot who`d go on to restore some pride to the role until Arthur Albiston, another Scot, would emerge from the youth ranks to take over the position in startling fashion when Houston couldn`t make the F.A. Cup FInal winning team of 1977 against Liverpool.
 Arthur Albiston would go on to be the most decorated player of his generation at Manchester United with three F.A. Cup FInal winners` medals in a period that saw the club rise from mediocrity to modesty. Alex Forsyth had a similar fate. The Scottish full back on the right would win a second tier championship medal before United challenged for the English league title after promotion from the second tier in 1975. Forsyth had to be satisfied with being losing Finalists in the 1976 F.A. Cup to an 83rd minute breakaway goal from Southampton forward, Bobby Stokes, when everyone had anticipated a simple victory for a United forward line that had risen on the right and left wings of Steve Coppell and Gordon Hill to lift the spirits of soccer in England in a way it hadn`t been raised since the days of George Best. Both Houston and Forsyth were gone after the young full back stars of Arthur Albiston and Irishman, Jimmy Nicholl, shone brighter in the 1977 F.A. Cup FInal defeat of Liverpool, 2-1, with goals from Jimmy Greenhoff, who`d arrived from Stoke City for 100, 000 GBP to put more `zing` into the forward line than Sammy McIlroy could provide, who moved back into the deep lying centre forward role made tradiitonal at United by Bobby Charlton.
 Jimmy Greenhoff had joined his brother, Brian, who was perhaps the smallest sentre back ever, but made up for that with springs in his heels and a tigrishness of effort that never ceased. Although Jim Holton, who`d played centre back for Scotland in the 1974 World Cup Finals, and Steve James, an England centre back, had been the bedrock of United`s 1974-75 defence alongside the cool calmness of Scots` captain, stopper Martin Buchan, Brian Greenhoff had emerged as a better ball player and, for a while, the traditional giant centre half at the back for United was an unseen presence. Tommy Docherty`s earliest decision as a manager was to bring Lou Macari from Celtic, a striker on the small side who got more than his fair share of headed goals simply by refusing to be beaten to the ball. With Irishman Gerry Daly on the left wing and captain, Willie Morgan, on the right, United had Pearson as a forward supported by Macari, McIlroy, and a player who Docherty kept faith with for a while, Jim McCalliog, who`d arrived from Wolves for 60, 000 GBP in March 1973 and had scored 3 goals in 3 wins for a United side that almost avoided relegation because of it.
 By 2008-9 teams were permitted seven substitutes, and could deploy three, which favoured a larger pool of players, and what came to be known as `squad rotation`, where managers rested players to maximize their performance throughout the course of a long season, but in 1974-75 only a single substitute could be named and deployed. Steve Coppell`s arrival at United meant Willie Morgan would switch to midfield, and the single substitute rule left little possibility for McCalliog to play. He left for Southampton before the season`s conclusion and returned to haunt United in 1976 when he was Southampton`s midfield playmaker in the F.A. Cup FInal defeat.
 Manchester United stopped Liverpool`s 1977 bid for the treble of English championship, European Cup, and F.A. Cup by winning at Wembley 2-1 with a `lucky` goal from Jimmy Greenhoff that bounced off his chest and into the net, and a run and shoot strike from Stuart Pearson, who put the ball through `keeper Ray Clemence`s legs, as he came out to loom big and impassable in the strikers` eyes. Tommy Docherty had lifted the club from the disaster attending Sir Matt Busby`s retiring in 1969 when Manchester United captain, Martin Buchan, raised the F. A. Cup to the cheers of the supporters` `Red Army`. It was the first F.A. Cup win by United since 1963 and the club`s first trophy since the European Cup FInal defeat of Benfica in 1968. Celebrations were muted by revelations that Docherty was engaged in an adulterous affair with the United physiotherapist`s wife, Mary Brown, who he subsequently wed, but was sacked. From triumph to disaster, it`d be 26 years before Manchester United would win the English league title after their 1966-67 success, because Docherty had thrown away what he`d built for the tremulousness of an illicit love.
 Tommy Docherty was the second great manager at Manchester United because he`d brought triumph out of disaster, but disaster had refused to let go of the club and United`s board had to find a better solution than the continuity afforded by choosing the ineffectual Wilf McGuinness, the aloof disinterest of the besuited businessman`s appeal of Frank O` Farrell and the passionate volitility of Docherty`s impetuousness, which had ultimately cost United too dear. In 1975-76 when the team were challenging for the league and F.A. Cup double, Docherty had inexplicably plunged Irish `keeper, Paddy Roche, into the maelstrom of a 4th round League Cup tie at Manchester City, which the team lost 0-4 and Roche was hopeless. Instead of persevering with Alex Stepney, who`d proven his worth constantly since 1966, when Docherty himself had transferred him to Manchester United as Chelsea manager,  Tommy bizarrely persevered with Roche in a string of draws and defeats that cost United the league before Stepney was restored just quickly enough to carry the team through to being only F.A. Cup FInalists in a season that had looked like seeing them as eventual `double` winners. Tommy`s success in the F.A. Cup Final of 1977 was marred by a blindness to reality that saw him leave as an adulterate pariah but the club itself had been rescued and the team`s strength was renewed.
 Dave Sexton arrived from Queens Park Rangers and immediately announced an intention to bring England captain Gerry Francis to Manchester United from QPR for half a million pounds, but it never transpired because the board refused to accede to what were perceived as the unnecessarily excessive financial demands of a new manager. Sexton`s response was to offload the mercurial skills of prolific left winger, Gordon Hill, bought from Millwall by Tommy Docherty in November, 1975, to form a wing partnership with Steve Coppell. Deemed surplus to a more disciplined effort by Dave Sexton at the beginning of his managerial reign, Gordon Hill had left for Derby County in 1978-79 after being Manchester United`s top scorer with 17 league goals and it was a move hated by United fans that contributed to Sexton`s downfall.
 It was a return to the giant centre half and big target man of the `Busby Babes` era when Sexton made a transfer swoop for Scotland`s Gordon McQueen and Joe Jordan of Leeds United at the beginning of the 1978-79 season, which effectively ended the brothers Greenhoff`s days at United. Sexton`s only success was relative. In the F.A. Cup Final of 1979 Alan Sunderland scored a third goal for Arsenal in the last minute of the contest as he headed home from Graham Rix`s left wing cross past United`s eventual replacement for Stepney, young South African `keeper, Gary Bailey, despite McQueen and McIlroy`s levelling of the score at 2-2 with goals in the 86th and 88th minutes. Gordon McQueen had turned in Joe Jordan`s cross after a Steve Coppell free kick wide on the right had sailed over all of the players waiting in front of the Arsenal goal to find Joe Jordan ready to turn the ball back into the centre where McQueen turned it into the Arsenal net. A minute later, Steve Coppell, just over the halfway line on the edge of the centre circle, sent a long through ball in to Sammy McIlroy racing into the Arsenal area where centre half, David O` Leary, was wrong-footed by McIlroy`s holding the ball up with his left foot and slid to the ground without making an effective tackle. Having achieved the feat once, McIlroy did the same again with the pursuing Arsenal midfielder, David Price, before Pat Jennings came out to almost strangle Sammy`s weakened but unerring shot inside the Arsenal `keeper`s right hand post.
