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Introduction Are You a ManchesterThe 45,000 Manchester United fans are quiet now. They United Fan? Choose the correct answers. Then try the questions again after youhave followed their team to Barcelona. Can they be have finished the book.three times lucky after their success in the League and 1 Manchester Uniteds colours arethe Cup? The score is still 1-0 to Bayern Munich . . . a blue and white b red, white and blueHistory was made on that night in 1998. Only c red and whiteminutes from the end, United scored two goals to 2 Manchester Uniteds ground isbecome Champions of Europe. a Selhurst Park b O l d TraffordThis book is the story of a great team: Manchester c Maine RoadUnited are the biggest, richest and most successful 3 Which team lost against Manchester United in thefootball club in the w o r l d . 1999 European Cup? a Real M a d r i dKevin Brophy lives in Ireland. He spends most of his b Benficatime w r i t i n g , but he also teaches English as a foreign c Bayern M u n i c hlanguage. This is his first book for Penguin Readers. 4 Who was a United manager?Some of his other books are Almost Heaven, Walking a Matt Busbythe Line and In the Company of Wolves (about b Bill Shanklyfootball). c Bobby RobsonKevin has one son and two daughters. His other 5 Which manager was not a Scotsman?interests are books and music, cinema and a Ron AtkinsonWolverhampton Wanderers football club. b Matt Busby c Tommy Docherty 6 Which United player was never sent off? a George Best b Bobby Charlton c Eric Cantona The answers are on page 41.
The 45,000 Manchester United fans are quiet now. They have followed their team to Barcelona. Can they be three times l u c k y after their success in the League and the Cup?* We are already in i n j u r y time and n o w they can only hope. The score is s t i l l 1-0 to Bayern M u n i c h . The boys heads are d o w n , their legs are tired. A corner to U n i t e d . Even Schmeichel has come up for i t . Beckham takes the corner, the Germans get the ball away . . .no, theres Giggs! He kicks it towards the Bayern goal. He findsSheringham . . . Goal! Goal! Sheringham has scored for U n i t e d .One all, in the ninetieth minute. Lets see that goal again . . .The fans hopes are s t i l l alive. Now, can M a n U score again?There are only another forty-five seconds to play. Anothercorner! Beckham again, Sheringham passes to Solskjaer,Solskjaer heads the ball . . . Its there! Its in the back of thegoal. This is unbelievable. ManchesterU n i t e d have scored two goals inthe last seconds of the game.They w i l l never forget 26May, 1999. They havealready w o n the FA Cupand the League, and n o wthey have w o n theEuropean Championship!* The League and the FA Cup: In the League, every team plays every other teamtwice, at home and away. In the FA Cup, a team only plays until it loses agame; the final is played at Wembley Stadium, in London. 3
The game was w o n in the final seconds by two goals scored by Sheringham and Solskjaer, both from corners by Beckham. Solskjaer, Uniteds Norwegian striker, was on the pitch only eight minutes before he scored the w i n n i n g goal. Bayern Munichs Mario Basler scored the first goal for his team after only six minutes. The Germans were unlucky not to score again. They also defended well and turned away attacking balls from Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke. But in the end it was Manchester Uniteds name on the Cup after the most exciting final of the European Championship in history. The N o u Camp Stadium was completely full last night, w i t h a crowd of 90,000 excited fans. About 45,000 Manchester United fans made the journey south. Many were wearing the clubs red and white. Another 5,000 fans were watching the game at the Manchester United ground on Old Traffords big television. Sixteen m i l l i o n watched the game on British television and about five hundred m i l l i o n people watched on television around the world, more than for any club game ever. The party started immediately after the end of the game. The streets of Manchester were quiet and empty for ninety minutes, but then the fans poured on to the streets around O l d Trafford. They sang We are the Champions. They kissed, they danced. Even Manchester City fans, proud of their home town, joined the fun. Never seen anything like it, said a red-shirted fan. The worst ninety minutes of my life and the best three. Another happy fan said, Weve done it. Ferguson is the greatest! United were the first English team to w i n the European Cup in 1968. Then they played Benfica of Portugal at Wembley Stadium and w o n 4 - 1 . They had a Scottish manager then, too: Sir Matt Busby. Scottish managers have brought United luck. But todays Scotsman, manager Alex Ferguson, has taken United to the top. Manchester United have not lost any of their last thirty-threeThe party in the streets of Barcelona did not finish until the games. They have w o n three Cups in eleven days. As one fan saidearly hours of Thursday morning. Manchester United made last night in Barcelona, It was the best night of my life.history in the Nou Camp Stadium last night w i t h their 2-1 winover Bayern Munich.
