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Anorak | Paper Talk

Paper Talk

by | 30th, August 2002

‘A HAT has been thrown into the ring, and judging by the smart little feather on the side, it looks like a German headpiece. And indeed it is. Inspecting the label, we find that it is a size 8, made by Apfelschafft & Muller for customer 2986 Herr Kalus Toppmoller.

Hats off to the cheeky Herr Toppmoller

And inside the hat is an envelope addressed to the board of Manchester United PLC. ”GIVE ME FERGIE’S JOB”, it says. At least, that’s what the Sun seems to think, for it reports that the Bayer Leverkusen boss is keen to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.

If that sounds rather cheeky, then that’s largely down to the way in which the paper has chosen to present the story. Read on, and you discover that Leverkusen and United have been drawn together in the same Champions’ League group.

In the course of the usual press conference flattery about United being the biggest team on the planet, Toppmoller admitted that he would be his dream to succeed Fergie when the great man takes up his pipe and slippers in three years’ time.

Of course, Fergie might as well pack it all in now, because United have no chance of European glory this year. Why not? Because Alan ”Exclusive” Shearer has already announced that ”Toon Army will scream us to glory in Europe”.

Taking a break from mending a hole in his garden fence, the Geordie maestro dismisses the threat of Juventus, Feyenoord and Dynamo Kiev, who Newcastle will face in Group E. ”They’re rubbish and they know it,” he scoffs. ”We’ll give them a footballing lesson like they’ve never had.”

And Shearer is equally dismissive of United. ”Well past it” is his verdict on Fergie – the man who tried repeatedly to sign him. ”I turned United down because I wanted to join a club that played positive football. For me, United are basically spoilers, and this year they’ll be found out big time.”

Of course these quotes are simply our intepretation of Shearer’s words. The actual Sun article tends to shy away from spelling these things out, preferring instead to publish a series of respectful compliments directed at Newcastle’s opponents, and predictions that United, Liverpool and Arsenal will all succeed.

But you know Shearer doesn’t mean a word of it. Like the Toon Army, he anticipates great things, and there’ll be tears down the Auld Gallogeet – and in Shearer’s garden shed – if Newcastle fail to meet their date with destiny. ‘



Posted: 30th, August 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink