Posts Tagged ‘George Best’

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In the dim and distant past Manchester United had relatively few problems in enticing players to sign for them.

Pre-Fergie it was the lure of the name. It also helped that, in 1968, they had become the first English club to win the European Cup, although Sir Matt Busby made relatively few signings after that famous night at Wembley, a fact which was a constant source of annoyance to George Best.

Best expected the team to grow and prosper from that night on. Instead, Busby stuck with the older players and United won nothing of note again until the FA Cup defeat of Liverpool in 1977. (more…)

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In the good old, (bad old?), days back when WSA was unheard of and was, in fact, just a strip of a lad, trekking down to Old Trafford every other week to watch a decent team which didn’t win very much , football was a very simple affair.

Arriving at the ground by 1:00pm if United were playing another big club usually ensured that we would get a seat in the Stretford End. If not then it would be standing in the Stretford End and, due to my size, or lack of, back in those days, standing did not always guarantee a view of the game. If United were playing a lesser team then we would arrive around 2:00pm and usually have no trouble getting a seat. (more…)

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In all fairness, ANY manager at ANY club has the right to select whichever team he feels is appropriate for the game ahead.

Sure, there will be “first choice” elevens which, in the manager’s opinion is his “best” combination of players. This combination will not always be the right one for different opponents. Therefore, the manager has to have the right to make changes.

The question only becomes inflammatory when wholesale changes are made in order to “protect” some players for games further down the line which are deemed to be more important. (more…)

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To answer this question in an honest manner it is necessary to understand the pressures under which the manager of a top Premier League club operates.

The first thing to appreciate is that José Mourinho will be judged on what he wins, not who he brings through from the youth team. This means that, in order to stay in the job long enough to blood potential first team players, he needs to be filling the trophy cabinet on a reasonably regular basis. (more…)

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(Wayne Rooney looks over his shoulder only to find that the manager insists on him playing!)

Recently, one or two football players have remarked that they have “nothing to prove”. They say this as though they have reached a pinnacle and will never drop their standards below this optimum level.

Marouane Fellaini was one of the ones to speak out and that, frankly, was laughable. Now it’s the turn of Wayne Rooney again. Yes, again! It seems that Wayne likes to tell everybody how good he really is on a fairly regular basis. (more…)

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If Jose Mourinho’s quest while in charge of Manchester United is to continue with the style and selection so detested under Louis van Gaal, then he is going the right way about it. Unfortunately, his tenure will have a similar ending if he carries on in this vein.

With  Ibrahimovich on the bench, Pogba and Bailly rested, and Mhkitaryan injured this even had the look of a van Gaal team! (more…)

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What can we expect from a Manchester United versus Manchester City game in the modern era?

Contested between, arguably, the two greatest managers in the world, two teams with several world class players between them seem to be very evenly matched but, as usual, there is still time for a spanner or two to be thrown into the works.

It already appears as though Manchester United will be without Henrikh Mhkitaryan through injury whilst on international duty. Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia will not be available due to arriving home the day before the game and Luke Shaw was sent home from the England squad as a precaution but should be OK to play. (more…)

 

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Eric Cantona recently stated that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could become the “Prince of Manchester”. This title was the highest earthly one available according to Eric as HE was the “King of Manchester”.

The first task here is to correct Eric’s misunderstanding that he is the “King”. This title has always belonged, and will always belong, to Denis Law, regardless of whoever follows him.

Proof, if any were needed, can not only be found in the number of goals Law scored for United, but also in the lyrics of a famous old song which rang round Old Trafford for many years. Sang to the tune of “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner”, the title was changed to “Maybe it’s because I’m from Manchester” and the final line was “and the King is Denis Law”. Older followers of these chronicles will remember it well. (more…)

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Manchester City had already qualified for the knockout stage of the Champion’s League by the time they arrived in Turin to play Juventus.

This had been achieved by their fine away form in beating both Borussia Moenchengladbach and Sevilla and was in no way thanks to their patchy home form where they had already lost to tonight’s opponent. Unfortunately, their patchy home form became their patchy away form and they lost 1-0 at the Juventus stadium.

Manchester United knew, when they arrived at the Lowry hotel in Salford, that beating PSV Eindhoven tonight would mean that they would qualify for the next round as well.

Their passage had been based on reasonable home form where they have already beaten CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg, not their patchy away form where they had only collected one point. Unfortunately, their patchy away form became their patchy home form and they drew 0-0 in a boring game at Old Trafford. (more…)

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During the 1960’s I was lucky enough to go to Old Trafford every other week. I say lucky enough but, apart from in 1967 when they won the title, I didn’t see a very successful team but I did see a lot of very entertaining football.

Those were the days of Best, Law and Charlton, the three remembered more than any others for the attacking football United fans still crave to this day. It should be noted though, that United had other internationals in that team. Harry Gregg played for Northern Ireland, Shay Brennan and Tony Dunne were both international full backs. Nobby Stiles, still remembered from England’s world cup winning team and David Sadler was another occasional international. Pat Crerand was a regular for Scotland and even David Herd managed 5 caps

There were other players who didn’t achieve international status because, in those days, the majority of clubs had eleven British players so there was more competition for each of the home countries. (more…)