99 (2024) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

[thunder rumbling, rain pouring]
[broadcaster 1] Manchester United
could win 3 trophies in 11 days,
starting with the Premiership on
[broadcaster 2] Alex Ferguson side
are on the home stretch.
The most demanding and rewarding
10 days in the club's history.
[thumping, scraping sounds]
[Ferguson] If you were saying
at the start of the season
which trophy you would like to win,
you would say the Champions League
because that's
the trophy which
will elevate Manchester United, I feel.
But the trophy we're most concerned about
and want to win right now
is the league on Sunday.
[broadcaster] Ferguson is calling Sunday
a massive game for United,
when victory, of course, will guarantee
the first part of the Treble
that's available to United
over the next fortnight.
[Ferguson] Bloody hell, the Treble,
the most important three games in
the history of United, in my time anyway.
There was a trepidation about,
how far are we gonna go.
[Cole] People keep mentioning the Treble,
the Treble, you know,
but since the media and all that
has been mentioning the Treble,
none of us have sat down and spoke about
winning the Treble or anything.
What was the Treble then?
I mean, there was no such thing
as the Treble then.
[Scholes] I don't think it had ever
been even thought about.
I'm not talking about that season,
but like years gone by.
The double was a thing,
if you know what I mean.
The treble was not a thing.
Three games to do it.
We were never ever
gonna get a better chance.
[broadcaster] Despite all their commitment
over the past 9 months
and the pleasure they've given millions
of football fans around the world,
the United squad know only too well
it could all come to nothing.
[Schmeichel] Those ten days,
everything was at stake.
Whatever you do in only three games
of football, will define you.
[Beckham] It was a hell of a season.
Failure, heartache, pain. Sheer fear.
Sheer pressure.
You've gotta walk through the door,
you've gotta take your chance.
We've all got our stories.
It's only now, when you look back
and you think, "Oh, my God".
Did I really take part in that?
It was-- It was--
It was fucking unbelievable.
[Ferguson] One given game,
last of the season,
in your own stadium,
in front of your own fans.
[commentator 1] The first of three
massive games for Manchester United
in the next 10 days, which will shape
the destiny of their season.
[crowd cheering]
[commentator 2] Manchester United
on the verge of true sporting greatness.
[commentator 3] Is this the first leg
of the unprecedented Treble?
At the start of that season, if you'd said
to me Treble, I'd have said you're mad.
You're mad.
And then
[crashing sounds]
Thinking, "Oh, my God,
what just happened?"
[soft dramatic music]
[siren wailing]
[reporter] Is it time for United
to start to rebuild?
Do you see a clear-out
during the course of this all?
[football pundit]
Well, I think that's inevitable
because I think that they've been
at the top of the tree over the years,
all of a sudden, they might not be there,
and without a doubt Alex Ferguson will do
what he feels necessary
to get Manchester United back to the top.
-[fans cheering, whistling]
-[fan] Manchester United, go
[broadcaster 1] Manchester United,
stung by what happened to them
in the last campaign.
[broadcaster 2] The United fans can't be
too happy at the moment.
[broadcaster 3] It hurt Alex Ferguson
and his players
to have lost the championship last year.
[Gary] People always think
in the Sir Alex Ferguson era,
it was a bed of roses.
We won Premier League titles all the time,
it was always glory.
There were massive disappointments
in that period.
That summer, we were coming off the back
of a double loss to Arsenal,
a Champions League defeat against Monaco.
Not great.
My personal experience at the start
of that season was, I was knackered.
'Cause I'd been to the World Cup.
I remember sitting on my sunbed in Malta
and thinking, I'm back training on Monday.
I remember thinking,
that's not enough time.
But the biggest problem
in that pre-season,
all the attention was on Becks.
Your emails and faxes have been
flooding in since England left the stage.
David Beckham figures
in nine out of ten messages
since that sending off against Argentina.
[broadcaster 1] David Beckham
will be remembered for a moment
of reckless immaturity.
Beckham's let us down tonight.
[broadcaster 2] And there
have been reported threats
against Beckham and his parents.
[Beckham] That summer after the World Cup
was the toughest moment of my career.
But I suppose the thing
that I was worried most about was
could I continue
to play for Manchester United?
[Jim Rosenthal] How big a temptation
is there for you
to cut your losses and sell David Beckham?
Well, that'd be an easy way out,
wouldn't it?
[Beckham] The manager, he was the first
person to call me after I'd been sent off.
He just said, "Son, it's gonna be tough,
but you get back
to The Cliff training ground,
and don't worry about anything else."
[broadcaster] Manchester United was
fearing a backlash from supporters
after Beckham's sending-off
against Argentina.
[Beckham] The Cliff was home.
And the manager, he had control
of every single thing
that went on at Manchester United.
But that's what made us great.
[Butt] The Cliff is a tiny building
which I don't think had been touched
with paint or anything for about 50 years.
It was part of the culture of the club.
The environment itself
was real to Manchester.
There's no airs and graces
around true Mancunian people.
The United training was harder
than the games.
It was just the dynamic of the team.
It was a tough environment.
[Ferguson] The team mirrors its manager
because they reflect
a lot of what you are in your life,
and what you believe in and
[Morgan] The boss, he was the king
of the domain, yeah.
There's no two ways about that.
The boss is-- The boss--
There's only one boss here.
And him and Kiddo, his assistant,
were the heart and soul
of Manchester United.
And this place was their Fort Knox
because this is no ordinary football club,
everybody was looking
for Manchester United to fail.
