Football: United's keeper sent to the beach

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The Independent Online
PETER SCHMEICHEL will miss Manchester United's Premiership encounter with West Ham on Sunday - because he is sunning himself on a beach in the Caribbean. The Danish goalkeeper has gone on holiday with the blessing of United's manager, Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson fears fatigue among his players, who virtually had no summer break because of the World Cup, and has let Schmeichel go for a few days. David Beckham was allowed a similar break in October when he was suspended for United's Champions' League game against Brondby.

Paul Scholes, who missed last Sunday's FA Cup win over Middlesbrough because of flu, has also been told to put his feet up this week. Ferguson is anxious to keep his players as fresh as possible for their triple assault on Premiership, Champions' League and FA Cup honours this season.

The United spokesman, Ken Ramsden, said: "Peter has been given a break in the same way David Beckham had a rest earlier in the season. This is in line with what Alex has been saying all season in that he wants to give his World Cup players a rest wherever he can."