Everybody in Manchester stopped w o r k yesterday w h e n thet r i u m p h a n t U n i t e d team brought the European Cup home. A m i l l i o n fans came out to welcome the team. They sang andshouted and a few had tears in their eyes. Uniteds open-top busdrove the twelve kilometres from the airport to the city centre. One after another, the players held the Cup up. Irishmen RoyKeane and Denis I r w i n . Ryan Giggs from Wales. Paul Scholes,N i c k y Butt, Teddy Sheringham, A n d y Cole, David Beckham andthe Neville brothers, all from England. The Trinidad and Tobagostriker D w i g h t Yorke. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from Norway,Dutchman Jaap Stam, and Peter Schmeichel, the Danishgoalkeeper w h o is leaving M a n U tomorrow. But the loudest shouts were for Uniteds manager, AlexFerguson. W i t h three Cups in three weeks, he is the mostsuccessful manager in football. He is also the best ManchesterUnited manager since Sir Matt Busby. The backs stayed near the goalkeeper. They played behind the The fans t h i n k this is the greatest football team. The players wingers all the time.t h i n k so too. They talked about the special spirit in the United There was only one centre half.team. Jaap Stam said, We have scored a lot of late goals at the The same numbers always played against the same numbers inend of games this season. We d i d it against Liverpool and we the other team: number 2 (the right back) always playedhave done it here. I just t h i n k there is no better spirit than this. against the other teams left winger, number 11. The right half Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added: The team spirit is unbelievable. and left half, numbers 4 and 6, always played against the otherWe are all in this together. That is w h y I stay in Manchester. teams inside right and inside left (numbers 8 and 10). The The crowds stayed in the city centre u n t i l late in the evening. number 5 (centre half) always played against the other teamsEveryone was wearing red and white; everyone was talking about centre forward.Wednesdays game. Nobody w i l l forget this night. Tactics were usually the same in every game. The defence gave Perhaps we are a little sorry for Manchester City. But the the ball to the inside forwards. The inside forwards passed toCity fans were keeping quiet. They were probably at the street the wingers. The wingers kicked the ball - usually in the air -party too. to the centre forward. A n d the centre forward scored! Usually w i t h his head. 7
Ups and Downs The beginning 1878: Some railway workers in the north-west of England form a football club. They call it N e w t o n Heath. The players wear red, white and blue clothes. 1892: The club joins the English Football League in Division One.Man Us full backs do not stay back. They are very importantattacking players. They give the ball to the wingers, and then 1894: The club loses a lot of games, and it goes d o w n to Divisionthey can r u n in front of the wingers. Gary Neville and David Two. The team changes the club colours to green and goldBeckham play very well together like this. for better luck.There are two centre halves. They are often called centre 1902: The club has no money, but it is saved by a Manchesterbacks or stoppers now. businessman, John Davies. He puts a lot of money into theThere are two centre forwards. They are usually called strikers now. club. The name is changed to Manchester United. The newW h e n the other team has the ball, all the players get behind club colours are red and white. Ernest Mangnall is the newthe ball. They move between the ball and their goal. Everybody manager. The club returns to Division One in 1906.defends!W h e n Man U have the ball, everybody attacks. Everybody 1908: Manchester United are League Champions, and in 1909(except the goalkeeper) has to score goals. Defenders like they w i n the FA Cup for the first time. John Davies buysNeville and I r w i n score a lot of very good goals. land at O l d Trafford for a new stadium for his club. It costsTactics are different in every game. A l l the players play £60,000. M a n U lose the first game at O l d Trafford; theeverywhere on the pitch. score is 3-4 to Liverpool!