[reporter] How concerned
do you think he'll be
on missing out on the big-name strikers
[fan 1] have been speaking out,
would not have done so if David Beckham
had played for a different club.
[fan 2] And I just think Arsenal
are a little bit better equipped overall.
I came back from the World Cup,
phoned the manager,
"So when do you want me back?"
And you're hoping he says,
"Have four weeks."
I've just been through a long,
long season, I had an operation.
I mean, I cannot, you know,
my head's exploding, I need time off.
So he goes, "I want you in tomorrow."
[reporter] But the expectations
this season from the word go,
the program seems to get
more and more relentless.
Do you mind the expectation
that's heaped on your shoulders?
No, I don't mind.
I don't think anybody in our team minds.
I think that's--
That's what drives us on.
[Gary] The season before,
Peter took over the captaincy,
'cause Roy Keane was injured.
[Keane] Some people said, you know,
they could've done with me in the team,
but it wasn't to be
and unfortunately we didn't win anything.
No problem, okay
[Gary] Roy was our main player,
our inspiration.
But Peter was the best goalkeeper
in the world,
and had been at the club for a long,
long time and just didn't get on.
They were just two--
They were two animals.
Yes, of course I wanted to be captain,
but I think most players
want to be captain of Manchester United.
We didn't necessarily
have to like each other,
or socialise with each other,
it's all about winning.
[broadcaster] Arsenal against Manchester
United at Wembley in a glorified friendly,
but it's certain to have that extra edge,
given Arsenal's domination
of English football last season.
The biggest thing in the previous season
was everyone had swallowed
the bible of Arsenal.
A man of great integrity. Overmars!
[Gary] We'd had bad experiences
against that Arsenal team the year before.
We lost, I think,
an eight to ten point lead.
Arsenal won the double.
They were a brilliant team, Arsenal.
[broadcaster] And Dennis Bergkamp!
Arsène Wenger, Arsenal,
Arsène Wenger, Arsenal.
World leading training methods.
The nutrition that they have,
vitamins and pasta.
The prehab and, and all the fancy words.
It used to piss me off.
Disappointment is a much stronger emotion
than winning things.
It lasts longer.
It lasts the whole summer.
Every day you're thinking about it.
Every day.
[reporter] People say it hurts
not winning anything,
but is it professional pride
which hurts the most?
[Ferguson] What we've built up
over the last seven or eight years.
By not winning the league last year,
we didn't maintain it,
so we have to do it this year.
[commentator] First of all, let me
give you the headline team news.
David Beckham does play
for Manchester United
as does Roy Keane
who reclaims the captain's armband.
[Gary] Roy was back,
which was a massive thing for us.
And the manager had invested in Jaap,
and he was trying to get a striker in.
We knew he was trying to get a striker in.
[whistle trills]
It was back to work. We're going again.
[commentator 1] So Manchester United
will have so much to prove,
having been outgunned by the Gunners
on both major fronts last season.
[commentator 2] First run for Nicolas
Anelka and Jaap Stam's first real test.
[Stam] When you go to
a club like United,
you're thinking okay, this is a total
different level coming into this team.
They played at 100 miles an hour.
Everybody was direct,
everybody was aggressive,
to see how you react to it.
When the manager said to me,
if they see one sign of weakness,
they will jump on you.
I felt the pressure, yeah.
Players that came in could struggle
to get the best out of themselves.
And couldn't live up to the standards
of one, the gaffer,
two, Roy Keane
three, the rest of us.
Jaap, it was his first proper game
and I thought,
I think Anelka tore him to shreds.
[commentator] And here's Anelka.
Stam staying with him.
But that's not enough.
And Overmars tore me to shreds.
[commentator] Overmars and Christopher
Wreh, put in by Anelka! Two nil.
And we lost-- three nil, was it?
[commentator] As an appetiser
for the new campaign,
Arsenal have the Charity Shield.
[Gary] I remember thinking
we were miles off it.
I remember thinking that at that point,
it's a bit of a worry.
[broadcaster] I don't see Man United
winning the championship,
they have fantastic players,
but I just don't think
they're as good as Arsenal are.
[Edwards] Alex Ferguson at his best,
there's no better manager.
But you know, people take their eye
off the ball or whatever.
Or get distracted or whatever.
Arsène Wenger had taken over Arsenal
and beaten us, and beaten us well, really.
So we had to do something big.
[broadcaster] I think Alex Ferguson
will know that a side of his
that has been totally outclassed.
Who the fuck are Man United? ♪
Who the fuck are Man United? ♪
Who the fuck are Man United? ♪
[crowd chanting]
How about a big boo for Man United.
[Walsh] There's a swagger
about Manchester United fans.
That you follow the greatest team
in the world.
We'd been brought up
with the history of the club.
The tragedy and the glory
of the two great Matt Busby sides
that really gripped the world.
[broadcaster] Busby created a club
that was more than just a football club.
It became a national institution.
[Walsh] First the Busby Babes,
with so many of them dying
in the Munich air crash of '58
in pursuit of the European Cup.
And then the team that won it
in their memory just ten years later.
[reporter] Who can follow a man like you?
Oh, I don't know about that.
[Walsh] Loads of managers came and went,
but nobody could live up
to Busby's legacy.
It was too big for people to bear,
and it looked like Ferguson
wasn't gonna do it neither.
Until the day he signed
a bloke called Eric Cantona,
and the rest, as they say, is history.
[commentator] onto Bruce! Yes!
Yes for Manchester United!
It was a terrific time to be a United fan.
Cantona goes it alone.
It's a pretty good decision, too.
