Goodison Park

Next Game

Everton v Man Utd

Sunday, 20 April 2014, 16:10

Barclays Prem

Allianz Arena

Last Game

Bay Munich 3 - 1 Man Utd

Wednesday, 09 April 2014, 19:45

Champions League Quarter Final

Class of 99

Geoff Shreeves speaks to Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Last Updated: 12/02/13 at 19:01

Manchester United's legendary strike-force of 1999 are permanently etched into the rich history of the Premier League giants.

Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all made key contributions to the most successful season in the club's history as Sir Alex Ferguson's men lifted the UEFA Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup over 11 glorious days in May.

Ferguson has hinted that his current crop of forwards - Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck - are the closest he has come to matching the famous four of 14 years ago.

Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves has spoken exclusively and extensively to the 'Class of 99' about their memories of that season, how they worked together as partnerships, coping with the competition for places and their opinions of the men who are now filling their boots.

We never played together, virtually all week. We didn't work on anything, we were just two natural people doing what they believed was right on the football pitch.
Andy Cole

Solskjaer will forever be regarded as the team's super-sub, with his contribution from the bench at Camp Nou securing European glory for the Red Devils, although he reveals to Shreeves that he has never watched the entire match since.

Sheringham was also on target as United snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Bayern Munich with two injury-time goals, but the former England international admits that his form had been poor for long periods of the 1998/99 season until the dramatic denouement.

Yorke and Cole were regularly Ferguson's first-choice pairing for the key games and enjoyed an almost telepathic understanding at times, although Cole insists that their on-field unity did not come from training ground practice, as they were often pitted against each other.

Two natural people

One goal which stands out is Cole's strike against Barcelona in a 3-3 draw in their Champions League meeting in November 1998, but he told Sky Sports: "Everyone really talks about the one against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. People say 'it must have been rehearsed, you must have done that in training'.

"The majority of time in training we played on opposite teams - that was the crazy thing. Come Friday, we used to play England v Rest of the World. We never played together, virtually all week. We didn't work on anything, we were just two natural people doing what they believed was right on the football pitch."

Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lift the Champions League trophy

Yorke was always aware that Sheringham and Solskjaer were waiting in the wings to step into the side, and he feels the competition for starting spots kept everyone at the top of their game.

He said: "That is the beauty of being at United, you have to be on your toes every game, every training session, if you're not that is the sort of quality waiting in the wings to take your place.

"Whenever they were called upon they were ready to pounce and they were ready to take opportunities. It was very difficult to keep those guys happy, they stayed there because they liked the challenge."

I realise now I was a fantastic sub for him. He wanted me to work for 20 minutes like it was a full 90. I had 20 minutes to put 90 minutes work in.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

With the benefit of hindsight, Solskjaer accepts that he slotted into Ferguson's plans to perfection, giving the United boss 100 per cent commitment when he was called on from the bench.

Fantastic sub

He admitted: "You want to play all the time, but I always respected the players I had with me. I realise now I was a fantastic sub for him. He wanted me to work for 20 minutes like it was a full 90. I had 20 minutes to put 90 minutes work in.

"It was just in me to do my best whenever I could."

Sheringham's memories of the campaign are perhaps the least fond, with the former England international admitting the campaign, which ended on such a high, was perhaps bitter-sweet due to what had gone before.

He said: "It was a very frustrating season for me. For Manchester United it was fantastic, but for me, personally, up until the last two weeks of the season I was very frustrated.

"I got three goals up until that stage. I lost my place, couldn't get in the side, it was only until the last two weeks of the season I started the last game. I was rested for the FA Cup final and came on after six minutes, then didn't get a place in the starting line-up for the Champions League final and then came on and scored a goal in that.

"It was a delightful ending for me, but frustrating all the way through."

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Neymar and Jordi Alba will miss the bulk of the remainder of the season

Barcelona forward Neymar has been ruled out for up to a month due to a left foot injury.

Transfer news: Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino warns off Luke Shaw suitors

Mauricio Pochettino says in-demand defender Luke Shaw will be staying at Southampton.

Premier League: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers targets win at Norwich

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Sunderland's draw with Manchester City is a "warning sign" for his side.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property