 Manchester United`s 2-3 F.A. Cup Final defeat to Arsenal led the former Chelsea manager, Dave Sexton, to bring Chelsea midfield `smoothy`, Ray `Butch` Wilkins, to the Old Trafford stadium for the 1979-80 season in which the club just failed to win the championship with Wilkins as the silky skilled heart of the Manchester United midfield. With a forward line consisiting only of dozen or so goals a season `target man`, Joe Jordan, United no longer had the penetration of Stuart Pearson, who`d play for West Ham United in their F.A. Cup Final defeat of Arsenal that same year. Sexton had thought he could win without a recognized second striker to score goals from the balls headed down to his feet by the big man. His strategy was doomed to failure and, although United won the last seven games of the 1980-81 season, the team only finished 8th. At the start of the seaon, Sexton had brought Gary Birtles from Nottingham Forest as the much heralded new striking partner for Joe Jordan, but Gary Birtles failed to score in the entire season after making his debut against Stoke City away on 22 October 1980. For Dave Sexton, `mene tekel upharsin` (Ezekiel: 45. 12), the writing was on the wall, and he was replaced by `Big` Ron Atkinson from West Bromwich Albion, who inherited some good young players coming through and a few strong old heads with some skill left in their boots.
 Gary Birtles` improvement under Ron Atkinson`s stewardship led to a return of 11 goals in 1981-82, but it was a sales` window, and Birtles went back to Nottingham Forest almost as soon as it could be decently arranged at the beginning of the 1982-83 season. `Big Ron` had brought Bryan Robson with him from West Bromwich Albion for 1.5 million GBP and the tireless captain of England, known for combining strength, agility and skill, had a goalscorers` eye for the penetrating run on goal from his midfield general`s berth. It was the signal move of a generation and Robson would outlast Atkinson at Old Trafford to go on to be one of the greatest players ever to wear the red shirt of United or the white of England.
 Atkinson`s team never seriously challenged for anything but cups and won only the F.A. Cup FInals of 1983 and 1985. His errors were too large for his security zone and he was sacked in November 1986 to be replaced by Aberdeen manager, Alex Ferguson, who`d broken the monopoly in 1979-80 which the two Glasgow clubs, Celtic and Rangers, had had on the Scottish league title since 1965-66, before Ferguson managed Aberdeen to be only the third Scots` team after Celtic, European Cup Winners in 1967, and Rangers, European Cup Winners` Cup in 1972, to win a European trophy. Ferguson`s Aberdeen won the European Cup Winners` Cup in 1983 against Real Madrid, 2-1, and a second Scottish title in 1983-84. Alex Ferguson was the only manager United ever hired with a pedigree, which was still true in 2013 when Ferguson retired and David Moyes arrived from Everton where he`d been for 13 years avoiding relegation and without winning any trophies.
 David Moyes` first success was the Charity Shield of 2013-14, which was traditionally played at Wembley stadium between the champions, that is, United, and the F.A. Cup winners, Wigan. Manchester United won 2-0 with goals from Robin Van Persie, who`d arrived from Arsenal the previous season to score Ferguson the 26 goals that gave him a record 20 league championships, a slight lead over Liverpool`s prodigious haul of titles, and an easy chance for a pot for David Moyes in the Charity Shield as his first match in charge. Van Persie started the move for the first goal with a pass out to the black French left full back, Patrice Evra, on the left wing. Persie ran for the Wigan area and Evra crossed for the Dutch striker to power in a header from 15 yards. Evra started the move for Persie`s second in the 59th minute. Danny Welbeck, the black England centre forward, whose paucity of success in front of goal the previous season, when he`d scored only once in 27 appearances, had been the main reason for Ferguson`s bringing Persie to Old Trafford, played the ball to the Dutchman rather than shoot himself on the edge of the area. Van Persie, despite having four defenders in close attendance, turned on to his left foot and fired in a low shot, which took a deflection off the heel of James Perch and wrong-footed Wigan `keeper, Scott Carson, to find the net.
 Moyes` errors on inheriting a team that had won the title by 11 points from Manchester City were to come, but Ron Atkinson`s prior to the appointment of managerial great, Alex Ferguson, were almost legendary. Having unearthed a diamond of a striker in Mark Hughes, Atkinson saw him score 16 and 17 goals in successive seasons, 1984-85 and 1985-86, before selling him to Barcelona, while  `Big Ron` seemingly couldn`t wait to break up the England centre midfield pairing he`d constructed in Ray Wilkins and Bryan Robson. Wilkins went to A. C. Milan for the beginning of the 1984-85 season and for the same money Atkinson had paid for Robson, 1.5 million, and United were big enough not to have to.
 The major success story of the Ron Atkinson era was `Big Norman Whiteside`, who began as a striker in the traditional `target man` role and was the youngest ever player to score a goal for United at 17 years of age on 15 May against Stoke City at Old Trafford on the last day of the 1981-82 season. Norman Whiteside`s best season was the year he played alongside Mark Hughes, but he just failed to make double figures. While Hughes scored 16 goals in 1984-85 Norman Whiteside got 9, which was a single goal less than his best ever, the previous season`s 10. Although `Big Norman` played in the F.A. Cup Final wins of 1983 and 1985, his lack of real success in front of goal meant Ferguson would transfer him to Everton for the start of the 1989-90 season. Norman had scored the only goal of the 1985 F.A. Cup Final against Everton when United were down to 10 men after centre back Kevin Moran had been sent off for a second bookable offence in the 78th minute when he brought down Peter Reid who was through on goal. Had Reid scored Everton, who were champions, would probably have achieved an unprecedented treble of league, F.A. Cup and European Cup Winners` Cup, which they subsequently won, but United had hung on for extra time. When Whiteside in the 110th minute curled the ball from the right side of the Everton area beyond `keeper Neville  Southall`s outstretched fingertips inside the left hand post, United had 10 minutes to hold on and did so.
 Kevin Moran was another success of the Atkinson era, although inherited from Dave Sexton. With black centre back partner, Paul McGrath, Kevin Moran formed an all Ireland partnership at the heart of the Manchester United defence. `Big Ron` brought central defensive midfielder, Remi Moses, to Old Trafford in the deal that saw Bryan Robson arrive. Remi Moses was the first black player to be a recognized first team player at United. It was a triumph of Ron`s that he made it possible for black players to aspire to achieve success with a club that hadn`t seemed to give even credence to black ability. His first signing at Manchester United was John Gidman, a right full back to compete with Jimmy Nicholl, but another discovery of the Sexton era, Mike Duxbury, would eventually replace both of them before deciding to leave Old Trafford in the season of Alex Ferguson`s first silverware, the F.A. Cup of 1990, when central midfielder, Mike Phelan, was preferred in Duxbury`s specialist full back position, which he`d been filling regularly since his debut on 23 August, 1980, when he came on against Birmingham City for Kevin Moran.
 When `Big Ron` Atkinson brought Arsenal centre forward, Frank Stapleton, to Manchester United at the start of the 1981-82 season, he had forwards enough in Hughes, Whiteside and Stapleton, but the decision to let Hughes go to Barcelona and break up the England centre midfield, envied by the rest of the English league, by selling Wilkins to A.C. Milan, fit well with many people`s perceptions of `Big Ron` as a big time Charlie susceptible to an ego-massage and a glass of European wine. Norman Whiteside wasn`t prolific enough as a goalscorer and estimations of Alex Ferguson rose highly at Old Trafford when he brought back Mark Hughes from where he was playing with Bayern Munich in Germany and bought a proven goalscoring centre forward, Brian McClair, from Celtic. Frank Stapleton scored 78 times in 365 appearances at United but reached double figures in only his first three seasons with a top score of just 14 in 1982-83. Two F.A. Cup Final wins in 1983 and 1985 meant that a goal ratio of 1 in 4.6 appearances wasn`t ever going to be good enough.