Manchester was a buzzing place to be,
to live, to go out in.
Brilliant atmosphere going to games.
And the team embodied all of that.
But at United,
the weight of history is heavy,
and we had to win that European Cup again.
That's a real blow to Manchester United.
[Walsh] At a club so firmly
in the centre of the spotlight,
if anybody starts to think
that you haven't got the answers,
then they're on you like a pack.
A very entertaining Charity Shield,
especially if you're
a supporter of Arsenal.
By the start of that '98/'99 season,
there was constant chatter and analysis
about whether Ferguson
could actually get there.
[fan] Got to blame Ferguson I'm afraid.
He's had money there, like, to spend,
he's had injuries
and never replaced players.
You gotta concentrate,
we took our eye off the ball
and I think we're paying for it now.
[Walsh] With Cantona gone
and Arsenal winning the double
it felt almost like
a changing of the guard.
We've been led to believe
that there is a general malaise
[Walsh] Ferguson took the time to
actually understand United fans,
and what we wanted.
the Manchester United hierarchy
[Walsh] As the secretary
of the Supporters Association,
me and Alex used to have
regular phone calls,
talk about what's going on at the club.
He was feeling let down,
that the board didn't give him
the respect, despite what he'd won,
he wasn't good enough for them.
He was vulnerable.
We'd felt that maybe he just,
you know, got a little bit more interested
in his outside interests
than perhaps he should've done.
And he just--
that just needed readdressing.
[commentator] In the centre, Rock
of Gibraltar vying for that early lead.
He was obviously becoming a celebrity,
interested in his racing
and all the rest of it.
[reporter] What's the appeal of it to you?
Getting away
from your normal working life,
and relaxing in fresh air,
I think it's good.
So as Chief Exec, it's your job
to know your
Your staff.
It was just a--
what shall we say, a-- a correction.
So, I put it in writing.
I knew he wouldn't be happy about it,
and he wasn't.
He-- he offered his resignation,
which, obviously I have to accept.
[director] Had you heard the manager
resigned at the start of that season?
The manager?
I wouldn't like to have
that conversation with him.
I didn't even know that till today.
[phone ringing]
He said I've had enough of it,
I can't trust these people anymore.
I've reached the end of my tether.
He was clearly hurt as well as angry,
and I just said, "Are you sure?"
Alex Ferguson valued loyalty greatly,
but he had come up the hard way,
as a working-class lad from Govan.
And people from working-class stock
are constantly told
by those with money and power
in society, that we're replaceable.
And I think that he would've seen that
as a challenge to respond to.
[Edwards] Later on that afternoon
he rang me back to say,
"Right, he's withdrawing his resignation,
I think he'd obviously discussed it,
withdrawing it."
And it was never
mentioned again after that.
[broadcaster] Manchester United have to
put Sunday's demoralising defeat
by Arsenal behind them,
and focus their minds with the first
premiership game of the season.
Well, you've got to win your league
to be the best in your country
because there's such great rivalry
in England now.
[Cole] We'd lost it the year before,
so there was no ifs or buts, we had to win
the Premier League that season.
I mean, we had to win it.
We had to win it.
The Premier League was a marathon.
We knew the sacrifice that it takes.
But I wouldn't say at the start
of that season we had an incredible bond
because he was almost building a new team
He invested in the depth of the squad.
Two players for every position
and we didn't have that before.
And I remember thinking,
this is gonna be tough.
It's gonna be a fight for your place.
Three o'clock, Saturday afternoon.
The English Premiership begins once more.
When I joined United the previous season,
I didn't look at it as any pressure
that I'm following Cantona.
I looked at that football team
and thought, "Ooh,
I can fit in there."
But like any workplace,
there's people you do like
and there's people you don't like.
Me and Coley just didn't rub each other
up the right way from the word go.
Scholes, to Giggs in from the wing.
Looking for Andy Cole. Offside.
That all started
when I made my England debut.
And Andy Cole replaces Teddy Sheringham.
[Cole] Teddy got taken off
and didn't even shake my hand.
A complete snub.
So from that day,
that was my opinion formed.
But then he joined Manchester United.
That season, I remember conceding a goal.
He turned around and said to me,
"That was your fault."
My head was absolutely steaming then,
so I got in the dressing room
and I lunged at him,
I was just about to throw a punch.
By that time I realise,
Roy was trying to fight him.
[whistle blowing]
[Sheringham] We had a fallout.
Keaney turns around and he said,
"Why don't you fuck off back to London
with your fucking Ferrari
and your fucking penthouse."
And I went, "Who the fuck are you?
What are you popping me out for
you Paddy fucking"
He turned around
and grabbed me by the tie,
and everyone, like,
just jumped and stopped him, like,
"Wait, what's happening,
what's happening?"
[crowd chanting]
Cole is there quickest.
The ball across now
and it doesn't quite make it.
Andy Cole, who contributed 25 goals
to the Manchester United cause
last season.
Yet there is talk of him being
a makeweight in a possible transfer
of Dwight Yorke from Aston Villa.
[reporter] All throughout the summer
you hear talk
of United looking for another striker.
How did you view that?
Manchester United, you know,
are the biggest club in England
and they're always gonna be
linked with players you know so, erm
I knew what was going on.
I've been there what, three,
three and a half years.
I've been told many times,
"You're not good enough
to play at this football club."
But that's 'cause of the magnitude
of Manchester United.
[tape rewinding]
[Cole] When I first went
to Manchester United,
I thought I'd just go there,
do what I was doing at Newcastle.
I didn't know what was in front of me.
[reporter] Not since Frenchman
Eric Cantona moved from Leeds
has a transfer caused such a sensation.
-[reporter] Is it a shock?
-A big shock.
I didn't understand
what the media climate was gonna be.
And the pressure they start to pump on me.
They were actually asking,
can I, me personally,
win Man United the title?
And then the media was saying
I'm arrogant and I'm surly.
I've been knocked
ever since I've come to Man United.
Know what I mean? People say, "Oh, he's
not worth that kind of money, you know"
Football forms an opinion of people.
How well do you really know this person?
At that time, my partner was pregnant
with my first son.
Leading up to the Southampton game
at Old Trafford, she had gone into labour.
We were trying to win the Premier League.
I remember the manager calling me
and saying to me,
"What are you thinking?"
[commentator] Manchester United's
final home game of the season.
There's no margin for error.
[Cole] I'm 25 years of age.
I've only been at Man United four months.
How do I actually turn round and say no?
That's when I started to understand
what Manchester United was all about.
[commentator] Well, there's some amazing
news, we're hearing that Andy Cole,
and Andy just heard it himself,
but he's become a father
for the first time about 15 minutes ago.
Oh, there's a real mess here
and it's gonna lead to Andy Cole!
With so much to celebrate tonight.
Manchester United have won.
The championship race
goes right down to the wire.
[Cole] Obviously, she saw it
from her point of view.
"I can't believe you left me
to go and play the game."
But I'm trying to manage it
to the best of my capabilities
as a young man having his first child,
but we're trying to win the League
as well, I didn't want to leave you
But the torment I was going through
[commentator] One nil down,
gotta try and get back into the game.
They gotta throw
more people forward eventually.
It's Cole.
Oh, and he's hit the post.
How important might that turn out to be?
And it's Cole!
And it bounces back off the
gets the knock on, here's Cole,
it hit Potts, it might've been going in
Cole again! Oh, my goodness me.
West Ham United somehow survive.
[Cole] Everyone's turned round and said,
should've done this, should've done that.
Man United spent £6 million on me to win
the league, and I've cost them the league.
[commentator 1] Cole missed two
or three great opportunities.
[Cole] I felt like shit.
I'm not gonna lie.
And then you would hear it all the time.
He's not good enough.
So I made my mind up from there and then,
you come back mentally stronger
or you're not going to make it.
[reporters laugh]
[broadcaster] It's a long running saga
which looked as though
it didn't have an ending.
Just hours before
the Champions League deadline,
Alex Ferguson got his man.
[Ferguson] Of all the strikers that played
against us in the last few years,
he's the one that's given me
the most problems.
There was only one place I wanted to play,
the biggest club in the world.
[broadcaster 1] Ferguson insists Yorke
isn't a replacement,
but an extension to his squad.
[broadcaster 2] Cole keeps
his number nine shirt,
but must be wondering what
the future holds for him.
[Cole] Our manager's brought him in,
paid that kind of money for him
so Dwight Yorke, he's number one.
There's no immediate plans to sell anyone.
Some will have to make way
on Saturday right enough, but
I said to the manager,
"No, I'm not gonna be sub.
I'm not gonna be sub."
He wasn't best pleased.
He wasn't best pleased, put it that way.
[commentator] Now for the domestic game
of the season so far.
No place on the bench today for Andy Cole.
[Cole] The manager always used
to say to me, you know,
"Your pride will kill you in the end."
But I always used to say to him,
ultimately, that's all I have.
[commentator] It's the champions
against the most potent force
since the start of the premiership.
It's Arsenal
against Manchester United live.
Coming to United,
I was relishing to be among the best.
You're with the big boys.
The Roy Keane, the Schmeichel,
Becks and Ryan Giggs.
World-class players.
I was craving for success.
Dwight Yorke, a £12.6 million signing.
And the header is in, by Adams.
Tony Adams, the captain,
gives Arsenal the lead, 14 minutes gone.
[crowd cheering and booing]
[Yorke] But I've seen it in that game,
these players being a little rattled.
Schmeichel's denied him again.
But with a follow-up,
Anelka makes it two.
Arsenal was obviously better than us.
So then the egos start coming out.
-[commentator] Manchester United
-[crowd booing]
Beckham ludicrously booed still
by crowds everywhere because he
[Yorke] They got this persona
of being the elite and the best.
But there was something else
missing there.
It was too serious.
The squad needed to be
lifted up in some way.
[commentator] Hughes taps it through
and Ljungberg could score on his debut!
What a moment for the young man!
Ljungberg makes
Manchester United's misery complete.
It's all over at Highbury.
A magnificent performance
by the champions Arsenal.
[reporter] What can you do about it, Alex?
I mean, obviously without working harder
what can you do?
Well, I mean, for goodness’s sake,
that's what management is.
That's the great thing about management,
you have great ups
When I was looking at players,
I liked to see them
when they was in a losing team
and how they reacted to it.
A player comes to Manchester
and you know he's got an ability.
What you wanna find out
are other things about him is,
what kind of character is he?
I wanted someone who could emulate Cantona
and bring that energy.
I needed to find the parts of a team
to make it complete.
[players shouting]
[Yorke] I tried to light the place up.
You're gonna have to be a total dick
for me not to-- to not get on with you.
Hey, listen,
I was in such a moment, I tell you.
I came here to have fun,
enjoy playing, win football matches,
win trophies and have an amazing time.
[Cole] I was out of the team
for a few weeks.
But he's letting you know that
I'm the manager, I make the decisions.
He can get rid of any of us at any time.
But I was looking at Dwight,
his energy was different.
