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Saturday, 24 April 2004

743: Premiership managers brawl: Si


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by : Colin Illingworth

Martin Tyler: Welcome to the sold out St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton for the most anticipated Premiership Manager Brawl so far as new Saints boss Paul Sturrock renews old rivalries with Manchester United’s legendary manager Alex Ferguson. With me at the commentary table as ever is Andy Gray.
Andy Gray: What a prospect we have in store tonight. It’s been almost 20 years since these two last crossed paths North of the border but I’m sure they unfinished business to attend to.
Martin: For those of you too young to remember, Alex Ferguson was the manager of Aberdeen and Paul Sturrock was an inspirational member of the Dundee United and, between them, managed to break the stranglehold of power on Scottish football by beating the Old Firm regularly and running away with the silverware.
Andy: And it wasn’t just domestically that they turned on the style. Aberdeen lifted the European Cup Winners Cup in 1983 after beating Real Madrid 2-1 and the Super Cup the following year …
Martin: The only Scottish club to win two European trophies.
Andy: Yeah and Dundee United also managed to reach the Uefa Cup final in 1987 but unfortunately came home empty handed.
Martin: Of course Ferguson left the Dons in 86 to take over at Old Trafford and after a brief barren spell he picked up the FA cup and the rest as they say is history.
Andy: Well as the regulars will know it should have been Gordon Strachan here tonight, after destroying Pompey’s Harry Redknapp, but the former Leeds and Manchester United midfielder decided to quit the game for health reasons.
Martin: So instead we have the new Saints boss and inexperienced fighter Paul Sturrock in to replace him and talk about jumping out of the fire and into the frying pan ... he couldn’t have been drawn against anybody harder than the teacup throwing fiery Scot.
Andy: It’s definitely a tough one for Luggy but he’s going to have to overcome it otherwise he will go down as one of the shortest serving managers in history.
Martin: Down in the tunnel right now we have Chris Kamara talking to the man who unleashed Luggy on the football world, former Dundee United manager Jim McClean. Now Chris please be careful. We all know Big Jim has a short fuse.
Kamara: Jim, it’s a pleasure to have you here but lets get straight to the matter at hand. Who do you think Paul will cope tonight against Fergie?
McClean: Are you stupid? I told you not to ask me that question. What did you ask me that question for?
Kamara: Well that’s the reason we are all here tonight, isn’t it?
McClean: Don’t get cheeky with me you little punk.
McClean then walks out of camera shot and you can hear the sound of McClean knocking Kamara’s lights out.
Andy: Well it’s good to see that he has controlled his temper!
Martin: Sorry Kam!
Andy: I used to play for Dundee United you know.
Martin: Christ, you’ve had more clubs than Tiger Woods!
Andy: There’s another similarity between these two bosses they’ve both been troubled with heart trouble. Anything could go off tonight.
Martin: Well there’s so much we could highlight about these two men but we must move on as the fighters are chomping at the bit so without further to do let’s head straight down to ringside for the all important ring introductions.
Ring announcer: Laaaaddddiiiieeesss and gennnnntttllleemmeeennn. It’s ssssshhhhhhooowwww ttttiiimmmmmeee! … Introducing first, representing the Saints, weighing in at a whopping 17 stones, and standing 5ft 10, and wearing the red and white home strip of Southampton, it’s the one, the ONLY … Ppppaauuuulll ‘The Puuuuunnnnniiissshhheeerrrr’ Stuuuuuurrrrrrrooooccckk.
Sturrock pulls back the curtains and receives a hero’s welcome as ‘The Saints Go Marching In’ beats out of the stadiums PA system as he walks down the ramp tucking into a huge beef burger and fries.
Ring announcer: And introducing his challenger, representing Manchester United, weighing in at 16 stones and standing 6ft tall, wearing the Manchester United white away strip, it’s ‘The Fearless One’ Sir Alllleeeeexxx Ferrrrrrrrrggguuuusssooonn.
The fans turn up the volume a notch as they boo and jeer the Glaswegian as he strolls down to the ring, chewing gum at a furious pace, to the sound of The Sex Pistols ‘Anarchy In The UK’.
Andy: Sturrock looks hungry for this one.

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