 In the 1983 F.A Cup Final against Brighton and Hove Albion, Frank Stapleton scored in the 55th minute from a right wing cross by Alan Davies that left Frank with a simple tap in at the far post. Alan Davies, who made only 10 apperances in total for United between 1 May, 1982, and 5 May, 1984, was making his F.A. Cup debut after an injury to Steve Coppell that would result in the England winger`s retirement. Davies provided the cross for Frank Stapleton`s goal which cancelled out a 14th minute Gordon Smith headed goal into the bottom right corner of `keeper Gary Bailey`s net after a ball played in from behind by Brighton right midfielder, Gary Howlett, had become a cross by the time it arrived in the United penalty area where Smith rose to meet it. Although Ray Wilkins put United back in front in the 78th minute with a curled left foot shot from outside the Brighton area that found the top left corner of `keeper Mosley`s goal, Brighton and Hove Albion centre back, Gary Stevens, equalized in the 72nd minute from a corner by central midfielder, Jimmy Case, who played the ball behind all of the players waiting in the box to captain and central midfield partner, Tony Grealish, who pushed the ball forward into the area where Stevens crashed it past Bailey and the contest was drawn, 2-2.
 In the replay United were rampant and the result was 4-0. Captain Bryan Robson scored the first goal on 25 minutes from outside the Brighton area on the left with a cracking left foot drive that ran all along the ground and into the bottom right corner. United`s second came from a right foot cross from Alan Davies on the left to `Big Norman Whiteside` inside the penalty area who headed past Brighton `keeper Moseley on 30 minutes. Robson`s second and United`s third came from an Arnold Muhren free kick wide on the left where Norman Whiteside had been judged to have been brought down by Brighton centre half, Steve Foster. Bryan Robson rose to direct a header goalwards from Muhren`s free kick but succeeded only in reaching Stapleton`s head at the right of the Brighton penalty area. Stapleton directed the ball down with his head towards the left of the Brighton goal and Bryan Robson, followng up, rammed it in left-footed at the far post on 44 minutes. With a 3-0 halftime lead, United were cautious enough and Arnold Muhren, the Dutchman, scored from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute after Bryan Robson had been unfairly held back by Gary Stevens on a run into the right of the Brighton area. Muhren stepped up to calmly drive the ball left-footed along the ground and into the corner of the net.
 The 1986-87 season began disastrously for Manchester United with three straight defeats and when `Big Ron` Atkinson was sacked in November, 1986, the club was second from bottom of the league.  When Alex Ferguson arrived allegations of drunkenness amongst the playing staff were rife and disaster again loomed large on the horizon. Gordon Strachan, the tricky right sided aggressive midfielder bought by Atkinson from Aberdeen, where Manchester United`s new manager, Alex Fergsuon, had developed the player, was expected to be a mainstay of the new United under Ferguson, but Strachan went to Leeds United, and after Leeds won the title in 1991-92 it looked like another fatal managerial mistake from the boss of a club that hadn`t won the league for 26 years at the beginning of the 1992-93 campaign.
 Mid-table finishes in Ferguson`s first seasons led to his bringing to the club Norwich City centre half, Steve Bruce, Arsenal right back, Viv Andersen, Celtic centre forward, Brian McClair, and Aberdeen `keeper, Jim Leighton, who was so inept and ridiculed by the United fans that he was withdrawn from the F.A. Cup Final replay against Crystal Palace in 1990 after a 3-3 draw and replaced by Les Sealey as United won 1-0 thanks to a speculative dash from his left back position by Lee Martin who, at the culmination of his run, surprisedly crashed the ball into the top left corner of the net from the left side of the penalty box. Chesting forward a ball he received from right sided midfielder, Neil Webb, who`d arrived from Nottingham Forest at the beginning of the season, Lee Martin discovered he could do little else but drive it into the Palace goal.
 For the 1989–90 season, Alex Ferguson had transferred to Manchester United, Neil Webb, central midfielder, Mike Phelan of Norwich City, midfield generalissimo, Paul Ince from West Ham, centre back, Gary Pallister, at Middlesboro, and Southampton left winger, Danny Wallace, although 18 year old Lee Sharpe had started as first choice left winger that season and would be again to devastating effect. In September 1989-90, however, United suffered a humiliating 5–1 away defeat against city rivals, Manchester City and, following an early season run of six defeats and two draws in eight games, Alex Ferguson described December 1989 as `the darkest period ever suffered in the game` and United looked to begin the New Year at Old Trafford`s `Theatre of Dreams` as relegation candidates.
 After a run of seven games without a win in 1990, United were drawn against Nottingham Forest in the F.A Cup 3rd round away. Form said United would lose and Ferguson would lose his job but a single goal from opportunist striker, Mark Robins, whose strikers` skills competed but briefly at United with those of Brian McClair and Mark Hughes, rescued United`s season and Ferguson`s career. Mark Hughes prowling deeply on the left side of midfield, seeing Robins making for the penalty box, curled a ball intelligently with the outside of his right foot onto Mark Robins` head and the 20 year old striker directed it past the Forest `keeper into the bottom left corner. With the winning second goal against Oldham Athletic in the F.A. Cup semi-final replay, after the first game ended in a 3-3 draw, Robins` strike in the 114th of extra time came after former Stretford End goal hero, Andy Ritchie, had replied to a 52nd minute Brian McClair strike 9 minutes from normal time. Paul Ince had managed to thread a ball across the face of the Oldham goal form out on the left wing with his left foot which found McClair waiting at the far post for a simple tap in. Mark Robins was ultimately the substitute hero of the 2-1 win, coming on in extra time as a replacement for the tiring legs of defender, Lee Martin. Mike Phelan, running onto a long through ball down the inside right position, pushed it on and into the path of Mark Robins on the right edge of the area where the striker struck right-footed from an angle becoming ever more acute into the left corner of the goal as the Oldham `keeper rushed out to block.
 Mark Robins didn`t make the team for the Final, and 1990-91`s resurgence in the goalscoring form of first choice centre forward, Brian McClair, again left Robins out of the team but he left Old Trafford colder and wiser. In the following 1990-91 season Manchester United won the European Cup Winners` Cup with two goals from Mark Hughes against his old club, Barcelona, where he`d been called `El Torro`, largely because of his bull like approach to elegant Spanish defenders who played like matadors against a forward who didn`t shirk physical contact and disdained showiness for effectiveness. Bryan Robson had chipped a free kick forward for Steve Bruce to rise on the right edge of the penalty box and nod the ball goalward. Mark Hughes made no mistake as he ran onto the ball at the far post and footed it into the net where it`d appeared to be on its way in anyway in the 67th minute. Mark Hughes` second came in the 74th minute from Bryan Robson`s perceptive left-footed dinky forward chip at the right side of the halfway line. Mark Hughes ran onto the ball on the edge of the Barcelona area as the `keeper came out to drive him wide right. Still keeping possession of the ball, Hughes drove it in along the ground from the acute angle as the Barcelona defenders ran in too late to clear. Despite a free kick goal from Dutch centre back, Ronald Koeman, in the 79th minute, Hughes goals gave United a 2-1 win. Alex Ferguson had dispelled the gloom in the corridors at the Old Trafford stadium and Manchester United had struck triumph from disaster again.
06/09/2013 12:19