In a serious game,
he's laughing and joking.
I'm like, "How do you actually do it?"
Both my parents come from the Caribbean.
We're from two different islands,
but our heritage
is basically the same thing, you know.
So I just thought,
I'm gonna try and make it
as comfortable for Dwight as possible.
What Coley did from a personal
point of view was quite incredible.
He was the one that was likely
to leave the football club,
but he went out his way
to show me around Manchester.
To invite me to his family home.
Tell me places where to go,
where not to go.
That's-- People didn't see that.
[Cole] We end up playing Southampton.
The manager was like,
"You'll be playing today,
let's see what you got", kind of thing.
I was like, "Fine, not a problem."
David Elleray gets the match started.
Manchester United's all-black strip
may reflect the fact that they've had
one or two disappointing days
at the Dell in recent seasons.
To Blomqvist. Outside him is Andy Cole.
That's his cross, Dwight Yorke!
Yes, one nil, Dwight Yorke scores
from Cole's cross.
Bang. It goes off.
Me and Yorkie play like an absolute dream.
From nowhere.
I knew what he was gonna do,
he knew what I was gonna do.
[commentator] It's a good header on by
Dwight Yorke to Andy Cole. Look at this
Everything was instinct.
Everything was compatibility.
When people say, "But how?"
I don't know.
I don't know.
[commentator] A clever ball too
to Andy Cole, it's two nil.
[Yorke] When we come together,
there was just kind of
I think it was a brother love somewhere.
It felt that way.
Andy Cole involved in all three goals.
The way it just married together,
I felt like, we are the same.
We are the same.
Yorke partnered again by Andy Cole.
Cole to Yorke,
to Cole looking for Yorke again.
Those two have a good understanding.
[Cole] I can remember the manager
turning around and saying to me,
he could never see a partnership
between me and Dwight.
He brought out something
totally, totally different in me.
[commentator] It's Cole.
Oh! Excellent.
When I found myself in that partnership
[commentator] He's back.
I always say it was sent
from the heavens.
[Gary] Coley and Yorkie's
partnership was starting to emerge
in the Premier League.
Started to really sort of look brilliant.
But they now had to go and prove it
in the Champions League
against the best defenders in Europe.
[commentator] Old Trafford
is packed to witness
what we hope will be a classic encounter
between two of the world's biggest clubs,
Manchester United versus Barcelona.
[Irwin] The group of death.
That's what I remember most
about the early part of that season.
Bayern Munich and Barcelona in a group
where only one's guaranteed to go through.
It's tough. Really tough.
[commentator] It's who wins matches
like these that really matters.
The European Cup. That's where
the history of Man United comes from.
You know, Brian Kidd was our coach.
The youngest ever scorer
in a European Cup final.
But that was the only time
that we'd won it.
It felt like the boss
was always gonna be judged on
whether he won the European Cup or not.
He took it personally.
And he felt that United
should be on that level.
[commentator] Manchester United will
almost certainly have to win this group
if they are to carry their challenge
beyond Christmas.
The European games felt different.
It wasn't nerves, it was more excitement.
It's Beckham. It's fantastic.
[crowd cheering]
Absolutely fantastic.
[Beckham] When you're playing
a team like Barcelona,
you have to forget
everything that's going on around you.
[commentator] Peter Schmeichel who's
experience of this kind of occasion
has multiplied in the last 2 or 3 seasons.
[Schmeichel] In that environment,
I wanted to look invincible,
that you cannot beat me.
If you beat me then this is
your best day in your life.
The best day you'll ever have.
And now it's Anderson, and it's 2-1.
Sonny Anderson has pulled a goal back.
2-2. Schmeichel went the right way,
but Giovanni has equalised.
It's 3-3.
[shouting indistinctly]
Now and again you make a mistake.
But then I made the next one.
[commentator] Schmeichel has come
to claim it, didn't get there at all!
And somehow
[fan] Peter Schmeichel! Peter!
And the next one, and the next one.
Schmeichel has pushed it into his own net.
[Schmeichel] All of a sudden,
everything was a conscious decision
rather than an instinctive one.
And the whole thing came crashing down.
[commentator] Barcelona free kick.
It's Rivaldo.
Oh! And Barcelona are level.
lost the flight of it completely.
Coley and I looked at each other and go,
"What's going on in the back there?"
They better just get the ball up to us,
and then so we can get on with it.
[commentator] Oh, well left by Yorke, fed
by Cole,
back to Andy Cole from Dwight Yorke,
fantastic goal for Manchester United.
[Schmeichel] The thing is, your
responsibility is not just to yourself,
and your teammates or your manager.
It's to millions and millions of people
who exist by the results of your work.
[commentator] Hit it towards Rivaldo.
Oh, he's done it again!
It's 3-3.
[Schmeichel] I'd never been in a situation
where I doubted myself,
but slowly it sort of creeped in.
I thought opening up
would be considered a weakness.
And weakness is something
we don't want in this team.
It was so weird and I felt,
I'm done for, I can't do this anymore.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen
and thank you for your attendance
at the press conference.
We've invited you down today
to announce that Peter Schmeichel
has indicated that he wishes to retire
from English football
at the end of the present season.
[broadcaster] The greatest goalie
Manchester United have ever had,
and as shocks go,
Peter Schmeichel's retirement
is pretty much off the Richter Scale.
Now Alex Ferguson's
got to replace the irreplaceable.
[Neville] I was angry.
Why the fuck are you retiring?
We'd all had our fears
walking into this dressing room.
You were scared some days,
you was fucked some days, you was tired.
