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Anorak | Do Or Di Canio

Do Or Di Canio

by | 19th, September 2002

‘ALAN Hansen says that, by the time he had won his seventh title in 10 years as a Liverpool player, he and the rest the team had almost grown tired of success.

”Manchester? It’s what way?”

Sure they did the lap of honour, but the cup was tossed that little bit lower into the air. He says that nothing matched the emotions of that first championship medal.

The first one is always the best one, but one cannot help but think that if Manchester United do win the Premiership title this season the celebrations on the pitch will be explosive.

The team are in the doldrums, and even a 5-2 victory over an Israeli team cannot hide that. Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-seeing eye has been distracted from the team and onto his captain’s book and his racehorse.

But for the first time in a while United are not favourites to lift the trophy. That honour goes to Arsenal, and with it goes the baggage of expectation. And only United have shown in recent seasons that they can deal with the added pressure of being the team everyone wants to beat.

So United come as underdogs. Granted, they are not of the mongrel variety, and are blessed with pedigree features from back to front, but underdogs nonetheless.

And if Ferguson can instil in them that realisation, and the attitude that they are on the way down and Arsenal are the team to shoot at, he may get recapture the fighting spirit that seems to have deserted the team of late.

To do it Ferguson needs to restore that belligerent swagger that Eric Cantona brought to his side. Keane has the mouth and the aggression, but winners need something more.

In Rio Ferdinand, Ferguson has an able player but not a man blessed with great charisma. In Van Nistelrooy, he has another man who does a perfunctory job

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