Between the wars 1968: Manchester United are the first English team to w i n the European Cup.1921-5: M a n U return to Division Two. 1969: Busby leaves Manchester United for the first time. He leaves1931: The club again has no money. It is saved by another again in 1971! businessman, James Gibson.1939-45: There is no football at O l d Trafford during the Second After Busby W o r l d War. 1972-4: Tommy Docherty is Manchester Uniteds t h i r d manager1945: Scotsman Matt Busby becomes manager. after Busby. His time there begins badly. M a n U go d o w n to Division Two, for the first time since 1938.Matt Busbys golden years 1975: Dochertys plans begin to w o r k . M a n U return to1945: W h i l e they are rebuilding the ground at O l d Trafford, Busby Division One. is rebuilding the team. He sends out scouts to find good 1981: Ron Atkinson becomes the manager. M a n U w i n the young players. The young players are called Busbys Babes. FA Cup in 1983 and are one of the top clubs.1948: M a n U play Blackpool in the FA Cup Final and w i n 4-2. Fergusons successes1952: League Champions (and 1956 and 1957). 1986: Alex Ferguson becomes manager.1958: After a European Cup game 1989: Success returns to United. They w i n the FA Cup. in Yugoslavia, M a n Us 1991: They w i n 2 - 1 against Barcelona in the Cup Winners Cup. aeroplane crashes at M u n i c h . Eight players are 1993: Eric Cantona is bought from Leeds. Man U w i n the League killed and Busby is badly for the first time in twenty-six years. injured. W h i l e Busby is in 1994: Man U w i n the Double (FA Cup and League) for the first hospital, Jimmy M u r p h y is time. the manager. Uniteds first game after M u n i c h is only two 1996: Man U w i n the Double again! weeks later. 1997: United w i n the League for the fourth time in five seasons.1960: Busby returns to his j o b at O l d Trafford. His most famous 1999: Manchester United w i n the FA Cup, League and European young player is George Best. Best joins M a n U at the age of Cup. No other English team has ever done this before. seventeen.1963: Five years after Munich, Man U w i n the FA Cup. They are First Division Champions in 1965, and again in 1967.10 11
Harry Gregg from Northern Ireland j o i n e d Manchester United inDecember 1957. At twenty-five years old, he was too o l d to be aBusby Babe. Busby needed a good goalkeeper and he boughtGregg from Doncaster Rovers. Two months later, on 5 February, Gregg was in the teamw h i c h played Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup. The scorein Belgrade was 3-3. The team flew to M u n i c h to j o i n theirplane to Manchester. Some other people from the club, somereporters and a few other passengers were on the aeroplane w i t hthe M a n U players. Because there was a problem w i t h the second aeroplane, thepassengers waited at M u n i c h airport. D i d they have to travel bybus to Holland and then by sea to England? But after two hours,the passengers returned to their seats on the plane. It wassnowing. John Berry, one of Uniteds forwards, said, Were goingto die. Gregg laughed, w i t h the other players. The plane began to move, but it never left the ground. Itcrashed. It went out of the airport, across a road and into a field. Itwas suddenly quiet and very dark on the plane. Then thepassengers began to move - if they could move. Harry Gregg pushed past Bert Whalley, a Manchester Unitedtrainer. Whalley was dead. Gregg kicked the side of the plane andgot out on to the snowy field. Run! shouted the pilot. He wasalso in the field. Then Gregg heard a crying child. He d i d not r u n ,but went back into the plane. He pulled out a two-year-old girl.Then he pulled out her mother. There was a danger of fire in the plane, but Gregg returnedagain. He found M a n Us Dennis Viollet and Bobby Charlton, andpulled them out too. Then he saw Matt Busby. Busby was lying on the ground in thesnow. He was in pain, w i t h injuries to his chest and legs. JackieBlanchflower was l y i n g near h i m , and Roger Byrne was lying ontop of Blanchflower. He was dead. 14
The injured people were taken to hospital in M u n i c h . Seven players - Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, M a r k Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan, all between The Great Players twenty-one and twenty-eight - Duncan Edwards (born 1936, died 1958) were dead. Three other United Duncan Edwards was the men and seven reporters died too. best schoolboy player of Young Duncan Edwards lived for his time. He was the best fifteen days after the crash. Before player in the 1958 he died, his last words were, What Manchester United team. time is kick-off? Some people t h i n k that there has never been a The next Manchester United game was played better English player. Heon 19 February against Sheffield Wednesday. Two players, B i l l was in Uniteds YouthFoulkes and Harry Gregg, travelled back from M u n i c h and played Team and d i d all the usualin that game. United w o n 3-0. trainee jobs - he helped in Manchester United reached the FA Cup Final that year. They the ground, he cleanedplayed against Bolton Wanderers. A year before M u n i c h , when boots. OnBolton Wanderers w o n the Cup against United, Roger Byrne said, 4 A p r i l 1953 Matt BusbyW e l l be back next year. They were back, but w i t h o u t Roger said, Get your boots on.Byrne. He was killed at Munich. Youre playing against Everybody in the country, except Bolton Wanderers fans, Cardiff City thiswanted United to w i n . But they lost 2-0. afternoon. Edwards was the youngest footballer inHarry Gregg w i l l always remember M u n i c h , and his friends w h o a Division One team. Indied. But nobody can ever forget M u n i c h . 1955 Edwards became theMatt Busby stayed in hospital in youngest English international player when he played forM u n i c h for seventy-one days. John England. This was a record u n t i l Liverpools Michael Owen playedBerry (Were going to die) d i d not for England in 1998. Training is important today, but in the 1950sdie, but he d i d not play again. players just ran around the pitch four or five times. N o t Edwards. Gregg played for United u n t i l He ran around the pitch ten times. He was a strong man and a1966. He has met the little girl good, fast runner. He usually played half back, but he was good infrom the plane again. Forty any position. Once, playing at centre forward for the Englandyears after the M u n i c h airport Under-23s, he scored six goals. He could do anything andaccident, Vesna Lukic came to everything w i t h the ball. Manchester United always played betterManchester to remember the team when he was in the team. W h e n Edwards died from his injuriesof 1958. after the M u n i c h crash, he was only twenty-one.