But you just have to get on with it.
[commentator] The Big Dane has announced
his impending retirement,
following seven highly successful seasons.
He tries the shot! Oh, it's in!
Frankly, you would've expected
Peter Schmeichel to deal with it.
[Yorke] The Great Dane himself.
Never seen anything like it.
[commentator] And he's mishandled it
and paid an embarrassing price.
And then suddenly Sheffield Wednesday
score again out of the blue,
-And I'm like, "What's this?"
-[commentator] read it well but
a mistake by Stam and Alex Anderson,
could be in again.
[Yorke] Afterwards it was chaotic.
There's Roy Keane having a go at Pete.
Proper fighting
going on in the dressing room.
The gaffer is trying to get involved
and it was all going off in there.
[commentator] 3-1
He came in the dressing room and
Then he started shouting.
People were pulling each other apart,
and you calm down, and you do this
and you fuck off, and you that
It was absolutely nuts.
For half an hour we were unrecognisable,
to be honest with you.
There was mistakes all over the pitch.
You can't look at individuals and that,
in particular today
because they were happening everywhere.
[Yorke] The gaffer was trying to get it
under control and bring us together.
But the dressing room was in a mess.
We're delighted to announce that following
successful discussions this afternoon,
Brian Kidd has accepted the position
of manager at Blackburn Rovers.
[Neville] Brian Kidd leaving
just added fuel to the fire
of everything else that was going on.
This morning, Brian Kidd said his goodbyes
to Manchester United.
He brought me to the club
and sad to see him go.
It was not stable and the media were--
the media were hammering us.
Kidd's departure couldn't come
at a worse time.
[broadcaster] He's been the link man
between the dressing room
and Alex Ferguson.
[Beckham] Kiddo was family,
to lose him was a bigger worry for me
than our form at that time.
He'd been part of United
for so many years.
[reporter] Perhaps a word
about your number two, Brian Kidd.
And he was so important to the manager.
The great thing is he's loyal to me.
[broadcaster] The headache now for
Alex Ferguson is how to replace the man
who's been his trusty assistant
for the past seven years.
[Ferguson] You're in your office,
you'll be sitting looking out the window
and people think you're busy.
That loneliness only applies to a manager.
[reporter] What's upset many
is Brian Kidd's timing, it's abysmal.
On Wednesday, United face Bayern Munich
in the fight to stay in the European Cup.
[Ferguson] Times like that,
going through the real important games,
you have to show leadership.
[Gary] He couldn't be deemed
in front of the players
to look like he'd lost control.
In fact, if anything, he doubled down.
Yeah, he doubled down. 100 percent.
He just kept saying trust the process,
trust the process.
[Gary] The world could be in a
storm outside around Manchester United,
but we were on that island,
it's our island
and the rest of you can just do one.
And the manager created that.
[broadcaster] The Big Match Live
welcomes you back to Old Trafford
for this compelling climax
to Manchester United's
roller coaster qualifying campaign.
Every chairman's dream
is to win that European Cup.
That's always the ultimate.
[commentator] Welcome the teams of
Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
[Edwards] All I could do is keep faith
in Alex Ferguson.
And it's just-- it's-- shall we say,
it's a belief, in a way.
He will turn it round.
[Butt] I'd be lying if I said it was
all rosy in the garden. It wasn't.
People leaving, people arguing.
It wasn't looking good, was it?
We're just not winning games,
it didn't really happen for us.
It's England against Germany.
And it's a test of the players' nerve
and fibre as much as their talent.
[Butt] But the manager used to always say,
it's where you are after Christmas
that'll decide where you're gonna end up.
That's when his psyche came into it.
And he just trusted us to go onto
a football pitch and beat anybody.
[commentator] Zickler
He's very, very pacy
as Jaap Stam is finding out,
but Stam is no slouch, either.
Well won by Jaap Stam.
We had all these issues as we went along
but as a person, I was--
there was a determination about myself
and I'd always a will to win.
And all the players I brought to the club,
you know, they all
shared that thing with me.
But what you want
is to see it being fulfilled.
-[commentator] Giggs taking on Strunz.
-I knew what I was looking for.
Mentally tough.
[commentator] Rolled back now,
it's Roy Keane, it's one nil.
[crowd cheering]
Invaluable strike
from the Manchester United captain.
You're either lucky
or you've picked well, you know.
[Schmeichel] We all had a job to do.
I had to deal with the issues that I had.
So I went and spoke to the manager.
It's not about weakness,
it's about reality.
This is what it is. He understands,
of course, he understands.
Talent is not just about how many tricks
you can do with a football
or how far you can run.
It's all about dealing with life.
I could see it in his eyes
that he still really, really trusted me,
and knowing that,
changed the whole thing for me.
Knocked it forward to Zickler,
and here goes Kuffour, got his shot away
and Schmeichel made a terrific save!
And the quarter-finals
start to move onto the horizon.
We got through the group stages,
literally by the skin of our teeth.
We came out of the toughest group
playing the biggest clubs in Europe,
with the biggest histories.
And I think that gave us real confidence.
Then we needed some fun, like I said,
like, the lads needed to release
some of that tension that was building up.
And Christmas party
was a proper Christmas party.
I've been to a few Christmas party,
but nothing like this one here.
Roy Keano has his say,
Giggsy has his say.
Gary Neville is in there somehow,
I don't know what he's doing in there,
but he's part of the organisers.
Not all aspects of it,
but certainly the organisation of food,
booking the venue, the music
What does he know about Christmas party?
The guy does hardly ever go out.