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.

02/09/2013 17:38

Four Years Of Dimitar Berbatov?

Sir Alex Ferguson became the most successful manager ever at Manchester United when the team had won the 2008 European Cup Final. Skilful Spanish right wing powerhouse, Cristiano Ronaldo, had headed home a wonder goal on 26 minutes from a cross by centre half Wes Brown, who`d been deemed too good to leave out for most of that season, and so had played at right back. Wes Brown had crossed the ball after being given it by Paul Scholes at a throw in. After some intricate short interchanges with Scholes as the supporting midfielder, near the right Chelsea corner flag and along the touchline, Cristiano Ronaldo leapt like a dolphin to meet Wes` crossed ball with his forehead and direct it inside the left goal post and down towards the back corner of the net.
 England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard had levelled the score at 1-1 just before half time, and extra time didn`t produce a further goal. Both Chelsea and United were given five chances for individual players to score against the opposing team`s goalkeeper from the penalty spot but, if the scores remained level after that, the first player to fail to level the scores would be cast in the role of pariah and the other team would celebrate.
 Cristiano Ronaldo had missed a penalty for Manchester United by over elaborating his approach to the ball and delaying his strike too long to have enough power in the shot to beat the `keeper. John Terry, the England and Chelsea centre back and captain, could have won the trophy for Chelsea, but he fell on his arse in the rain and the ball didn`t find the net. Ryan Giggs had replaced midfield maestro Paul Scholes in the 87th minute and had scored from his penalty, so then Manchester United`s Dutch goalkeeper, Edwin Van Der Saar, needed  to save Chelsea centre forward, Frenchman Nicholas Anelka`s spot kick, which he did, and Manchester United had won  their third European Cup.
 When Ryan Giggs scored from the penalty kick against Chelsea it was his second European Cup Final winners` medal and Ferguson`s second success as manager in the competition, which made him the best United had ever had. Sir Matt Busby had been the only manager before Alex Ferguson to achieve success in the European Cup against Benfica at Wembley 4-1 in 1968, with two goals from Bobby Charlton, the first coming in the 53rd minute from a John Aston Jnr left wing cross which, rare for Charlton, whose head almost never touched the ball, resulted in Bobby`s heading over a surprised Benfica `keeper and into the net.
 John Aston was his father`s son at Manchester United. John Snr had been United`s left back in 1948 when Blackpool had lost to Sir Matt Busby`s team 4-2. Busby`s instructions to John Jnr., the Manchester United winger given his chance that May day to shine at Wembley, were to run at the Benfica defence and cross the ball to the forwards as often and as quickly as he could.
 Although Benfica levelled the game 1-1 through Graca on 75 minutes, Manchester United`s Northern Ireland superstar winger, George Best, got their second in extra-time after goalkeeper Alex Stepney kicked the ball upfield beyond the centre circle and Brian Kidd backheaded it on. George caught the ball on his right heel as it dropped behind him and, flipping it past the Benfica defender, went on to round the `keeper and stroke the ball into the empty goal in the 93rd minute. Forward Brian Kidd was the 19 year old `teenage sensation` in the team as the direct replacement for the injured `King` of Old Trafford, Scottish goal hero Denis Law. Kidd`s youthful zest saw him react quickly to the Benfica `keeper`s parrying his header after a corner from the left and he headed the ball straight back over the `keeper and into the net in the 94th minute. In the 99th minute Kidd mesmerized Benfica`s defenders with a jink down the right wing before crossing for Bobby Charlton to lift the ball over the `keeper with his right boot, and once again Busby`s known faith in young players was justified.
 Manchester United won the European Cup for the second time with Alex Ferguson as manager in 1999 after Bayern Munich had led 0-1 until the last few minutes. Ferguson had begun with the black twin strike force of forwards Andy Cole and Trinidad and Tobago international, Dwight Yorke. The United manager had brought off Andy Cole and Swedish winger Jesper Blomqvist, who`d been in the team for the injured Paul Scholes, to supplement Dwight Yorke with another pair of strikers, Norway`s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham. Ferguson`s four striker armoury had been the mainstay of a season`s campaigning that would eventually bring them four trophies.
 In injury time Teddy Sheringham looked to have given United the chance of winning the 1999 European Cup Final against Bayern Munich when he twisted in the penalty area to direct a shot from legendary left-winger, Ryan Giggs, making a record 759th appearance for the club, into the net. Ryan Giggs had been standing outside the Germans` area at centre field for a corner kick by England and Manchester United winger, David Beckham. The Munich defence had cleared the ball only as far as Ryan, who`d struck at Bayern`s goal from distance. Too weak to trouble the Bayern Munich `keeper, Sheringham swivelled and turned to direct Giggs` failing effort fiercely at the goalmouth and United were level in the first minute of stoppage time. In the 93rd minute, after another corner kick from the left by right winger, David Beckham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kicked out as the ball headed on by Teddy Sheringham reached him. The ball crashed high into the Bayern net and United had won 2-1.
 Goals from Paul Scholes and Teddy Sheringham had won Manchester United the FA Cup 2-0 against Newcastle United a few days before the encounter with Bayerm Munich. Scholes in centre midfield had played the ball into the feet of Sheringham from outside the Newcastle area in the 11th minute and the Manchester United forward, in front of goal, struck home. Returning the favour in the 53rd minute, with his back to goal, Teddy Sheringham had received a pass from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the right of the Newcastle area. Shielding the ball,  Sheringham had given it to Scholes who`d drilled in a shot that beat the `keeper from just outside the area.
 The 1999 League Championship had been won the week before when Manchester United had beaten Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the last game of the season after being  0-1. Losing would have given the title to defending champions, Arsenal, but thanks to the now legendary right boot of England winger David Beckham, who sent a swerving shot from the right-hand side of the area into the top corner of the Spurs` goal in the 43rd minute, Manchester United were level just before half-time. United`s star centre forward that season was Andy Cole, who`d been transferred to United from Newcastle in 1995 as a replacement for the dozen or more goals a season reliability of ageing  Welshman, Mark Hughes. Andy Cole always earned the newspaper headline, `Goals to Newcastle` on his return to the colliery town, and his appearance in the 1999 FA Cup Final didn`t disappoint either. Two minutes into the second half, Cole received a right side through ball from Gary Neville, the Manchester United and England full back. Stopping it instantly with his first touch, Cole lobbed it over the Newcastle `keeper and the title was won.
 The European Cup was the third trophy for Manchester United in the season of 1998-99 but, last and by no means least, United won the Intercontinental Cup, when Palmeiras of Brazil were beaten in November 1999, half a year onwards. Palmeiras had themselves become the champions of South America, having won the Copa De Libertatores in the same season United won in Europe, which gave Manchester United the opportunity to play for the Intercontinental Cup against Palmeiras. After a typically amazing dribble by Welsh wing wizard, Ryan Giggs, which took him over to Palmeiras` left corner flag, Manchester United`s central midfield general, Roy Keane, was left with nothing to do but score as,  timing his run to perfection, Keane ran onto Giggs` precise cross to the far post in the 35th minute and, as it reached his right boot, directed the ball into the goal`s mouth from close in.
 Although Sir Alex Ferguson`s status as a great manager was assured by the European Cup Final defeat of Chelsea in 2008, the following season revealed problems with his managerial style. Bringing the Bulgarian centre forward, Dimitar Berbatov, to European Cup holders Manchester United from Tottenham Hotspur in September 2008 for 30,000,000 GBP, Ferguson looked to have found another goal machine. With 9 league goals from 31 games, Berbatov helped United to another championship but didn`t make the European Cup Final team. Barcelona had told everyone the player they most feared was Paul Scholes, who`d scored the only game of the home and away two-leg semi-final the previous season to beat Barcelona at Old Trafford`s stadium, Manchester, and take United through to the Final in Moscow against Chelsea, which they won thanks to the Ryan Giggs` penalty goal.
 Paul Scholes didn`t play against Barcelona and neither did the star new centre forward, Dimitar Berbatov, while United lost 0-2. A  second string reserve team had beaten Tottenham Hotspur in the 2008-9 League Cup Final after extra time on penalties, 4-1, with a young centre forward, 18 years old Danny Welbeck, playing alongside experienced Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez, who`d won the Copa De Libertatores with Boca Juniors before arriving at Old Trafford for the 2007-8 season and who had scored one of the penalties that had won the European Cup for Manchester United against Chelsea. After Ryan Giggs slotted home the first of United`s four penalties that beat Spurs in the League Cup Final of 2008-9, Tevez scored from his spot kick before Cristiano Ronaldo and the Brazilian left-midfielder, Anderson, completed the rout.
 The 2009-10 season was a poor one for United and, although Scholes didn`t play against Aston Villa in the 2-1 League Cup Final victory, Berbatov was selected to play as a striker alongside former Liverpool marksman, Michael Owen, who responded to the shock of an early 5th minute penalty strike for Spurs and replied for United on 12 minutes when Tottenham centre back, Richard Dunne, lost possession to Dimitar Berbatov. Dunne tried to tackle back, but succeeded only in pushing the ball into the path of Owen who took the chance to beat the `keeper in typical goal poacher`s style. Notoriously injury prone, Owen left the field of play just before half-time, but his replacement, England and United`s star centre forward, Wayne Rooney, headed Ecuadorian right winger Antonio Valencia`s cross over the Aston Villa `keeper for United`s winning second goal in the 74th minute.
 Entering double figures for the 2009-10 season`s scoring exploits with 12 senior league goals, Dimitar Berbatov was 2010-11`s top scorer for Manchester United in the league with 20, but once again neither he nor Paul Scholes were in the team for the European Cup Final when the players won through to play Barcelona once more and United lost 1-3. When Dimitar Berbatov opened his scoring account in 2011-12 with 7 from 5 starts everyone was surprised when Sir Alex Ferguson preferred Danny Welbeck, the young black forward, who only scored 9 times that season from 30 appearances and United went on to lose the championship to Manchester City on fewer goals scored.
 `Ferguson`s fledglings` was the name given to the quintet of nurtured talented young players that emerged within United after the double winning FA Cup and league success in 1994. Mark Hughes departed at the end of the 1995 season, when United failed to win anything, despite making it through to the FA Cup Final against Everton, where they lost 0-1. The defeat was a sign of an ageing Manchester United and the need to find younger legs to replace older giants. Mark Hughes` goal tally had dropped below double figures for United that season for the first time since his emergent first season of 1983-84 when he only made 11 appearances for 4 goals. Thereafter Mark Hughes` lowest number of appearances was 31 in 1990-91 when he scored twice in the European Cup Winners` Cup Final against Barcelona as United won 2-1.
 Sir Alex Ferguson had begun to introduce `home grown` full back brothers, Gary and Phil Neville, stubborn midfield ball winner, Nicky Butt, midfield play maker Paul Scholes, left winger Lee Sharpe, on a nominal transfer fee from Torquay, and the man who would control the right side of United`s midfield for almost a decade, future England winger and captain, David Beckham.
 In 1996 the team won the league with Butt and Phil Neville in the FA Cup Final winning `double` team in which Andy Cole replaced Hughes in the forward line. Eric Cantona, who`d won the championship with Leeds to deny Manchester United in 1991-92, was `the bargain of the century` at 1, 200,000 GBP. The Manchester United deep-lying centre forward and captain, in the mould of his equally legendary predecessor, Bobby Charlton (1956-73), lifted his foot to majestically address the ball and drive it through a crowd of players to find the net in the 85th minute to beat Liverpool 1-0 in the FA Cup Final of 1996. Eric Cantona`s second double was the third of the Frenchman`s four championships before the last in his retirement season. NIcknamed `Le King`  to Paul Scholes` `Ginger Prince`, Eric retired in 1997 aged a mere 31.
 Danny Welbeck was the last of `Fergie`s Fledglings` as Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 season in which Danny scored only 1 league goal in 27 appearances. Paul Scholes had reluctantly agreed to come out of retirement in 2011-12, despite Korea`s Park Ji Sung being slightingly preffered to Scholes in both European Cup Final defeats to Barcelona, and Paul almost turned things around as United finished on the same points total as Manchester City, but the fewer goals scored left them the losers and Berbatov`s 7 from 5 games started looked like it was going to haunt Sir Alex Ferguson`s managerial career. He then made the bold move of bringing Arsenal forward, Robin Van Persie, to play at the `Theatre of Dreams`  and the 29 year old Dutchman rewarded with 26 strikes to win the last of Alex`s thirteen championships and spare the manager`s blushes over his overlooking Scholes and Berbatov when they`d probably have made the difference up, not only against Manchester City, but in the two European Cup Finals Manchester United lost to Barcelona.
 Time decides on greatness and Danny Welbeck`s, but Dimitar Berbatov was sold before the 2012-13 season began. The Bulgarian centre forward had won two championships for Manchester United with his goals, but it hadn`t been enough to win him selection for the European Cup Final team on each occasion against Barcelona. Paul Scholes` absence from the stage meant United wouldn`t win. Dimitar Berbatov wasn`t selected for his goals, which were needed to win the championship in 2011-12 and Manchester City won on more goals scored. Sir Alex Ferguson`s buying of Robin Van Persie was finally his admission of defeat and he retired.
01/09/2013 12:21

