Australian Four Four Two - - UPFRONT -

when Tony Adams in­formed mis­fir­ing mid­field duo Em­manuel Petit and Pa­trick Vieira to shape up or ship out. The Gal­lic pair heeded their cap­tain’s call and the end-of-sea­son cel­e­bra­tion at the Cafe Royal, af­ter Arse­nal had won the Dou­ble, was al­to­gether more up­beat.

Fergie vs Sharpey

“I opened Sharpey’s front door,” re­called Ryan Giggs, “and there was the man­ager. I was hold­ing a bot­tle of Becks, and there was no es­cape.” Get­ting wind of Lee Sharpe’s rau­cous house party from his net­work of in­form­ers, Alex Fer­gu­son curtly dis­missed all in­vi­tees, then in­formed the pet­ri­fied duo that if there was any re­peat of such shenani­gans, their Manch­ester United ca­reers were over.

Cruyff in hot wa­ter

A few days be­fore Hol­land played the hosts in the 1974 World Cup Fi­nal in Mu­nich, Ger­man tabloid Bild ran a story un­der the head­line ‘Cruyff, cham­pagne and naked girls’ that al­leged the Dutch play­ers had par­tied in a ho­tel swim­ming pool with bikini-clad women – and they cer­tainly weren’t wives or girl­friends. Jo­han Cruyff spent the en­tire pre-fi­nal night on the phone be­ing grilled by wife Danny. The fol­low­ing day, the Dutch were beaten 2-1 by the Ger­mans. “Maybe swim­ming all those lengths took it out of us, eh?” Johnny Rep later sighed.

Mon­key busi­ness

“I’m try­ing to be­have bet­ter; I have a child now,” in­sisted Brazil­ian striker Ed­mundo in 1999. To prove his new, ma­ture ap­proach to life, ‘the An­i­mal’ poured a glass of beer down the throat of an ac­tual an­i­mal: Pedrinho, a chimp who was part of the cir­cus that the striker had hired for his son’s party. The for­mer Fiorentina for­ward had for­got­ten that he’d in­vited press pho­tog­ra­phers along, too. Oops.

Black Cats brought down to Earth

If Sun­der­land’s 1973 FA Cup win­ners reck­oned their Wem­b­ley hero­ics against Leeds would bring them global star­dom, they were mistaken. On a booze-laden end-of-sea­son trip over in Mal­lorca, goalscor­ing hero Ian Porter­field ut­tered the im­mor­tal words to a night­club door­man: “We are Sun­der­lando. We win FA Cup. We a fa­mous foot­ball club.” The door­man rubbed the fin­gers on his right hand to­gether and growled: “Pe­se­tas.” The play­ers moved on.

“All friends again, eh, lads? Pa­trick?”

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