Transport, making sure everyone
was in the right place, I did all that.
I think it was 250 invites.
I think I must've got 150 myself.
We knew more often than not,
how to make sure
that we looked after one another
and we kept it private.
[dance music plays]
[Yorke] When we got there, the boys
couldn't believe how many people it was.
It was just crazy
and it's the best night.
[dance music continues]
People who never drank, drank.
I can tell you that.
The only thing that makes me sick
if I'm ever out on the drink, is shots.
And Yorkie used to walk around
with the shots on his head.
Balancing them.
He'd take a shot off, then he'd stand up
and walk round to the next person,
and that was Yorkie.
But it got messy.
[Gary] Some of
the lads' wives walked in
and a couple of them had a go at me.
"This is your fault."
And I always remember thinking,
"It ain't my fault
that your husband's
dancing on the bar with a girl."
Fucking hell!
The fun that they were having,
you want to see some of their faces
when their wives turned up.
It's priceless.
I remember Roy's speech at the end.
Galvanising everyone.
You know, he grabbed us
by the scruff of the neck.
I think everybody knew
what he was getting across.
Enough's enough, sort this out.
We need to start now.
We can't do this. We can't play like this.
That's not who we are,
we are a lot better than this.
So what we did was agree
that we would not lose again.
And once we'd made
that kind of commitment to each other,
it kind of pushed us
in the right frame of mind again.
[crowd chanting]
[commentator] Welcome to Old Trafford
on this wet and windy
Boxing Day afternoon, here
[Cole] In the Premier League, you've got
to be the best team after 38 games.
No excuse.
[commentator] Manchester United certainly
need to return to winning ways today.
The run was absolutely ridiculous
that we went on after that.
[commentator] Keane onto Yorke,
what a fantastic turn past Walsh,
and here is Cole and that's gonna be 3-1.
[Cole] Me and Yorkie,
built on our partnership.
[commentator 1]
And a lovely ball here to Dwight Yorke.
[commentator 2] Manchester United have
moved into overdrive in the New Year.
[Cole] As a team,
we was all in it together.
You can't dream about these things.
[commentator 1] Manchester United unbeaten
in the whole of this year, 1999.
Haven't lost since before Christmas.
[commentator 2] Here's Cole.
[crowd cheering]
This is movie stuff.
The start of that season,
it was never meant to be.
And that's the craziest thing,
it was never meant to be.
[commentator 1] Manchester United
are still in with a chance
of that all elusive Treble.
[commentator 2] Yorke and Cole, once more
too hot for the opposition to handle.
[Cole] They're starting to see
the best of me now.
I mean, I've got a partner who, like,
brings the best out of me
as well you know,
so, if I can keep improving
like I'm doing, you know what I mean,
you know, I think I'm gonna go
from strength to strength.
You find yourself in that position,
you think you're invincible.
But I just got myself in a predicament
I should never have found myself in.
Yeah, I'm sitting here just looking
and saying to myself, "What are you doing,
you're such an idiot."
All the pain,
what my partner went through, it was--
It was horrible.
[commentator] This could be a pivotal
night in the championship picture.
Liverpool, determined to put a hole
in Manchester United's bid for the Treble.
[Cole] The manager was very good
in asking, "Is everything okay?
Can I do anything?"
'Cause he knew that you can't get the best
out of an individual
if you don't know what's going on
with that individual.
[commentator] Manchester United
just have to get the three points here.
[Cole] But he's very good at challenging.
[commentator] But there's no doubt
about it, there's been a big shift
towards Arsenal tonight.
[Cole] If Monday to Friday
you're going through absolute chaos,
how can you bring your best on a Saturday?
[commentator] Arsenal's defeat last night
has left Manchester United
in sight of the title.
But will there be another twist?
[Cole] You start to doubt yourself.
Onside here is Andy Cole!
Not looking that sharp just lately.
That weighs on your mind.
[broadcaster 1] Final day of the 1999
FA Carling Premiership season.
If Manchester United beat Spurs,
the title is theirs once more.
[broadcaster 2] Manchester United today,
have the first chance since 1965
when Sir Matt was in charge,
to win the title at Old Trafford.
It is this tight.
Let's go to Old Trafford and hear
from Alex Ferguson with George Gavin.
[Sheringham] Going into the final
league game, I'd been in and out the team.
Ups and downs with form.
I'd scored three goals all season.
[reporter] What will it mean to you to win
the title here for the first time, Alex?
It'd be great, it'd be wonderful.
And it was like
couldn't be any worse for me.
I'm going out there assuming one thing
and hoping one thing, that we win.
We were playing Tottenham at home
in the final league game of the season,
I get named in the starting lineup.
[reporter] What swayed your decision
in favour of Teddy Sheringham?
Well, I think Teddy's been unlucky
to be left out once or twice.
And I'm like, wow,
I'm as surprised as anyone to be in there.
And when players are playing well,
and particularly this time of the season,
you can't ignore that.
Andy's fully aware of that,
he's almost in agreement with it.
Gutted, oh, man I was--
I was-- I was gutted.
But he knows he's got a part to play, too.
He just thought like, my performance level
hadn't been the same
due to what had happened and whatever.
And I, naturally of course, I'm not gonna
say, "Yeah, I agree with you."
But I didn't agree with him.
I tried everything
to try and change his mind,
but once he makes his mind up,
that is it, bang.
So it's back to square one again.
[commentator 1] There's something weird
about Old Trafford today.
They're all nervous,
they're all worried about this game.
[commentator 2] Is this the first leg
of the unprecedented Treble?
