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Anorak | Forlan Hero

Forlan Hero

by | 19th, September 2002

‘WHEN Gary Birtles scored his first goal for Manchester United after 41 games, some wag was moved to observe: ”The trouble is now they’ll expect him to score every 41 games.”

Diego was still celebrating his goal three weeks later

As Diego Forlan scored his first goal for United after a mere 27 games, the same thought is no doubt running through the fans’ minds.

However, at least Birtles’ goal was from open play. The Uruguayan was handed the ball after David Beckham had won an 89th minute penalty and with his team already 4-2 up.

Not that anyone’s been counting how long Forlan has gone goalless since his £7.5m from Independiente.

Except perhaps the Mirror, which stops its watch at 13 hours and 55 minutes. And the Sun, which shows ”the picture you thought you’d never see” as Forlan strokes home the spot-kick.

Forlan’s goal helped United to a comfortable 5-2 win over Maccabi Haifa, but Newcastle’s first Champions’ League match ended in defeat as they were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Dynamo Kiev.

However, news that all football fans can enjoy creeps onto the back page of most of the papers – Leicester have been told that they can sack Dennis Wise.

A four-man Football League panel upheld the club’s appeal against a ruling that said they couldn’t terminate the contract of the former Chelsea player after a fight in which he broke a team-mate’s cheekbone.

But, says the Mail, ”they are bracing themselves for a civil action, which they have said they will fight to the last”. And we wish them every success.

We’re sure you’ve got your favourite Pringle sweater out and your Comfi-Slax hanging over the back of the chair as we enter the greatest fortnight in golfing history.

The Ryder Cup is only a week away, but already the Americans are looking over their shoulder at any man with a beard.

With last year’s competition scrapped because of September 11th, this year’s looks likely to be overshadowed by the possibility of military action in the Gulf.

”If last year’s organisers could have provided 100 per cent assurance they had a safe environment and that everyone was going to be protected, it would have been fine,” Tiger Woods tells the Sun.

”But they couldn’t. And it’s certainly not assured now either. As golfers, you are left wondering whether it’s worth putting yourself in a place where there could be some type of attack or injury to one of the players.”

And as a spectator, you are left wondering how it is that Woods and his colleagues manage to play week in, week out in the United States without any problem.

But then no terrorists would ever attack the US, would they?



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