Bobby Charlton (born 1937) after a few weeks. His father sent h i m back to Manchester and he Bobby Charlton comes from a first played in the team in 1963. footballing family. Three uncles One success followed another. In 1966 he scored two goals played for Leeds United, another against Benfica, when United w o n 5 - 1 . The Portuguese called h i m uncle was a Leicester City player, a El Beatle, because he had long hair like the Beatles. In 1968 Best cousin played for Newcastle United, was in the team against Benfica again, when he scored a goal in and his older brother Jack became a the European Cup Final. Best was the youngest European Leeds United player. W h e n Charlton Footballer of the Year in 1968. was playing for England Schoolboys, In 1967-8 he scored twenty-eight league goals. But this was the about eighteen clubs wanted h i m . But beginning of the end. In 1972-3 he scored only four times. Best he wanted to wear the M a n U shirt. had many interests outside football and he had many beautifulHe first played at O l d Trafford in 1956. This was the beginning of girlfriends. His life outside football was more interesting thanseventeen years as a M a n U player. training. Busby tried to keep h i m in the team. W h e n Busby left, Charltons injuries in the M u n i c h air crash were not too serious. Best became more difficult. He played his last game for United onHe was playing again for United just one m o n t h later. He also 1 January 1974.played for England for the first time in A p r i l that year. Busby had to rebuild the United team after M u n i c h , and Denis Law (born 1940)Charlton was always there. First he played left w i n g , but he was W h e n Scotsman Denis Law washappier in midfield. He was named footballer of the year in 1966, fifteen, he joined Huddersfield Town.after Englands success in the W o r l d Cup against Germany. The He had a problem w i t h his right eye,same year, he was named European Footballer of the Year. He was but he could not wear glasses and playUniteds captain in their first European Cup t r i u m p h in 1968. football at the same time. He played D u r i n g his seventeen years at Man U, Bobby Charlton scored w i t h one eye closed. So Huddersfield199 goals. He was a fair player and he was never sent off the pitch. paid for h i m to go to hospital.He still works for English and w o r l d football, and he watches Law was thin, but very fit, and heUnited play as often as possible. headed the ball well. Busby wanted to buy h i m in 1956, but he had to wait five years before he could buy Law from the ItalianGeorge Best (born 1946) club, Torino.George Best was the bad boy of Law was a good buy. W h e n he scored a goal, he always put hisManchester United, but fans right arm up. Fans saw Laws right arm in the air thirty times inremember his wonderful football. He 1963-4. He was named European Footballer of the Year that year.could do everything: w i n the ball, r u n But Law was unlucky in 1968. He was in hospital and missedw i t h it, score goals, help others to the triumphant European Cup Final. The next day, Busby broughtscore. A n d he was handsome, too. the European Cup to Laws hospital bed. A United scout saw the young Best W h e n Tommy Docherty became Uniteds manager, Law went toplaying in his home t o w n of Belfast. Manchester City. In the 1974 City game against United, he scoredBest was only fifteen when he arrived in Manchester. He d i d not w i t h the back of his foot. Laws goal sent his old club d o w n tolike being away from home and he returned to Northern Ireland Division Two. 18 19
Eric Cantona Ryan Giggs (born 1973)(born 1966) Ryan Giggs signed schoolboy forms forFrenchman Eric Cantona Manchester United when he wasplayed for six French clubs fourteen-and-a-half years old. Since hisin the same number of years first game for United in 1991, peoplebefore he signed for Leeds have talked about Ryan Giggs in theUnited in 1992. The Leeds same way that they talked aboutfans loved h i m . They George Best: beautiful football,shouted, Ooh aah Cantona! wonderful goals. Giggs is fast too. Inevery time he played. But 1995 he scored Uniteds quickest goalEric was unhappy there. Six after only fifteen seconds! In 1991 hemonths later he moved to was Waless youngest player ever,Man U and the United fans when he played for them against Germany.began to shout, Ooh aah In the 1990s, he helped United to w i n two doubles and threeCantona! and call h i m The championships.King. Cantona, w i t h his David Beckham (born 1975)wonderful football, became Manchester United has fans everywhere. David Beckham, aa favourite w i t h the fans, Londoner, was a fan when he was a little boy. He always wore aand for the next five years United shirt. He signed for United as a schoolboy, when he wassuccess returned to O l d Trafford. In 1994 United w o n the Double fourteen. Everybody knew that he was a great player then. Hefor the first time and Cantona was the first foreign Player of the loved training and he practised for hours.Year in England. In 1996 Beckham scored an unforgettable goal. United were But Cantona was a difficult man. He became angry very quickly. playing