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He's Sir Stan with curls..

Steve McManaman could be the boy next door yet there is nothing neighbourly about the way he treats defenders.

The blond curls stream in the wind as he sways his hips, glides past an opponent and lays on a goalscoring chance.

Sound familiar? Take away the curls and it could be a description of the Stanley Matthews method.

The approach that made Matthews the first football knight has served McManaman well on his own way to the top thirty years after Sir Stan finally called it a day. Matthews himself was first to make the comparison.

After watching McManaman produce a mesmeric Wembley display, the wizard of dribble said: "He reminds me of me when I was playing."

Surely there could be no higher praise for a current footballer?

McManaman is like Sir Stan to the point that he, too, is no great goalscorer.

Just 31 League goals in seven seasons is a meagre return for a player of his immense talents. He, like Sir Stan, is maker rather than a taker of goals.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 15, 1997
Words:174
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