You try and keep it all in,
not thinking about the treble,
but it's difficult.
'Cause everyone's talking about it.
[commentator 1] And we're underway.
If Manchester United win, there's nothing
that Arsenal can do about it.
[Beckham] Last day of the season,
we had to win.
If we don't win, if we draw,
Arsenal win the league.
[commentator 1] In field to Iversen,
Iversen steps ahead of Scholes.
It's a bright start for Tottenham.
Things weren't actually going
that well on the day.
[commentator 2]
We'll look at that one again,
but they were saying they thought
it would all be over after 20 minutes.
United would score
Big Pete gets caught off his line.
[commentator 2] throw in the towel,
hasn't happened like that
as Ferdinand tries that effort, and he--
[May] And you're thinking,
this cannot happen.
It's pin drop. It's like a graveyard.
Goodness me, a shock to their systems,
a shock to Alex Ferguson.
It's Manchester United nil,
Tottenham Hotspur one.
Tottenham go one nil up, I'm like,
"Oh my God, what's happening here?"
We need to win this football match.
I don't care who scores,
we just need to win this game.
That's what's going through my head.
I must've missed four or five
brilliant chances.
[commentator] Giggs
Scholes coming onto it!
Pushed out by Walker.
Towards Sheringham. It's Scholes!
Walker there again.
[Scholes] Everybody's stood up,
everybody's biting their fingernails,
everyone was worried.
[commentator] Magnificent goalkeeping.
Giggs. Beckham! He's put it over.
You're right, they should be level,
he knows that
[Beckham] Scholesy is missing,
I'm missing.
At some point, you gotta start thinking,
maybe it's not our day.
[commentator 1] Scholes gets it.
Sherwood says he was fouled.
The referee doesn't agree.
Giggs, Scholes.
Beckham. It's in!
Well, Tottenham don't like it,
but Manchester United love it.
[commentator 2] special, but when it
arrived from this young man's right foot.
You can almost feel a bit of relief then,
when he scores that goal.
[Beckham] But it wasn't enough.
We still needed to win the game.
[commentator] Partially away
And then I got booked sliding
into a challenge with Sol Campbell.
[commentator] The half-time whistle goes.
[Scholes] The manager went mad
at me at half-time.
"Any chance of you fucking
scoring a goal?"
And, "How many more chances
are you gonna fucking miss?"
[Yorke] The easy part of football
is when things are going well
and you're winning games,
and you don't have any issues and
Anyone could manage that sort of scenario.
The management part of the scenario
is when the difficult moments come,
who do you then put
into those difficult situations
to then get you
out of those difficult situations?
Manager says,
"Ted, I'm gonna take you off,"
and I'm like, "Oh, for fuck's sake."
That's all I need. Can't believe it.
[commentator] Andy Cole comes on
amidst all the tension here.
[Cole] Not every day's
going to be a good day.
There's ups and downs.
There's swings, there's roundabouts.
Always depends on how you come out of it.
So you get your head down,
work a little bit harder,
commit to what you gotta commit to.
Face the music.
[commentator] Getting it wrong for United
might mean even more
than costing them the championship.
[Cole] He was the only manager
in my career
who actually understood me as a person,
what made me tick, the way I thought,
and you know,
what basically pissed me off.
[commentator] Andy Cole's last goal
at Old Trafford was three months ago.
[Cole] But all he wanted
was the best from you.
[commentator] Two great pals up front.
I'm going to show him.
I will show everyone.
[crowd chanting]
[commentator 1] Gary Neville.
Cole in space!
Brings it down, it's Andy Cole!
[commentator 1]
Oh, it's a great goal from Andy Cole!
[commentator 1]
A fantastic strike from that ace striker.
Cole, who missed all those chances
four years ago,
in that last day drama at West Ham,
he's taken that one.
[commentator] Manchester United,
one nil down just before half-time,
are 2-1 ahead.
"Calm it down," says Andy Cole.
News comes through that Arsenal
have taken the lead against Aston Villa,
so United, they have to hold on
for the win here.
There can be only a matter of seconds
before the final whistle
of this endlessly fascinating
championship race.
But the whistle goes and Manchester United
are the champions of England again.
[Neville] When the final whistle
went, we'd been through so much.
The season was long,
the season was brutal.
But we had built this bond.
[Beckham] It was just that feeling of,
this is where I wanna be,
this is my club, this is my team.
[Yorke] Those are moments
that you will never be able to forget
because it meant so much.
The Premier League,
my first Premier League.
I owe a lot to Coley,
and I can't thank him enough, so
[Cole] Life's a full circle.
That's what, it's a full circle.
Could you have expected Andy Cole
to score after three minutes?
[Ferguson] Well, I had a feeling
he would, actually.
Do you think you can win all three now,
the FA Cup Final next?
Well, that was the hardest.
That is-- We've got that out of the road.
We're going to Wembley,
we're going to go there to win,
and then to Barcelona for the greatest day
of our lives, we're gonna enjoy it.
[Beckham] I honestly don't remember
ever talking about the Treble
up until that point.
I don't think we were allowed
to even talk about it.
He knew before we think about
winning trophies,
we had to have each other's back.
The second half of that season changed us.
[cheering and shouting]
Yeah, all right, where's all my teammates?
[overlapping chatter]
When do you ever get an opportunity
to stamp a mark on history like that?
That's why I was saying to the guys.
We're doing this.
When are you gonna have
a chance like this again? Ever?
[both] Two more games
To go!
Okay. Now it's on!
["Tellin' Stories" by
The Charlatans playing]
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