Jesus` Football Academy

Up on the cross of his crucifixion, torture and death, before his Resurrection and Ascension to heaven, Jesus` hands were nailed as far apart as possible, while his feet were nailed together, as if they were intimadated  by his having more than a single foot. Born uncontaminated by male semen from his mother, the Virgin Mary, Jesus was the first of `woman`s seed`, which is described to Eve by God as having `perpetual enmity` with the `serpent`s seed`, although she:
`... will crush the head of the serpent`s seed with her foot as she leaves.` (Gen: 3. 15)
 Obviously Jesus wouldn`t be able to crush the head of the `serpent`s seed` with his foot if they were both nailed together; as they were upon the cross of his crucifixion and death. Because `futanarian` woman has her own penis and semen, she is the `woman`s seed` of the Bible and Jesus` hands are nailed apart on the cross to prevent him from touching a woman, because men don`t want the `futanarian` seed of woman to breed her own brains, lest she develop technology of her own devising, which would save her labour and free her species.
 Jesus` feet are nailed together because he`s a `futanarian`, that is, a one footed man, because he belongs to the single species` family of woman, represented by his mother, the Virgin Mary. Men can`t reproduce, but only fertilize, which means `futanarian` women are the human biunity, so men don`t want the `foot` race to run itself, because then women would escape men`s enslaving of their host wombs, in the production of civilization, culture and art, for the devouring of it and themselves in men`s periodic wars against the humans.
 The ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles` play Oedipus Rex (c. 429 BC) featured the central character, Oedipus, which name means `swollen foot`, because he returns to his mother to unwittingly marry her and have children by her. Men`s incest taboo is designed to prevent the woman from reproducing with her own `futanarian` family of women with their own penis` `seed`, and so Jesus is a type of Oedipus, because he`s a self-birth from his mother, the `futanarian` Virgin Mary.
 In Oedipus` story the incest taboo is too strong and he blinds himself, leaving Antigone, his daughter, to guide his footsteps, because `swollen foot` hasn`t learned that his penis` desire is woman`s own. She wants her own species` host womb, which isn`t there, because the `serpent`s seed` of men have enslaved her host womb and killed her `futanarian` partner, that is, the woman with her own penis` `seed`, to prevent her from self-reproducing, which is what men`s incest taboo is for.
 Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would be the guide and teacher after him, because his `Mission` was about being able to see. On the cover of Britney Spears` `Piece Of Me`  (2007) CD single from the album Blackout she appears on the cross of Jesus as a reminder of Judas` betrayal of Christ for `thirty pieces of silver` to the Jewish Pharisees, that is, the local police in Roman occupied Palestine, who handed Jesus over to the Empire`s authorities as a dissident. Judas` betrayal was an attempt to blind the world to the Christian message, which is why Britney Spears` title for the album was Blackout. Although there`s no sign of a penis beneath Britney Spears` loincloth, the implication is of a `futanarian` woman with `seed` of her own to sow and a taboo or censorship `blackout` to prevent it.
 Most citizens of the United States remain baffled by England and much of the rest of the world`s preoccupation with the pastime of soccer, but it`s about Jesus and the `futanarian` race of `woman`s seed` because the participants can`t use their hands but are able to use their feet to control the ball, which is a Christian metaphor for Jesus` hands being nailed apart upon the cross of his crucifixion so he couldn`t reach out to his `futanarian` sisters. 
 Although Christ`s celibacy is given as an indication of his spirituality, it signifies that women aren`t men`s species. Soccer is a discipline designed to focus the mind on the goal, but the net isn`t the host womb of men`s fertilizing aspirations, as some psychologists have reasoned, but represents Jesus` aim to establish `woman`s seed`, because footballers are for the `futanarian` and not against her, in accordance with their religious practice of learning to use their feet rather than their hands, which tells everyone that the body isn`t in play.
 In the Bible the `woman clothed with the sun and with the moon at her feet` gives birth while the `red dragon` waits in vain to devour, as the sun in the skies over the world, during the soccer season, warms the turf with the ball of the moon at the feet of the participants. According to Revelation the woman gives birth to the `New Redeemer`, that is, Jesus in his `Second Coming`, who will `rule the nations with an iron sceptre` but, as the soccer proverb has it, he will have to keep his eye on the ball, which requires discipline and religious strength. There have been many soccer Messiahs, especially George Best of Manchester United (1964-74), who inspired the terrace anthem:
`Georgie Best! Superstar! Walks like a woman and he wears a bra!`
 The lyric was adapted from the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), `Do you think you're what they say you are?` written by Tim Rice, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and examining the relationship between Jesus and his betrayer, Judas. Incorporating the crucifixion but not the Resurrection from the four corrobarative Gospel accounts of Jesus` life written by the disciples, Matthew, mark, Luke and John, the songs from the musical underline Jesus` teaching that the Resurrection is for `woman`s seed`, because:
`At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.` (Matt: 22. 30)
 In the developmental psychology of Carl Gustav Jung, unconjscious material emerges into consciousness as the individual becomes more aware, but the signs of that awakening are often difficult to discern because contaminated by the shadow of instinctual behaviour patterning, which is what occurs amongst large groups of people participating in the collective shadow, especially chanting football crowds, who aren`t conscious of the deeper meanings attached to their chants:
`Jesus Christ. Superstar. Who are you? What have you sacrificed?`
 Jesus` crucifixion wasn`t a sacrifice, except on the part of the pagans who tortured and murdered him as a sacrifice to their god, which in Roman times would be Pluto, death. In the 20th century `bluetooth` is the `wireless` tool (wifi) connecting the Earth to the heavens by means of satellite receiver equipment delivering instant communications into the home as pictures and sound through televisions and computers. Jesus` feet nailed together upon the cross of his crucifixion is a 21st century pagan sacrifice of `blue toes` in their belief system.
 Pornography is `blue`, so `woman`s seed` of `futanarian`, with her own penis` `seed`, isn`t going to `get on her toes`, which is English slang for preparing to run a race, to leave the Earth through her developing of human technologies. If she can`t breed her own species` brains with her `futanarian` penis` `seed`, she`ll remain a slave of pagan foot fetishism, which doesn`t want the `futanarian` footrace to run. As a pornographers` slave, `futanarian` woman with her own penis` `seed` is the human species planned by God for the future. For paganism, Jesus is `blue toe` rather than `bluetooth`, because the foot fetishists are addicted to Jesus` `heavenly connection`, as `the first of woman`s seed`, which the pornographer doesn`t want to leave.
 The `blue toes` of the `futanarian` woman with her own penis` `seed` can`t `get on her toes`, as women are always threatening to do in misogyny, because their `futanarian` toes are `blue` with the cold of Western thought, which parades the nude female form almost everywhere, while maintaining a rigid taboo against the penis, because women have their own penis` `seed` and men want her to remain cold in the grave of her species slain by the cold eye of their alien heritage.
 Jesus` birth uncontaminated by male semen from his mother, the Virgin Mary, emphasizes the host womb of woman and self-reproducing women as the source of their own fertilizer with her own `futanarian` penis` `seed`, which has had its semen hijacked by an alien predator that has inveigled itself into being born from her womb and has attached itself to her panis` `seed` to replicate itself and feign symbiosis while preparing to kill her as a parasite. In the Hollywood movie Alien (1979) the parasite is actually depicted emerging from the male`s belly in a sterile parody of the birth of Jesus from his mother, the Virgin Mary, which presaged what the Bible calls the `blood plague` of Revelation sent by God to convert men from their evil:
`Men cursed the God of heaven for their pains and their sores but refused to repent of what they had done.` (Rev: 16. 11)