W i m b l e d o n and Beckham kicked the ball from insideHe was in trouble in 1995 w h e n he kicked a Uniteds half, over the goalkeepers head, and into the goal - aboutCrystal Palace fan. He had to stop sixty-eight metres. But many peopleplaying football for eight months, but also remember w h e n Beckham kickedUnited fans continued to shout his an Argentinian player in a W o r l d Cupname. The manager, Alex game. Beckham was sent off the pitchFerguson, understood Cantona and England lost.and made h i m team captain. Some fans love h i m , some hate h i m . Cantona left football in 1997 But Ferguson knows a good footballerand has acted in a few films, but and Beckham is very good.he is still interested in Man U. He Beckham has a famous wife -watched the European Cup game Victoria Adams, Posh Spice of theagainst Real M a d r i d in A p r i l 2000 and Spice Girls. Their pictures are always inafter the game he talked to M a n U fans the newspapers. He is perhaps the mostfor an hour. famous young footballer of today.
first of nine Scottish players w h o were bought by DochertyThe Managers At first there were problems. United went d o w n to Division Two. Well be back, Docherty promised. The next year United were in Division One again. The Docs biggest success was the 1977 FA Cup. He lost his j o bMatt Busby (manager 1945-69,1970-71) two weeks later, w h e n he left his wife for another woman.After the war, there were two big problems at O l d Trafford.Nobody could play football on that ground and there were very Ron Atkinson (manager 1981-6)few players. The first problem was easy. United played at Ron Atkinson is a big, loudManchester Citys ground, Maine Road. The second problem took man from Liverpool, thetime. Busby sent his scouts to streets in big cities and to sports opposite of quiet Matt Busby.clubs. They were l o o k i n g for boys w h o could play football. This He wears a lot of gold ringswas the beginning of Busbys Babes, the famous team of the 1950s. and people call h i m Big Ron. Managers then were usually not very interested in training. But He was manager of aBusby was an unusual man. He put on his sports clothes and smaller club, West Bromwichtrained w i t h his footballers. A l b i o n , before 1981, but at Sadly, Busby lost some of his best young players in the M u n i c h Manchester he began toair crash. He began again,looking for new young players. But he spend money. He boughtalso bought players from other clubs. Success followed. United 24-year-old Bryan Robsonw o n the First Division twice, the FA Cup and the European Cup. from West Brom. for one and a half m i l l i o n pounds - aTommy Docherty (manager 1972-7) record for the next six years. Tommy Docherty another Robson was expensive, but Scotsman, was a different he was a great footballer. He k i n d of manager. They called was made captain of M a n U h i m The Doc and he was in 1982 and he was also captain of England sixty-five times. like a doctor. He sometimes Big Ron liked to train w i t h his team. He understood football gave bad-tasting medicine to and footballers. United w o n the FA Cup in 1983 and again in the players. 1985. But Big Ron was unlucky. Liverpool was the w i n n i n g By the 1970s, United was League team five times. After some bad results in 1986, Big Ron a rich club. The Doc could left United and returned to West Bromwich A l b i o n . spend a lot of money on successful players. He sold Alex Ferguson (manager 1986-) the older United players and Aberdeen was a very successful team in the Scottish League when bought good, young Alex Ferguson was manager. He left Aberdeen for Manchester footballers. For example, he United w h e n Big Ron left. Under Busbys management, United had bought George Graham from a good youth training programme. Ferguson wanted to continue Arsenal. Graham was the this and make it bigger. He wanted more scouts, more young
players, more training. Success d i d not come immediately. But about two m i l l i o n pounds inlook at the Manchester United players w h o have come from the 1989. Ince became anyouth training programme: excellent midfield player and he was made England captainA Manchester United Youth Team against the United States in 1993. But in 1995 Ferguson sold h i m to Inter Milan. Ferguson had three very good midfielders - Ince, Butt and Keane - so he could sell one. The price was seven m i l l i o n pounds, a record for United. But M a n U buy players too. A favourite United forward, Mark Hughes, was sold to Barcelona by Ron Atkinson in 1986. In July 1988 Ferguson bought h i m back at a lower price. The fans were very happy to have their favourite at O l d Trafford again. Under Ferguson, Manchester United pay a lot of money for the right players. Ferguson noticed Andy Cole at Newcastle United. There, he scored forty-one goals in a season. Ferguson paid six and a quarter m i l l i o n pounds for h i m in 1995. D w i g h t Yorke cost Ferguson is always looking for young players. If they are really more than twelve and a half m i l l i o n pounds from Aston Villa ingood, they can play in the first team. But at first, only once! David 1998 - a club record at the