The Lazarus effect

September 16, 2004
Manchester United's alarming decline from 2002/03 Premiership champions to potential also-rans in the fledgling 2004/05 season can be put down to the absence of a single player, or so we are led to believe. Rio Ferdinand's eight-month suspension, imposed for missing a routine drugs test at United's Carrington training ground in September last year, was the stimulus for the Old Trafford club's capitulation. And while this claim may fly in the face of the 'one player doesn't make a team' mantra, ...

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