 Men had `produced` the HIV/AIDS` virus as the `killer disease` of the late 20th century through their mixing of blood, shit and semen in each others` anuses during anal sex together. Having removed all signs of `woman` seed`, that is, the `futanarian` woman with her own penis` semen, the `alien` had gone on producing civilization, culture and art, from women`s host human wombs and single biunity of spirit, to devour it in ceaseless wars of what God calls its `perpetual enmity` for the human species` progress, while it presented its depredations to itself and its `converts` as `media entertainments` from Hollywood, for example, which wallowed in the borrowed title of `Babylon` before the Gulf wars (1990-1, 2001-11) against Iraq, whose ancient capital, founded around 4000 BC, was Babylon, who is described in the Bible as `a woman` enslaved for war in pederasty`s worship of their god of war:
`Mystery, Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of the abominations of the Earth.` (Rev: 17. 5)
 The first Gulf war to liberate Kuwait from the invading army of Iraq`s dictator, Saddam Hussein, was known as the `video game war`, because it resembled the computer and arcade games of the children`s `shoot `em ups`,  which trained a generation of cowards to kill people mercilessly, and without compunction, as distant, imperturbable machine operators, pressing buttons to release holocaust upon their apparently tiny and insignificant targets.
 The second Gulf war was precipitated by an attack on the World Trade Centre in New York to reestablish the global `rough trade` of homosexual `brutality and violence` in pederasty`s worship of the god of war. The pattern had emerged as long ago as ancient Greece when women`s host wombs were enslaved in institutionalized homosexuality and pederasty to further the contagion of war.
 Jesus Christ Superstar (1973, 2000) became  the 20th century movie musical about  Judas` betrayal of the host at the `Last Supper`, that is, Jesus, who represented the host with guests. On 9/11, 2001, `guests` from the Middle East, hijacked civil aircraft and crashed them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, which was a betrayal of the host. Although the terrace football chant against George Best, as the 1960s footballing Messiah of Manchester United, seems humorous and innocuous, though perhaps hurtful to the `star`, the `guest` supporters were abusing the hospitality of the host:
`Georgie Best! Superstar! Walks like a woman and he wears a bra!`
 At the `Last Supper`, Jesus` offer of the host, that is, the `bread and wine`, which is given in the Catholic Commuion service by the priest to the congregation, in token of Jesus` body and blood`, is symbolic of the host womb of women as the hostess of her guests, which is what Jesus` birth from his mother, the Virgin Mary, without contamination by male semen, represents. Acceptance, rather than rejection of the host, is what Jesus` teaching is about:
`Love your neighbour as you love yourself.` (Mk: 12. 31)
 Soccer teaches the individual to focus on Jesus` goal, because Christ couldn`t use his hands to touch his own human `seed`, for fear of contaminating women`s `futanarian` race, that is, the `footrace`, which she wasn`t able to run.  With his hands nailed to the cross  of his crucifixion, torture and murder, and with his feet nailed together, Jesus` figure can be a symbol for the footballer who wants to run and doesn`t want to contaminate the race. The `futanarian` penis` `seed` of women has its own footballs, and their penis is bigger too. Georgie Best was a `superstar`, but Tim Rice`s lyric about Jesus is more than applicable:
`Do you think you're what they say you are?`
 The fans` chant says George was a footballer, as Jesus was, because he was of the human `futanarian` race with its own penis` `seed`, so it`s a chant that contains unconscious developmental functionality, whereas the chants that desecrate the graves of the Manchester United players that died in the aircrash at Munich on 6 February, 1958, are only evil, because they`re consciously thought out, and contain no humourn:
`Who's that lying on the runway? Who's that burning in the snow? It's Matt Busby and his boys, making all that bloody noise; because they couldn`t get the aeroplane to go!`
 Originally the chant was against the Germans, who were perceived to have lost the team, because the plane collapsed in the snow and ice at Munich, but vendetta is another aspect of the `blood plague` of Revelation and the English were still suspicious after the German Nazis of WWII (1939-45), who`d killed 6,000,000 Jews in `death camps`, constructed for the sole purpose of burning them in ovens at Belsen, Auschwitz, Dachau, and elsewhere. For many people the end of the German death camps were the reason the war had been fought. Hatred of German ghoulishness was still very much at the forefront of English minds when the aircrash occurred and suspicions were aroused. Later linguistic corruptions of the lyric to pour hatred on the Manchester United playing staff was the ghoulish contamination of the shadow personality of the collective unconscious, expressing itself towards a sporting competitor, and owed much to the shadow-contaminating influence of the German Nazi ghouls on the unconscious minds of the English footballing fans` psyche in the decades after the Munich air disaster.
 In Palestine Jesus` torturers and murderers were ghouls, which is what famine represents. Revelation depicts the four horsemen of the apocalypse as war, plague, death and famine. Ghoulishness is directed at those who can`t live and are dying because of it. In pagan terms, the `futanarian` woman with her own penis` `seed` can`t live because she doesn`t have enough food. That`s due to her not having a host womb and mother`s breast milk to provide her with the initial nourishing she needs.  After the German extermination of the `chosen people` in WWII, `chosen` meant women, who bear children, because it isn`t possible to be a Jew unless born from a woman, so women are Jews and the `chosen people`.
 The `blood plague` of vendetta against the Jews on the part of the Arabian Moslems is a chimera because all are the people of Abraham. In Islam it`s possible for a man to have four wives because, according to Carl Jung`s developmental psychology, unconscious material is archetypal and emerges in dreams, art and the imagination to impel the human species` growth. The archetype of fourness is because there are four functions of consciousness, that is, Thinking, Sensation, Intuition and Feeling, which comprise the self-actualizable individual consciousness, and the Arabian fourfold marriage is that archetype, which implies a `futanarian` woman with her own penis` `seed` at the centre or periphery, in accordance with Jung`s observation that there is an inferior, superior, auxiliary and ancillary function directable by an ego seeking self-knowledge and wisdom. 
 Although sexual permissiveness and promiscuity is often perceived as the fulfilment of the `American Dream`, 20th century HIV/AIDS` keeping of women in fear and faithfulness to her keeper, tarnished the `American Dream` of sexual glamour and nudity for women, which amounts to propoganda by men as her enslavers who keep her from knowledge of her own `futanarian` self with her own penis` semen. Nudity reveals women look like this, whereas in fact they have their own penis` `seed`, which allows them to self-reproduce their own brains` power to facilitate technological advancement and escape from her alien jailer in starships of her own devising; for example:
`The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach.` (Rev: 12. 14)
 The Arabian women are hidden beneath their one piece coverall, the abiyah, which allows only her eyes to be visible, and represents the concealment of the woman`s penis` `seed` from Western eyes that are conditioned to despise the ubiquity of the nude female body they`re taught is how she really appears, because she isn`t men`s human species but her own `futanarian` biunity of sexual reproduction, which is the one point the American footballers have been trying to deny since they put their foot on the moon:
`One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.`1
 The US spaceman looks like the American footballer and the expressions `touchdown` (TD) for the North American Space Administration`s (NASA`s) moon landings, together with the call sign, `the eagle has landed`, relate to the 6 points awarded for moving the football through the hands of the American footballer and upfield into the `end zone` of the other competing team. The eagle is a symbol of the protection  afforded  the `hidden` woman, because it`s the emblem of the `Great Seal` of the protection of the United States of America, which is sometimes called the `Great Satan` in the Middle East, upon the hymen of `woman`s seed`, but the 1 point achieved by the special teams` kicker between the goalposts at the `end zone` is the point actually being made by American footballers. The male penis is the `foot` at the end of the race to the moon, which denies the presence of the `futanarian` woman with her own penis` `seed`, while naked women are paraded ubiquitously everywhere in Hollywood, Babylon, so they can be seen as an impotent penisless slave race with a host womb for the parasites to break into; despite her protecting hymen: because she doesn`t have eagles of her own to kill the parasitical vermin.
1 July 20 1969 (UTC).
31/08/2013 15:56