time. He scoredBeckham first played for United in 1992. Then he waited u n t i l two goals in his first game at O l d1994 before he played in the first team again. He scored a goal Trafford and he has scored moreagainst Galatasaray in a European Cup game. than twenty goals every season Ferguson keeps his young players hungry to play. Sometimes since then. Fergusons big moneythey train w i t h the first team for two or three days. Then for two strikers have been a big success.weeks they do their training w i t h the Youth Team again. They Fergusons players k n o w thatnever k n o w if Ferguson is watching. He is looking for good they have to w o r k hard. If theyfootball, but also for hard w o r k , in training and in games. do not do their best all the time, Managers usually sell players when they are getting old and Ferguson does not put them in thepast their best. Ferguson often sells players before that. W h e n a team. There is always anotherplayer is playing very w e l l , the price for h i m is high. For example, player w h o is waiting to put on theFerguson bought 21-year-old Paul Ince from West Ham United for red United shirt.
Training and Food and players w a t c h a video of the game. If a player has not played w e l l , he has to practise his weak points. Food is i m p o r t a n t for footballers health. In the past, footballers ate a l o t of meat, potatoes, bread and butter. TodayThe English football season starts in August and finishes in we k n o w that the amount of body fat is important. Ryan GiggsMay. The t r a i n i n g season starts in early June and continues for has l o w body fat of about 8%, b u t 10-15% body fat is all r i g h televen months. for b i g defenders l i k e Jaap Stam, Ronny Johnson and H e n n i n g Manchester Uniteds m a i n training g r o u n d is The Cliff. The Berg. So the players eat healthy food. There is a restaurant atplayers t r a i n there five or six days a week. They usually begin The C l i f f where they eat l u n c h .at half-past ten in the m o r n i n g and t r a i n for two hours, thenfor another h o u r after l u n c h . Here are two menus, one from Tommy Dochertys time at O l d The first week of t r a i n i n g in July is mostly r u n n i n g and ball Trafford (the 1970s) and one from today. W h i c h is the o l dw o r k . D u r i n g a n i n e t y - m i n u t e game, a footballer sometimes menu? A n d w h i c h is todays?runs about ten kilometres, b u t footballers do not r u n for everym i n u t e of the game and they do not always r u n fast. Thetraining r u n practises this. The players r u n 100 metres quite slowly, b u t then they r u nfaster, and then very fast. They repeat this r u n n i n g exercisemany times. There are a l o t of b a l l w o r k exercises. Sometimes onedefender plays one attacker. The attacker tries to get the ballpast the defender. The defender tries to stop h i m and to get theball. In another exercise, each player has a b a l l and tries to keepit up in the air for as l o n g as possible. He can use his feet,head, chest and knees. Sometimes the player passes the ball tothe other player, b u t it must n o t t o u c h the ground. The players also use exercise bicycles, weight training, press-ups, step-ups and other exercises to make them strong. In the second week of July, they play football games andpractise tactics. The players practise free kicks, and thegoalkeeper has catching exercises. At the end of July, they playfive or six friendly games against other clubs. They do not t r a i n so m u c h d u r i n g the season - usually fortwo hours, n o t three. Before a game, the manager and trainerhave watched the other club. They discuss special tactics forthe game and practise them. After a game, the manager, trainer
Fans Around the WorldOne hundred and forty thousand fans pay to be in the main When I was on holiday in England, my parents took me to Old Trafford. It was the best day of my life.Manchester United Club. But there are another 200 Man U fan Willem Kriek, Durban, South Africaclubs in Britain and there are fan clubs in twenty-four othercountries. One of the biggest clubs has 28,000 fans in it and it is inScandinavia! N o t all these fans can go to games, but many watch on television I saw Peter Schmeichel when he wasand video. Here are a few of the fans: playing for Denmark against Greece in 1 998. He signed my programme for me. One day Ill visit Old Trafford. It is my Im proud that he played for Man U in the dream. Keep winning, Man U! European Cup. Man U is my favourite Arene Magnussen, Keflavik, Iceland English club. Kostas Marcou, Athens, Greece In Singapore it is difficult to see I had to stay up until five in the morning to Man U. The see the European Cup Final on Australian different time in TV. I was tired at school next day! England means we have problems Greg Rinstead, Sydney, Australia watching games on TV. But your fans in Singapore think you are great! Arif Amin, Singapore Hundreds of fans from all over the w o r l d visit O l d Trafford every I have been a Man U fan since Cantona year. There they can see everything about Manchester Uniteds played for you. I am still a fan now. history: the early beginnings, the famous players, the fans. There Cecile Lavanchy, Lille. France are shirts, tickets, programmes and boots from the past. But, best of all, there are the Cups. United have w o n a lot of cups during the last 100 years and they are all there in a special room. There is a floor at O l d Trafford where there are computers. My brother Wayne You can choose the best players from any time in the clubs and I are fans. history and make a Dream Team. You can also watch a favourite Waynes dog is called Ciggsy. Im getting a game and speak into a microphone. You describe what is baby dog soon. Im going to call it Fergie. happening - just l i k e on radio or television. We are a Man U family! No visit to O l d Trafford is complete w i t h o u t a visit to the Paul Feyrer, Detroit, USA shop. The M a n U shop is very b i g and it sells everything for
fans. You can buy footballs, shirts, sports bags, books andvideos, of course. But for the real fans there are alsored-and-white watches and clocks, toys, pens and pencils, towelsand bed covers! If you want more information, the address is: Manchester UnitedFootball Club, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 ORA, UK. Or you can findthe club on your computer, at: www.manutd.com. There you canleave messages for the club and for other fans. Here are somemessages from fans around the w o r l d , and some messages fromenemies! The Boot Boys Manchester Uniteds Hopes for the Future Our reporter Ben Skilbeck is talking to three youth trainees at Manchester Uniteds training ground, The Cliff. Jason Appleby and Christian Ricks are seventeen, and Daniel McShane is just eighteen. What are their hopes, fears and dreams? Ben Skilbeck: Many young boys want to be footballers. How did you start? Jason, lets begin with you. Jason Appleby: Well, like a lot of boys, Ive always wanted to be a footballer. I eat, d r i n k and sleep football. I cant remember a time when I didnt play. Daniel McShane: Oh yes! You could k i c k before y o u could walk, couldnt you? JA: Well, thats what my m u m says.
BS: What about you, Daniel? DMc: I started playing at school. But I wasnt very good u n t i l I got taller. I wasnt very tall u n t i l I was about thirteen. Then I started to enjoy my football. Im a goalkeeper. I was in my schools first team, then a M a n U scout saw me. Christian Ricks: I was watched by a scout, too, when I was playing in my school team. BS: Was he a scout for United? Youre not from round here, are you? CR: No, Im from Bristol. The first scout was looking for good schoolboy players for Bristol City. Then later, a Man U scout saw me. I signed a schoolboy form for Man U when I was fourteen. BS: What happened then? CR: Nothing, really. I stayed at home for another two years. I only came to Manchester w h e n I was sixteen. JA: Yes, I signed the form at fourteen, too, and started training at sixteen. You cant play too much when youre young. Its dangerous while youre still growing. BS: Do you still live at home, Jason? Then, at about ten oclock, we do our training. You know, JA: Yes, Im from Wilmslow. Its only down the road from heading, passing, ball work. That sort of thing. Manchester, but I have to get up at six oclock. My dad drives me BS: Do you do that all day? to the ground and we start at about half-past eight. CR: No, we stop for lunch. Then my favourite b i t of the day - I BS: Where do you live, Daniel ? Are you still with your family ? dont think! Cleaning boots. DMc: Not exactly. Im from Southport and its a bit far. I live w i t h JA: Yes, we clean everybodys boots - our boots, the first and my uncles family during the week and go home at the weekend. second teams boots. Its a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. CR: I live w i t h a family in Manchester. I dont see my m u m and CR: Yes, I know, but its every day! dad very often. I miss them and my girlfriend, Emma. DMc: No, it isnt. We dont clean boots on Wednesdays. BS: Yes, Im sure its difficult. I think George Best went home to BS: Why? What happens on Wednesdays? Belfast. But he came back to Manchester again - and the rest is JA: The worst day of the week. We go to college. history! Do you two boys have time for a girlfriend? DMc: Its not so bad. I like it. DMc: I have time, but the girls dont like going out w i t h trainees. BS: And what are you studying? Were always tired - and we dont earn much money. JA: N o t h i n g very interesting. JA: Girlfriends can wait! Football is more important. DMc: Im doing business. Its quite interesting . . . BS: OK, tell me, Daniel. What does a trainee do every day? Do you CR: I m learning the business side of sport, too.just play football? JA: I just want to play football. DMc: No! No, first we put everything on the team bus and we DMc: Yes, but if you have a bad injury . . . What w i l l you do if you come to The Cliff. Our weight is checked every day . . . cant play? You have to earn money. W h a t can you do then? CR: Yes, we mustnt eat too much. BS: Lets hope that doesnt happen. Now, Daniel, youre already DMc: Then we tell the trainers if we have any injury problems. eighteen. Tell me whats going to happen next.