The Dragon At Manchester United



The devil at Manchester United is a common piece of folklore, because of the red devil symbolism, but the developmental archetype is a real one. In Revelation the `woman clothed with the sun and with the moon at her feet`, for which we might substitute the ball, gives birth to the `New Redeemer` , while the red dragon waits in vain to devour him.



In archetypal terms, Welshman Ryan Giggs, the devil at Manchester United for twenty years, and whose symbol from Wales is the red dragon, rejected his father and took the name of his mother. The archetypal son of Revelation isn`t devoured because he eludes the red dragon, which is a symbol of the father who, jealous of his success, would prevent it. In other words, the red devil is a symbol of development, and the `devilling` of those who would hinder its progress. As the dynamic winger has done at Manchester United for a generation.



Players like George Best, European Cup winner in 1968, and alcoholic, devoured themselves. Lee Martin, F.A. Cup winning goalscorer, in 1990, felt that was enough and never fulfilled his potential, while Ruud Van Nistelrooy fell into the trap of scoring easy goals against inferior opposition and didn`t achieve against better quality opponents.



The danger for Manchester United is archetypal, because if the red devil grows into a red dragon it`ll devour where previously there had been development. In simple terms, as long as the players on the pitch elude the snapping of the dragon at their heels and continue going forward, devilling their opponents, they`ll defeat the red dragon, which is whatever is inside or outside of them that would prevent them from being successful at the `Theatre of Dreams`.



The woman of Revelation gives birth to her son who protects her before she leaves Earth for heaven, which is why Ryan Giggs played for Wales, where the national anthem is Land Of My Fathers:


This land of my fathers is dear to me
Land of poets and singers, and people of stature
Her brave warriors, fine patriots
Shed their blood for freedom.



Because protecting their mother is what fathers do, whether they`re married or not. If the rose is not in heaven, then they`re not heroes. Mickey Thomas was criticized at Manchester United for being aloof and praised for being elusive, which amounted to the same thing for Ryan Giggs` Welsh predecessor on the wing. Mickey was later imprisoned for laundering counterfeit currency, that is, the red dragon devoured him. Imogen Thomas is a Welshwoman and a heavenly rose, because it says so in the Welsh hymn Land Of My Fathers; `freedom on the wing` to Giggs but a developer of talent prepared to `devil` at Manchester United.

31/08/2013 15:43

Alex Ferguson`s Mistake


Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson was the most successful since Tommy Docherty, which wasn`t saying much, because Docherty had only won the Football Association Challenge Cup against Liverpool, 2-1 in 1977, since Sir Matt Busby`s European Cup Final win over Benfica 4-1 in 1968. In 1983 and 1985 `Big Ron`  had won the FA Cup but sold star striker Mark Hughes to FC Barcelona of Spain, where Hughes earned the nickname `El Torro`, `the bull`, for his aggressive refusal to admit defeat and, although he left United, Hughes had scored 16 and 17 goals in consecutive seasons, which meant he was their most recently proven player before Ron Atkinson`s amazing decision to sell him on after his 1983 debut and subsequent astonishing success on the manager`s behalf.
 Ron Atkinson discovered he`d committed suicide as a manager. After unearthing the only talented centre forward developed by United since Matt Busby`s last signing, Sammy McIlroy, a part of the team that won the FA Cup for Docherty in 1977, after his debut on 6 November, 1971, against Manchester City in which he scored in a 3-3 draw, Ron Atkinson was sacked by the club for failing to win a major trophy, that is, the English championship or the European Cup, since his replacing of Dave Sexton in 1981.
 Alex Ferguson`s first real decision as manager at Manchester United was to bring back Mark Hughes as his centre forward, which was rewarded by Hughes` goalscoring prowess in a period that saw United win the FA Cup (1990, 1994), the European Cup Winners` Cup (1991), and the English Championship (1993, 1994), before Hughes` goal tally, as a `converted` midfield player, dropped below double figures in 1995 - and he left.
 It was FC Barcelona that Manchester United beat in the European Cup Winners` Cup of 1991, 2-1, and Hughes` two goals that cemented Ferguson`s era of success. When midfield maestro Paul Scholes scored the single goal of a two leg semi-final against Barcelona to give the team a 1-0 aggregate win and afford Manchester United the opportunity to beat Chelsea with a deciding Ryan Giggs` penalty after a 1-1 draw and extra time in the 2008 European Cup Final, the Ferguson era looked to be crowned with success. However, Ferguson subsequently lost the European Cup Final twice in succession against Barcelona (2009, 2011) when he preferred Park Ji Sung to Paul Scholes, who was the player quite rightly `most feared` by Barca in 2008 and United lost 0-2 and 1-3.
 Moreover, Ferguson didn`t play his most potent forward, Dimitar Berbatov, who had arrived at Manchester United at the beginning of the 2008-9 season when the players went on to win the English Championship for the third successive season. Berbatov went on to success in the League Cup (2010), and the Championship in 2011, while United again lost the European Cup Final to Barcelona in Berbatov`s and Scholes` absence. In 2011-12 Ferguson preferred Danny Welbeck to Berbatov, who`d scored 7 goals in 5 starts, while Welbeck finished the term on 9 goals from 23 starts with 7 appearances as a substitute and United failed to win the Championship on `goal difference` from Manchester City, which was the first time the English league Championship had been won by the team that scored the most goals.
 Acknowledging his mistake in preferring the limited striking abilities of Welbeck to proven goalscorer Berbatov, Ferguson had asked Paul Scholes to come out of retirement, after his being disastrously overlooked in the European Cup Final defeat to Barca in 2011, and the following year Scholes did help the club to another Championship, despite Berbatov`s leaving and Welbeck`s scoring only one goal in 27 appearances throughout the league season, because Ferguson had bought Robin Van Persie in his last inspirational move as a manager and the former Arsenal forward scored 26 goals to outweigh Welbeck`s meagre goal tally.
 With his reputation restored Ferguson retired in the full knowledge that his preference for enthusiasm over content had cost Manchester United two European Cup Finals and a certain Championship. He was embarassed. Manchester United`s managerial successor, David Moyes, selected Danny Welbeck as centre forward for the Charity Shield of 2013 and United won the season`s opening game between the Champions and the FA Cup winners Wigan 2-0 while Welbeck scored two goals to double his tally for the previous season in the opening league game against Swansea, which United won 4-1.
 Moyes` reported decision to give star centre forward, Wayne Rooney, a new contract was received with relief by fans, while reports persisted that Javier Hernandez, who had been in double figures as a goalscorer at United for the previous three seasons, in which the players had won the Championship twice (2011, 2013), was to be transferred to Tottenham Hotspur for an `unspecified fee`. The scenario seemed similar to that obtaining before Hughes was sold by Atkinson to Barca in 1986 when a newly proven United goal legend was suicidally exited from the club for no apparent reason other than that the manager couldn`t accept that degree of potency from a rising star.
 Although the sexual metaphor seems inappropriate, Ferguson had a similar problem with Ruud Van Nistelrooy (2001-6), who was prolific to a fault with 95 goals in 150 appearances, and who had won the Championship in 2003 and the FA Cup in 2004 with a large part of the United team that had won successive titles from 1999-2001. Nistelrooy was on his way out of Old Trafford`s `Theatre of Dreams` stadium after Ferguson preferred the almost perennially injured Louis Saha in the 2006 League Cup Final win over Wigan, 4-0. 
 After Nistelrooy`s departure United didn`t win the Championship again until 2007 and the `pattern` had emerged. Javier Hernandez`s departure could signify David Moyes` arrival in the mould of managerial suicides after the fashion of Ron Atkinson`s decision to sell Mark Hughes to FC Barcelona in 1986 and Ferguson`s preference for the injury prone Louis Saha over Ruud Van Nistelrooy`s indefatigable potency as a centre forward, and Danny Welbeck`s incapacity for goalscoring  over `Stretford End`1 goal hero Dimitar Berbatov.
 Similarities between Javier Hernandez and the youthful Mark Hughes were almost eerie. Double figures in successive seasons as a goalscorer not being deemed sufficient for the manager to keep the player. Mark Hughes` return from exile in Europe led to Alex Ferguson`s legendary status as a winner, but David Moyes` falling into the trap of preferring impotency over potency in players, because the manager can`t handle it, is the danger and threat to United`s continuing success and the exit of Hernandez would confirm it.
1 The West stand at Manchester United`s Old Trafford Stadium, which contains the fans who traditionally stand behind the home goal, while the away team`s supporters are behind the away goal opposite.
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