Dream TeamDMc: This is frightening! United w i l l sign me in two weeks. Butonly if they t h i n k I m a good player. If not - well, I dont know. I l lhave to t h i n k again. Peter Schmeichel: He was a goalkeeper and another defender.CR: Perhaps another club w i l l sign you. Like Ryan Giggs. He was a Bryan Robson: The most useful player ever. He could playtrainee w i t h Manchester City. anywhere.JA: Right! Duncan Edwards: He died at M u n i c h . We can only imagine theCR: A n d then M a n U signed h i m before City decided. A n d what greatness that was possible from h i m .about Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer? He was playing in Norways T h i r d Billy Foulkes: A sure-footed defender.Division when a M a n U scout first saw h i m . You never k n o w Denis I r w i n : The best left full back that M a n U have ever had!when a scouts in the crowd. There are always other football clubs. He can pass, head and score goals.JA: No, there arent. For me theres only one club and thats Eric Cantona: The greatest player in the w o r l d in the space justManU. behind the strikers. He could w i n games w i t h his passes.BS: So what will you do, Jason, if United dont sign you? Roy Keane: A great captain w h o could score goals. He couldJA: They w i l l sign me. I m a trainee here for another year. I l l w o r k change a game completely.every minute to play better and better. I m going to succeed. George Best: Probably the second best footballer (after Pele)DMc: Oh yes, our Jason is hungry for success! that the w o r l d has ever seen.BS: OK, boys. To finish . . . Tell me your favourite Man U players, Bobby Charlton: A great player - and a great sportsman.past or present. Christian? Ryan Giggs: He can r u n at defenders and go past them to theCR: I dont have to think. Its Eric Cantona. He played wonderful left or the right.football. Denis Law: He could score goals w i t h his head, right foot orDMc: Because I m a goalkeeper, I like Peter Schmeichel. W h e n he left foot, w h e n he was in the air or on the ground.was good, he was great. What is your M a n U dream team?JA: I choose David Beckham. Hes my favourite.BS: Well, thank you, boys. We hope to see your names in the Man U Are You a Manchester United Fan?: Answersteam very soon. Good luck, all of you. 1:c 2:b 3: c 4: a 5: a 6: b
Activities After you read 7 Answer these questions. a Which of the footballers in The Great Players played longestPages 1-11 for Man U?Before you read b Why did Man U fans call Cantona The King? And why do you1 Find the words in italics in your dictionary. They are all in the book. think the Leeds fans were angry? Which word is correct here? c How many English players finished the 1998 World Cup game a a first division/league club against Argentina? Why? b to win the champion/cup d What did Busby do that was unusual in the 1950s? c to goal/score for England e How does Ferguson keep his young players hungry? d to manage/injure the club e a dangerously wet pitch/stadium Pages 28 - 41 f a terrible team spirit/triumph Before you read g a fan/scout for an important club 8 What do you think is going to happen in The Red and the Blue? h to learn new tactics/records What do you want to happen?2 What do you think these parts of the book are about? After you read 1 Three Times Champions a Manchester United, 1878-1999 9 Discuss these questions. 2 Tactics b Manchester United, 1999 a What kind of training makes footballers strong? What makes 3 Ups and Downs c The great Manchester United them fast? teams of the past and now b Why do they not train so much during the season? c Why does Man U change its shirt so often?After you read d Why must young players on the youth training programme3 Explain in your own words what happened on 26 May, 1999. go to college one day a week?4 Read about the tactics on pages 7 and 8 again. Does your favourite team use tactics like these? If not, how do they play? Writing How should they play? 10 You are a Man U fan or a Bayern Munich fan in Barcelona for the 1999 European Cup Final. Write a postcard home the nextPages 12-27 morning.Before you read 11 Write a newspaper report about the Munich air crash.5 Answer these questions. Find the words in italics in your dictionary. 12 Compare Duncan Edwards and George Best. How were they a Who is the captain of your favourite football team? different? b How many kick-offs are there in a game that ends 1-1 ? 13 You are the boot boy, Daniel McShane. Manchester United have c Why do footballers train? signed you as a player. Write a letter home to tell your parents. d What is a youth team?6 Discuss what a manager or a scout looks for in young players. What is most important, do you think?
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